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confused - is the .308 bullet diameter .308 or .309?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gringogigante, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. I'm looking in my Modern Reloading (2nd Addition) by Richard Lee and it says a .308 bullet is actually .308 in diameter. When I was looking on the Lee site for bullet molds, the only 30 cal. molds they have are .309 in diameter. When i thumbed through the manual, I couldn't find any 30 cal. bullets that were .309 in diameter....

    what gives?
  2. jeffreybehr

    jeffreybehr Silver Member

    Mar 14, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ USA

  3. HexHead


    Jul 16, 2009
    Lead ones are likely .309.
  4. odiesplace


    Feb 12, 2012
    I think cast bullets need to be sized to bring them to the correct size. My dad use to cast bullets but that was forever ago, can't remember for sure. You should be able to get the info on the Lee website
  5. I wonder if because all the molds are .309 that for a .308 caliber it has to be run through the sizer die?
  6. PCJim

    PCJim Senior Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    If rifle follows suite with pistol, the jacketed bullets will be .308 and lead will be a minimum of .001 larger in diameter, thus .309. I don't cast, but shoot almost exclusively lead in pistols. This is the rule of thumb with pistol lead.
  7. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    .001 isn't necessarily going to be a problem with lead bullets and it gives a bit of flexibility for each rifle, you can size 'em down but sizing 'em up is a bear.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  8. PhantomF4E


    Aug 24, 2010
    South Florida
    The general consensus among bullet(boolit) casters for most firearms is that the cast projectile should be .001 larger than the actual bore after the bore is slugged. for most .30cal rifles in lead that would be .309. However, and that is a big however ! there are many different flavors . A slugged bore can often reveal the need for a .311 sized bullet in some cases, especially in older .30 cal's . There are no less than 10 billion posts on slugging the bore of a rifle for cast bullet. For my 1980’s era Rem700 30-06 a cast bullet at .309 works amazingly well for my .3084 barrel. No leading and simply outstanding accuracy with a Lyman 311291 cast bullet. Mine weigh in at 180gns after lube and gas check and are jaw-droppingly accurate out to 150 yards loaded moderate.
    PS if one needs a larger sized bullet from a standard .30 cal mould there is a process called beageling (sp?), also 10 billion articles written on how-too. Maybe even a proper spelling , tonight that just doesn't look right !!!
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  9. Thanks all. I've been reloading but never cast my own bullets. I just ordered a Lee Precision Pot and some molds, etc to give it a shot.

    Also, I've seen a lot of people call them "boolits". Is that a slang or have some meaning/concept I need to know about?
  10. garander


    Nov 29, 2001
    Slang. You will now be casting up some booletts! Here's hopin they bump up nice in your gun.
  11. PhantomF4E


    Aug 24, 2010
    South Florida
    It is slang but generally references over to the Cast boolits forum . Lot of good casting info there . Many of the folks at GT are on both boards. Great info and great folks on both . Even the crotchity ole'bastiges who poke fun and practice "tough love" on orders of magnitude ;-)