45-70 Range Trip with New Powder

TC Encore SSK 45-70 with IMR-3031


Well guys, I took the Encore out for a spin, and on the recommendation of Rebel and Georgiaboy44 I got a couple pounds of IMR3031 to try.

QuickLOAD predicted no pressure concerns for an Encore that theoretically could be rechambered to 458WinMag, so I did a ladder from 49.3 – 55gr in my my neck-sized Starline Brass, mandrel expanded to .459″. The primer of choice was Gold Medal Match Large Rifle, GM210M.

The bullet is cast from an Accurate 46-415S mold and then coated in Hi-Tek Zombie Green and sized and gas checked to .459″. THey were cast from Hardball alloy and weigh in at 408gr total.

Well, as it must be, I screwed up the last charge weight, so since I was working down… I have two sets of 49.6… oops.

QuickLOAD predicted 1774 – 1974fps.

So goes the shooting…. The first load, 49.6gr, the clean cold bore shot, was a flier, then 4 shot .966″ and backed up with duplicate load at 1.342″

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A couple of groups later, 50.2gr shot .726″ 4 shot with called flier…

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Then an awesome looking 1.127″ at 50.8gr

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Two groups later I hit upon 1.232″ at 51.4gr

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Then the last group before a snack break, and then the first two coming back minus the cold bore shot from long cooling session (gonna have to model that for hunting) we had a region of OK to nice but not great! 52-52.6 gr. 1.326″-1.356″ 5 shots and 4 shot in the neighborhood too…

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Then some BLAH for a while, and then magic struck at 54.7 gr; my smallest 5 shot group of cast bullets ever… 0.959″

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So I’ve got a few places to retry and verify loads, but I’ve got some brass cleanup to do. Shot all 250 now!

IMR-3031 seems to be an excellent performer in Ruger#1 loads! Thanks for the recommendation guys, and what a beautiful range trip..

Wind dispersion is sure to have happened as we started getting windier as the day progressed. I am sure a couple fliers were just the bullet hand-cast by me. But all in all, as my first cast lead slinger rifle, I am really stoked by the performance and cannot wait to get do some more.  Getting very close… Will spend more time and detail on my casting and coating processes. And this is gonna be fun.. On the heavy loads the scope cap would come back against spring pressure and whack me.. was funny!

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Thanks guys,


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