Partly for fun, partly to try out some loads. I wrote a while back about trying some cast bullets, sized to .309, in the M39 and getting surprisingly good results for bullets undersize for the bore. What I was trying with it was some bullets a bit more matched to the bore. But first, I tried some practice loads in .30-06 in the 1903A3.
I mentioned before the good things in general about light loads, but nowadays there's another: several years ago I banged up my shoulder in an accident(not motorcycle) and now there's only so many full-power loads it can take. Especially with the steel buttplate on the A3. So the load lets me shoot it a lot more with much less pain.
This load is the RCBS flat-nose gas-checked 150-grain bullet designed for .30-30, sized to .309". To put the shots at point of aim I had to set the rear sight to the 500 yard mark, which put it dead-on at 50 yards:
There's almost no recoil, and noise is low. Moved to 100 yards and got this with the first five rounds:
I moved the rear sight up one more click, which I think corresponds to 550, and that moved them up into the black:
The one that landed high & right I'm calling on myself.
Overall, for up to 100 yards this is a really nice practice load for this rifle, much better results than I really expected. Apparently that bullet and the 2-groove barrel really like each other.
On the 7.62x54, I picked up one of the Lee sizer setups for .311 to try out. This bullet, as cast, mikes at .310 very consistently, so I knew this wouldn't resize the bullet; but it would seat the gas check. So I ran 20 bullets through it and loaded them with the same load as before. 50 yards:
Result, not really any improvement over the same bullet sized to .309. So, for better results with this I guess I'll have to get a mold for an appropriate bullet.