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Cast bullets, gas checks or bullet lube?

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by JackThompson, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    I haven't ordered my bullet moulds yet, but in my research I've found two ways to treat cast bullets (to prevent deformation and reduce lead forming in the barrel)

    1: bullet lube (this seems like a messy pain to work with)
    Pros?
    Cons?

    2: gas checks (this requires gas check enabled moulds and you have you stock another component to be able to make bullets)
    Pros?
    Cons?

    Which method is more time consuming and expensive? Or is it some give and take?

    Is there a third option I haven't seen yet?
     
  2. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Yes there is, go to : Lead Bullets Technology btw; I bought Veral's book, what a read. This guy knows what works best and why.
    Oh, whether you use a gas check or not, you will be lubing all your bullets.
     
  3. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    What are you thinking about Hand gun or shoulder rig?
     
  4. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    Both.

    Thanks for the link Motoman! I'm off to check it out now.

     
  5. jonn5335

    jonn5335 Longview Active Member

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    As metioned above you are going to have to lube your bullets either way and resize them as well. If you are going to push them over 1200 fps you have to gas check them too. I would recommend ordering moulds that allow you to use gas checks because you don't have to add gas checks just because you have the option.
     
  6. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    Nice to make your acquaints JackThompson.
    Casting lead Boolits is an interesting time consuming hobby if you have time and of course there the expense. Basically you can drive Lyman # 2 lead or wheel weights and 2% soldier in a pistol about as fast as a jacked bullet with out a gas check. Most casters that have been in the game for a wile will agree to this.
    Sir when it comes to a rifle projectile I would be considering a gas check mould. The added velocity demands this and I think any Boolits caster that has had reasonable experience will agree also.
    I use two Luber sizers set up for different calibers like one pistol one rifle. These things one a Lyman 450 the other a Saeco will not only make the Boolits perfectly round and the diameter you choose but will also install pressurized lube to the groove or grooves in those particular Boolits.
    I must admit i have heard about pan lube but unfortunately I don't know enough about it to comment. Some I know will not shoot Boolits that have not been sized. Nor will I.
    Think long and hard about what you are considering this may become a life changing moment. Cast Lead boolits and moulds are worse than drugs. It is very addictive I don't know why.
     
    evltwn and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    Correct a cast Boolits will fly without a gas check but most casters will probably agree not as straight.

    I push my 160 grain Keith boolits .359 diameter over 1,300+ fps in a 357 pistol and have no problem with leading and I understand another caster indicate he was at the upper limit @ 1500 fps in his rifle sporting a 22'' barrel using the same Boolits and with no leading.
    I have been shooting my .44mag.- 7.5'' barrel pushing 240 grain lead Boolits with 12.5 grains of unique that equals about 1350 fps, no leading at all after twenty five brutal rounds.
    Nope I agree with some other casters that find as I do. Gas checks at pistol velocity are not necessary. It requires a bit of study but it is true.
     
  8. Puddin99

    Puddin99 Scappoose, OR Member

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    All you wanted to know about cast bullets is here:
    Cast Boolits - Dedicated To The World Of Cast Bullets!

    There is soooo much information here.

    I've only been doing cast bullets for a few years. I mainly shoot plinking rounds out of 357 and 9mm. From what I understand, sizing is everything. You need to slug your barrel and have the bullet atleast .001 to .002 larger than your barrel. I don't use gas checks on them, but the bullet isn't designed for them. I have made some 30/30 bullets for a lever action and shot them out of it without gas checks. It's all about what you want to do with it. Read the castboolits site and you will be reading for days. A bunch of good guys...and smart.
     
  9. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    Nice of you to think of a place like this - Then post it as well as you did.
     
  10. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    I think a guy should consider a slug for each cylinder on his wheel guns, then the barrel?
     
  11. Puddin99

    Puddin99 Scappoose, OR Member

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    SH, I'm not sure what is up with your replies. Is there a problem?
     
  12. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    I've done some reading at castboolits, it's a great site too! They have some fantastic walk troughs on smelting, casting and alloying lead.

    How important is it to slug each barrel? I mean, I want to cast for .223, but will likely want to shoot that from 3-4 different rifles so I want a standard bullet, not a custom bullet.

    Same thing for 30 caliber. I'd like to use the same bullet for 30.06, .308 and possibly 7.62x39.

    Is that not feasible?
     
  13. evltwn

    evltwn Gold Hill Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    You can tumble lube bullets out of a Lee mould...use two yogurt type plastic containers, a squirt of Alox, pour them back and forth until coated. Stand them up, let them dry over night, size them, lube them again...because when you sized, you also removed some of the lube...buy some exam gloves...the Alox is hard to scrub off your hands. Also, consider a Brinnell testing kit...Lee's is a good one. Then "appropriate" your kid's microscope, mount the Lee scope to it, because you can't (or at least I can't) hold it steady enough to read accurately. Its good to know the hardness of your boolits.
     
  14. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    You might wish to consider heat treating your cast boolits to harden them even further. I heat treated cast boolits very successfully for my 45-70 to shoot paper. There is a lot of information available on how to do this on the internet and elsewhere but basically I:

    1. Cast the bullets and then, depending on which mould I was using, sized or left them unsized.

    2. Heated them in the kitchen oven until they were ready to slump and then quenched them. (It took quite a bit of testing and the use of several thermometers, and sacrifical boolits, to determine the hot and cold spots in the oven and the correct temperature for the specific melt I was using.)

    3. After the quench I put them away for about 30 days to allow them to harden even further.

    4. Lubed them using a larger sizer that did NOT contact the sides of the bullet, loaded and fired them.
     
  15. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    All great advice! Do not put lead in the kitchen stove- Please. Have you ever seen a child that could not learn? It is serious stuff. =Silver Hand=
     
  16. JackThompson

    JackThompson Valley of the Demons Well-Known Member

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    Would just dropping them from the mould into water or oil serve to harden them some?
     
  17. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    Heck no - I just congratulated you for showing us this web site. AND - Thank you for your post.
     
  18. Silver Hand

    Silver Hand Southern Oregon Coast Well-Known Member

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    That is how I like to do it. keep a soft rag in the bottom of a 5 gal. bucket of water. It gets better. Lead will get harder to a point over time. A few weeks can make a difference.
    Water and molten lead is dangerous. +Silver Hand+
     
  19. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Your 30/30, 30/06, and .308 will all shoot a 30 cal bullet sized to .309: a foreign made 7.62 x whatever is gonna be different. Standards around the world are different from the US and slugging your barrel will tell you where you need to be.
    Annealing your cast bullets to obtain increased surface hardness is an interesting but time consuming effort, so is waiting. Quenching is pretty smart.
    I buy a hard casting alloy from Rotometals.com that is 30% antimony/70% lead.
    Adding a small amount to your pot will harden up any alloy you have.
    If you don't have a lead hardness tester, (they aren't that cheap) the fingernail scratch method works ok for your plinker/general purpose loads. Just make your bullet hard enough so you cannot scratch it with your fingernail and use a good lube.
     
  20. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have done that but I found the resulting hardness to be inconsistant.