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lead bullet question......

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by never4get, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    So, here's my question. I'm going to cast some lead 30 cal. 170gr. and 165gr. and 200gr. hardness of 15bhn. some as hard as25+ bhn, using w/w, linotype, and pure lead to get a variety of hardness. all molds are Lee, and with gas checks. For lube I have Molly lube, Bee's wax, and Alox, so I think I have all my bases covered. Can I use low end of the reloading data, maybe go as far as mid scale for my max loads, and be safe? want these for 30-06, 308,300win mag. Just want to get around 2600-2800fps. from them. Powder used would be according to data. Any info would be helpful. goal is for accuracy and able to hunt elk, and deer with "my own bullets". thanks in advance
     
  2. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    Do your self a favor and get a copy of "Lyman's Cast Bullet Handbook". I only cast for pistols for now but Lyman seems like the source for rifle casting. Lee also has a good bit of data for lead loads. A quick glance at the book has 170gr at 2748fps max out of the 300WM. Most of the loads listed (308,30-06,300) use #2 alloy and and run between 1700-2600fps. I would also test the bullets for expansion as they might not expand like a normal jacked hunting bullet. However they should penetrate quite well.
    Best of luck,
     
  3. best defense

    best defense Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    I tried loading cast bullets with gas checks for my 338 win mag. I used the minimum load for the powder I had on hand. The bullets were so unstable that I could barely hit the target at 50 yards.

    I talked to some other people about it. The best answer I could get was that if I keep the bullets under 2000 feet per second, I should be OK. It did not work. I wasted my money on the 338 die.

    I hope you have better luck.
     
  4. Mica

    Mica Eugene Active Member

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    I have been casting for my hand guns aswell. Now i am also starting rifle. The one thing you should do in the beginning is slug your bore. Rifle isnt as forgiving as hand gun cast bullets. There is also a lot of great info on the cast boolits web site Cast Boolits

    Good luck and Happy casting
     
  5. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Once you start going much above 1400FPS or so, you must be using hard linotype material, otherwise the bullets will strip and lead the barrel quite heavily. Alox and beeswax lubes are great for black powder and cold weather, they are useless for everything else. Back when I used to sell cast bullets, I used either rooster zambini, or the magma engineering lube. Rooster was my favorite (however it's no longer made), it performed flawlessly in big-bore cast lead cowboy ammo, and I sold hundreds of thousands of bullets for .45ACP, without a complaint about leading. But then, all those bullets were barely cracking the sound barrier.

    If you're set on hunting with cast bullets, the castboolit forum Mica posted is a definitive resource for that. I've hunted with CB's in .45-70 and if I could hit the animal (running shot, 50 yards with a ruger no1 zeroed for 200 yards), I'm sure they would be fantastic, but for the calibers you're trying I don't think CB's are going to be a good match at all.
     
  6. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    got the book. good advice, lots of good info! thanks for you help:thumbup:
     
  7. noylj

    noylj high desert Active Member

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    Read Cast Bullet manual (RCBS or Lyman). Slug the bore and be sure your bullets are at least 0.001" over groove diameter. I shoot as-cast plain-base bullets, tumble-lube, and 10gn start to ~15gn max of Unique for .30-30 and .30-06.
    For gas checks, I use my lubri-sizer, but the sizing die is at the nominal as-cast diameter.
     
  8. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Florence,Ore ah gone Well-Known Member

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    gas checks on rifle bullets..cast..make a HUGE difference on how fast they can be pushed,and how clean they leave the bore.
    as to clean..it's almost imperative that you REALLY clean the bore of old jacket material before shooing cast. I had a marlin that would not shoot within 2 FEET of a 100 yd target until I super-cleaned it.
     
  9. 10 Spot Terminator

    10 Spot Terminator Central Oregon Member

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    As you are just getting started and looking for the higher velocities you might want to look into paper patching . Many serious lead rifle shooters are having great success with both upper end velocities up to near full house loads as well as being able to use softer alloys for practical hunting purposes . Check out some of the you tube how to videos as well as test results .

    10 Spot
     
  10. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    Thanks to all who replied! Did get a couple books that are helpfull. Knew someone on this site would have good advice ! :thumbup:
     
  11. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Here is a source like no other: Lead Bullets Technology
    He has been there and "done that" .
    Just the website will amaze and inform with the best.
     
    never4get and (deleted member) like this.
  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Are those bronze or what? I couldn't seem to find what they're made of.

    I'm really surprised that more manufacturers (I don't think LBT does either) don't make molds with the sprue cutter at the nose.
     
  13. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Pretty sure that Veral only manufactures molds that "work". One's that he guarantees to work; btw.
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Oh I don't doubt it. They must be aluminum if they won't say?
     
  15. springfield0612

    springfield0612 Poulsbo Member

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    I'm not sure if the above quote is accurate based off of data and experiance.

    308 Cast Boolet Success Hunting for mule deer doe!!

    Quote from the link above, "The deer fed slowly toward me, totally unaware of my presence. I had to wait around 1/2 hour for a shot because the lead does vitals were obscured by the curvature of the field topography, and grass. When her body was fully clear of any obstructions, I lazer ranged her at 230 yards. I dialed up my scope 3.75 MOA from my 100 yard zero, and prepared for the shot. My Lyman #311299, 200 grain boolet was loaded in front of 47.0 Grains of IMR 4831, and seated long to engrave the rifling upon closing the bolt. (2357fps average velocity). (USE THIS LOAD DATA AT YOUR OWN RISK, AS YOU WOULD ANY DATA THAT WORKS FOR SOMEONE ELSE.)"


    Chapter 15 - Handgun Hunting With Cast Bullets - From Ingot to Target - Glen E. Fryxell

    Quote from the above link:
    Penetration vs. Expansion

    For a given power level (e.g. .44 Magnum), changing the cast bullet’s hardness or bullet design will have a direct impact on the bullet’s ability to penetrate. The softer a cast bullet is, the more it can expand, leading to broader wound channels and less penetration since part of the kinetic energy is being used to deform the bullet metal, and the bullet is crushing a wider path through the meat. The harder a cast bullet is, the less it will deform and the deeper it will penetrate. As penetration depth increases, wound channel diameter tends to decrease. Said another way, any given bullet is capable of crushing only so much tissue (i.e. converting it's kinetic energy into the work of crushing/displacing tissue), and it can expand quickly and make a short, wide wound channel, or it can expand not at all and make a long narrow wound channel. The vital zone on each animal is of different size and the hunter needs to take this into consideration when choosing a bullet design, alloy and load. The nature of the wound channel needs to be matched up with the vital zone dimensions and shape of the animal being hunted. It is up to the hunter to make sure the bullet’s construction is appropriate for the prey species, and to then place that wound channel where it can be most lethal and humane.

    Is Your Cast Bullet Alloy Weak Enough? Alloy's, pressure & terminal ballistic performance in fluids

    Bullet lube ingredients, uses, sources, descriptions, recipes and more

    Velocity threshold for cast rifle boolits.

    Just the facts: Lube recipes

    Now do you want to go down the rabbit hole???????? We've started powder coating bullets instead of traditional lube. Most people are getting great results. Plus no smoke from the burning waxes and other stuff in the lube.

    Powder Coating 101 - Electrostatic Method

    But for me and cast in .30 cal. I just started using cast in my .300 savage that was made in 1954 (59 year old rifle). I'm using the Lee 312-155 sized down to .309 with gas check. Lube is JPW(johnsons paste wax) 4 oz, Vasaline 4oz, paraffin 4 oz, Lars Xlox 2oz. Cookie cutter pan lube. I just went through my initial trials of ladder work up loads and got best resuslts from IMR 3031 at 31 grains. Which should be just a hair over 2100 FPS. Alloy is 5# pure lead 8 oz pewter air cooled 2 weeks should be about 12 BHN. At 31 grains a 5 shot group got me ~3" group. Leading was minimal and at 12 BHN I'm no where near Linotype/monotype BHN. Oh I'm using a Lee bullet mold, cast out of a Lee 4-20 lead pot, and all was reloaded with Lee dies, on a Lee press, using Lee case lube. I"M STILL ALIVE TO TELL THE TALE!!!

    After I get a good load to shoot up the rest of my traditional lube bullets, I'm going to work on the same 312-155 powder coated in my .300 savage, and also the Lee 309-170-RF in a WWII .30-06 rifle.
     
  16. never4get

    never4get federal way Member

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    outstanding info!!! think I might try this. My son has a powder coater and I want to try. I never would of guessed , but makes sense to me. I see a lot of "info" on the net.... has anyone here tried? Thanks Springfield0612:thumbup:
     
  17. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I don't doubt that you "can" do it, but again, performance doesn't seem to be a key consideration here:

    A through-and-through doesn't really translate to great bullet mechanics. The wound described would be pretty similar to that of a FMJ bullet... hardly my idea of "good performance"

    Handgun is a totally different ball of wax than rifle, a 44mag even in a lever rifle might be pushing 1400FPS, but if it's a heavier 300gn bullet you might get 1100fps at the muzzle. This is well below the threshold mentioned. And yes, the author is exactly right, harder alloys mean less expansion. However the process used to create the bullet plays just as big a role. Cast bullets typically have very large crystal size, vs swaged bullets that will have very small/disrupted crystal size. The larger the crystals, the harder the material, this translates nicely into alloy selection, as pure alloys (soft) require higher heat to cast, but will solidify faster, but an alloy that contains tin and antimony will typically have a lower melting point than a pure lead alloy, thus if cast at a similar temp will have a larger temp range in which to grow the crystals.

    TFP (thin film polymer) processes have been around for a number of years, one of my former employers worked extensively with an aerospace company that applied these to all manner of small parts, including many of our swaged bullets. The alloy would be tuned to need, and then the TFP process was used to eliminate the need for upsetting and providing other external lubrication. It does work, and work well, the major problem is the cost involved.

    12BHN is roughly equivalent to #2 alloy, which is decently hard, you get to push these a little faster as you're using gas checks, and a 3" group at 200 yards is pretty good. I'm not sure which pewter you're adding (there are more than a few different varieties) but unless it contains arsenic you are not getting any additional age hardening of the alloy (this is why they add arsenic to WW).

    Cast bullets exhibit behavior that is much less predictable than off the shelf factory bullets, slight changes in lead alloy, heat cycle, mold temp, and many other factors can either make it an awesome experience, or a total failure. Even though I make my own bullets, when it comes to hunting I almost always buy off the shelf, because when it comes to taking a hunting trip, the ammo is the least expensive part, spending thousands on gas/airfare, accommodations, rifles, scopes, food, etc. I might spend $50 on the highest end box of ammo, of which I will shoot 5 rounds to confirm my zero, and maybe 2 rounds shooting at animals.

    Can you? Yes. Should you? It really comes down to expectations. When I talk about hunting ammo I want something that is going to hold up it's end of the bargain (killing the animal) provided I hold up my end (putting the bullet in the right place to do it's job). Shooting may be the most dramatic part of a hunt, but if done right it's the climax. You have spent time finding the animal, if you did it right, one trigger pull means it's time for the real work to begin.