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Shooting hard cast bullets

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by ripcity, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    I've always reloaded jacketed and plated bullets for 9mm, 45acp, 44 mag, and .38/.357. I've really been thinking of saving money for my target ammo and buying hard cast bullets. I've read pros and cons to it. Some say they have to scrub lead out of their barrels. Others say it's fine. I would be shooting some of them through a HK p30 that has a polygonal barrel. I do keep me loads fairly mild so I don't beat up my brass. I would like to get some opinions on HC. And if you do shoot HC what company do you order from? Thanks for your input.
     
  2. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    the polygonal barrel might prove to be a bit of a problem for high round counts without cleaning, but otherwise it's no different. From what I understand the polygonal barrels have a problem with lead accumulation that leads to high pressures, but thats a long term thing.

    I've shot tons of HC bullets and have never had a problem. I used to order them from Missouri Bullet Co., but I've moved to 357 sig, and non-jacketed bullets don't do so good in it.

    Scrubbing the lead out isn't as hard as some people try to make it sound. I used a bore brush with a small piece of scotch brite wrapped around it, and just scrubbed. Gets the lead out, and doesn't hurt the barrel, and takes all of maybe 5 minutes.
     
  3. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    So if a shooter is religious at cleaning his guns after shooting them, even the polygonal barrels wouldn't be affected?
     
  4. clambo

    clambo Vancouver, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I cast my own. I suggest you look into it yourself for several reasons. First is it is the only way to really save money. Second is that you get exactly what you want. Finally it adds a whole new dimension to the sport of shooting, just as reloading does.
    I know nothing of polygonal rifling but I can tell you that I never have had leading issues with any of my guns, rifle or handgun. I clean them maybe once a year and they all shoot very good. Gas checks, bullet hardness/softness, sizing all come into play. When you get them right you wont have any problems either.
     
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  5. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Plain based bullets don't group for beans out of an AR. Use gas checks.:paranoid:

    Other than that...Go for it. To save a bit more, try to find a mold for a bullet that will work in multiple cartridges. I use the same bullet in .38 Spl. and 9mm. Others have multiple uses for .45cal. (.458).

    For more detailed information go to "Cast Boolits" WEB Site.:thumbup:

    Jack...:cool:
     
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  6. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    I could look into casting my own. It does seem cheap to buy hard cast though. Thanks for the link Jack. I always stayed clear because I didn't want to ruin one of my guns, but it sounds like that won't happen.
     
  7. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have purchased Lead bullets, but only to determine the style and weight of the bullets I wanted to shoot. Once I decided, I bought that particular mold. There are several places on the WEB where you can download a mold chart for a starting reference.:thumbup:

    Be fore warned though. Casting your own bullets can turn into a whole new hobby in itself.:bluelaugh:

    I shouldn't even mention "Swedging." and cutting your own Gas Checks. "Honey Think of All of The Money I'll Save".. :paranoid::paranoid:..:bluelaugh::bluelaugh::bluelaugh:

    Jack...:cool:
     
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  8. misplacedtexan

    misplacedtexan Beaverton, OR Active Member

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    used to be all there was was lead. Jacketing is new-ish.

    And on your other post, yes, someone who cleans their guns regularly will next have a problem.

    There is also something to be said about finding the right lead hardness. The right lead will greatly limit the leading left in the barrel after shooting.
     
  9. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much all cast bullets are "hard cast" and have been for a long time.
    Always remember, all you worry warts, that the .22lr uses a swaged pure lead bullet (all the better for swaging) and out of a rifle, they go pretty fast with no leading.
    The main contributor of leading, in my opinion, is too hard of a bullet and improper size of the bullet regarding a particular gun.
    And even if a barrel does get leaded so bad that you can barely see a hole, there are simple ways to easily remove it with chemicals.. of which I won't elaborate as there are precautions to be taken and potential dangers to both weapon and person.
     
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  10. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    Choosing the correct lead hardness would be one of the reasons why I wouldn't cast my own. Thanks to everyone who is posting. You guys are answering a lot of my questions. And yeah I probably would say look at all the money I could save. Isn't that the go to line? :)
     
  11. Capn Jack

    Capn Jack Wet-Stern Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Decided to try and beat the cost of copper Gas checks. icon_smile.gif
    so I bought a gas check cutter. Right away I found it was very difficult to make it work in my RCBS jr., so I bought a 1 ton Arbor press. icon_sad.gif The Arbor press was great, but the cutter kept falling over, so I had to buy some oversize drills and counter bore the press anvil to hold the cutter. icon_sad.gif

    Now for material. icon_smile.gif
    My local Home Depot has aluminum flashing for $10.00 a roll and cut into 3/4" wide strips, that's 150 strips per roll. Being careful I can punch 10 checks per strip giving me 1,500 gas checks per roll. That's a savings of almost $60.00. At this rate I'll only have to shoot about 3,500 .459 cal. lead bullets to amortize the cost of making my own gas checks. icon_wink.gif

    Been thinking about saving some more money by buying a..... Groaner.gif
     
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  12. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Some manufacturers offer different hardness levels for common calibers.
    They all tend to be quite hard.. they ship better and fare the hardships of automation better. The harder the bullet, the more you want to know, exactly, the dimensions of your bore and chambers.. meaning you are well advised to slug your barrel and for revolvers, your chambers also.
    Also, it's pretty easy to manipulate lead hardness.. there are formulas and testers.
    As to buying, that works. There are some companies that offer a "sampler" of a given caliber regarding profiles and or hardness. A good way to go if you won't slug your weapon and wind up with thousands of unsuitable projectiles.. for whatever reason.
    Anyway, good luck.
     
  13. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    Lol. I thought about getting a check maker but only use them in my 30-06. Hornady sells them for like $30/1000 and as much as it hurts my soul to buy them, 1000 lasts me a fair bit in that.
     
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  14. BoonDocks36

    BoonDocks36 Oregon, in the boondocks Christian. Conservative. Male.

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    Now does anybody make their own Gun Powder? I knew a man, in Republic Washington, who was an avid Black Powder man.... he could & did his own barrel rifling, spring making, etc. I shot his 14" 58 Caliber, which was weatherized, by doing a bolt action for the primer cap! think along the lines of a bolt for a Benjamin Air Rifle, only on steroids for lock up.

    And the BP was home made!

    I cast my bollits, but draw the line at gas checks... way to much extra to do....

    philip
    in the BoonDocks, where it is All White out side, snows & Icy....
     
  15. Nickb

    Nickb Moxee Active Member

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    I shoot Missouri lead bullets in my .45s and .44mag. I have shot them in 9mm but no longer have a 9mm.

    I have never had any leading issues, the only thing different is the cost and a little bit of smoke.

    I just ordered 4000 more bullets from them.

    I recently got 1000 plated bullets from Ranier, I prefer lead.
     
  16. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Don't use cast in a poly barrel. Buy an aftermarket standard rifled target barrel. My qualifications are a caster and reloader of them for 28 years
     
  17. ripcity

    ripcity Milwaukie Active Member

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    I could get a new barrel for the HK, or just continue to shoot jacketed through it and shoot the cast through everything else.
     
  18. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Either would work. It's a matter of economics. Note that some of the aftermarket barrels are match chambered and can be picky about reloaded brass dimensions