Cast bullets

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Cast bullets

Postby Skeeter58 » Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:49 pm

Has anyone had any problems using cast bullets in your 450? I've heard that eventually it will plug the gas port in the barrel. Thanks for your input. :?
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby MudBug » Wed Nov 25, 2009 1:46 am

There are a few here that shooting nothing but cast bullets. I don't know if they have had a problem with that, but they will be along shortly to answer.
Eric

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Re: Cast bullets

Postby BD1 » Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:56 am

No issue at all with the gas system. The couple of hundred plain base cast boolits I've shot have left minor lead deposits on the rear of the bolt. Same place where the carbon builds up, and same cleaning procedure. It appears that the gas takes a small bite out of the boolit base as it passes the gas port. Accuracy with plain base boolits has also been poor for me. The gas checked boolits have given me no fouling issues at all. At one point I went 250 rounds without cleaning to see if lube and crud would build up in the gas tube. None did. Crud builds up on the bolt, same as it does with jacketed bullets. I'd say cleaning every 500 rounds or so when using gas checked cast boolits should keep things working just fine. I generally clean my rifles from time to time in any case.

Accuracy is another issue. I can keep 50 rounds in a inch @ 100 with the either the 250 grain FTX, or the Sierra 250 grain JHP. The best I can get out of any of the cast designs I've tried to date is 2" to 2 1/2". Still working on it though. I have the Lee 300 grain RNFP to try and a gas checked 230 grain mold on the way.
My goal is moa accuracy with a 300 grainer near 2,000 fps.
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby BD1 » Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:26 pm

The picture is what I'm working with currently. All are sized to .453. The latest NOE schedule puts the delivery date of the 230 grain mold back to sometime in Feb.

On the left is the 300 grainer I designed last summer, it weighs 293 grains ready to load. This is a one off custom mold that drops .454 in WW alloy

In the middle is the Lee 300 RF, this bunch weighs 315 grains ready to load. This is a current production mold from lee that drops about .454

On the right is the Ranch Dog RF 350, this weighs 365 grains ready to load. Ranch Dog Molds were made by Lee to Ranch Dog design parameters as tumble lube boolits. This one dropped at .459. Ranch Dog molds are no longer in production, these boolits were cast for me by an owner of the mold and i sized them down to .453 in two steps. Ranch dog also made a gas checked .454 boolit that dropped at something close to 285 grains. I'd love to try some of those, but haven't had any luck finding one of the molds.

I've been loading these in Hornady brass with Remington 7 1/2 primers. I've had generally better luck with slower powders, with the exception of fairly high SD in velocities. I use the Hornady brass as it is thinner further down the case so i can seat the .453 boolits without bulging the case. The downside is that the small rifle primers don't seem to be giving me the most consistent ignition. So my next trials will be using cut down .284 brass with large rifle primers.
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby gunnut » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:19 pm

Beginner here! Found some youtube how tos! looks simple enough for even me to do! Any pit falls that beginners always do?
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby the_mad_rshn » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:35 pm

gunnut wrote:Beginner here! Found some youtube how tos! looks simple enough for even me to do! Any pit falls that beginners always do?


The main thing is not realizing how much softer the cast stuff is. A few years ago when I just started with lead, I could not understand why my cast 30-30 would do 12" groups at 50 yards till I read more and understood the hradness and the pressure relationship. From then on things became much more clearer, but still difficult to accomplish.
Another thing to remeber is never listen to someone who tells you that for any caliber: " It will shoot fine till about 1300-1500fps and THEN you need to gascheck it or make it harder". Every caliber is different. 45-70 can easily do 1" at 100 yards with softer metal flying at 1700-1900fps and then you have the 357 Mag or the 44 Mag that will lead the crap out of your barrel at 1200 to 1400 if the metal is not hard enough and totally forget about it all if you do not use gaschecks.
There you have it! BD will tell you more. He seems to be at where I want to be at least in another 10 years. He da man! :-)
Cheers,
Mad
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby gunnut » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:31 am

Thanks a lot guy's! as usual a wealth of knowledge here. I have plenty of 230grn. ball for my 450B. for now. But, I'm looking to cast bullets for my 1911 matches. If I'm going to start casting, I want to be able to cast for both the 450B,45ACP as well as my "Judge". They may be overkill for the pistols, But, No point in duplicating efforts and stock. Sort of a quest for a universal 45 cal. bullet. Thanks Again! :idea:
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby BD1 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:53 am

I have some results from last weekend, including some harder boolits; 24 - 25 BHN. I'll post this evening if I get a chance. No eureka moments unfortunately, but the Surplus 297 did allow me to reach my goal of 300 grainers at 2,000 fps, and a bit more.

Casting for .45 acp is definately the way to go, and a real money saver if you do much shooting. There are lots of good designs out there. And in a 1911 it's pretty easy to get cast boolits to perform as well as, or better than, jacketed. So far in the .450B I have not been able to reach my 1 moa goal with cast. But the effort gives me something to work at.
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby the_mad_rshn » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:42 am

BD,

Good luck, mate!
I do not see why our gun cannot give us 1" at 100 yards with lead. My 300 XTP loads with rough load development always game me 3 bullets touching out of 5 shots at 100 yards.
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Mad
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Re: Cast bullets

Postby BD1 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:25 pm

The pics are the best of Sunday's results. The BD 293s were heat treated to about 25 BHN, the Lee 300s were water dropped and aged to around 18 BHN. I do get groups I could live with, except for the flyers. I've had quite a few split groups with cast, 3 shots under an inch, with the other two touching but 4" out. It's starting to make me doubt things, like my scope. But when I go back to the FTX things group right up tight again. A bit of a mystery. However the surplus 297 did allow me to reach 2,000 fps, and then some, with 300 grain cast boolits and no pressure signs. No case head drag marks, nice rounded primers and no function issues.

They are all five shot groups at 100 yards. I have to shoot prone at this range as the line is elevated and my tripod is not tall enough to shoot through the chrony from the bench. However, I'm still using a rest, and while going prone on a rest may not yield my best groups, it doesn't explain the flyers. The orange paster is an inch and a half diameter.
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