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Old May 24, 2002, 01:39 AM   #1
Intel6
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.460 Weatherby and gas checked lead bullets (long)

Thought this might be of some interest.

I have had a Ruger #1H that used to be chambered in .458 Win Mag. I had it re-chambered out to .460 Wby as a cheap way to get into shooting a big gun. While a Weatherby bolt gun in .460 is over $1,200, I bought this gun used and after a re-chamber job that cost less than $100 I am into a .460 for just over $400.


I have worked up some pretty stiff shooting loads for it with jacketed bullets. My “normal” shooting load is a Hornady 500 gr. RNSP with 120 grs. of Accurate 4350 pushing it out at just under 2,700 fps. I also load a Sierra 300 gr. JHP that was made for the 45-70 in front of 117 grs. of Accurate 2520 which sends it out right at 3,000 fps.


I had recently started getting into casting. And although I hadn’t really thought of making lead bullets for the .460 I did see that Lyman lists a reduced load for a 550 gr. Bullet in the .460. A friend mentioned having been given an Ideal .45 cal rifle mould and he doesn’t even have a gun that can use it. I looked up in my Lyman book to see what it was and found it to be an old 375 gr. RN GC design. I decided it might be fun to shoot some reduced lead loads in the .460 so I ordered a Lee 500 gr. Mould, gas checks and the proper sizing die. I also got my buddy to loan me his Ideal mould so I could try two different bullets.


Using straight wheel weights the Lee mould came out at 500 grs lubed and gas checked and the old Ideal mold produced a 397 gr. bullet after being sized and gas checked.


I first decided to use the bullet that was closest to the listing in the Lyman book so I only tried the Lee mould. . The starting load is 20 grs. of Unique and the ending load in 28 grs. of Unique. Working with a limited number of cases (they are almost $2 a piece) I just loaded up a few rounds starting with the 20 grs. and ending with the 28 gr. Load. Because I was dealing with the large case capacity and the charge of Unique no where near filled the big Weatherby case I chose to use a small square of Dacron stuffing to keep the charge against the flash hole.
I ran them across the chronograph and got:

Lee 500 gr. Bullet & Unique
20 grs. – 1157 fps
25 grs. – 1317 fps
26 grs. – 1337 fps
28 grs. – 1386 fps

I have since loaded up and fired some of the Ideal mould 397 gr bullets with the same 28 gr load of Unique. I was just shooting them at about 50 yds at a steel gong just to get the feel of them and make sure they were worth continuing with. They shot well also and I will continue with them.


Next step is to get out and put some on paper to see how they shoot. Below is a pic of both bullets loaded in cases along with loaded jacketed rounds (500 gr and 300 gr JHP) along with a .308 round for comparison.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg .460 lead and jacketed with .308.jpg (44.7 KB, 45 views)
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Old May 24, 2002, 06:22 AM   #2
BigG
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That's a cool project.

I had a .458 Win Model 70 (I kick myself for selling ) that I used to load 405 grain 45/70 lead bullet reduced loads.

I remember the powder was IMR 3031 and about 30 or 40 grains behind the big slug. I also put Dacron pillow stuffing on top of the powder to keep it against the flash hole. The result was one hole groups at 50 yards using the iron sights on the African.

Great job and good luck on your further experiments!
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Old May 24, 2002, 08:51 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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NIFTY!

Want to drive lead bullets as fast as jacketed bullets?

Get a paper-patch mold for your .460.

One of my coworkers at NRA regularly shot his .300 Win. Mag. with paper patched bullets at speeds equal of those he got with jacketed bullets.
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Old May 24, 2002, 09:20 AM   #4
Gewehr98
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Wow, that sounds like fun!

Not the cast lead bullets, they're all I shoot in my .45-70 Ruger #1S. I was just marveling at how a 500gr RNSP would feel on the shooter's shoulder close to 2700fps. My 2000fps gas-checked 405gr loads thump me pretty hard. Add 100grains of bullet and 700fps -

Talked to a guy who went from .458 Win Mag in his Ruger #1 to .458 Lott. He ended up buying a Dead Mule mercury recoil reducer to alleviate the pain and suffering.
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Old May 24, 2002, 09:23 AM   #5
BigG
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That's cool, Mike. The only thing is at 2700 FPS or better wouldn't the lead vaporize on the way to the target?

We used to have varmint bullets evaporate out of their jackets at somewhere around 3500 or above.

Made it hell to shoot groups...
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o "The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching." Assyrian tablet, c. 2800 BC

o "In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man brave, hated, and scorned. When his cause succeeds, however, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain

o "They have gun control in Cuba. They have universal health care in Cuba. So why do they want to come here?" Paul Harvey

o TODAY WE CARVE OUT OUR OWN OMENS! Leonidas, Thermopylae, 480 BC
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Old May 24, 2002, 09:38 AM   #6
C.R.Sam
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With moderate chamber pressure and temperature........and GOOD...lube: cast bullets into the 2,500 +/= fps range quite doable. You start getting into the over 3,000 range and bullet construction becomes hypercritical.

Sam
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Old May 24, 2002, 10:49 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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Big G,

Nope, not at all.

Joe was pushing 150-gr. paper patch lead bullets out of his 300 Win. Mag. at 3,300 fps.

The lead won't generally disintegrate. The patch strips off a few feet from the muzzle, as it's supposed to.

With jacketed bullets that are driven too fast the jacket and core actually separate or the jacket suffers structural failure. Lead is a lot more forgiving in that sense.
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