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Old September 13, 2012, 09:55 AM   #1
hulley
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? on hard cast bullets.

While at a pin shoot last night, a fellow shooter mention to keep hard cast velocity under 1100fps. Is this correct? I was under the impression that soft lead should be kept down but hard cast can go much faster.

I just bought 1000rds of Missouri Bullets 158gr RN hard cast for .38/.357mag. I loaded up some 38spl but I will be doing .357mag very soon.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:34 AM   #2
drail
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They can and are driven much faster. If the bullet's size and hardness are correct for your barrel very little leading is experienced. If the bullet is undersized or too hard to obturate (swell) and fill the grooves leading can be a problem.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:34 AM   #3
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"hard cast bullets" is nebulous. Does not indicate how hard. Try them and see if you have undue leading (the proof in the pudding), adjust your load accordingly. Vague, but sage-sounding advice from another shooter is usually worth exactly what it costs.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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Done right you can go faster but I would be more concerned about accuracy. To do it right, you need to slug your bore and order the proper size bullet. You may have the right bullet. The only way to know for sure is to check. Missouri Bullets might be able to give you some tech support. They have a good reputation.
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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"Hard Cast" is many times just a marketing term used to sell bullets to shooters that think harder is better. Bullet fit is the key to shooting clean, leading free bullets. For revolvers, bullets the same size as cylinder throats works very well. For semi-autos, .001"-.002" over groove diameter is good. IMO, bullet fit is more important than BHN (I've shot some over max. loads of True Blue in a .357 Magnum (oops!) and 140 gr. SWC cast from wheel weight alloy, mebbe 10 BHN with no leading because the bullets were .359", cylinder throats are .359", and groove diameter is .357". No idea how fast they were going but I'd guess at over 1300 fps).

Slug you cylinder throats and barrel and size, or purchase, bullets accordingly, same diameter as cylinder throats...
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Old September 13, 2012, 11:53 AM   #6
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Expect leading if you get over about 1500 fps, but the bullet/gun combination may surprise you (can be a good surprise or bad.)

My Ruger .30 Blackhawk doesn't lead no matter what; I've had cast bullets (no gas checks) up to 1720 fps in that thing. OTOH, the Taurus Gaucho .357 leads badly with anything I shoot, hard lead or soft, even .38 target wadcutters.
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Old September 13, 2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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I've loaded some 44 Missouri Bullets to 1200 without leading.
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Old September 13, 2012, 12:37 PM   #8
hulley
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Thanks guys I'll try and get a little more info from Missouri. Nor sure how to slug a barrel but I'll find out and proceed before making anymore rounds. So far I've only made up a few for my .38 LCR.
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Old September 13, 2012, 01:26 PM   #9
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I believe that lead is about 7 or 8 BHN, and that WW's are about 10 or 11 BHN, and hardcast afaik is anything from about 14 BHN and up. When I water drop my WW's they harden to ~24 BHN and I have driven them to 1400 fps without leading. I've driven (oversized .460) 45/70 boolits to ~1700 fps without leading, and they were not hardcast. Air dropped 20/1.

The guy at your pin shoot was just repeating what he's heard before. That's exactly what they used to say (back in the 80's), don't go over 1000 or 1100 fps with lead. We know better now!

What size are your Missouri bullets?
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Old September 13, 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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With a properly prepped bore, I've shot 310 grain TC-SWC from my 10.5" Ruger Super Blackhawk at 1440 fps rough average, while shooting metallic sihlouettes (sp??). These were handcast from wheelweights.
Definitely a WARM loading, but with proper sizing and lube, little leading will occur. If you want, gas check bullets will lead less but sizing is very important.

Reference: NEI al mold 310-320 grain dependent on alloy mix.
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Old September 13, 2012, 02:19 PM   #11
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Hulley, what powders do you have? 8 grains of Herco works really well with 158 grain cast bullets in .357 Mag. AA#7 is another good one but I don't remember the charge weight (about 11 grains I think, but you better look it up)
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Old September 13, 2012, 03:13 PM   #12
hulley
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.358 diameter with a Brinell of 12. I'm using 4gr of Unique for my 38spl, something light for targets. I'm picking up a SP101 that I have on layaway in a week or so and I'm on the lookout for a GP100 in more than likely 4".

So I havent loaded the .357mag yet but I'm ready to go. I want to wait until I get my SP101 in hand. I have other powders for the mag loads, probably go with 2400. I want to do some light loads for targets but no too light. I really should pick up some magnum primers as well but I think i could get away with the pistol primers on the light stuff.
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Old September 13, 2012, 03:35 PM   #13
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You don't need magnum primers unless you are using H110 or 296 or maybe HS-6 powders. (that's the only ones I can think of) Unique and 2400 work better with standard primers.

Before you buy anything else, try 6.5 to 6.8 grains of Unique.
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