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Old August 18, 2013, 08:32 AM   #26
Real Gun
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Let me get this right its not a good idea to use lead cast bullets for 9mm?
Once you get to 9mm, you may be at a velocity too fast for swaged bullets (Zero) or soft cast, but common purchased cast bullets are harder than that and can be pushed much faster.
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Old August 18, 2013, 08:36 AM   #27
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dhom - I have had a leading issue with Titegroup, but it is my fault. I used 5.5 gr of TG with a Hardcast 240 SWC in my 44 mag and got excessive leading because the bullet can't fill the bore and I got gases blowing by the bullet. Raising the charge to 7 gr eliminated the problem and is very accurate.
Why does raising the charge solve the fouling? What principle is at work there?
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Old August 18, 2013, 08:44 AM   #28
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The load I'm looking to produce now would be 38 spc & 357 mag for a Ruger SP101 and a Rossi M92 lever gun.

I found a deal on 500 pieces of 158 gr SWC that could potentially work for all parameters listed above, but don't want 500 lead bullets that I can't work with. Know what I mean?
158 gr is heavy for an SP101. Toned down with a lead load might be passable, but I would recommend 125-140 gr. I use 158 gr in my GP100.
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Old August 18, 2013, 10:29 AM   #29
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Let me get this right its not a good idea to use lead cast bullets for 9mm?
Stay away from using cast bullets in OEM Glock barrels or any others with polygonal rifling. That goes for all calibers, not just 9 mm.
Aside from that, I can think of no reason not to use cast in 9 mm. I shoot MBC 147s through a CZ. They work fine.

Quote:
Why does raising the charge solve the fouling? What principle is at work there?
See: Obturation:
http://www.missouribullet.com/technical.php
Quote:
Lead is a soft metal. Its hardness is expressed on a standard scale, called the Brinell Hardness Number (BHN.) The BHN of the bullet interacts with the pressure generated by the burning powder. The mechanism of this involves the effect of the generation of thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure which causes the base of the bullet to expand, or “obturate”. Properly obturated, the base will have expanded beyond its original diameter which has the effect of “sealing the bore” against the explosive pressure of the gases burning behind it. Properly sealed, and working in conjunction with the lubricant in the lube groove, the bullet will thus not allow gases to escape forward from around the base of the bullets, which prevents it from shaving lead from the bullet body and forcing it into the bore grooves (otherwise known as “leading”.)

This failure to obturate (“seal the bore against onrushing gases”) causes leading which is a chore to clean and is a major obstacle to accuracy.
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Old August 18, 2013, 10:40 AM   #30
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another thing to look at is your alloy.
are you using straight lead or do you have a pretty even wheel weight/linotype to lead ratio?
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Old August 18, 2013, 11:15 AM   #31
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I just scanned the first page of answers so excuse me if it has already been mentioned. Yep, there are some things you can't control when purchasing, but you can control the diameter of the bullet. Many commercial casters offer different diameters per caliber of their cast bullets, measure your guns and purchase bullets of the proper size for your gun. I bought (and buy on occasion) bullets of 3 different diameters for my .44 magnums (5) when I was trying to find a good bullet before I bought the mold (.430"-.432"). Beartooth Bullets is a quality manufacturer, offering several different diameters per caliber.

As far as BHN, I pay little attention because the bullets I shoot are fitted to the gun they are shot through, and leading is not much of a problem. IMO, BHN is way less important than the fit of bullet to gun. I've shot magnum velocity loads, .357 and .44, with bullets cast from wheel weight alloy, air cooled, with no leading, but they fit the gun.

Lube is what the caster uses, not a lot of choice there. Mostly the lubes used by commercial casters is pretty hard, mostly to survive shipping. But it's very easy (and a lot of folks do it) to add lube to the bullets in the form of alox. Dip lube in thinned alox and bullets are usually much better "protected"...
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Old August 19, 2013, 05:56 AM   #32
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I've been doing a bit of research on the methods of dealing with the lead fouling that results from shooting cast bullets. As one who doesn't cast them myself, I'm fairly limited to what variables I control, (i.e. BHN, lube, etc). So, I can't simply size the bullet according to chamber/throat dimensions to alleviate improper fit issues.

So, my question is: what's the trick to shooting manufactured cast bullets without excessive fouling?

I'm sure there's plenty of guys on here who have went through the same scenario-

1) Buy cast bullets for firearm because they're cheap

2) Load and shoot cheap cast bullets

3) Scratch your head for 10 minutes at the range because your barrel is clogged full of lead

What ya got guys?
Let me see if I can wrap our heads around what you posted here,

1) So, I can't simply size the bullet according to chamber/throat dimensions to alleviate improper fit issues.

To a point you can, if you REALLY want to shoot those particular bullets. It might take a little work on your part and a few bucks for the components but it CAN be done realitivly easy. It would simple require you to pick up a Lee szing die, and modify it so that you could use it as a bump up die instead. This would alloy you to set the amount of bump up by how much is screwed into the top of your press, and then when you raise the ram it will squash the bullet out just a bit to fit the new diameter of the sizing die. Don't know how involved tapping out the top of one is, but somewhere I did see one with a nicly installed bolt screwed into it with a lock ring for adjustment. It was used to swedge the bullets out a few thousands and then they were run through the proper sizer for a better fit. That is only one option. It would work great is all your needing is say .003 in diameter or less you could probably get by with not even sizing after the swedge.

2) Load and shoot cheap cast bullets

This is somehat a get what you pay for area here. Some are less expensive than others and some ARE flat out cheap. If you slug your bore or have it slugged, you will know just where to start with on size. That is half the battle. Look for sizes that are around .002" bigger than where it slugs and you should be good. If running the 9mm look for a BHN of between 12 and 15 and you should be good there as well. Use the lower for lighter loads and the higher for heavier loads.

If you have the fit, the lube will be next. Plenty of casting companies use a harder lube as mentioned. However this doesn't mean it is all bad. If you can ask about their lubes find out what it is and who's it is. I know there is a lot of good talk about one of the blue lubes, and I know for a fact that if it is White Label Carnuba Red or BAC it is good stuff. Also if you are concerned with the lube being the culprit, like mentioned a bottle of the Lee Alox will do wonders to help correct that part as well.

As for scratchin my head over a barrel full of lead, yep been there done that. Loading lead is a comprimise no two ways about it. You either have to have the lead up to the loads level of pressure or get the pressure suitable for the lead. Either way, you have to have proper size and lube as well to even get to that point. The saying fit is king and lube is queen doesn't go together just because, it is a must. Once you have that the rest comes pretty easy.
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Old August 19, 2013, 06:39 AM   #33
A pause for the COZ
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Wow... I am not a expert, but I shoot lead in pretty much all my fire arms.
I have shot literally thousands of rounds through pistols and rifles and I have only had two instances of leading. Both were my fault.

I stuck a 105gr .358 swc in my .380 and pushed it just a bit too hard.
Adjusted my load and no more leading.

32S&W I shot a .315 swc in it with a little to much powder.

Both those were test loads so they were in fact the only two shots.

As a matter of fact when you look down the barrel of any of my rifles they are shinny clean after a shooting. Dont even need to clean them. I find the loads far cleaner that jacketed.

Last edited by A pause for the COZ; August 19, 2013 at 06:44 AM.
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Old August 19, 2013, 08:39 AM   #34
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Is obturation really a factor, when the bullet is not bigger than the bore, and gases blow past the bullet, relieving pressure? I have leading with swaged Zero bullets that have been swaged (again) by the case down to .450-.451 during insertion. I'm told to make them slower, not faster. Of course, I have taken steps to get the sizing at .452.
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Old August 19, 2013, 08:42 AM   #35
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Lead alloy are cheaper, and when properly sized to the gun, more accurate in my experience. Too, they 'wear' the barrel less than jacketed types. Rod
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Old August 19, 2013, 09:14 AM   #36
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All I shoot is lead from .38/.357, 44Spec/.44Mag, .45 ACP, and .45 Colt. From 600fps to 1300fps. Not a problem. I don't use Oregon Trail as they are to hard for my needs in general. I like a bullet around 12-15BHN. Seem to work well. Bullet size, bullet hardness, throat size, lack of constrictions in barrel, barrel smoothness, forcing cone angle all contribute to no leading. I've not seen it as a problem. Although I have firelapped a couple of guns due to constrictions and in .45 Colt had to ream the throats to proper size....


[edited]
Have tested Tite Group in all above calibers with no leading issues that I noticed. It does discolor the top of the case though.... It is not one of the powders I generally use.
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Last edited by rclark; August 19, 2013 at 11:16 AM.
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Old August 19, 2013, 11:07 AM   #37
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measure your guns and purchase bullets of the proper size for your gun.
I'll do that. The only problem being that locally, I only have so many choices for bullets. We'll see what they've got.
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Old August 19, 2013, 03:07 PM   #38
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If you really want to do it cheaply and correctly, think about casting your own. By the time you buy a couple thousand cast bullets, you could have bought a mold, a push-through sizer, and likely found a used melting pot. If you have to buy lead, it's not unheard of to get it for $1 a pound already in ingots. Once you have that, it's YOURS. Have bullets anytime you want.

Me, I get my lead in WW form from a local tire shop. The price is a 12-pack and a pizza once in a while. I shoot every handgun I own for about $0.04 a pop--there's the cheap-bullet part covered. Going beyond that, my cast bullets out perform factory hands-down. What's not to like? Leading?? Not if you're doing it right... I don't remember the last time I actually cleaned my .40S&W. I do it on purpose A) to see if it will EVER show any visible sign of leading beginning to form, and B) to be able to pull the barrel at any moment when someone makes the wild claim that shooting lead will make a mess of your barrel. It's now somewhere between 1800 and 2000 rounds of constant lead with nothing more than a little carbon. 1: FIT IS KING. 2:keep your pressure within your bullets alloy tolerances. 3:use the right lube for what you are doing.

Also, you aren't as limited as you might think where velocity is concerned. I have a plain-base 125gr. leaving the muzzle of my .357 upward of almost 1600fps. With a little tougher alloy, my AK is pushing lead out around 2000fps. Nothing to sneeze at--we're talking about a 160gr. bullet moving almost as fast as the mil-surp 123gr. You'd be amazed what can happen with lead if you work through it properly.
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Old August 19, 2013, 03:20 PM   #39
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Man, it would be REALLY nice to be able to shoot cast boolits in rifles. I've looked at melting pots and sizers and all that. It's just a matter of not having enough time.
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Old August 20, 2013, 04:06 PM   #40
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I run lead bullets through my .30-06 using Unique. Runs around 1200 fps.
Good accuracy within reasonable ranges. No fouling issues. I get the
170 grain Whitetail from Missouri Bullet.

All the Best,
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Old August 20, 2013, 04:48 PM   #41
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I’m with Rangefinder, I have tried many commercial bullets and always had leading issues in all my handguns. The only exception is HBWC’s over a light charge of Bullseye. Fit was not an issue, I reamed chambers, slugged bores, measured bullets and ran them slow to fast and soft to hard and always had leading issues. Started casting my own and have had a much better cast bullet experience.
The recipe that works for me is Wheel weights, plain base bullets and 50/50 lube.
I guess for me commercial bullets have been a curse.

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