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Old October 23, 2001, 09:51 PM   #1
Ben Shepherd
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Cast lead load help!!

I need some ideas on what kind of bullets to buy(cast lead) and powder to start reloading 357 & 44 mag. I shot some of dads lead slugs over unique powder in my 44SRH a long time ago, VERY dirty & VERY heavy smoke. After that I swore I would NEVER shoot unjacketed bullets in my magnums again.

Times have changed: new house payment(OUCH), etc. Jacketed is just too expensive to shoot eclusively. I just can't bear to let my babys' feel neglected. I'm looking for one powder for both calibers, and midrange on the power scale. These are going to be target loads, with an occasional rock busting duty. On my jacketed bullets I use N110, if that helps anyone know what I'm looking for.
Thanks for the help.
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Old October 24, 2001, 01:36 PM   #2
Yanus
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Unique is still the best for cast. Here is what I use:

44mag - 10gr Unique 240gr LSWC out of a 7" Redhawk.
357mag - 6.0 gr Unique 158gr LSWC out of a Ruger GP100 4" and a SP101 3".

These loads can be found in almost every loading manual. Both are mid level loads.

Have fun and be safe.
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Old October 24, 2001, 03:54 PM   #3
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I just shot 200 rounds over the weekend

Shot heavy loads in my Ruger. I used Shooter's Choice bullets which have a dry lube almost like teflon. Barrel looked almost like it had been cleaned after I was done.

Some of the guys here said the residue is more from the lube than the powder. Don't know, but I do know that when I shoot bullets with the softer lube and Unique that the barrel on my 45 acp is a mess in short order. I was using H-110 in the Ruger
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Old October 24, 2001, 04:56 PM   #4
Ben Shepherd
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Yanus, does unique shoot dirty in your guns?
I had no complaints ballistically with it. It was just EXTREMELY dirty.
I've seen some posts saying a heavy crimp was mandatory?
Others saying that this powder doesn't like "light" loads?
Your thoughts?
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Old October 24, 2001, 06:04 PM   #5
labgrade
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I used to cast the Lyman #429421 .44 245 gr bullet & used either 2400 for heavy loads or Unique for lights. Unique runs 9.8 - 13.0
2400 runs 19.4 - 23.4

My fave any bulet for .357 is Lyman's #358429 168 gr bullet & I use Bluedot @ 9.5grs min-max = 8.3 - 10.0

Lyman's Orange Magic lube & #2 alloy - zip for leading/gunk.

If you're gonna reload lead bullets, I'd highly recommend Lyman's cast bullet handbook & their other one Pistols/Revolvers. Even if you don't cast, they're good ref material.

BTW, don't believe me about the min/max bit. Always check it yourself.
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Old October 25, 2001, 05:30 AM   #6
WESHOOT2
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LESS SMOKE, MORE POKE

Suggest Hodgdon Universal Clays for both; think of it as a modern Unique.
Clean-burning easy-metering accurate ballistic equivalent to Unique.
(The 'new' Unique is new for shotgun loads; still the same smoky crap in handguns.)
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Old October 29, 2001, 04:20 PM   #7
Ben Shepherd
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Hey WESHOOT2, loaded some up. Works great!!! thanks.
Now I can shoot my 44mag as often as I want.
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Old October 30, 2001, 09:38 AM   #8
Paul B.
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Gentlemen. Has anyone cosidered that all that "dirty crap" is coming from the lubricant on those lead bullets? As a cast bullet shooter for over 40 years, I've found that a lot of the gunk on my handguns comes from the bullet lube. When shooting the few jacketed bullets I've tried, thare has been some ash left, but not like the mess from lead. I'll stick to lead anyway.
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Old October 30, 2001, 11:30 AM   #9
Ben Shepherd
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Paul, interesting theory.
I've got 2 different brands of cast bullets in the same configuration(240gr. SWC). I'll pay attention to which one seems to be dirtier next time out. They're plinking loads, loaded with the same powder charge.
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Old October 30, 2001, 02:13 PM   #10
Ben Shepherd
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Hey Labgrade, according to my manuals(Hornady is the one I can remember exactly) under a 240gr. SWC 7.6gr is a max load. (But it looks like they are trying to limit velocity, not prssure) Which manual did you get your data from?
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Last edited by Ben Shepherd; October 30, 2001 at 02:35 PM.
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Old October 30, 2001, 03:40 PM   #11
labgrade
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Ben,

Just took a look again to verify #s & I was correct with first post.
Lyman's Cast Bullet 3rd edition shows velocity at 912 - 1147

My Hornady3rd edition shows that 240 SWC at 6.7 - 8.5 (800- 1000 fps)

Sure could be the difference in a cast vs a swagged bullet. Cast can take velocities that can make swagged bullets drip.
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Old October 30, 2001, 04:08 PM   #12
Ben Shepherd
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Labgrade, I'm a newbie at these non-jacketed loads. What's the difference between "cast" and "swagged"? The ones I loaded were labeled "hard cast".
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Old October 30, 2001, 04:19 PM   #13
labgrade
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Essentially, swagged bullets are pressed into shape. To do so entails that the lead alloy (it's not pure lead) is relatively soft(er).

Cast bullets start off with lead being heated to turn it into a liquid which is then poured into a mould. The lead alloy can have any of a few different materials added to it to make it a harder final product. Too, various methods of hardening the bullet afterward can jack up the hardness a bit - sometimes quite a bit.

Cast bullets can be shot to higher velocieties tahn swagged due to their extra hardness.

Swagged bullet's velocity should be kept to about, around (sorta ) 100 fps or so. I usually keep them well below that. Fact is, the only swagged bullets I shoot anymore are .38 special HBWCs & at 700fps or so, they do anything you could want them to.

Casts are another whole country & can be driven (depending upon alloy, caliber, gas check or no & lube) past 2000 fps with excellent accuracy, etc. In handguns & larger bore rifles, with goodly sized bullets & decent bullet profile (that metplat thing), I see no reason for jacketed bullets at all for game hunting.

Self defense = different story altogether, but a hole straight through's still a hole straight through.
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Old October 30, 2001, 04:58 PM   #14
Ben Shepherd
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Thanks for the clarification.
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