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Old March 29, 2011, 02:59 AM   #1
Mauser Rat
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Water quenched 158 gr RN

I was casting some more RN using the Lee TL358-158-2R two holer for my 357 Mag last night. Was getting nice stuff air dropping on several layers of shop rags when I decided to fill a 5 gal bucket and try some water quenched just for the fun of it after reading some of your discussions. My well water runs about 42 degrees F out of the tap and it did not change temp during the test.

Using exactly the same mix that I had just cast the air dropped with, I cast 50 more water quenched. The time from fill to drop varied a little as I was still finding a "method" for the new movements. Used the towel trick several of you have mentioned: hole in the wet towel and let them roll down into the water with no splashing.

I now had two kinds of boolits cast from exactly the same mix. 1) Air dropped on shop rags and 2) water quenched. I decided to weigh and measure all of them.

The water quenched were MUCH more consistent in both weight and diameter than the air dropped. Weight on the water quenched did not vary by more than .4 grains up or down while the air dropped varied more like a grain up or down. The diameters were absolutely the same for all of the water quenched as opposed to some minor variation in diameter and roundness in the air dropped. The water quenched averaged 152 grs and the air dropped averaged 154 grs.

I guess that none of this is new to most of you who have been casting for awhile but I like that reduced weight variation a lot if it holds true in general.

Have you all found the same thing to be true? Was this a one time thing or generally true?
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Old March 29, 2011, 03:24 AM   #2
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I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference between air cooled and quenched bullets as far as size or weight goes. I’ll have to check on it next time I cast a few. It does make them harder, but isn’t necessary in most cases when using straight wheel weight. The only cast bullets I quench are for my .375 Winchester, it seems to like them better than air cooled. I never worry about size as I cast oversize and run them thru a Lyman lube/sizer. I have yet to own a mold that casts perfectly round bullets, let alone the right size.

Off the top of my head how much they weigh, their size and variances is probably due to alloy more than quenching, but you never know what it might affect.
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Old March 29, 2011, 03:42 AM   #3
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Hog Buster,

That's what surprised me most. Both of them had been cast from the SAME pot that night. I fluxed it a couple of times obviously but the alloy did not change! It was the same pot of 50/50 Lead/Linotype (which I should have stated in that first post) the entire time.

I don't understand it because it took the same amount of molten lead at the same temperature to fill the mold each time so the weights should be the same even if the dimensions changed! How could the air dropped weigh more than the quenched?

I guess the pot temp could have varied a little but........not much?

And I am getting ready to cast some 8mm stuff for the Yugo M48 and that is why I am playing with the quenching and heat treating (another night) to harden them up for the rifle.
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Old March 29, 2011, 03:45 AM   #4
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Maybe you're just getting more skilled at casting.......

The only rifle I cast for is the 375, but hardened bullets probably work better in rifles than pistols. Barrel time and all that..

I push the cast 375 at about 2000-2100 fps with a max load of RL7, no leading and accurate.
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Last edited by Hog Buster; March 29, 2011 at 03:53 AM. Reason: Addendum
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Old March 29, 2011, 03:48 AM   #5
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No

I'm just getting better at talking about it. You guys are the ones who know how to cast. Some day maybe.......

Yeah, I need to learn how to do the gas check thing too. Do you gas check the 375?
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Old March 29, 2011, 03:54 AM   #6
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No gas checks on the 375 or any other cast bullets.

Gas checks are easy, but you have to use a lube/sizer to do it.
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Old March 29, 2011, 03:57 AM   #7
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No gas checks? I thought I would HAVE to gas check it. The amount of stuff I do not know amazes me.

What kind of muzzle velocities? Or do you just watch for leading and no lead no foul?

I use something like 44 grains of Varget pushing a 185 gr plated SP at 2500 fps in the M48. I'll have to see what the cast load is. Mold I been lookin at is 175 grainer.

Sheesh...I just looked at the clock and where you are. I need to let you go unless you are up early instead of up really late?

I have my eye on a Lee .323 mold for the 8mm and Lee makes a sizer kit that seats gas checks on that boolit.

Last edited by Mauser Rat; March 29, 2011 at 04:39 AM.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:00 AM   #8
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Some guns are prone to leading, none of mine are so I don't gas check.

I'm up early, coyotes after my chickens, plan on sending some to heaven.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:03 AM   #9
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That should be a good start to the day. Gonna use that 375 on them? Gonna mess them up pretty good I'd imagine. Do they shoot back down there?

I've never shot any cast in the Mauser but she's my baby and I don't want to lead up the bore. Gun was made in 1946 and still kicks A@@.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:04 AM   #10
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Save your bucks and get a Lyman lube/sizer, the one I've got is probably 50 years old. God only knows how many bullets have been ran thru it. Never the first problem.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:06 AM   #11
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I'll use the 12 Gauge. Don't want a stray to hit the cattle.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:09 AM   #12
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Yeah but I was sort of in sticker shock after getting all of the other new stuff to cast with that I cheaped out at another $150 or more buck and then the top punches etc.

That's the thing about Lee.....sells stuff that works OK if not great for a decent price and......its just hard to lay down the bucks for the other manufacturers.

I would really like to try maybe a Lyman mold just to see but I can get 2 or 3 Lee's for the same money....

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Old March 29, 2011, 04:11 AM   #13
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OOps, feral dog, not coyote, sent him to heaven. Post mortem later in the morning.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:13 AM   #14
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You load your own shells for the 12 ga? I was thinking of starting reloading shot but I don't shoot the 12 ga that much. Shoot the .410 a lot more for stupid chickens up here....

Let's see.....cattle.....chickens.....coyotes......they got all them down there? I thought you guys all FISHED!

You get creamed by the hurricane?

you're shootin and typing? A real multi-talented guy! Say bye bye to the doggie for me.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:17 AM   #15
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Lee wasn't around when I started, so most of my stuff is Lyman, RCBS etc.

Some of Lee's stuff is OK, but some of it is just cheap, of poor quality and not long lasting. Don't worry about the money, by the time you're finished you'll have enough stuff to open your own reloading company. Hmmm, don't we all?
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:22 AM   #16
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Yeah and Yeah. We fish, crawfish, hunt, drink beer, tell lies, all good coonasses do that. I was in Kenner, LA for Hurricane Katrina and it flooded my ass, lost about everything, but saved the reloading gear. The last one here was Gustav, a couple of years ago, tore up the trees and lost a few shingles, nothing like Katrina.

No, I don't reload shotgun shells.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:23 AM   #17
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Yeah. It sort of builds up with time. One thing leads to another and I have so many different calibers that I load that getting the set up for each shooter is enough to confuse me let alone find space for.

And I haven't ever had a problem with lead in any of them either. The way some folks talk about cast its like they are pouring the lead into the barrel instead of into the molds?

I clean and maintain them though and I sometimes wonder if all of the "leading" isn't just crap that should have been cleaned out after it was shot?
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:25 AM   #18
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I got this picture of you wading through water up to your neck holding all of your shooters and reloading equipment above your head! Heck with women and children.....this equipment is expensive!

I grew up in Indiana and we had crawfish there too. Funny thing though.....I never ONCE was tempted to bite one back.
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:28 AM   #19
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Hey, I've got nation wide calling, shoot me a PM with your phone number and I'll give you a ring, if you like.....
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Old March 29, 2011, 04:29 AM   #20
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Yeah...go get the phone. I'll talk to you later!

Have a good one!
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