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Old June 22, 2011, 04:35 AM   #1
micksis86
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What velocity can cast projectiles be fired at without causing leading?

I'm planning of using Wheel weights and 5% Tin/antimony solder for my cast projectiles. I'm wondering what sort of velocities these can be used at without causing leading of the barrel. I understand that correct projectile size has an effect on the amount of leading caused aswell.

So I'm basically just looking for a rough estimation of what sort of velocities I can use them at without leading. For instance will full power 38 and 44 special loads generally cause leading with this sort of projectile and what about full house 357 and 44 magnum loads?

Hope this makes sense. Thanks
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Old June 22, 2011, 06:40 AM   #2
GP100man
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The trick to shooting lead is sealin the chamber, throat & barrel so no gasses blow by the bullet .

Once a seal is accomplished then ya can push it until the alloys ability to grab the riflin sucombs or recommended safe loads is reached.

Alot of variables inbetween !!!!
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Old June 22, 2011, 06:43 AM   #3
micksis86
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So what exactly does leading look like? Is the lead visible in the rifling like copper fouling can sometimes be?
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Old June 22, 2011, 07:32 AM   #4
IllinoisCoyoteHunter
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Leading looks like something has been smeared in your bore. If your bore is not shiny, but has kind of a dull shine then you have leading. Trust me, you will be able to see it.

As to the OP, GPMann knows what he is talkin about. Alot of it is knowing the limitations of your alloy.

Anything above 2%tin is a waste, from what I have heard.

Harder is NOT always better. Many times a softer alloy will make a better seal in the bore.

If pushing cast boolits hard, it is a good idea to get a mold that has a gas check shank cut in it. This allows for a small copper cup (a gas check) to go on the base of the boolit so it can withstand higher pressure loads.

I shoot a 220 grain gas checked boolit out of my TC Encore 454 casull at over 2200 FPS with no leading and exceptional accuracy.

Good luck!
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Old June 22, 2011, 10:43 AM   #5
Hog Buster
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Cast bullets that have a decent lube groove, not the ones that have tumble lube cross hatching or shallow lube grooves. Slug your barrels and size your bullets accordingly. At least .001 larger than the bore diameter. Use a swage type lube/ sizer to do this. After firing check and see if you have a lube star on the muzzle of your piece. That’s to say a star shaped splatter formed by bullet lube on exit of the bullet from the barrel. That will tell you that you have enough lube on the bullet. If the bullet doesn’t have enough lube it can lead the barrel. While this is important to check with a pistol it’s doubly so with a rifle shooting cast bullets.

I’ve shot thousands of rounds of .44 Mag, .357 Mag, 30-30, 375 Winchester, 45/70, etc. with cast bullets at maximum loads and then some. Using straight wheel weight, range scrap and a bunch of other alloys properly sized and lubed I’ve never had any leading.
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Old June 22, 2011, 11:32 AM   #6
dahermit
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Quote:
So I'm basically just looking for a rough estimation of what sort of velocities I can use them at without leading. For instance will full power 38 and 44 special loads generally cause leading with this sort of projectile and what about full house 357 and 44 magnum loads?
Elmer Keith (ever hear of him?), used his famous cast lead bullet (plain base, no gas check) load of 22 grains of 2400, under Elmer's 250 grain bullet. That is a full house .44 magnum load.
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Old June 22, 2011, 01:15 PM   #7
Clifford L. Hughes
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Micksis86:

I have cast thousands of bullets using stright wheel weights in calibers .357,
.410, .429, .452 and 454 and sizing them to the sizes listed. I shot full power loads and I never experience leading. Occasionally I had light streaks of leat the were removed with one or two passes of a bore brsh. At one time I used gas checks but soon did away with them.

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Old June 23, 2011, 09:58 AM   #8
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Everybody has given you good advice so far.

Forget about bullet hardness, it can be deceiving. Think about bullet/alloy STRENGTH. The strength of the bullet metal to take deformation of the pressure of the load, and not deform. That's the second part of the equation, pressure. Pressure causes velocity, so those terms can be used to say the same thing.

Richard Lee has a good write up in his loading manual about the pressure equation as it refers to alloy strength. Another good source is the write-up at lasc here;
http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm

Oh, you said your lead free solder was 5% tin, it SHOULD be 95% tin--5% antimony. It is a great source of tin, with the added help of antimony. Be careful to not get the lead free solder that has copper in it.

Now, wheelweights already have some tin in them, so adding too much solder can add too much tin. It won't cause trouble, BUT it sure adds cost! A pound of lead free solder will add 1% tin to 100 pounds of pure lead. If added at that ratio to wheelweights, you would be close to 2% where you want to be. You can figure ratios for smaller amounts of lead, Like a certain length of lead free solder for a pot of 20 pounds of lead.
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Old June 23, 2011, 05:34 PM   #9
micksis86
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Thanks heaps for all your help guys, Some great information. I'll keep doing more research and if I've got anymore questions I'll be sure to let you know.
Thanks again, really made things clearer for me.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:28 AM   #10
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"I'm wondering what sort of velocities these can be used at without causing leading of the barrel. I understand that correct projectile size has an effect on the amount of leading caused as well."

That's virtually impossible to answer with any validity but a properly hard alloy will take any reasonable velocity you can obtain from a .357 or .44 mag IF the bullet lube is good. Some petroleum based lubes can work for low speed stuff but stick to the old NRA foumula Alox/beeswax type lubes for optimum protection.

Pure wheel weight metal typically holds hard antimony crystals in a matrix of soft lead. That can cause leading even tho the bullets feel VERY hard. The addition of some tin is really helpful because it helps the antimony remain in solution during cooling AND it helps the molds to fill out nicely.

I have dispensed with gas checks for handguns, they seem pointless below maybe 1,500 fps. I have found no effective difference between Lee's Tumble Lube/Alox bullets and conventional bullet types if everything else is also properly done.

"Proper" bullet diameter is actually most important with low pressure/low speed loads because they will neither seal the bore on their own nor swell/obturate when fired. But, with full power magnum loads it's difficult to make a bullet alloy too hard for upset and full bore obturation even if the diameter is a few thou smaller than the bore. However, you must understand that any bullet that does not fill the bore OR obturate WILL lead very quickly no matter the alloy or lube!

Contrary to a lot of people's current practice, there is absolutly nothing to be gained by sizing cast bullets larger than actual bore diameter and anything larger than 1 thou over bore size is generally harmful to accuracy.

Accuracy demands a good, undamaged bullet heel. It's VERY easy to cut or shave cast bullets so proper case mouth camfering and expansion/flaring is imperative. Perhaps the very best helper you can have for that is a Lyman M expander die or Redding's copy of it; use it correctly and you cannot damage the bullets during seating.
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:14 PM   #11
micksis86
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Thanks Wncchester I was planning on using Lee liquid alox as a lube. So you're saying the best bet is to slug you're bore and size the bullets 1 thou larger than that and from there it's pretty much a bit of trial and error.
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:59 PM   #12
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I have found that bevel based bullets(mostly Magnus cast) give me more trouble than flat base or slightly chamfered cast bullets.
As long as the bullet diameter is at least .005" larger than the cylinder mouth diameter and you do not exceed the pressure limits for the bullet alloy, there should be minimal if any, leading.
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Old June 25, 2011, 08:33 AM   #13
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I think we have several similar threads going on right now in this same subject.
I loaded and shot thousands of hard cast, Keith style, SWCs from my .44 mag. over the years. I loaded them at all velocities, never have had a leading problem, ever. Mine were commecially cast (Oliver bullets, out of business now) so I cannot repspond to the comment about different kinds of "hard" bullets. These were good. That is what I know.
I never gave the barrel special de-leading treatment and it shot rifle-accurate up to the day I tore up my shoulder and had to stop shooting it regularly.
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