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Old June 27, 2011, 10:31 PM   #1
TXGunNut
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Resizing TL Bullets, revisited.

I've read an old thread or two but didn't get to shoot this weekend so will throw this out at the risk of plowing ground that has already been well cultivated.
I've recently strayed from my Lyman BPCR and 45 Colt bullets with SPG lube to TL Lee 45acp 200 grainers with lla. Bullets dropped from my new moulds @ .452-453" with a ww alloy that seemed a bit tin deficient.
I didn't seriously consider sizing until after I'd already TL'd 200 and loaded 100. I realize "shoot them" will be the most common answer but if you disagree I'd like to know why.
I'm reading the book by Fryxell and Thompson linked on another thread and they aren't big on TL boolits but they seem to think they're OK for my 45acp loads. I know several of you are TL fans so I'm thinking I need your input.
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Old June 29, 2011, 06:20 AM   #2
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Some folks aren't big on TL bullets and that's okay. Lots of us love them. I've got several TL design bullet molds and use them a lot. They're different from traditional bullets. Not better or worse, just different and require different treatment.

I've got a TL bullet for the .38 special, the TL358-158-SWC that I've been loading for almost two decades. I've loaded it mild and wild and it does well in either mode. My standard load for that bullet runs about 750 fps and give excellent accuracy in any revolver we push it through. I've also loaded it to 1350 fps and it gives good service.

I've got two custom mold for the TL design, by a guy called Ranch Dog. He designed a TL .308 cal bullet that weighs about 170 grains depending on your alloy. He also designed a TL bullet at 180 grains for the .358 caliber. Both of those take gas checks and are fine performers. I push the .30 cal 170 grain bullet to 1879 fps from my .30-30 with no problem.

Another TL bullet that I use a lot is the TL452-230-RN. I use it as a bullet for the .45 ACP pushed by 4.6 grains of Bullseye. I don't size that bullet at all, but run it as-cast. I do push the whole cartridge into a Factory Crimp die to iron out the case flare and make sure that the cartridge will chamber.
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Old June 29, 2011, 06:40 PM   #3
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I shoot TL bullets in both handguns and rifles. Ed Harris designed a TL .312 dia. 160 gr. gas checked TL bullet for use in the 7.62 x 39mm cartridges,I use the TL bullet in my SKS rifle as well as the 7.62 x 54r bolt gun and size it down .001" and shoot in in my 300 Sav. MV runs anywhere from 1400 fps. to 2000 fps with no issues.

I also shoot the Lee TL bullets in my 38/357 loads,shot as cast and two coats of Lee Alox/JPW lube again no leading issues. I even TL non TL bullets for my no gas check 30 cal. plinking loads,avg. MV for those is 1200 fps.

TL bullets are designed to be shot as cast,you can resize them if needed as long as it's not to much and you remove the micro lube grooves.
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Old June 29, 2011, 09:57 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. I know TL bullets have their fans and sizing usually isn't an issue with them. Lee has such a cool sizer setup that I thought i was missing something. You using Lee lube, PawPaw? I'm guessing you cook your own recipe.
Care to tell me about your 30-30 plinkers, res45? PawPaw? A cast bullet load in 30-30 is on my project list. That would probably rate a new thread.
Now I know why some folks like steel moulds, others like aluminum. Some like dipping lead, others like bottom pour pots. Totally different schools of thought. I like them all so far, just not very comfortable with any of them yet.
Keep those brass custom moulds away from me, OK? I might decide I like them, too!-
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Old June 29, 2011, 10:40 PM   #5
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I use the Lee .309 170 gr. RNFP shot as cast from WW alloy BHN 12,no gas check needed,two light coats of Lee Alox/JPW lube. I use 7.0 grs. of Alliant Red Dot,no filler needed. MV chronoed at 1250+fps. no recoil and the kids love shooting them.
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Old June 29, 2011, 10:55 PM   #6
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Sounds like fun, res45. Thanks. (Wrote your recipe in a small blank spot in my Lee manual, somehow they overlooked it.)
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Old June 29, 2011, 11:08 PM   #7
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PawPaw, did Ranch Dog have a Marlin in .35 Remington in mind when he designed that .358 TL GC boolit? I think a .35 Rem (in a Marlin) makes more sense than a .30-30 (in a 94) but the .30-30 is first on the list. Neither project is off paper yet, things can change.
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Old June 30, 2011, 06:17 AM   #8
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TXGunNut the Lyman Cast Bullet manual has much more load data and other powder choices than just the one load I gave you for the 30-30.

Here is a link to Ranch Dog's bullet mould site.
http://www.ranchdogoutdoors.com/
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Old June 30, 2011, 10:24 PM   #9
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I'm still reading that one, res45. Picked up the first copy of the fourth edition that I could get my hands on. Great read, I'll make it to the load data section any day now.
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Old July 16, 2011, 09:46 PM   #10
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Finally got to shoot those TL 45 acp bullets, pretty sweet! Feeding was flawless, no leading and my old recipe of 5.5 grs of 231 still gets it done. Triple digit heat curtailed the brass recovery effort but it was a very good outing, all in all. Shot some Berry's bullets as well, very nice but rather boring.
Mebbe I can cast more tomorrow, won't take long to get the moulds up to operating temp!
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Last edited by Shane Tuttle; August 21, 2011 at 08:08 AM. Reason: B-U-L-L-E-T-S!!!
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Old July 17, 2011, 05:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXGunNut
PawPaw, did Ranch Dog have a Marlin in .35 Remington in mind when he designed that .358 TL GC boolit?
Yes, Ranch Dog made a tumble lube bullet for the .35 Rem. It's a gas-check design with a wide meplat that runs about 180 grains. Karma being what it is, it also works very well as a heavy thumper in the .357 magnum. I use a stiff charge of L'il Gun to push it to about 1200 fps in my revolver and 1600 in my Marlin 1894.

I haven't yet tried it in the .35 Remington.
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Old July 17, 2011, 09:52 AM   #12
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Sounds like quite a "thumper", PawPaw. Suddenly it seems I have a T/C pistol and a Marlin 336 that are being underutilized.
So many projects, so little time.
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Old July 31, 2011, 11:24 AM   #13
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Cast another 250 or so TL bullets this morning. Quit @ 10a, already 93 degrees. Put a few ounces if tin in the melt and fill improved dramatically. This bunch of WW has a slight tin deficiency. Two cavity Lee mould so much faster than my single cavity Lyman rifle moulds but I fould myself thinking about a six-cavity mould for my 45ACP casting. My two cavity mould is difficult to get lined up right every time and I'm thinking I might as well upgrade if I'm going to replace it.
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Last edited by Shane Tuttle; August 21, 2011 at 08:09 AM. Reason: B-U-L....oh, nevermind...
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Old August 1, 2011, 05:12 PM   #14
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I've been following this thread with some interest. I am a new caster and I went the route of TL bullets. I cast for plinking, so I haven't made it to the point that I buy more expensive molds (moulds) for super-accuracy.

I've tried cast-lube-load, cast-lube-size-load, cast-lube-size-lube-load, and cast-size-lube-load. I can't tell any difference in the shooting, other than if I put sizing somewhere in the mix, the bullet seating seems to go better.

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Old August 2, 2011, 09:54 PM   #15
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Which mould, miker84? Haven't tried sizing yet but bullets are dropping out very close to ideal as far as I'm concerned.
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Old August 3, 2011, 07:48 AM   #16
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TXGunNut, I'm using the Lee TL moulds. You are correct in that they drop close to the right size. I'm sizing them as an extra step that may not be needed but I think it helps in the loading stage in terms of seating the bullet.

When I run them through the sizing die, I find that most of them barely touch the die. The ones that do touch the die seem to size mainly at the base of the boolit.

Out of a batch .38's that I cast and sized recently:

84 went through with no or very slight sizing marks
29 went through with noticable sizing on the base of the boolit
4 were undersized and didn't "catch" in the Lee die
1 smoothed down the lube rings too much (oversized)
2 had defects in the base due to bad fill out.

I figure the 29 might have caused some shaving if I didn't size them or may have given me some headaches while trying to set the flare on the case mouth.

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Old August 6, 2011, 09:33 PM   #17
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Lubed some TL bullets with Rooster Jacket lube last week, loaded and shot them today. Gun had spring and bore fouling issues, some FTF's as well.
As soon as the Big Brown Truck brings me some shiny bits from Brownells I'll be back in business.
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Old August 13, 2011, 04:31 PM   #18
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Seems last week's failure to feed may have been alloy related. I added a bit of tin and bullets are a bit bigger than straight WW's, went from .452 to .454 and .455. Straight WW's shot just fine but I thought I'd have better fill w/ a little bit of tin. I think I'll save my tin for rifle bullets. Using mostly range brass and a .455 bullet in a thick-walled case is just a smidge more than my chamber will reliably digest.
Other option is one of Lee's sizing tools. Guess I could run them thru my Lyman without lube but what's the fun in that?
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Old August 13, 2011, 05:19 PM   #19
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I shoot Lee Tumble Lube bullets, lubed as cast.

I've had two issues:

1) The Lee 230 grain LRN TL bullet has a very pronounced "step" from the base of the bullet ogive to the maximum diameter of the shoulder of the bullet. Combined with the thickness of the case mouth brass, you are looking at quite a step at the case mouth. It was enough to cause bullets to fail to extract in my Ruger P90 - the case rim of the ejecting round would catch on that step and the extractor would tear through/off the rim, leaving the round jammed.

Here are some pages that show my problem:
http://www.forth-armoury.com/temp/bu...s/problems.htm
http://www.forth-armoury.com/temp/bu...lems/sizes.htm

I switched to Lee 230 grain truncated cone TL bullets and the problem has reduced. Now I'm still getting some sticking on the "bulge" in the brass caused by the bullet being driven home. I have run the bullets through the Lee Factory Crimp Die to try and minimize the problem.

2) The other problem I have with Lee Alox Lube is that it coats the entire bullet, including the nose of the bullet. Originally, I did not wipe this varnish off of the nose of completed cartridges, and when I cleaned my pistol there was a noticeable buildup of varnish on the feed ramp. I originally thought this might be part of the reason I was having failures to extract as per note #1 above.

So now I use a cloth and "wipe the noses" of all my finished cartridges to remove the Lee Alox Lube from the exposed nose of the bullet.

Steve
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Old August 13, 2011, 06:06 PM   #20
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I'm ordering a Lee .452" sizing kit, it's on sale @ Midway! Somehow a 6-cavity Lee mould (TL452-200-SWC) and a pair of handles jumped into my cart as well. Two-cavity mould works pretty well but have had alignment issues and would like to increase production rate as well. My little Colt really likes this bullet so I didn't bother with the TC or RN designs.
I suspect a sizer may solve your issues as well, Steve. I use the SWC design as both my Colts will digest almost any bullet, one old warhorse will even feed empty cases from a magazine.
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Old August 14, 2011, 08:48 AM   #21
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TXGunNut I have one of the Lee molds that had a slight alignment problem,there are a couple ways I found to fix that. The first is I have a piece of thin aluminum material about 1/8" under my casting pot that extends out several inches on either side,after dropping the bullets I sit the open mold on the flat plate and close the handles it aligns them perfectly.

For a more permanent fix I found the side of the block that was causing the problem and shimmed it with some brass shim stock so the mold block doesn't flex so much on the handles.
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Old August 14, 2011, 09:54 AM   #22
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Thanks, res45. I've tried your first idea and am considering your second. The right side of the block is always the culprit so will shim there. I think I could work on my technique a bit to minimize this issue but I feel the alignment pin and bushing on the commercial mould is a better design and will solve the issue.
I didn't have this problem with the round ball moulds of the same design so I'm thinking a shim would indeed solve this problem.
Thanks again!
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Old August 17, 2011, 09:06 PM   #23
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Figgered it out!

Well, in 45acp for my gun, my moulds and WW alloy sizing really isn't necessary. Added a bit of tin to my last batch, bullets grew a couple thousandths and suddenly I needed another piece of quality equipment from Lee. I think I'll keep sizing them, doesn't take long and I think it will give me a more consistent product and consistency is what I'm after.
New moulds look like fun but this heat is going to break any week now. I think they'll have to wait.
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Old August 21, 2011, 03:46 AM   #24
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TX,

Man you had better get your ingots in line when you fire up on that 6 banger, they will empty the pot quick.

I have the Lee TL230gr 6 banger and a couple of others as well. The one I have been working with the most is the C452-300-RF for my 454. while it isn't really a TL design by any stretch, I have used the LLA on them with good results up to 1500fps. Trust me when I say, pouring six of these at a time, will keep you adding ingots about every 5 or so minutes to keep the pot level. I set three corn cobs up on the side when I start, and ease them in as needed.

As for the 230gr, I have only loaded up one box of 50 for my Govt 1911, and there was a bit of a curve there for me as I am used to shooting only JHP's through it. It took a bit of trial and error to get the seater set so the fit and function test would pass. Having already had one of the LFC dies in 45 I decided to run a few through it just to see what if any issues it would straighten out with a few of the ones that didn't quite fit the chamber. What I found was that on the half dozen or so that didn't simply drop right in, it only touched the very lip of the case which indicated to me it was some of the first ones I loaded when I was setting up the OAL and clearing what little bell I had put on the mouth. I loaded them with 6grs of Unique and they averaged around 850fps from my pistol. Groups weren't terrible, but I have done better. Of course it was close to 111 when I was shooting, so the sweat in my eyes probably had as much to do with it as anything.

I have read time and time again where folks suggest NOT using the FCD for this, as it some cases it sized the bullets down as they were run through the carbide ring. This I could easily see being done, but in this case the lip was the only thing being touched, and I wasn't using it to crimp, but only to check the size of the loaded round per say.

Another thing I have done with regard to the LLA completely coating the tips and all of the bullets is to dip lube instead of tumbling. Now when I say this I am using a 300gr bullet with plenty to hold on to, but even with the shorter nosed ones it wasn't too bad. I simply used a water bottle cap so that I didn't have a lot of LLA to deal with, and a pair of needle nosed pliers with duct tape on the insides of the jaws, to grab and dip with. It goes pretty fast, and everything just moves along on the wax paper as you progress through the bullets. It helps if you stand them up somewhat in rows ahead of time, then simply move down a row, picking one up, dipping, and setting it in a line above where your picking them up from. I cannot say how quick doing 4-500 might be, but knocking out 50 or so was pretty fast.

Oh yea, so when is that 100+ heat going to end??? I have been hearing that for over a month now.
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Old August 21, 2011, 11:14 AM   #25
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Shouldn't have more than a couple more weeks of triple digit torture. Headed to the range to test some boolits I lubed with Rooster Jacket soon. These are the boolits I sized after I found them to be a bit oversized. Put another light coat of RJ on, we'll see.
Spent the cool(er) part of the day watering trees and doing laundry. May toss some gloves in my brass bucket to keep from burning my fingers.
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