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Old February 23, 2012, 11:26 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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Fast twist rate & lead bullets... your thoughts ???

So... 1st off, I kinda do some things "out of the box" just in case you guys don't know me...

for purpose of this discussion I'll talk about a couple custom projects, but could follow along with stock items...

I have a couple "fast twist" 22 Hornets I've been expirimenting with, a Ruger bolt action rifle, & a 6" revolver both with a 1 in 9" twist barrel... the Hornet I've been loading with longer, light weight bullets, & heavier ones up to 68 grains with full stabilization...

I'm currently working on a "new" Velo-dog project, on a modern 4" stainless revolver, converted to center fire from 22 Magnum... the standard barrel twist is 1 in 16" on the 22 mag barrel, ( the barrel is already removed, for the center fire conversion, so I've been thinking about lining the barrel with something faster, so I can load a bit heavier bullet, at subsonic speeds, to have a quieter shooting gun

so along with shooting bought quality jacketed bullets, I'm going to start casting my own this summer... I've been collecting the molds for years & have all the needed equipment, & a ton of lead ingots... my machinist buddy is making me a 40ish grain plain based 6 cavity mold for these 22's... I have run my supply of big bore boolits down, so I'll start with them, & have a good casting mentor, but curious of your guys thoughts of shooting hard cast lead bullets in faster twist barrels...

now to put it in a more normal perspective... shooting lead in a faster twist 223 ???

my velocities will be low, as I'm thinking pop gun small game hunting loads... but I also do some stuff with the 223's & if one were wanting to shoot light loads, like a subsonic load, how do you think the fast twist barrels will get along with those cast bullets???
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Last edited by Magnum Wheel Man; February 23, 2012 at 11:31 AM.
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Old February 23, 2012, 02:37 PM   #2
Scharfschuetzer
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I've never shot cast bullets in a 22 cal rifle, so I can't comment on that bore size.

I have used the RCBS 110 grain 30 calibre cast bullet in my 1903 Springfields that have a 1-10 twist. Theoretically, that twist should overstabalize that short bullet, but it shoots just as well at less than 100 yards as the 175 and 190 grain bullets that I normally prefer.

I used that 110 grain cast bullets for Jackrabits and other vermin in the alfalfa and corn fields back home and it was a dead on killer through 100 yards. One day years ago at the height of a cotton tail population cycle, I got 10 of 'em with 12 shots from a 1903A3 with a two groove barrel.

Hope your experiments work out. Keep us posted.
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Old February 23, 2012, 02:49 PM   #3
FrankenMauser
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If you're staying subsonic, the fast twist might work.
But if you push the things very hard, they may come apart on you. (Unless you alloy them to be super hard... but then you may cause leading. )
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Old February 23, 2012, 02:51 PM   #4
Magnum Wheel Man
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thanks for the post (s)...

those were a couple of my concerns that I had, was amplifying any imperfections in the bullet with the faster twist rate...

& the possibility of extra leading...

since you said you were getting good stabilization ( you are obviously shooting a nice consistant bullet )... did you notice any additional leading
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Old February 23, 2012, 04:29 PM   #5
Scharfschuetzer
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I should amplify my comments a bit.

I generally use Alox lube on my cast rifle bullets and I normally cast them from wheel weights with enough tin or linotype in the mix for the aloy to fill out my moulds well. Some batches of WWs work just fine without adding any tin.

I generally size my 30 cal rifle bullets to .309, although I have one Colorado Custom mould that will drop my alloy out at .309 and thus takes no sizing for my Krag and Springfields. Slug your bore and then size a thousandth above your groove diameter to start with. Experiment from there using larger sizes once you establish a baseline of performance. Most cast bullet shooters feel that the less you size, the better and I fall into that camp.

Most of my rifle bullets, including the short little M1 Carbine design mentioned above are gas check designs. I like the Hornady crimp on style, but I use the older Lyman design too.

With bullets running in the neighborhood of a Brinell hardness of 12 to 14, I get no leading at velocities of 1800 fps. I have friends that push harder bullets faster, but I've never seen the need to do so as I view the cast bullets as plinkers and vermin rounds. Still, a challenge is a challenge and they find satisfaction of getting the ninth degree of performance from their bullets.

For accuracy and consistancy, visually check your bullets for properly filled in lube grooves and a square base. Toss any back into the pot if they are marginal or have a visual void.

For the absolute best accuracy, get an average weight for the bullet design and its alloy and then weigh each of the bullets. Toss any that are on either side of the bell curve weight wise back into the re-melt tin.

If you want to harden the bullet more than its alloy allows, quench them in cold water after casting. Note: Keep the water away from your lead pot. A drop of water in the molten lead can cause a catastophic blow out of the liquid lead due to the steam produced by the water's contact with it.

Once your mold starts casting well (cold molds don't), try and not overheat it. You can tell if it is too hot by the frosted look of your bullets. Some of my friends like to cast frosted bullets and claim that it is better. I'm not in that camp, but they do good shooting with them so who knows.

Speaking of mold temperature. You probably won't be able to overheat a .22 cal mold. Just too much mass to my way of thinking, but I've never cast a .22 bullet so I'm just guesing here. Perhaps someone with more experience casing small bullets can comment.
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Old February 23, 2012, 05:06 PM   #6
Ideal Tool
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Hello, Magnum Wheel Man. I shoot cast in .22 Hornet & .222 Rem., but both are 1-14"
A few years ago, I obtained an 1895 Winchester-Lee .236 USN (6mm) straight-pull sporting rifle. This has a fast 1-7" twist. I wanted to shoot cast in it & was worried about that fast twist. I cast up two batches of bullets..my std. fairly soft range-scrap+WW & tin. & some hard steriotype alloy. no trouble at all with the softer alloy..in fact, I never did try out the hard stuff. No leading, 3/4" groups to P.O.A. at 50yds. with open buckhorn rear & blade front. 100yd. grouped in 1 1/4"
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