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Old November 2, 2007, 10:33 PM   #1
Mtn Hawk
Join Date: March 22, 2006
Posts: 82
Hard-Cast Leading at 1800 fps?

I'd like to know if there are any commercial hard-cast bullets I can push to 1800 fps without having to worry about leading problems. I really don't want to deal with trying to clean lead out of a rifle barrel. I'm shooting a .357 Mag. Marlin 1894C lever action (18.5" barrel). The searches I did mostly brought up hard-cast bullets for handguns, at much lower velocities, so they weren't any help.

Maybe 1800 is too fast to push hard-cast bullets without leading. If so, I'll just stick with jacketed bullets but I'd like to know for sure. If anyone knows of a manufacturer that can meet this requirement I'd appreciate hearing about them.

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Old November 3, 2007, 08:29 AM   #2
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In my Lyman #48 manual the fastest load for a 357 rifle is around 1700 + fps. using small Mag. pistol primers, AA#9 powder 13.0 Gr. Start 1628 fps. & 14.5 gr. MAX 1785 fps. with a 155 Gr. #2 alloy bullet or a 158 Gr. GC SWC. You can also use 2400 Start 10.6 Gr. 1358 fps & MAX 14.0 Gr. 1688 fps. You need to start at the starting load with either powder and work your ways up slowly. You may also fine that the most accurate load is not at your highest velocity. You can also call Lyman customer service @ 800-225-9626 if you have any questions about this load data.
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Old November 3, 2007, 11:49 AM   #3
Travis Two
Join Date: September 27, 2006
Posts: 63 has alloys for use up to 2000 fps. for some special applications without the need for gas checks. Give em a call at 412-767-4670.
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Old November 3, 2007, 11:58 AM   #4
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Try Laser Cast bullets. I drive .357 magnum to 1200 FPS in my handgun with no leading problems. The LC bullets have a harness of 24 brinell. You should be able to do well using them.
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Old November 3, 2007, 12:11 PM   #5
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Have you slugged your bore? If not, then no matter who makes a hard-cast bullet, if it's not the same or slightly bigger size as your bore, you will get leading. Is it a micro grove barrel? Those are NOT considered the best for cast lead bullets.

Few of the commercial lead bullet makers will supply custom sized bullets. There's a couple that will, but only after you have slugged your barrel and worked with them on which alloy and size you need. One is this guy;

He's solved lead bullet shooting problems for a lot of people. Now he's getting into custom swagged jacketed bullets.
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Old November 3, 2007, 12:49 PM   #6
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Try using an undersized bullet with paper patches.

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Old November 3, 2007, 07:54 PM   #7
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What Crosshair said. Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets are 24 BHN and should be able to do 1,700 FPS. I shoot them in my 44mag Redhawk at 1,500 FPS, and there is actually less leading as I push them faster due to better obturation. I get more leading with them in my 45ACP at 900 FPS.
The other statements about slugging your barrel are important too, especially if you keep seeing leading.

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Old November 7, 2007, 01:11 AM   #8
Mtn Hawk
Join Date: March 22, 2006
Posts: 82
Thanks to all who responded to my question.

From what I'm learning, cast bullets are mostly for slower handgun velocities. It sounds like shooting cast bullets at higher velocities, and making sure my barrel doesn't lead, would be more effort than I want to put into it, at this point. I want to keep my reloading as simple as possible. I'll just stay with jacketed bullets for now but will save this thread for future reference.


The Marlin 1894C has Ballard-type rifling.
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Old November 22, 2007, 01:17 AM   #9
Swamp Rat
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I am running a 185gr BTB FNGC over 16.3gr of H110 and average 1825fps out of a Marlin 1894CP with no leading and is big deer/hog medicine. The faster you run Pb the more critical barrel conditioning is. My lever has never seen a full length gas checked bullet (copper jacketed) and the bore has been lapped, polished and slugged. I made chamber castings and the round has been built around the rifle

I am waiting on a new sizer/lube die for my Star to try out a new 180gr Saeco GC boolit I aquired recently. only down side is the meplat is not as big as the Beartooth round. we shall see how it works out

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Old November 22, 2007, 09:27 AM   #10
Uncle Don
Join Date: August 18, 2007
Location: Iowa
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I shoot that velocity with my cast bullets using a gas check and Lee's liquid alox. So far, about 800 rounds that way through my K31 and not a sign of leading. I don't even worry about the mixture since the rounds are for informal target shooting, so I highly suspect some are softer than they should be.

If I had to work too hard at it, I wouldn't do it. I simply coat them with a very light coat of alox, then size the bullets to put the gas check on - then put them all in a cool whip bowl, put some alox on them, swish them around and lay them out on was paper for a day. This is a target shot at 100 yds with iron sights using these informal bullets.

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