Safari 310 50/50 Alloy test. "The Expander"!!!!
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Thread: Safari 310 50/50 Alloy test. "The Expander"!!!!



  1. #1
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    Safari 310 50/50 Alloy test. "The Expander"!!!!

    Well, I finally got out to the range early this morning to test an idea for an expanding cast bullet for the SG 35. As I have mentioned in other posts, forum member mt_sourdough did some testing with this alloy in the 444. I had sent him some 444 bullets cast with this alloy.....one group of bullets was water quenched and the other not. After mt had conducted his testing he confirmed that the 50/50 alloy water quenched was a superior performer at 444 velocities, and showed excellent expansion/mushrooming, and retained its weight very well. In the 444 the Safari 455 grain mold was used, and the velocity if I remember correctly was around 1800 fps.

    Fast forward: I always thought that a medium bore rifle used for medium sized thin skin game (deer) could benefit from an expanding bullet, and I really wanted to try this alloy with the SG 35 just to see if it could withstand the higher velocities that the SG 35 produces. I realized that pushing this softer alloy too fast would result in possible leading, and poor accuracy. I wanted to maintain the power level that the SG 35 is capable of producing. The Safari 310 grain bullet pushed at the minimum power level velocity would do just that, but would this softer alloy come apart upon impact at the higher velocities......and, would I have lead streaking the barrel of my rough bore Marlin 35 XLR?

    I got to the range early and set up 6 one gallon water jugs...behind the jugs I put up a backstop made of wood and carpeting. Most high velocity medium bore center fire rifles using expanding jacketed bullets, shooting into water filled jugs will penetrate 4 to 5 jugs, but I wanted to play it safe so as to "catch" the bullet for the record.

    The test was conducted at 10 yards from the barrel (same as mt_sourdough does). The load I used was exactly the same load that I used with hardcast bullets that shot the tiny one hole group shown in the target. The 50/50 alloy bullet penetrated all 6 jugs (I lucked out there) and I was able to retrieve the bullet.....it expanded to approximately .803 (from .35. The bullet weighed 312 grains before the shot and 272.6 grains retained after the test. To say I was pleased was an understatement!!!

    After the jug test, I shot a three shot group with the same load. I might have pulled one shot, but the group showed promise as far as accuracy is concerned, and the softer alloy did print just a bit higher than the hardcast bullets with the same load. More load development will be necessary to bring the velocity up and get some decent one hole accuracy. I then cleaned the barrel and took the remaining seven rounds that I had left and shot them all on the last target. What I was looking for there was a point when the bullets started flying out of the immediate group which would indicate to me that leading was causing inaccuracy. As far as I am concerned, and judging from the uniformity of the group, that never happened.

    All in all I am very satisfied with the results from this 50/50 water quenched alloy, although as I mentioned above, I will still need to develop an accurate load....that work will continue soon....and I will follow up on that in a thread to come.

    The nicest part of all of this is that this alloy is so simple to achieve and anybody who casts bullets probably has the makings on the casting bench! This alloy is nothing more than 50% clip on wheel weight, and 50% pure lead....dropped from the mold in to a bucket of cold water...............pretty simple.

    I guess the next step is a field test, but that will have to wait till next deer season......
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    Last edited by Flat Top; 04-21-2017 at 07:51 AM.
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    Thanks for the info, great shooting.

    You mentioned that you shot the jugs at 10 yards.

    What distance where the targets shot ?

    And thanks.
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    Were you cup pointing these?
    Last edited by bryan alder; 01-05-2016 at 03:57 PM.
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    Grumpy...the targets were shot at 25 yards. I only have a 2 X scope (and old eyes). With the smaller group shot with the hardcast (top left), I can hold under an inch at 100 yards...even with the 2X scope, but the targets are a lot larger too!!! All of my deer hunting shots are under 40 yards...normally a lot less.....so long range accuracy is not a necessity for me.

    Bryan...no cup point, but once I get an accurate load at my velocity goal, that will be my next test. I did notice that the bullet was lopsided, and mt_sourdoughs testing with my cup pointed bullets proved that the cup point keeps the WFN's driving straight and true.....but, they also allow the bullet to expand quicker and deliver its energy sooner than a bullet without the cup point. So, I will need to do more testing to see what works best.
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    Accurate , expand and retain weight. What more could you ask for... Good job.

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    After a couple weeks of sub-zero temps, it was great to come home to some "fresh" fruitcake, hot cup of tea, fireplace running, and this update!! Thanks, FT! Nice brew going there.

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    Sweet; That "cast" bullet kind of reminds me of those expensive store bought "jacketed" hunting bullets that everybody raves on and on about!!!
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    https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/new-sg35-sg444-home/

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    Certainly should make for a "premium performer"! My 32Spl will expand my 183gr cast bullets at 2230fps and hold together. They are water-dropped and mostly WW with a touch of range lead. Yours are softer, I'm sure. I may have to try your alloy, or try to get mine close to yours. What bhn do they run without water-dropping? I might could match that with a little trial and error.

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    Now that's impressive Flat Top, good work and nice pics.
    There is another way to get your hard cast bullets to expand. I call it a double density bullet, I cast and water drop. Then after about a week or so when the bullets have had time to harden,
    I will set them in a tray of water up to the cannelure and place a flame over the tips for a short time.
    What this does in essence is soften the lead noses back to there original density of the former soft lead. The water will stop the heat from softening the whole bullet.
    just my 2 cents. not trying to steal your thunder.
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    Dont know what the hardness of the bullet is...but when mt tested the water quenched vs the air cooled, the water quenched bullets excelled. If I remember correctly the air cooled bullets expanded about the same...maybe a bit more, but, they shed weight like nobodies business. This alloy was designed for lower velocities, and it works well there. It amazed me that it stood up to the higher velocity and energy at time of impact of the test. All you need do to duplicate this alloy is take 50% clip on wheel weights, and 50% pure lead, melt it down and fill your mold, then drop them directly form the mold in to water. As I said before it is really simple to accomplish. Also, you could probably reduce your velocity in the 32 as well, if you dont shoot longer ranges....in the SG 35 with this Safari 310 bullet at the test velocity I have an MPBR of 6" to 200 yards....that is an easy central mass kill zone shot on a deer. Anyway, it would be interesting to have other folks try this concoction and see what kind of results they get.
    Last edited by Flat Top; 04-21-2017 at 07:55 AM.
    "Overkill.............is WAY underrated."
    https://www.marlinowners.com/forum/new-sg35-sg444-home/


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