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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been fooling around with my 45-70 and a variety of bullets for a few years now. I am currently shooting a Speer 400gr JFN with 45gr of H4198, and a 425 PD hard cast bullet with 44gr of H4198. Both loads shoot well out to 300 yds where bowling pins have been the primary target. Interestingly enough they both group to the same point at that distance.
When shooting both of these loads over my Oehler 35 I noticed that the heavier lead bullet with the lighter charge of H4198 always shoots faster than the lighter jacketed bullet even though the jacketed bullet was loaded with a bit more powder. Are lead bullets always faster than jacketed bullets?

Premium Member
17,017 Posts
Hey Charlie,

Cast bullets have less "friction" (in the bore), than do jacketed bullets.

Most cases (with powders from the Unique/Universal Clays range, to the 4198 and 3031 range), one reduces the powder charge by ten to fifteen percent, for a given bullet weight when going to cast bullets.

It takes less "force" to push the cast bullet down the barrel.

The exception (and aren't there always) seems to be plated bullets. Even though the makers say to use cast bullet data, one usually needs to up the powder charge by five to ten percent, from one's cast bullet loads (to achieve a particular velocity) And may need to adjust the crimp a bit (with the plated bullets)

The plated bullets are "slicker" than are cast bullets, and seem to "slip" down the barrel "easier".

With cast bullets and the 4198's, most fellows "stop" at 31 to 35 grains. This will give between 1400 and 1500 fps. More than "enough" with a well made cast bullet. (plenty on the shoulder, too) LOL

That is the fun of reloading. One can load up a few, clock them, and do a good accuracy check. (and fill the larder)

Hope this helps. (bet your load sends those pesky bowling pins flying!)

Later, Mark
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