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I start with slugging my barrel. My 1970 microgroove 336 chambered in 35 Rem slugged at .357”. I size my cast bullets with a lee .358“ sizer I honed out to .3595”. I’ve been told to size three thousands over with micro groove barrels for best accuracy from several experienced cast bullet shooters I’ve talked with. I went just a hair smaller In diameter. I use my cast bullets for hunting and not plinking so I want expansion. I cast my hunting alloy out of 50% clip on wheel weights and 50% pure lead. I also add another 2% pewter to help with mold fill out. This makes a soft and mailable alloy. I also mix a softer alloy of 16:1 using one pound of pewter and 16 pounds of pure lead. The 16:1 has a Burnell hardness of 7.8 and the 50-50 alloy is 10.4. Both expand very easily and hold together at full throttle Jacketed 2100 FPS rifle velocities. I tumble powder coat them and add a hornady gas check when sizing them through my lee sizer. I cast my hunting bullets in a 200 grain MP hollow point mold. I have ran both alloys over 2100 FPS with zero leading. All the old reads said max velocity recommended was around 1300 FPS. I would assume those were the days before bullets were powder coated. I know guys that shoot close to 1900 FPS without gas checks and just powder coating with great accuracy and zero leading. The harder 50/50 alloy is more accurate in my gun so I will test it out this year on a deer first. The 16:1 alloy will be used on my second holiday hunt anterless tag. I’ll see which alloy puts deer down where they stand quicker. My 50/50 alloy has consistently shot three shot groups at 100 yards all in the same hole averaging .250” groups along with 40 grains of varget. I tested the 16:1 alloy and it was closer to 2 MOA at 100 yards with a 5.5 pound trigger. I’ll have to re test it now since a adjusted my trigger down to 2.5 pounds.

To figure out my overall length I take a fired casing and slide a cast bullet into the case. I the chamber it several times and take an average of the measurement. I then usually shorten from my max over all length 40,000’s give or takebro it will cycle chamber easy. You can see even with my bullet backed off it still has rifling marks on my cast bullet. I believe that aids in accuracy.


I have also found the biggest key for best accuracy using cast bullets for me is using the lee collet style factory crimp die. It applies an even crimp for constant pressures and velocities. When I use this crimp it shrinks my groups vs a roll or tapper style. Using this crimp will take me from 2 to 4 MOA to sub MOA with the same loads. I also tried a max book jacked ammo load the same same day with H4895 which shot a .7" group. My gun won't shoot this good with jacket ammo!



Here are the hollow points I casted up and groups...




I’ve tried the lee 200 grain bullets as well. The best group I shot with them was 1.25” at 100 yards. That was with a 5.5 pound trigger. I’ll have to retest them now that I have lightened the trigger to 2.5 pounds. I’ve been casting bullets for about three years now. I did a lot of research and reading over at castboolits forum before starting. Every rifle I own will shoot sub MOA with cast. It just depends on how much time and energy you want to put into the hobby. I do separate my cast bullets into 1 grain increments for and color powder coat them in different colors. Changing alloys will change your group sizes as well. So I your just melting range scrap your alloy hardness and group sizes are going to vary from batch to batch. I suggest to smelt all your alloy together so it’s the same hardness. I would also suggest to pick up a lee hardness tester. This way you can test your alloy hardness to keep your mix consistent every time. The key for thin skin skinned game hunting alloy is to use the softest alloy you gun will shoot accurately. I’ve shot deer with to hard of an alloy in the past. With double lung shots i had two deer just stand there like they weren’t hit and then both ran over a 100 yards each with zero blood for the first 45 yards and then very little trail to follow....Not fun...but both deer were recovered...found stone cold dead and bled internally. The hard non expanding bullets were just like shooting them with an arrow with a field point or FMJ. A softer alloy allows for expansion,kinetic energy transfer, and bigger holes in and out for good blood trails. You’ll get a lot of old school cast shooters telling you a 44 cal diameter doesn’t need to expand because it makes a big hole in and out. Not true, unless your shooting a deer in the head, neck, or backbone. Most can’t shoot cast accurately to do so and I don’t have X ray vision to see the back bone. So I cast soft alloys for expansion with archery placement shots. I’ve seen a lot of wild boar shot with 100% clip on wheel weight alloy with good expansion. They have a lot tougher skin and thicker bones so a harder alloy is needed imo. IMO you have to custom tailer your alloy for the game you intend to hunt with it. Don’t get me wrong any lead alloy will kill a deer...I just want to cast a soft alloy that will expand to put a larg exit and entrance hole for a blood trail if the animal happens to run off to die after being shot. Forgot to mention I also use a Lee univeral neck expansion die to flair my cases with so I won't shave my cast bullets when seating them. I also check my headspace with a Hornady comparotor. I had a few cases that took two hits of the primer to fire. I now bump all my case necks back .002". Make sure to get the primers seated properly as well or you can, and will, have a fail to fire. My 336 is not forgiving when it come to this. As far as reloading data goes. I have bought a few cast bullet reloading books but just use jacketed ammo load data since I powder coat and gas check my cast bullets. That's the great part about the 35 Remington imo. It will shoot cast better than jacket ammo and can be loaded at the same velocities....with a powder coated and gas checked bullet properly sized for the gun. Its the perfect cast bullet caliber imo. I did experiment with a seater die insert and sanded a conical pusher flat. It works fine imo for solid cast bullets but flattens the hollow point area and widens the hollow point area as well. It also does not aid in lining up the bullet evenly with the case. I went back to the original RCBS conical seater plug and polished it so it won’t make a ring around my cast bullets when seating them. It also keeps the hollow point area more conical and narrower so it Keeps its original shape for better aero dynamics and better accuracy for Long Range shooting.

It’s a fun, challenging, and rewarding hobby.
Hope this helps some one that wants to get started in cast bullets.
 

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Great info in this thread.
I’ll add a little.
I use the RCBS 200FNGC. I cast from w/w with some 95/5 solder added. Then size to .360” with a Hornady gascheck. Casts to 218gr. Lubed with SPG in Lyman 450sizer-lubricator .
My best load is 39.0gr of BLC2. Gets 2,050fps.Second loadis 34.5gr H4895. Gets 1,975fps.

It kills deer reliably. Started using cast after 2008 ObamaAmmogeddon. Haven’t looked back. Before, I was addicted to Remington 200gr Corlokts or Sierra ProHunters over 40.0gr of H4895.
 

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Jacket bullets are expensive and hard to come by in 35 cal. Not a very popular diameter any more. That's what got me started in casting for my 336. If I can get my 7600 pump 35 whelen to feed the hollow point cast bullet its next up to bat. My 7600 chambered in 35 rem will feed this bullet just fine but I have to start all over with ladder testing loads again to see what it likes.
 
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