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RD's TLC359-175-RF and the 357 Mag

3658 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  MtJerry
As promised, an update on my work with a bullet specific to the Marlin 1894C, the TLC359-175-RF.

Despite casting from the mold several weeks ago, ranch work has kept me away from the reloading and shooting bench until now. I wanted to start my work with Lil' Gun, QuickLoad suggested that among the powders I had on hand and it would offer the best velocity performance. My rifle is one of the last of those manufactured in CT and I've actually not shot it, saving it for this dedicated bullet.

With my RSI Pressure Trace equipment hooked up, I fired the short load schedule of 13.6, 14.3, and 15.1-grains of Lil' Gun. The QuickLoad generated max of 15.1-grains showed quite a bit of promise. That software suggested a load based on a Pmax of 43.5K PSI and a NMP of 38.1K PSI. the 15.1 grains was forecast to produce 1752 FPS and 34.9K PSI.

The actual performance was 1776 FPS (corrected for actual muzzle velocity) and 35.6K PSI. Very close to the QL prediction. This was only a five shot string but the SD was 11.7 FPS with an 32 FPS ES. Pressure, like velocity, is concerned with both an SD and ES; hence, a load generated only to NMP. Any plus variances occur and should be contained between NMP and Pmax. The ES was 3K PSI so I will have room to work a little closer to the Pmax. If you look at the bottom of the pressure trace graph, you will notice the "Optimum Barrel Timing" (OBT) markers. Where the traces are starting to flat line you will also notice a "+" symbol on each trace. That is where the bullet is leaving the barrel. Ideally, you should adjust the load to leave the barrel at a marker. That supposedly and in practice delivers the best accuracy. I have room for a little bump to move it to the marker to the right of that "+" cluster.

The best news is the 50-yard group was not bad for shots 11 through 15 from this NIB carbine!

I was pleased enough with the group that I went back in and loaded 5 more cartridges so that I could carry the carbine into by east pasture for a little work I had planned. The hogs have been enjoying the nice weather we have been having and I would like them to get a look at the bullet. I am looking forward to shooting this without the PT equipment because with it, more attention needs to be paid to making sure the rifle is "live" with the computer so that data is not lost at the shot than is paid to shot follow through.

This bullet is designed to use the Marlin's 1.59" maximum cartridge length. Brass is trimmed to 1.275". These two measurements should allow the bullet nose to kiss the rifling. My intent is to offer two additional items in my online store to compliment this mold. A Lee case trimmer that will cut the exact brass length to satisfy the crimp groove spacing against the OAL and a collet type factory crimp die. Go back to that bullet image, see that collet crimp!

There are two other forum members shooting the bullet; Steelbanger and Tom Myers. Both of these fellows have wheelguns that are being evaluated as well. I do not have any information about the bullet on my web site as of yet. Once the testing is complete, design changes made if needed, and my inventory ordered from Lee, I will have complete info on the bullet including an expected "in stock" date.
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Thanks for the update.

Thanks again for designing these great boolits and molds.

That one looks like something I'd shoot a lot of. Looking forward to seeing it in the non-ferrous flesh! :D
Great news as I've been waiting to hear about you tests every since you mentioned you had the mold. Was just testing some more loads today using the Lee 158 SWC/GC and after a year and a half messing with it I'm giving up. Just can't get my 1894C to like that bullet to save my life. On the other hand the gun shoots your TCL-359-190-RF bullet into 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards. But I bought that mold to use in a modified 357 maxi and the idea of a specific bullet designed for the 357 magnum is what I need. Thanks for the update and I'll defiantly be buying the mold when it is available.
Gohon said:
...On the other hand the gun shoots your TCL-359-190-RF bullet into 1/2 inch groups at 50 yards...
Ummmm, that 50 yard group is 2.5 inches... just sayin'...
(That's about 5 moa to us city slickers...)

(ETA: sorry, just noticed you were talking about a different boolit...)
Reorx said:
Ummmm, that 50 yard group is 2.5 inches... just sayin'...
(That's about 5 moa to us city slickers...)
Like I said, looking forward to shooting without all the electronics attached to the rifle as the groups are always considerably tighter. I also use the pressure trace to identify OBT and will come back with those loads to do my actual accuracy work. That feature makes pressure trace equipment worth the money. This rifle also needs to be broke in, only 15 shots out of it.
I didn't mean to imply anything undesireable... 5 moa is respectible all things considered... I just thought the poster I was replying to was talking about the group you posted - he wasn't... ;D

I am watching this thread with great anticipation... Can't wait until it is available to the GP...

RD- out of curiosity, where did you get your working BC of 0.2045??? Based on experience with similar bullets? back calculating based on measured velocities at various distances? all of the above and then some???

I suspect once accuracy loads are worked up, that bullet will group at 2 inches or less at 100 yards. Of the three RD molds I have, two of them when loaded do just that. Only reason the third one doesn't is because I'm trying to make it do something it wasn't designed for.......but I'm getting close.
Shots 16, 17, and 18!

Shots 16, 17, and 18!

Busy night and morning! I have trouble sleeping with a full moon, so I went to my reloading room. While working in there about 1:30 am, I could hear hogs out in my yard*. Looked out side and about 25 to 30 hogs were feeding through my yard. I shot two very nice hogs one at 70-yards and one at 30-yards. On the 70-yard hog I got a shoot through and killed another. Two for three! I had just woke up this morning and my Dad called me to let me know there was a large sow walking through our yard. I shot her at 70-yards, she went about 25-yards. The impact thud of this flat nose bullet is scary, there is no doubt that you have made a fatal hit.

Damn, I got to loose my gut. I've gotten old!

* "my yard" is a ranch yard about 200-yards by 150-yards surrounded by South Texas brush.
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Okay Michael,

proven accuracy
proven on game performance (2 in 1 piggies) congrats

time to make LEE cut them molds ;D
stainless said:
time to make LEE cut them molds ;D
Actually, seeing the need to make a slight change to the bullet nose.
The hog in the picture was shot at 70 yards quartering away from me. The bullet entered at the last rib and exited the opposite front shoulder severing the leg bone. The chest cavity contents was jelly. It ran about 15-yards and hit the brush, had I not heard the smack of that wide, flat point bullet hitting it, I would have thought I missed. I could not even tell it had a front shoulder/leg out of commission. It was cratered immediately inside the brush line, these critters are tough and make excellent testing material!
micky_blue said:
Can i covet your yard?
At least some guys here are polite enough to ask..... not me though, I'm already coveting away! ;D It's great that RD can R&D his designs on such great test media (hogs), right in his backyard! 8)

I plan on buying one of these molds for my 94C once they are available. ;)
Nice bacon... nice bullet... nice shootin' too!!! ;D
I am eagerly awaiting this boolit to hit the shelves :)
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