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Finally got to the range this afternoon.

Had 20 rds, 5 each at 4 different powder charges of H335. Was shooting at only 50 yds since I wasn't sure where these bullets would hit in relation to my scope zero.

groups started at 3.6 inches and progressively got tighter until the max charge load made a nice 5 shot group of 1.4". That's not outstanding but I think it's a darn good start, especially since my best ever 5 shot group with jacketed bullets in this rifle is about 1.5" at 100 yds. Typical groups are more like 3 inches at 100 yds. And this isn't even my best powder. Some more tweaking with powders and I think I'll be able to shoot almost as good with my cast bullets as I do with the copper-clad, $tore-bought $lugs.

These were water quenched WWs. I want to try some air cooled bullets next and see what difference I get.

I'm still a little dissatisfied with the way my alloy fills out the mold. Not getting crisp definition on the flats on the OD of the lube grooves. The mold drawing says there is supposed to be a little .010 flat there. But, even though my bullets, as cast, are a true radius there, by the time I size them down they have a little flat there anyway. And, I took the plunge and bought a Lee Magnum Melter with a real thermostat on it to keep a consistant melt temp. Maybe that can help me get better and more consistant bullets popping out of the mold.

Well, Thanks all that have helped! Especially edk!

Cast bullets are cool! Now I wanna go shoot a hog with one. Moose would be cool too someday.

More later...


Also... How do you know when you are getting leading? Besides when the accuracy goes into the pooper? If you have a load that's leading the barrell, how many shots before you notice it? Just a few? Or does it take dozens or hundred of rounds for the leading to appear.
 

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If the bullets are not filling out fully, you could try running the mould a bit hotter, or try adding some tin.

I generally find that if a load is going to lead the bore I'll notice it within 10 shots for sure. If the leading is bad you'll lose accuracy fast. If I'm concerned with a new load I'll shoot ten shots and then push a dry patch (on a brass jag) through the bore and look for slivers of lead on the patch.

Chris.
 

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Kart29 said:
Also... How do you know when you are getting leading? Besides when the accuracy goes into the pooper? If you have a load that's leading the barrell, how many shots before you notice it? Just a few? Or does it take dozens or hundred of rounds for the leading to appear.
You can lead the barrel with one shot, or if everything is right, you can fire hundreds of shots and never see it.
If leading is very bad you will see it. It can be bad enough to fill up the groves in the rifling or just look like scaly patches in the barrel. It usually builds up on the sides of the lands.
Have you ever cleaned a .22 rifle? Usually you will see a few lead streaks or flakes on the patch. That is what I call light leading.
The best way to detect it is by 'feel'. Use a 'jag', never a loop, on the end of your cleaning rod. Push a tight fitting, lubricated patch through the barrel from the breech to the muzzle. Marlins make that easy. :)
As the patch slides through the barrel you should be able to feel 'tight' areas where the patch feels like it is scraping along the barrel and areas where the patch slides smoothly through the barrel. The areas where the patch scrapes along are likely leaded. Carefully examine the patch for flakes or streaks of lead. Repeat until the patch doesn't show lead and slides through the barrel.
Patches are important. The weave of the patch grabs the lead and pulls it out of the bore. A rough patch will clean better than a smooth one.
For badly leaded bores other methods can be used. There are cleaning solvents that you leave in the bore for 15 minutes to loosen the lead. A few strokes of a bristle brush helps. You can wrap a bore brush with strands from a copper pan scrubber to remove lead.
For revolvers the 'Lewis lead remover' was used. It was an extra strong, 'T' handled cleaning rod that you used to drag a brass patch through the bore. It was a PITA to use.
Now you can get electronic cleaners that reverse plate lead or copper onto a cleanable stainless steel rod.

M.
 

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Years back, push'in 50, I thought about buying a used 357 RUGER. The guys brother brought the gun to work - those were the days my friend!!!! - and I took it home to give it a good look'in over.

When I had enough light to see down the barrel, the leading in the barrel was so heavy it looked like it was already flaking off.

NOW, THAT IS LEADING!!!!!!!!!!!!

Back in those days, the factories hadn't learn their lesson yet, and were loading soft lead boolits at the mag. velocities.

However, in the years since, the boys and I have put a fair number of cast boolits down the tube of a .357 and at least 2 - .44mags with leading being, at worse, only a minor issue.

Over the past year, I have been developing and shooting cast boolit loads in a RUGER #1 - 45/70 and leading, if it could be called that, was never more then some light streaks with a 355gr LBT/WFN cast boolit. And this while running loads in the 2200 to 2500fps range.

Just started casting with my new BRP - .462/465gr mold this past week, so due to the increase in weight expect my velocities to be at 2000fps or below.

Keep em coming!

Crusty Deary Ol'Coot
 
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