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#12247719 - 09/03/17 Over-thinking cast bullets  
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nanuk Offline
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nanuk  Offline
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Why do folks over-think cast, when really the most simple actions often produce results that are good enough, or GREAT!

Things like "Hard Cast"
Hard cast was originally designed by commercial casters for SHIPPING cast bullets so they would arrive undamaged.
if you cast your own, you can go much softer, for less risk of leading, and often a cost savings.
When first thinking of cast... one should think SOFT and only go harder as the pressures go up.

Sizing
folks get caught up in sizing, when what often works great is a bullet that has a slight friction fit in an unsized, once fired case. (no crimp/flare)
if it fits in an unsized case, and can chamber, it WILL shoot, and probably as good or better that fiddling with sizing etc.
Bore/Groove size should be ignored, except in the case of a rifle bullet designed as a "Bore Rider". then the "bore" diameter IS important. (I have 3 45/70's who's bores run 0.4555". To date, I have found NO "Bore Rider" designs that have a nose that fat.
When first thinking of cast... one should think UNSIZED and only size as necessary to get a bullet to fit in the case and be able to chamber if your particular bullet is too fat. Size it to fit the unsized case, NOT the bore/groove/throat.

some guns simply won't allow a fat bullet to fit/chamber... in those, most experienced cast shooters would recommend to open the chamber neck to allow the fatter bullet, or if the throat is the restriction, open the throat. (Another option is to shoot Black Powder.) This allows you to work the gun once as opposed to working EVERY BULLET.
Indeed, some VERY successful target bullets are multidiameter, and cannot/SHALL not be sized.

Lube
Lube is a gasket, mostly, with its purpose to seal the bore. lead alone IS a lubricant. Tumble lube works OK as long as it is an appropriate mix for velocity. TL mix also works just fine on GG bullets. and GG lube can and is used on TL bullets with success. Again, it has to do with the appropriate mix for the pressure.
EX// at TL Lee bullet, pan lubed carries as much lube as an RCBS single lube groove bore rider... and the nose carries NO lube. If lube was so important to lubricate the lead from the steel, the nose would be designed to carry lube.
Also, there are some bore riders with a groove diameter ring on the front of the nose for alignment, and NO lube.

Some very experienced muzzleloader shooters have NO Lube at all on their first bullet from a clean gun.


The "old wives tales" are truly ingrained in a lot of folks, and they make some things complicated, where simplicity is the rule.
Like sizing 1-2 thou over groove. As Gnoahh has stated, sometimes best to ignore groove dimensions as they are not relevant.
Another one that is still floated often: Seating deeper in a bottle neck rifle cartridge raises pressures. That one was debunked years ago, but some still hang to it.


To me, Casting is like working a new load.
Start LOW/SIMPLE and work your way UP/COMPLEX

This is why powder coating is so promising... it removes one variable: Lube, and mitigates hardness, allowing a MUCH softer alloy.
Heck, some folks are running Lyman 2 equivalent to 3000FPS with PC and nearly that in 30cal or bigger for impressive hunting loads.
and as Yondering has pointed out.... PC really is that easy.

Ok, I got my big boy panties on.... flame away.

AIH 300 L
#12247756 - 09/03/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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gnoahhh Offline
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Entirely correct on all counts. (I might take a small exception to the bit about PC'ing bullets, but that's just me. I don't need to generate "factory performance" in HV cartridges with cast bullets, so traditional lubes suit me just fine. Besides that, I like the smell.)

Re: sizing to fit a fired case, a couple thoughts. I think what that advocates is a backdoor means of sizing to throat diameter, without undertaking a chamber cast to determine such. For those without the means/time/inclination to do a chamber cast this would get them really close (probably close enough). The only fly in the ointment is variations in brass thickness might give one a false indicator- but it's a good starting point nonetheless.


"You can lead a man to logic, but you cannot make him think." Joe Harz
#12248745 - 09/03/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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You're under-thinking the sizing, based on an assumption that the chamber is always large enough. It's true that leaving the bullet a larger size than .001-.002" over groove is fine, but if you don't measure, you can certainly end up with larger groove dimensions than you might think. 9mm is a classic example of that. Some 38-55 rifles are another example where just relying on chamber dimensions will leave you with an undersized bullet and wondering why the rifle doesn't shoot well.

Better to understand why/what bullet size does than to just use an arbitrary rule of thumb like fired case dimensions.

#12248930 - 09/03/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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I mostly agree with you but I feel the sizing or proper sizing is important for overall consistency.Even high quality CNC molds have minor flaws especially with bullet concentricity. Another variable I address on a regular basis is the different affect on sizing especially with BP applications. Good post and spot on with detail.


You better be afraid of a ghost!!

"Woody you were baptized in prop wash"..crossfireoops






Woody
#12249002 - 09/03/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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458 Lott Offline
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Casting is pretty simple, until it isn't...

I'm all for cranking out piles of bullets from a 4-6 cavity mold, tumble lubing and loading. Often that provides great results, sometimes the results are less than desired and then the fiddling begins.

That said, I seem to learn something new with every mold, and every gun I load cast for. And a global keep it simple just doesn't always work because there are issues of throat and/or forcing cone dimensions, barrel twist rate, pressure, bullet bearing length, etc.,

Some people are itinerant tinkerers, and the journey for them is more important than the destination. Nothing wrong with that, it's a hobby, whatever turns your crank.


45 Trumps 44, MAGA

Alaska Bush People are neither
#12250429 - 09/04/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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HawkI Offline
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Hard cast is just another option in the toolbox. If you don't want to use lube or coatings, it helps eliminate the pressure of friction that causes leading (at the bullet base) as pressures and loads get heavier, Provided the finish is good and the fit is a gradual taper from case mouth to muzzle.

Folks get caught up in sizing because its a way to make bullets fit a multitude of guns. This might not be optimum, but its an expedient solution and cheaper for most than altering every gun to have the same dimensions. In some cases its used simply because alloys vary and diameters do the same.

Lube isn't a gasket and doesn't seal anything. Talk about wive's tales.
Your explanation of tumble lube and having the right mixture for pressure/velocity is evidence. If lube wasn't so important, it wouldn't matter what mixture for pressure and velocity, just acting as a "gasket". Lube isn't on the nose, simply because the pressure is greatest at the base of the bullet and the thermal breakdown of the alloy is caused by that pressure, friction and the heat from friction, causing the lead to melt and break down. Bearing Babbitt works in the same way. No lube or thermal jacket, no Babbitt.
If a bullet nose needs a lube groove, the gun blew up way before it got to that point.

Powder coating is just an extension of paper patching or jackets or lube. Its a barrier that keeps the lead from thermal breakdown through friction but breakdown can also occur inside a bullet jacket as a lead core strips engagement within the jacket. This is what happens when cheap/unbalanced bullets or thin jacketed are shot too fast (high heat) or through a faster twist with jacketed bullets.


" 'Hey look at me!' Who gives a schit about YOU. There's ten other guys out there".
Dick Butkus

#12250815 - 09/04/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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45_100 Offline
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I run cast bullets through a sizer-lubricater to lube them and seat the gas check. I think gas checks help a lot to prevent leading. Never had a problem with unsized cast bullets. Just makes the lubrication easier.

If it moves lube it. If it doesn't move paint it.

#12250819 - 09/04/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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Hope I'm not over thinking this.

#12250841 - 09/04/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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If you have a technique that works for you and you're happy with the results, you're no overthinking it.

I've tried a variety of techniques when I was either unhappy with the accuracy, leading or the process took to long and I was looking to increase production.


45 Trumps 44, MAGA

Alaska Bush People are neither
#12251372 - 09/04/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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Creeker Offline
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Casting, sizing, lubing, loading & shooting has always been a simple thing for me.


Joshua 1:9
#12251409 - 09/04/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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Steve Redgwell Offline
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Pretty much. With the exception of an unusual firearm chamber, it's straightforward.

Most of the magic was conjured by men who were paid by the word. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I blame the Internet too.

When the lead reaches 666 degrees, something must be sacrificed to Galena, Dark Lord of Lead, or your molds will fail.


Safe Shooting!
Steve Redgwell
www.303british.com

Ctg/rifle books, more!

Merda taurorum animas conturbit
#12251535 - 09/04/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: Steve Redgwell]  
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HawkI Offline
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Originally Posted by Steve Redgwell
When the lead reaches 666 degrees, something must be sacrificed to Galena, Dark Lord of Lead, or your molds will fail.

There is nothing but lies in Satanic versus, but sans the 666, its pretty much gospel according to lead.....


" 'Hey look at me!' Who gives a schit about YOU. There's ten other guys out there".
Dick Butkus

#12251694 - 09/05/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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Size and bell the case neck with a Lyman M die, load and shoot. Pretty simple. Unique has become my powder of choice for plinking loads in .30-06 and .35 Whelen, pleasant to shoot and accurate.

#12253474 - 09/05/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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DigitalDan Offline
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I prefer overthinking the subject.

Powder coating? In the next life maybe.

I don't plink and the only color that counts is red.


I am..........disturbed.

I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters. Do they just give you a bra and say, โ€œHere, fill this out?โ€



#12254937 - 09/06/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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FlyboyFlem Online content
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Sizing does matter in my world, it aren't the 1800's anymore where an ODG [ old dead guy ] casts a hunk of lead wraps it in spit soaked cloth or bear grease and half azz guesses with a poke of BP. Did it work? sure it did just like the buffler hunters who recovered spent rounds to melt down and kill again. Today's weapons although a tad more sophisticated still use the same principals only somewhat refined to serve their newer technology .I've spent too much time over my casting years now numbering about 50 to believe that sizing is voodoo science and can give you many examples of how bullets in specific calibers react to said topic.

There's an old thread of mine here somewhere about the 45 cal Gould HP bullet..To simplify and elevate a bunch of typing this was cast from a very undersized Lyman mold actually dropping in the.4545 neighborhood...I lubed and loaded this ricochet rabbit as cast since it practically fell through the sizer then preceded to chase it with a charge of H4895 launched via my 45/90 lever gun..Chrono vel was average 1395 with a five string variation of 92 fps..needless to say accuracy was all over over the spectrum...next up same bullet only with a 2F BP bump velocity down to 1280 but string deviation only 26 fps.with decent accuracy.This test had not so much to do with sizing or lack thereof but with the inherent differences between the two powders on a very undersized bullet.

The other example very close to home is the 45 Colt..In my case for rifle applications at present..Too many Colt shooters can't seem to grasp their problem of casting or shooting an undersized bullet yet whine about blow back with ugly sooty cases and the inherent behavior of the cartridge not sealing the chamber.. Most standard Colt molds are cut .452 for the big 45 and I'd say that was a rather presumptuous move on their part without much real time testing.

This is by no means a rant just some honest hard line evaluation of how I see the overall picture..."sizing do matter"


You better be afraid of a ghost!!

"Woody you were baptized in prop wash"..crossfireoops






Woody
#12256613 - 09/07/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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Creeker Offline
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Quote
Sizing does matter in my world


Mine also.


Joshua 1:9
#12268812 - 09/13/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: nanuk]  
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I had some surprising results testing a hot-for-alloy load in a 44 Mag lever gun, and again the same bullet in some loads in a 444. Powder coating some rather soft bullets that were not flying very true at the high pressure I was shooting them caused them to cluster rather tightly at 110 yds. I shot some more of the powder coated ones to see if the first 5 were a fluke, and they were not. So I shot the bare lubed ones again, and again, they were all over the target. So I sighted in the powder coated ones (a hollow pointed version of the Lyman 290 by NOE) for an inch high at 110, and I'll kill something with them this season.

In the 444, I had the same issue with bare lubed bullets that was again solved with powder coating. The difference was dramatic. Whatever the problem the powder solved, it definitely solved it. I'm glad to have that capability in my "tool kit' now.

Another addition to this thread: I shoot Lee's version of the 311299 that I badgered out a bit to have the bore-riding portion fit the lands of my 30-06 with the quenched WW I prefer to cast and shoot with for everything around 2k fps. I then tumble lubed the sized (.310), checked bullets, including the bore-riding nose. Before the badgering, that bullet didn't shoot. At all. I diagnosed the problem properly, because now it shoots the smallest groups at 100 yds with that bullet that this particular rifle produces with any bullet (right at .3" for 5). I use a stout 30 grains of IMR4198 to give me right at 2000fps in commercial cases, and 29.5gr in old military cases, which is just a hair warmer. I've not tried shooting them with bare noses. Why would I?


I belong on eroding granite, among the pines.
#12276500 - 09/17/17 Re: Over-thinking cast bullets [Re: Creeker]  
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30Gibbs Offline
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Originally Posted by Creeker
Casting, sizing, lubing, loading & shooting has always been a simple thing for me.


This .....


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