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I've got a Win 1905 in .35 SLR - came down the line from GGDad.
I've determined to "make it speak" for the first time in ~50 years.
What hardness / mixture of lead, tin would you recommend?
Books say it should get ~ 1400 fps.


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Mark, I have not messed with lead in rifles, only pistols, but powder coating is supposed to help run softer lead, faster. I am sure there is plenty of information available. miles


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That's what ScottF tells me, Miles.
I'm just not sure what to try. I may PM DD and pick his brain.
I've only cast for handguns, and NOT hot loaded 357's, for example - or rifles.


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First step, as with anything new, is to do a chamber cast to determine throat diameter and select whatever cast bullet matches that, or really close. If that detail is attended to then for 1400fps, give or take, I would employ an alloy in the 9-11bhn range, gas check optional if 1400fps adhered to. A good lube on a naked lead bullet will suffice, especially at low velocity. I'm slowly recognizing the worth of powder coating, but view it as an expedient for using really soft alloys (for reliable expansion) at higher rifle velocities. (Even at that, traditional naked bullet approaches work A-ok if strict protocols are adhered to, so the jury hasn't fully decided yet!)

The only times I got my t*t in a wringer with poor performance was when I brazenly went at it without first doing a chamber cast. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't, because every gun maker who ever drew a breath has had their own ideas about chamber/throat/leade dimensions (SAAMI standards notwithstanding, they only go so far), and there are always tolerances in machine work plus tool wear - so a wise guy shouldn't assume anything.


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I personally would go for a 10-12 bhn and see how they shoot. This year I took 2 deer so far with a 3-3-94 alloy run at 1900 fps. That was about 12 bhn, that worked very well. I do powder coat, I prefer it to traditional lube.


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Reviving this old thread, the 1905 is a semi-auto.
I do intend to powder coat.
Does the semi-auto aspect require a harder alloy?

At this point, I'm doin' more thinkin' than doin'. smile
Since it'll take a custom mold, I want to get it right the first time.


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1400 ish? Wheelweights with a little tin for good fillout will be hard to beat. After a week or so they will test around Bhn 11 or 12. One advantage of going to the softer side, it will give you a better chance, a wider window if you will, to obturate if your throat seal is not perfect. Lyman #2 is around 15, so the throat must seal, going down to 10-12 the powder charge may make it seal even if it isn't a perfect fit. Food for thought. Powder coating may be the easy button. Not my area.
I notice Accurate molds has 35-180C pattern for the .35-.351 SL's. I once considered the .351 for a Martini Cadet conversion, but have more ideas than money.


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Originally Posted by flintlocke
One advantage of going to the softer side, it will give you a better chance, a wider window if you will, to obturate if your throat seal is not perfect. Lyman #2 is around 15, so the throat must seal, going down to 10-12 the powder charge may make it seal even if it isn't a perfect fit. Food for thought.
I notice Accurate molds has 35-180C pattern for the .35-.351 SL's. I once considered the .351 for a Martini Cadet conversion, but have more ideas than money.

True, mostly. To realize that phenomenon you gotta spank the bullet with a faster burning powder. Using a slow burner, which may well neatly yield desired velocity with a longer pressure curve, will start the bullet on its journey while pushing hot gasses up over and around it for a while before the bullet finally obturates, thus causing leading and probable quick fall off in accuracy. (Obviously ameliorated though by achieving proper bullet fit from the git-go.)

.351 WSL would be cool in a small Martini. Big hurdle though would be engineering the rimless extractor, not impossible but tricky. Why not just go straight to the .357 Magnum or .357 Maxi?

A local rifle loony buddy recently scored a pristine M1905 in .35WSL. Really nifty rifle. We're just starting down the rabbit hole to feed it. Neat/big deal with his rifle: it came with a spare 5-shot magazine! Those things are about as valuable as the guns themselves!


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In true looney fashion, some widow gave me a cigar box of 351 brass. It only made sense to convert a Cadet to use it. Fortunately, it fell through.


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My hardness question relates more to the slam/bang of the loading cycle, than the firing/obturation sequence.
How hard does the alloy need to be, to resist deformation from the magazine to the chamber?


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Yeah, a semi-auto demands a generally harder alloy, except when it doesn't. There's only one way to find out - experiment. I've had them get cut up and deform like crazy in that slam banging, and it didn't effect accuracy much at all, other times it did, or seemed to. Suggestion: load a magazine full, fire one and eject the next one, repeat until the magazine is empty, pick up the unfired ones and examine them, then look at the target to see what happened there. Repeat with different hardness bullets/loads. Draw your own conclusions. There really aren't many shortcuts in matters such as this, when it comes to specific personally owned weapons. The internet and gun writers and conventional wisdom only goes so far, and then a guy has to put rubber on the road and find out for himself.

Remember though, the steering end of a bullet is its base, not its nose.


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Biggest issue with cast is the lube. It melts and mixes with games so it goes everywhere the gasses go.

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Originally Posted by WStrayer
Biggest issue with cast is the lube. It melts and mixes with games so it goes everywhere the gasses go.

This is just one of several instances where powder coated bullets really shine! memtb


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Originally Posted by WStrayer
Biggest issue with cast is the lube. It melts and mixes with games so it goes everywhere the gasses go.

??


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So, is the "slam-bang" in an SLR more violent than that of a levermatic? I'm doubtful. Ran a bunch of BHN 9-10 thru a Model 94 at velocities in the 1700-2100 range with conventional lube and a gas check...no leading and accuracy was acceptable.

50 yard sample:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

What Gnoahhh said in spades. Accuracy pivots on fit, bullet quality and load, far more than BHN. My suggestion for your project, in regards to BHN is 8-9. "Hard" ain't your buddy when shooting low velocity/pressures. Case in point is the .30 Sneezer, which is happy as a pig in mud with BHN9, but will lead a bit with WW/tin alloy at 1050 fps +/-.


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Plain wheelweight metal or something similar would probably work fine if you're just looking for ammo to fire.

Personally I would be looking to replicate the ammo its designed for with the caveat that it needs to be fairly snug in the throats with lead bullets for best results. I'd treat it like a Colt 1911, a broomhandle or Tokarev and run as close to jacketed hardness as I could make, as tight as will function when fouled, but that's what "I" would do. .001 or .002 over the jacketed bullet to start.

Autos of that era, at least the handguns, had very shallow rifling and required jacketed bullets despite relatively low pressure levels. Dead soft lead bullets would strip engagement in them and generally needed backed off until they didn't, sometimes to the point of function issues. I don't know if that's the case with the Winchester SL's, but it would not surprise me.

The powder coated bullets might be the best option in this particular case, since they are essentially a "jacketed" bullet and would still be soft enough to punk up a bit if you choose to hunt with it and be more forgiving in regards to fit and fouling, perhaps feeding as well. Another default is a gas checked design, which will keep the bore in constant condition regardless of alloy hardness, but they generally require more care when sizing and seating the check if you want accuracy.




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