Cast bullets

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Calhoun, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I was wondering if any of you people whom reload out there cast your own bullets & hunt with them. I have done so in the U.S sucessfully for White tail deer & varmints. I took some reduced loads with cast bullets to Africa on my last safari hoping for some small cats & or Duiker & Steenbuck but no opportunities came up.
    I know most people don't cast them much alone use them, but having shot Metallic silhouette for 19 years and the amount of shooting I've done over the years I would have been broke along time ago. Just wondering if anyone wants to chat about cast bullets or wants to learn more about them as I'm quite knowledgeable in the subject!
     
  2. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Calhoun..............back when I shot a handgun a lot I use to cast wadcutters and then I also use to cast 300 grain bullets for a .45-70 , then 350 grain bullets for a .416 Rigby until I sold them. (Why did I do that? :confused:)

    Have not messed around with it much in the last 3 or 4 years. If I get another .416 or a Lott I will probably start doing it again. I have about 500 pounds of wheel weights sitting around collecting dust.
     
  3. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    I used to have a 45/70 in a Thompson contender & we casted 410 gr & 500 gr bullets they were a lot of fun to shoot in silhouette matches. The 500 gr were a hand full in mine, mine was not ported but my buddies was. I got rid of that barrel a few years back, Why!
    I cast & shoot a lot of bullets in 30 caliber, 7mm, & 357. fun to fool around with if you have time on your hands. They aren't the quickest for reloading & need alot of tender loving care! I have plenty of lead. about 500 lbs. of wheel weights & about 1000 lbs of stereotype lead.
    My wife says I have enough lead & bullets to start a revolution! I doubt that!
     
  4. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I think it is funny how the availability of lead wheel weights had changed over the years. A sign of how few are casting bullets now.

    I can remember going to tire stores and garages and having to get on a waiting list. Now most are beggin me to take it away as no one wants the stuff and they are having to pay someone to come and take it, plus a hazardous waste fee.

    Mind you I have gotten lazy as well..............I just do not have the time or simply do not make the time to cast bullets for the smaller caliber cartridges. I probably will just continue to do it for the big bores for making cheap plinking rounds.
     
  5. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Yes I remember in the 90's when you had to get on the list for wheel weights Or buy a case of beer to get ahead of some one!! Did you ever hunt with those loads for your 416 Rigby or did you just practice & plink? As I said I shot a few animals with cast bullets all out of a handgun but never shot one with a rifle. God only knows how many cast bullets have been down the barrel of my 30/06, 30/30, or my 308!!
     
  6. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    No, I never used a cast bullet in the Rigby on big game, just for plinking. However, I have taken a couple of black bears with cast bullets in the .45-70and they worked well. That would be my total experience with using cast bullets from a metallic cartridge on big game......I have of course used cast bullets for big game in a muzzleloader.
     
  7. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH Senior Member

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    Giday guys, I have been casting my own for some time now and had a Hoch mould made for my 404. It casts a 350gn GC in Lino that I load over 74gn Varget (ADI2208) for 2365 fps and very good accuracy. Anything short of DG would be fair game with it. The lino is getting harder to come by with the change in printing styles over the last few years. Can get 2420fps with a bullet over 87gn H4350 (adi 2209) from the same mould in 90/10 ww to lino ( although it weighs 370gn) heat treated so that is an option for later and as the mould has a decent meplat will do to put a bit of venison in the freezer. 7x57 is another story but the big bore is very satisfying.

    Von Gruff.
     
  8. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Von Gruff.. I have had a great deal of success shooting cast bullets with the 7 mm's. I use the 145 gr RCBS silhouette mold & have had great success in every gun I own. Depending on the mixture of lead.. I have a huge quantity of type metal the bullets range in weight from 144 - 149 gr. I generally use 1/2 w/w & 1/2 type mixture.
    This is a gas check mold & I have been able to get 2200 fps out of the hand guns & about 2450 in the rifles!! I never tried faster in the rifle fearing leading the barrel.. I also have a Saeco 162 gr mold with gas check that shoots great in the 7's also!!
     
  9. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH Senior Member

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    Calhoun, my 7x57 bullet is the 160gn Lyman and I had excellent results in the Ruger I used to have but have just built a custom 98 and where I was able to load the longer bullet out to have the driving bands at the case mouth with the new tighter chambered rifle I have to seat so deep that the driving bands are nearly in past the neck shoulder junction. This bore is a little tighter and the nose or bore riding portion - wont. Have two options I think unless you can think of an alternative that dosent involve getting another mould made. Can try casting in ww and ht which might (should) give .004 more shrinkage than the lino and allow the nose to be bore riding for propper seating depth or to ream a smaller sizing die and size the nose portion only, after normal .285 sizing. Have just finished the rifle and have been getting the bolt mounted aperture sight regulated for hunting loads. Next will be a target load with the scope in QD mounts to get sorted so the cast loads aren't urgent for now.

    Von Gruff.
     
  10. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Von Gruff.. I'm not sure if the heat treating with w/w will work you can try it but I had no success with the one gun I had the same problem with.. I have a custom hand gun in 7mm TCU that was the same way..
    After talking to our local cast bullet guru he suggested nose sizing the bullets.. After putting the gas check on turn the bullet upside down & place in a 277 sizing die & push down until the bullet is about 1/2 way down.. This allowed me to load the bullet at normal depth as it fit in the chamber & with that gun the accuracy is great.. It's a pain in the behind butt but it worked and I still go through it every year. I just nose size a whole bag of bullets before I grease them up!!I also with a 7mm BR barrel that I had special ordered I eventually sent back & had a 1 degree taper cut in the barrell for loading cast bullets. Had I known this other guy at the time I probably wouldn't have had to do this!!!
     
  11. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH Senior Member

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    Calhoun I figured that would probably be the way I would have to go. I intended to slug the bore and if need be get a .264 sizing die and ream it out as a nose of .277 is a force fit in the barrel. Think I will have to go to about .276 or there abouts to get a nice bore riding nose section. Think I will try to taper the ream for fit that will be to optomum length. That is just a little better than a touch fit when chambered so ejecting a live round is not a de-bulleting as well.Try for min pressure allignment with end of driving bands at mouth of case.

    Von Gruff.
     
  12. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    That sounds like that should work.. If you are having someone else cut the teper you might want to load a dummy round & tell them you want that to fit.. Your problem may be solved once & for all!! Yeah that pulling the bullet out of live rounds irritates me as I hate cleaning up all that gun powder!!
     
  13. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff AH Senior Member

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    Calhoun I have come up with a better solution to the nose sizing dilemma that might also work for others. I took an unused .353 lubriciser die and had the top end turned out to except the Wilson Benchrest necksizing buttons and had the stem turned down to .273 for the length of the button. This allows a simple change of sizing buttons from .273 up. As the buttons are relatively inexpensive I can try the .275 and .276 for the nose portion of the bullet to get proper bore riding nose section and stay with the lino bullet. I had one of the local city scrap dealers on notice to call me if he was offered any lino as it is getting harder to come by and I got a call yesterday to say he had 200 kg in at NZ$1.60 (US$0.99) a kg. So I should be right for some time to come.

    In theory the bullets I have range from a meplat of .135 up to .208 so a stem turned down to .208 would suffice for all bullets with just a change of button from 22 cal on up.

    Von Gruff
     
  14. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ..Von Gruff that should work like a champ! It also gives you a lot more versatility for sizing right to the specified dimension, which in theory should make our loads more accurate!! I have roughly 800-1000 pounds of type metal left - I'm sure I will have more than I will ever use in my lifetime. I picked it up in Pennsylvania back in the mid 90's for 10 cents a pound! It cost more for gas to get there & back than the type did!!
     
  15. daniel paydar

    daniel paydar New Member

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    hey
    i have done it about 40 years:D most in caliber 3030 casting 170 gr fp. i used many diffrent alloys, but the best i got was 50% type metal ad pure lead. i have used scrap wheel weight too. without gas - chek seizd to 0.309 inch i got very good accuraccy very nice plinking and good för low flying claybirds load using 10 grain unique powder and nothing more, i had no missfire not even a single time. i used 220 grain lee mould too, but they key holed even att higher velocity using gas-chek and norma 201 powder:(. i tried the same 220 gr cast in my 3006 ruger with faster rifling twist and they key holed less:D . i find casting very fun, but cast loads are not allowed for big game hunting here in sweden . then it has always been for fun rather than for hunting.
    best regards
    danny
     
  16. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ..Daniel the 30/30 was one of the most fun calibers I have used cast bullets in. I use the Saeco 150 gr flatnose with a load of 34 grs. win 748 in my T/C 14" contender barrel & also in my win. model 94. Both loads are very accurate> I also have casted a lot of Saeco 165 gr truncated cone bullets which I've used IMR 4064 or 3031 with excellent results.
    ....both of those bullets work quite well also in my 30/06. I've also casted RCBS 200 gr silhouette bullets which worked well in my 30/06 but I never considered it in my 30/30. HMMM? guess that gives me something new to TRY for the 30/30 this winter!!!
     
  17. daniel paydar

    daniel paydar New Member

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    hey
    yes i love 3030 for fun shooting and huting too. once i had a win 94 memorial NRA 100 years and i loved it, but now my son have it. i gave it to him when he become graduate as a gift.it was very accurat and very welbalanced gun for fast shooting at moving targets, I had a savage 340 in 3030 too and it was a very accurate and nice gun too. i shot thousends of rounds with it most handloaded with cast bullets.for plinking i used unique and for hunting loads with jacketed bullets and norma 201 and 202 powders with very good result.neither of my 3030scould stabilize 220 grain cast bullets, but very accurate with 170 gr flat point and 120 gr rn cast.
    cheers
    danny
     
  18. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    I just finished reading "Shooting The British Double Rifle" and now I am thinking about shooting cast bullets, at least for practice. It is expensive shooting Woodligh's for practice. I have never cast a bullet in my life and I dont no if I want to, it seems like it would take a lot to get set up. Is there anyone that sells cast bullets .510 dia. 450 to 570 grns in weight. At least in the beginning I would like to just buy some and try it. If they work out then it might make sence to start casting my own. ?
     
  19. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ..I'm not certain if there are any cast bullet manufacturers out there casting bullets of that size. I don't get all the magazines I used to as I haven't been shooting competitively the last couple years.
    ..If you do find them they will probably be expensive as it takes a lot of time to cast big bullets as the molds get so darn hot & they have to keep a consistent heat or the bullets will crystalize or frost. I have casted a few in 45/70 years ago & they were some what of a pain but they turned out nice!
    ... It wouldn't be a terrible price to get set up & started maybe a few hundred dollars but casting big bullets aren't for rookies. If you do start shooting cast bullets you will need expander dies to expand the case neck to accept the cast bullet. Cast bullets also are in different diameters & to shoot them accurately you need the right size for your barrel.
    ...Last but not least you certainly can't drive cast bullets as fast as normal bullets. If you keep them down around 2000 fps you are ok if you are shooting gas checked bullets. If the bullets are plain based you better stich to 1500 fps. If you exceed these speeds you may experience some major barrel leading that is not fun by any means to get out of the barrel.
    ...By no means am I trying to discourage you as Bullet casting & shooting is a great past time. But I would suggest unless you are going to shoot major amounts of bullets& have the time to read & really learn the art, I would suggest buying some cheap Remington or Winchester bullets for practice.
    ....It takes years to get good at casting bullets consistent weights etc. & starting with the big boys isn't the way to start!!
     
  20. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info. You have prity much confirmed what I suspected. I guess some time in the future if I have the time on my hands I might give casing bullets a try. For now I will look for some cheeper jacketed bullets for plinking, they probably wont regulate very well but I can experiment with the loads a little and see what I can do.
     

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