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davemarse
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Posted: August 25 2006 at 3:20pm | IP Logged Quote davemarse

Ok Gents,

Here's some more info I have been gathering:

I reslugged both an AK and SKS.... a couple of times.

I repoured with straight WW. No quenching.

This is what I came up with.

AK Bore............ .313
SKS Bore........... .312
cast ww............ .310

This is what I'm thinking about doing. Lapping out my mould to .314.

Please give me your comments as well as any info on how to enlarge my mould if you think this is the way to go.
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Leftoverdj
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Posted: August 25 2006 at 3:36pm | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

The hard part of lapping is getting a screw straight and concentric into the base of a bullet to use as a shank. I do it in a lathe but some folks have managed to do it with a drill by using the sprue hole as a guide. Get a handle on the shank. A spare drill chuck is the easiest. Coat the bullet with fine valve grinding compound, keeping it off the GC shank. Place the coated bullet into the mould cavity and close the mould on it. Hand turn the bullet while squeezing the mould shut. It takes very little pressure at first, but increase until the mould is fully closed and the bullet is turning freely.

Degrease the mould and cast a few. Measure. The mould should be casting 2-3 thous larger than it was. If you need to repeat, use a bullet from your test batch. .004 is about the most I would try to enlarge a mould.

btw, the same method with a finer abrasive is a great way to deburr a mould that is stubborn about dropping bullets.

It's a good idea to use an electric pencil to mark a modified mould.

Edited by Leftoverdj on August 25 2006 at 5:32pm
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CBRick
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Posted: August 25 2006 at 4:45pm | IP Logged Quote CBRick

Diddo Leftover. A trick I learned is to put the valve grinding compound on a hard, flat surface like a piece of glass and roll the bullet firmly to imbed it in the lead. As Leftover said, be sure not to get the abrasive on the gas check shank, if you enlarge this you won't be able to put a gas check on it.

Rick
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Lt 401
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Posted: September 12 2006 at 2:49pm | IP Logged Quote Lt 401

I'm new here, but I've been loading cast bullets for over 25 years. Have you actually tried shooting some of those 130 grain bullets you made just to see how they work? You might be surprised. I've found the 7.62x39 very forgiving with cast lead. I've loaded many hundreds with both varieties of gas checked Lee designs mentioned above, and they shot way better than factory. The pointed design fed perfectly in both the AK and SKS, while the flatnosed hung up sometimes in the AK. This year I thought I'd try out the Lyman 130 grain bullet you have to save on the gas checks. I shoot a lot, so the cost CAN make a difference in the long run. Even though it has no gas check and is a little undersized, it still outshoots factory as far as accuracy, no leading, and cycles the action of both rifles. I don't shoot it beyond 50 yards, but for fun shooting with an AK or SKS, what else more could I ask? They are easy to make, and they work. I use 23 grains of 748, only because I have a keg of it to use up, and it works OK. When the keg is gone, I'll switch to 2400, my favorite powder for all the other cast bullet rifle loads I use. Sorry, I haven't chronographed this one yet.
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davemarse
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Posted: September 12 2006 at 4:19pm | IP Logged Quote davemarse

LT 401,

Thanks for your input. I've been working very hard on getting this right. Here's where I am now, I am using a modified Lyman Mould (#311410) 130 gr. no gas check. Modified meaning I Beagled the mould using aluminum tape.

Cast size .315.. sized to .314 Lyman orange magic lube. My bore dia. is .313.

I loaded 30 rds. Fed. Case Win. Primer, 25 grs. 1680 AA and am ready to test. I will post my results as soon as I get them. (range duty this weekend!)

Please post your comments.



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CBRick
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Posted: September 12 2006 at 4:24pm | IP Logged Quote CBRick

Lt 401, welcome.

davemarse, eagerly waiting for the results.

Rick
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Lt 401
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Posted: September 12 2006 at 5:46pm | IP Logged Quote Lt 401

For what its worth, when developing recipes for autoloaders, instead of loading a whole batch and hoping for the best, I start low and load only three or four at a time until I get reliable functioning. I can shoot at my home, so that makes it easy. Once I reach that threshhold, then I make batches of 10 rounds in increasing powder increments, and shoot them for group size at 50 yards. Once I find the best two or three variations, I repeat them again on another day to verify the tests. 10 shot groups tend to minimize lucky anomalies. Accuracy with the 130 grain bullets with no gas checks might not be QUITE what you would get with gas check bullets, but with AK's and SKS's with iron sights, I don't find the difference significant. I DO find that they are just plain fun to make and shoot, and isn't that what its all about when shooting cast lead in these guns? When I want the utmost in accuracy, I'll go with gas checks in one of the bolt guns. Even then, the limiting factor is the iron sights (and older eyes) more than anything else.
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davemarse
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Posted: September 12 2006 at 6:30pm | IP Logged Quote davemarse

If I had my choice LT.. I'd shoot em in a bucket in my reloading room,unfortunately my supervisor (wife) won't let me. I'll load a few more with different loads for my test.
Thanks for your comments.

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Lt 401
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Posted: September 12 2006 at 7:08pm | IP Logged Quote Lt 401

I'll check back in to see your results in a couple of days. I'm off now to go do my firearms instructor's recertifications at our state academy.
What I use for my function testing is an old Detroit Bullet Trap in my garage. It handles anything up to 2,000 fps, and all of my rifle cast bullet loads I've chrono'ed so far were all between 1,400 and 1,800 fps. You just have to ensure a proper air flow to avoid the fumes. It sure saves trips to the range. What's more, it gives me the lead back for recycling!
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davemarse
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Posted: September 18 2006 at 2:19pm | IP Logged Quote davemarse

Mabey I need to rethink this whole thing. Here are the results of my weekend shooting 7.62X39 cast bullets.
Rifle: AK
Bore: .313
Bullet: Modified Lyman #311410 130gr sized .314
Powder: AA1680 25grs.
Case: once fired Win
Primer: Win
Heavy crimp.
Loaded on 550 Dillon

In a word it "SUCKED". I had no luck whatsoever. NO... I REPEAT NO GROUPINGS... AT 50 YDS!!!!! Bullets were all over the place. Fired over 60 rds on a rest.
Same results with the SKS.

I've come to a few conclusions.

A progressive press cannot easily load this round. Correct neck expansion is difficult without trimming EACH round to the same exact lenghts. Seems like it can be done but not with alot of effort. Crimping also was problematic with Lyman dies.

Although little or no leading was evident in the bore, muzzle leading occured and more importantly gas port and gas piston leading did cause problems after about 60 rounds.
Jamming of the entire action became a big problem at this point. Action had to be opened by ramming the bolt arm against a post. I can only attribute this to leading.

Firing standard jacketed bullets gave the typical results that you would expect from either rifle, in other words it ain't the gun, and with all modesty it wasn't the shooter.

I'm forced to rethink the whole cast thing for these autoloaders. I don't believe they were ever designed to shoot cast loads.

Using a progressive loader I can't recommend the use of cast bullets, unless I'm missing something. Would like to hear from those that have had success using a Dillon or other progressives to load large amounts of cast rifle cartidges for autoloaders.

Please comment.
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Lt 401
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Posted: September 18 2006 at 4:40pm | IP Logged Quote Lt 401

I hate to see you give up so soon. When testing loads you often have some combinations that stink, yet find a great load that is only a grain or so away. Maybe your load was just a bit too hot for good grouping? It can be done, I've been doing it for years, and I don't use any magical recipes.
Maybe my bullets have been undersized, but they work with no leading. I've used the 150 gr. Lee C309 gas checked flatnosed bullet with 20 gr. of 3031, 24 of H335 or 23 of 748; also the Lee 160 gr. gas checked round nose with 23 of 748; and your Lyman 130 gr. bullet with 23.5 of 748. I used these powders because I wanted to use up old stocks of powder, and when they're gone, I'll probably switch to 2400 which works great with my other rifles. I size at .314, but the sizer die hardly touches the bullets at all. I use homemade lube (1/3 beeswax, 1/3 parafin, 1/3 wheel bearing grease) and the lead is basic wheelweights or reclaimed range stuff; nothing fancy. All of these loads shoot better than surplus at 50 yd.
Only the roundnosed bullets feed reliably through my AK, though, but all will cycle the action just fine. All feed well through my Yugo SKS's.
I DO full length resize and trim the cases every time, and I use a C & H press worked basically as a single stage.
I ran 60 rounds myself through the AK yesterday, had no leading, grouped well as usual. Don't give up quite yet. It can be done, and its cheaper and more fun to shoot your own cast lead than the hard to get factory stuff.
Try dropping your charge weight a few grains and work your way up. Next you could try another powder. I have seemingly identical Mosins, and one loves 2400 and hates 3031, and the other is just the opposite. Who knows why?
Finally, going to a gas check design costs you more per bullet, but it IS easier to find good loads using them.
Maybe I'm just lucky, but that's what I do, and it works.
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davemarse
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 4:19am | IP Logged Quote davemarse

Thanks LT,

You make a convincing case, my problem seems I don't know how to set up the Dillon 550 to crank out these rounds in the amounts I would like. My ultimate goal would be several hundred per hour. I don't believe the press can handle this load.

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Leftoverdj
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 9:56am | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

Well, yeah.

If you try to drive plain base, aircooled WW bullets to around 2300 fps with a max charge of 680, you are gonna get major leading and less than shotgun accuracy. That's a given. To get that bullet to work at all in an SKS or AK-47, you are going to have to settle for the lightest load that that will cycle the action and you are going to have to waterquench the bullets.

If you want full power 7.62x39 loads, you are going to have to use a gas checked bullet of the hardest alloy you can manage, probably oven heat treated WW.

The problem ain't in the cast bullets. It's that you don't know what you are doing. If you want to learn, we'll be glad to reach, but don't blame cast bullets because you don't know how to use them.

You're also going to have to trim those cases to a uniform length, but probably only every third or fourth firing.
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stuffit
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 11:13am | IP Logged Quote stuffit



stuffit

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"Everybody changes their minds sometimes but a fool and a mule."
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CBRick
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 12:21pm | IP Logged Quote CBRick

You are right of coarse Leftoverdj, but that's pretty harsh words for a newbie. Its kinda like a newbie at the range, ya want to encourage them and assure that they have fun, not scare em off.

As for the Dillon I can't help, never used one. I am a single stage, one thing at a time & pay attention to what your doing sort a guy.

Accurate Arms lists your charge of 25.0 gr 1680 as the max with 130 gr jacketed bullets, 22.5 gr as the starting load. They also list the C.U.P. as 47,900. I can see very clearly why your first results were extremely disappointing. Air cooled WW alloy is about 11 BHN and should be used with aproximately 16,000 PSI. C.U.P. and PSI are apples and oranges but still, that's a huge difference.

your WW alloy is fine but you are going to have to oven heat treat it before it will come close to working. The alloy simply must be able to withstand the pressure you are subjecting it to. With your 25.gr load you didn't have bullets coming out of the muzzle, you had blobs of putty. The reason the leading was worse closer to the muzzle and the gas port is because the soft bullet collapsed squeezing out all of the lube very early on.

If you would like to continue on there are a lot of knowledgable people on this forum that can add a great deal of expertise and experience. Don't give up on a great hobby for an early failed experiment.

Rick

Edited by CBRick on September 19 2006 at 12:29pm
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davemarse
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 3:24pm | IP Logged Quote davemarse

Ok, I'll agree I don't know what I'm doing.

Here's my question. Has anyone produced these rounds using a Dillon 550 or 650?
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CBRick
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 3:30pm | IP Logged Quote CBRick

Dave, again, I have never used the Dillon but as far as a press is concerned, a press is a press. I can't see any reason why the Dillon shouldn't make perfectly acceptable loaded ammo. Possibly some set up tricks or something that someone that uses the Dillon could answer.

What is it doing that it seems its not working?

Rick
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davemarse
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 3:43pm | IP Logged Quote davemarse

I think neck expansion. It seems I will never get consistent neck expansions without trimming each round.

If this is the case, it seems impractical to mass produce this round? What do you think?
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CBRick
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 4:06pm | IP Logged Quote CBRick

hhmmm . . . by "consistent neck expansions" do you mean that your getting inconsistent belling of the case mouth? If so, this is brass length and would be the same regardless of which press you use. If there is a lot of variation with the belling it would be pretty hard to get a consistent crimp.

If I have correctly interpreted the problem you will have the same issue with either a single stage or progressive press. The brass will need to be trimmed to a uniform length to solve that problem.

You said "mass produce", how many are you trying to make?

Rick
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Leftoverdj
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Posted: September 19 2006 at 4:17pm | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

You're going to have to trim the brass to a uniform length to get consistent expansion, flaring and belling with any bottleneck cartridge with any press. Generally you only have to do it every third or fourth loading. You can do several hundred an hour with a Lee trimmer in a drill press.

I don't use a Dillon, but I do know they are used to load huge numbers of cartridges for the most prestigious matches in the world. I can't think of any reason the 7.62x39 would be more difficult to load than the 7.62x51.

If high production is very important to you, you'd probably be better off with commercial jacketed bullets. The actual loading of cast should take no more time than jacketed once set up, but making high quality gas checked rifle bullets is very time consuming. Plain based bullets are much faster, but they are unlikely to meet your needs. At anything over very modest pressures, gas cuts the base of the bullet and accuracy disappears.

I've managed to make Lyman 311410 function my SKS and give as good accuracy as milsurp ammo, but my velocities were down around 1500 fps, and I reached my charge by starting way low with 5744 and working up by grains until the rifle functioned reliably. In my rifle, I was able to reach function before accuracy vanished, but that may not be the case in all rifles.
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