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Subject Topic: Lee 125gr RNFP Mould, Loads? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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2guntom
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Posted: January 06 2007 at 11:45am | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

In the process of switching from commercial cast to bullets of my casting, I had to come up with a 125gr lead bullet for .38 Special. With the commercial cast I had excellent success by driving the bullets with 6.9gr of IMR 800X and 7.1gr of AA#5.

Now, switching to Lee's 2-cavity mould that drops 125gr RNFP
Click HERE
I'm doing my load research again. There isn't a lot of data for 125gr lead which is a real shame and somewhat surprising. For data from most powder companies, you have to go to the "cowboy action" loads. I'm not looking for any cowboy action, just some varmint action .

IMR shows 3.5gr - 5.3gr of Trail Boss
I don't have any TB yet, but I may soon. I've been following the threads about it.

Alliant shows 4.5gr - 6.0gr Unique. I have Unique and it is unique in its results; it either works well, or performs terribly- not much inbetween.

Laser-Cast shows 4.1gr - 5.7gr Unique with their 125gr bullet.

Lyman shows 4.0gr - 5.7gr Unique with their 356242 mould.

I've given up on AA#5 because the local store seems to always be out of it.

I'm looking to use some of Alliant's jacketed data for Blue Dot and Herco with caution.

Does anybody have this mould?
Something similar?
What powder/charges do you use?
What's the results?

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Buffalogun
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Posted: January 06 2007 at 6:04pm | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

2guntom,

I have this same mould and bought it to shoot in my Contender 6.5" 357 Mag. This barrel also chambers and shoots 360 Dan Wesson cases and I'd like to see how fast a good hard alloy could be shot using this 125g bullet.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to really work with it.

I've been taking lessons from "drinks" on alloy hardness, during our trials with the Handi 45-70 and his BHN28 "Nail Keg" bullet.

I hope to get around to working with the 125grf in the coming months. My mould does cast some nice looking bullets.

Here is a pic, along with the Lee 158g that I have:



Mike

Edited by Buffalogun on January 06 2007 at 6:07pm


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2guntom
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Posted: January 06 2007 at 9:43pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

That sounds like quite an interesting project. For the guns I use, I've backed away from the 125gr in a .357 Mag; if I had a TC... Keep me posted on that.

I am curious why you chose this mould over all the other options. I lamented for a while on what to get. I couldn't decide between this one and some of the 9mm truncated cone in similar weights.



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Buffalogun
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Posted: January 07 2007 at 8:49am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

2guntom,

I picked up this mould for making a light practice/varmint/snake round, as it has a nice big lube groove.

Mike

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Leftoverdj
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Posted: January 07 2007 at 10:09am | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

Don't have that mould, but I have shot a pile of 125-135 grain bullets through .38 Specials. I'm too cheap to buy two moulds where one will do, and my 9mm moulds have cast large enough to be usable in .38 Special.

One of my old Lyman manuals has a pile of data for 121 grain bullets. To simplify, you can use up to 5 grains of 7625, Bullseye, Red Dot, or 231. I would not worry about the slight weight difference.

Some of those loads are a bit hot by today's standards, so you may be more comfortable using modern data for 125 grain jacketed bullets. The cast bullets will just give you either a little more velocity or a little less pressure.


Edited by Leftoverdj on January 07 2007 at 10:22am
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2guntom
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Posted: January 09 2007 at 11:33pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

I went through my Lyman manual and it wasn't very helpful. I was shocked because they have answered all kinds of questions for me previously. Of course I was looking at the lead bullet data, not jacketed.

I'll have to go back through all the data (and books) and try to see where I came up with the AA#5 and 800X loads I used on commercial cast. I'll have to do fresh workups.

Ah, it gives me an excuse to do a lot of shooting, not that I need one...

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CB
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Posted: January 12 2007 at 3:00pm | IP Logged Quote CB

i use any 120-125gr bullets i come across priced cheaply, but i haven't used the one you show. right now i am using 125 jhp zero's since the price was right; i use these with 4gr American Select and WSP primer in mixed cases - (edit: i use 5gr in MAG cases). it is very accurate. about 1.5 inches at 25 yards, for five shots rested, from 686. when i do everything right, i occasionally get 1 inch groups. american select is very clean too. but any of the fast powders like bullseye, titegroup, red dot, etc will probably work well.

Edited by CB on January 12 2007 at 3:14pm
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pascalp
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Posted: January 13 2007 at 2:10am | IP Logged Quote pascalp

I use the same bullet/mould with handgun(S&W 67) and rifle (Rossi 357SS).I use also 358-158-SWC plain base depending of my feeling. Both work well and are accurate, mild reload for target shooting.
2 cav mould is good, six cav is far better, if you could find one.


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2guntom
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Posted: January 23 2007 at 9:45pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

I got distracted with my .44 mag for a little while.

From my calculations, I should be able to use a maximum of 7.4gr of 800X and remain within decent pressure ranges. I loaded some at 6.9gr (has worked well with other similar weight bullets), 7.1gr, and 7.3gr. If weather allows, the test commences tomorrow.

I've got to say these sure are cute little buggers when they're loaded.

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2guntom
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Posted: January 27 2007 at 3:38pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

Lee 125gr RFN, WSP, Federal brass, fired through a 4" S&W10 HB @ 13 yards-

7.3gr 800X 1-1/4" (2-1/4" w/called flyer)
7.1gr 800X 1-3/4" (2-1/2" w/called flyer)
7.1gr AA#5 2"
4.8gr 231 2-1/2"
7.5gr Blue Dot 2-1/4"

Still working on these. All the other .38's don't seem to care for this bullet much.



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2guntom
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Posted: February 01 2007 at 12:23pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

leftoverdj, I tried 6.0gr of Unique, but it didn't do well. 4.6gr of Red Dot is better. I'll run up and down from that and see what happens.

I was skimming over the 9mm 125gr data, and it looks very similar to the little bit of 38 Special data for a 125gr lead bullet. It would make sense that a given 9mm load in the short 9mm case would generate from 29k to 35k psi, but the same charge in a 38 special case drops the presssure below 17k psi. Are my dogs barking up the wrong tree here?

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Leftoverdj
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Posted: February 02 2007 at 7:23am | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

2guntom wrote:
leftoverdj, I tried 6.0gr of Unique, but it didn't do well. 4.6gr of Red Dot is better. I'll run up and down from that and see what happens.

I was skimming over the 9mm 125gr data, and it looks very similar to the little bit of 38 Special data for a 125gr lead bullet. It would make sense that a given 9mm load in the short 9mm case would generate from 29k to 35k psi, but the same charge in a 38 special case drops the presssure below 17k psi. Are my dogs barking up the wrong tree here?


Too speculative for me. You might be right on the 9mm/.38 relationship, but you could get in a lot of trouble by being wrong. My feeling is that you are loading too hot for your alloy, and your bullets may be small for your pistol.

When I was shooting a lot of 125-135 grain bullets in .38 Special cases, I was using 3.5 grains of whatever fast pistol powder was at hand: Bullseye, 231, Red Dot, HP-38, etc. They all shot better than I can, and what accuracy testing I did, I did from a machine rest.
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2guntom
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Posted: February 02 2007 at 7:54am | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

Oh! 3.5gr? I'll try that.

I've got 2 guns that shoot 125gr commercial cast well. But that is a different animal; it's a 125gr TC style by Laser Cast/Oregon Trail. They claim their bullets are 24 BHN, so I understand what you are saying; my bullets are cast from wheel weights plus a little salvaged lead from fired rounds.

I need to go back and re-read the topics on alloy versus velocity. I continue to do a lot of reading but it doesn't always sink in till I'm actually doing something directly related.

The other thing I'm thinking about doing is trying the 120-125gr TC mould in the 9mm group of moulds. That would directly mimic the commercial cast, paying adequate respect to alloy differences.

I know I'm pretty thick in the skull, but I am paying attention. When I see it in front me from doing something, then the reading starts to click.

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Posted: February 02 2007 at 6:44pm | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

2 Gun I used Lee's 122gr turcated cone 9mm with so real good results sized to .357 instead of the .355. Loaded on both 357 and 38 spl with of course Blue Dot loads.

Those guys shoot real straight from my model 19 S&W 6"
Hit standing up 410 casings at 75' loads of fun

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2guntom
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Posted: February 02 2007 at 8:05pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

I was digging through my catalogs and came up with a '99 Lee. This was interesting




I saw in the other thread where you showed the 356-120-TC. That mimics the commercial cast I've used that worked so well. You notice in the pic it shows that one as reported accurate by customers.

What Blue Dot loads are you using for 38 Special and 357 Magnum?

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Posted: February 02 2007 at 8:18pm | IP Logged Quote The_Shadow

14 grs Blue Dot for 357 Mag S&W Model 19

Speer #10 Book used 125gr data for 38s of course Blue Dot I think it was 8.2grs also use 4.4 grs Bullseye in the S&W Model 10 2" Barrel.

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Posted: February 02 2007 at 9:34pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

Ah, that would explain it then. Going by the 125gr jacketed data for 125gr in 38 Special, I was at 7.4gr if memory serves. I wasn't juicing 'em up enough.

Glen Fryxell's article shows 4.6gr of Bullseye (for a different bullet, but similar weight) and you're saying 4.4gr. That's good to know.

I'll get these things shooting straight one way or the other.

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Leftoverdj
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Posted: February 03 2007 at 8:26am | IP Logged Quote Leftoverdj

The Lee moulds notoriously cast small. A nominal .356 may actually cast .356 which would make it near useless in most .38s. It is most likely to cast .357 which would be marginal. I got outrageously lucky and got a 356-153-2R that casts just under .359, but you could not pry that one away from me.

Were I in need of another mould, I'd buy one of the .38 designs to make sure of getting a fat enough bullet. It still might cast smaller than I would like, but my chances would be be better.
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Posted: February 08 2007 at 7:29pm | IP Logged Quote 454PB

2Gun, how did those 358402 Lyman boolits work for you? They are very close to the Lee 356-120-TC in design.
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2guntom
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Posted: February 08 2007 at 10:22pm | IP Logged Quote 2guntom

They are still sitting in the boxes. I don't want to burn them all up in testing and have little or none left when I'm done.

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, in 38 Special those gave me 6" of penetration in sand. I'll have to go back and reference the "penetration and breakage" thread. The tapered barrel model 10 seems to like its 125gr driven by 6.9gr of 800X.

Trying other powders than AA#5, I hope to find something that works for the heavy barrel 10. It likes the 125gr, but only AA#5 under them. Red Dot might be the ticket, Unique didn't get close.

---edit---

It was 7.0gr of 800X. They sure look good



Edited by 2guntom on February 08 2007 at 10:46pm


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