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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 29 2017 at 7:53am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Lately it's been hit and miss with my casting. Things are, for the most part, good. Casting with the Lyman 358665 double cavity Rex fixed me up with has been great! They drop from the mould exactly at .358". Dead perfect for tumble lube with LLA. The mould casts fast and when at temp the sprue drops away from the plate with a single tap and the bullets fall from the mould when opened. They're slightly rough and perfect for tumble lube. An accurate and heavy (162gr) wide flat nose with a fantastic deep tapered crimping groove. A joy to load with my old 310 tools. Thanks Rex!

Having conquered the issues I had with Lee moulds, I've been casting stunningly beautiful 200gr.429 RNFP with a double cavity. Being of the latest design from Lee, it has none of the flaws the earlier moulds had. This one drops dead perfect .429" and they lend themselves well to the LLA tumble lube method also. Extremely accurate from my EAA Bounty Hunter SAA .44mag with modest loads. Also a fast and easy mould.

However, I was trying to heed the call for a 358429 hollow point from a mould I've had for decades. Unfortunately I can't get it to cast right these days. Nose is fine. The HP is well filled. But the base comes out with edges missing and has what some call "worm trails" in it. Checked the metal temp. Good. Sprueplate not too tight. Might try to loosen it up a little more. But I used to cast great HP's with this mould. Maybe those easy casting cowboy bullets have just spoiled me!

But in the .38Spl world for me the 358665 has taken over my old Ideal darlin's I've cast for ages with. Granted, those oldies are from when you had only single cavity moulds and life moved at a slower pace. And also bullets were slightly larger then too and sizing and lube involved a mechanical operation. So it's safe to say that Rex fixed me up with my "Super bullet" and I got over my LLA phobia. So aside from a mild frustration with the oddball Lyman 358429FW hollow point mould, I'm good! Sure not going to loose any sleep over it.

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Rex
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Posted: May 29 2017 at 12:46pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

I've never tried a HP mold but have heard it was easier to swim up Niagra Falls than cast HPs.
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: May 29 2017 at 3:29pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I have a double cavity Lyman 358429 with one cavity solid nosed and the other hollow point and with both having the squared off grease grooves. Got to keep the hollow point pin plenty hot in order to keep the point filled out by keeping the pace at a decent speed, but other than that I really have not had much problem with this mold.

When starting out with a fresh casting session, it does take a bit longer for the mold to get to the right temp it seems and a good many rejects are dropped, but after it starts dropping good bullets then it works just about like any other iron mold that I have. Just have to insert the hollow point pin each time I close the mold and give it a twist to lock it in and keep on pouring.

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richhodg66
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Posted: May 29 2017 at 5:51pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Rex wrote:
I've never tried a HP mold but have heard it was easier to swim up Niagra Falls than cast HPs.
It's not quite that bad and some molds are easier than others just like all molds.

For pistols, I don't see the point. Unless it was a gas checked design so you could push a real soft alloy relatively fast, I don't think you could get pistol bullets to expand reliably.

I have the Lyman Devastator 9mm mold somewhere I haven't cast with it yet. I bought it with the intent of loading it in .38 Special if it casts big enough. When I get around to it, I'll have to do some penetration and expansion testing with it.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 30 2017 at 10:01am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

HP recovered from game revealed varying degrees of success. Some mushroomed in classic shape and some did little but bring down what I hit. I was using lead my x-ray repair neighbor gave me. Guess it was fairly soft. That was 30 years ago so it doesn't matter now.

Haven't had that mould out in ages. Was just giving it a go after Rex mentioned using HP casting. If I can't get it to cast right I'm not gonna get all riled up. I'll just put the mould back in my mould box with the others. My cowboy bullets are doing all that I want. Happy camper here really.

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Buffalogun
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Posted: May 30 2017 at 1:29pm | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

One of the ways to give a cast bullet a better chance of expanding is to place a short strip of aluminum foil in between the mould halves, across the nose. It prevents the nose halves from joining together and allows them to spread out upon contact with the intended target.(not paper)

Also, drilling a short, centered hole in the nose does have some merit.



Mike

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richhodg66
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Posted: May 30 2017 at 2:01pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

X Ray shielding is supposed to be the purest lead you can get simply because it has to be. There cannot be any question about its protection qualities so it has to be an absolutely known quantity. I got about 100 pounds of it last Summer I'll make muzzle loader bullets with.

Pure lead will expand like all get out at muzzle loader velocities, but it's gonna lead with standard breech loading stuff. I have a Lyman Planis bullet I shot a big Kansas buck with a few years ago that stayed inside just under the far side hide. Looks like a lead half dollar now. Load was 100 grains of Pyrodex, nit sure what velocity that is, but guessing 1500 FPS or less.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 30 2017 at 3:31pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Yeah, I don't load Mach7 barn burners that reach escape velocity of the earth's gravity. Most of my stuff is at or below standard stuff in my sixguns. Oh, there mighta been a few WW tossed in the pot back then. I never got leading then like the way I did last year or so. Last year my metal was too hard. Way too hard! Fixed that this year.

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richhodg66
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Posted: May 30 2017 at 3:40pm | IP Logged Quote richhodg66

Buffalogun wrote:
One of the ways to give a cast bullet a better chance of expanding is to place a short strip of aluminum foil in between the mould halves, across the nose. It prevents the nose halves from joining together and allows them to spread out upon contact with the intended target.(not paper)

Also, drilling a short, centered hole in the nose does have some merit.


I have read about this trick, never tried it. Seems like it would cause the nose to shear off in petals (which may not be bad for a self defense round).

I really think, and never having shot game with one take this for what it's worth, that handgun bullets are big enough in diameter that if you're shooting a design with a relatively large meplat (think Veral Smith designs) they will do about all they're gonna do. No expansion necessary.



Mike


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Old Ranger
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Posted: May 30 2017 at 6:33pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

I've always said that the 44 and 45 are "pre-expanded" and don't need hollow points. Those little bitty 9mm and such needs all the help they can get!

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LAH
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Posted: June 01 2017 at 6:51pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Ranger I think the Lyman 358665 may be the sleeper for
the 38 calibers.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: June 01 2017 at 9:51pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Lynn I do believe you're right.
I like it.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: June 10 2017 at 6:33pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Well shucks, had a bad one today. Loaded up 10 rounds of.44mag with 6gr of Red Dot and the Lee 200gr RNFP.429" coated with LLA. Oh it was accurate enough but lead plated the first two inches of the barrel. One step forward and fall back five. Wasn't even a hot load. More like medium-rare. Ha! But none the less I spent the better part of two hours scrubbing to get my weapon so it would pass inspection. So I'm not going to be fretting over it. I'll just load the 240gr plated flat points and all's well. I've got a thousand of them laid up for this one pistol.

Guess the success with the.38Spl and LLA undersized stuff went to my head. Oh well. Ain't the end of the world right? But boy howdy does that.44mag Bounty Hunter SAA shoot! Yow-zers!

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Old Ranger
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Posted: June 25 2017 at 1:07pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Figured out the problem with the 200gr 44cal casting. Too hard a metal again. I must've let more of that alloy slip into the mix than I should have. Drat!
I was thinking it over and over why I had such success then kaplooie, and it goes to pot. They don't work worth two cents with that hard metal at my modest velocity I shoot. Maybe it'll be ok at near the top loads, but slow? Naw, it's gonna lead up like a stick poked in the mud. And the Bounty Hunter's got DEEP sharp grooves cut in the bore. But mercy me, does it shoot a tight group if one holds and squeezes the right way. Gotta get rid of that alloy and go old school with 16:1 like we did before everyone got all scientific and technical.

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LAH
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Posted: June 25 2017 at 1:56pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Love 16:1 & even 20:1.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: June 26 2017 at 12:35am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

You're right Lynn! 16:1 ought to get the job done.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: June 28 2017 at 8:35am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Found some Ideal 429360 Boser SWC I had cast a few months ago and were a softer alloy. Heated up the scented wax gizmo with my oddball mix of paste wax, gulf canning wax, and a dash of LLA. Dipped in the melted wax and quickly pressed base first against waxpaper, I had them lubed in a jiffy. Ran em through a .429" Lyman 310 bullet sizing chamber that brought them all into proper size from a cast diameter of.431".

Weight was 242gr so I used the same 6gr Red Dot load in a mag case. I had loaded 10 to test and there was no leading, and as always, the Bounty Hunter SAA shot wonderfully. When cleaning I only removed powder fouling as there was zero lead in the bore. But I did something here that I normally don't do. I changed more than one element at the same time. Three in fact. Bullet design, alloy, and lube. Thus I really don't know which one of these changes created the desired effect. Or if it was a combination of two or more. In short, I got ahead of myself! I was acting upon impulse and not by analytical process. Made me feel like Mr. Spock when Capt. Kirk accused Spock of acting human!
But ya know what? If it's not a product of logic, but works, it would be illogical to reject it, yes?
Man, everything I need to know I learned from Star Trek! Even to this day I don't wear a red shirt. On all those landing parties it was the guy in the red shirt that got killed in the beginning of the episode!

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Posted: June 28 2017 at 12:55pm | IP Logged Quote LAH

Quote:
I was acting upon impulse


I'm placing this on my calendar.

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Posted: June 28 2017 at 4:40pm | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun

Wade,

I've read that Elmer used 1 to 16 alloy for his .44 loads and I've also read the alloy used in the .45-70 as loaded for the military and when Custer made his last mistake was also 1 to 16.

I shot my buffalo with a 1 to 20 alloy and as I recall it didn't lead the 30" barrel of my rifle. I use LLA.

Since lead seems to have a great affinity for your firearms I would suggest you pick up a couple "Chore Boy" copper kitchen scrubbing pads. The one without any cleaner added.
A couple strands wrapped around a cleaning patch or wire brush will strip the lead out quickly. Best thing I have ever used for removing lead from barrels.


Mike

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Old Ranger
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Posted: June 28 2017 at 5:34pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Yeah Mike, I've used as soft 30:1 in 45-70's and pistols. That was when I was buying pure mixed alloys and such. Past few years all I had was stuff that was way too hard. Sadly, I let myself get taken in by the hard cast business too much and lost perspective. Appears that most folks I was getting WW from were selling super hard stuff said to be WW but....

As to chore boy, got that, and an old Lewis lead remover. Scrubbing is second nature around these parts.

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