.22 CALIBER CAST BULLETS

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joeb33050 posted this 28 June 2014

.22 CALIBER CAST BULLETS               Starting in 2003 I spent ~ 18 months trying to get a .223 Rem. Savage 12 BVSS to shoot cast bullets accurately. It and I failed.             I have just spent another 18 months trying again with a Savage 12 FV in .223 Rem., a 22” sporter barrel in .223, and a 26” varmint barrel in 22-250. Weaver T36 and Lyman 30X STS scopes were used.  The gun and barrels shoot jacketed bullets accurately. I have bought molds and sizing dies and had molds altered and shot thousands of shots with different charges of different powders with different primers and different bullets; and at this point can reliably shoot 100 yard 5 shot five group averages around 2”. Sometimes less, sometimes more.             My record of failure with .22 caliber cast bullets extends back to a Winchester low wall in 22 Hornet, a Savage ?19? bolt action 22 Hornet, a Remington 222 700 BDL Varmint and a few others I (thankfully) can't remember.             John Alexander has assured me and us that getting a .22 cf rifle to shoot accurately is possible. I'm starting to think that he's laughing at me.             I'm going to let up on the .22s and cast; I'll try now and then-but see no hope for any 1” groups in the future.             What I'd like is for some of you successful .22 cf shooters to shoot a set of five 5 shot 100 yard groups, and tell me/us about the rifle and load and ?? Anyone?

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John Alexander posted this 28 June 2014

Joe, As the guy who tempted you into the 22 foolishness I certainly am not laughing at you.  I am a little surprised that you have had so much trouble but I know you are not the only one. Now that twists are available (at least in 223) fast enough to stabilize a decent length bullet it should be easier.    I am trying out a new, for me, bullet from NOE. It is a near clone of my old 72grain NEI design.  The three cavity mold works well and I have a good sized bunch of bullets cast.  if it shows promise i will send you a batch. Has anybody else tried this design?

I will be very interested to hear what luck others are having with the 22 bore.

John

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99 Strajght posted this 29 June 2014

I agree with you on the 22 Hornet. I had one with a 1 in 16 twist that would not shoot any 22 cast bullet. I had it rebarreled to a 1 in 14 twist and it still would not shoot. I have had good lock with a 222 and a 22-250  with 1 in 14 twist. And  223 with a 1 in 12 twist. I can get 1 in. groups if everything is right. The mold that works the best for me is the Saeco #221, 60 gr. About 2000 fps seems to work the best. For powder 3031, 4064 and varget are the ones I get the best groups. I size the bullet with a Lee 225 diam. and use 45-45-10 lub.  Good luck

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Coydog posted this 29 June 2014

I have good luck with my 22-250 with cast and have a 3/4” group and I use Lyman 55gr mold and that is the long boolit they have and did not have any problems.the rifle i usen is a Rem. 700.

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Paul Pollard posted this 29 June 2014

"The gun and barrels shoot jacketed bullets accurately."

Could you define this with actual numbers? It would be a good reference.

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joeb33050 posted this 30 June 2014

Paul Pollard wrote: "The gun and barrels shoot jacketed bullets accurately."

Could you define this with actual numbers? It would be a good reference.Sure. 5 shot 100 yard “ Savage 12 BVSS, 11/29/03 Sierra 52 gr HPBT match +1410, 22/IMR4198, .825, .55. .5 Savage 12FV 2/13/13 223 Rem Horn 60gr VMAX, 25/Varget .85, .875 4/2/14 Horn 55 gr. Vmax, 25 Varget 1.025, 1.125 Savage 10, 223 Rem 22” sporter bbl, 2/19/14 Horn 55 gr Vmax, 25/Varget, 1.45 2/26/14 Horn 55 gr Vmax, 23/IMR4895, 1.4, 1.2 Savage 10 22-250 hvy varmint bbl, 2/5/14, Horn 55 gr Vmax, 34/Varget, .8, 1.4

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John Alexander posted this 30 June 2014

In response to Joe's request for reports of the accuracy of 22 cast bullets for the average of five 5-shot groups I can report on a new mold.

I recently bought an NOE three cavity mold for their 22570 RN design. The design is very close to a 72 grain custom mold I used in competition in the 1980s.

The mold showed excellent workmanship and after cleaning and breaking in cast excellent looking bullets. The nose measured a tad over .219” which should be good for a 22 bore but is a little small for my rifles.

I cast a bunch out of wheelweight alloy.  I didn't sort them by cavity and of course didn't sort them by weight because this destroys the karma.  They were sized .226” with LBT Blue only in the tiny groove ahead of the gas check and seated as long as I could chamber them which was 2.40” in the 223 case.

I loaded them ahead of 5 grains of TiteGroup only because that's what I had in the measure and the setting for for my loads with the 85 grain Mos bullet I had been using. Velocity was 1,500 fps.

From my Tikka Lite I have shot 11-5shot groups that average 1.24MOA. I haven't tried any other loads although I did try two groups with a shorter overall length which shot much larger groups.   Before anybody orders this mold please understand that this bullet is TOO LONG TO BE STABILIZED IN THE 14” TWIST common in most 22 center fires.  If it fits the rifle properly it should shoot groups at least as small as the 1.24” groups mentioned above in a good rifle.  But it will take a 10.5” inch or tighter twist to stabilize.  This limits its use mostly to some 223 rifles made with tight twists although I have heard that Savage may be  using 9” twists for their recent 22-250s.  John 

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PETE posted this 30 June 2014

John,

I have a Savag Mod. 12 that I bought a few year back and has a 1-9” twist. These recent posts got me going to find out what it can do with a 60 gr. NOE bullet. It shoots fairly good with a 60 gr. SAECO 221. But doesn't average under an inch. Best 4-5 shot groups were 1 1/8-, 1", 7/8-, & 5/16 but were just test loads spanning four diiferent. loads, but were shot consecutivey. Ran out out those test loads and haven't been back to see if it will do the same only shootb5-5 shot groups. Pete

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joeb33050 posted this 30 June 2014

John Alexander wrote: In response to Joe's request for reports of the accuracy of 22 cast bullets for the average of five 5-shot groups I can report on a new mold.

I recently bought an NOE three cavity mold for their 22570 RN design. The design is very close to a 72 grain custom mold I used in competition in the 1980s.

The mold showed excellent workmanship and after cleaning and breaking in cast excellent looking bullets. The nose measured a tad over .219” which should be good for a 22 bore but is a little small for my rifles.

I cast a bunch out of wheelweight alloy.  I didn't sort them by cavity and of course didn't sort them by weight because this destroys the karma.  They were sized .226” with LBT Blue only in the tiny groove ahead of the gas check and seated as long as I could chamber them which was 2.40” in the 223 case.

I loaded them ahead of 5 grains of TiteGroup only because that's what I had in the measure and the setting for for my loads with the 85 grain Mos bullet I had been using. Velocity was 1,500 fps.

From my Tikka Lite I have shot 11-5shot groups that average 1.24MOA. I haven't tried any other loads although I did try two groups with a shorter overall length which shot much larger groups.   Before anybody orders this mold please understand that this bullet is TOO LONG TO BE STABILIZED IN THE 14” TWIST common in most 22 center fires.  If it fits the rifle properly it should shoot groups at least as small as the 1.24” groups mentioned above in a good rifle.  But it will take a 10.5” inch or tighter twist to stabilize.  This limits its use mostly to some 223 rifles made with tight twists although I have heard that Savage may be  using 9” twists for their recent 22-250s.  John John; Is this outdoors a t 100 yards?Thanks;joe b.

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John Alexander posted this 30 June 2014

Joe, No they were shot in my 50 yard tunnel so the groups averaged .62".  I will shoot some groups at 100 yards outside in a few days and report. John

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.22-10-45 posted this 01 July 2014

When I first got my .22 Hornet, I tried every jacketed bullet I could find..including expensive custom match. With these I established the accuracy benchmark. Then the real work began attemting to equal this level of accuracy with cast. I tried just about every .22 mould I could get my hands on..including Eagan MX. Nothing really was consistant. I had an old original Ideal 22336 that dropped at 60grs. cast from Lyman #2. Chucking some of these in bench lathe collet, I faced off to 50gr. some P.B., others I turned g.c. shank. These prooved to be the most accurate to date...sent off samples to Fred Leeth at Pioneer Products, for nose-pour copies. The next biggest breakthrough was when I made a tapered sizer die to fit my Lyman 45. The taper matches the leade angle in chamber, the adjusting screw on sizer permits varying dia. as well as length of taper. In use, 1st. driving band is taper sized .224dia. bullet seating is adjusted so this first band is fully engraved as action closes. My barrel is a 26” 1-14” Shilen. action is original panneled action Sharps Borchardt, scope is Leupold 12X. Groups at 100yds. are around 3/4".. some are as small as 3/8"..but these are not common.the average probably closer to 1". all of this didn't come easy or quickly..about 5 years of constant experimenting..(I'm still at it). Best of luck!

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 01 July 2014

hey 22-10-45 ... about what was the accuracy baseline with those exotic mj pro-jectiles ?

i got my toy-weight ruger 77h ( with mj ) down to 1 moa but maybe i need to get it back together again...

ken

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.22-10-45 posted this 01 July 2014

With the 40 & 45gr. V-Max, I was getting groups in the low .3's

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Loren Barber posted this 02 July 2014

Joe,  I recently read three articles posted in the site, CastPics regarding shooting cast bullets in a 0.223.  I won't try to summarize the articles, but it seemed that 40 grain bullets worked best for MOA at 100 yds.Loren

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corerf posted this 02 July 2014

Because Ill stir a pot and don't really care any more.... I'm going out on a limb.

Id like to comment on Joes jacketed bullet groups. You chose the Savage platform to use as a test basis, THE BEST choice on could make IMHO. This is a platform I am quite fond of and have considerable experience with (unlike the Rem 700 Uber-Rifles).

Those 22 CF jacketed groups are shameful- I say that based on what my Savages in factory finish have done (223 and 22-250). Not commenting on YOUR performance, simply that the rifles are not shooting as accurately as I would expect. Here where I live, Savages a plenty. Every freak Cal resident thinks he's a sniper. What do they buy--- a 223 or 308. If not sold a bill of goods (kool-aid that is freely distributed here in the land that Communism was formed and flourishing), they do buy a Savage. Then they do “usually” proceed to shoot .5 groups all day long. Makes them feel very good that they have shot small groups (They Become Mark Wahlburg!!). But a blind man with a Savage 223 BVSS and hunting ammo can usually shoot .5-.75 in a gale force wind at 100. Its not the shooter, its the platform. They inexplicably work. If it were just me and my experiences, I'd refrain. But its darn near every other Savage owner I have met here. Story is the same. I laugh at some .25 groups that folks believe are just the end of the world as we know it. Other owners laugh too, as we all know that Savages can shoot much, much, much smaller groups without any mods, or special fitment. Rifles assembled by- Aliens, God Himself, a special friend?----- by a stroke of genius or voodoo at the Savage plant, are made correctly the first time!! Just a factory barrel, headspaced at the factory on a factory stock (OK maybe not ALWAYS the tupperware ones- Ill admit)

I own what I will leave as MANY Savages. Not one CF 22 will shoot more than 1 inch, any conditions, any time, factory ammo, stocks, triggers. Now the bigger bores I have on factory ammo will do .75 to 1.5 with a scope on windy days (no accutrigger, just standard triggers). This includes 30-06, 270, 7mm RM. Be advised, I don't own an AXIS or the cheeps sold as combos. Genuine Savage 10/12/110/112 or Stevens 200. Period.

Not telling you YOUR SHOOTING is poor or YOUR LOADING is poor. JOE, here me now.... Not commenting on YOU!!

Im baffled by why your last entry, the Heavy Bbl 22-250 is shooting SUCH HUGE groups. Huge is larger than .5 inch (on jacketed bullets). This rifle should be shooting teeny tiny jacketed groups. TEEENNNNy TIIINNNY. Itsy bits groups. There should be no struggle to get day to day, all day long, hot barrel, cold barrel, bent barrel rusty barrel, crimped barrel groups of .5 inch. This rifle just shoots stupid accurate, in part due to 22-250 inherent natural accuracy (and I can't explain that but its true nonetheless). This is what drove me to type this message.

I have essentially the same rifle. My first group was sub .750 while breaking the barrel in. Thats the biggest group it ever shot. Smallest was immeasurable by me. ONE 22 cal bullet hole each at 4200 fps (bookoo Varget and massive case prep that folks here don't believe makes any difference in accuracy) Granted the immeasurable hole group came after a new stock and much in brass prep but........ it still gave .375 groups on Remington Bulk 50gr 40 count Bass Pro special deal day ammo. Thats with a Bushnell cheese ball Dusk to Dawn Banner 6-18x50mm scope. A $125.00 scope on a price match several years ago. .375 was the norm on TUPPERWARE!!

I know SEVERAL people with SAME RIFLE in 22-250, who ALLLLLLL get the same performance. I may make assumptions, but I do so based on what I see happen. Im an idiot though so .... think Jerry Lewis in rare form.

If the Savages are NOT shooting .5 groups with jacketed bullets of the grade and sophistication that you have displayed in the data, then the test platform (rifles) may very well be suspect. All Im doing is looking at the results you entered. AR's are producing smaller groups with pencil barrels than your Savage 223 is. I am NO RESPECTER of ANY AR! Were they used rifles? Beaters? Abused? High Round Count? Barrels unscrewed and rescrewed? Not broke in properly? Frankensteins? My 270 is a Second Owner Stevens 200. Idiot thought he was Mark Wahlburg. Camo paint stock, Clear DuraCoat on metal. Bipod! He put 400 rounds thru it so he says. Looks like maybe thats true. Its the poorest of shooters, I give that to the lack of ANY break in. He fired 200 rounds first day he owned it, not a patch run thru that day. Nothing like plating the barrel and then giving it a nuclear reactor exposure to finish it off. I believe the gun could shoot on the 22 inch crappy factory barrel and tupperware better had idiot #1 been better informed and done due diligence. Still, it shoots on par with your 22's. That SHOULD NOT be happening as I see it.

Im not a lucky man by any means. I didn't stumble onto 10 Savages that just shoot like crazy. Since they all shoot, I can make a fair assessment that they all (Everyones Savages) SHOULD shoot similar. This is where I am flawed, I assume way too much in this life. Maybe Im luckier than I think.

I see you have other experiences, 22 Hornet, etc.

I have only one cast bullet example in 22 CF. Contender 22 K- Hornet. 10 inch stainless barrel. Cut by Fred Smith at Bullberry.

It shoots cast loads (one bullet, 46 GR lyman rn) under 1.5 inch in the same wind the Savage large bores (270, etc) will shoot factory at .75 to 1.5. I will check my loading data next time in garage, I know I am not pushing the bullet hard but I am seeking IIRC AT or better than 2000 fps. The pistol pops primers with LilGun at 3k fps and primers fall out (34 gr Midsouth Varmint Nightmare). 2800 is about all I can do with a 34 gr bullet on a 10 inch barrel, reliably. So that 2000 fps is getting it done with respect to barrel length. It is gas checked with lyman or hornady checks, it is a softer bullet (not lino). The jacketed groups on a dead day with the 34 gr bullets are typically .75 and I can't get them any smaller to date. Its a pistol with a couple ounce trigger and not very heavy, floppy on the bench, etc. Cheap scope doesn't help either. I can hold better with other TCs but .375 is about my limit at 100 on a perfect day no matter what frame, barrel, cartridge, etc I can muster. With that said, I DONT expect cast to shoot like jacketed on any platform except 445 SM and 357Max. Both seem to perform best with cast rather than jacketed. My 6mm, nope. Any rifle I own to date, always shoots better with jacketed than cast. Using the baselines given by jacketed and my experiences with cast in same rifles, I only expect my best cast performance to be 2x a jacketed bullet group. OR LARGER.

I dont assume every Savage bolt gun of recent production to shoot amazing, but I expect better groups from them than your experiencing. A CF 22 on a Savage platform I expect .5 inch groups to be the norm. Cast performance I expect would then be 2x that, 1 inch. Your at a whopping 4x. And your jacketed bullet groups are 3-4x what I see as typical of MANY CF 22 Savages (and Stevens 200's for that matter).

The jacketed data you have provided is on target with my experiences and your cast bullet groups of 2 inches. The cast groups are indeed 2X your jacketed results.

Not a rule or law or scientific anything, just simply what I have observed in 10 years of Savage ONLY shooting (I despise Remingtons). All that I have typed likely has NO bearing on anything in life. But it sure matches your experiences to date in some segments and draws a high contrast to some of your others.

Not a finger point at you, Im pointing at the rifles. Something isn't right (and that something might be me)

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 03 July 2014

Agree. I have a 110FP in .223 (yes it IS the long action - an EARLY one for .223). Regular trigger. It just shoots well - great for prairie dogs out to about 450.

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John Alexander posted this 03 July 2014

Loren Barber wrote: Joe,  I recently read three articles posted in the site, CastPics regarding shooting cast bullets in a 0.223.  I won't try to summarize the articles, but it seemed that 40 grain bullets worked best for MOA at 100 yds.Loren Loren,    Thanks for mentioning these articles. I have just read them. I would urge readers to take much of what the author has written with multiple grains of salt until their own testing indicates there is something to them.   He does have one thing right.  With 14 and 16 inch twists you can only shoot short bullets. A blunt 55 grain is about tops for the common 14 inch and a blunt 45 grain is all the length that will usually stabilize in the 16 inch.    However, there is no longer any excuse for limiting yourself to the slow twists in the 223.  9, 8 and even 7 inch twists are commonly available.  A 9 inch twist will stabilize a .90” long cast bullet. This could be a very pointed 80 grain bullet or an even heavier blunt bullet.   Short cast bullets are very difficult to shoot accurately.  There is a reason why 30 caliber shooters who show up to shoot in front of witnesses at matches don't bring 72 grain bullets (30 bullet with sectional density equivalent to the 225438 he recommends,) Ken points out that the 22 LR is an exception but we won't know how to do that with cast until Ken figures out how.   The load tables in the articles quote accuracy levels that are fantastic but there is no mention of number of shots per group or if the fliers he complains about are disregarded so his claims are hard to evaluate.  If his loads will consistently shoot five shot groups at the quoted levels he could easily mop up in either production or hunting rifle class any year at the CBA nationals.  It would be great if he came and did just that.     The most discouraging thing about the articles is that the author believes in zombies.  He recycles all the old discredited zombie old wives' tales that won't die about 22 cast bullets -- must sort by weight to .1 grain, must cull with 3X glass, very hard to cast, fragile and easily damaged, lots of fliers, etc. etc.   John

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PETE posted this 03 July 2014

John,

Was thinking of reading the articles you mention but after your comments I think I won't bother.

Surprised no one was interested enuf to even ask for any particulars on how I got the groups I mentioned above. So I'll just mention them anyway,

About the only things I've found to be true, most of the time, is the faster you push a cast bullet or the smaller the diam. is the harder you have to cast them. Breech seating is another story. Never found them hard to cast and I always figured that considering the wgt. weighing them down to a .1 gr. was a waste of time.If they were visually good they' d probably weigh within that range anyway.

The .22 bullets in groups I mentioned above were cast out of lino and the MV's ranged from 1874 fps to 2100.9. This range seemed to work the best. Going above or below groups opened up.

Pete

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 03 July 2014

hey pete; re: breech seat ... so if cast bullets are fully supported at ignition, they don't need to be really hard ... is that because there is no harsh transition thru an oversize throat ?

gives me hope my super rook will put them all in the same hole ... i can cut the neck at groove diameter; the same size as the bullet, because the brass doesn't need to expand. the bullet will be fully supported .. breech seated .. when the block is locked. ( bolt or )

i will cut the chamber neck with a throater reamer. what could go wrong ? comments welcome.

i doubt they would let me shoot this thing in competition .

( g )

ken

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.22-10-45 posted this 03 July 2014

My Hornet & .222Rem. don't like really hard bullets. I use a diluted alloy of Steriotype metal & pure lead..slightly harder than Lyman #2 alloy. I tried straight Steriotype & got patterns no matter the powder charge. I have tried alloys down to 1-10 tin-lead & even 20-1 tin lead..adjusting powder charge acordingly..with no leading.

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John Alexander posted this 03 July 2014

Ken Campbell Iowa wrote: hey pete; re: breech seat ... so if cast bullets are fully supported at ignition, they don't need to be really hard ... is that because there is no harsh transition thru an oversize throat ?

gives me hope my super rook will put them all in the same hole ... i can cut the neck at groove diameter; the same size as the bullet, because the brass doesn't need to expand. the bullet will be fully supported .. breech seated .. when the block is locked. ( bolt or )

i will cut the chamber neck with a throater reamer. what could go wrong ? comments welcome.

i doubt they would let me shoot this thing in competition .

( g )

ken I think you are probably right about why breech seaters can use soft alloys although with the right bullet, matched throat, and a tight necked chamber (like many of our heavy and unrestricted shooters try) should be similar as far as not letting the bullet flop around unsupported.  The neck would only be expanding .001 or maybe even less as the bullet was pushed out.  However, they mostly all use linotype. Why go with a soft bullet for that kind of rig.  My experience with factory rifles matches .22-10-45's m-- moderate hardness always seems to do better than hard. I can't see any reason why your super rook couldn't meet the requirements for CBA heavy or UNR.  If you put a pistol grip on it instead of a buttstock it should be Ok for unrestricted pistol class even if it has a 30” barrel and weighs 40 pounds.  Yes we sometime lose our heads during a vote. John

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