What's the priority in making an accurate cast handload?

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durant7 posted this 21 March 2015

New here but I have an itch to pursue better accuracy at 200y with my one CF gun and thinking it might be educational to shoot a few CBA benchrest matches this summer.  Not to be competitive but to learn and if the bug bights.....

I have a bunch of moulds but my 30 cal list is short, an Ideal 31141.  My bullets have been good enough to be very competitive in CLA (Metallic Silhouette Cowboy Lever Action) but there are times I wonder what went wrong when IMO I had a good break.  Sadly, a 200y range is a 2 hour drive and winter in NH this year has limited outside activity.  So here I am doing what I should NOT be doing, sitting inside, warm, on the computer.

As I do research, there are so many variables that lay ahead, what do I focus on if I want to develop a better 200y hand loaded bullet for a CBA match? 31141 has a BC of .220.  A low value and higher is better.  Browse FleaBay and find other .311 mould such as a 311299 which has a BC of .377.  The bullet can, I would assume, be single loaded to avoid magazine detonation, and would bore ride with correct LOA.  Would this be the first best building block in the foundation of a cast bullet with higher accuracy potential? But, is this the right direction to take?  Yet another mould?  There are so many other variables to explore first with the .31141.  What's first?  I have read so much my head hurts.  Here are a few.<>Manage alloy better, put 20 ingots and melt them to the IDENTICAL alloy, and then pour them to ensure I have one variable eliminated.  Today I use ingots which I have created by collecting range lead to WW to whatever I find and now 300 ingots stashed away.<>Get a higher BC mould.  Higher is better at 200y from a 30-30.<>Using the pencil method, use the hardest ingots I can collect from my stash and melt them to one alloy.  I don't own a hardness tester...read enough on that.<>Sizing.  I have sizers from .310 to .313. yet my current 300 load ready bullet inventory is all sized to .311 and GC.  Bullet drops at .312 to .313 and is not round or perfectly aliened...and I have worked hard on that.  I am told Lyman moulds are not perfect.<>Crimp.  Taper, factory, or don't crimp at all.  Too much crimp negatively impacts the driving bands.  More crimp assures more consistent powder burn.<>Neck tension & turning...sorry, not going there for a 30-30.<>Case prep.  That is easy.  All the same headstamp, trimmed, flash hole deburred, weight sorted...I feel I have that in the bag on a RP case.  Of course a few bags of Factory New...defeats my interest to be frugal but I understand penny wise, pound foolish.<>Powders...Unique has worked, I own it...seems like a slippery slope to start buying a pound of 5+ powders to experiment...laddering each...mix in the above variables...my head hurts....to truly change one variable at a time the testing would be beyond what I have time to accomplish. I find a classic case of analysis paralysis and I spend more time thinking about it and less time doing it.  What would the accuracy veterans work on first?  Should the buy bight, a 30 cal bolt gun could take my efforts with the 30-30 to the next level next year.

JD in NH

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JSH posted this 21 March 2015

You don't mention what the gun platform is. You have a list of things on the bullet which is fine. You can have a perfect bullet in every way, but if it doesn't fit properly it won't shoot in to a bucket. One mans idea of accuracy compared to an others can vary a great deal. There are others here who have forgotten more than I know. I can hold my own against equal guns of my collection but I myself don't have a designated CB bench type gun. I do have a spare xp action that I have given thought of building a 30x221 or 223 case as I have a fair bit of time invested in this size case. If the 3030 you have listed is your platform I would do some measuring. Of the chamber, throat and bore. Keep notes and good notes. Don't hesitate to write things down that seem minute. A chrono is not a have to have item but will sure help sort things out quicker and give you a good idea of what is going on.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 21 March 2015

interesting !! it will be fun to follow your progress .

i understand you are going with a 30-30 ... ?? that is still a good choice for a cast shooter ; especially for a 200 yard rig .

what rifle ( or handgun ... ) are you using ?


as far as accuracy ... at 200 yards , wind becomes a big factor in ” accuracy ” . you will likely be better off with a high-bc bullet that shoots 2.5 moa groups at 100 yds ... than a lesser-bc bullet that shoots 1.7 moa at 100 yards .

assuming you will be shooting the longest bullet your twist will stabilize ...i me myself would be trying a slower powder and aiming for 1600-1900 fps .... 4227, 4198, 3031, 4895 ... range .

your list is pretty good ; i would keep the noise down as much as possible ; for starters if single loading i would not crimp ... then if your early attempts return 4 moa it isn't your case prep . until you get under 1 moa neck turning is not very gainful .

in other words, eliminate the 30,000 things that don't matter a lot, and work on the important 4 or 7 things that might get you down to 2.5 moa ... usually ( g ) .

1) bullet fit before ignition. 2) bullet fit a half inch down the throat . 3) barrel condition ... buy $$$ or hand lap your own barrel 4) powder ignition and barrel vibration . testing loads and good bedding . 5) i forget the next 3 or 44 rules . oh, maybe trigger finger ( g ) .

ken

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durant7 posted this 21 March 2015

JSH, Thank you for the response.  Yes, the signature rifle is the platform for this learning year.  Slugging.  I slug with pure lead from the muzzle, pound in and I find once in, the bullet loses resistance as I push to the breech as if there is some choke in the barrel.  My slug comes out .3085” using calipers, Mitutoyo calipers, not my currently AWOL Starrett micrometer which has me in a bit of a twist.

I have trimmed all 400 pcs of Remington Brass to 2.030".  Chamfered, flash hole deburred and then process a second time with STM.  Looks better than new.  Weighed them all into a 126.0g to 128.9.g group which is about 300.  The light and heavy stuff I will use for load development.

OAL:  After much testing, my .31141 bullet can have a max OAL 2.555” just BEFORE the bullet shows any mark from the lands.  This is my intended and now adjusted seating depth on my Dillon 550.  This depth leaves the crimp groove just a tad high.  Tad high I would define as .030” from the top of the crimp groove which is more of a 90 degree angle than the bottom of s typical crimp groove.  My prior hand loading adviser liked the Lee Factory crimp.  From what I have read, I don't need this.  My RCBS crimp is taper and when I do use it, it does seem to push the brass in a bit around the small portion of crimp grove that it can reach or “lay” into.

Here is my dilemma.  What to load up for testing?

10 without crimp and 8.5 g Unique, 2.555” OAL. 10 with crimp and 8.5 g or Unique, 2.555” OAL.

10 without crimp but shorter, say 2.500" 10 with crimp at 2.500” and see if it benefits from bullet jump?

Then repeat with .312” sized bullets?  Or do I test different sized bullets first without changing the crimp or OAL variable?

This is my current road block that I can't seem to find an answer to.

Yes, I can run them over a borrowed Chrony I have in my reloading room but I need to get after it as I will need to return it in 30 days or so.

I have not gone the route of doing a chamber casting. Cerro Cast? I have read all about it but.....are you telling me that is the next step before anything else? And let's assume I get past my current road block, does a low SD on Chrony results equal accuracy if I were do shoot indoors?  Or does POI and group size outweigh what I see on the Chrony?   I figure shooter error is now in play.

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Ed Harris posted this 21 March 2015

Bullet fit is EVERYTHING! A good mold which casts round bullets, with square bases which fits the throat without requiring sizing is key. Start by casting your chamber and getting a custom.mold cut which fits gets excellent results easily and right away without frustrating yourself in multiple iterations of mediocre mass produced molds which work better as trot line weights.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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onondaga posted this 21 March 2015

http://castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=3454>durant7

Ed makes the point I consider most valuable. Chamber casting and bore slugging are helpful. the result from those is to get a bullet size that fits your rifle.

Bullet to throat fit with a sliding fit gives bullets a stable start that enhances accuracy.

Actually, you don't need chamber casting or slugging if your sense of touch is working and you try a series of bullet size diameters till you find one that fits. Your variety of bullet size dies will cover the range. Find the bullet diameter that slides in the throat. A big mistake is to to this with lubricated bullets. Do this with clean bullets because bullet lube does not ever compensate for bullet size being correct with a bullet  slide fit in the chamber throat.

If your barrel is really screwed with groove to groove diameter that is inconsistent or larger than throat diameter anywhere, dump the barrel and get a now one if you want target accuracy results. G to G and L to L don't matter unless you have a poor barrel. The throat /bullet size fit is the  largest that will function and then the barrel will size the bullets when you shoot. You can do this all by feel chambering a round with an un-lubed bullet.

There are different schools on bore riding bullet noses. Having a nose section that bore rides and a driving band section that fits G to G is two critical fit areas if you allow them to be.  CONTROL YOUR THINKING. You can work on that kind of fit or you can ignore it and concentrate on throat fit with a non bore riding nose bullet design. Personally I choose to have one critical fit area instead of two and get bullets to fit the throat.  That is your choice and your efforts can lead to either being successful.

Not believing that bore condition effects accuracy is an error. The finest match barrels are honed. Learn the difference between honing and polishing by definition. You can do either yourself to a mediocre barrel but I consider polishing the least marring and most beneficial with cast bullets. Honing will lessen tight spots, but I would select a better barrel that only needs polishing to work well with cast.

Consider the polishing method I have posted on this forum: http://castbulletassoc.org/forum/viewtopic.php?id=8364&forumid=63

It works for me and many others have reported success with the simple method and materials I describe in the post. It takes faith, some people never believe anybody else's success unless statistical analytical scientific research is thrown at it. I am telling you polishing works, if you don't believe that, it won't work as well for you as it does for somebody else that believes polishing does work. Aside from the physics, polishing a bore for cast bullets improves your psychology of shooting and makes the barrel easier to clean too.

Gary

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billwnr posted this 21 March 2015

Check your sizer and nose punch to ensure you are not tipping the bullet when sizing it.

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durant7 posted this 22 March 2015

You have all been most helpful yet more variables have been added. 

Ed, “get a custom mould".  Well, I can see that after year one but is that really how a new caster should/would start?  I understand the issue.  If you want “great” don't fool with junk.  But i can still learn with Factory Lyman moulds can't I?  

Ken, “slower burning powder".  This is an area which I need to read up on.  I don't fully understand the correlation to barrel length, twist, bullet weight and powder burn time.  I will do some reading.  Something NEW on the list.

Garry, I guess you suspect issues with my factory barrel.  Something NEW on the list.  As for feeling for what fits.  Can you expand.  My bullet above the first “band” is .300.  The first band is .303” to .305.  Part of that less than round part.   Then crimp groove.  And of course the next band will be the first sized driving band which is .312” to .313” pre sizing.  I determined OAL by setting the bullet out just far enough to that the lands would not leave a mark on the .303” to .305” band above the crimp groove.  Do I put the bullet in a shell with the first driving bands exposed and feel for fit?  I was not aware that this was the MOST important task.  Although I did not dig deeper, I would be that just two lands of the 6 were leaving slight engraving.  I knew this was not optimal but.....had little idea how to resolve.

Bill then sheds some light on something I may have cut a corner on.  I inherited a SAECO sizer from my mentor who passed.  I use his generic flat top punch on the 31141 since I did not have one.  Perhaps my sizing is slightly off and that is the root cause of only seeing 2 of 6 lands engrave the bullet. Guess I should look into that.

Rimfire is so nice, just chamber and shoot!  Nothing got loaded today.  That was not the plan sadly.

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onondaga posted this 22 March 2015

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=3454>durant7

Feeling what fits has methods that vary with rifle action type. I don't know if you have a bolt rifle, a lever rifle or a single shot break open or falling/rolling block.

Single shot and bolt rifles are easiest to check feel of bullet slide into chamber throat. Gently chambering a round with a bullet that is under chamber throat diameter is effortless and easy. chambering a round with a bullet at equity to throat diameter is felt as a slight resistance when chambering. Chambering rounds with cast bullets  .001” or more than throat diameter gives definite pause to the sliding action. They may not even chamber if they are way too big, but you need to know this. If you ink your bullets, you can see where they contact upon chambering.

Feeling bullet slide in a lever rifle may be challenging but Ink on the bullets of loaded rounds or loaded dummies will tell the story.

"above the first band is .300", that sounds too small to be a bore riding nose for 30 Cal. Generally .302+ is common for bore riders in 30 Cal.  Your driving bands are progressive, that is not odd, however bullets with progressive band diameters are specifically designed to be shot un-sized. You can size them if you need to.  but then you lose the advantage of having progressive band diameters. Research the design reason for progressive band diameters if you need to understand that. But, that design is made to be shot un-sized.

If you have not made a dummy round with an un-sized bullet, I suggest you start right there with an inked bullet and see how it feels to chamber and see how it looks when you un-chamber it. If it chambers/un-chambers easily and it is marked from sliding into the throat, YOU HAVE A WINNER, JUST START SHOOTING.

Regarding the out of round you mention your bullets exhibit: If the small portion of the out of round area allows gas blow by, you have a significant problem and may experience heavy leading no matter what alloy, lube or bullet sizing or load level you try. Leading caused by that is not symmetrical and easily visible and easily diagnosed by an experienced gunsmith with a bore scope after some shooting. You may not catch that with the naked eye at all except that your targets will look like they have been shot with buckshot from a shotgun. (Poor Accuracy)

Keep in mind that a very experienced bullet caster can reliably control bullet diameter over about a .002” range with 30 cal. bullets to great advantage by modifying alloy, thermodynamics and casting cadence. Rookie casters don't even recognize bullet diameter variance as an error or a controllable tool.

Gary

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onondaga posted this 22 March 2015

http://www.castbulletassoc.org/forum/view_user.php?id=3454>durant7

Your questions about where to seat your bullet:

Magazine length if you have one, if not, 005- .010” engaging the lands if you can. At the most LOA, seat the bullet a depth into the neck equal to the bullet diameter, no shallower.

I seat my cast bullets that are long enough,  to engage the lands .010".  The engagement gives cast bullets a stable start in my Single shot rifles and most of my bolt rifles can do that too.

Crimp when you need  to stop bullet set back from recoil in a magazine. Other than that I don't crimp or will use a measured .003” light crimp with a Lee FCD. I generally use the FCD to also return case mouth flare for seating bullets back to zero when I have no crimp.

Some calibers and rifles have very long chamber throats. Example, I don't have any bullet weights in .458 Win Mag that are long enough to be seated out to engage the lands in my rifle.

Gary

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John Alexander posted this 22 March 2015

Durant7,I suspect you are beginning to feel like you are drinking from a fire hose.  Go back and read Ken's post.  There are only a very few factors that really count for accuracy levels above 1.5 MOA and unless you have a very exceptional Marlin 30-30 it is going to take awhile to get to that level. There are a lot of things that aren't perfect you can worry about but most of them don't amount to a hill of beans. 

As several have already said fit is the most important factor, but bullet design is next. Not all bullet designs are created equal. Ed's approach involving getting a custom bullet for your individual gun is good advice but it is also possible to shoot as well in unaltered production rifles with factory molds of a good design and fitted to your rifle. The 299 is a good place to start if your twist will stabilize it.

 Here are a half dozen things NOT to worry about until you are averaging groups of 2 inches at 200 yards. 

  1. Crimp - crimp can be important for pistol ammunition and  magazine rifles, and in only a few other instances for single loaded rifles.  You can look a long time at a CBA match looking for a crimp. 

  2. Sorting bullets by weight if your 31141 bullets don't vary more than 1.0 grains. 

  3. Weighing powder to the nearest tenth of a grain or to three tenth for that matter. 

  4. Bullets somewhat out of round or mold halves offset a .001” or a bit more. It's not ideal but they will shoot 1MOA if everything else is right. 

  5. Barrel roughness -- very rough barrels will shoot CBs very well if everything else is OK (barrel with consistent dimensions from throat to muzzle.  A little choke is ok and may even help.)  Polishing may make cleaning easier. 

  6. Variation in muzzle velocity -- this has a very poor correlation with group size in almost any reasonable load.  > There are dozens more useless things that that some shooters do that should be on this list but six above are some of the more tempting ones NOT to worry about. 

Two more suggestions -- First, if you haven't already, shoot several groups at 100 yards with good quality jacketed bullets and a load that works to see what is a reasonable goal for you and your rifle with cast bullets.  If these aren't as good as you hoped you may want to try reiieving the forend and magazine tube so they don't bind and mess things up as your Marlin's barrel heats. M.W. Curtess or other, can suggest how.

 Second, join the CBA and examine the match results in the Fouling Shot to see what bullets, powders, and loads work in factory rifles (military or hunting rifle classes) in the real world shooting in front of witnesses. The $17 investment in a year's digital CBA membership will produce a better return on investment than most of the other things you will be tempted to spend money on.  Good luck.  John

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OU812 posted this 22 March 2015

Marlin 336CB in 30-30 mfg 2001 Ballard 6 groove, 12:1 twist, 23.5” barrel Slugged .309ish.

Your Marlin with Ballard Six groove rifling was designed to work good with lead bullets. A good snug fitting bore rider such as 311299,314299 or RCBS 165 Sil mould should work @200 yards. Your 1-12 twist will stabilize these. If your gun has any freebore I would size bullets .0001-.0005 smaller than it's diameter.

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Ed Harris posted this 22 March 2015

Given the high cost of new factory production molds from Lyman, RCBS or Saeco, etc., and considering even with careful selection that chances are no better than 50-50 that your cherry-cut mass-production mold will cast a bullet which will “fit” without resorting to bumping, Beagling or extensive alloy experimentation.

By the time you go through the frustration of trying several production molds without success, you will be money ahead with much less time spent in frustration by simply doing your due diligence, asking questions and taking advantage of the expertise of others to make a good choice and do it correctly the first time.

73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia

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giorgio de galleani posted this 23 March 2015

Ed''s advice should be carved in stone .

Fit of the bullet in the throat is everything ,and finding a mass producted  cherry made mould that fits is like drawing the winning ticket at a  big lottery.

After having wasted time and money  I ordered  custom aluminum gang molds from

LBT ,  Accurate Moulds and Ranchdog moulds. The people who makes them know their trade.,and work to satisfy your personal  needs.

If you are clever with  the use micrometers chamber casting and such operations , good for you, I am not, so I shoot the larger bullets that chamber efforlessly in the rifle and get the best accuracy ,that my old eyes can give me.

If your rifle is a standard Marlin 30-30 with a standard throat ,in any type of rifling ,microgrooved or Ballard I would pass you my solutions ,I got two six cavity Lee with Ranchdogs  bullet designs , one is gas checked ,and the other plain based.

And for my intended purpose , that is plinking from offhand at 60 yards, the plain base is enough.

Another bullet ,with a conical nose and relatively short OAL lenght ,that can be easily loaded in many different 30 and 303 rifles is the 168 Harris 762x39 Nei bullet , as made by many mold makers .It should do well in the bolt actions.Fitting the tapered nose in the various throats.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 23 March 2015

durant7 ... slower powder .... this has not so much with barrel length, twist ... or other mysterious factors ... simply that the slower powders give a more gentle push at ignition.

almost ( 94% sure ) that cast bullet problems come from distorting our soft lead bullets in the first inch or so of travel . if the bullet fit is loose, it gets bent, mashed, turned sideways, ...bent during birth ...

plus gas blows by any unplugged spaces even before the bullet has moved out of the neck ... more distortion and the beginning of ” barrel leading ” .


i do like john a. s advice to shoot some high quality jakkted bullets to determine just how good your rifle could be eventually. i would add to soon shoot a few groups with cast to pin on the wall ... then even if your progress goes ( normally ) slow, you can feel good about each step .. as you go along .

further, in playing with cast, it is good to remember that you are really competing against what you did last time out .. not necessarily against some lucky guy who found that one rifle out of a thousand that is a natural one-hole shooter .

oh, rule 6 >>>> have fun !!!

ken

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durant7 posted this 24 March 2015

First, thank you so much for all the info.

Some background.  I am a silhouette shooter.  I have only been doing it for 15 years unlike others who have been doing it for a lot longer so I am still learning.  I got into CLA and last year I was 2nd at all three of our matches.  Prior year I did better.  I have lost confidence in my bullets with just 5 to 6 rams.  I start to guess and things go quickly down hill.  Reviewing last year I decided I need to work on my bullets because I know the gun and I can shoot.  Just not as of late.  Turns out I had both my cast bullets and some laser cast bullets that look the same to the eye but not the micrometer.  Time to start from scratch!

I also enjoy loading...or I was until I started to over think things.  But I don't ever give up.  I am going to figure this thing out and I am going to get 10 Rams!  My plan, learn how to cast and reload for better results at 200y.  So I joined CBA after lurking since 2009.  Yes, I am a member.

I read TFS today and see, just like Silhouette, the equipment issue is a topic.  I will have to say I am still processing the need to have a custom mould cut for my gun.  From this I should conclude I will need to have a 30 cal mould cut for each and every 30 cal gun I may purchase in the future?  One of the reasons I am playing with my Lever 30-30 is if I were to get a 308 or 30-06 bolt gun I would be good to go.  Guess not.  My true fantasy is to see if I can become competent enough to shoot HP silhouette with cast bullets for chickens and pigs and just use jacketed for Turkeys and Rams. (200, 300 385 and 500m)  I suspect it is possible but not with the same caliber rifle.  For now, I rearranged a few of the NH matches with an eye to making some of the CBA Benchrest matches in Bedford, MA with my lever gun and see what CBA is all about.

But time is not my friend.  Nor is the weather.  A new mould will be next year.  I have to make what I have work this year.  Working with what I have today, it would seem I should really play with OAL.  Since my gun slugged .309 +/- is .311 the right decision?  Up, down, stay the same?  

Powder, I am a rookie having only reloaded 30-30 and 44 Rem Mag and having used two powders.  Using a relative burn rate source here is one site's ranking.  

26 - Titegroup (works great in my 44 Mag) 57 - Unique (Std powder for 30-30 and what I have been using)125 - 4227 (suggested above) 140 - 4198 (suggested above) 148 - 3031 (suggested above) 157 - H322 (I own it but it seems to be for .223 small caliber stuff) 178 - 4895 (suggested above)

I don't mind buying a pound of something to try but is this a variable I should fool with first or are there others?  I own what is underlined.

Back using my current 31141 Ideal mould.  

-Power selection....push it slower huh?  Could this be a big gain? -Powder qty...more laddering over the Chronograph -Bullet Sizing....I have 250 sized at .311 with GC and Blue Angel. -Seating depth...go deeper and touch lands -Get a top punch made for the Saeco/31141

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 24 March 2015

by the time the bullet gets to the 0.308 main part of your barrel, it has been flopping around in your 0.313 throat, your 0.314 inside neck ( after ignition ), and has been wrinkled, gas burned, bent, slammed in 3 directions ... and just generally uncoherantated ... so::

it is more important for your bullet to fit the throat snugly ...

than to hope it somehow will rattle into the main barrel ( 0.308 ) the same way twice.


agreed this isn't fair ... chamber necks shoulda be made tight ... throats should be close to groove diameter ... throats should be long and gently tapered ... but production rifle chambers are made to accept a little grit on a hunter's ammo, and besides, jakkted bullets are very very forgiving ...

so we need to find out what each chamber looks like ( ie cerrocast it ) and figure out how to find or make a bullet to fit snugly the best we can . how much fun could a boy have !!

ken

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durant7 posted this 24 March 2015

Fair enough.  I have the 94 page Cast Bullets For Beginner & Expert by J. F. Brennan Jr.  My partner in crime pulls his out and needless to say, his was bigger than mine and I became another insecure male.    Is the "J. How to make sulfur barrel and chamber casting" my go to reference on casting my chamber or is there another source? 

Thanks!  It seems like this is the first step at least.  Ken your summary of the “internal ballistics” is increasingly convincing.

So, a group buy.  Did I miss something?  Everyone gets the same bullet but perhaps in 1 or 2 cavity config, HP, GC, etc.  Are they also getting different specs as to diameter and I failed to pick that up?  My assumption, folks are having a brand new mould custom made and shipped to them......but not custom to their chamber.  Guess I need to have a look at that.  Or perhaps you guys are in pursuit of something more than the guys who jump on yet another group buy.

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John Alexander posted this 24 March 2015

Your understanding of group buys is right.  They get you a custom design not normally available but not custom to your rifle.

As far as powders are concerned I would pick out one a little slower to go with your two fast burning ones AFTER looking at the popular powders used by the military rifle shooters. One of the three will work don't try a dozen powders or other lubes.  I also wouldn't spend a lot of time with the chronograph.  Trying to get knowledge out of what it has to offer is usually, although not always, like trying to tell the future by studying chicken entrails which at one time was the conventional wisdom.

One more comment. If the bullets you are now casting have some small defects do not spend a lot of time trying to cast perfect bullets. Your time can better be spent otherwise. Perfect bullets are pretty but a well fitted bullet of a good design will shoot minute of angle groups even if the bullets have minor defects like wrinkles and rounded edges -- and without sorting by weight. Badly fitted or poor designs will still shoot their lousy groups even if the bullet is perfectly cast and they all weigh exactly the same.

John

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joeb33050 posted this 24 March 2015

Here's my advice.I understand that you're shooting a Marlin 33 in 30-30, with Lyman 31141.Cast some good looking bullets. Inspect them, pick the good ones, don't weigh them.Put on gas checks, size to .310", any reasonable lube.If you're going to load the magazine, you have to crimp. If single loaded, no crimp.Single loaded is mpre accurate.Find the max OAL either way, where a loaded ctg does NOT de-bullet when you remove it from the chamber.Any primer, LP or LR.Load ~9 Unique if you don't have IMR 4227 or A#9.Better with 14.5/IMR 4227.Better with 13/A#9Shoot.Measure groups, WRITE IT DOWN!Change sized dia AND OAL, powder charge in half grain steps.Don't slug anything or measure anything or buy a custom mold or polish the barrel now.This recipe will get your gun shooting <2” 5 shot 5 group 100 yard averages, if anything will.If not, post to this forum and I'll get you there.A Marlin 336 in 30-30 will shoot <2", but not much < ever. (We'll now hear about the 3/4” 336 somebody's aunt's boyfriend shoots.) 

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John Alexander posted this 24 March 2015

As with some of the other good advice already given Joe's recipe is a good place to start -- especially if you don't want to spend any money right now.  

I will add one suggestion to Joe's post. After you have picked out the good bullets from your batch, save the ones that are wrinkled and have rounded edges, not the gross defects of course. After you start getting good groups, load those “bad bullets” and shoot them in alternative groups with your very best using the same sizing, OAL, load, etc. and let us know how the groups compared.  That would be a great contribution to the forum.

I forgot to mention earlier but I noticed that you have a sense of humor -- good. A sense of humor is valuable for anyone but especially for cast bullet shooters. It helps to reduce the chance of hypertension, depression, and possibly apoplexy.  It may also reduce the incident of random damage to nearby inanimate objects and small livestock.

John

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