? Different diameters from the same mold by manipulating casting technique.

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  • Last Post 07 April 2019
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harleyrock posted this 21 February 2019

I want to reduce the diameter of my cast bullet to be able to paper patch it.

I have a Lee C285-130 RF six cavity mold that throws bullets of .287" from range scrap cast at approximately 760*F.  I need the bullet to be .279".  I don't believe I can reduce that much by running them through a sizing die.

How can I change alloy, casting temperature and casting rythym to get a smaller casting?

Can it be done?

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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joeb33050 posted this 21 February 2019

From .287" to .279"? No.

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45 2.1 posted this 21 February 2019

.  I don't believe I can reduce that much by running them through a sizing die.  Easily done......... A custom Lee push thru sizer is how, but you need to polish the tapered part well.

How can I change alloy, casting temperature and casting rythym to get a smaller casting?  You're not going to be able to do that...................

 

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Scearcy posted this 21 February 2019

I have been able to size .375 bullets enough to be used in my 9.3x74. This required a reduction of about .01. I did use a Lee die. You can use very soft alloy for paper patched bullets which will help with the sizing process. You will need a pretty good press.

Jim

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John Alexander posted this 21 February 2019

As far as your second question about varying the diameter by casting technique and alloy, I don't have much to offer but I believe I have seen Onondaga write that it is possible for as much as .001".

 

How about it Gary, is it possible and can you tell us how to do it"?

John

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JeffinNZ posted this 21 February 2019

This is how I do it.

https://castbulletassoc.org/blog/article/2017/2/46/sizing---how-much-is-possible?

Cheers from New Zealand

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harleyrock posted this 21 February 2019

Nice article and photography Jeff.

Tom Stone

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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onondaga posted this 21 February 2019

You can slug hone Lee aluminum molds to make them larger in diameter and the easier route if you truly need .279"  is to order the Lee C277 135 RF and slug hone it to .279 on the bands. It is a simple procedure and I have posted on it on this forum. I enlarged the Lee C309-170 F and C309-150 F to .312" for 7.62X39. You only need .002" and that is hours easier than the .003" I did.

I used Dawn soap and flowers of pumice for abrasive on the slug with a screw head I cast for honing. It takes clean hand work and trial casting to check size as you work.

Gary

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Ross Smith posted this 21 February 2019

Lee dies are OK. But. With the NOE set-up all you change is the bushing and you can get several sizes in each cal. That way you can size down in steps. Also you need to lube first or you will destroy the lube grooves, and not just tumble lube. That means either pan lube or use an oversize lyman lube-sizer die. Size variance from heat control will be minimal, the harder the alloy the bigger the bullet too.

Jeff's article is great also.

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harleyrock posted this 22 February 2019

Lee dies are OK. But. With the NOE set-up all you change is the bushing and you can get several sizes in each cal. That way you can size down in steps. 

I have the NOE sizing die setup, I just need more bushings.

Also you need to lube first or you will destroy the lube grooves, and not just tumble lube. That means either pan lube or use an oversize lyman lube-sizer die. Size variance from heat control will be minimal, the harder the alloy the bigger the bullet too.  Does that mean 30 to 1 lead to tin will make smaller bullets?

Tom Stone

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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Ross Smith posted this 22 February 2019

Harley: The range scrap I get is pretty soft and us muzzleloaders consider it lead. Any thing you add to lead will make it harder, and also increase the casting diameter, plus bullet weight goes down. Straight ww will be larger in diameter and weigh less and be harder than pure lead. Add linotype and it becomes more so. My basic casting for a 30-06 @ 2000fps is one linotype to  3 ww.It's about the same as lyman # 2. This stuff can be hard to size and seat a gas check if your squeezing more than 1-2 thou. The nice part with push thrus is you can do that in steps much easier than with a lyman lub-sizer. If you go in small enough steps you might not need to pre-lube maybe sometimes hopefully.

30:1 tin will cast slightly bigger and slightly harder(notmuch) and a lot prettier than pure lead.  they will be slightly smaller and softer than ww.The tin is mostly to increase the "castability" of the alloy. It fills out the mold better. Antimony makes em harder.  The Lyman cb manual has a very good section on this.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 22 February 2019

a slight consideration to sizing down is that it tends to make the lube grooves shallower ...  in most loads this is not a real problem, but there are rare times when you want a whole bunch of lube .  or at least a whole bunch of lube grooves ( g ) ...

another aspect of cast that after 130 years of smokeless shooting we are still not sure about. 

******************

as i get older, it occurs to me that shooting cast bullets is very similar to my failing memory .....  every joke is new to me, and every time i shoot the old load doesn't work, and i need to start all over ... ....

ken

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harleyrock posted this 22 February 2019

I am going to paper patch, so lube in the grooves while sizing down is just to preserve the front to back integrity of the bullet(so the front doesn't get squished more than the back).  

From what I have read you can use softer lead with high velocity because you won't get the leading which robs you of accuracy with lubed, otherwise naked bullets.  The range scrap I get is about the same hardness as clip on wheel weights.

I have ordered Paul Matthews book "Paper Jackets" from Amazon.  It should arrive today.

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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45 2.1 posted this 22 February 2019

I am going to paper patch, so lube in the grooves while sizing down is just to preserve the front to back integrity of the bullet(so the front doesn't get squished more than the back).  

There is more to it than that.................. Sizing down soft bullets without lube will be more difficult and usually the bullet deforms and/or foreshortens. A little case lube or soapy water rolled on the drive bands with your fingers helps when sizing and is fairly easy to remove with a towel.

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harleyrock posted this 24 February 2019

I wasn't talking about lube for lubricities sake, I was talking about filling the grooves with something that is not compressible, preserving the space.

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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4570sharps posted this 07 April 2019

Try using a Lee bullet sizing die. I've resized 338 jacketed bullets to 329 with  one for a 95 Steyr in 8x56r.

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