A few weeks ago I posted a discussion to the subject of shooting cast bullets in a .17 cal. centerfire rifle. This discussion created a lot of interest among viewers and I'm glad to say it is becoming a reality thanks to encouragement from readers, and the help of David Reiss, by loaning me a new .17 caliber NOE mold. I bought gas checks and bullet sizing equipment from NOE. I have already cast, sized and put gas checks on the ones designed to do so. The mold casts one GC bullet and one plain base bullet. I dug out some empty cases today and threw them in the case tumbler.
These cases are made from .218 Bee or 25-20-32-20. They have a lot more powder capacity that the .17 Ackley because they are blown out nearly straight with a 40 degree shoulder and only have a .120 long neck. They have nearly the same powder capacity as a .17 MKIV. In my earlier writing I had said they had necks .172 long but they are not. I hadn't looked at one of the cases in several years. Years ago I made up 100 cases that didn't have to be sized. I made the necks to where they only had enough clearance to expand enough to let the bullet out and spring back with the proper tension to reload. The problem is that years ago on a prairie dog hunt I got the empties mixed up. I'm going to try and pick some of them out of my empties if possible. I made a set of collet reloading dies for it when I built the rifle along with cartridge forming dies.
I ran through lots of different powders when I first started working up loads for jacketed bullets. IMR 4198 was the only powder that I had any luck with and the accuracy with it was outstanding with 20 and 25 gr. bullet both .Maybe some of you can help me. I've been seeing some loads in loading manuals for small capacity cartridges such as .22 Hornet using RL7 powder. The velocity isn't near as high but the pressure isn't near as high as the 4198 is. In this experiment I'm not concerned with high velocity but load density and low chamber pressure would really be welcome. I have become a RL7 fan with my big bore jacketed rifles .If anyone out there has tried this powder in small capacity cases let me know. I don't want any calculations done with a computer or calculator. I only want to hear from people with real experience. Until I get some linotype I'm not going to get real serious about working up loads. I want to alloy some hard bullets. The govt. wheel weights that I wrote about might possibly be my answer, they are pretty dad gum hard.
It would really be fun if I could get a accurate cast load worked up for the bunny shoot. It has killed oodles of real prairie dogs so it is time to kill some paper bunnies.
I will add more as progress evolves or I hope it evolves When I get my nerve up I will try posting some pictures of the rifle and ammo. Since I got Windows 10 I have heck doing anything. I have to upload pictures to a German site and I don't speak German. I taught myself enough German words so that I navigate it somewhat. I also photo shop the pictures with German Directions. Downloading to Ebay is pretty easy but Gunbroker is a pain in the rear. I hate to think what downloading to an unfamiliar format will be like.
David a. Cogburn