View Full Version : My 405 WCF is making my hair turn grey!

405 WCF
04-15-2007, 09:25 AM
Clean barrel, softer bullets, ( aircooled WW ) lubed with a mix of 50/50 Lyman Moly and Lee Liquid alox.
OAL increased to maximum for the chamber of my rifle.
48 grs Norma 202, 1821 fps.
First two shots over the chrono, then five on the target.


I think that I have to order a bigger sizer, maby new lube, try some new powder, or else I really dont understand this.

04-15-2007, 09:31 AM
I thought vertical stringing was sometimes an indication of bedding issues. Have you tried altering the bedding by putting a shim in the stock at the muzzle end? I also know on some guns it can be a sign of resting the rifle on the mag tube or gas system that exerts pressure on the barrel in a different place or degree on different shots.

405 WCF
04-15-2007, 09:37 AM
Forgot to say that there is a lot of new lead in the barrel:(

Cimarron Red
04-15-2007, 10:13 AM
405 WCF,

At those velocities, I would think that a harder alloy is in order. What is the weight and design of your bullet? Does it have a gas check?

04-16-2007, 03:02 AM
Forgot to say that there is a lot of new lead in the barrel:(

..............There's the problem! Now to find out why. Cimarron Red asked some good questions. Also, if it's a PB try a cardwad under the slug before going to a harder alloy. Worth a try if you have a bunch cast up.


Bass Ackward
04-16-2007, 06:36 AM

Now you know. What you know is that you are leading. Before you run out and buy sizers, try and determine .... why you are leading. Did you shoot that on a CLEAN barrel?

This is why we recommend slugging to everyone. Then you can have some idea what size the gun needs and you can move to another area. And when you slug with light oil in the barrel, you can feel any tight spots, bad spots on lands, quick changes in twist rate, etc. You can feel if you have a belling at the muzzle from cleaning or anything. If you break seal because of those reasons, you are always going to have problems until it is corrected.

So slugging will tell you a lot if you "think" about what you "feel".

Then determine if a larger sizer is worth your time and money. If you don't want to slug, I would certainly slow WAY down. Say 1000 fps, shoot 20 or so and then come up to about 1200 fps. Shoot 20 there to condition the barrel. Then come up again and repeat this process. This does two things. First it will condition the bore and build up your lube. You may have a gun that requires a "Blackbore condition to perform. Second it will show you where your lube or hardness is failing.

04-16-2007, 10:53 AM
Your velocity is not a problem IF you have a GC boolit, sized over groove diameter. I nearly always target .002 over groove. That is after many years of trying for groove diameter or .001 over groove. The old manuals and guidance all said to use groove diameter or up to .001 over. Wrong...as most of the old advice was. Trying for .002 over groove diameter seems to have eliminated a great deal of headaches for me. A second "always" for me is to use a GC boolit in a rifle. It seems to make things easier. GC boolits do drive the cost up a few cents or so per shot, unlike a few years ago when it was about 1+ cents per shot, but the GC boolits are still way less expensive than jacketed. In addition, if everything is set up right, most of us can reach factory velocities with GC boolits, as long as the target velocities are in the mid 2000's or less. I know some of those on this board reach 3000 fps, but I have never tried to reach those velocities so can't expound on the ease or difficulty. I use ACWW with about 2% tin, and have reached 2000 fps in the .45-70 and over 2400 fps in an .358 Win. .30-30's and the like are no never minds re: velocity levels. You didn't tell us what rifle (# 1, 1895, or custom?) you are using, nor whether it was new or older. It matters upon occasion. If it is a new rifle, or older used for that matter, another item you might check is barrel condition. It may be necessary to lap it, or shoot 2 or 3 hundred jacketed bullets through it to smooth it up. But for absolute surety, ALL of the copper has to be out of the barrel before you can expect good results with cast...Pilgrim

405 WCF
04-16-2007, 02:33 PM
My bullets are GC style.
I have tried hard, medium and soft bullets, no matter, they lead the barrel anyway.

In my 444 I run 270-280 grs bullets over 2300 fps with no leading, and my 350 grs MM bullet at 2030 fps, and no leading.
My 405 slug .413 and my 444 .4305.
I size my 444 bullets .432 and my 405 bullets .414.

It must be some bad spots in the 405 barrel, but I can't see or feel them.
I think I have to order a .415 or maby even a .416 sizer, and maby some new lube, just to find out if that is the problem.

I would allso like to firelap the barrel, but I dont have any fast burning pistolpowder at home, so I really dont know how to load with the powder I have in my house.

My rifle chambers a unsized bullet, ( the mold drops them at .417 ), but only without the GC.
If I could do a good firelapping load with that unsized .417 bullet with any of my powder, ( VV n120, n130, n133 or Norma 202 ) I would be really happy.

04-16-2007, 02:48 PM
If your rifle will chamber a .417" diameter, I would go that direction. Seat the GC with a hard rubber or rawhide mallet and lube in a .418 or even slightly larger die. (You have to watch the lube pressure) Start with a clean barrel with all copper and lead traces removed. I am not real wild about your lube mix. Moly and lead do not strike me as a good idea and it is possible too that you are exceeding what Lee Liquid Allox will handle given the large bearing surface of the boolit.

Just my couple of thoughts


405 WCF
04-16-2007, 04:51 PM
SharpShooter! I dont understand how you meen that I am supposed to seat the GC without pushing it trough a sizer.
I am not so good at your language.
The bullet is to big with the unsized GC on, so it wont chamber.

Beau Cassidy
04-16-2007, 06:35 PM
My 1895 measures at .417. Got the sizer and had NEI cut me a custom mold but haven't shot any yet.


04-16-2007, 07:10 PM
What's Blackbore condition? Pat

Bass Ackward
04-16-2007, 08:06 PM
What's Blackbore condition? Pat


Blackbore is a term for a stable bore condition that is reached or established with a certain load / bullet design / lube combination.

04-17-2007, 06:52 AM
SharpShooter! I dont understand how you meen that I am supposed to seat the GC without pushing it trough a sizer.
I am not so good at your language.
The bullet is to big with the unsized GC on, so it wont chamber.

I understand what you are saying. Here is what I do...set the check on a hard flat surface, place the boolit base in the check and give the nose a couple of moderate whacks. It usually does not take much to seat the check firmly. I do this for several calibers and find that it is both faster and easier to do than using .
the press.


04-17-2007, 07:05 AM
Hi 405 WCF,

I think you are real close to being at maximum bullet size with your .417" unsized bullet. What I would do at this point is see if your gas checks will start into your .414" sizer die. If so, just set the stop so the bullet with gas check installed will go just far enough down into the tapered lead in to crimp the gas check on. Then stop. you don't want to size anything down any smaller than just enough to allow the round to chamber. Then try shooting some and see how they work.

I also agree that you need a different lube. And you MUST have all leading removed from the barrel.

Keep us posted on your project, sounds like an interesting one to me.



04-17-2007, 09:08 AM
What gun? If it's a Winchester copy with a rebounding hammer that is a typical group. It shows that the firing pin is not getting a solid hit on the primer. This one is pretty radical for a smokless load but not unknown. I have had so far 8 rebounding hammer winchesters in reference this problem. The cure is a good gunsmith that can re balance the rebound. USRA refuses to admit there is a problem. If it is another brand of rifle you already have a plethora of good ideas.

405 WCF
04-17-2007, 10:02 AM
That is how I always do when I put on the GC, but it is the unsized / uncrimped GC that mess things up.
The unsized GC is bigger than .417, ( my Hornady GC messure .420 ).

My rifle is an old original 1895 Winchester, 1920 someting I think.

04-17-2007, 10:12 AM
In the case of a .420 check after seating, I agree, you will have to use a die to just apply the crimp. My gas checks usually are slightly under boolit diameter after seating them and you cannot get them off without destroying the base of the boolit and so far accuracy hasn't been an issue. Heck in the old days they glued checks on and they stayed too.

Hang in there and you will figure out a way to make it work.:-D


04-17-2007, 02:13 PM
Unless you have other uses for that sizer, just hone it out. Usual method is use a rod wrapped with sandpaper as an axle and roll the sizer around. You can open it up to .416 without needing a new internal rod.

Unless you have checked the sized bullets yourself, part of your problem may be the sizer. You can't trust the marked diameter. A sizer marked .414 may be sizing to .413.

04-17-2007, 06:34 PM
FWIW...That vertical stringing is usually due to some form of velocity or ignition variation. The suggestion re: primer strike could sure enough be the problem. Get that item fixed, and your problems will probably be over. Pilgrim

04-17-2007, 08:13 PM
To my thinking resolving the leading is job #1
With out looking back thru your previous threads, have you driven one of these bullets thru your barrel, muzzle to breach?
Have you ever removed the lever and bolt, so you can put a cleaning rod down the barrel from the breach? This might give a better perspective from that end of the barrel
If you remove the lever and bolt you could use soft slug to check the diameter of that end of the barrel.
Also you could push the soft slug all the way thru from breach to muzzle looking for places with the barrel with more or less resistance. Maybe at some time during the rifles history the barrel got slightly bulged, from snow in barrel, water?
Are you annealing the gas checks? Sure makes sizing them easier and they grip the gas check shank tighter.
When you seat the bullet is the completed round just bearly short enough to function thru the rifle?

405 WCF
04-18-2007, 12:40 PM
Turned the bullets upside down in my push trough sizer and just crimped the GC.
Then I pressed it out the same way with a woodstick.
Loaded with 35 grs VV n120.
V/0 1726 fps.
Group under 1 in at 50 yards.
But, there is new lead in the barrel, not as much as the last time, but still lead.
So, my thoughts lean against new, better lube and bigger sizer, ( .416 ).
What lube do you think that I should buy?

04-18-2007, 12:44 PM
LBT Blue has worked very well for me over the years. I've had a couple of rifles that leaded and finally decided to try Veral Smith's fire lapping kit. In each case, that, combined with LBT Blue solved the problem.

405 WCF
04-18-2007, 12:56 PM
I can't buy LBT lube here in Sweden, neither any firelapping kit.
The lube I can get is Lee, Lyman, RCBS, Rooster, SAECO and Thompson.

04-18-2007, 06:45 PM
Rooster Red has done well for me.
Fire lapping kit you can make up for yourself. Just need a couple pieces if flat steel or plate glass..

04-18-2007, 08:58 PM
You can also try Lymans Super Moly lube and then maybe coat with the Lee Liquid Alox. See if that helps.

MT Chambers
04-19-2007, 12:22 AM
When i see groups like that I usually think inconsistant case neck tension, although my experience with this is with cast bullets and black powder.