View Full Version : Need help,again

12-21-2005, 03:23 PM
I made bullets with the Lee R.E.E.L. mold and it seems like they go down the barrel way to easy.I shot about 20 and the last one loaded like the first,no effort at all.The weight of the rod even pushed one of them down.I was shooting 100 yards and two of the bullets hit 50 yards in front of me like it just lobbed it out there.I made sure I had the same amount of powder every shot.The rifle was in a vice so I dont think I made it hit the dirt those two shots.Could the mold not be hot enough?I never swabbed the barrel between shots.They all went in the same ,in fact I never swabbed the barrel at all. Had alot of hang fire also,wich I never had before when shooting round ball.Is that because the patch makes a tighter seal and burns all the powder,and the R.E.A.L. bullet isnt quite the right diameter and letting gas blow past it causing the hang fire on the next shot?What Im trying to say is,is the mold not expanding enough to allow just enough more lead so I get a tighter fit in the bore of the rifle?Is the mold not hot enough?Walt

12-21-2005, 04:24 PM
The Undersize boolit is certainly the prime suspect. What diameter are you using vs. bore dimensions?

12-21-2005, 04:28 PM
BTW R.E.A.L. stands for rifling engraving at loading. If you are dropping em down the tube, it ain't gonna work. :groner: Are you getting properly filled out boolits from the mould?

12-21-2005, 05:44 PM
It does take a little effort to start REALs, like with MaxiBalls, more as the barrel gets fouled. If they're just dropping down there, you could throw rocks more accurately. SharpShooter hit the nail on the head, they're way too small for the bore. Give us some more info like the caliber, what kind of gun you're using (age & make), the alloy you cast them in (hopefully pure), which lube you're using, etc., and maybe we can help you figure out why. It could be simply a matter of adjusting your casting technique, but if it's that the barrel is oversized, you should be able to get around it by using patched round balls - patches come in different thicknesses and you can buy rb molds in almost any size you want.

12-21-2005, 06:08 PM
The rifle is a 54 cal.Cabelas Hawkin(Invest Arms),bought it this year.Lead is pure.Lube is Blue and Gray minnie and maxie ball lube.The round balls arent the problem.It shoots round balls just fine.The box the mold came in has Lee R.E.E.L.54 cal.printed on it.Walt

12-21-2005, 06:19 PM
OK, it shoots a .530 PRB good. Back to my original question...are you getting good casts? By that I mean well filled, sharp based boolits of a reasonably close to correct diameter. Also, have you slugged the bore to determine it's dimensions? The 54 cal Lee advertises it's diameter as .557...a snug fit. Lee moulds are world famous for dropping undersize boolits. If you are getting the usual Lee treatment, it can be cured by Beagling the mould.


12-21-2005, 06:58 PM
What is beagling?What is slugging the bore?The bullets dont just fall in the barrel.Hey Im new to all of this,I dont have a damn clue to what Im doing.Walt

12-21-2005, 07:12 PM
What is beagling?What is slugging the bore?The bullets dont just fall in the barrel.Hey Im new to all of this,I dont have a damn clue to what Im doing.Walt

No Problem! beagling is enlargement of a too small diameter mould. Read http://ktsammo.250x.com/castboolits/cst3.html to get the whole idea.

Slugging the bore is done to determine the correct size boolit you need. Use a large round ball of pure lead...say about 65 to 70 cal. Place the ball on the muzzle and whack it several times with a rawhide mallet or other non-marring hammer. You will drive the slug into the bore until it is somewhat flat. Take a dull pocket knife and gently pry around the flattened edge to remove the slug. If done correctly, there will be a protruding portion of lead that will reflect the diameter of your barrel internally. Measure the slug with a caliper and plan on finding or casting boolits .001 to .002 larger than that number.

Thats all there is to it for a ML.

12-21-2005, 07:38 PM
What about a Lyman Plains bullet?I should have known you get what you pay for.

12-21-2005, 07:47 PM
What about a Lyman Plains bullet?I should have known you get what you pay for.

Hang on a second now....If we can get some measurements, it is not a big deal to solve your problem. A little bit of math usually gives direction to accurate shooting. Do you have a micrometer? if you do, mesure the front band of the boolit and get back to me.

I'll pop into the chat for a while if you want to discuss it further

12-22-2005, 01:06 AM
Listen to SharpsShooter. It's no big deal to get things sorted out. Even if you don't have a mic, the vernier (dial caliper) that you use to check your OAL's (OverAllLength) of cartridges will do fine. Just using the inside measuring faces of the vernier should give measurements that will be close enough to tell if the barrel has an oversize bore. Slugging is still the best way to find out what's really going on and it's not difficult to do. If you get a little carried away like I did the first time and drive the ball in a little too far, drill a small hole in the ball and drive a screw into it, then pull it with a wood block and a claw hammer. [smilie=1: Those barrels are pretty well made in my experience, and it's more likely that the problem is either the casting method or the mold. Either of those problems can be fixed without difficulty. In fact, if it shoots prb's just fine, that pretty much eliminates the barrel as the cause I think. The rb's are .530 and the patches .010 or .015?

12-22-2005, 04:48 AM
..............Walt, the Lee REAL has 3 bands. The base band and middle band should easily go into the barrel with just thumb pressure. The top band shoudl engrave. You may be able to push it in with firm thumb pressure, or you might even have to use a starter like for a PRB. If not:

1) Poor casting, dropping undersize.
2) Undersize cavity. Send mould and a couple cast slugs to Lee. They'll fix you up.
3) Oversized bore.

This is all supposed to be fun. It can get frustrating at times especially when you suspect you're doing it all right. As in a centerfire shooting cast, for best accuracy in a ML'er, size again is very important.


12-22-2005, 02:43 PM
My Lyman Great Plains 50 cal - also made by Investarms- has a really large barrel. I had the same problem with REAL bullets "dropping" down the barrel. I've had slightly better luck with hollow base Hornady PA bullets- they obturate upon firing-but I think they only make them in 50 cal. With the slow twist barrel on my rifle, I didn't expect conicals to shoot as well as RBs, but you never know unless you try! Since I'd taken several deer with conical bullets already (out of another ML), I decided to stick with the RBs this time around. Now if I could control my buck fever, I'd have a freezer full of venison as we speak...

12-22-2005, 10:10 PM
I dont have any calipers or anything like that.I might buy a box of buffoalo bullets and see how they go in the bore,only about $9,what the hell I get to shoot them anyway.They should go in with a firm stroke of the rod right?The patches I use with a 54 cal round ball are .010 thickness.Do you think trying a buffalo bullet to see how it fits is a good idea or not.Like I said have never done this before.I reload for my centerfire rifles but have never casted anything.Thanks for your patience and help.I let stuff like this irritate me until I get it right.Walt

12-23-2005, 01:05 AM
1) Poor casting, dropping undersize.

Yep...if I was a betting man. What temp are you casting at? With my Lee Real mold and plumbers lead I cast at 850 degrees to get good bullets. Lube matters too.

12-23-2005, 04:19 AM
............Yo Walt! Wait one dude! Don't spend $9 on some boolits for no good reason, and to what end? If you reload now and are getting into casting you really, REALLY need at least a dial caliper. You can get the things these days from numerous places for ridiculus money. I've seen them at $15 regular price and on sale for less.

For sure they're not a Starrett or Brown & Sharp, but they will getcha within a thousandth. They have a set of jaws for OD and one for ID diameters, and you can use the stem for depth measurements to 6" (if you get a 6" caliper).

You can get a good idea of the bore and groove of your gun without doing a bore slug with'em by direct reading, if you have an even number of lands and grooves. If it's an odd number of lands and grooves in a round barrel, you still can. If it's an octagon barrel take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning :D

".................They should go in with a firm stroke of the rod right?"

Minie's or other conicals? Normally not. For a PRB you'd use a starter because the thing fully engraves at the muzzle. A Minie' or other conical should be a slidding press fit and not requiring any beating, banging, cursing, screaming, or ill tempered thoughts.

You should be able to thumb the Minie' fully into the muzzle and then run it home atop the powder in one smooth motion. Same deal with a PRB. I have seen gonzo's bouncing thier ramrods on the freshly seated slug. Do not do that as it aids nothing other then messing up the slug. If it was good, then those folks selling store bought lead Minie's would have them pre beat to death to save you the trouble.

Hang in there Walt. Pretty soon you'll be a steely eyed black powder man with his lip curled in disdain for those lesser souls, who deal only in jacketed slugs and scopes :-)


12-24-2005, 11:28 PM
Cast some more bullets today.Got the lead hotter and the mold hotter.I made about 30.The last half that were casted turned out larger.Is that because the mold was hotter?

12-24-2005, 11:51 PM
Yes it is. Often you will get better filled out boolits with a bit hotter temp on the alloy. The alloy tends to flow more freely and it fills the mould entirely giving you proper dimensions. Did they enlarge enough to engrave the rifling this time? You can tell by trying to start one down the bore without actually seating it.

12-25-2005, 12:55 PM
Like SharpsShooter for big bullets and soft lead hotter is better for me. With out the tin to help flow I get best results at 850-875 with straight pb.I also gave up on bottom pouring anything over 300 gr. My reject rate went down to 5% or so from 30% just by dipping