View Full Version : First Cast Rifle Bullets

12-25-2008, 12:28 PM
Got to shoot my first cast rifle bullets the other day. The gun is a Savage 111 in 30-06. With Williams aperture sight. I'm still getting used to the sight. The bullets were WW with about 2% tin added coated in synthetic wheel bearing grease and wrapped in teflon tape(two wraps). The bullets were unsized. The molds are Lee 120 gr., 150 gr. and 180 gr.. The load for the 120 was 8 gr. Green Dot with polyester filler for 1301 fps.. The load for the 150's was 24 gr. Reloder 7 with polyester filler for 1873 fps.. The 180's were also 24 gr. R7 for 1822 fps.. I set the target at 50 yards. Five rounds of 120 and 150 went into about six inches each. The 180's grouped about 12 inches. Like I said I'm still getting used to the sights. Expect I'll be able to do better with this load in the future. Any ideas about the 180 gr. bullets? Wouldn't mind getting the velocity up with all of these loads, especially the 120 grainer. I am worried that adding more powder might effect accuracy.

12-25-2008, 12:42 PM
It sounds like your molds are perfect candidates for paper patching.
I have the 180gn mold for my .308. I size to .308, then wrap with two wraps of notebook paper producing .317. This I size to .309. First 40rds with, using the Lee 2.8 dipper of 4895, I got dead on at 100yds! This was also using the Williams Reciever sight on my Ishapore.
I really like that sight.
I have not gotten any results with just casting. I usually get 20ft of berm at 100yds. I have tried everything.
Paper patching made the difference.
I cut 1" strips, 2 3/16, dip in water, use my infamous cigarette roller, twist the tails and let dry. A little JPW, size to .309, next day or so. Mostly untill real dry, load and fire away.
I believe without looking it up, the load is 38gns of 4895.
No key holes, groups more than good enough for me. If I went .310, rather than .309 I might get tighter. Don't have a sizer so I do not know, yet.

12-25-2008, 12:51 PM
if you are shooting 6" groups at 50 yds i would be lookin at other things not velocity.
my advice.
get rid of the teflon,try some real lube.size to 311 or 310.
and try a dacron or lint filler with the rl-load.
if these are plain based boolits you may find yourself backing down the load to near the 1550 area for accuracy.

12-25-2008, 01:00 PM
I'm with Runfiverun. It should solve a lot of problems, and not have so much make-work involved. You are just starting to shoot cast in your rifle, so don't put a lot of variables in the mix. Just size your boolits properly, and use a decent lube. This should cut your groups in half or less.
I suspect MUCH less.
Save the wrap patching until you get the basics down.

12-25-2008, 02:13 PM
"If you are shooting 6" groups at 50 yds i would be lookin at other things not velocity.
my advice. Get rid of the teflon,try some real lube.size to 311 or 310 and try a dacron or lint filler with the rl-load. If these are plain based boolits you may find yourself backing down the load to near the 1550 area for accuracy."

Jonathan, I'm also in agreement with runfiverun's advice. However, one of the first things you need to do is to slug your bbl. to determine its dimension and the diameter you'll need to size those CB's to, somewhere between .309" & .312" I think. As for the Williams aperture sight, with a properly lubed & sized CB, you should be able to put all shots into one big hole @ 50 yds., particularly if you watch your powder charge/velocity. If your CB's are designed for gas checks and you use them, I think I'd strive for 1,700fps - 1,750fps with the powders you mentioned. If you have Hercules/Alliant, try 16grs., which will only -> 1,600fps, but is of proven accuracy in the .30-06.

12-25-2008, 03:16 PM
In rifles I have to use HARD HARD lead, lino,+.

12-25-2008, 03:20 PM
Thanks for the advice. I'm out of lead so I'll have to try to get more before I cast anymore. I'll try the 16 grains of Reloder 7 with the 180 grainer when I do.
I've considered slugging the bore but I'm worried about damaging the barrel. I'd need much better instructions than I've been able to come up with thus far.
Thanks again for the advice.

12-25-2008, 03:49 PM
in my rifles i use a softer tougher more maleable lead. kinda like ww's and some tin.
or an offshoot of lino and pure.kinda like 5/5 mix.
hard isn't tough.

now: to slug a bbl,you get a fishing sinker [oval and pure] put some oil in the bbl with a patch.
and drive the slug through it. usually with a tight fitting dowell or brass rod, you also want to take a slug of the throat so you can see how your boolit nose fits.

12-25-2008, 03:51 PM
Jonathan, you slug the barrel each time you fire a shot!
It is simple, get a piece of lead that you can pound down the bore. Measure that.
Use a wood dowel to push it through.
Use a piece of wood to drive the lead into the muzzle.
I snipped off the nose of one of my castings. It was within .001 bore. It went very easily.

12-25-2008, 05:48 PM
In rifles I have to use HARD HARD lead, lino,+.

Buck, I suspect you may have some kind of a problem, if you need that hard of a boolit to get your rifles shooting well. I've never really needed any extra hardening agent, ie birdshot for arsenic content, and water quench for up to 2700 fps range.

12-25-2008, 09:13 PM
The wood dowel for slugging the barrel sounds safe. I have read Norman F. Johnson and Veral Smith. They both use metal, welding rods. Works for them. I don't feel comfortable with it. I'll try a wood dowel.
I know there are people who frequent this board who use teflon. That is where I got the idea. Wouldn't mind some imput from them.
Maven, do you have experience with Williams sights? I find mine very difficult to adjust. Any tips on using an aperture sight?

12-25-2008, 09:22 PM
Reciever sights are simple.
Look through the eye piece, and put the front sight where you want it to go. I prefer to put the top of the front sight directly under the target.
When first sighting in, it is something like a scope. Look down the line of the bolt, and put the eyepiece directly over the center line of the bolt. Then, remove the bolt, bed down the rifle. Look down the barrel so the target is visible. Lock the rifle down at that point. Look through the reciever sight. Move the eyepiece either up, or down, to line up with the target.
Then, start sighting it in. I prefer a pie plate, or paper plate. Cross hairs are for down the road.
I make an hole in the target, then try to put the rest in the same hole.
That is how I adjust my sights.
A note, scratch a line where the sight is centered for your typical shooting, both on the X, and Y axis. I have had to remove the sight from time to time, on my Enfield, when I clean the barrel, and haveing marks helps return to zero.
Good luck.

12-26-2008, 12:31 PM
Thanks docone31. The advice I have gotten up to now is put the front sight in the middle of the rear sight. I'll try your advice.

12-26-2008, 01:28 PM
You do put the front sight in the middle of the aperture.

Do you have a bead front sight or a post? If a post, you put the
top of the post in the center of the aperture, and the point of aim
is just at the top of the post. You will probably have to adjust the
sights for the boolit holes to appear at that point.

If you have a bead front sight, center the bead in the aperture, and
the point of aim is normally the top edge of the bead at long ranges.

Some folks complicate the whole deal by having a big white bead
for poor light or extremely quick shooting (charging African biters and
stompers, for example) and they set up the aiming point to be the
middle of the bead, with the idea that you use it kind of like a red
dot sight is used nowdays. This is a great idea for this super fast
and not particularly precise shooting, but is no good for trying to
shoot little groups.

For a normal brass bead and target shooting or normal game shooting,
the point of impact is normally adjusted to be just at the top edge of
the bead.

NOW - for precise aiming - aim at the bottom edge of the bullseye, as
this gives you a better precision point of aim than trying to aim at the
middle of an 8" bullseye at 50 or 100 yds with iron sights. You will
hit at the bottom edge if you sights are adjusted for the load you are
using, but so what - unless you are shooting in a match where the holes
need to be in the middle of the bullseye for scoring. In that case, you
still aim for the bottom edge (6 o'clock hold, it is called) but you adjust
the sights so the holes are in the 10 ring of the bullseye. This is of no
value for hunting since you are shooting 4" high at 50 yds, but is perfect
for that kind of target shooting.

Another way is to use small bulleyes, but I have much better luck seeing
resonable sized bullseyes and using a 6 o'clock hold. YMMV. :-D

Hope this helps.


PS For a starting situation, lose the teflon tape like the others said. It is an
interesting alternate method, but is not a good place to start.

12-26-2008, 01:52 PM
the problem with teflon tape is that when you but heat to it it makes a noxious gas [flourine?]
something like that..good for clearing a battlefield, but not something i wanna huff each time i pull a trigger.

12-26-2008, 08:26 PM
Thanks MtGun44. I do have the Williams brass bead front sight. I'll study what you said.
runfiverun I'll shoot what I have already loaded and look into the teflon more carefully. Don't want to poison myself. Wonder if the dacron filler I use makes any difference?

12-26-2008, 09:34 PM
Jonathan: I think everyone at Cast Boolits will agree that you should dump the teflon. Get ahold of Lars 45 on this board and get some of his red lube. Buy a Lee .310 sizer; they're cheap, and cast your bullets from wheel weights. This simplifies your loading procedure and will get those groups down where you want them. Don't worry about velocity; most cast rifle bullets shoot best around 1600 fps. Keep reading these posts and keep casting. One last thing; if you are using a gas check bullet mould you really need to buy some .30 gas checks. That Lee sizer will seat them.

12-26-2008, 09:43 PM
I set the target at 50 yards. Five rounds of 120 and 150 went into about six inches each. The 180's grouped about 12 inches.

Wouldn't mind getting the velocity up with all of these loads, especially the 120 grainer. I am worried that adding more powder might effect accuracy.
You mean...make it worse?

12-27-2008, 12:16 AM
I am with everyone else, get some better lube, size them, and slow em down. Some of my best loads are only doing 1550-1600fps.

12-27-2008, 01:20 AM

Take a look at this:


That should get you where you need to be as far as slugging your bore. It's gonna be like fumbling for the light switch in the dark until you get your bore dimensions. Only then will you know what size your boolits need to be. Boolit fit is everything. That's the basis for the accuracy and the secret to avoiding leading. I personally use a steel rod, but I wrapped it with electrical tape to protect my bore. Dowel rods are OK, but use short lengths to avoid breaking the wooden rod. Remember to change only one thing at a time, or you won't know what worked or didn't. Buy some good commercial lube. Later you can make some if you want, but there are some very good ones, such as Lars Carnauba Red, RCBS, Alox, and others. Get rid of the teflon for now and concentrate on plain old reasonable cast boolit loads. If I was going to recommend some powder to you that would be very likely to perform well, it would be Alliant 2400, Unique, and 4895. All are pretty safe bets. Hang in there, ask questions, and before long you'll be shooting some really nice groups.

Take care,


12-27-2008, 11:54 AM
Jonathan, let me add a couple of ideas about aperture sights (Williams and/or others), which I prefer to 'scopes, but my eyes say otherwise. First, where you position the front sight (bead or post) is important, but whereever you choose to "hold," do so consistently. Second, a surprisingly small amount of movement (elevation and windage) makes a great deal of difference @ 100 yds., so don't move everything a great deal at first. Third, make sure your sight is Loctited to the receiver, else it will move and you won't be able to sight the rifle in. While you're at it, check the rifle's bedding screws (bolts) for tightness as well. Fourth when sighting in I usually do so on a clean target board (24" x 24") @ 50 yds. or at least one covered with fresh brown paper: I use a large paper grocery bag/sack cut and unfolded and stapled to to cover my target backer if it's not new. Get a 4" - 8" high contrast target (dayglow orange is excellent) and place it in the center of your target backer (at 50 yds.). Using a steady rest (rifle supported front & rear), fire 2 or 3 shots at the target and note where they strike. You then slowly change either windage or elevation or both and repeat the process until you're satisfied. Lastly, move the target to 100 yds. (Use a new one.) and fine tune the adjustments. Btw, I think I'd sight in with 16grs. Alliant/Hercules 2400 and the heavier CB's since it's a proven load.

12-27-2008, 08:51 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for their imput. I was able to shoot today. While I was cleaning the gun after shooting the rear aperture fell off. Loctite sounds like a good idea.
I do have some 2400. I'll try it next time. How much to use for 1600 fps? Pb load data is hard to come by.

12-28-2008, 12:07 PM
16grs. of 2400 if the CB has a gas check, 12 -14grs. if it's PB. However, if you're going to shoot PB bullets, I'd consider using different powders. 8 - 10 grs. of Unique or Blue Dot are good places to start, but you'll want to limit velocity to ~1,500fps for the best accuracy and least bore leading.

12-28-2008, 02:03 PM
10 grs of unique or reddot will do ya too

12-28-2008, 04:11 PM
Thanks for the data. I have three bullet weights. 120gr., 150 gr. and 180. They are all gas checks. I used Hornady. Will the data you gave me work with all three bullet weights?

12-28-2008, 06:27 PM
The suggested loads will work for the 150 & 180gr. CB's. I'd use only 6 - 7grs. of Red Dot or Bullseye for the 120gr. one.