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Thread: If you think so, try this.

  1. #1
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    If you think so, try this.

    There's a lot of misinformation still out there about cast bullets. I just read in a very nice, professionally made magazine that lead alloys rub off on the bore at high speed to cause leading. I thought I'd start a thread where folks could post experiences that run contrary to such conventional nonsense. I'll start with a few that grate on me, and open it up for anyone else to chime in that might want to.

    If you think leading is caused by rubbing off in the bore, try this: Look down the barrel of high power pellet rifle. There will be no leading at all at over 1000 fps from the air rifle, but your 38 special will lead like mad from unlubricated lead bullets at 500 fps.

    Try this too: Get a heavy steel plate and lay it so that it presents a flat surface at a shallow angle, facing down so there will be no richochet into the distance. Fire a bullet across the plate and go take a look at it. You will not find any adherent lead. You will only find a powdery lead smear that you can wipe off with your finger.

    If you think that bullets can lead at high velocity because they 'run out of lube', try this: Shoot through a sheet of newspaper from a distance of 10 or 15 feet: You will find small flecks of lube thrown off by the bullet's spin all over it. Cast bullets have lube far in excess of any need, or there wouldn't be any left to spin off after it exits the muzzle.

    Try this too: Saturate a bore mop with bullet lube and coat the bore for each shot. You'll find that the load that caused leading before will still cause leading, though there is no possibility that the bullet 'ran out of lube.

    If you think that bullets can't strip the rifling, try this: Load a series of shots from very light to the highest velocity that the rifle will still shoot well. Shoot them into something that will allow you to recover the base of the bullet. Large bundles of loose cloth or paper will work well. Even fine sand will do. It will shatter the bullet nose, but the base is usually recoverable. Find the bullet after each shot and mark it. Lay them out side by side by side and look at the width of the engraving groove. You will find that (above a certain point) it gets wider and wider as the velocity increases. You'll also find that accuracy - and leading - becomes wild when the width of the engraving nearly covers the bullet.

    If you think that leading isn't caused by etching from the hot propellent gas, try this: Fire a few mild rounds of cast bullets in your rifle that have no lube. After you've got that mess cleaned up, load a few more rounds with the same powder charge, the same unlubricated bullet, but put about 1/2 cc of Cream of Wheat under the bullet. (Keep it in place with a bit of cotton ball.) The cream of Wheat will firewall and keep the hot gas off the bullet. You'll find your bore remains bright, clean and competely lead-free.

    Try this too: Take the bullet that is leading, and load it to the same velocity with a slower burning powder. Go from unique in your 357 Mag to 2400, and you'll go from bad leading to lead-free.

    Try this too: Wrap that unlubricated bullet in a paper patch. The paper will also act as a firewall to keep the gas off the bullet. And again, you'll find that your bore remains bright, clean and completely lead-free.
    Last edited by Molly; 06-22-2011 at 01:04 PM.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
    Vendor Sponsor klcarroll's Avatar
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    Hey Molly!

    That's a great set of observations!


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I disagree

    Seriously Im gonna print this out onto a card and the next gunstore I go into where the nut behind the counter is telling someone one of the various myths about cast boolits I'm just gonna hand him this and give him the name of the site.

    I just left a Police Supply/ Gunstore and had to listen to the owner telling a guy that all lead bullets foul the bore, that he gc's all his cast boolits and they still lead, and you cant shoot more than 1-200 boolits before cleaning or else youll never get the lead out.

  4. #4
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by akajun View Post
    I disagree

    Seriously Im gonna print this out onto a card and the next gunstore I go into where the nut behind the counter is telling someone one of the various myths about cast boolits I'm just gonna hand him this and give him the name of the site.

    I just left a Police Supply/ Gunstore and had to listen to the owner telling a guy that all lead bullets foul the bore, that he gc's all his cast boolits and they still lead, and you cant shoot more than 1-200 boolits before cleaning or else youll never get the lead out.
    Gee, I'm sorry to hear that. I've got a 357 that I use with Keith loads that I hardly ever clean. Well, unless holster wear suggests it's time to reblue it again. It gets cleaned that often at least. But I never have any problem with leading, and it's been decades since it last saw a gas check.

    If you think you can't shoot more than one or two hundred bullets without leading, try this: Stop using fast burning powders for high velocity. Try a recommended load of 2400 or H-110. Use a hard alloy - Wheelweights at least - and the Alox/beeswax lube, not something blue or red or polkadot or ... Size to fit the throat of your gun, not the bore. You'll find that your gun has been magically transformed, doesn't lead any more, and is astonishingly more accurate.
    Last edited by Molly; 05-16-2011 at 03:50 PM.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by akajun View Post
    the various myths about cast boolits I'm just gonna hand him this and give him the name of the site..
    I wish you well.
    However; I've found that the truth doesn't stand a chance against a well established myth.
    Uncle Sam wants YOU!!
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    After a luxurious initial vacation & indroctrination period:
    You'll travel to exotic, distant lands.
    Meet exciting, unusual people from ancient cultures:
    And kill them.




    In our modern, and enlightened age:
    The only thing the meek shall inherit, is a berqua.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master leftiye's Avatar
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    Thas cuz everbody always lies. Isn't that what they're telling you when they automatically don't believe you? Onondaga turned me onto an interesting book "People of the Lie" by a guy named Peck. Not saying I buy it all, but some of it is earthshaking.
    We need somebody/something to keep the government (cops and bureaucrats too) HONEST (by non government oversight).

    Every "freedom" (latitude) given to government is a loophole in the rule of law. Every loophole in the rule of law is another hole in our freedom. When they even obey the law that is. Too often government seems to feel itself above the law.

    We forgot to take out the trash in 2012, but 2016 was a charm! YESSS!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    I wish you well.
    However; I've found that the truth doesn't stand a chance against a well established myth.
    Your right, this guy is different and I doubt he even has ever cast a bullet. He once tried to sell me a m1 garand as a ww2 bringback "not any of that imported junk". Funny when I looked on the barrel, it was stamped Century Arms. FUnny, I didnt know Century was issuing rifles to GI's in the European theatre.



    I dont go in there on a regular basis, but he does have a good selection of police supplies, and I was in need of something that the other Police Supply store in town doesnt carry.
    Last edited by robertbank; 05-17-2011 at 10:12 PM. Reason: Language

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by akajun View Post
    Your right, this guy is different.
    We've got a local gunshop owned by a guy like that.
    He's lived at least 15 lifetimes worth of high adventure,,,,,,,
    and accumulated about that much expertise in many, many fields.

    Hmmmm,,,, From all the similar stories I've heard-
    I wonder if such a personality is a requirement for working in a gun store?
    Last edited by robertbank; 05-17-2011 at 10:12 PM.
    Uncle Sam wants YOU!!
    He wants you to join the Marines.

    After a luxurious initial vacation & indroctrination period:
    You'll travel to exotic, distant lands.
    Meet exciting, unusual people from ancient cultures:
    And kill them.




    In our modern, and enlightened age:
    The only thing the meek shall inherit, is a berqua.

  9. #9
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Ummm Gentlemen, could we return to the thread topic? It's OK to note how ignorant some (NONSPECIFIC) folks are, but the idea is to pinpoint their ignorance and explain why it's wrong.

    Thanks,
    Molly

  10. #10
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    More mis-information abounding. Companies like Century Arms import various firearms for refurbishing, and use a roll stamp according to federal law, to mark them. So just because something is marked CAI, doesn't mean they can't be a somewhat legitimate piece. I know I worked on around 6000 AK's from Romania, that were wearing that stamp.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  11. #11
    Banned 45 2.1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    If you think that bullets can't strip the rifling, try this: Load a series of shots from very light to the highest velocity that the rifle will still shoot well. Shoot them into something that will allow you to recover the base of the bullet. Large bundles of loose cloth or paper will work well. Even fine sand will do. It will shatter the bullet nose, but the base is usually recoverable. Find the bullet after each shot and mark it. Lay them out side by side by side and look at the width of the engraving groove. You will find that (above a certain point) it gets wider and wider as the velocity increases. You'll also find that accuracy - and leading - becomes wild when the width of the engraving nearly covers the bullet.
    Gee... guess what..... it doesn't happen for me. I got a half section of boolit that hit a rebar hanger..... it went into the clay sideways after shearing off about half the boolit lengthways. A clear impression of the rifling from meplat radius to base shows the normal rifling width ALL THE WAY.... no leading smears either. Particulars were 50% WW / 50% Pb water dropped at 2400 fps out of a 308. Seems if it was gonna strip, it would have did so......... didn't happen. Your choice of alloy or your loading method got you on yours.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I was at the range shooting by myself about 2 yrs. ago, 3 guys pulled up and walked over to my bench. I was shooting my 06' with the 311284 and 16.0 grs. 2400. As many of you know, if the bullet is sized properly and you have the correct alloy, you can shoot this load all day long and still have a mirror bright, spotless bore.

    One of the 3 guys noticed my rounds sitting in the loading block. He said.... " Wait a minute, those are lead bullets ! ! " ( With a shocking emphasis, similar to them being radioactive or something like that ...)

    I said " Yes, they are cast bullets."

    He said, " There is no way I'd shoot a lead bullet out of any of my rifles." " If you shoot those lead bullets, you will clog up the rifling in the barrel and it will look like a shotgun barrel."

    I started to attempt to explain it and realized it was too much of an uphill climb with these 3 " Bubbas " , and simply bid them a good day as they rode off into the sunset.

    The myths continue........................

    Ben
    Last edited by Ben; 05-18-2011 at 09:44 AM.

  13. #13
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45 2.1 View Post
    Gee... guess what..... it doesn't happen for me. I got a half section of boolit that hit a rebar hanger..... it went into the clay sideways after shearing off about half the boolit lengthways. A clear impression of the rifling from meplat radius to base shows the normal rifling width ALL THE WAY.... no leading smears either. Particulars were 50% WW / 50% Pb water dropped at 2400 fps out of a 308. Seems if it was gonna strip, it would have did so......... didn't happen. Your choice of alloy or your loading method got you on yours.
    Golly gee. I suggested a series of shots at increasing velocities, recovering the bases and comparing the width of the engravings, predicting that as velocities went up, the engraving width would increase. I didn't say or suggest that the width of the engraving would vary on the same bullet. I said that the engraving width would vary over the SERIES of bullets.

    I had no idea that there was someone out there so smart he could prove me wrong with a single half of a single bullet, but I learn something new all the time.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

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    I think the point is that it is easily possible to open the engraves to the point that you get as many gas channels at you have lands, and THAT is a serious leading condition. Most experienced casters know what causes this, and as we do workups it is automatically factored into the equation. None of us would cast air-cooled stick-on weights into .30 caliber boolits and send them through the barrel with a 2K+fps charge of powder behind them. But others might.....

    Lots and lots of misinformation abounds, even in the published standards of casting books. Richard Lee won't recognize that the guidelines he sets for pressure/alloy strength are often useless for determining limits, or even ideal, pressure conditions for a given alloy. Many of us here run nearly twice the pressure he says is possible for a given alloy strength with excellent results. Lyman is still functioning from 1950s discoveries and technology. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but for anything approaching high pressure they automatically suggest straight linotype alloy. It works, and I guess that's the easiest thing to publish for the average caster to follow, but there is SO much more that can be done with simple alloy formulas and heat-treating that really aren't even mentioned in the books. The softpoint articles are as close as they get to solving the HV hunting rifle dilemma.

    Even here there are many contradictions of experience and advice, but most of the time we all agree on what the straight dope is regarding the basics of properly functioning, accurate cast boolit loading.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I appeal to you all as a reformed idiot. I really drank the cool-aid on this one, and I have been drinking it for years. up until 15 minutes ago I truly believed almost all of the misconceptions you list. Having it explained in such a way makes it a lot easier to bite off. I did always think that WW would scrub off on the barrel causing leading. I was sizing a lyman WW boolit to .308 with a gas-check and green RCBS lube. Loaded these in a 30-30 with 11 grains of unique. Any hotter than that and the leading got to be too much. I just dealt with moderate leading for years and I have shot thousands of these SOBs and just scrubbed my barrel after wards, because that's all I could afford to shoot. I always knew that the gasses would vaporize the base of the boolits but I thought that they left "chalk lines" of lead in the bore also. Now I wonder if I should try sizing to .309 because if what you say is true, the gasses must be getting around the checks.
    Whats the problem with strait WW?
    I have always used alloys that I can get easily and I try to make it work.
    Right now I am alloying eutectic solder 63/37 tin/lead with pure lead 50/50
    Do you see a problem with that alloy being shot through a high power rifle?
    Thank you for setting me strait, I apologize for including false propaganda in my posts so far.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
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    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

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    GS, follow this basic rule of mine: If you have any significant amount of antimony present (1% or more), never add more tin than you do antimony. Overtinning your alloy will result in tin nodules forming on the surface and throughout the alloy as it sets up. When using a true binary lead/tin alloy, 10 parts lead to one part tin is about as high a concentration of tin as is effective. Beyond that, I don't know what you'd expect from the alloy at high velocity.

    If you don't have SOME tin (at least a percent or so) in your antimonial alloy (read: Clip-on wheel weights or range scrap yielded from mostly jacketed bullet cores) you can get excessive "antimony wash" in your barrel, which may or may not accumulate in long strings. It's just abraded dust that usually doesn't stick very hard and just patches out with some powder solvent.

    If there is ANY copper fouling in your bore from even just a few j-words fired through it, the copper will grab lead. This is friction abrasion, it does happen, but normally lead raked off from a rough spot on the barrel never sticks unless the rough spot happens to be copper or a "seed" streak of lead already deposited in the bore. These "seeds" can grow, change, or be shot out as you go through a long string.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  17. #17
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Hi goodsteel,

    > I appeal to you all as a reformed idiot. I really drank the cool-aid on this one, and I have been drinking it for years. up until 15 minutes ago I truly believed almost all of the misconceptions you list. Having it explained in such a way makes it a lot easier to bite off.

    Welcome to the intellectually challenged fraternity!! I too once believed most of that garbage, until I started seeing things they didn't explain.

    >I did always think that WW would scrub off on the barrel causing leading. I was sizing a lyman WW boolit to .308 with a gas-check and green RCBS lube. Loaded these in a 30-30 with 11 grains of unique. Any hotter than that and the leading got to be too much. I just dealt with moderate leading for years and I have shot thousands of these SOBs and just scrubbed my barrel after wards, because that's all I could afford to shoot. I always knew that the gasses would vaporize the base of the boolits but I thought that they left "chalk lines" of lead in the bore also. Now I wonder if I should try sizing to .309 because if what you say is true, the gasses must be getting around the checks. Whats the problem with strait WW?

    There's nothing wrong with wheelweights for a bullet alloy at 30-30 velocities. You've been caught in the common traps of
    1) thinking that for higher velocity, you just need a little higher powder charge, and
    2) Believing the old 'expert advice' that you should size the bullet to the diameter of your bore. The first is misleading at best, and the second is flat-out wrong.

    A lot of guys start out with a light charge of a fast burning powder, just to get the feel of this new game, with an eye toward mild loads for safety. When they get good results, they begin to wonder about somewhat more powerful loads, and increase the powder charge a little bit. It doesn't take long before they're in trouble with leading. Here's why:

    Leading occurs when the hot gas swirls past the lead bullet and etches off tiny traces of lead alloy. This is slammed against the film of lube in the bore, which keeps it from sticking for a while. But as the load is increased, there is more force trying to make the melted lead touch the bore, where it sticks and builds up in the adherent mess called leading. There are two ways to deal with this:
    1) Go to a slower burning powder. Then your pressure is lower while the bullet is still in the throat, and less etching will result. It will give you less etching in the bore too, but that’s another story.
    2) Go to a larger diameter sizer for your bullet. Most 30 caliber rifles have a 0.312 dia throat, and will do a lot better with a 0.312" diameter bullet body than with a 0.308" diameter. That's because it fills up the throat better, and less eroding gas can get by. Again, less leading will result.

    >I have always used alloys that I can get easily and I try to make it work.
    Right now I am alloying eutectic solder 63/37 tin/lead with pure lead 50/50
    Do you see a problem with that alloy being shot through a high power rifle?

    Not with very low velocity loads, no. But you have to remember that eutectic solder is designed to wet and adhere to steel very easily. Once your load is high enough to produce some etching (and this takes very little), you have essentially built a machine (cartridge) designed to produce the maximum possible leading in your bore. Not only that, but you have used about the most expensive possible alloy to do it with. And there's not a thing you can do to change that, unless you try a more modern load.

    I am particularly fond of cast bullets in the 30-30 Winchester. It is easy to match factory ammunition for velocity and accuracy using well designed bullets like Lyman's 311291 or 311041. Lee (and a host of others) makes comparable designed molds. Pick one with a long, blunt nose that weighs about 170gr. Cast up a mess of bullets out of straight wheelweights. Get a modern mold with a bullet nose that measures 0.300 or 0.301 inches diameter. Drop them from the mold into a tub of water for best/fastest results, or just dry them off and wait a week or two for them to age harden.

    Now put a gas check on them and size them to 0.312" using a good lube like the NRA's 50-50 formula. Now charge half a dozen cases with a mild load of 25gr of IMR 3031. Seat the bullets as far forward in the case as you can without jamming the gun. Said another way, seat them to the longest overall length that still lets you close the action easily.

    Now clean your rifle bore thoroughly (no green left on a patch of Shooter's Choice or a similar jacketed fouling remover) and dry the bore (a patch wet with kerosene or paint thinner) before you try the ammo out at the range. They should shoot very well, and not leave the slightest trace of leading. The 25gr load of IMR 3031 will kill deer with ease and dispatch (assuming good bullet placement) but you can increase the powder charge as prudence dictates. My personal 'go to' load that I assemble for my rifles without giving it another thought is the above using 30.0gr IMR 3031. Incidentally, you can also use your load of 11.0gr Unique here, instead of the 3031. You still shouldn't see any leading at all.

    >Thank you for setting me strait,

    That's my way of getting even with all the old goats who gave me such bad advice over the years! (VBG) Enjoy your rifle, and please feel free to drop me a PM if you have any questions. I’m always glad to help.
    Last edited by Molly; 05-19-2011 at 06:35 PM.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  18. #18
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
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    This thread might be a good candidate for a sticky.
    “an armed society is a polite society.”
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    Publius Tacitus

  19. #19
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    I have never been so overjoyed at finding out I was wrong. I feel like an idiot. I have (hand on the Bible) literally shot 1 and 1/2 five gallon buckets of WW through my 30/30 and every single one of them was wrong. Now I can't get WW for prices I can afford and I wish I could have one of those buckets back. Kinda makes me sick.
    Tim Malcolm
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  20. #20
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    Naah, don't look at it that way! I did a lot of it wrong for fifteen years (except one gun, and I had a lot of help from a benchrest guy to get it right) and had a blast. Lead's easier to clean out than copper. I learned a few things along the way, but I operated from the perspective that some leading as inevitable and that guns really needed to be cleaned of accumulated lead each shooting session. I began to wonder if it was possible to eliminate it completely in a gun that was basically suited for cast (not mis-matched dimensionally, rough, or restricted), and after a while I discovered this site. After lurking for a while I essentially just started over from scratch mentally and went boldly forth as a "newbie", gradually bringing back the few good habits and techniques I had developed on my own years ago and merging it with about ten thousand years of casting experience condensed within this site.

    I haven't fired a J-word out of any of my own guns in over two years.

    Now I only have one gun that leads with most loads, and that's because it has a reverse-taper to the barrel. Small charges of Bullseye and stick-on wheel weight boolits work with that gun without leading, but it's a snap to clean so most of the time I just shoot the regular clip-on alloy in it.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check