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Thread: Casting Softnose Bullets From ANY Conventional Moulds

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

    Johnch's Avatar
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    I have to work up loads in several guns .
    I don't want to find I am out of Boolits to load

    Johnch
    Yea, thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
    And I carry a SIG

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Marlin Junky's Avatar
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    So, is anyone going to shoot those boolits into ballistic gelatin at 2300, 1800 and 1300 fps, or thereabouts?

    OK, how about wet newspaper?

    MJ

  3. #23
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    Bruce B,

    With all the heat you used, I was surprised that the boolits aren't frosty. Any idea why?

    My thought is that you allowed them to cool long enough in the mold before opening it. When I get frosty boolits, it seems like they are shiny when dropped and then turn frosty as they cool. By letting the boolits cool in the mold longer before opening it, they don't get frosty.

    John

  4. #24
    Banned BluesBear's Avatar
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    I think I see a faster way to get the better results by combining the Ross Seyfried method with the BruceB method.

    Use two pots with different alloys ala Ross Seyfried.
    Pour the nose with a small dipper from the softer alloy in pot #1 ala Ross Seyfried.
    Fill the mould with the harder alloy from pot #2 ala Ross Seyfried.
    Then, once the sprue has solidified reheat the mould until the sprue melts ala BruceB.

    Since you don't have to heat the mould in order to melt the nose and then wait for it to solidify before pouring the base section, production, while still slower than a standard boolit, will be much faster than BruceB's original system.
    Hopefully you will still wind up with a boolit with a nose that is solidly "joined" to the base.

    Due to the reheating of the boolit, there should be some "marrying" of ther two alloys in the area of the junction between the two.
    I would think that this more gradual transformation of alloys should hold together better upon expansion than just simply soldering a soft nose to a soft base.
    Hopefully the nose will upset until the deformation reaches the transition area and then gradually stop without breaking off. Creating what we consider a "classic mushroom".


    Upon further thought it could actually be done with only one lead pot.
    If one were to simply pour the nose using a soft alloy and a small, precise dipper and then drop the nose portions from the mould for later use.
    Later on the nose portions could be reinserted, the mould closed and the harder bases poured on top.
    It would be slightly slower than the two pot method but for those of us who don't have two pots it would still be doable.

  5. #25
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    BluesBear,

    I do exactly what you described in the last part of your post. I cast my noses in one session, I took and drilled a stepped hole in a piece of flat bar that my bullet tips fit into nose first then I file the base's flat, this gives me soft tips that are all the same size. After getting a bunch of tips that a of a uniform size I just drop them back into the mold, reheat the mold and then pour in the harder alloy following BruceB's method which does make a better looking bullet. I used to make these bullets following Ross Siegfried method and while they do have a visible seam they always shot fine and performed just like the "prettier" seamless bullets. I use these softnose bullets in my .348 for deer hunting and they are devastating.
    Jerry

  6. #26
    Banned BluesBear's Avatar
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    Great Minds Think Alike

  7. #27
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Ummmm! I dipper my nose then pour in my shank. To date, provided mold is hot enough, I have had no problem creating a weld between to the two alloys. That said my efforts to date with my 38 spl have been lame at best with little to no expansion when shot into water jugs. Will try to see if results can be improved using my .357 mag.

    Have not got to my rifle boolits yet.

    Take Care

    Bob
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    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  8. #28
    Banned BluesBear's Avatar
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    Talking

    I dipper my nose then pour in my shank.
    Ya know, it takes one helluva man to admit that in public.




    Sorry Robert, that was just too good to let pass.


    Seriously, are you letting your nose portions cool completely before you pour your bases? Are you using dead soft lead for your noses?

  9. #29
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Bluesbear

    Ya know a fella ought to re-read what his fingers typed and make sure it is what the mind was thinking! Darn near fell off my chair when I read your post with the quote.

    Yes I use pure lead for the nose portion. I get the mold very, very hot and pour in the nose followed immediately by the shank. The shank alloy is just WW. At around 800 fps my .38spl boolits didn't do much in milk jugs filled with water. Boolits just started to muchroom. I am going to try some .357magnum loads with the same boolits. You can actually see the difference in the metal. The pure lead portion is very shiny while the WW alloy is more grey in colour.

    I use a cut down 9MM shell as a dipper wired to a portion of cloths hanger wire. The nose portion takes up all the nose to where the boolit starts the curve of the olgive. I suspect the .357 mag loads should work and I am hoping to see some good results using my .311291 boolit.

    Take Care

    Bob
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=#ff0000]Je suis Charlie

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  10. #30
    Banned BluesBear's Avatar
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    Robert, you might be getting a little too much mixing of the two alloys since the nose hasn't completely cooled.
    If it were me, I'd try letting the nose cool a little more.
    If that still doesn't work then perhaps a little larger nose and smaller shank might.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    Maybe you are right but I have to say you can see a distinct layer differentiation between the soft nose and the shank. I will do some more testing with the .38spl. to see if I can get them to work.

    Take Care

    Bob
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=#ff0000]Je suis Charlie

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  12. #32
    On Heaven's Range

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    The whole point of "my" method to date is to ENSURE that little to no mixing of the two alloys can take place. Earlier in the experiments I did cast the bullets with both alloys molten, but the possibility of mixing was raised, and I have been trying to avoid it ever since.

    On reading the recent posts on this thread, I believe I may have a new refinement. What I intend to do is this:

    -Cast the nose portion of pure lead and let it harden. Pot should be set at the LOWEST temperature which will allow casting. Dipping from a small container of pure lead floating in the pot will still suffice for this.

    -With the furnace set at the LOWEST possible setting that still keeps the WW molten, cast the shank portion.

    -Drop the ugly, wrinkly SOB from the mould.

    By using the MINIMUM heat for casting the shank on top of the pure-lead nose, we also MINIMIZE any mixing of the alloys due to the WW melting some portion of the pure lead, keeping the maximum amount of pure lead right where it belongs. I really don't want both metals in contact in the molten state while they're being cast.

    After casting as many of these unfinished bullets as we want, crank up the furnace heat to the maximum. Return each bullet to the mould in turn, and remelt them in the cavity with a small lump of WW on the sprue plate to supply metal if the bullet "needs" more. When everything has melted, we WILL have a jointless softpoint bullet with no significant mixing of alloys at the contact point.

    This may sound odd, coming from one who has studied high-production casting almost as a hobby, but the relative speed of casting softpoints is absolutely meaningless to me. The number of softpoints I'll ever need can probably be counted on my ten fingers. Therefore, time is not a factor.

    Note that we DO NOT have to zero with the softpoints! The variation from a regular, one-alloy bullet is so small that normal practice and zeroing is perfectly valid using the same bullet from the same mould, WITHOUT the softpoint. My .416 puts both softpoints and non-softpoints in the same group from 200 yards, without any variation in impact at all. Success at 200 yards is plenty good enough for me....
    Regards from BruceB in Nevada

    "The .30'06 is never a mistake." - Colonel Townsend Whelen

  13. #33
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    With respect to all I really think we are making this a much harder process than it needs to be. Using a mold that is dropping well cast boolits (Mold is desribed to be at casting temperature), I have found that between the time I have poured my nose and the time I pour the shank the nose portion has already started to harden but the nose and shank seem to weld just fine. The two alloys are very distinct visually. To test the weld I have place a boolit in a vice and found it took a great deal of effort to separate the two but with enough pressure they will separate cleanlyat the weld. That suggests to me that little to no mixing of alloys takes place.

    I will try taking some pictures of the completed rounds to show the weld and the colour distinction of the alloys.

    Take Care

    Bob
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=#ff0000]Je suis Charlie

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  14. #34
    Banned BluesBear's Avatar
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    To test the weld I have place a boolit in a vice and found it took a great deal of effort to separate the two but with enough pressure they will separate cleanlyat the weld.
    Ah, there's the rub.
    When that boolit hit it's intended target (dinner) there will be considerable forces in play. The soft nose therefore has a good chance of abandoning the base.

    Remelting the completed boolit, without aggitation, will allow the two entities to slightly meld with each other in the joint area. This melding will be much stronger than any simple soldering of the two halves.

    Some melding or merging of the two alloys IS desirable as it will prevent the soft nose from shearing away from the shank upon impact.
    You can always increase the quantity of the nose pour if the soft portion of the soft point is too small.

    With the utmost respect to BruceB, I see no advantage in dropping the finished boolits and then reinserting the entire boolit into the cavity.
    Time isn't even in the equation since the goal is a better projectile, not faster production. However eliminating wasted motion is a good thing.


    The reasons I advocated dropping the nose portion were two fold.
    First is about inspection. By dropping the nose you are assured that the pour has settled into the nose and not left a slight "tail" up the side of the cavity.
    Also a noticible longer nose casting would also indicate the presence of a void.
    A void that may or may not evaporate during the remelt.
    Secondly, you then have a totally cold nose. While the mould will still be quite warm when you reinsert it (watch those fingertips) the nose will be cold.
    Both Bruce's and Ross' methods have a warm nose meetting a hot base in a preheated mould.
    My theory has a hot base meeting a cold nose in a preheated mould.


    Upon reflection perhaps pouring the shank section at it's hottest temperature onto a completely cold nose might cause just enough melding of the two sections as to make the final remelting redundant.



    So it would appear that we have derived several different methods of accomplishing the same end. Only trial and error will determine if one is any better than the other.

    Since I've moved and my casting setup won't be functional until hopefully sometime in June, all I can contribute at this time is theory and conjecture, perhaps I should just back out of this discussion and leave it to those who can actually singe some pinkys.

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quick question. Has anyone noticed any evidence of the soft nose portion slumping, when driven at high speed? Just wondering about a pure lead nose accellerating to over 2000'/s in a 22" barrel. I've read BPCR shooters discussing it. If the pure lead started to slump and caused the front of the boolit to widen a bit, I was thinking perhaps it could cause a smear of lead down the barrel. I'd appreciate someone shedding some light on this. I've been using 30-1 alloy in my soft noses, in my .358 just in case, maybe unecessarily. They still expand very well. Ron.D

  16. #36
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    I guess i look at it as I wouldnt really care if the nose came unglued from the bullet after it expanded. Isnt that about the way a nosler partition works. At least they have for me. They shed there noses and the shank keeps penetrating. I guess my only consern with the process would be if the visual flaw deteriorated accuracy at all.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  17. #37
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    BruceB:

    Just came across this tread and wanted to thank you for your efforts at pushing the envelope!

    This thread is good enough, it's getting put into a document, printed out and stored with the other important ballistics information!

    Thanks to the others as well for their efforts at production of 'softpoint' cast boolits!

    -Tristan

  18. #38
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    I read this today and had to run right out and cast some up for opening day tomorrow. I melted some soft lead onto a piece of metal so it splattered. Then i took the splatters and cut them and weighed exactly 75 gr, which I placed into my Lee 90341 240 gr rn (.429) mold. I then heated the mold till the puremelted, then let it cool. cast the rest of the boolit. then reheated it again like Bruce B. said to. The pure goes all the way back to the first driving band, then it is frosty W/W the rest of the way. I sized them so now its shiney on the bands, frosty in between, and dull dark nose. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!

  19. #39
    Boolit Master robertbank's Avatar
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    I used a cut down 9MM case as a dipper. I had two pots melted. One containing pure lead and the other WW. Once the mold was hot and hat casting temperature I simply poured the nose with pure lead and the shank with WW alloy. As posted above the weld between the two metals was extremely hard and I doubt would separate upon contact.

    I tried these boolits on .38spl but the velocity at 800+ fps was not sufficient to cause the pure lead to deform as desired. Certainly there was no separation of the bullet. I intend to try this again in rifle calibers .30-30, .308 and .303 Brit and .30-06 this winter. Will post results.

    Take Care

    Bob
    [SIZE=3][COLOR=#ff0000]Je suis Charlie

    "If the human population held hands around the equator, a significant portion of them would drown"

  20. #40
    Boolit Master

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    Will this technique work for nose-pour molds -- that is, pouring the hard base first?
    Itís so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then donít say it. Sam Levinson

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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