Well, OK, I am about to embark on an adventure through the world of cast boolit shooting. I have been itching to try some hardcast bullets in my old Yugo M48. This particular rifle likes softball loads...and I have worked up a number of them, using light charges of surplus powder, dacron filler...and various bullets (heretofore, always jacketed bullets). So, now I will try some cast bullets. I have gotten some for the .32-40....sized .323" (170 grains), for a first try. I have pan-lubed them with Lee Liquid Alox, which seemed to work nicely (they were pre-lubed anyway, so the lube grooves are filled with a lube suitable for smokeless powder). These are not gas-checked bullets.....I know, I know, gas-checked would be better...but I want to at least TRY these first, as they are very inexpensive. I have several good jacketed-bullet loads in the range of 26 - 27 grains, using surplus Yugo military flake powder....which behaves like a medium-speed powder. These loads all include a 1/2" square x 1/4" thick pc. of dacron fibrefill, to hold the powder in place. Thus far, after shooting more than 500 rounds loaded in this manner....I have had ZERO problems. Of course, I am mindful of the potential dangers of this...but, as I said, I've had no problems of any kind. I am aware that it would probably be best to push the non gas-checked hardcast bullets at speeds not to exceed perhaps 1200 fps....so I will try for this speed range.
I chose .323" diameter bullets because I assumed that, using the Liquid Alox, that the final end product will be at least .324" in diameter (I have read that most rifles are more accurate with cast bullets .001 - .002 oversized). My bore slugs at just a bit over .323".....approx. .3232", to be exact. I have completed some calculations...and with a bit of estimation thrown in.... I have decided to start at 16 grains of powder....and slowly work up to about 23 grains, as a maximum. According to my calculations/ estimates...this should give velocities in the range of 1000 - 1500 fps.
Of course, as I work up, I will watch closely for signs of problems, especially lead fouling in my barrel. My real question is....for all of you experienced cast boolit shooters.... HOW will I tell if lead deposition is becoming excessive, as velocity increases ? I will not be able to recover any bullets, so examining fired bullets is not a doable procedure. I certainly intend to keep the velocity as modest as possible, while simply looking for a load which is accurate, at 50 yards. I have no intention of pushing the bullets any faster than needed. If I do find any accurate combinations with this bullet, I will likely switch to Unique, or some similar powder, for future use. Right now, I will try what I have on hand. Is it possible to SEE lead fouling, by examing the bore closely....or is it a matter of having whatever accuracy there is suddenly degrade, as fouling becomes a problem? I am hoping that the combination of the Alox lube and the dacron filler will protect the bullet bases from excess gas-cutting....and so may reduce the leading problem. Is my thinking logical on this, or am I fooling myself ? Anyone else try similar experiments....and can you supply any "pointers" ?
I would be most grateful for the benefit of other's experience in this matter.