Titan ReloadingRotoMetals2Inline FabricationGraf & Sons
Lee PrecisionADvertise hereStainLess Steel Media

Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 93

Thread: Just a few tips for new rifle casters.

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    NE OHIO
    Posts
    88
    I am just getting ready to start rifle casting for a Win 94 30/30. This is a great compilation of info and I will be relying on this post. It is just what I needed to get started. Thank you Goodsteel for taking the time to post this. I will be saving this to my favorites.

  2. #22
    Goodsteel, thanks for this comprehensive tips!

  3. #23
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Tucson Az
    Posts
    37
    great reading thanks

  4. #24
    Boolit Master

    Lizard333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    1,654

    Just a few tips for new rifle casters.

    Very good read. I can only add one thing to your information that might be helpful to others. Ill probly get reamed for saying this but it come from past experience and knowledge from a barrel maker, way more knowledge about this than my self.

    Brass and aluminum rods are fine to use on your barrel IF you can find them. Truth is, a steel rod, smaller than the diameter of your boolit, with the sharp edged removed from the ends, is just as effective, and SAFE, to send down your barrel. The thinking that putting anything steel down your barrel, is going to destroy it, is false. Steel is easy to find, and will last longer when you slug your barrel. Very little of the rod touches you barrel while slugging it. This is exactly how the major barrel manufacturers do it, because it is the most accurate way to determine size, and cost effective.

    Other than that, I can argue with any of it. This info comes from experience, and Goodsteel, has put the time in. He's helped me in the past, and I now cast for everything from a seventy year old M1 Garand to new 223 Remington 700.
    "The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])


    Once the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
    Benjamin Franklin

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

    goodsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    6,990
    Lizard333, A steel rod will not damage the barrel, that is true, but what about your crown? That is the most important and fragile area of a rifle, and sliding a steel rod past it will erode/peen the crown in short order. Therefore, when slugging the bore, use aluminum because steel will damage that crown very quickly. Savvy?
    Now, when making an impact slug, I use a steel rod that is undersized and protected by masking tape. The reason for this, is the first impact slug I made I noticed that every time I smacked the rod with the hammer, it would jump to one side or the other and never just go strait down. Now, I'm not the sharpest tack in the drawer, but it seemed to me that if I did that enough, the crown of my rifle would eventually begin to resemble a blunderbuss, so I took precautions to make sure that the rod could not touch the crown, and since it was easy enough to do, I protected the whole inside of the barrel while I was at it.
    The point is, there is a big differance between lapping a barrel, or checking it with gauge pins, and driving slugs with a hammer.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    717
    goodsteel,

    +1. That is an excellent point. The crown must be protected at all times. Lots of folks are dumbfounded to learn how much damage a cleaning rod can/will do.

    Regards,

    Tony

  7. #27
    Boolit Master

    Lizard333's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    1,654

    Just a few tips for new rifle casters.

    Protecting the crown of the barrel goes without saying. Damage can be done with any type of rod. With a damaged crown you will never get an accurate shot.
    "The right of the people to keep and bear...arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country..." (James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434 [June 8, 1789])


    Once the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.
    Benjamin Franklin

  8. #28
    Boolit Master

    goodsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    6,990
    Also, I might add that it doesn't take much pressure to push a slug through the barrel. I don't know what its like where all you fellers live, but here in Conway, every hardware store sells 3ft lengths aluminum rod. It just gives you a little bit of room for error when you are hammering the sections down your barrel. It's true that steel will work too, but one slip and you have a damaged crown and I'm getting a worldwide cussing.
    The only way you are going to damage your crown with an aluminum or brass rod is with repeated cleanings from the muzzle with a rod made of these materials, which will effectively "polish" the crown lop-sided, but it takes some doing even at that. Just making one or two barrel slugs with aluminum rods and a rubber hammer will never cause enough damage to notice if you are careful.

    As long as I'm on the subject, I might mention that "BoreSnakes" do a fantastic job of ruining a crown over many cleanings. If you have one of these, make very sure that you pull it strait out of the bore so that you are not polishing one side of your crown.
    When its all said and done, I make my own solid cleaning rods out of aluminum rod, and I always clean through the breach.
    if you want to make a solid cleaning rod, all you have to do is drill and tap one end 8-32 IIRC (somebody correct me if its 6-32 please).
    And you will notice that McMaster Carr:
    http://www.mcmaster.com/#standard-aluminum-rods/=knc80w
    sells 1/4" aluminum rod for $6 for 6 feet, so you can afford to make one for yourself, your dad, and your son.
    If you really want to get fancy, you can make a ball-bearing handle like mine for it to screw into, but a regular Nicholson file handle glued in place would probably work swimmingly.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  9. #29
    Boolit Man motorcycle_dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Central Ohio
    Posts
    96
    Well I really appreciate the how to education. My problem is too many guns. All this is great if you are loading Pb in one or two rifles. My problem is military rifles. I love 'em. ALL of 'em. I just wanted one of each. Except where I found an good deal and needed two of a particular example. So Safe was getting full and I bought another safe. As will happen, I left the lights out one day and apparently a No4MkII and a Mauser of some sorts got together and now there is a whole litter of old rifles in the new safe. So many that I may need another. Couple straight pulls cuz they are just kewl. Arisaka very rough but shoots great. Mausers from Argentina, Sweeden, etc. Now I like putting cast bullets through old rifles but do not have the luxury of time to devote to each rifle to get the exact bore/groove, freebore, etc.
    How do others deal with this? Write it down for each rifle and attach log book to the trigger guard? I'm lucky to sort ammo into the correct pile. Not sure I have the organizing ability to keep such records of each.
    Dan, A fast bullseye shooter or slow action pistol shooter.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master

    MrWolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    NE West Virginia
    Posts
    1,661
    Thank you for a very informative post that puts what I need to do in english I can understand. I had heard the terminology but was not sure of the application. Information like that makes it a lot easier on us newbs.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master

    goodsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    6,990
    Quote Originally Posted by motorcycle_dan View Post
    Well I really appreciate the how to education. My problem is too many guns. All this is great if you are loading Pb in one or two rifles. My problem is military rifles. I love 'em. ALL of 'em. I just wanted one of each. Except where I found an good deal and needed two of a particular example. So Safe was getting full and I bought another safe. As will happen, I left the lights out one day and apparently a No4MkII and a Mauser of some sorts got together and now there is a whole litter of old rifles in the new safe. So many that I may need another. Couple straight pulls cuz they are just kewl. Arisaka very rough but shoots great. Mausers from Argentina, Sweeden, etc. Now I like putting cast bullets through old rifles but do not have the luxury of time to devote to each rifle to get the exact bore/groove, freebore, etc.
    How do others deal with this? Write it down for each rifle and attach log book to the trigger guard? I'm lucky to sort ammo into the correct pile. Not sure I have the organizing ability to keep such records of each.
    That is something that you are going to have to work on, and each of us must strive to record our findings and actions as they happen.
    A separate note book for each rifle, handgun and shotgun? Why not?

    Get a bookshelf for your reloading/casting books and make a thin three ring binder for each rifle. Mark the outside of the binder with the model and serial number of the sweetheart in question. Each time you pull out a rifle, pull out its book too. Make sure the two are companions through life, and write down all the critical information that I taught you to observe in the front of those binders. Use the back pages for pet loads, modifications made to the rifle, sight picture, observations, notes, etc. etc.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  12. #32
    Boolit Master


    blikseme300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Deep South Texas, RGV
    Posts
    1,429
    Tim, I just re-read this thread you started many months ago. Strange that some information never makes it into my thick skull during the first read. It has been just a little over a year since I started to reload rifle cartridges with cast boolits and the journey has been interesting and illuminating. Your thread helped enormously. Thank You.

  13. #33
    Boolit Man

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    93
    ----If you get leading,(which I doubt) use a harder/tougher alloy like 94/3/3, or water quench your boolits to get them a touch harder.----
    Maybe I missed it, But what exactly would be a good general starting alloy to use?
    1. I am guessing that the 94/3/3 would be 94% lead, 3% antimony, 3% tin? I assume that a Lyman #2 (90/5/5) would be harder yet. Which the Lyman Cast bullet handbook uses as a basic benchmark metal? I've had some tell me to use straight WW (Wheel Weights), water or air cooled. But, DARN, they are hard to come by around here!

  14. #34
    Boolit Master

    goodsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    6,990
    OK, here's the skinny on lead alloys as far as I am concerned:
    Pure lead will work at the lowest velocities with the gentlest, slowest burning powders. Black powder (which is actually an explosive) is much gentler on the boolits than smokless, so often, that is the place where you find pure lead being used.

    Unless you are paper patching, the alloy does not have enough strength to seal the bore from the gasses and there will be cutting which will cause leading. Also, your boolit will try to strip the riflings witch has pretty much the same effect, unless you have a gas check, but even with a gas check once you strip the riflings, you are pretty much SOL for accuracy.
    Here's a picture of a GC boolit that almost stripped all the riflings:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0959-1.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	21.0 KB 
ID:	73769

    So, you obviously need a little more hardness (at least on the surface of the driving bands) in order to drive a boolit like this. That's where antimony comes in. Antimony is your hardener. If you drop your boolits from the mold into cold water, it actually hardens them. The thing you have to remember is that they get harder yet over the next 2-3 weeks.

    Now, again, look at the previous picture. You see how much is left of that boolit? This is what it started life as:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0871.jpg 
Views:	124 
Size:	37.9 KB 
ID:	73770

    So, its obvious that the boolit also just didn't have any toughness to it. This is where tin enters into the picture. Tin also adds a small amount of hardness, but its main feature is toughness. It will allow the boolit to bend and twist, but it will hold together much better.

    When you mix tin and antimony together, they will play off eachothers strengths, and act like epoxy inside the boolit. Ie, the whole is greater than the sum of parts.

    However, It is very important for accuracy as well as hunting effectiveness, to match the alloy to the application. Having boolits that are too hard will cause gas cutting as well. That's why wine bottles are stopped up with cork instead of wood LOL!
    You want to play to the alloys strengths and not waste any valuable metal, so use as little antimony and Tin as you can get away with.

    I think that an ideal alloy is 50/50 COWW and pure lead, which gives a really rough approximate alloy of 1.5% antimony, 1% tin, 97.5% lead. That alloy will be the cats meow for everything between 800 fps to 1800 fps with the addition of a gas check.

    You are correct, COWW are getting very hard to come by, so you might as well start looking for other sources. There are still people that are selling Linotype alloy, and if you buy a couple hundred pounds of that, then all you need to concern yourself with is gathering pure lead (which is still the cheapest metal you can buy BTW), and some solder or tin to toughen the alloy (which is actually very expensive but a very little bit goes a very long way)

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited by goodsteel; 06-17-2013 at 11:45 AM.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  15. #35
    Boolit Man

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    West Michigan, USA
    Posts
    93
    ...I hope this helps....

    More than you'll ever know it has helped. Being very new to the art of boolit casting, This "summary" thread has finally tied together a lot of basic principles into something that I hope I can eventually get thru my thick skull. I've ordered a little Rotometals "superhard" and some 1to20 lead/tin alloy. I think the handy alloy spreadsheet found elsewhere on this forum and the small scale I bought for $2 (yardsale) will help a to mix up the alloy suggested.

    I hope to do a few things with cast bullets... Plinking, some deer hunting, and maybe try a little long range shooting (200-300 yards)

    Thanks for posting this summary... it's a great starting place for newbies like me.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    179
    Goodsteel thank you so much for the incredibly concise directions. That is going to save me a ton of headache as I start to cast for rifles as well as my revolvers.

    Very glad to stumble on this thread today, and I will look through it much more.

    Dan

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    sulphur springs, Tx
    Posts
    816
    goodsteel:

    Very informative and well written post! A great many ideas and tips condensed into a short and easy to read article. Well done!

  18. #38
    Boolit Master

    goodsteel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    6,990
    Glad to help Dan.
    Seriously, I would encourage everyone here to read the stickies.
    One way you can do it is to follow an author, and read everything that he has written that has been "stickified" and things that have not been too!
    One such fellow that has departed this world now is Molly. The man's words are cast boolit gold. Solid gold. Read his stickies and his posts and you will learn things about this hobby that are both simple and profound.
    A few others that I found extremely helpful:
    Waksupi
    Geargnasher
    runfiverun
    Larry Gibson
    Felix
    cbrick

    There are many more, but if you can get an understanding of the above fellers writings, y'all will be miles ahead of the weekend warriors.

    I would also encourage you to check out castpics (scroll to the bottom of the screen and see the link). Those are the hallowed halls of castboolits wisdom.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

    "He who is enslaved by the compass has freedom of the seas"

  19. #39
    Boolit Master Slow Elk 45/70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Clear, AK
    Posts
    1,292
    Tim, Great info for the new guys and the lurkers in one place...needs to be a sticky IMHO
    Slow Elk 45/70

    Praise the Lord & Pass the Ammo

  20. #40
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    East Central Florida
    Posts
    27
    Thanks for the great info, I;m soaking in the information too cast my own. Have been buying a few bullets from the commercial guys too see how they do in my marlins, so far so much better than j bullets. Know if I can just get that soup can mold and

Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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