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Thread: Just a few tips for new rifle casters.

  1. #41
    Boolit Master

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    I just want to thank everyone who has given kind words here.
    When I wrote this, I just opened Word, and did a data dump to answer a guy's questions. I worked on it for a couple hours. I would type, then think, then type some more. I reread it about three times before sending it to the feller.
    When I posted this here, I just wanted to be sure that I never had to do it again cause it actually took a bit of time, and I was afraid that I might leave some things out of I did it again just cause I wouldn't have the energy to do it twice.
    Never thought it would be stuck, and I never thought it would actually be read by so many people! Matter of fact, I figured that everybody would pile on me about details that I got wrong (I've still got my fingers crossed BTW LOL!)
    I'm just so glad that I was able to give back in some way.
    Again, thanks for the kind words, and please remember that there are probably some flaws in some of what I wrote. I'm still just an expert in training like you, and I don't know everything. Double check what I wrote with your own results!
    Again, thanks fellers!
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

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

  2. #42
    Boolit Mold
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    I just bought my first dilion 550, and it'll be here in 2 days. I've learned a ton on this thread. Thank you all for taking the time to post useful info for those of us that are just getting started.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master jlchucker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    The truth is, this is a message that I sent to a new guy here (at least new to rifle casting) that was having trouble getting his boolits to work right.
    I spent so much time typing it out, I saved it on my computer so that I would have it if I ever needed it again. Then I figured I would just make it into a post here so that you guys have a chance to shoot it full of holes, and if it ends up being bullet proof, I can reference it easily.
    The thing I love about this place is that the information is solid. Its as solid as a math book once you get under the surface. Real Booleteers are solid on every point down to the minutest detail, and if there is a discrepancy we start a thread and beat it to a pulp until solid fact emerges.

    I did mention cerrosafe as a second option, but there are instructions that come with that stuff when you buy it. Also it shrinks with time, so based on that fact, it is an inferior way considering that the only reason you are doing it is to get precision measurements, but I did mention it.
    Also, I didn't go into detail about using a good ammonia based cleaner on the barrel (like Sweets 7.62) after cleaning and followed by cleaning and oiling in order to remove all traces of copper from the bore.
    I also mentioned nothing about feeling for tight and loose spots in the barrel as the slug is pushed through (good info can be had from feeling for this!).
    We need the capability of putting a "like" button on this website for posts like yours. Very informative indeed.

  4. #44
    Boolit Mold
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    Excellent post, very helpful.
    A previous post got me thinking: Do any of the mold makers sell a grab bag of cast boolits from their molds for a shooter to mess with before buying the mold?
    Say 20 count for each mold in a caliber? That way you could get an idea of what style/weight works well in your gun before buying an expensive mold.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    After reading the post all the way through I have decided that shooting cast in rifles for me is way too complicated. I don't have the space or tools to do all that . Thanks for saving me a lot of frustration.
    lt

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvtn View Post
    After reading the post all the way through I have decided that shooting cast in rifles for me is way too complicated. I don't have the space or tools to do all that . Thanks for saving me a lot of frustration.
    lt
    Don't give up so quick... look at the .30-06....take a sized case, bell it enough so a bullet starts using a center punch...seat a cast bullet (150~180 grains) unsized, that you can hand lube. Use a std primer and 13.0 grains of Red Dot or 15.0 of Unique...seat the bullet just long enough that it barely touches the Leade. You will be delighted with the results. One can perfect this and on some calibers one has to do a lot of perfecting... Typically the .22 calibers are the most challenging. I shoot 9 different rifle calibers with cast bullets and only the .22's were difficult.

  7. #47
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    I just want to thank everyone who has given kind words here.
    When I wrote this, I just opened Word, and did a data dump to answer a guy's questions. I worked on it for a couple hours. I would type, then think, then type some more. I reread it about three times before sending it to the feller.
    When I posted this here, I just wanted to be sure that I never had to do it again cause it actually took a bit of time, and I was afraid that I might leave some things out of I did it again just cause I wouldn't have the energy to do it twice.
    Never thought it would be stuck, and I never thought it would actually be read by so many people! Matter of fact, I figured that everybody would pile on me about details that I got wrong (I've still got my fingers crossed BTW LOL!)
    I'm just so glad that I was able to give back in some way.
    Again, thanks for the kind words, and please remember that there are probably some flaws in some of what I wrote. I'm still just an expert in training like you, and I don't know everything. Double check what I wrote with your own results!
    Again, thanks fellers!
    I'd just like to add one refinement. When you charge the cases, place in a loading block take a flashlight and look into each and every case to check the powder level...you want to make certain that you have charged all cases and you didn't double charge them. Should you fire an uncharged cases the bullet could get stuck in the barrel .....firing the next one could very well burst the barrel.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wally View Post
    I'd just like to add one refinement. When you charge the cases, place in a loading block take a flashlight and look into each and every case to check the powder level...you want to make certain that you have charged all cases and you didn't double charge them. Should you fire an uncharged cases the bullet could get stuck in the barrel .....firing the next one could very well burst the barrel.
    Setting up a loading block and charging all the cases by moving it under the powder measure is a very dangerous practice. I'm not going to depend on my eyeball to tell me when I have a good charge. It's very easy to put a double charge of unique in a 30-06 that way. You'll have to beat the bolt open with a rubber mallet, in order to observe how the headstamp was almost obliterated from being smashed flat as a flitter, then you'll thank your lucky stars you were shooting a Winchester model 70 and not your 30-30. Then you might come to the conclusion that if you dump all your primed cases into a butter tub, take one out and charge it, stick it in the loading block, then grab another one and charge it, stick it in the loading block next to the first one, etc etc etc, it makes it virtually impossible to double charge or squib load a cartridge. You might just decide that it's worth moving brass around a little and really doesn't cost much in time.
    Not that I would know anything about that.....
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

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

  9. #49
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    Then you weren't paying very close attention with the flashlight inspection. The difference between a regular and double-charge of Unique in an '06 case is about 5/8", but if one is new to visual inspections it's a good idea to intentionally double-charge a case for comparison to a normal charge so you can calibrate your eyeball. (just don't forget to dump it out, eh?) I either use two blocks or work to opposite ends like you suggest, but I check with a pen light anyway as extra insurance.

    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


  10. #50
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    Then you weren't paying very close attention with the flashlight inspection. The difference between a regular and double-charge of Unique in an '06 case is about 5/8", but if one is new to visual inspections it's a good idea to intentionally double-charge a case for comparison to a normal charge so you can calibrate your eyeball. (just don't forget to dump it out, eh?) I either use two blocks or work to opposite ends like you suggest, but I check with a pen light anyway as extra insurance.

    Gear
    Everybody is different. I don't think that for me personally, its a wise idea to depend my life on how well I see down inside a hole that's right beside 50 others that look identical. I have trouble doing that sometimes, so I changed my process so that I could do it with a blindfold once the powder measure was set up, and be absolutely certain that no powder was anywhere that it shouldn't be.
    I have two round, 1 quart tupperware tubs that all my reloads go through.
    First, I dump all the brass out of the tumbler into tub #1.
    Then I lube all of them with fiebings mink oil between my hands, and transfer them as they are lubed into tub #2
    Then I go through the first die and they get transferred one by one, back into tub #1
    Next, I prime all the brass and transfer them to tub #2
    Then they get charged. As each one gets the powder charge, it's transferred to the loading block. Nothing goes into the block that did not get one charge.
    Then I stuff in the boolits. As each one comes out of the press, I drop it into one of the tubs.
    From there, they get transferred into whatever container I am going to be working out of at the range (usually cigar boxes).

    For me, this system is foolproof, and it costs me no time whatsoever. In fact, it's faster, because I don't have to be sticking the cases in a loading block more than once. It's not a lot of time savings, but it cuts off a few minutes.
    The main thing is that I am certain when I get to the range that all my ammo is perfect, and I would encourage everyone out there to do whatever it takes to feel the same way about your setup. If you use a light to look in the cases, if you can sit down behind your rifle, and touch off 55,000 psi right next to your face, and be sure that you saw what you think you saw, when peering into the cases, and be absolutely sure that you didn't miss one, then by all means, carry on.
    For me, it only took one to convince me that charging over a block of brass is a really bad idea. I loaded thousands and thousands of cartridges before I made that one mistake, and I have loaded thousands upon thousands since then with no mishap. The difference is, now when I shut the bolt on my rifle, and wonder if the powder charge is correct, I am absolutely certain that everything is kosher. Not because I'm really good at judging the powder level in a cartridge by eye, or because I'm so careful, or because I never have a bad day at the loading bench, but because no matter what I feel like, or where my mind is, or when I was interrupted, my process won't allow it.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

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

  11. #51
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    Setting up a loading block and charging all the cases by moving it under the powder measure is a very dangerous practice. I'm not going to depend on my eyeball to tell me when I have a good charge. It's very easy to put a double charge of unique in a 30-06 that way. You'll have to beat the bolt open with a rubber mallet, in order to observe how the headstamp was almost obliterated from being smashed flat as a flitter, then you'll thank your lucky stars you were shooting a Winchester model 70 and not your 30-30. Then you might come to the conclusion that if you dump all your primed cases into a butter tub, take one out and charge it, stick it in the loading block, then grab another one and charge it, stick it in the loading block next to the first one, etc etc etc, it makes it virtually impossible to double charge or squib load a cartridge. You might just decide that it's worth moving brass around a little and really doesn't cost much in time.
    Not that I would know anything about that.....

    OMG I don't charge the cases in a loading block---I charge them and them place them in the loading block---

  12. #52
    Boolit Master
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    I charge them then seat the boolit in place.
    habit I picked up long ago.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  13. #53
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    I charge them then seat the boolit in place.
    habit I picked up long ago.
    That's pretty foolproof too.
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

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

  14. #54
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    I charge them then seat the boolit in place.
    habit I picked up long ago.
    Whatever works...I don't like that method as one gets greasy fingers

  15. #55
    Boolit Master

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    re: Protecting the Crown while Slugging

    Tim, IMO this is one of the best stickies on the forum!

    The following pictures illustrate a good way to protect the muzzle from the rod being used to push the sizing slug through the bore or hammer the slug when taking chamber dimensions. I've been cleaning my M-1 and M1-A this way for decades, now. I learned these tricks back in the 70s and 80s from the old timers at our NRA High Power match. I used a tubing cutter and a .243 Win. case for this particular muzzle protector. Using different caliber bottle necked cases, this method could be used on different caliber rifles. Tt.



    Here's a similar tip for the M1-A, a 12 ga. shell is the right size to fit the flash suppressor, just drill out the primer pocket to fit your rod:

    "Treetop"
    Sgt. USMC
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    "Accuracy has a suppressive power all by itself."
    Lt. Gen. George Flynn, USMC

    “The Second Amendment was not written to protect your right to shoot deer.
    It was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants…”
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  16. #56
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    Thanks for the great ideas Treetop!!

  17. #57
    Boolit Master

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    Yes, thank you! First rate tips! Never thought about using brass as a rod guide. I have several clients that will be interested in that little trick fo-sho!
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

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

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    I charge them then seat the boolit in place.
    habit I picked up long ago.
    That's a good one, too. Add the Richard Lee tip of upending each case just before charging to make sure it started out empty and it's even more foolproof.

    I still batch-charge and use a light for final inspection because powder can do strange strange things like bridge or clump in the measure, or get static cling. You won't see that just charging each case and stuffing a boolit on top. I can usually see to within a couple grains if a charge is correct by comparing levels of all in the block. Once checked, all get sealed with a lead kiss and run through the seater die. I NEVER put a boolit on top of powder unless I've made a visual on the powder, even on a progressive and even if that means using a dentist's mirror.

    The only reloading mentor I had when I started did the charge a case, seat a bullet thing, BUT he looked in each one with a light before putting it back in the shell holder. He dumped, weighed, and funneled back in every tenth charge for most stuff, and weighed every charge on some, one at a time, and always immediately seated a bullet on verified powder charges before the case left his hand.

    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


  19. #59
    Boolit Master
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    I charge then seat a bullet. No loading blocks for me. Maybe this is why I dislike using a filler, it changes my pattern and habit.
    Loading blocks scared me already but it got worse when I was shooting and had a few hunks of a stock go flying by me. Rifle being shot next to me got a double charge, stick the bolt, blew the sides of the magazine out. Scared the heck out of me and the shooter. Yes, he was shooting cast.

  20. #60
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by btroj View Post
    I charge then seat a bullet. No loading blocks for me. Maybe this is why I dislike using a filler, it changes my pattern and habit.
    Loading blocks scared me already but it got worse when I was shooting and had a few hunks of a stock go flying by me. Rifle being shot next to me got a double charge, stick the bolt, blew the sides of the magazine out. Scared the heck out of me and the shooter. Yes, he was shooting cast.
    Boy! That'll wake you up!
    Tim Malcolm
    MBT custom rifles & gunsmithing
    www.goodsteelforum.com

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

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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