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Thread: Just a few tips for new rifle casters.

  1. #61
    Boolit Master
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    What is better is calling my wife and starting a conversation with "Everyone is OK" when I went to the range with her father.
    Scared the heck out of both of us. He now weighs every finished round loaded with less than a full case of powder. He has been reloading since the 50s and this happened 5 years ago or so. No telling how many 100s of thousands of round he loaded when this happened.

    Safety can never be taken for granted. Never.

  2. #62
    Boolit Man
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    This has been a GREAT post by the way.
    I have an issue with trust. Even with myself. I take the powder charger, dump it into the pan for my scale. Measure it, an if need be trickle some more or pull some out an trickle again. Then I funnel it into the case, place the boolit into the case an seat it with the press. Always an always when I'm working new loads or ones on the top end of the scale. I Never trusted a powder throw. Never used a loading block. Doesn't matter which powder charger, RCBS, Dillon or Redding. Doesn't matter which press I'm using, whither it's a Lee handy press, or a Wilson/Sinclar, or a Rock Crusher, or a 450 Dillon, or either one of the 550's.
    I think it all boils down to being German an Irish. The German thinks he knows what he's doing, but that Irishman doesn't trust him. Sad part is if I ever get to the point of not trusting my scales, I'm done for.

    Ghost101

  3. #63
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    Last edited by goodsteel; 02-13-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  4. #64
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    Speaking of scales, I almost pulled a dumazz move of the highest order by violating one of reloading's most basic safety guidelines: Never reload while "too" tired. I was loading way late one night for the next day, had been on a tight schedule, and set the scale 10 grains too high on 5-something-grain-load. Caught it with the light ("hmm, that don't look right"). Now I double-check my beam scale setting with a digital jobbie, just so my brain gets to confirm the weight numbers in a different visual format that uses a different cognitive area. I've been using beam scales for over 20 years and that one time my brain didn't fully connect. That one time is all it takes.

    Just like with firearm safety, reloading safety routines should incorporate multiple fail-safes when possible.

    Gear

  5. #65
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    That's why I bought the electric Dillon to check my RCBS balance beam. As for the powder chargers, I haven't found one that will throw a consent charge every time. The new Dillons don't perform as well as the old 450 ones did.
    Although, my practice ammo,which is the bulk of my reloading, is done on a progressive press. Checking the powder every 5 rounds. Some powders just measure better then others.
    I'm not an expert, nor will I ever be. The older I get, the more I relies I don't know. lol

    Ghost101

  6. #66
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    Thank you Goodsteel,I am glad you take time to explain these things.

  7. #67
    Boolit Master

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    great sticky i now shoot only cast from my rifles in many calibers thanks to all for the sage advice.

  8. #68
    Boolit Master helice's Avatar
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    Like R5R I too seat my boolit right after I dump my charge. I too had a man at the next table blow up a rifle, a Mosin of all things. It is a sobering thing to see a guy bleeding hand and face while his buddy is picking up gun parts. If they hadn't been so obnoxious we all might have felt sorry for them.

  9. #69
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    Last edited by goodsteel; 02-13-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  10. #70
    Boolit Master youngda9's Avatar
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    ^^ Wise ovservation goodsteel. Bravo!

  11. #71
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have been reloading rifle/pistol for 20+ years and casting some of my own boolits for maybe 10 years. I can't believe how much I didn't know! Thank-you Goodsteel.

  12. #72
    Boolit Mold 45-70Govt's Avatar
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    Seriously, after reading the OP halfway down, my eyes got blurry and my brain seized up. For me that is way way to much trouble. I've got some HC bullets here, some bought some done myself. I diddle with a few different powders and loads. If they shoots.........Good. if not.........NEXT.

    The only cal I would consider to hunt with are 44 and 45.
    In my end of the world we have one deer tag per person/season and I don't like the thought of messing up when I have jacketed stuff that works great. No offfense meant, my hat off to you if you can get what you hunt with Cast.

  13. #73
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    Last edited by goodsteel; 02-13-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  14. #74
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    Okay, stupid question time. Since I'm the designated stupid question guy, here goes. (And before you tell me there are no stupid questions, let me say this: anyone who believes that hasn't met my apprentice. That kid can't tell the difference between... well, never mind.)

    When you say "long range hole punching", how long do you mean?

    I'm a hand gun guy, not a rifle guy, but I'm thinking of getting a rifle. I'm only interested if I can cast for it, and my longest available range is 200 yards. Which is really, really long to me-- I train people to shoot at twenty one feet. I'm not sure I can see 200 yards.

    I was all settled on a .223, until I read this thread, and it sounds like .22 calibers are harder to cast for. Is that so, in your experience?

    Thank you, Tim!

  15. #75
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    Last edited by goodsteel; 02-13-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  16. #76
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    I can't help but notice your A list doesn't include 30-06, either.

  17. #77
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    Last edited by goodsteel; 02-13-2018 at 02:07 PM.

  18. #78
    Boolit Master UBER7MM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    I held the same opinion for years my friend. Now I know better.

    I once knew a man who only ate fastfood. He said he just couldn't see wasting all that time in front of a stove cooking his own meals from scratch. He said "For me that is way way to much trouble".
    Then we had him over for dinner, and he watched Angie prepare the meal in a cast iron skillet and then we ate. Didn't seem like it was nearly such a waste of time when he got to try it, and it beat the heck out of box dinners that he had "cooked himself".
    Anyway, sorry, I don't know where that came from. Brain fart I guess.
    Must be a factory vs. hand loads allegory. My sentiments exactly.
    Uber7mm

    Bambi: The great American hunting story as told through the eyes of the antagonist.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    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:
    Attachment 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:
    Attachment 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.

    i been loading only BP for years. its so simple fill case up seat sofft boolit any way
    this info is great but what is a COWW lead?
    im wanting to cast some boolits for 303 brit & was cofused on lead hardnes wanted
    can meaqsure with the pencil methoid
    is a brass cleaing rod ok for being safe on crown ? i had this rifle recrowned once man it realy helped accuracy dont want to do it again
    thanks for all the info i enjoyed reading it
    NRA Life Member
    learn to make your own black powder collect bp arms as there presently not recorded
    smokless is a fad its fading fast, helped along by obama

  20. #80
    Boolit Master

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    COWW means Clip On Wheel Weights.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-on-This-Forum This link might help.
    Lead bullets Matter

    There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves. - Will Rodgers

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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