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Thread: 223 Cast Bullet Loads

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    223 Cast Bullet Loads

    I have a friend who has loaded several 223 rounds using an RCBS mold. He used Linotype metal and the casting weight is 55 gr. He has used 23 grains of H322 powder. It appears that load will fire at about 3000 fps. A gas check was not used due to lack of availability of correct gas checks. What danger is there that the barrel of the .223 AR-15 will be damaged using the linotype cast bullet? Can he get by just cleaning the barrel after shooting a few hundred rounds at the range? This is not a weapon that will be fired thousands and thousands of rounds.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    No barrel damage. The lino is softer than the barrel.
    Test stuff for yourself, and come up with your own answer.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master jabilli's Avatar
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    Something you might find useful http://www.castpics.net/subsite2/ByCaliber/default.html Click "Cast in the .223" ....It's 7 links down from the top.

    I hate to poop in the punchbowl with negativity, but your friend will very likely find that with a load appropriate for about 3k fps with a 55 grain linotype will vaporize the bullet/cause self destruction. This fact alone has caused me a fairly good deal of frustration.

    I've been looking into ways around this for some time...It really seems to me that the best way around it is to not use lead boolits (if trying to shoot above 2k fps)... The best method of getting 3k+ fps out of your AR homeloads? buying commercially available stuff.

    Another option that people have safely and reliably been making ammo for .223 that shoots in the ballpark of 3k fps are the folks who are into swaging. Our forums have a section specifically for this topic, and they've come up with some very impressive stuff...Mind you the cost of gear to get into the hobby of swaging can be on the end of pricey.

    Good luck!
    I believe you...but my Tommy gun don't.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Jabilli ...... Vaporizing bullets ..... What have you been smokeing? malonjw .... Shooting cast at 3000 fps or close to it can be done. I would first suggest that your friend acquire the proper gas checks. At these velocities they will deffinately help. Second ..... bullet fit in the barell and a GOOD bullet lubricant will help you achieve the goal. I'd also suggest that you back off on the target velocity and work your way up to it a little at a time. With 22 caliber bullets small changes can have great effects. Don't give up but rather learn as you go.

    Nighthunter
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  5. #5
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    nighthunter put it well. You will need GC for velocities much above 1500 FPS or face the task of de-leading the barrel in all likelihood. I'd suggest you make your initial velocies a lot closer to 2500 fps and work up. FIT will be critical for accurate loads too. I have found 22s are a bit easier to get higher velocities out of but you are also straining the alloy strength when you're loading to the high velocities.

    Edd
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master







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    Just my opinion and experiance, but I want GC's on all my cast 22's over about 1200 fps regardless of hardness.
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  7. #7
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    i increased the accuracy of my 223 boolit by cutting linotype in half with pure lead and upping the tin content.
    i think i can increase it further by cutting that mix in half,i just gotta figure out how to do that and keep my critical diameters.

    when he goes to shoot them i'd like to see some 100 yd targets...
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    the more i find out about shootin boolits, the more it contradicts everything i ever learned about shooting jaxketed.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    R5R, I think running a GC boolit a 3000fps without a GC will result in pristine targets at 100 yards. They likely won't hit paper, let alone group. Ah who knows, the Galena Goddess might smile down on the guy (I doubt it). I tried to run a Lyman 225-415 without a GC after copper electroplating. No worky. The electroplated boolits shot great with a GC. I would like to see some targets as well.
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  9. #9
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    i know they won't hit paper...
    i tried near 3-k kindaonaccident in the 0-6, i did hit paper at 100 though.
    the 4x4 backer was covered in it and i kept all three shots on it.
    not really what i had in mind at the time.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    the more i find out about shootin boolits, the more it contradicts everything i ever learned about shooting jaxketed.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    What is the BNH of the boolit your shooting ? Do you get much build up of lead in the gas block ?

    Mike

  11. #11
    Boolit Master jabilli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nighthunter View Post
    Jabilli ...... Vaporizing bullets ..... What have you been smokeing? malonjw .... Shooting cast at 3000 fps or close to it can be done. I would first suggest that your friend acquire the proper gas checks. At these velocities they will deffinately help. Second ..... bullet fit in the barell and a GOOD bullet lubricant will help you achieve the goal. I'd also suggest that you back off on the target velocity and work your way up to it a little at a time. With 22 caliber bullets small changes can have great effects. Don't give up but rather learn as you go.

    Nighthunter
    No need to be nasty- really, not necessary. The fact you disagree with my statement is just fine. That's all ya had to say. In any case, the only things I've been smoking were two or three small batches of .223 at more extreme speeds. Does the bullet vaporize completely? Maybe not. Probably more of a mix of having it smear in the bore, spread everywhere once the lead vapor exits the bore, and destruct from centrifugal force on the way to target. In any case, one could forget the literal sense of "vaporizing" and just see it for face value- a way to express the concept of the bullet destructing.

    Don't believe me put together a nice hot batch like as if you were shooting jacketed ammo. If it's anything like my first CB .223 load, you wont even see the bullet impacting against anything most of the time- The pop can I was aiming at had burned fragment-type holes in it. (A2 Style AR15...20" with 1/12" twist rate shooting 57 grain CB with IIRC about 21.5g of Varget.) Among the first of many lessons learned- I'm happy most are through reading other peoples experiences here in the forums
    I believe you...but my Tommy gun don't.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    jbilli .... I wasn't attempting to be nasty. I've been shooting cast bullets for 45 years and have never seen one vaporize AND I do shoot cast bullets at jacketed bullet velocities in many of my firearms. Sometimes on this board it can be quite easy to get bad information. The bad information usually comes from someone that doesn't have sufficient knowledge to be answering a particular question. As dedicated bullet casters on this forum most of us try to make the learning for others easier to achieve through us explaining our experiences. Sometimes we have to say that some posts need to be taken with a grain of salt. No Hard feelings here.

    Nighthunter
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  13. #13
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    you can push the boundary's with cast.
    it's just not a matter of making them and sticking them in a case.
    you seriously HAVE to make everything fit and work properly.
    i can get to over 2700 in my 9 twist ar's and maintain accuracy in the 1-1/2 to
    1-3/4 range.
    not earth shattering accuracy you say.
    thats as good as/better than/ it does with many jaxketed bullets.....
    it takes longer than a year to figure some of this stuff out.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    the more i find out about shootin boolits, the more it contradicts everything i ever learned about shooting jaxketed.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    I would not try it with 22cal bullets but if you are after velocity with accuracy try paper patching. The paper protects the bullet from heat and bore friction and supports the bullet against deformation from acceleration. I have done so in a 300RUM @3000fps and got MOA accuracy. My 06 load uses a 311414 at 2800fps with 1.5 MOA.
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  15. #15
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    man i can barely get a gas check on a 22.
    i can't even imagine trying to wrap cotton bond,or print paper on a 22 boolit.
    i'd have to use tweezers to twist the tails.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    the more i find out about shootin boolits, the more it contradicts everything i ever learned about shooting jaxketed.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    man i can barely get a gas check on a 22.
    i can't even imagine trying to wrap cotton bond,or print paper on a 22 boolit.
    i'd have to use tweezers to twist the tails.
    Use rice paper..
    If ya get my drift..

  17. #17
    Boolit Master pdawg_shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runfiverun View Post
    man i can barely get a gas check on a 22.
    i can't even imagine trying to wrap cotton bond,or print paper on a 22 boolit.
    i'd have to use tweezers to twist the tails.
    Same here, I used to patch for my 25-06 for dog shooting, but had to give it up because of old hand didnt work so well anymore. Now, 30cal and larger is all I patch.
    45 AUTO! Because having to shoot someone twice is just silly!

  18. #18
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    I shot some cast in a 22-250 that shot pretty good with gas checks. The same load without the check would result in a puff of grey smoke about 10 yds from the muzzle. I didnt chrono the load. The alloy was linotype.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by malonjw View Post
    I have a friend who has loaded several 223 rounds using an RCBS mold. He used Linotype metal and the casting weight is 55 gr. He has used 23 grains of H322 powder. It appears that load will fire at about 3000 fps. A gas check was not used due to lack of availability of correct gas checks. What danger is there that the barrel of the .223 AR-15 will be damaged using the linotype cast bullet? Can he get by just cleaning the barrel after shooting a few hundred rounds at the range? This is not a weapon that will be fired thousands and thousands of rounds.
    Other than probable severe leading of the barrel the AR will not be damaged. Might be damaged trying to get the lead out though.........

    As you can tell from many of the replies shooting an un GC'd bullet at that velocity is not recommended. While cast bullets,GC'd and PP'd ones can be shot that fast your freind will find accuracy, especially with the RCBS cast bullet (even if GC'd), very disappointing. Your freind probably also has a 7 or 9" twist in the AR barrel which will further exasperate the problem. If he wants to shoot his RCBS cast bullets in his AR cast of linotype (like runfiverun I like to cut linotype with lead and usually ad some tin to it also) he will GC those bullets, use a good lube and reduce the load of H322 down to 15 gr and then work up in 1/2 gr increments until he gets functional reliability with the AR. His best accuracy with functional reliability will be at that point. Won't be fast but it will work. Many of us use similar loads for lots of practical practice with our own ARs.

    Then when he has some cast bullet loading experience he can, if he wants to, delve into the tedious process of buying special moulds and perfecting his loading technique to get higher velocity with useable accuracy.

    Larry Gibson

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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