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Thread: 356 win not the greatest

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    356 win not the greatest

    Well let me say this site has the most impressive array of information I have ever been able to find on casting period!!! I started casting about 3 years ago and now I think I have about 20 different molds and just not as much lead as one would like. No mater I use pretty much all my cast on hunting and this problem child is not any different. I have a 356 BB that sends 220 flat points into 1.25" groups at 100, switch to cast well I get more pattern like groups then actual groups. Yesterday I made up some 50/50 with 2% tin sized at 359 and these are the 200g fp from NOE with gas check, sized and lubed they weigh 212g in the fp version without the hollow point pins. I've used IMR and H 4198, H335, H332, 4320, 2015, 4895 and I think I'm missing a couple of others. I'm trying to keep them in the low 2000fps mark around 21-2200 mark because that is what I have read in the many many pages listed here. All my groups at 50 yards are showing 3+ inches at not 100 but 50 yrds. My one question is since this is about my favorite mold because of how pretty the bullets look once cast am I driving them to fast for accurate groups? I have a elk hunt coming up in a couple weeks and would love to use this gun on an elk but I'm simply afraid my groups are not going to be good enough if I have to take a shot at 100 yrds plus. Plus if I have to drop my velocity below 2000fps I'm afraid I won't have enough speed to take on these big animals.

    Please let me know if I'm all wet trying this rifle out on elk with a cast bullet?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Hickory's Avatar
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    Cast boolits have limitations. Once those limitations are realized you can work to find tune your results.
    Lead boolits can give better performance then jacketed bullets within those limitations.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    If you haven't already try 37 grs IMR 3031. My .358 loves this and the rcbs 200 gr that averages 2015 fps and is very accurate.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have a solution, but it doesn't solve your immediate problem - sell me that 356 Winchester! My BB and Marlin like IMR 4064; will check loading data when I go outside and report back. I have used the RCBS 35-200 and Ideal 3589, both with accuracy acceptable to me. Your velocity should be fine, and you say the rifle shoots jacketed well, so I would try plain WW alloy and sort the bullets ruthlessly. Give them a week or more after casting (if possible) before loading. And, I wouldn't hesitate to use a 3.5 MOA load hunting at MY potential ranges - that still means your bullet will hit within 1.75 inches of where you aim at 100. I know I am not that steady.
    Tony

  5. #5
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    I have to ask, what is the twist rate of the rifle?

    A fast twist will notoriously open up cast bullet groups. A good twist for .358 cast is 1:16, or 1:14.
    If by chance you got a fast barrel, then try slow down the velocity and see if groups get better.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    Try harder lead. Straight wheel weights water quenched should improve your results. 2000 could be overwhelming your alloy. I had a 45 carbine that the group's became paterns after 30 yards until I went harder.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    A couple of things that you might consider is going to a slower then recommended powder for the cast bullets and double-checking The Twist rate to see if those velocities are even attainable at your current Barrel twist

  8. #8
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    AS KENS and several others above said check your twist rate if 1-10 or 1-12 you will need to go to a tougher alloy.. 98/2 would probably do well
    just 20 bullets cast and aged about 2 weeks would set you in the right direction
    or slow down your 50/50 to around 1600 to 1800 FPS again a few test rds will tell you
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Djones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BK7saum View Post
    A couple of things that you might consider is going to a slower then recommended powder for the cast bullets and double-checking The Twist rate to see if those velocities are even attainable at your current Barrel twist
    I agree with the slower powder recommendation. I have had great success with both my 35 rem and 358 Winchester with leverevolution.

    I would start at around 40 grains in your rifle and work up looking for accuracy. I think your current alloy should work if you water drop and immediately size/lube. Then wait a week or so to load and shoot the bullets.

    David
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  10. #10
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    You're going on an Elk hunt and you insist on using a cast boolit to shoot over 100 yards ?

    I love cast boolits, but would never risk a major big game hunt on a cast boolit. Yes it will work but it's kinda like insisting on using open sights.

    IF you are willing to limit shots to 100 yards or less and only take clean broadside shots you are OK.

    If you want to take a front 1/4ing shot at 300 yards, you better bay a 338 WinMag with 250 gr TSXs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldon View Post
    You're going on an Elk hunt and you insist on using a cast boolit to shoot over 100 yards ?

    I love cast boolits, but would never risk a major big game hunt on a cast boolit. Yes it will work but it's kinda like insisting on using open sights.

    IF you are willing to limit shots to 100 yards or less and only take clean broadside shots you are OK.

    If you want to take a front 1/4ing shot at 300 yards, you better bay a 338 WinMag with 250 gr TSXs.
    A .35 at 200 yards, and 2100 fps works as well or better than a jacketed bullet. At least none I've shot have complained, and are down in 30 yards or less.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktmrider View Post
    Well let me say this site has the most impressive array of information I have ever been able to find on casting period!!! I started casting about 3 years ago and now I think I have about 20 different molds and just not as much lead as one would like. No mater I use pretty much all my cast on hunting and this problem child is not any different. I have a 356 BB that sends 220 flat points into 1.25" groups at 100, switch to cast well I get more pattern like groups then actual groups. Yesterday I made up some 50/50 with 2% tin sized at 359 and these are the 200g fp from NOE with gas check, sized and lubed they weigh 212g in the fp version without the hollow point pins. I've used IMR and H 4198, H335, H332, 4320, 2015, 4895 and I think I'm missing a couple of others. I'm trying to keep them in the low 2000fps mark around 21-2200 mark because that is what I have read in the many many pages listed here. All my groups at 50 yards are showing 3+ inches at not 100 but 50 yrds. My one question is since this is about my favorite mold because of how pretty the bullets look once cast am I driving them to fast for accurate groups? I have a elk hunt coming up in a couple weeks and would love to use this gun on an elk but I'm simply afraid my groups are not going to be good enough if I have to take a shot at 100 yrds plus. Plus if I have to drop my velocity below 2000fps I'm afraid I won't have enough speed to take on these big animals.

    Please let me know if I'm all wet trying this rifle out on elk with a cast bullet?
    You may need to go to a larger diameter. One easy check, will your sized bullet go easily into a fired case? If so, you need more diameter. There should be some resistance when the bullet enters the case.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    in addition to what waksupi said.
    slow the powder speed down.
    your looking for a balance.
    one thing that could help with your present situation is to drop the bullets from the mold into a pail of cold water.
    it helps get the bullet into the barrel but doesn't inhibit the performance on target.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    Good afternoon Gents!!! Wow message overload... like I mentioned this morning this is the best site for making the silver projectiles period and after seeing the result of the past few hours I have been to work this simply proves it a great deal!!!!!!! So touching on what I have just read I now have the Lee pot heating up as I'm typing this even though the temps are very hot here right now, I just simply have to try the water quenching to see what the differences are. Letting them age for a little while before shooting I shouldn't have much of a problem with that. Trying the 37 grain load of 3031 can also be doable I simply need to check what load I used the last time before I try this load. Now as for unloading my rifle because it wont shoot cast well???? I think since the 220's have accounted for 13 deer in that rifle I think I will simply have to hold on to it for a while longer, as a matter of fact if I cant get the cast load to shoot I will have absolutely no qualms shooting that bullet into a elk what so ever it works that well. Guys thank you for chiming in I truly do appreciate it hopefully I will be able to report back with much better results before long. Twist on that rifle I unfortunately can not answer, top me it is just a standard Winchester Big Bore not sure what they put in it. Once again thank you all for the information!!!!!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I couldn't believe the OPs post title.........because the .356 is the best!! (as well as the 45/70).....My '94 in .356 just loves the Saeco 245 gr. fp gc....it didn't like any of the 200 grainers that I tried.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Clean all the copper fouling out of the barrel, size to 0.360", lube with Carnauba Red 2700+, shoot about 50 rounds at ~1900 fps to condition the bore, then shoot groups. 1900-1950 fps will kill them dead.
    USMC 6638

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Idaho Mule's Avatar
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    Ktmrider, I am using RCBS 35-200-FN, cast of either 70/30+a little tin or 16/1 lead to tin. These are sized to .359 and lubed with R5R's Simple Lube, over 33 gr. of IMR 3031. Estimated MV is 1850 fps. My Winchester will keep these inside 3 inches at 100 yards, not a target rifle but it sure does flatten white tail. I have not killed an elk with it (yet) but I am very confident it will be up to the task. So far no deer have been able to stop one of the boolits for me, they just bore right through. As far as advice I would suggest slower MV and possibly sized fatter, as in .360. All guns are different and yours may like fatter. JW

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    I ran about 75 more yesterday that were water quenched so now I'll just give it until next week to try them out for some groups. I did size them last night as well I used the blue version of the Carnauba red I just can not remember the name off hand but these were sized at 359. I can easily run several rounds down the pipe before really worrying about group size, is the theory of doing this basically the same as sizing the finished product to 360? This rifle will shoot a whitetail this year for sure this year it has been a couple of years since I have used it, it is simply fun to carry. Thanks again guys I'm looking forward to trying it with the new rounds.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    As said already, make sure your bore is clean of any copper.

    Not a .356, but my Savage 99 in .358 really likes IMR 4320. If I recall right, my deer load was 40 grains of it with a little tuft of Dacron on top, using that exact same NOE bullet cast of that same alloy. Easily got 2-2 1/2" groups consistently at 100 yards. Only killed one deer with it, but it worked fine.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master OnHoPr's Avatar
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    Do you have any powder in the 4064 to 4350 range besides the 4320? Give one of those a try. Slow the powder down possibly. Also, try just straight WW or only add a 10 or 20 % Pb mix.
    May you hands be warmed on a frosty day.

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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