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Thread: 356 win not the greatest

  1. #21
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Ktmrider

    Your M94 356W should have a 12" twist so your expectations of 2000 - 2100 fps are doable with cast bullets. A couple suggestions;

    Your 50/50 alloy is an excellent hunting alloy, especially when AC'd and slightly HP'd. However, accuracy will only hold for 5 - 8 shots out of a clean barrel. I use the same COWW + 2% tin then mixed 50/50 with lead for all my rifle cast bullets used for hunting. I push them from 1900 to 2200 fps depending on cartridge. I clean the barrel every 5 - 8 shots. While that may seem to be a PITA it really isn't for hunting as if I've not got the animal in 5 - 8 shots I might as well go home and clean the rifle anyways.........

    Cast a bunch of your bullets of straight COWWs + 2% tin and WQ them. Use these to develop the load, zero the rifle and practice with. I've found a negligible poi change when then switching to the softer alloy for hunting. After developing the load and zeroing for that load clean the barrel then confirm zero with 5 - 8 shots of the same load with the softer alloy. You will see it "group" for 5 or so shots then the group will begin to open. That is because the softer alloy at those velocities will foul the bore after only a few rounds and accuracy will decrease.

    I also suggest, as previously suggested, you size at .360 and use a good softer lube; Lars NRA 50/50, 2500+ and 2700+ will all work very well. Use Hornady GC and seat them firmly on the GC shank before sizing and crimping.

    Also, as already suggested, a slower powder will be best. For the 356W with a 200 gr cast I suggest any of the 4350s (IMR, Accurate or Hodgdon), RL19 and H4831SC.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  2. #22
    Boolit Mold
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    Once again thanks everyone I was able to just check this a little while ago so now I am getting ready for the next range session. I just finished up some made with the wheel weights ( sizing is a pain in the butt compared to the 50/50 mix), I'll make up some tomorrow before work and hopefully will be able to shoot them right after work. Since I don't have a 360 sizer I'll have to hope the 359 will work, time obviously will tell. Great information and it all came at once, with all of this going on I wish I had some extra time off work to try them out. I will report back the findings, lets face it it was everyone's accumulative efforts if this works out. Thanks again!!!!!

  3. #23
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktmrider View Post
    Once again thanks everyone I was able to just check this a little while ago so now I am getting ready for the next range session. I just finished up some made with the wheel weights ( sizing is a pain in the butt compared to the 50/50 mix), I'll make up some tomorrow before work and hopefully will be able to shoot them right after work. Since I don't have a 360 sizer I'll have to hope the 359 will work, time obviously will tell. Great information and it all came at once, with all of this going on I wish I had some extra time off work to try them out. I will report back the findings, lets face it it was everyone's accumulative efforts if this works out. Thanks again!!!!!
    See if they will chamber unsized. I think it wants to dance with fat gals.
    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!


  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Watching/reading this with bated breath, I'm sorta in the same situation with my 358 Win. Matter of fact I just cast up some fresh water dropped WW boolits tonight to try something harder and I'm taking my sizing die to work tomorrow to lap it out to .360 on the lathe. One thing I haven't noted is are you using any optics or is it irons?

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  5. #25
    Boolit Master

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    If you are concerned with expansion of the hard alloy look into the Bruce B soft point bullet.
    But then with the advise already given you have enough to mess with in the next couple of weeks, so maybe leave the soft points until later.
    ..

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktmrider View Post
    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.
    Until you get the right size, do not expect warm fuzzy feelings.
    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!


  7. #27
    Boolit Mold
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    Ok ok ok here is the latest as of about 5 minutes ago, with the mighty 356. After a thorough cleaning I headed to the range with some newly made wheel weight 200 grainers. I had 3 different loads and decided to shoot them at 75 yrds. I did just remove my 4 power scope and put my peep back on, I started with my 220 gr load of jacketed for an idea on group size 1.5" with the irons and my aging eyes. Now with the baseline set I ran 3 of the first load of 4320 into a nice tidy 1.75" group, I thought I was seeing things best group ever with cast. Thinking it was time to try the next load before leading be came an issue I sent 3 more into another 1.5 inch group same hold and same location for the group on paper... now I know I'm dreaming. I then sent the final group onto paper and had 2 in same hole with 3rd being out just over 3/4" away, Are you kidding me???? These now rival the jacketed and only hit 2" to the right from the jacketed at 75 yrds. All loads I decided to run on the stiffer side to really check out how they did and the other 2 powders of 4064 and H335 didn't upset me in the least. I did try to chamber a unsized bullet with not a chance of it happening, way to tight. So the moral to the story is this website ROCKS!!!! You guys made this possible for me to be able to use a cast bullet on my week and a half away elk hunt and I know with the powder charge I'm giving will have plenty of steam for these guys and more importantly the accuracy to stretch out to maybe 150 just the way the rifle sits. So one more question do I run the wheel weights or drop back to the 50/50 mix? Thank you again everyone!!!!!

  8. #28
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktmrider View Post
    . So one more question do I run the wheel weights or drop back to the 50/50 mix?
    hmmm, 50/50 alloy gave you 3" at 50 yards with a scope. Wheel weight shoots into 2" at 75 yards with peeps.
    either alloy will knock 'em dead.
    wouldn't be a hard decision for me.
    ..

  9. #29
    Boolit Master OnHoPr's Avatar
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    IMHO if you got the time I would try a batch of boolits 75/25 WW/Pb. The 4064 is a very good cast boolit powder. Try a 3 or 5 shot per group ladder test up the the top of loading of each powder in 1 gr increments for three or four increments. 4064, 4320, and if you have another powder in that burn rate area or maybe a little slower might prove interesting. The slightly softened WW alloy might provide a little bit more expansion characteristics at the longer ranges that you might be willing to take a shot at.
    May you hands be warmed on a frosty day.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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  11. #31
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    I'm curious, are you still getting leading? I fire hundreds of rounds with none.
    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. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Unless you annually hunt elk and have a few 'honey holes' or hay fields the limitations of cast bullets may not work for your elk hunt. I have shot a few elk with the 358 Win, more with the 45-70, and a smattering with other rifles. For elk I would want a 44 or 45 caliber cast starting at 300 plus grains. Your 356 should be fine for elk with the 220 Flatnose (Speer?) bullet giving you a 250 to 300 yard range. The speed limitations of cast bullets can reduce your field effectiveness. Deer out to 150-200, sure. Cast bullets are great for practice, an interesting challenge for reloading, but without extensive development are not the best for longer ranges on bigger game. Both hitting at longer ranges and effective killing power due to velocity can be issues with cast bullets. Set your scope on 3X and don't putz with it. Elk are big and easy to hit but bang-flops are not the norm. The 356 in a Model 94 should be ALMOST as good as a Savage 99 358 for elk, but not with cast. Good Luck on your hunt.

  13. #33
    Boolit Mold
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    As of right now I'm not seeing leading as I would think I would see it, more of just a darkening in the barrel after several shots, Wow Mr. leverguns you have taken a bunch of elk Hopefully I'll get my chance next week. There has to be a bunch of meat on those guys compared to the whitetails I shoot, I'm guessing I may have in the 250 to 350lb range of meat once its all boned out. If this all works I'll keep everyone posted.

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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