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Thread: Weird things happened with my 454 Casull today

  1. #1

    Weird things happened with my 454 Casull today

    I've been casting and coating the Lee 340gr .457 boolit, then lubing it and sizing it down to .452 to shoot from my Taurus Raging Judge Magnum 454 Casull. It works fine, but it's a lot of work. I recently bought a Lee 255 .452 SWC mold, cast em, coated em, lubed em, and sized em to .452. Slightly less work, but still a bit. Problem I got is this:

    As you can see, those three boolits went through very sideways at 25 feet. Some made perfect circles, but about half did this.
    Here's the odd part, there's no appreciable leading in the bore. Some light streaks, but I expected that these were not engaging the rifling and I'd be scrubbing lead for hours. There's also some sparkly debris in there, which I must assume is the HiTek coating. A couple passes with a brush and the bore was looking pretty good.
    What I'd like to do now is size the next batch to .454 and try them out, however my Redding die set will not allow this. It's supposed to load 454 and 45C, but even at .452 I'm having a bit of a struggle to get the case and boolit into the sizing die. I've tried at .454, and boolits were getting destroyed.
    I'm stumped, any ideas?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaDoubleJ View Post
    I've been casting and coating the Lee 340gr .457 boolit, then lubing it and sizing it down to .452 to shoot from my Taurus Raging Judge Magnum 454 Casull. It works fine, but it's a lot of work. I recently bought a Lee 255 .452 SWC mold, cast em, coated em, lubed em, and sized em to .452. Slightly less work, but still a bit. Problem I got is this:

    As you can see, those three boolits went through very sideways at 25 feet. Some made perfect circles, but about half did this.
    Here's the odd part, there's no appreciable leading in the bore. Some light streaks, but I expected that these were not engaging the rifling and I'd be scrubbing lead for hours. There's also some sparkly debris in there, which I must assume is the HiTek coating. A couple passes with a brush and the bore was looking pretty good.
    What I'd like to do now is size the next batch to .454 and try them out, however my Redding die set will not allow this. It's supposed to load 454 and 45C, but even at .452 I'm having a bit of a struggle to get the case and boolit into the sizing die. I've tried at .454, and boolits were getting destroyed.
    I'm stumped, any ideas?
    Redding's are tight. I had a set of 45C dies and sent them back to the factory to open up the seating die. Most dies are geared to jacketed bullet loading, but Redding's are very tight. Otherwise very good dies.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ThaDoubleJ View Post
    I've been casting and coating the Lee 340gr .457 boolit, then lubing it and sizing it down to .452 to shoot from my Taurus Raging Judge Magnum 454 Casull. It works fine, but it's a lot of work. I recently bought a Lee 255 .452 SWC mold, cast em, coated em, lubed em, and sized em to .452. Slightly less work, but still a bit. Problem I got is this:

    As you can see, those three boolits went through very sideways at 25 feet. Some made perfect circles, but about half did this.
    Here's the odd part, there's no appreciable leading in the bore. Some light streaks, but I expected that these were not engaging the rifling and I'd be scrubbing lead for hours. There's also some sparkly debris in there, which I must assume is the HiTek coating. A couple passes with a brush and the bore was looking pretty good.
    What I'd like to do now is size the next batch to .454 and try them out, however my Redding die set will not allow this. It's supposed to load 454 and 45C, but even at .452 I'm having a bit of a struggle to get the case and boolit into the sizing die. I've tried at .454, and boolits were getting destroyed.
    I'm stumped, any ideas?
    Load a dummy and pull the bullet. Check the diameter after being loaded. Maybe the crimp is too tight and sizing down your bullet. Too soft of an alloy getting squished down under neck tensions? If the dies are made for jacketed then they probably have a lot of neck tension going on. Maybe use a Lyman M die for a proper neck tension for cast.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    It won't matter what you size to since boolits are exiting the front of the cylinder at throat diameter. Find out what the throats are, that's the size that the cylinder is delivering the boolits to the bore.

    Will a .452" boolit go into the cylinder throats from the front with finger pressure?
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    What velocity is the 255 bullet?
    Larry Gibson

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

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I see this with my 45 carbine when I push a soft alloy too hard. No leading, but 200 grain swc will tumble. Soft enough to tilt on the rifling? Boolits with longer bearing surface work fine with the soft alloy.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Looks to me that the boolit is too small as it is traveling down the barrel. If you have slugged your bore and know .452" is proper diameter for the barrel then I suspect the boolit is being swaged down either in the reloading process (pull a loaded round and measure base of boolit) or possibly by too tight of cylinder throats.

  8. #8
    Chronograph was showing about 2K. Alloy is wheel weights with a splash of tin, dropped in water. I'll measure throats and pulled boolits and such and get back to you all, thanks.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    Per the OP, and last post:
    Are you getting a 340gr bullet to chronograph @ 2,000fps out of a revolver pistol ???
    Please advise.

  10. #10
    The 255s are doing about 2K, the 340s I've only run up to about 1300.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaDoubleJ View Post
    The 255s are doing about 2K, the 340s I've only run up to about 1300.
    You're gettin' nigh 200 with a 255?! Wow, that's sizzling. With what powder?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaDoubleJ View Post
    The 255s are doing about 2K, the 340s I've only run up to about 1300.
    Way to fast for that PB cast bullet. Slow them down to 1200 +/- fps and they shoul do well. If you want faster than like 2000 fps then a GC'd bullet is best to use.
    Larry Gibson

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

  13. #13
    Using AA9, don't think I'm burning it all, either. I was a bit surprised at that speed as well, maybe I do just need to go to a heavier boolit and slow them down. Think a 300 PB would do?

  14. #14
    After mulling it over a bit, maybe using the 340s for both my 458 SOCOM and the 454 Casull isn't that bad of an idea. It's been working so far, although the accuracy in my 458 is ****, like 8 MOA. I lose the lube groove when I size them down to .452, but they're coated anyway, so it's just holding the Alox that I use during the sizing process. I wouldn't mind a 350gr truncated cone, but I'm not sure who makes a mold like that.
    Last edited by ThaDoubleJ; 11-15-2017 at 08:30 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master rr2241tx's Avatar
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    I had a similar problem with a 45 Colt Rifle. NOE 454-255-RF(GC) and 454-255-SWC fixed that. Try a Keith style SWC and you’ll be making round holes in no time.
    rr2241tx
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Did I read the OP right? Cast, coat, lube, size? I have sized after coating but never any lube of any kind on my PCed/coated bullets. Why lubing coated bullets?
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Lube? I assume he means lubing the PC'd casts to push them through the Lee sizer? And...sizing down from .457" before they were PC'd?

    If the sizer is a Lee push through and you are loosing the lube grooves too...is all that Pb & PC being pushed down below the base of the cast and forming an uneven ragged skirt?
    If so...are you loading & shooting them that way?

    That material is going somewhere...are the bases square and flat or not?
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master therealhitman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Way to fast for that PB cast bullet. Slow them down to 1200 +/- fps and they shoul do well. If you want faster than like 2000 fps then a GC'd bullet is best to use.
    Yes, this. Larry da man.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by rr2241tx View Post
    I had a similar problem with a 45 Colt Rifle. NOE 454-255-RF(GC) and 454-255-SWC fixed that. Try a Keith style SWC and you’ll be making round holes in no time.

    That's the first thing I went out and bought was that 255 gr Keith boolit mould, after I got my mdl. 83. I've been happy ever since.

  20. #20
    I still lube my coated boolits. I don't trust my ability to coat yet, I keep having problems with HiTek. They also say not to size prior to coating, so yes, I cast/coat/alox/size .457-.454-.452.
    My bases still seem flat after sizing, but I've never really looked that closely.
    The Lee 452-252 is a Keith style boolit. I've tried the 340s at .454, but the Redding seating die wants nothing to do with that, I may talk to Redding about it, see what they think.

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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