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Thread: How fast can I push cast?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man brewer12345's Avatar
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    How fast can I push cast?

    I am fooling around with ballistic calculators in an effort to see if what I have in mind is even feasible. I am thinking about trying to put together a cast load for elk for 30-06. Its pretty clear to me that a 175 or 180 grain cast boolit cruising fast enough to expand (say, 1400 FPS at impact) would mean a dead elk without a lot of fuss assuming a good hit. The challenge is that where I am going for elk usually means shots between 200 and 300 yards. This year I am hunting with jacketed, but it should would be nice to use my own production.

    When I plug reasonable estimates for weight, ballistic coefficient, etc. and set the zero to the appropriate distance to make bullet drop between 200 and 300 yards small enough for the shooting I would do, it looks like I need to get about 2400 FPS to get a flat enough trajectory and sufficient down range energy (and another hundred or two of muzzle FPS is even better). Is it possible or wise to do this with a gas checked cast boolit? It appears that pressures would not be an issue, just a question of whether the boolit and lube would be up to the pressures of that kind of speed.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    2700 with a 168 GC & PC from a 24" 1:10 308W. yes, very doable. Needs a relatively hard alloy. Larry Gibson may ave a good recommendation for alloy. FN is better for hunting but pointy have better BC.
    Whatever!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    PS Popper throws a little CU in the mix help hold the bullet together

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
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    You can push them as hard as jacketed bullets but the correct question is how fast can I push them without leading the hell out of your barrel. With powder coating I have found 2500 fps is very doable.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    It all depends on alloys used, paper patch, powder coat, rifling depth, type of powder used, bullet alignment, and many more things. It also depends on what you are going to use the bullet for. Super hard alloys are no good for hunting as they become like FMJ's. Those are okay for punching holes in target and may suffice for small critter dispatching as the high velocity shock should blow them up. Some very hard alloys have uses for hunting big dangerous game in Africa.

  6. #6
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I'd recommend reading about different boolit alloys and how much pressure the alloy can handle. Once you exceed the Max pressure for a given alloy, it will slump and accuracy will fall off.

    this is a good source (link at bottom of the page)
    http://www.lasc.us/CastBulletNotes.htm
    scroll about half down the page for this chart:
    Approximate "Maximum" Chamber Pressure For Lead Alloys (PSI)

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    Here's the conundrum; for 2400+ fps with cast bullets from a 10" twist '06 requires a very hard alloy......too hard in my estimation for clean killing at 1400 fps at 300 yards.

    A softer more malleable alloy is needed for the bullet to hold together at close range yet give some semblance of terminal performance at 300 yards. Yes, a 30 caliber hard cast bullet put through the lungs of an elk at 1400 fps is going to kill it. The question is; how far will the elk go after being shot, are you going to find it and/or is some other hunter going to shoot it again and claim it before you can find it?

    I have killed numerous elk in my time and hunt with a 30-06 with jacketed bullets if the range will/can exceed 200 yards. Otherwise I've found a cast bullet such as the 311041 or the RCBS 30-180-FN when cast of a proper alloy for hunting and pushed to 1950 - 2300 fps out of 10 and 12" twist barrels to be adequate for elk out to 200 yards. The use of a .35 - 375 caliber 200 - 280 gr FN cast at 2200 - 2500 fps (quite easily done with 12 and 14" twist barrels of 24" length) is much better. If you really want to effectively hunt/harvest/kill elk with a 30-06 out to 300 yards with cast bullet then I suggest you consider rebarreling with a 13 or 14" twist barrel of 26" length, use a proper design cast bullet of a proper alloy.

    I know that's not what you wanted to hear but it is factual.
    Larry Gibson

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

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Larry,
    How would a dual hardness lead bullet work? Hard base with softer nose

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Faster than you should need or want to. Most of the rifle cast calibers I shoot perform better accuracy-wise and field-wise at velocities well under maximum even on elk. Of course, this defies conventional wisdom but moderately soft heavy-for-caliber cast lead often does that.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Grmps View Post
    Larry,
    How would a dual hardness lead bullet work? Hard base with softer nose
    It definitely would be an improvement, especially at normal cast bullet velocities out of a 10" twist barrel. The conundrum is that the OP wants an effective range of 300 yards. That requires velocity. The softer nose does not hold up under the acceleration needed to retain 1400+ fps at 300 yards.

    When I first got into the calculations for the 30 XCB bullet at 2900+ fps I envisioned it being 400 yard capable as all the ballistic calculations showed that. What I found was it required a BHN of 22 - 24 to withstand the acceleration to 2900+ fps even out of the 31" barrel. Expansion testing showed clearly that for medium/large game 300 yards was a more realistic max range if any expansion of the bullet was to be expected. Many times what we think and want just doesn't pan out in reality. A .308W pushing a #2 cast (AC'd) 311041 at 2500 fps from a 14" twist is also an excellent 300 yard medium/big game cast bullet 30 caliber cartridge. The problem the OP has is the probable 10" twist of his 30-06.
    Larry Gibson

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

  11. #11
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    It definitely would be an improvement, especially at normal cast bullet velocities out of a 10" twist barrel. The conundrum is that the OP wants an effective range of 300 yards. That requires velocity. The softer nose does not hold up under the acceleration needed to retain 1400+ fps at 300 yards.

    When I first got into the calculations for the 30 XCB bullet at 2900+ fps I envisioned it being 400 yard capable as all the ballistic calculations showed that. What I found was it required a BHN of 22 - 24 to withstand the acceleration to 2900+ fps even out of the 31" barrel. Expansion testing showed clearly that for medium/large game 300 yards was a more realistic max range if any expansion of the bullet was to be expected. Many times what we think and want just doesn't pan out in reality. A .308W pushing a #2 cast (AC'd) 311041 at 2500 fps from a 14" twist is also an excellent 300 yard medium/big game cast bullet 30 caliber cartridge. The problem the OP has is the probable 10" twist of his 30-06.

    You present some good advice Larry especially about the distance to shoot elk is the conundrum, but you always have to stick your theory in there somewhere. You missed your fortune by not working for an advertising agency. Anyways the 06's 10 twist isn't going to hurt. Remember my cousin pushed that soft alloy 30 caliber bullet from a 10 twist AR 10 to 3100 fps +. If one knows what they are doing you can shoot alloys fast that you wouldn't think possible.

    Now for elk and cast I like the idea of a very good quality accurate rifle in 45-70. You yourself know they shoot quite far for their velocity range, far exceeding 300 yards. I myself have shot deer with a 45-70 at 250 yards using AC WW's and they expanded quite well at that distance. Casting dual alloy hardness bullets is not as easily done as said. Often hard alloys hollow pointed can surprise you.
    Last edited by vzerone; 11-13-2017 at 06:11 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    vzerone

    Then there should be nothing stopping you from grabbing a 10" twist 30 caliber rifle, conducting accuracy tests using 10 shot groups at 100, 200 and 300 yards with a cast bullet at 3000 fps to prove me wrong, is there?

    Oh, and try not to use cropped pictures of targets like your uncle did of that claimed 3100 fps " group". We have pictures of the whole target and the claimed load was tested......over pressure and slower than claimed.

    With every post you're sounding more and more like your "uncle"....hmmmmm.....
    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
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    vzerone

    Then there should be nothing stopping you from grabbing a 10" twist 30 caliber rifle, conducting accuracy tests using 10 shot groups at 100, 200 and 300 yards with a cast bullet at 3000 fps to prove me wrong, is there?

    Oh, and try not to use cropped pictures of targets like your uncle did of that claimed 3100 fps " group". We have pictures of the whole target and the claimed load was tested......over pressure and slower than claimed.

    With every post you're sounding more and more like your "uncle"....hmmmmm.....
    We ought to sound alike and he's not my uncle he's my first cousin. We grew up together, shared one another's homes, went to the same school all twelve years with the same teachers so why shouldn't we sound the same? We split when we went to different branches of the service. We reunited after I retired and moved to TN. If you know anything about lingistics you would understand what I'm talking about. You know Larry how people in other states can pick out New Yorkers?

    BTW that target wasn't photoshopped it was cropped as the target paper was a very large square. It was cropped to fit it on the scanner. I can't remember, but like lots of other people, we like to get a lot of use out of a target and not just shoot one group on it and then file it. So like said I don't remember what was on the rest of it. I shot that load and it did what he said it does. I had him email it to me so I'll post it here in color again for those that never saw it.

    I'm still laughing at he's my uncle, Larry I'm 70! In rare instances a nephew can be older then his uncle. Good laugh there thanks!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    This is a trajectory problem rather than an alloy problem. Or, rather, it should be.

    There is no need to shoot cast at 2800 fps to kill elk. Starting slower means less speed is lost over distance. And, as noted above, while a flat meplat will have better wounding properties, a spitzer type profile will improve BC. First, bullet choice. While 180 j-words are the classic elk load, I, for one, would suggest a 200 - 210 cast boolit, either the 311299 or 311284. I would like to see MV of 1800 fps, leaving you around 1200 fps at 300 yards. That should mean that WW is a perfectly acceptable alloy that should expand sufficiently, and will certainly penetrate. Zero for 300 yards, or the most you can with scope, and you should be about 3 feet high at 150 yards. I would start with 20 grs 4227 or 28 grs H4895 and work up to 1800 fps, or start with Ed Harris' "Universal Load" of 16 grs 2400.

    FWIW, I did a "retro" hunt for elk this year in the Rockies with a Krag sporter using the 311284 and 19 grs IMR 4227. Never got to check it's effectiveness though. Only got out for three days before a work "emergency" called my back to the office and during those three days, never had a shot on a bull. But I was quite happy with it out to 200 yards, my self-imposed limit with open sights.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    I forgot to say Larry that my cousin just lengthened his range. He can shoot now to 549 yards. Am I allowed to refer to him by his old handle when he was on here or his first name? Tired of calling him cousin. I just felt his name was taboo here is why.

    Now I doubt that 130 grain bullet he used in that AR 10 is a likely candidate for 500 yards due to it's very low BC and SD. Hell it's like a 30 caliber 38 special 158 grain roundnose in shape. It would certainly surprise me if it did well at that distance. We'll have to try it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master vzerone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPRNY View Post
    This is a trajectory problem rather than an alloy problem. Or, rather, it should be.

    There is no need to shoot cast at 2800 fps to kill elk. Starting slower means less speed is lost over distance. And, as noted above, while a flat meplat will have better wounding properties, a spitzer type profile will improve BC. First, bullet choice. While 180 j-words are the classic elk load, I, for one, would suggest a 200 - 210 cast boolit, either the 311299 or 311284. I would like to see MV of 1800 fps, leaving you around 1200 fps at 300 yards. That should mean that WW is a perfectly acceptable alloy that should expand sufficiently, and will certainly penetrate. Zero for 300 yards, or the most you can with scope, and you should be about 3 feet high at 150 yards. I would start with 20 grs 4227 or 28 grs H4895 and work up to 1800 fps, or start with Ed Harris' "Universal Load" of 16 grs 2400.

    FWIW, I did a "retro" hunt for elk this year in the Rockies with a Krag sporter using the 311284 and 19 grs IMR 4227. Never got to check it's effectiveness though. Only got out for three days before a work "emergency" called my back to the office and during those three days, never had a shot on a bull. But I was quite happy with it out to 200 yards, my self-imposed limit with open sights.
    The 311299 has a better BC and I think it hollow pointed (and I'm not talking about a honking hollowpoint) that it may do well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    The 311299 has a better BC and I think it hollow pointed (and I'm not talking about a honking hollowpoint) that it may do well.
    If you can get a hollow point 311299, that would add peace of mind out at the long end of things, but I am unsure of the extent to which it may impact terminal velocities. The 311284 was designed for the US Palma Team in 1906, so I feel pretty confident that it has excellent long range properties. Either one would be a good choice in any event. Like the project!

  18. #18
    Boolit Man brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    I know that's not what you wanted to hear but it is factual.
    Heh, what I wanted to hear was the truth, not moonbeams and unicorn farts. I very much appreciate the collected wisdom here (and yours in particular, Larry), so what I was asking was whether this is an exercise in futility or not. It appears that it very well may be.

    The rifle in question is a Tikka T3 with a 1 in 11 twist, relatively fast. As RPRNY indicated, I could just zero for a big drop with a slower bullet, but I would be a bit uncomfortable doing so vs. a flatter shooting load. I guess I will start fooling around with Lee soup cans and work my way up the velocity scale, then I will try messing with real hunting bullets.

    I appreciate being headed off at the pass. At the very least, this sounds like it would be the bleeding edge of what cast can do and not for the beginner to expect to achieve success on easily.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master


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    brewer12345

    That 11" twist just may give you more of an edge than you think, especially if you're considering a 311299/314299 cast bullet. You should get to 2200 fps with suitable hunting accuracy. Have to see where the remaining velocity hits 1400 - 1500 fps. Knowing the trajectory and having reliable range finders these days then means the trajectory is the real problem as RPRNY suggests.

    The loaded rounds are easily HP'd on tha case trimmer with the Forster 1/8" HP tool. The photo shows a 314299 so HP'd.

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    Larry Gibson

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

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


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    The story continues to change on your uncle/cousin/whatever......he said on another forum the bullet was a 118 gr......? He also told me he was never in the service.....?

    I never said the photo you posted again was "photo shopped".....you really should quit putting wrong words in others mouths. Read post #12 again....I said "cropped". Maybe that's your problem....one of reading comprehension? Anyways here is the whole uncropped photo. I think everyone can see what it really is and why it was cropped.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Larry Gibson

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

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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