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Thread: Shooting cast boolits always causes mysteries...

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    Shooting cast boolits always causes mysteries...

    I have been casting and shooting cast boolits for a little over a year now and am still trying to figure them out. I've been reloading for the same amount of time. Been shooting for over 35 years and only recently gotten into competitive shooting where reloading makes sense.

    My latest pistol is a Glock G35 in .40 S&W that I use for GSSF indoor matches. Prior to it, I started out with my 10mm G29 with the stock barrel, and then a Lone Wolf conversion barrel in .40 S&W. Tried cast in the LW barrel with poor results in accuracy.

    I'm in the process of fine tuning my loads and discovered that the G35 prefers lighter bullets. Finally got under 2" at 25yds with a 155gr Speer plated and 4.9gr of Win 231.

    I bought a Lee mold for the 145gr LSWC and cast up around 100 last night. They came out at an actual 142gr. Loaded up a few of those with 4.5gr of Unique and for the heck of it, did some with the Lee 175gr with the same charge.

    Also loaded up some 155gr Berry's FN and 155gr Hornady XTPs using 4.9gr of 231.

    Went to the range and it was 32 degrees, foggy, no wind, and miserable.

    Shot the cast boolit loads first. Could not believe the results. The 175gr Lee load was a disaster; keyholing, not even hitting the target, and I think one ended up on another target! The 145gr load was much better and had acceptable groups, though I did have one FTE.

    When shooting plated and jacketed bullets, I get occasional poor groups, but never the mysterious and disastrous results I frequently encounter with cast boolits.

    No idea even where to begin trying to figure out the results with the 175gr loads...

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    Lighter load didn't do too bad at all; even with one of the rounds from the 175gr load ending up on it...

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  2. #2
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    No idea even where to begin trying to figure out the results with the 175gr loads
    my first guess...
    The load is too much for whatever alloy you used.
    AKA: Boolit skid.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    I'm glad you jumped in on this one JonB...my first guess was leading in the barrel caused that sideways tumble hit.

    This is going to take more than guessing though...we need some 'Gluck Guys' to chime in that know about 'Gluck barrels'....I certainly don't.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

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    just, "watch your 6" .

  4. #4
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    I only shot 25 cast boolits through it and I inspected the barrel and there was no leading at all. Using a harder lead at around 16bn. Load was very, very light at only 4.5gr of Unique. ???

  5. #5
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    I wish I could help but Glocks are way outside my limited expertise...there will be someone along directly who will diagnose the problem quick!

    I think it's all about asking you the right questions and they'll have a simple answer and you'll be all good to go in no time at all.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

    2018 is going to be a 'Jaw-Dropping Year' . . . 'The Year', the World was born to live . . .
    just, "watch your 6" .

  6. #6
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    if the boolit is undersized, it'll do the same thing (Skid).

  7. #7
    Boolit Master



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    It's no big deal; it did fine with the 145gr load and I can fine tune it if I really want to shoot cast in the matches. I've just never seen a bullet perform so badly before. Weird.

  8. #8
    Boolit Mold bsev81's Avatar
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    Check your bullet size, I ditched my Lee 175 grain mold for my G29 because it was dropping undersized at .399".

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub

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    I use the 175 gr lee tc in Glock 22 and 23 over 4.6 grains of hogdon longshot as a target load pc'ed and sized to .401 and as cast with rojack or 45-45-10 tumble loob. Both work great for me. All COWW.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    With Cast bullet fit is king, get that right first.

    Second I suspect

    A either JonB is correct and you are pushing them too hard.

    Or

    B you don't have a good enough alloy/lube for how hard you are pushing them.

    If it was me (and I've been there) I would start with a very moderate load, with a bullet 1 to 2 thousandths bigger than groove, that will just chamber without issues.

    The keyholing, patterns not groups, been there done that.
    Switching to a .358 225 gr bullet that was actually dropping dang close to .360 fixed my problems.

    No more keyholes, groups were better than factory Federal FMJ's.

    Make one change at a time.

    If you don't want to just abandon your mold consider taking a few cast bullets and give them a squish in a press. Take the die out, put a flat piece of metal on the underside, push the bullet up into it. When you get to .358 try loading them. If that is not enough try .359.

    Back down to a starting load.

    50% clip on Wheel weights, 50% range scrap or soft lead, add 1 or 2% tin for easy casting.

    Lube matters. I've gone to Ben's Liquid lube on everything because it works.

    But until the bullet is big enough, nothing is going to be a 100% solution.

    9mm's can be tough, they are higher pressure, with some wide variance on chamber size, throat, and bore. What works in one gun may not work in the next.

    The real secret is one step at a time, make copious notes, date every thing. Note every change.
    And try to enjoy yourself. Road can be a little rough the first time over it. Once you've done it a couple of times you learn where the tuff spots are and can sorta slide around em. And enjoy the scenery. But its hard the first time.

    Relax, it ain't rocket science, but you can do this.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    My theory so far is that I wasn't using enough powder. Couldn't find a load for Unique and .40 S&W with cast boolits at the 175gr size. I used the same charge for the 142gr boolits as I did the 175gr boolits and the 142gr ones did pretty good.

    I think the 175gr ones just couldn't get stabilized with such a low powder charge, especially since both were ran through the same .401 sizer. Have to wait until next week to go back to the range; work 12hr shifts until Thursday.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    That seems like a very light load. My Shield, with the craptastic trigger and all will do about 2.5" at 25 yards with the LEE 175 and 5.5 grains of Power Pistol which runs about 900 fps. I am using air cooled WW's, so softer than the ones you are shooting. I de-bevel based my mold, but honestly groups didn't change, I just dislike bevel base molds.

    I'd make sure they aren't under sized, then give them a little kick in the backside and see what happens. Groups in my gun do start to open up if pushed harder, but no keyholes. Good luck.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master

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    You said nothing about size or lube. I would suggest that you make sure both molds are throwing the same size boolits. Glocks (like Marlin microgroove) like oversized boolits. So first check your sizes - and if you don't have a micrometer get one. Once you have size nailed down then look at your powder charges.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  14. #14
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Smith View Post
    You said nothing about size or lube. I would suggest that you make sure both molds are throwing the same size boolits. Glocks (like Marlin microgroove) like oversized boolits. So first check your sizes - and if you don't have a micrometer get one. Once you have size nailed down then look at your powder charges.
    +1

    I had a Baby Eagle in 40, with a polygonal barrel...It slugged at .4025
    It shot trouble-free once I bought a oversize mold and sizer in .403

    But honestly there is probably a hundred things it could be, I choose to comment with my advice in reference to what little info was offered.
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 01-08-2018 at 04:26 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Undersized boolits or to light a load not bumping up boolit .

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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