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Thread: My quest for the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
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    Test #2 - Results in Blue

    Pre-test informational video:


    Results video:


    Goals:
    • Since IMR 4227 consistently short stroked, find out if H335 will cycle reliably or if I need to test a third powder. Yep, it worked! Woohoo!
    • Further refine the optimal velocity for this boolit, it should fall somewhere between 1992 and 2078 FPS. Did what I could for velocity estimates without proper load data, but the math seems to be confirming the window of best accuracy as slightly over 2000 FPS. Further testing required.
    • Test my max COAL to see if it improves accuracy and/or cycling. Well I definitely didn't notice any detrimental effects from increasing COAL, so I'll stick with this 2.075" for now.
    • Test a Dacron filler to see if it allows me to shoot a lighter load without compromising reliable cycling. Weirdly, Dacron made things worse for me. If any of you know why that might be, let me know.
    • Observe all fouling to see how clean this powder runs, also watch for any signs of leading (none were present with IMR 4227). No evident of lead buildup except some "spray" around the inside of the flash suppressor, and powder fouling came out on the first dry patch, so this appears to be a pretty clean powder for me.


    Test Groups (10 rounds each):
    • 13.0 grains of IMR 4227 + Dacron filler. Estimated pressure is 21467 CUP, and estimated velocity is 2049 FPS.
    • 17.5 grains of H335. No load data available, but best estimate is 1866 FPS.
    • 18.0 grains of H335. No load data available, but best estimate is 1942 FPS.
    • 18.5 grains of H335. No load data available, but best estimate is 2018 FPS.
    • 19.0 grains of H335. No load data available, but best estimate is 2093 FPS.
    • 19.5 grains of H335. No load data available, but best estimate is 2169 FPS.
    • 17.5 grains of H335 + Dacron filler. No load data available, unclear how Dacron filler affects velocity.
    • 18.0 grains of H335 + Dacron filler. No load data available, unclear how Dacron filler affects velocity.
    • 18.5 grains of H335 + Dacron filler. No load data available, unclear how Dacron filler affects velocity.
    • 19.0 grains of H335 + Dacron filler. No load data available, unclear how Dacron filler affects velocity.
    • 19.5 grains of H335 + Dacron filler. No load data available, unclear how Dacron filler affects velocity.


    Other Relevant Variables: Red text represents changes since last test.
    • Projectiles: Boolits are 100% wheel weight alloy, water quenched, using the Lee .225 55 gr flat nose mold. If I absolutely canít get 55gr boolits to both function and shoot accurately, I will either look into a heavier boolit (Iíve heard great things about the NOE 70gr) or consider changing my buffer spring out for a lighter one.
    • Gas check: Aluminum gas checks are installed after casting using a Lee .225" push-through sizing die.
    • Coating: Checked boolits are powder coatedóbaked at 400F for 20 minutes. Powder coat is Smoke's Clear. Coated boolits are then sized again back down to .225".
    • Hardness: After PCing and sizing, boolits are allowed a minimum of 1 week to age harden before loading. Although I don't have a hardness test, I estimate the process of water quenching WW alloy, then semi-annealing during the PC process, then allowing to age-harden again is leaving me with a hardness somewhere in the range of 15-16 BHN.
    • Brass: All I have is range pickup, mixed head stamps. All brass is decapped, lubed with Lanolin + 99% isopropyl alcohol, full-length sized using the Lee .223 pacesetter dies, and then wet tumbled with Dawn and Lemishine for two hours before being allowed to thoroughly air dry.
    • Primers: All primers are CCI 400 small rifle primers (non-magnum).
    • Loading Procedure: Necks are expanded prior to seating boolits using the Lee Universal Neck Expander die. Boolits are now seated to a near-max COAL of 2.075". After seating, a light factory crimp is applied to remove belled case mouths and allow the cartridges to chamber, but not enough to swage projectiles down smaller than .225".
    • Shooting Procedure: For the sake of consistency, the same 20-round pmag is used for all testing. I am shooting off a bench using a Harris-style bipod. The bipod is rested on a sandbag rather than the hard bench top, and I am leaning into the bipod to load it for each shot. All targets for this test will be at 50 yards, as POI during Test #1 was not all that different than factory ammo. The longer range in Test #2 should allow me to more easily see how well different loads are grouping. Besides that, now that Iím confident I can get on paper at 50 yards, I can easily re-zero during this test, as my zero with jacketed ammo was set to 50/200 yards.


    So now I just need to get back out and test this next powder. As usual, will post results when I have them.
    Last edited by BHuij; 02-17-2018 at 10:55 PM.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  2. #22
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    Just my 2 cents. I would leave LOAL alone till an accurate load is developed. Them adjust if needed.

  3. #23
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    At minimum I would sort all my range brass by headstamp and weight. I believe that will give you a better grouping. Keep those loads together even if you use sandwich bags, and reuse them for the next visit.
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  4. #24
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    I'm tardy here .......
    Congratulations , your life will never be the same .

    The ARs I shoot are a 1-8 twist .
    The NOE 225-55 @ 62gr over H322 in HS sorted brass have shot as well as jacketed factory , except that it happens at 2050 instead of 3000 fps . Twist is the cast killer in this case , the 222 I shoot with a 12 twist will nearly match factory 50gr jackets with the same cast but will run 2600 fps vs the 50 gr at 3150 fps .

    I don't know if any of this helps or just muddies the water more .
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  5. #25
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    Turn the bullet over when sizing and applying a gas check. Push bullet through base first will seat the check better, avoids the ridge/fin around the bottom edge. Works very well with bullets having a bit of a flat nose. Not too bad with round nose either unless the bullet is an especially tight fit in the sizing die that requires a lot of force.

    I use 24.5 grains Varget with a 70 grain cast but in a Mini-14 which cycles differently than an AR style. Twist rate of barrel matters for what bullet weight will provide good accuracy. This Mini-14 is a 1:7 twist, faster than most .223 which tend to be slower, I think 1:9 is common but there are some others. So 55 grain bullet is pretty poor for a 1:7 but 70 grain might not be stabilized as well in a fast twist barrel. Especially as it is being fired at a lower cast bullet velocity.

    Here is a good article on how bullet weight and velocity in .223 impact accuracy.
    http://www.gunsandammo.com/ammo/pair...st-rates-ammo/

    I suspect that you will find you need a pretty full or hot load to cycle, the sweet spot where action cycles and round is not too hot for accuracy is narrower in .223 auto loader than in larger calibers or bolt guns. Varget works well in my situation, I will add that 4895 is my fall back. Or BL-C(2) which also seems to work well. I should mention that 24.5 grains of Varget is almost a full case, much more and I would be compressing the powder.

    I crimp a bit to hold bullet tight against recoil and I think it provides a better burn since pressure builds up a touch higher before bullet moves.
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  6. #26
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
    Turn the bullet over when sizing and applying a gas check. Push bullet through base first will seat the check better, avoids the ridge/fin around the bottom edge. Works very well with bullets having a bit of a flat nose.
    Gave this a shot, and it felt kinda weird but seems to have worked really well. Going forward, I'll be using the following process:

    • Size once, base down, without GC after casting.
    • Size again, nose down, with GC to crimp in place.
    • Powder coat.
    • Size one final time, base down.



    This seems to give really flat bases and very well-crimped GCs. Thanks for the pointer!
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  7. #27
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    My go to powder for 223 is TAC but never tried it with cast boolits only FMJ. For what it’s worth.

  8. #28
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    Hey all, results are in for Test #2. Good news, it's cycling, and I believe cycling reliably even below my target velocity. I updated the post for Test #2 with results and a video going into more detail.

    Thanks for all your help so far! Looking forward to getting things dialed in even further.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  9. #29
    Boolit Man
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    Test #3 - Results in blue

    Preliminary video:


    Results video:


    Goals:
    • Find the center of the accuracy node for this boolit as best as I can. With current hardness (estimated around 9 BHN), I think I have maxed out accuracy at 18.6 grains of H335.
    • Test out new techniques for case prep, and tighten down quality control on boolits. While it's hard to say whether this dramatically affected accuracy, I can say that I had zero failures to feed, jams, or other cycling issues, and saw no appreciable differences in my differing headstamps, which means I probably won't be sorting my brass going forwards.
    • See if I can reach my goal of 2 MOA accuracy! I'm not there yet, but I think I know where to go next - harder bullets.


    Test Groups (10 rounds each):
    • 18.5 grains of H335. Best estimate for velocity is 2018 FPS.
    • 18.6 grains of H335. Best estimate for velocity is 2033 FPS.
    • 18.7 grains of H335. Best estimate for velocity is 2048 FPS.
    • 18.8 grains of H335. Best estimate for velocity is 2063 FPS.


    Other Relevant Variables: Red text represents changes since last test.
    • Projectiles: Boolits are 100% wheel weight alloy, water quenched, using the Lee .225 55 gr flat nose mold. Boolits are now culled to remove any projectiles with visible voids, bad bases, incomplete fill-out, wrinkles, or other defects. I considered weight-sorting, but unless I canít obtain accuracy with the measures I have already taken for this test, Iíd like to avoid doing so; I donít have a digital scale, and using the Lee beam scale that came with my reloading press kit would be extremely time consuming.
    • Sizing: All boolits are sized three times using a Lee .225Ē push-through sizing die. First sized bare out of the mold as they are dropping a little large. Then sized base-first to seat the gas check. Finally, one last sizing after GC has been installed and powder coating is completed to ensure maximum consistency in boolit diameter before loading.
    • Gas check: Aluminum gas checks are installed after casting using a Lee .225" push-through sizing die. Using the nose-first method to crimp onto the base is resulting in much more flat and consistent bases.
    • Coating: Checked boolits are powder coatedóbaked at 400F for 20 minutes. Powder coat is Smoke's Clear. Instead of powder coating by dumping a bunch of boolits in a wire mesh tray, I will be standing these boolits on their bases and making sure they don't touch each other during baking. I will be switching to a traditional lube, as powder coating makes it really difficult to retain target alloy strength when water quenching.
    • Hardness: After PCing and sizing, boolits are allowed a minimum of 2 weeks to age harden before loading. Although I don't have a hardness test, I estimate the process of water quenching WW alloy, then semi-annealing during the PC process, then allowing to age-harden again is leaving me with a hardness somewhere in the range of 15-16 BHN. I have discovered a potential method for testing hardness without having to buy anything, so in the coming weeks I may be able to confidently give you BHN numbers for my boolits. Due to a badly designed process for casting, I think I have been shooting bullets around 9 BHN this whole time. Going to make some adjustments here to shoot harder bullets.
    • Brass: Brass is resized and decapped after lubricating with lanolin. Then it is wet tumbled for two hours in hot water, dish soap, and Lemishine, and air-dried thoroughly. Primer pockets are swaged using the RCBS 9481 Primer Pocket swaging die. Cases are trimmed to 1.750Ē using the Lee cutter and lock stud w/ case gauge and shell holder. This operation performed with a corded drill. Trimmed cases are also lightly deburred and chamfered using the drill. Finally, cases are sorted by headstamp. All test groups of 10 rounds use matching head stamps, although headstamps between groups are not necessarily matching. I'm not seeing an appreciable enough difference between headstamps to worry about sorting for this specific practice load, going forwards.
    • Primers: All primers are CCI 400 small rifle primers (non-magnum).
    • Loading Procedure: Necks are expanded prior to seating boolits using the Lee Universal Neck Expander die. Boolits are seated to a near-max COAL of 2.075". After seating, a light factory crimp is applied to remove belled case mouths and allow the cartridges to chamber, but not enough to swage projectiles down smaller than .225".
    • Shooting Procedure: For the sake of consistency, the same 20-round pmag is used for all testing. I am shooting off a bench using a Harris-style bipod. The bipod is rested on a sandbag rather than the hard bench top, and I am leaning into the bipod to load it for each shot. I am pulling back test shooting distance to 25 yards again. Because Iím using a peep sight instead of an optic, this allows me to more easily obtain consistent hold on my point of aim, as my front sight post doesnít cover up as much of the target. Zero still set to 50 yards, so I expect POI to be low.


    Hopefully all the additional measures I have taken to ensure higher quality reloads will pay off in the form of a significant increase in accuracy.
    Last edited by BHuij; 03-11-2018 at 01:23 AM.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    We're the H335 loads reliable? I've been using 22grs with 50 and 55gr bullets in a mini-14 and were 100% reliable. My next project is cast boolits for this. I'll be following thus with interest. Todd/3leg

  11. #31
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    I answered this question in the video from Test #2, but to save you the time of watching if you can't right now, every load from 17.5 grains of H335 up through 19.5 grains had reliable cycling in my AR-15.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  12. #32
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    Do not size your bullets directly out of the mold after they cool. They are still weak. Wait about a day. If you aren't letting them age for two weeks you're wasting your time. You have a 5.56 NATO chamber on that AR (believe me) and you need to shoot the fattest bullet it will chamber and it's not .225. I've found NO difference between Hornady and my aluminum gas checks and any rifles I shoot. I agree with try to stay with the same headstamp brass, but all the whiz bang match bench shooting tricks with your brass is not going to show enough difference to make it worth while in a non match rifle. Same brand (and preferrably lot), trim to correct length if needed, remove primer crimp if using military cases. That's about all I do unless I'm shooting a full match AR. Don't believe what you hear about fast twist not being accurate. They are just harder to load for and you have to have as balanced and no defect bullet as possible.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    Do not size your bullets directly out of the mold after they cool. They are still weak. Wait about a day.
    Seems to me like sizing the boolits before they get too hard is less likely to require excessive force, could you expound on your reasoning here?

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    If you aren't letting them age for two weeks you're wasting your time.
    A little explanation here would be helpful for me too. Are you saying they're too soft to shoot accurately unless they have age hardened after powder coating for at least two weeks? Or something else?

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    You have a 5.56 NATO chamber on that AR (believe me) and you need to shoot the fattest bullet it will chamber and it's not .225.
    My understanding is that .223 Wylde actually has slightly tighter tolerances than 5.56 NATO chambers, but not so tight that you can't shoot 5.56 NATO through them. Do you have a source to back up what you're saying about there being no difference? Considering I'm already getting a good seal to prevent leading, what does going fatter than .225" give me? I'm not opposed to some experimentation (maybe try not sizing after PC for that extra 0.001" or something), but I like to have a "why" before I try out a "what."

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    I've found NO difference between Hornady and my aluminum gas checks and any rifles I shoot.
    Glad to hear someone else is having good success with aluminum checks, as the general consensus seems to be that copper is a bit better. I am planning on sticking with aluminum.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    I agree with try to stay with the same headstamp brass, but all the whiz bang match bench shooting tricks with your brass is not going to show enough difference to make it worth while in a non match rifle. Same brand (and preferrably lot), trim to correct length if needed, remove primer crimp if using military cases.
    No weird tricks here. Just doing what I would consider the bare minimum of case prep for .223, which is basically trim to length and swage primer pockets when necessary. As I have mentioned, I'm not hoping for ridiculous accuracy with these boolits; just trying to find a load that I can shoot cheap and is reasonably accurate, so it's plinking and practice ammo. If I can get 2 MOA at 100 yards I'll be thrilled. I expect it will be my technique and skill holding me back from hitting that goal, rather than my rifle, once I get my ammo dialed in.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    Don't believe what you hear about fast twist not being accurate. They are just harder to load for and you have to have as balanced and no defect bullet as possible.
    It's not that a fast twist is inherently less accurate. It's that a slower twist allows me to push a cast boolit faster before I exceed the RPMs at which my boolit will remain stable. The ability to push it faster means I'm more likely to be able to find a load that is both accurate and reliably cycles the action. If others are having good luck pushing 55gr cast boolits accurately through 1:8 or 1:7 barrels, more power to them. I'm just happy I'm making it work with my 1:9.

    Thanks for the advice. I'd love some clarification on your points, as it sounds like you have been able to get good accuracy out of cast boolits in your AR-15, and that is exactly what I'm chasing at this point.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  14. #34
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    Your bullets have to harden a little before sizing them. They are soft and very weak. The nose sides can swell from pressure put on the tip of the nose by the nose punch. That's mainly in luber/sizers, not so much in push through. I'm not talking waiting days, talking like one day.

    With alloyed bullets there are structures that the different molecules form. That is antimony, lead, etc. Some of they sort of look like pine trees in these structures. There are names to these I'm not going to bore you with. Okay molecules are moving inside that bullet. It takes about two weeks until they get to their final resting place. Notice I said final, because up to a point the longer you let them set the harder they get. Tests have been done shooting the bullets from one day aging through 2, 3, 4 and so forth up to 14. You will get different groups going through the days until they fully harden and don't affect the groups. One day, for some reason, it close (notice close) to fully harden in groups.

    RPM only effects bullets that aren't balanced, have defects, are started into the bore crooked, and don't exit the muzzle correctly. RPM thus doesn't have anything to act upon. Think of RPM as an amplifier for bad bullets. It amplifies all the things I mentioned above and ruin the bullets accuracy by changing it's flight charactoristics. If you had a perfect bullet started straight, exits the crown good, it would take a mind boggling fast twist to make it unstable. Runfiverun's daughter has an AR15 with a 7 twist shooting jacketed velocities with cast with great accuracy. This was seen at a match that Castboolit people use to gather at. There are others with fast twist doing similar feats. Another rifle is the 6.5 Swede that has done it for a few people. Fast twist is harder to load for. Everything just about has to be perfect.

    The Wylde chamber is only different, due to freebore, that can let you shoot both 223 Remington and 5.56 NATO with zero problems. I'm not going to get into that debate. The Wylde chamber is by no means a match chamber and I think many people had thought that.

    You've probably read here on CB a lot with many saying fit the throat not use the groove diameter to judge your sizing. That's because that has been proven to shoot better. Of course flukes happen there are good groups sometimes with the bullet being skinnier.

    On making aluminum gas checks as you go up in caliber you have to increase your material thickness because the gas check shank depth to receive the gas checks becomes deeper as caliber goes up. For example I use roof flashing for checks from 22 caliber on up through 6.5. 7mm and 30 caliber, including the oddball calibers that are close to 30 caliber like 303, 7.62 Russian, 7.65 Argentine, and 7.7 Jap can use the same thickness material. Like I said I tested the difference between my aluminum checks and Hornadys and most the time no difference and a good number of times more accurate. I'm in not way saying my checks are better then anything Hornady makes, just saying sometimes in some guns it beat them. I have found the longer you make a check the worse it is. Of course this is limited to how long your gas check shank is.
    Last edited by vzerone; 02-19-2018 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Added More

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    Your bullets have to harden a little before sizing them. They are soft and very weak. The nose sides can swell from pressure put on the tip of the nose by the nose punch. That's mainly in luber/sizers, not so much in push through. I'm not talking waiting days, talking like one day.
    Awesome info, thank you for the clarification. Can definitely give my boolits a day or so before push-through sizing.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    With alloyed bullets there are structures that the different molecules form. That is antimony, lead, etc. Some of they sort of look like pine trees in these structures. There are names to these I'm not going to bore you with. Okay molecules are moving inside that bullet. It takes about two weeks until they get to their final resting place. Notice I said final, because up to a point the longer you let them set the harder they get. Tests have been done shooting the bullets from one day aging through 2, 3, 4 and so forth up to 14. You will get different groups going through the days until they fully harden and don't affect the groups. One day, for some reason, it close (notice close) to fully harden in groups.
    Again, thank you for the clarification. So it's not necessarily that a 4-day old boolit is less accurate inherently than a 14-day old boolit, it's just that the hardness from day to day varies enough to affect accuracy, meaning trying to develop an accurate load for a 14-day old boolit using a 6-day old boolit is an exercise in futility. That makes sense. Can you link me to any of these tests BTW? I've heard lots of opinions on age hardening with alloys containing antimony (like my WW alloy), ranging from "it takes a week to stabilize in hardness" to "it takes multiple years to stabilize in hardness." I'd love to see scientific data if you have any, until then I'll go off of what you said and make sure my boolits hit 14 days old before I shoot them.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    RPM only effects bullets that aren't balanced, have defects, are started into the bore crooked, and don't exit the muzzle correctly. RPM thus doesn't have anything to act upon. Think of RPM as an amplifier for bad bullets. It amplifies all the things I mentioned above and ruin the bullets accuracy by changing it's flight charactoristics. If you had a perfect bullet started straight, exits the crown good, it would take a mind boggling fast twist to make it unstable.
    So this mostly matches what I understood about twist. Namely that an uneven, rough, wrinkly, or otherwise defective boolit will destabilize at a much lower RPM than a smooth and even one. However, I also understand that boolit length/weight, diameter, and alloy (or more directly, hardness) has a lot to do with the RPM at which the projectile is most stable. For example, a 77 grain projectile (which is inherently longer than a 55 grain projectile) will need a faster spin to enter the "stable" zone, as well as a faster spin to exceed the "stable" zone and lose its accuracy.

    Furthermore, I wasn't aware that it was possible for a straight lead alloy boolit (i.e. not one of the fancy ones people are making where they alloy in copper and stuff to increase hardness significantly) to perform well at the same RPMs as a jacketed bullet. No matter how good of a job I do casting, culling, etc. my home cast 55 grain WW alloy boolit will never be as hard or as smooth (or as long) as a 55 grain FMJ. Yes, a theoretically perfect cast boolit could reach some impressive RPMs before de-stabilizing, but no boolit is actually theoretically perfect, and the maximum realistic threshold for quality in a cast boolit is just lower than the normal smoothness and balance of a factory-made FMJ. However, your next quote seems to refute my understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    Runfiverun's daughter has an AR15 with a 7 twist shooting jacketed velocities with cast with great accuracy. This was seen at a match that Castboolit people use to gather at. There are others with fast twist doing similar feats.
    This is the first time I have ever heard of anyone shooting a home cast lead 55 gr pill at 3000+ FPS (in a 1:7 barrel no less) without absolutely horrific accuracy. In fact, I've heard lots of stories of spinning a cast .223 so fast that it fragments before even impacting the target; effectively the centrifugal force exerted at such high RPMs is too much for the lead alloy to withstand without flying apart. No matter how nice and smooth and perfect your boolit is, if it's lead, I wasn't aware it could handle the RPMs you would get pushing it at jacketed velocity through a 1:7 barrel, just due to the weakness of the alloy. This is why some enterprising people on the fringes of this forum are playing around with adding plant fertilizers to their melting pots so they can get a bit of copper into their alloy and drive the hardness up past what you can get using lead, tin, antimony, & arsenic.

    Please link me to this. I am highly intrigued if someone is pulling off jacketed velocities with a cast boolit in .223 at ALL, let alone with a fast twist barrel and good accuracy.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    The Wylde chamber is only different, due to freebore, that can let you shoot both 223 Remington and 5.56 NATO with zero problems. I'm not going to get into that debate. The Wylde chamber is by no means a match chamber and I think many people had thought that.
    Yeah that's fine. My rifle is by no means a match rifle. It's a poverty pony. I was just intrigued that you seemed to be saying that .223 Wylde chambers are actually identical to .556 NATO chambers. Whether they are or not is basically immaterial to me since I'm not planning on switching chambers, and I think if I ever build a match rifle I'll use the tighest of the three options, plain old .223 Remington. But interesting info all the same.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    You've probably read here on CB a lot with many saying fit the throat not use the groove diameter to judge your sizing. That's because that has been proven to shoot better. Of course flukes happen there are good groups sometimes with the bullet being skinnier.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding here again, are you saying using a boolit significantly larger than groove diameter will be more accurate (assuming it fits the throat and doesn't jam)? Luckily my mold is dropping large. I could pretty easily lap out my .225 sizing die to be a .226 or .227 sizing die if you think that will get me better accuracy. But if my boolits were too small, I suspect I would be getting leading by now. As is I'm close to 200 lead boolits through the bore and it still comes squeaky clean after a single dry patch. I've had leading in my 9mm previously so I know what I'm looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by vzerone View Post
    On making aluminum gas checks as you go up in caliber you have to increase your material thickness because the gas check shank depth to receive the gas checks becomes deeper as caliber goes up.
    Great info, thank you. I'm still buying checks for the time being, but when it comes time to have a die made up for punching my own, I'll keep in mind what you said about thickness requirements for different calibers, since I do cast gas check style boolits for both my .223 and my 7.62x54R rifles and would like to be able to make my own checks for both calibers.

    Apologies for bombarding you with more questions, but I really appreciate the info you're giving me here, and am always excited to learn more about the underlying science behind making the best boolits and rounds I can make.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  16. #36
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    I don't shoot 223. I do BO AR & 308AR. WD from the oven, size the next day and you can shoot in a couple more. I find Cu GC to be better, (hornady work better than home made in my 308). If a new AR, drench the BCG with atf or mobil one to get it worn in. Don't hone out the sizer till you test dummy rnds in the chamber. Try unsized, seated long and see if they fit, measure where they don't. You need to size to fill the throat without possible jam problems. If you want better accuracy, add some Cu to the alloy. It works. Sometimes dacron helps,but I've heard rumors that you shouldn't download 335 (ball powder) too much.
    Whatever!

  17. #37
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    ...I've heard rumors that you shouldn't download 335 (ball powder) too much.
    Because...? Never heard any such thing, but always ready to hear more info.
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

  18. #38
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    Runfiverun's daughter was shooting around 2700 fps so that is in the jacketed range. I didn't spefically say 3000 or 3000+ Larry Gibson has shot over 3000 fps in a 30 caliber cartridge he helped design. I believe he was usually straight LinoType. I know a fellow that shot 2700 fps in a 7mm-08 with accuracy.

    Another thing about alloys that harden over time is that they also grow! One past member once loaded some 45 Colt rounds with cast, shot a few, put the rest away for a short while. Then one day decided to shoot some more the them and they wouldn't fit the gun!!!!

    Yes a bullet that fits the throat, and doesn't jam in it, and is over groove size that you would normally go over a few thou, will shoot very accurately. Popper gave good advice to try a fat bullet before changing your sizing die to insure you can chamber the cartridge. If you know the diameter of the neck area of your chamber you can mic your case neck thickness and determine how fat a bullet you can shoot. Another way, though not as accurate, is to see how fat a bullet you can push into a fired case neck. Remember brass shrinks back for the chamber, so that fired case won't give you the exact diameter of your
    chamber neck, but darn close. You have to have some clearance or your case neck won't release the bullet and that's a big no no.

    Look up the Wylde chamber on google and you're learn a lot.

    If you paper patch a lead bullet (not alloyed) you can shoot it to some amazing velocity accurately. You can also add a wee wee bit of zinc to your alloy to harden it. This is taboo, a big taboo, for many casters. Too much zinc will ruin your alloy.

    When Pope was fooling around doing his thing he experimented with barrel twist starting from 1 turn in 1 and on up!!!!!!!! That blows my mind. You are correct that it's the bullet length that determines the twist. Many say weight, but weight goes up with length, except when comparinnd lead/alloy core jacketed bullet or strictly lead and alloy bullets, to other materials that are lighter like copper. Now most definitely a longer copper bullet is heavier then a shorter copper bullet. LOL

    I'm coming to find out that chromed bores are as friendly to cast shooting as non-chromed ones. Has to do with smoothness of the bore.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

    TCLouis's Avatar
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    Using duckduckgo.com vs google so my info was not tracked like it is with google, I found that rather than alluding to something, I could post a link to it

    http://precisionrifleblog.com/2013/1...ifle-accuracy/
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  20. #40
    Boolit Man
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    As a side note, my case prep stuff got here last night, and it took me about 4 minutes to discover why everyone hates case prep so much, and to develop a blister on my thumb
    Currently in the process of developing the "perfect" cast .223 load for my AR-15. Click here to follow my progress

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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