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Thread: Boolits for .357 Carbine

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Boolits for .357 Carbine

    Hi everyone;

    My father and I are fairly active shooters and reloaders, and due to the rising cost of jacketed bullets I've been looking into trying some commercial cast boolits before potentially investing in casting equipment.

    Getting to the point, my favorite rifle is a Ruger 77/357 that we've put some elbow grease and modifications into. It retains the factory 18.5 inch barrel. After reading some of Glen Fryxell's writings on cast boolits, I've made a few potential selections from around the internet.

    1) For velocities exceeding 1500 fps, I was thinking that Stateline Bullets' 158gr #H&G 51 replica in 16 BHN would be a good choice. Link: https://statelinebullets.com/shop/ca...38-158-gr-swc/

    2) For velocities anywhere below that, I had my eye on Missouri Bullet Co.'s coated 158 SWC in their 12 BHN alloy. Link: http://missouribullet.com/details.ph...ry=9&keywords=

    I joined Cast Boolits just recently to see if I could get some pointers. Does anyone have any experience with these boolits, and perhaps a few tips or suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I have the gun, but haven’t had time to play with it yet. First thing I’ll load is some coated 158gr swc from Blue Bullets.

    Mostly posting to follow the discussion.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    I shoot a 357 lever, so your bullet shape choices may be different from mine. I usually shoot a plain base 158 grain RNFP in lower velocity loads (38 or 38+P pressures). For true mag loads, I would suggest gas checked, coated, or plated/jacketed fodder. For the first I would look for the Thompson gas checked SWC. Coated you could just order the Missouri version of whatever bullet shape or weight you like. Plated it is hard to beat the Rocky Mountain Reloading offerings, high quality at a modest price.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  4. #4
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    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-shooter

    The Pewter Pictures and Hallmarks thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-and-hallmarks

  5. #5
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    I wouldn't get hung up on hardness. I run 12 bhn bullets at full velocity out of a Marlin 1894C. But I cast them myself and control everything. Fit and proper lube are what's needed at 357 velocities.

  6. #6
    Boolit Mold
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    Thank you to everyone who's replied, I appreciate all your suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    I wouldn't get hung up on hardness. I run 12 bhn bullets at full velocity out of a Marlin 1894C. But I cast them myself and control everything. Fit and proper lube are what's needed at 357 velocities.
    Dragon, is that bullet with a plain base or a GC? Also I believe MBC says they use Thompson Blue hard lube with all their noncoated projectiles, do you think that would hold up to the magnum velocities?

    Went out to the range yesterday with some of MBC's coated PPC#2 wadcutters in my dad's Model 12. We loaded up 25 of them to see how they'd work. Didn't see any noticeable leading, but there was a a faint smear located on the 12 o'clock of the barrel. Before shooting these, we loaded a pulled a few dummy rounds, without seeing any shaving of the HiTek. One thing I will say is I did the smash test on of the the wadcutters, and after hitting it I was able to see some lead through cracks in the coating. Does this mean that MBC isn't applying it correctly? I definitely want to make sure the coating is on there correctly before taking it up to magnum velocities on a different bullet design.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    I shoot a 357 lever, so your bullet shape choices may be different from mine. I usually shoot a plain base 158 grain RNFP in lower velocity loads (38 or 38+P pressures). For true mag loads, I would suggest gas checked, coated, or plated/jacketed fodder. For the first I would look for the Thompson gas checked SWC. Coated you could just order the Missouri version of whatever bullet shape or weight you like. Plated it is hard to beat the Rocky Mountain Reloading offerings, high quality at a modest price.
    Isn't there a maximum velocity limit on RMR's platings? I'd looked at their stuff before, but I think I decided that for the lower speeds I might as well with regular or HiTek coated lead loads. I have no casting equipment currently, so any lead loads I try will have to be commercially made.

    I believe MBC says the HiTek coating has a speed limit of 1750 fps in rifles and I'm getting past 1850 that with my 158gr loads, so I'm hesitant to try the coated bullets at magnum velocity.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipk49 View Post
    Isn't there a maximum velocity limit on RMR's platings? I'd looked at their stuff before, but I think I decided that for the lower speeds I might as well with regular or HiTek coated lead loads. I have no casting equipment currently, so any lead loads I try will have to be commercially made.

    I believe MBC says the HiTek coating has a speed limit of 1750 fps in rifles and I'm getting past 1850 that with my 158gr loads, so I'm hesitant to try the coated bullets at magnum velocity.
    You have chrono'd 1850+? Those would be pretty hot loads even from a rifle.

    Personally, I would buy a couple 500 bullet boxes of cast or coated stuff you know will work fine for lower velocity loads from MBC and then throw in however many different kinds of bullets you would like to try in their 100 bullet sample packs into the shipment. Worst that can happen is that you have a somewhat prolonged cleaning session to get lead out if things go wrong. Considering that it is pretty common for people to Hitek or powder coat bullets for real rifle calibers (30-30, 30-06, etc.), I would be surprised if the coated did not hold up to whatever velocities you can get out of a 357 rifle. My next go round with loading will be tumble lubed and gas checked bullets for 30-06 with weights ranging from 118 to 200 grains and planned velocities from 1500 to 2000+. It can be done.

    As for the velocity limits on RMR, I guess you won't know unless you try.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipk49 View Post
    Dragon, is that bullet with a plain base or a GC? Also I believe MBC says they use Thompson Blue hard lube with all their noncoated projectiles, do you think that would hold up to the magnum velocities?
    They're plain base. Haven't found a need for a gas check either. Shot them w/ LLA, 45/45/10, BLL, 2500+, Carnauba Red and a 50/50 mix of 2500+ & CR. I've never used the lube MBC uses so I don't know if it will perform. I do know that the bullet manufacturers use hard lubes that stand up to shipping. They're rarely if ever the best option.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    You have chrono'd 1850+? Those would be pretty hot loads even from a rifle.

    Personally, I would buy a couple 500 bullet boxes of cast or coated stuff you know will work fine for lower velocity loads from MBC and then throw in however many different kinds of bullets you would like to try in their 100 bullet sample packs into the shipment. Worst that can happen is that you have a somewhat prolonged cleaning session to get lead out if things go wrong. Considering that it is pretty common for people to Hitek or powder coat bullets for real rifle calibers (30-30, 30-06, etc.), I would be surprised if the coated did not hold up to whatever velocities you can get out of a 357 rifle. My next go round with loading will be tumble lubed and gas checked bullets for 30-06 with weights ranging from 118 to 200 grains and planned velocities from 1500 to 2000+. It can be done.

    As for the velocity limits on RMR, I guess you won't know unless you try.
    For my 158gr loads, I'm using the maximum allowable charge of Vihtavuori N110; if memory serves right it's 15.9 grains. On a side note, N110 is about the cleanest powder I've ever seen. After 100 rounds of full house 158 jacketed loads the barrel still looks like it's unfired, and there's almost zero powder residue.

    As I said earlier we picked up some HiTek wadcutters for my dad's Model 12 and I have some concerns over whether or not they were properly coated, so I think I'll hold off on getting any more coateds from them until I get some more rounds downrange. From what I've heard, their 158gr bullets in the Brinnell 12 alloy may be a good choice for the rifle, so I think I'll pick up some of those sooner or later.

    We tried some Berry's plated bullets in the Model 12 and got some stupendously high standard deviations for velocity. As for the maximum velocity of a plated bullet, what actually happens when you overspeed them? Does the plating come off and leave you with horrendous leading?

  11. #11
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    +1 on what Dragon said. I'm shooting PC'd plain-base RNFPs (Arsenal 360-162RF) cast from 1 part COWW to 2 parts range scrap (12-14 Bhn) at near-max from a Rossi 92. Good accuracy, no leading. Haven't gotten around to setting up the chrono but, from published data, velocity should be somewhere around 1500 fps.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    They're plain base. Haven't found a need for a gas check either. Shot them w/ LLA, 45/45/10, BLL, 2500+, Carnauba Red and a 50/50 mix of 2500+ & CR. I've never used the lube MBC uses so I don't know if it will perform. I do know that the bullet manufacturers use hard lubes that stand up to shipping. They're rarely if ever the best option.
    I found the Thompson Blue lube for sale on Midway; reviewers seem to think it's about the best of the commercial hard lubes, so it looks like it should be a decent choice. I think I'll give a carton of their 12 BHN SWCs or RNFPs a shot and see what happens.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    +1 on what Dragon said. I'm shooting PC'd plain-base RNFPs (Arsenal 360-162RF) cast from 1 part COWW to 2 parts range scrap (12-14 Bhn) at near-max from a Rossi 92. Good accuracy, no leading. Haven't gotten around to setting up the chrono but, from published data, velocity should be somewhere around 1500 fps.

    Bill
    Do you think I would be able to push the velocity up much higher than 1500? Obviously, I'd start low with the cast bullets but eventually try and work my way up towards the jacketed velocities I was getting with N110. Using Vihtavuori's data, I'm chronoing 1850-70 fps out of my rifle with 158 gr XTPs.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipk49 View Post
    We tried some Berry's plated bullets in the Model 12 and got some stupendously high standard deviations for velocity. As for the maximum velocity of a plated bullet, what actually happens when you overspeed them? Does the plating come off and leave you with horrendous leading?
    I have never done so, but I think that is what happens.

    So if you are leery of overdoing it with plated, your choices are coated (find another supplier if you don't like MBC, Acme?), gas checked lead (might be expensive), or stick with jacketed. You also have to decide how worried you really are about leading. If you fool around with cast long enough, you probably will have to eventually deal with some leading.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    If you fool around with cast long enough, you probably will have to eventually deal with some leading.
    If you lead up a barrel w/ pistol calibers you're really doing something wrong. Even the high pressure magnums are easy to cast for. Rifles is where leading potentially enters the equation. Not sizing to the throat and lube failure can lead to lots of cleanup.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    So if you are leery of overdoing it with plated, your choices are coated (find another supplier if you don't like MBC, Acme?), gas checked lead (might be expensive), or stick with jacketed. You also have to decide how worried you really are about leading. If you fool around with cast long enough, you probably will have to eventually deal with some leading.
    I suppose I'll just have to pick up a box or two of some various bullets and see how fast they can go. About how many rounds will it take before I start to see leading? If a load is going to lead badly, will I see it start to form within 25 shots?

  17. #17
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    It could lead badly in one shot. You need to check often but only you can decide what the number is.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    It could lead badly in one shot. You need to check often but only you can decide what the number is.
    Alright, I'll be sure to keep an eye out when making ladder loads. The 25 wadcutters out of the revolver seemed to leave the barrel clean.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kipk49 View Post
    Do you think I would be able to push the velocity up much higher than 1500? Obviously, I'd start low with the cast bullets but eventually try and work my way up towards the jacketed velocities I was getting with N110. Using Vihtavuori's data, I'm chronoing 1850-70 fps out of my rifle with 158 gr XTPs.
    I shoot a 190 grain wfn at 1800 fps out of a 16" Rossi carbine. It is truly a top end load, but no problem.

    Edit: Oh, and btw, that is a 9 bhn pb bullet with a pb gas check installed.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorfan View Post
    I shoot a 190 grain wfn at 1800 fps out of a 16" Rossi carbine. It is truly a top end load, but no problem.

    Edit: Oh, and btw, that is a 9 bhn pb bullet with a pb gas check installed.
    I'm not even going to ask what load you're using

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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