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Thread: Boolits for .357 Carbine

  1. #21
    Boolit Master


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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.
    Never tried N110 but all my loading manuals show a bit over 1800 fps as tops for .357 (jacketed or cast) in any rifle...and that's with a compressed charge of H110/WW296. If you're getting decent accuracy in that velocity range, more power to you but I've never had success pushing anything much past 1500 fps...rifle or (IHMSA) handgun. Bill
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  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    Lilgun. No problem.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorfan View Post
    Lilgun. No problem.
    The problems w/ that powder are well known. It's a use at your own risk proposition. I didn't find the slight increase in velocity over H110/W296 to be worth it.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    The problems w/ that powder are well known. It's a use at your own risk proposition. I didn't find the slight increase in velocity over H110/W296 to be worth it.
    I am aware of reported issues with revolvers, but not rifles. Details?
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  5. #25
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    Supposedly some people have said that Lilgun burns so hot that the barrel is really hot after fewer shots than they perceived it should have taken to reach those temperatures.

    I have cautiously used Lilgun with no problems whatsoever that I'm aware of. Certainly, my barrels do not overheat quickly like has been reported. I'm in no way calling anyone a liar. I believe them. All I'm saying is it hasn't happened to me.

    Furthermore, I have found Lilgun to give me a nice gain over H110. Not just a slight increase. But that has been my experience. YMMV.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
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    It may not be a problem but a friend I shoot with has a 77/357 and has mentioned the magazine restricts cartridge overall length somewhat. Might want to check this if you intend to load the mag with the cast loads.
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  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    I'm one of the ones that have had Lil'Gun overheat a barrel. To the point where you couldn't touch it. Forcing cone erosion is the major issue. If someone wants to use the powder then have it. But they should be aware that there are known issues.

  8. #28
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    Thanks for sharing. Someday my opinion my change, but for right now, so far so good.

    I should also mention that I probably don't fire more than 100-200 of those full power rounds in one calendar year out of my .357 Rossi 92.

    I have a "plinker" practice load that I use for most of my practice.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Lil gun is the best powder for 158 grain and heavier bullets. Number one - velocity. Number two - accuracy. Number three - low pressure means long case life. I have cases on their 7th reload with no signs of deterioration.

    I shoot a plain base Lee 158-rf at 2000 fps with 10 shot 3 moa groups @ 100 yards. 2000 fps w/ .16 BC is just about optimum for this cartridge as far as max muzzle energy, flat shooting and retained energy at 200 yards. Heavier bullets lob more, start with less energy and their higher BC only catches up to the faster bullet's energy around the 200 yard mark. Lighter bullets may start off with similar energy as the Lil' Gun 158 combo, but they have 20% less energy at 200 yards and blow around in the wind more.

    My accurate plain base 158 load is 4% Sb, Smoke's PC, water dropped after baking, .3595 size shooting only the heavy bullets after sorting. 5 shots well under an inch at 50 yards.

    The gas check SWC is less accurate than the plain base RF. The ranch dog 135-rf gas check is good for 10 shots into 2 MOA at 100 yards at 2100 fps but doesn't quite hit as hard at longer range. The slow twist Rossi lets you get some amazing speed and accuracy with plain base bullets.

  10. #30
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmitty View Post
    It may not be a problem but a friend I shoot with has a 77/357 and has mentioned the magazine restricts cartridge overall length somewhat. Might want to check this if you intend to load the mag with the cast loads.
    I've never run into a problem with it, but I'll be sure to keep an eye out. If nothing else, I don't particularly mind single-loading the rifle if I'm at the range.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnewcomb59 View Post
    Lil gun is the best powder for 158 grain and heavier bullets. Number one - velocity. Number two - accuracy. Number three - low pressure means long case life. I have cases on their 7th reload with no signs of deterioration.

    I shoot a plain base Lee 158-rf at 2000 fps with 10 shot 3 moa groups @ 100 yards. 2000 fps w/ .16 BC is just about optimum for this cartridge as far as max muzzle energy, flat shooting and retained energy at 200 yards. Heavier bullets lob more, start with less energy and their higher BC only catches up to the faster bullet's energy around the 200 yard mark. Lighter bullets may start off with similar energy as the Lil' Gun 158 combo, but they have 20% less energy at 200 yards and blow around in the wind more.

    My accurate plain base 158 load is 4% Sb, Smoke's PC, water dropped after baking, .3595 size shooting only the heavy bullets after sorting. 5 shots well under an inch at 50 yards.

    The gas check SWC is less accurate than the plain base RF. The ranch dog 135-rf gas check is good for 10 shots into 2 MOA at 100 yards at 2100 fps but doesn't quite hit as hard at longer range. The slow twist Rossi lets you get some amazing speed and accuracy with plain base bullets.
    What lube are you using for your full power loads? Those are some pretty impressive numbers on the plain base boolits.

    Also, do you have a general idea of what BHN your high power alloy is running?
    Last edited by kipk49; 03-07-2018 at 09:58 AM. Reason: typo

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by outdoorfan View Post
    Thanks for sharing. Someday my opinion my change, but for right now, so far so good.

    I should also mention that I probably don't fire more than 100-200 of those full power rounds in one calendar year out of my .357 Rossi 92.

    I have a "plinker" practice load that I use for most of my practice.
    He makes a valid point. If someone wants maximum performance for a crittter load, the negatives may not be very concerning for a box or two a year.

    I suspect I am like most, and my carbines are primarily used for plinking with low level .38 loads. I do not hunt with them but it is interesting to see what can be accomplished if the need arose.
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  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnewcomb59 View Post
    Lil gun is the best powder for 158 grain and heavier bullets. Number one - velocity. Number two - accuracy. Number three - low pressure means long case life. I have cases on their 7th reload with no signs of deterioration.

    I shoot a plain base Lee 158-rf at 2000 fps with 10 shot 3 moa groups @ 100 yards. 2000 fps w/ .16 BC is just about optimum for this cartridge as far as max muzzle energy, flat shooting and retained energy at 200 yards. Heavier bullets lob more, start with less energy and their higher BC only catches up to the faster bullet's energy around the 200 yard mark. Lighter bullets may start off with similar energy as the Lil' Gun 158 combo, but they have 20% less energy at 200 yards and blow around in the wind more.

    My accurate plain base 158 load is 4% Sb, Smoke's PC, water dropped after baking, .3595 size shooting only the heavy bullets after sorting. 5 shots well under an inch at 50 yards.

    The gas check SWC is less accurate than the plain base RF. The ranch dog 135-rf gas check is good for 10 shots into 2 MOA at 100 yards at 2100 fps but doesn't quite hit as hard at longer range. The slow twist Rossi lets you get some amazing speed and accuracy with plain base bullets.
    May I ask? Where did you get the .16 BC figure? Lee?

    I shoot a 190 grain wfn. It's the MP-C358-180-RF. I've calculated that BC in actual tests at .16, so I suspect your shorter bullet will be less. But I'm not calling you a liar if you've done your own testing.

    I've chronographed my loads at 100, 200, and 300 yards.

  14. #34
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    Hey outdoorfan, the figure is from Lee, but is very close to true.

    I am interested in your 190 grain load and we have talked a little bit before about your load. I don't doubt your BC figures and I think it is awesome that you proved that Rossis will stabilize that heavy of a bullet when cast with a soft alloy. But, one thing to keep in mind is that you are running a soft alloy and therefore your bullet slumps upon firing. This changes the ogive and BC because more of your nose sets back. Your front driving band is surely growing and the ogive is getting shorter.

    Your nose is approximately .3 inches long sticking out of the case. You are seeing a lower BC with softer alloy because your approximately .1 inch driving band and .2 inch ogive are changing under acceleration to .2 inch driving band and .1 inch ogive. Basically WFN bullets with soft alloy turn into "ogival wadcutters" when shot at high pressure with slower powders. I will upload some pics of recovered bullets of harder and softer alloys where we will be able to see just how far back a bullet nose slumps at 35k psi. I have some nice examples of the ranch dog 135-rf and the Lee 158-rf.

    If you were to run hardball alloy I bet you would have 75-100 fps more at 200 yards. From memory I remember you saying you are about 1800 fps at the muzzle and 1160 fps at 200 yards. On my calculator this calculates at .18 BC. But with hardball the lube grooves won't completely disappear, and that means with hardball your bullet will be longer when it leaves the muzzle. You may see loss of stability if you are borderline stable now because a longer bullet at the same weight needs a faster twist.

    My water dropped 4%Sb alloy probably comes up to 18-20 BHN from 410 degrees. Therefore the bullet after being fired, and especially the ogive of the bullet, looks relatively unchanged compared to when I had used a softer alloy.

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    These green 158s are BHN 9 range scrap fired at about 20k psi. Notice how much ogive is lost already. The traditional lube 158 is wheel weight alloy over 14.5 grains of 2400. Notice that it slumped more than the range scrap at 38 +p pressures. The green 135s are 2/2/96 alloy shot out of a 6" revolver. Not even my hot load of 2400. Just 9 grains of power pistol at 28-33k psi. Imagine how dramatically different they would look with 17.7 grains of 2400 and 10 more inches of barrel to accelerate and slump in. The traditional lube 135 was water dropped wheel weights and it slumped a little less than the 2/2/96 even though it was shot with the full power 2400 load. The more they slump, the worse the BC. Harder bullets out of the same mold will always have a better BC. I will have to dig around and find the harder bullets later tonight.
    Last edited by mnewcomb59; 03-07-2018 at 04:53 PM.

  15. #35
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    One very important part of shooting cast bullets is bullet to gun fit. If a bullet is too small, even .001" you may get barrel leading. Fit is much more important than BHN. I shot a few rounds of 357 Magnum with 160 gr Lachmiller plain base SWC cast from a mix of wheel weights and range scrap, over a slightly over max load of Trueblue. The bullets were sized to fit my Taurus 357 and I got no leading. I stopped using that load because it was obviously too hot and the primers were pretty loose. I have also used heavy loads with plain based bullets in my 44 Magnums, up to 1,600 fps with no leading to speak of, but all my bullets are sized to fit my guns...
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  16. #36
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    mnewcomb59,

    Great explanation! Thanks for taking the time. I actually had it in the back of my mind that possibly my soft 9 bhn bullets are slumping. It's something I've only been aware of more recently.

    Anyway, I'm sure you're right on there. Now I'm going to have to eventually check out what my loads with WD or HT 50/50 will do at those extended ranges.

    I have seen at times where the 9 bhn bullet load starts to go unstable around 275 yards or so. I could just as easily HT them, then torch anneal the nose for hunting. But then I might be back to square one again. Lol! Looks like I eventually have more experimenting to do!

    I should add that I'm about to experiment with high power paper patching in my 30-06 with both 14 bhn and 20 bhn bullets to see if there's any BC different down range, if I can get them to shoot, that is.

    To the OP, sorry for the sidetrack.
    Last edited by outdoorfan; 03-07-2018 at 08:32 PM.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    I asked about the lil gun because I bought a few hundred Sierra 158 jsp jacketed and tried out some loads. They were very accurate and on paper should be thumpers inside 100 yards out of my 24 inch Rossi. Completely illegal for deer where I live, but I might get the chance with a hog one day. I noticed no issues with heat, but I did not fire more than 50 rounds. Most of my shooting with this thing is with far more plebian target loads.
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  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    Just my opinion, but unless you notice something that definitely doesn't seem right, I wouldn't worry about it.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    I'm one of the ones that have had Lil'Gun overheat a barrel. To the point where you couldn't touch it. Forcing cone erosion is the major issue. If someone wants to use the powder then have it. But they should be aware that there are known issues.
    I use it in my hornet - compressed and way over load data levels. I get 2740 fps with a 55gr bullet using R-P cases in an oversized chamber. The barrel gets hot and so does the suppressor. The heating effect is the same as a full power 308 cartridge. But one day I accidently increased the powder charge a small amount and the barrel stayed cool! Go figure. That's the load I now use - the one that delivers 2740fps. One day a Winchester case slipped in. Primer pocket expanded!
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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