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Thread: Shooting Cast Boolits in the Desert Eagle

  1. #1
    Frosted Boolits

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    Shooting Cast Boolits in the Desert Eagle

    I recently ran out of jacketed 44 mag bullets I had acquired a few years back. I have a few 44 pistols, but primarily loaded these in my 44 DE. So I decided to load up some cast and test them out. I know that the manufacturer states NOT to use cast, but most of us have already run cast through gas operated pistols and rifles with no problems.

    So here are the details. The gun is a 44 mag Desert Eagle. The boolit is the Lee 240 grn round nose. The mold drops them a bit undersized, so I powdercoated them twice, via the shake and bake method (shake them up in a container with powder, pour them on a mesh rack, shake the rack a bit to let excess powder fall through, then bake). After the second coat I felt just enough resistance going through the .430 sizer that I felt good about it. I used large pistol mag primers and W296 (the starting load according to the Lee manual). I had to seat the boolits past the crimp groove a little to get them in magazine.

    I plan on testing over the course of the next several weeks. I shot my first batch of 50 rounds this morning with absolutely no issues. This bullet actually feeds flawlessly. Accuracy was the same as jacketed. The pistol is a tack driver. I am extremely pleased with my first test. Shot at 10, 25, and 50 yds. No problem keeping them on a piece of computer paper at 50 yds.

    So over the course of the next few weeks I will be posting more results (mainly for those that fear clogging their gas ports). I hope to be able to shoot 50 rds each week. Cleaning will be done after each firing, in an ultrasonic cleaner. I will be posting pics along the way.
    Looking for an RCBS A2 with the removable bushing. I need it to complete my A series collection. Please let me know if you have one you want to get rid of. Thanks!

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    I load 50AE. I will keep an eye on this thread to see how it goes for you. J bullets just cost to much to make it out of the safe. Good luck and keep us I mean me informed.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I think most of the clogging issue had to do with traditionally lubed boolits. I think you'll find PC boolits to have little issue with the gas system.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Reloaders can be surprised using cast bullets instead of jackets. With no leading and lube starvation, I shoot cast in 220 Swift, 30-30 and 7.555mm rifles. Just put GC's on the bullets and Your Good to Go
    Regards
    John

  5. #5
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    Couple problems as I see it with the DE, is that it needs to be run with pretty darn hot loads to cycle reliably. The other problem is that its cycling is rather violent. In other words, you risk scraping some of the PC off of the boolit as it feeds through the mag and ramp. I would advise caution, as you are aware a lead plugged gas port has been known to be nearly impossible to clear. I no longer own a DE, but when I did it was j-bullets only with near max loads. Check some chambered rounds often to make sure the PC isn't being compromised by normal firing/cycling. That's my $.02 for whatever it's worth.

  6. #6
    Frosted Boolits

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Everything looks good so far. No leading that I can see in the barrel.
    Looking for an RCBS A2 with the removable bushing. I need it to complete my A series collection. Please let me know if you have one you want to get rid of. Thanks!

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  7. #7
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    Good job Sir, looks good to me. I'd still keep a wary eye on it though...

  8. #8
    Frosted Boolits

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    I will for sure. Had a little scare when I pulled the slide from the cleaner after the initial cleaning cycle. Saw what I originally thought was lead caked around where the gas piston seats. I ever so carefully scraped it with a razor blade to find it was just carbon buildup. Whew! I thought for sure my test had come to an end lol!

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    After a little scraping...
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    Looking for an RCBS A2 with the removable bushing. I need it to complete my A series collection. Please let me know if you have one you want to get rid of. Thanks!

    My Feedback : http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...iscoyotehunter

    An armed society is a polite society.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've done substantial load developement for my DE44. My DE is very fussy about reliably cycling ammo. After extensive testing with H110, and 2400 using a chrono I came to the conclusion that my DE needs a pretty narrow FPS velocity window to cycle reliably. My ideal velocity with a jacketed 240 gr sp is about 1230 fps. Guys that claim the DE's need "hot" ammo is simply false from my findings with my gun. Here's a link to all the details about my issues and testing :

    https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/thed...ngs-t4626.html

    As for shooting cast lead, seems too much risk involved when you understand the design of the barrel gas ports and the fact the ports can't be cleaned IMO. I'm only shooting jacketed through mine.

  10. #10
    Frosted Boolits

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    Road Clam I read your thread. Very interesting. Thanks for the link. A few questions. How old is your DE? Were you original owner? Did you try replacing your recoil springs?? Is the slide coming back so hard that it is flipping up the slide stop? What about the spring on the slide stop? Tried replacing it?

    I bought mine used from a very good friend of mine that put maybe a few hundred rounds through it over the course of several years. It sat in his safe most of the time. After purchasing it I found it to have feeding issues. After doing some research, I ordered a new recoil spring kit for it. All of the issues went away. Here are a few tips I have found to give desirable results. These tips are just my 2 cents.

    1. Run heavier bullets, at least 240 grainers. The heavier the bullet, the less chance of limp-wristing induced feeding issues. A round nose bullet will feed better. This is common knowledge LOL. I found that inexperienced shooters shooting HP or SP bullets under 240 grains would have feeding issues. You have to hold the pistol very firmly when shooting lighter bullets.

    2. The gun needs higher pressure loads. If you have issues with H110 or W296, use a slightly faster burning power. The gas port is towards the chamber so a quicker peak pressure might help performance.

    3. Run the gun wet! A dirty, dry desert eagle is just asking for issues. The gun is large and there is a lot of metal on metal rubbing. The slide and frame is massive. Lube it up!!! Some people use grease. I don't, I just make sure I am extremely generous with the Hoppes oil (thicker stuff). Also make sure it is clean. Even after 25 rounds the gun is dirty lol. Clean it after every range session (I know, they are a pain in the butt to clean). I also relube right before range trips.

    4. Up your grip pressure just a bit more than usual. The less you let your hands and arms absorb the recoil, the more energy you will have pushing back on the slide.
    Last edited by IllinoisCoyoteHunter; 03-11-2018 at 10:37 AM.
    Looking for an RCBS A2 with the removable bushing. I need it to complete my A series collection. Please let me know if you have one you want to get rid of. Thanks!

    My Feedback : http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...iscoyotehunter

    An armed society is a polite society.

    the BB knows

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by IllinoisCoyoteHunter View Post
    Road Clam I read your thread. Very interesting. Thanks for the link. A few questions. How old is your DE? Were you original owner? Did you try replacing your recoil springs?? Is the slide coming back so hard that it is flipping up the slide stop? What about the spring on the slide stop? Tried replacing it?

    I bought mine used from a very good friend of mine that put maybe a few hundred rounds through it over the course of several years. It sat in his safe most of the time. After purchasing it I found it to have feeding issues. After doing some research, I ordered a new recoil spring kit for it. All of the issues went away. Here are a few tips I have found to give desirable results. These tips are just my 2 cents.

    1. Run heavier bullets, at least 240 grainers. The heavier the bullet, the less chance of limp-wristing induced feeding issues. A round nose bullet will feed better. This is common knowledge LOL. I found that inexperienced shooters shooting HP or SP bullets under 240 grains would have feeding issues. You have to hold the pistol very firmly when shooting lighter bullets.

    2. The gun needs higher pressure loads. If you have issues with H110 or W296, use a slightly faster burning power. The gas port is towards the chamber so a quicker peak pressure might help performance.

    3. Run the gun wet! A dirty, dry desert eagle is just asking for issues. The gun is large and there is a lot of metal on metal rubbing. The slide and frame is massive. Lube it up!!! Some people use grease. I don't, I just make sure I am extremely generous with the Hoppes oil (thicker stuff). Also make sure it is clean. Even after 25 rounds the gun is dirty lol. Clean it after every range session (I know, they are a pain in the butt to clean). I also relube right before range trips.

    4. Up your grip pressure just a bit more than usual. The less you let your hands and arms absorb the recoil, the more energy you will have pushing back on the slide.
    I have an Israel mfg DE44 in satin chrome. Bought it brand new in 2016. Really shouldn't need a new set of springs, as I have read that this solves a lot of cycling issues, but that's not to say my new gun wasn't sitting on a shelf for years as new before being sold. At some point I may just buy a new set of springs for comparison but for now shooting my tuned load she shoots excellent. I'm still just trying to work out the ocassional "failure to return to battery" issue. But that's only a very small issue and only happens maybe once in 200 rounds. I do agree with you 100% that the DE's need to be kept very clean and lubed to function reliably. They are a PIA to completely strip and clean, but meh, it is what it is. They are so much fun to shoot and very accurate for a semi-auto resulting from the fixed barrel design.

  12. #12
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    Mine is a 2008 50AE, anything less then 29.0 gr of H4227 under a 335 gr bullet will not cycle the slide. It really likes 29.9gr H4227 but that is a little above the book numbers but no pressure signs on the primer or case. Mine only gets J words, can't say I haven't thought about PC'ing some hard cast but just not worth chancing fowling up the gas system to save a couple of bucks. I'm of a mind that if I can afford this monster then then I can afford the components to load for it and it's not like I shoot a hundred rounds on each outing (it hurts after about 25 and gets down right nasty at 50). I'll be following this with interest.

    FYI - A search of the forum turns up a number of threads about cast boolits and the Desert Eagle here's just one on PC boolits.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/arch.../t-274983.html
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minerat View Post
    Mine is a 2008 50AE, anything less then 29.0 gr of H4227 under a 335 gr bullet will not cycle the slide. It really likes 29.9gr H4227 but that is a little above the book numbers but no pressure signs on the primer or case. Mine only gets J words, can't say I haven't thought about PC'ing some hard cast but just not worth chancing fowling up the gas system to save a couple of bucks. I'm of a mind that if I can afford this monster then then I can afford the components to load for it and it's not like I shoot a hundred rounds on each outing (it hurts after about 25 and gets down right nasty at 50). I'll be following this with interest.

    FYI - A search of the forum turns up a number of threads about cast boolits and the Desert Eagle here's just one on PC boolits.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/arch.../t-274983.html
    One of the aspects of running "hot" ammo through my DE44 was the slide locking open after each shot. American Eagle 240 jsp "red box" ammo is some really hot stuff. It chrono'd at about 1340 fps and I was getting consistent slide locks after each shot. Same issue when I handloaded H110 for the same respective velocities. Backed off on the velocities to about 1250 fps and the issue went away. Magtech 240 jsp is my go to factory ammo. My DE44 cycles excellent with this ammo and it's more mild than the AE. The Magtech ammo is at about 1215 fps.

  14. #14
    Frosted Boolits

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    I wonder if your slide stop spring is faulty. Ive actually had mine fly across the room once while disassembling the pistol. A quick call to magnum research and the tech had 3 mailed to me in no time...for free. He said people lose those springs all the time. Live and learn lol! I would try replacing the springs (recoil and slide stop) and see if that changes anything. Good luck!
    Looking for an RCBS A2 with the removable bushing. I need it to complete my A series collection. Please let me know if you have one you want to get rid of. Thanks!

    My Feedback : http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...iscoyotehunter

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  15. #15
    Frosted Boolits

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    Another 50 rounds downrange this morning with no issues to speak of! Sorry it has taken so long to get more rounds down range. Been busy lately.

    Round count : 100
    Looking for an RCBS A2 with the removable bushing. I need it to complete my A series collection. Please let me know if you have one you want to get rid of. Thanks!

    My Feedback : http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...iscoyotehunter

    An armed society is a polite society.

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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