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Thread: Epic failure, where to start fixing?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Epic failure, where to start fixing?

    After success with the lee soup can and.150 grain bullets in 3006, I decided to try a heavier load with a big boolit. This was a 198 grain flat point gas.checked mold from noe, I believe 311 195 is the mold number. I tried 36 to 40 grains of varget and it was a mess. All over the place at 50 yards. Where do I start trying to fix this? A few possible culprits:

    I sized this one to 311, while the other two boolits were 3095 to 310. Maybe the big one is just too fat?

    I seated this very long boolit so I could crimp in the crimp groove. Maybe seated top deep?

    Wrong powder or charge?

    Something else?
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    If it chambers without any problems I'd see about lowering the powder charge or changing the powder... Most cast boolits like to go kinda slow....
    One variable at a time, and write down what you do so you'll know what you did. You know the old saying..." I don't need to write it down, I'll remember."


    I use 47 grains of Varget with a 180 grain jacketed bullet... My lead boolits generally get IMR 3031.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom W. View Post
    If it chambers without any problems I'd see about lowering the powder charge some. Most cast boolits like to go kinda slow....

    I use 47 grains of Varget with a 180 grain jacketed bullet...
    Chambers without issue which is why I tried it. I started with a charge of 31 grains of Varget and got a pattern, so I decided to start higher and work up. No dice. I wish I had a known usable load with this boolit so that I could play around with a .309 size and see if that worked better. Somewhat leery of changing more than one variable at a time. I suppose I could try 4198 or 4895 and see what happens. Ultimately my goal is to get a 2000 FPS muzzle velocity or thereabouts.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  4. #4
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Much slower powder or harder alloy.
    Whatever!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I'd also try seating out to as long of a length as will chamber and don't crimp.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Much slower powder or harder alloy.
    Can't change the alloy as is. What powder would you try? The only thing I have that is slower than Varget is Leverevolution. Can always go buy something. 4350?

    Odd that the same alloy produces 1 to 1.5 inch groups at 100 yards in the Lee 150 grain GC FP boolit with the much faster Alliant 2400 and does something like 2000 FPS while doing so.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    After success with the lee soup can and.150 grain bullets in 3006, I decided to try a heavier load with a big boolit. This was a 198 grain flat point gas.checked mold from noe, I believe 311 195 is the mold number. I tried 36 to 40 grains of varget and it was a mess. All over the place at 50 yards. Where do I start trying to fix this? A few possible culprits:

    I sized this one to 311, while the other two boolits were 3095 to 310. Maybe the big one is just too fat?

    I seated this very long boolit so I could crimp in the crimp groove. Maybe seated top deep?

    Wrong powder or charge?

    Something else?
    Unless we're talking 44Mag with H110 or something, Crimp is the enemy of cast boolit accuracy. For bottleneck rifle I only "crimp" enough to remove the case mouth belling and assure feeding, which is barely a crimp at all.

    Where to start...

    When you switched from .309" to .311", what expander did you change from and to? Or what size button? Did neck tension go up considerably?

    What alloy? What lube? How large were your load ladder steps, one grain or more or less? What kind of rifle?

    I don't use Varget but your range of loads is within normal bounds for cast. Others have found accuracy with 190-200 grains here.
    I give loading advice based on my actual results in factory rifles with standard chambers, twist rates and basic accurizing.
    My goals for using cast boolits are lots of good, cheap, and reasonably accurate shooting, while avoiding overly tedious loading processes.
    The BHN Deformation Formula, and why I don't use it.
    How to find and fix sizing die eccentricity problems.
    Do you trust your casting thermometer?
    A few musings.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Alloy is AC COWW with 3% tin added and gas checked. Lube is 2 generous coats of BLL.

    Never switched from .309 to .311. My observation is that the problem with fit is almost always too small a boolit. So I bought a .311 sizing die and mostly used it as a way to crimp on gas checks. The soup can mold casts at .3095, the Lee 150 FP casts at .310 or a touch more. The 198 grainers cast a little bigger than .311 so they actually got sized a bit by the die. The other two boolit sizes worked fine, so I wanted to try these at .311.

    I just use a universal expander die made by Lee. Worked well with the other two boolits which have the same alloy content. I crimp with the crimp die, but keep it on the light size. Again, worked with the other two boolits.

    Rifle is a fairly new Tikka T3 with perhaps 125 rounds down the pipe. 2/3 to 3/4 of the rounds have been modest velocity cast.

    Steps were 1 grain a piece.

    The more I think about it, the more I wonder if I should resize some of these to .309 and try again.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Don't worry about the crimp. Seat as far out as you can. Try sizing .309. Try a faster powder like 2400 if that has Ben successful before.

    I wouldn't hesitate to try changing multiple variables at once if the original load is terrible. Changing one variable at a time will take a awhile and you may end up changing every variable anyway. It's a just some reload data. You're not married to it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
    Don't worry about the crimp. Seat as far out as you can. Try sizing .309. Try a faster powder like 2400 if that has Ben successful before.

    I wouldn't hesitate to try changing multiple variables at once if the original load is terrible. Changing one variable at a time will take a awhile and you may end up changing every variable anyway. It's a just some reload data. You're not married to it.
    Yeah. I might try sizing to .309 and loading a ladder of Varget again and a ladder of 4198. I found the latter both forgiving and accurate in 35 Rem and Lyman lists a charge that would get me to the desired 2000 FPS.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Slower powders for faster velocities.

    Slower velocities for faster barrel twists.

    Bullet fit is king. The first step is always slugging the chamber.

    Only change one thing at a time and learn from it.

    To increase velocities accurately, start with great accuracy at lower velocities, working velocities up incrementally while maintaining accuracy.
    A deplorable that votes!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Tom W.'s Avatar
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    Some of us oldephartes learned stuff the hard way.....
    Tom
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Much slower powder or harder alloy.

    Agree with this as far as powder burning rate goes...

    I've been shooting a 210 grain N.O.E. from my 30-40 Krag using WC-872 and WC-860...

    I've used the 311041 in my 30-30 Winchester and WC-852 (4350 or a bit slower burn rate) worked well...

    I prefer a full case of powder for the most part--Sometimes they shoot dirty, but accuracy is always my goal, with velocity coming in second...

    This statement may really "go against the grain" but I simply have never had real good luck with fast to medium burning powders with the exception of the 270 Winchester where I used 5744...

    Good-luck...BCB
    Last edited by BCB; 03-28-2018 at 07:17 AM.

  14. #14
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    A 2000 fps with a long nose bore rider you are pushing the envelope for a 10" twist barrel.

    No need to crimp.

    A change of lube may be necessary. I suggest White label 2500+ or 50/50 if the BLL doesn't work.

    For slower powders try AA4350, H4831SC, RL19 or RL22. Start at 30 gr and work up. Use a Dacron filler if the load density is less than 80%. Accuracy will probably be best at 1800 - 1950 fps but you should be able to push to 2000 fps and maintain decent usable accuracy.

    Adjust the alloy so there is only 2% tin. You probably have more tin than antimony in your alloy which will soften the bullets. I also suggest you WQ the bullets out of the mould as soon as the sprue completely hardens. Doing this will give the bullets a BHN of 18 +/-. Go for quality of bullet when casting not quantity. The higher the quality of bullet we can cast the more accurate they will be.

    Size at .311 and make sure the GCs are well seated.

    Just a note; we shoot groups with rifles and handguns. We shoot patterns with shotguns. However, sometimes our "groups" are more like "patterns" which is not good.......
    Larry Gibson

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Heh, these were definitely patterns rather than groups. It was an intentional usage of the word.

    This is an 11" twist, btw.

    Guess.I will look for a slower powder. If I don't get as fast as I want with this load, so be it. Hopefully I can find an appropriate powder locally without too much searching.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

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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