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Thread: another lead harness question

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Oct 2018
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    southern california
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    another lead harness question

    first time post to this forum, my question is ive been casting for approx. 2 years and haven't invested much time in research of the proper process rather just local gun shop talk with others and trial and error (with safety first priority). My question today comes down to I use to purchase lead that I believe had already been processed and made into well large crude looking lead bars. I took the time to break these bars down into more manageable chunks that I could fit in my 20lb production pot which is a bottom pour. I noticed when loading these (.309 180gr lee mold) that during my seating stage of the bullet the bullet seating die inside the die would place a small cosmetic deformation (ring) around the first 1/8th in of the face of the bullet. I did call lee and told them my troubles and they said for 14$ I can send in a bullet so they can make me a seating die fit rather then using something that is more to be used for a spitzer type bullet. now my question is: is my lead just too soft? I did purchase it from the "dead man's" table at the local gun shop. should I invest in a lead hardness tester from lee and if I do find its too soft what's the next step in hardening it?

    Also good to know I hooked up with the local indoor range and for 300lbs of range scrap cost me just 10$. would it just be advised that I start melting this range scrap on my propane burner, flux and skim the lead to form ingots and then place those in the production pot and just ditch the other lead? does anyone test range lead for harness?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Jul 2016
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    Hasselbach welcome to CB. If you decided to start casting to save money, forget it. You won't, you'll just shoot more.

    What I do when a boolit seating die leaves a ring around the nose of a boolit is: I clean the seating stem thoroughly, lubricate the end of a boolit, fill the end of the seating stem with hot glue and press the lubed boolit into the glue. When the glue has cooled I carve/sand off the excess

    Casting boolits (lead bullets) properly is a science, once you know the basics, not a hard science.
    There is a lot of good information on CB. The Google search (top right of every forum page) is a gateway to all the knowledge on this forum. IF you canít find your answer there ask the question (Please be as detailed as possible, pictures help http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...g-screen-shots I would be very surprised if there wasnít someone on this forum that could answer ANY (firearm related) question you might have)
    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm
    1. Boolits need to be cast .0005 to .003 (normally .002) over the slugged diameter of your barrel for accuracy and to avoid leading. If the fit is wrong nothing else will work right.
    a. slugging a barrel (it is safer to use a brass rod or a steel rod with a couple of coats of tape to avoid damaging your barrel http://7.62x54r.net/MosinID/MosinSlug.htm
    b. chamber casting https://www.brownells.com/guntech/ce....htm?lid=10614
    or pound casting http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rifle-chamber)
    2. the right alloy needs to be used for the velocity and purpose of the boolit (donít fall into the trap of going with too hard an alloy

    Economical way to easily test lead hardness
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rdness-testing

    Some alloys harden over time
    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chap...Metallurgy.htm
    different alloyís different end hardnesses


    Lead alloy calculator
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/atta...4&d=1341560870
    3. velocity the bullet needs to be pushed hard/fast enough to get the proper spin, have the proper velocity to accurately reach the target but not so hard as to be dangerous or strip the lead off in the grooves instead of spinning the boolit..
    The boolit needs to be the right weight for the riffling/twist rate of your barrel
    Powders range from fast to slow, you need to choose the right powder for your barrel length & application.
    Loading manuals list the best powders for certain calibers and boolit weights.
    NEVER use any posted noncommercial load data without first checking commercial load data to see if falls in the safe parameter for your firearm!! There are several firearms out there that can handle much higher pressures than others!!
    Link to free online load data
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...online-sources

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Easier pencil lead hardness testing (economical way to test lead hardness)
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rdness-testing

    range scrap can vary from 8 to 15 bhn depending on what is being shot.

    I don't put anything in my casting pot that I didn't smelt myself (or know the history of)

    I find that in smelting range scrap, fluxing with both pine sawdust and wax helps with a more complete removal of the lead.

    $10 for 300 pounds a range scrap is a good price.

    You'll see a search bar at the top right of each forum page. this is your gateway to a wealth of information.

    If you can't find what your looking for just ask, I'll be surprised if there isn't someone here that can answer your question.
    Last edited by Grmps; 10-26-2018 at 05:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    Oct 2018
    Location
    southern california
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    Thanks Grmps for the charts, great information I really appreciate it, ive had some good success with my hand loads other then the cosmetic aspect of the projectile. can you post some pictures of your seating die? I will post some pics of my recent groupings with my hand loads.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    this was at 150yds
    Last edited by Hasselbach; 10-26-2018 at 06:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    triggerhappy243's Avatar
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    Albuquerque N.M.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasselbach View Post
    Thanks Grmps for the charts, great information I really appreciate it, ive had some good success with my hand loads other then the cosmetic aspect of the projectile. can you post some pictures of your seating die? I will post some pics of my recent groupings with my hand loads.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    this was at 150yds
    In my book, that is an excellent group.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I would buy a cone shaped grinding stone and lightly work on that seating stem by hand. Probably all you need to do is to break the edge thats scoring your bullet. As to the dead guys lead, I would just cast a few bullets with it and see how well it shoots. 300 pounds of range scrap for $10 is a steal, I would keep getting it until that deal is gone. It will probably cast ok too.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    southern california
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    Ok thanks lightman. The range scrap fortunately will always be available as they do a weekly scrub of the range. Also hooked up with him that if I cast him ingots of say 100lbs and keep 200lbs for my self I wonít have to pay for the lead!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    You'll come out ahead paying the $10. Unless he finds somebody else that will. That's 200lbs for free or 3.333... cents/ lb. You'd still have to pay about 2 cents/lb. out of pocket for the lp gas to make his ingots.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    jcren's Avatar
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    Filling the seating stem with hot glue and pressing a bullet into it before it sets will stop the marking of the bullet. There is a guy on here somewhere that has access to a x-ray gun and will analize a piece of unknown lead for the nominal fee of 1 pound of good lead. Send him a scrap of unknown and a pound of good lead and a prepaid self-addressed envelope and he will send ya a printed analysis. But if it cast well and shoots that good I wouldnt worry much.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

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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