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Thread: Cast bullets for a 223 AR-15?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Cast bullets for a 223 AR-15?

    Hey guys I'm looking for info on cast bullets in an AR-15. My sister is starting to get more involved in shooting. She,has a few guns now and we are building her an AR at the moment. She can shoot great off a bench. What I am looking to do is get her shooting off hand kneeling sitting and more hunting type rests. We have a range in the yard from 20-250yds with steel targets. We usually dont shoot rifles any closer than 100yds. Id like to have her start at 20yds and work her way out as her skill progresses. Im not really sure about shooting jacketed rifle bullets at steel that close. I think cast would ve the way to go to save on target wear and ricochet. I have zero experience with cast bullets in a small bore rifle. I looked around the web a bit but didnt see any 22cal cast bullets anywhere. Id like to try some before I spend the money on molds and sizers. If anybody has any info or could point me in the right direction that would be awesome. I appreciate any info.

    Thanks,
    Adam

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Hamish's Avatar
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    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

    Last of the original Group Buy Honcho's.

    "Dueling should have never been made illegal in this country. It settled lots of issues between folks."- Char-Gar

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    What twist is the AR's barrel? The more twist, the longer/heavier boolit will be needed. If you had a 1/7 twist, you might be disappointed with a 50 or 55 grain boolit. This info could help you on the path of success!

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a 1-8 I plan to have her shoot until we get hers built. Pretty sure hers will be 1-8 also. Thinking something in the 70gr range will be best.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I've had good success with H322 and the NOE 225-55 . It casts @62 gr . It was fine up to around 2050 fps in the 1-8s . I'd like to have a 225-80 for those but as of yet I haven't made that jump .
    I'd offer to send you some but everything is packed away ....
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    Lots and lots of posts on this topic on the site.

    Its doable. Watch elvis ammo on YouTube. He has a recipe that works or his gun.

    If all your shooting is steel and don't care about accuracy they work.

    If you are looking for moa rounds forgetabotit.



    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    I did a pile of searching on the web. Seems the guys who figure it out or luck into a magic load. Have great success with the cast bullets. I dont feel id have the time needed to go through the journey of casting the small little bullets. I did find some production 224 cast bullets but they were lighter (50gr the heaviest) than id like to run. I think I will just angle my steel a bit more and run my 55gr sp bulk bullets. If I free up more time in the future I will probably give this a second look. I appreciate any info you guys gave. I just never though production cast bullets would be so hard to find in 224cal.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Good idea to go with bulk 55 gr. SP. I got cast to work in my AR's (2-1/2" at 100) but the end result wasn't worth it. Even though I was shooting hundreds of rounds in 3-gun the expense and time put into loading them wasn't worth the effort. Worst thing for me was not getting my brass back because the next shooter is ready to go.
    The only amendment the Democrats support is the 5th.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Cast bullets for a 223 AR-15?

    I cast for .223 and have decided itís easier and more reliably accurate to buy cheap steel cased ammo for practice or plinking with an ar15.

    Bolt gun or single shot...different story...


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  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    I've never really looked, but never thought 22cal cast bullets would be non-existent. If I knew they would work and had more time. I'd go the cast route. For the difficulty people are having and the volume we shoot. It wouldn't be worth me trying to cast. Just thought it would be a little safer for steel under 100yds. I am going to modify my target mounts and put the plates at a bit more angle. Figured it would be worth a look if there was a mahic combo that worked on the cheap.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I cast for my AR in 223. 62gn PB, no lube groove. Pc'd. Good enough to shoot squirrels in the head. And can't complain about <$0.06/rd.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    It’s hard to go wrong with a 150 loaded federal bulk rounds at Walmart for $34. No work, just pull the trigger. I load 60 grain vmax with 25 grains of benchmark. It shoots .3” groups at 200 yards out of my POF.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 01-23-2019 at 09:33 PM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I used the Lee Bator molds. The old round nose and the newer rcbs lookalike. I used them with LLA, White Labels carnauba red and powder coated. All three seemed to work fine. I didnít really test for accuracy, consistently hitting 4Ē & 6Ē plates at 75yrd was all I did. I didnít spend much time on it, buying bulk was easier lol.

    I had good function and no leading. I remember I used BL-C(2) and Reloader 7, donít remember the loads. I only remember that I started at about 10% lower than starting loads and went up till I got 100% function, around starting loads if I remember right.

    I ran them in a Rock River M4, a Ruger Mini-14 and a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    IMO I would cast for a bolt action or single shot in 223 but wouldn’t waste my time on something that I’m going to dump mag fulls in seconds time of boolits that took me a lot of time to make. Also no matter how great your craftsmanship is I would still have the fear of heating up my barrel to get leading at some point. It’s a no go ever for me in an AR there’s just way too many cheap ammo option out there that you don’t have to worry about leading your barrel. On the other end, if it’s a cheap, junky AR you bought fit around or under $500 who cares. Just buy another cheap barrel and gas tube when it fails or leads up. I won’t take the chance in my POF or AR10’s. The guys here have obviously got cast to work in their autos but I wouldn’t take the chance when I can buy or load J words for not much more and are way more accurate as they have all stated.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 01-24-2019 at 10:55 AM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Monmouth, a vendor here, had 6000 Hornady 55 gr SP at a very good price. Check it out. I paid $420 shipped a while back. Plus these will work better on steel...less chance of bouncing off.

    I bought the NATO mold to make .22 cal bullets but it sits unused. My time is more valuable than trying to save $.04 a bullet and wind up with poor performance.

    BTW, think about using a .22 for less than 100 yard training. Much cheaper and no reloading needed. Easy to get .22's for $.04 a shot now.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    IMO I would cast for a bolt action or single shot in 223 but wouldn’t waste my time on something that I’m going to dump mag fulls in seconds time of boolits that took me a lot of time to make. Also no matter how great your craftsmanship is I would still have the fear of heating up my barrel to get leading at some point. It’s a no go ever for me in an AR there’s just way too many cheap ammo option out there that you don’t have to worry about leading your barrel. On the other end, if it’s a cheap, junky AR you bought fit around or under $500 who cares. Just buy another cheap barrel and gas tube when it fails or leads up. I won’t take the chance in my POF or AR10’s. The guys here have obviously got cast to work in their autos but I wouldn’t take the chance when I can buy or load J words for not much more and are way more accurate as they have all stated.
    If you don't want to shoot cast in an AR, that's completely up to you, but cast in an AR is not that hard given a little homework on bullet and lube choice.

    A lot of good folks have spent a lot of time and money to document the work here. That's the entire point of this forum, that ANY firearm can be made to work correctly, accurately, and long term using cast bullets.
    Last edited by Hamish; 01-25-2019 at 12:11 AM.
    More "This is what happened when I,,,,," and less "What would happen if I,,,,"

    Last of the original Group Buy Honcho's.

    "Dueling should have never been made illegal in this country. It settled lots of issues between folks."- Char-Gar

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy


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    A caster in Augusta Ga GT Bullets built his son a AR platform as close to the old M16 as possible in semi-auto. He loaded up some cast that IMO shocked me. Off the bench front rest rear rest was me. I hit a steel gong at 400 yards not once, but twice. 2 shots 2 hits.

    As mentioned earlier lots of info here. I have not worked up a good load for my 223 CZ yet. They are OK but not like George's @ GT Bullets.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    I have had good luck with the NOE .224 70 grain mold cast from Lyman #2, gas checked, then PC, then sized. Loaded over a pretty full case of Varget.
    Shot in a fast twist mini-14. Different autoloader mechanism than your AR but no leading is no leading. No port fouling is no port fouling.

    It is time consuming to cast, gas check and PC bullets in volumes sufficient for auto loaders. How practical that is somewhat depends on how you shoot. The OP described from a rest target shooting. Not going to burn through ammo doing that irrespective of the magazine capacity. Spray and blast target shooting might be a good time for the cheap steel case stuff or a different value calculation to the casting to buying question. How often you will shoot and how many you will shoot sort of determine your casting, reloading time investment. For me some free time after work spread over a few weeks yields hundreds of rounds I can use during warmer months. Bolt gun or auto loader most target shooting will be at about the same rate... but not all, a little rock and roll is a nice change of pace.

    The 70 grains bullets that are accurate for that rifle with that twist are expensive to buy. I also always like knowing I can make my own if desired for whatever I might want to load for. I will say more cavities in the mold are good thing. Four or five cavity version of molds not the two or three cavity models. Really it is a whole lot easier to relax while one of the kids or grand kids burns through a pile of ammo that didn't cost me big money per round, this is the other reason for the cast reloads. I can shoot it because I can afford it. I watch less TV and make more ammo.
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    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Old Coot's Avatar
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    Why don't you just teach her to position shoot (offhand, sitting, kneeling) with a 22 rim fire, and then go to the AR Platform for a 100 yds and beyond?

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy davidheart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Coot View Post
    Why don't you just teach her to position shoot (offhand, sitting, kneeling) with a 22 rim fire, and then go to the AR Platform for a 100 yds and beyond?
    I might be able to answer this as I'm going through a similar experience with my 8 year old daughter. The AR has an adjustable length of pull which fits her small stature better. Also, I reload 223 so it's almost as cheap as 22lr. Finally, the AR gives my daughter a feeling the 10/22 can't accomplish.

    I took my daughter to shoot our 10/22 at 25 yards and she simply couldn't enjoy it. But now she won't stop asking to shoot steel plates with the AR at 100 yards. What's more enjoyable in her mind?

    Instead of telling someone they can't shoot cast in 223, on this forum we should help them develop the most precise load possible.
    Last edited by davidheart; 01-29-2019 at 10:06 AM.
    He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. -Psalm 91:1

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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