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Thread: Casting for 223

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Casting for 223

    On my list of things to fool with is a lower powered load for a single shot 223. Seems to me that cast would be a good place to start. Anyone used the lee 225 55 mold? How hard is it to cast and check those little buggers? Would I be better off with a plain based mold that I powder coat and shoot at 22 mag or lower velocities?
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    On my list of things to fool with is a lower powered load for a single shot 223. Seems to me that cast would be a good place to start. Anyone used the lee 225 55 mold? How hard is it to cast and check those little buggers? Would I be better off with a plain based mold that I powder coat and shoot at 22 mag or lower velocities?
    What velocity are you looking to get to or stay under?

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Definitely sub 2000. More likely 1600 and : under.
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  4. #4
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    typically you need to cast faster/hotter for small boolits, once you get a handle on what your particular mold wants, they cast as easy as anything else. If you have large stubby fingers, you will hate GCs and Lubesizing the boolits...but there are little tricks to that as well.

    When I first started casting 22 cal, I couldn't keep the mold hot enough, so I used a hot plate to get it up to temp, then start casting, maybe 4 or 5 drops, then put it back on the hotplate to heat the mold back up. After I figured a few things out, like pouring larger sprue puddles, I no longer needed the Hot plate trick.
    Good Luck.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
    ― The Dalai Lama, Seattle Times, May 2001

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    typically you need to cast faster/hotter for small boolits, once you get a handle on what your particular mold wants, they cast as easy as anything else. If you have large stubby fingers, you will hate GCs and Lubesizing the boolits...but there are little tricks to that as well.

    When I first started casting 22 cal, I couldn't keep the mold hot enough, so I used a hot plate to get it up to temp, then start casting, maybe 4 or 5 drops, then put it back on the hotplate to heat the mold back up. After I figured a few things out, like pouring larger sprue puddles, I no longer needed the Hot plate trick.
    Good Luck.
    Is the reason to cast hotter/faster because there is less thermal mass (less lead) in the mold to feed it heat from inside I am guessing?

    Sent from my Moto G Play using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Yes. Bigger bullets represent more percentage of mass of the mold/filled cavities than smaller bullets do.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    It is a strange feeling after two hours of casting and you couldn't fill a mug. Oh there are plenty of boolits just very small. They shoot great 4198 gave me great results from my TC Venture. The Lee mold should be fine, I have the RCBS mold. I got the gas checks from Blamer http://gaschecks.castpics.net/index....7gmijoevh6tr22 $17 for 1000. I'm running about 2100 fps and about a two inch group at 100 yards. I think it was Beagle that wrote up an article on How to make a grown man cry, casting for the 223.... You can do it! Water quench and gas check and off to the races.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master pjames32's Avatar
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    You will need a big puddle on the sprue plate. The little buggers are the toughest thing I've ever cast! Good luck.
    NRA Benefactor Member

  9. #9
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Both RCBS and Lyman recommend Linotype for the 223

    I've pushed 16 BHN GC PC'd over 3300 fps with no leading.

    With the proper fit/alloy/powder and properly PC'd you should have no problem going <1800fps w-o a GC

  10. #10
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Do you pc before or after installing the check?
    "If you see me running something has gone poorly, and you should probably run too." - any beekeeper

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I heard/read all the horror stories about casting .22 CF bullets. Then I got a Lee Bator and a Lyman 225438 and started casting. I did not use linotype and I didn't find it anymore difficult than casting larger bullets. What I did notice was that as usual each bullet mold has its own rhythm to maintain consistently good bullets, meaning to vary casting speed according to what the mould is telling me.
    Handling the tiny gas checks IS a pain!
    Last edited by DonH; 08-09-2019 at 10:25 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I cast 22cal for my 22-250 Rem 700 and like stated you need to cast hot. After that it is good to go.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    They're fiddly little beggers but cast fine.still trying to get a 22 mag like load for my tikka t3 223.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I really like 22cal. cast bullets. I own six different 22 moulds. For light plinking rounds I use plain base bullets, usually fired from a Handi ultra, gas checked bullets for the AR. Any 22 cast bullet that fits properly over 3.5 to 8gr. of TiteGroup works very well and is a very economical round from the single shot or my Remington 700. Gp

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    I have two molds for the .223 (70 gr) but have never used them. More of a SHTF purchase if/when things go south.

    I am too lazy to cast itty bitty bullets. I wound up buying 6000 Hornady 55 gr SP for just over $400 and that made sense for me. By the time I added a GC, hard ball alloy and lube/PC, I was at $250 for 6k cast bullets. I do not want to even think about casting, sorting and weighing 6000 bullets to save less than $200.

    I have better plinking calibers than trying to turn a .223 into one. Punching paper and hitting steel is done with .38 Specials in both rifles and pistols. Easy to cast, easy to load in quantity on a progressive and brass lasts a long time.

    If I need a .22, I use the .22RF. If I ever decide I needed a .22 Mag, I would down load the 55 gr SP's, but I have no need for something between the RF and the .223 for critter control.

    My plan was to use 92-6-2 alloy with copper GC's and size them to .225. Lubes selected were 2500 or Carnauba Red. Powder was going to be H4895, but I was looking at feeding an AR. I came to those parameters after a lot of reading on this site. It seems that to get decent accuracy, ruthless visual inspection is necessary, and many people weigh afterwards.

    It can be done, but it is not easy. And like I said, I realized it was not for me.

    Good luck!!!
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I went down that road with a Lee 225-55 6 cavity mold.
    The bullets came out looking good.

    My problem was the accuracy I was getting.
    Initially my groups were very big and all over the place.

    I inquired here in the Forum and I was told I was shooting them too fast (approx. 2500 fps) and to slow them down.
    Also, one person had good tight groups by weighing the bullets and cherry picking a bunch with the same weight.

    I got to a point where I did weigh the cast bullets and slowed down the fps to a point that my AR15 would not cycle.
    I increased the charge until it reliably cycled and my groups got smaller, but not great.

    I spent quite a bit of time on this with different powders and charges and ultimately quit the project.
    My normal AR15 FMJ reloads shoot around 2600-2700 fps and I get good groups.

    Shooting cast at approx 1800-1900 fps in order to get fair groupings did not make sense to me so like I said, I quit (for now) the project.

    I hope you have success with yours.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Hick's Avatar
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    I use the Lyman 225646 (GC) and the NOE 225-55 FN (GC). I cast mine using Lyman #2, put on the checks using a Lee push-through sizer (0.224), then tumble lube (Ben's Liquid Lube). I shoot them at 1800 fps with 5.8 grains of HP-38.. Flat out accurate in my cz-527 (best witnessed group <1/2" at 50 yds). The only tricky part is putting on the gs checks. I buy Hornady gas cheks for this particular case, having discovered that the size just perfectly matches what my molds drop (all I have to do to put on the checks is press the base of the bullet into the check lightly, and they stay on long enough to get them in the sizer.)
    Hick: Iron sights!

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Land Owner's Avatar
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    I have not shot them in a while, but I have poured ~2,500 @ 50.X (+/-) grain 223 Bator boolits, which are now pre-sorted by 0.10 grain weight. These will require gas checks, sizing, and lube prior to reloading for a pair of 223 Handi-rifles, one a 1 in 9 bull barrel, the other a standard 1 in 12 tapered barrel.

    I was getting ~2" accuracy at 100 yards with the bull barrel but got side tracked when I found another site selling 6000 copper jacketed bullets for an insanely low price with free delivery and have turned many of those into 223 plinking rounds that cycle in my AR15 - for the shear fun of shooting it!

    I also purchased a 2 cavity RCBS 22-55-SP mold that I haven't even gotten hot (yet). One of these days...(I started to write "too many calibers - too many choices" but that would be seriously disingenuous).
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    An easy way to shoot cheap is no gas check and about four grains of 700X in a .223 case . I have used gas checks and about ten grains of 2400 for a faster load and normally I just cast hot and fast and visually inspect for perfection .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

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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