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Thread: 350 Legend and Cast Boolits

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    350 Legend and Cast Boolits

    THIS IS A STORY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LOW PRESSURE CAST BULLET CASE, A SET OF CAST BULLET LOADS AND A GUN THAT SHOOTS THE ABOVE.

    IT DOES NOT GIVE YOU LICENSE TO EXPAND THE INFORMATION HERE TO ALL GUNS AND ALL LOADS, ESPECIALLY NOT TO HOT LOADS USING JACKETED BULLETS.


    YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU DO, NOT ME.

    IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU CANNOT EXERCISE COMMON RELOADING EXPLORATORY TECHNIQUES AND TO OBSERVE AND NOTICE AND UNDERSTAND PRESSURE AND PRIMER WARNING SIGNS THEN PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS SERIES OF POSTS NOR TRY TO DO THIS SORT OF STUFF.

    TO YOU, IT IS DANGEROUS WATERS .......



    Greetings all

    I'm back from motorcycling land (had to give it up, poor reflexes and general health not being up to the risks involved any longer) and I am back to chasing a new gun, a AR based 350 Legend.

    Occasionally, LEE provides a couple of things you may already own that can fit your bill for a Cast Boolit for a new gun.

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    This one has a magazine filling nose which is pointed and tapered enough to feed from an AR magazine right into the auto-loaded chamber, with the bore riding nose picking up the rifling at the normal installation distance. I bought this one just now, to be my "heavy serious slug" for my 35 caliber pig and deer gun.

    This next one has no current picture, as it was a longer heavier 153 grain slug of the same form that was intended for a 38 Super (38 Largo), so you have to use your imagination a bit as my slug is ~25%~ longer than shown.

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    Lastly, a wide meplat bullet that I am not really sure is going to fit or feed and work correctly at all in an auto-loading AR. But, we gotta try, right?

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    Powder will be from pulled down 8 pound jugs of BLC-2 for the heavy gas checked pig slug, and pulled down M1 Carbine powder WC820 for the lighter pistol slugs.

    All the cast lead slugs will be towel dropped, and then powder coated with Eastwood Ford Light Blue. Then the slugs will get sized and gas checked in a .356" push through arrangement as I don't want to get wax based lube all over the inside of an AR gas system. The little bit of blue powder coating residue that will be remaining in the works will come right out with a long pipe cleaner and use of the standard AR cleaning equipment, during a standard "pivot the upper" cleaning.

    Brass was laboriously neck/shoulder/body expanded from 5.52 Lake City brass and this really was a labor of love as I lost 30% of the cases due to splitting during the 6 expansion steps that I used (even with the two annealing steps along the way). I don't recommend doing this as it "lost money" compared to simply buying Grafs & Sons $17 per hundred range brass due to the excessive splitting losses already seen processing the Lake City 5.56.



    Comment in passing, LEE has improved their 2 cavity molds quite a bit since the day I only had to add the set screw to the pivot shoulder screw and to burnish in some Hexagonal Boron Nitride into the cavities to get "free dropping" from the get go.

    I still find the soft aluminum LEE bullet mold material to be too easily scratched and cavity edge burrs are formed too easily and the mating mold surfaces still want to seat into each other too quickly.

    Still, the steel alignment pins and bushings are a refreshing thing to see and the mold block alignment does hold up better than previously.

    Oldfeller
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 10-08-2019 at 11:31 PM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy nelsonted1's Avatar
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    THere is an "I wish" if I ever saw one.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Hello Olfeller!

    I decided to buy one of these and make it a CB dedicated shooter!!

    I have a Saeco 396 mold that has a good profile for MSR use in the 350. But for hunting I wanna larger meplat.

    I have been shooting 180 RD and a 230 NOE mold on top of 1680 & 4227. I need to try some different powders. Mine is a Ruger Bolt. Accuracy with everything so far has been good. Some not great but all useable.

    That NOE 360-232 was in my last tests and I have hit my 1700 fps marker. But accuracy is 1.5 ish @ 50. So its at my max acceptable Of 3” @ 1000.

    Something else I have been doing with GREAT accuracy. I buy factory FMJ pull bullets & save powder. I trim cases to proper OAL. Then re charge with 21.5g factory powder. (Dozens pulled averaged 22+ grains) Seat a re sized (356) 140 FTX bullet. These darn things shoot UNDER MOA!!! But Ill not point one at a deer. That bullet aint up to 2300 fps!! But Id love to see a coyote while holdin it!!

    Ill be watching to see what you come up with!
    NRA Life member • REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Plinking and self defense are covered by the lighter 153-8 grain bullets. Powder coating supposedly allows you to go over 2,000 fps (with an accuracy penalty) even with plain based bullets.

    I think the heavy pig/deer gas checked bullet is a good 'un, but for personal defense I'd like for the lighter wide meplat slug to work out for me if possible.

    Something I would ask the group for ...... who has a LEE 000 buckshot mold that drops the little strings of 3 buckshot that are all linked together. I'd like to get a few "strings of three" still linked together just to try them out after powder coating them.

    Just how much trouble do you think you'd get into with the law if you buckshot-ed somebody 2-3 times with an evil AR?
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-30-2019 at 11:53 PM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Am I under the mistaken impression the 350 Legend (Winchester cartridge) can't be formed out of 223/5.56 brass?

    The rim, while of .223/5.56 diameter at 0.378, is a rebated rim and the body diameter is 0.390?

    Also I was under the impression standard AR15 mags for the 223/5.56 could not be used because of the shoulder rib inside the mag and the 350 Legend being a straight case the rib prohibits that cartridges use in standard AR mags?

    I know there are several 30 cal cartridges based on the 223/5.56 case but is there another 350 Legend based on that case?
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  6. #6
    Boolit Master



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    Click image for larger version. 

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    PP/SD isnt on my radar for this caliber. Unless its in defense of starvation

    Here is the 360-232 NOE bullet.

    I also Powder coat all and so far various colors and calibers zero leading to 18-1900 fps. Dont “need” to go any faster.

    CW
    NRA Life member • REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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    An article in Guns and Ammo talks about the case being formed from 223 brass. The base is swaged to allow for some case taper. So it seems it is based on the 223 case but modified in a way that would be hard for a home reloader to duplicate.
    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editoria...rtridge/359189

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Am I under the mistaken impression the 350 Legend (Winchester cartridge) can't be formed out of 223/5.56 brass?

    The rim, while of .223/5.56 diameter at 0.378, is a rebated rim and the body diameter is 0.390?

    Also I was under the impression standard AR15 mags for the 223/5.56 could not be used because of the shoulder rib inside the mag and the 350 Legend being a straight case the rib prohibits that cartridges use in standard AR mags?

    I know there are several 30 cal cartridges based on the 223/5.56 case but is there another 350 Legend based on that case?
    It is not based on the .223 case as a parent case
    The .223 was used as a starting point but the cases are very different
    It is rebated
    I do not see how you could reasonably form .223 brass into 350 Legend

    "Note that due to the changes in base diameter and case shape, reloaders cannot use .223 cases to form .350 cases. Nor can .223 magazines be used in .350 rifles, as the feed lips and magazine followers for the two cartridges are markedly different."
    https://www.chuckhawks.com/win_350_legend.html
    Last edited by jmort; 09-06-2019 at 03:31 PM.

  9. #9
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    I see no reason for this cartridge. It's only valid claim is it can be used in an AR style rifle. Otherwise it is a .35 Remington Ballistic Clone but on the low side. Its only other virtue is being strait walled so it can be used in Strait Wall Ammo States where you'd be better off hunting with a 12 or 20 ga shotgun like a Savage 212 or 220 or a TC Encore..

    This is a classic example of the phrase that jack O'Connor coined in 1962. "New cartridges are like new jokes!"

    I just can't get behind this one.

    And No Larry you are not wrong about forming the cases. Only thing they have in common is the rim dia.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Am I under the mistaken impression the 350 Legend (Winchester cartridge) can't be formed out of 223/5.56 brass?

    The rim, while of .223/5.56 diameter at 0.378, is a rebated rim and the body diameter is 0.390?

    Larry, when you start with 5.56 Nato you wind up with a sub-sized (diameter) 350 Legend that is running right at 1.700 trim minimum length. You anneal then fire form this brass to get to the full diameter and you wind up with a rebated rim case form and a length that is .030" below trim minimum.

    I suggest going rather mild (yep, timid actually) on the case forming balloon step as somebody has already posted a pic of a split case during fire forming and after seeing a 30% case loss I KNOW 5.56 can give you a split at the mouth and at the ex-shoulder area.

    So, if you reform 5.56 brass you will lose money doing it due to the splitting failures during forming. "Ballooning the case" is also something folks have always debated doing, but P.O. Ackley and his fans did it for decades before Improved brass was available to be purchased. Still, this is currently an unnecessary risk to be taking, reference the video below.



    The point here being that range brass is available to purchased now from Graf & Sons for $17 per hundred. This is the best way to approach the cases.


    Also I was under the impression standard AR15 mags for the 223/5.56 could not be used because of the shoulder rib inside the mag and the 350 Legend being a straight case the rib prohibits that cartridges use in standard AR mags?

    Yes, this is so. AR mags cannot be easily used at all. I have a 10 round 350 Legend magazine that came with the upper that is properly made for the 350 Legend.

    I know there are several 30 cal cartridges based on the 223/5.56 case but is there another 350 Legend based on that case?
    The SAMMI spec 350 Legend is not based on the 5.56 case. Some folks are still recovering 5.56 brass through neck and shoulder expansion but having done this I cannot say it makes sense for the economics of it nor for the amount of work involved.


    =============================================


    So why do a 350 Legend? My trip point was watching a You Tube of a kid shooting some steel at an AR range. He was pounding the hanging targets so hard he was wrapping the chains around the supports and the kid was actually knocking the some of the stands flat over with multiple hits.

    350 Legend has far far more impact energy than 5.56 can have and for those familiar with .357 magnum carbines they have a general frame of reference that 350 Legend can somewhat exceed.

    And no, it is not a run out and buy one proposition right now --- you will have to inexpensively build one up out of pieces right now. Buying an entire gun is prohibitively expensive, but uppers can be had less expensively (almost reasonably).
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-26-2019 at 08:40 AM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  11. #11

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


    tomme boy's Avatar
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    Your going to have split cases on every piece. You can use 223 basic brass from Starline but why, they make the 350 brass.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    I bought an upper from Bear Creek Arsenal (a local gun works in Sanford NC) complete with a magazine for $269.

    You can buy the real stuff as range brass now from Grafs for $17 a hundred. Using Starline .223 basics brass still requires you to do the balloon up fire forming to the rebated form, which is the final sticking point for using 5.56 Lake City as the starting point.

    This isn't impossible or prohibitively expensive to do if done carefully and correctly. But as said repeatedly, it isn't the best way nor is it the most economical way to do it.

    Now-a-days, you folks really do seem to be more into tit for tat argument sight unseen than in exchanging any form of real knowledge about real experiences.

    Really guys, you are arguing with someone who has actually gone and done this and is sharing real experience based information. This sort of acrimony reminds me why I left this list for 5 years originally, the continuous acrimonious tone of the place got to be too much to take on a daily basis.

    Annealing .223 case brass without overheating the case head can be rapidly done using a small soldering iron and a tip turned from aluminum rod stock, but suddenly I realize that posting that particular information would start another flock of "you can't do that" tweeties to chirping.

    Posting anything here might quickly become just as counter-productive as you get no positive discussion any more, just more pile ons.

    Ric, Buckshot and the original Shooters crew, where did our list go ????

    It certainly isn't here any more.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-29-2019 at 11:53 PM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  14. #14
    The Brass Man Four-Sixty's Avatar
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    Well said Oldfeller.

    I read how you laboriously created cases with a high rate of failure. I understood how you were able to make the process work.
    “Useful undertakings which require sustained attention and vigorous precision in order to succeed often end up by being abandoned, for, in America, as elsewhere, the people move forward by sudden impulses and short-lived efforts.”

    Alexis de Tocqueville

    The human mind has a primitive ego defense mechanism that negates all realities that produce too much stress for the brain to handle. It's called denial.

    "Inferno" Dan Brown

  15. #15
    Boolit Master pmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Am I under the mistaken impression the 350 Legend (Winchester cartridge) can't be formed out of 223/5.56 brass?

    The rim, while of .223/5.56 diameter at 0.378, is a rebated rim and the body diameter is 0.390?

    Also I was under the impression standard AR15 mags for the 223/5.56 could not be used because of the shoulder rib inside the mag and the 350 Legend being a straight case the rib prohibits that cartridges use in standard AR mags?

    I know there are several 30 cal cartridges based on the 223/5.56 case but is there another 350 Legend based on that case?
    Larry, the other cartridge is the 357 Max Rimless. It's based on .223 brass and has a .358 bore. I don't have either cartridge but I think they are ballistic twins.
    Recent cast boolit hunts:
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  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    oldfeller

    My apologies, I did not mean to sound acrimonious as I was just asking questions about it because I was/am interested in learning. Your explanation is appreciated and I now understand how you form usable 350 Legend case from 5.56 cases. I also see where the cartridge would fill a "niche" being straight walled and quite useful for hunting where that is required. Good luck with your rifle and hunting.
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Gunslinger1911's Avatar
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    Just started researching the 350 Legend. Son in law and I have fun with different AR uppers (9mm, 45 acp, 22 lr, 50 Beowulf so far).
    There seems to be some question on the basic diameter - some say .355, some .358 (yea, I know, no real difference - especially us casters !).
    I would say if bore was .355 and you ran a .358 bullet (or boolet) you just knock back the powder a bit.
    If bore .358, a .355 slug would tend to "rattle"down the bore.
    One article, the author pulled a bullet, miked .355
    Why go .355 nominal bore when there are so many .358 slugs out there ?
    Also the controversy of Ohio stating ".357 minimum caliber" yea, I know, 0.002" But .............
    Cogno, Ergo, Boom

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    What? Nobody is paper patching .351 180 grainers yet!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    oldfeller

    My apologies, I did not mean to sound acrimonious as I was just asking questions about it because I was/am interested in learning. Your explanation is appreciated and I now understand how you form usable 350 Legend case from 5.56 cases. I also see where the cartridge would fill a "niche" being straight walled and quite useful for hunting where that is required. Good luck with your rifle and hunting.
    Larry,

    It isn't done yet --- ballooning up the brass with a low pressure load is 1) potentially dangerous as per the video I linked and 2) you can't cycle the AR action with something meek and mild enough to be approximately safe. Going up in pressure during fire forming is contra-indicated, so a better solution is being sought.

    I have ~800 cases~ on my bench at a 1.700" trim minimum (running to slightly below for variation direction) and I have a new sizing button coming in from LEE that (maybe if the planets align right) will open up the entire case into a column form that now has the base by the head jacked open to ~.390~ which will allow the column/case to go into a full length sizing die again for a new crunch to once again resemble a still slightly shorter 350 Legend case that can be fired with enough pressure to cycle the gun and get a full fire forming without failing as per the video.

    My push through sizer (preferred method for sizing powder coated slugs that you want to keep your bullet lube away from) is .356" diameter and it sizes the slugs shown to .3565" right now due to a little bit of spring back. Given the proposed traffic through the simple steel bullet sizing die, it will be at .357" before very long, which is my chamber slug measured .041" long straight throat section measurement.

    Wear on die and throat will tend to .3570" over time, I am sure. No fire lapping is planned for this chamber and barrel as it can "polish in" with the power coated bullets just fine.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-07-2019 at 04:09 PM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master


    tomme boy's Avatar
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    No one is attacking you or your methods. Even if you have worked out how to use the 223 cases it is not the best method for most people. Or even the safest. I worked in a metal extrusion factory doing exactly what needs to be done to make these cases. This is not the way to go about it. You ARE going to have case head separation. There is not enough metal in the web to do this right.

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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