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Thread: 350 Legend and Cast Boolits

  1. #21
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    I can understand Tomme Boy's point, the weakest part of the reformed case is going to be the rebate wall section nearest to the head.

    That leads me back to my oft repeated recommendation to buy the Graff & Sons range brass at $17/hundred, which is as safe as houses to reload.

    I also received PMs saying that the Guns and Ammo says that "(repeat large chunks of the article as needed)" and because it is G&A saying it, it is considered gospel to a lot of folks. I would say this article is a fair enough write up of the development history of the thing, and as such it is OK enough, but please don't count on it as a case making reloader.

    The Guns and Ammo article has simply lost track of the reloader's perspective. This is why many (myself included) say it is just plan wrong as things really sit today.

    A parent case to a reloader can be used to SAFELY MAKE the new case with a simple neck job up or down. "The little fatter web and relatively smaller mouth was done so Winchester could get enough taper into the case to assist better feeding" is so TOO TOO much of a change to make in a 5.56 case such that it cannot be used to safely make the new brass by just using neck work, even when followed by fire forming which isn't mild at all BTW as you need enough gas pressure to operate the AR action. That much gas pressure moves the brass too far too fast and it cracks and splits it open near the head.

    Remember this point please, the final fire forming step is soooo much movement up near the case head that heavy wall section cracks and splits (see video above) and all that fires gas back through the relatively open AR system while being too near the operator's face. Scaring the snot out of him even if it doesn't get his cheeks dirty.

    By turning that fire forming "ballooning action driven by violent gas pressure" into a controlled cold forming set of die steel operations, perhaps we can come up with a way to make 5.56 brass into a slightly shorter than spec 350 Legend that is good enough for cast bullet pressures. We shall see.

    I have over 800 cases partially processed to play with, and that is my reward for doing so.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-08-2019 at 07:55 AM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  2. #22
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Is actual Factory .350 Legend Brass that expensive?

    I see maybe needing 200 rounds for this gun in a life time, unless you are planning on using it for Tactical Purposes during the "upcoming insurrection," in which case you might need 300.

    Graf's has Starline Brass for $31.00 per hundred. https://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog...80946/inline/1

    It is probably a lot better than anything you can make at home out of Range Brass.

    just sayin'

    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

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
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    https://www.starlinebrass.com/ 28$ per 100, Free ship.
    six

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    I appreciate you guys finding all that very nice expensive new brass available to be purchased, but I seeing that I had over a thousand pieces of Lake City 5.56 just sitting around and I had Lee expander/deprimer pins ranging from .224 to .243 to .264 to .284 to .308 to .325 and a 3 station auto indexing press to put them in I stared expanding the 5.56 Nato brass neck up by stages. Once I got past 8mm I switched over to custom made pins at .340 and .355 and a final trip at .355" off a very custom expander pin made from a Lee 35 Remington expander pin which was shortened and reformed in special fashions which will be covered a few posts down the page. (more later)

    Finishing trip will be through a full length sizing die which should collapse the case back down from the cylindrical form to put the proper taper back into the case. Case splitting loses on the 800 that are left will be 10% if the earlier stages are any guide.

    Folks who are shooting the Legend all say that the .010" body taper will act to head space the slightly shorter cases that resulted from the hand made from 5.56 expansion by the very limited work that they have done.

    I will withhold judgement on that point until I have actually done it in volume. I am also not above custom sizing the brass (by partial insertion into the full length sizer die) to tighten the fit up of the resulting "slightly short" case to the chamber of my AR such that it can enter the chamber freely and still do the rotational lock up freely but the slightly short finished round will always get a full impact primer strike indexing off the case taper.

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

    AR people really do like having lots of ammo on hand. This is not the world of bolt guns or of target shooting, it is the world of run & gun competitions and "blasting steel". So much for the recreational uses.

    Pig shooting isn't really hunting out on a farm, it is for the eradication of a farm pest, and the goal is to hit as many pigs as you possibly can before they scatter. I think the wounding of up to a half dozen pigs with a 66 grain .224 bullet is pretty much "unsportsman-like conduct" by my old grey-headed hunting standards but the farm folks who are affected by those pig swarms really don't seem to care too much about sportsmanship when blasting at swarms of invasive pigs who are rooting up their newly planted seed and ruining their crop.

    Give them a 20 round magazine on a 350 Legend AR with 3 each .360" buckshot balls per case and let them go perforate their invasive pigs more quickly and effectively. 3 triple aught buck on a string from a LEE mold weights ~215 grains once powder coated, so it isn't going to be all that different than the gas checked main bullet I am working up at the moment.

    Yes, if I can make the cases work out well using three repeats on a 3 hole LEE progressive press and two quick annealing steps it might could possibly be worth doing as cast boolits are inexpensive, as are the mil-surp powders I will be using.

    Starting price per case is 5 cents a case at Everglades when buying 2500 case lots of their "damaged mouth" 5.56 brass. I am pretty sure you can find lots of raw uncleaned 5.56 Lake City even cheaper on occasion.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-16-2019 at 10:27 AM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    I was playing around with a couple 223 brass just to see. Necking up would be easy as pie. 243 to 260 to 30 to 35 went well. Then a fire form. But after checking the rest out from sammi spec. Its a lot to fire form. To much for me. That's a shame would of been neat but the brass is to expensive for me.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfeller View Post
    I appreciate you guys finding all that very nice expensive new brass available to be purchased, but I seeing that I had over a thousand pieces of Lake City 5.56 just sitting around and I had Lee expander/deprimer pins ranging from .224 to .243 to .264 to .284 to .308 to .325 and a 3 station auto indexing press to put them in I stared expanding the 5.56 Nato brass neck up by stages. Once I got past 8mm I switched over to custom made pins at .340 and .355 and a final trip at .366 off a Lee 9.3mm expander/deprimer pin from a 9.3x62 which I will now tune down and shorten to expand the reformed Legend case's base to ~.390" at the rebated area up near the head. Finishing trip will be through a full length sizing die which should collapse the case back down from the cylindrical form to put the proper taper back into the case. Case splitting loses on the 800 that are left will be 10-20% if the earlier stages are any guide.

    Folks who are shooting the Legend all say that the .010" body taper will act to head space the slightly shorter cases that resulted from the hand made from 5.56 expansion by the very limited work that they have done.

    I will withhold judgement on that point until I have actually done it in volume. I am also not above custom sizing the brass (by partial insertion into the full length sizer die) to tighten the fit up of the resulting "slightly short" case to the chamber of my AR such that it can enter the chamber freely and still do the rotational lock up freely but the slightly short finished round will always get a full impact primer strike indexing off the case taper.

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

    AR people really do like having lots of ammo on hand. This is not the world of bolt guns or of target shooting, it is the world of run & gun competitions and "blasting steel". So much for the recreational uses.

    Pig shooting isn't really hunting out on a farm, it is for the eradication of a farm pest, and the goal is to hit as many pigs as you possibly can before they scatter. I think the wounding of up to a half dozen pigs with a 66 grain .224 bullet is pretty much "unsportsman-like conduct" by my old grey-headed hunting standards but the farm folks who are affected by those pig swarms really don't seem to care much about sportsmanship when blasting at swarms of invasive pigs who are rooting up their planted seed.

    Give them a 20 round magazine on a 350 Legend AR with 3 each .360" buckshot balls per case and let them go perforate their invasive pigs more quickly and effectively. 3 triple aught buck on a string from a LEE mold weights ~215 grains once powder coated, so it isn't going to be all that different than the gas checked main bullet I am working up at the moment.

    Yes, if I can make the cases work out well using three repeats on a 3 hole LEE progressive press and two quick annealing steps it might could possibly be worth doing as cast boolits are inexpensive, as are the mil-surp powders I will be using.

    Starting price per case is 5 cents a case at Everglades when buying 2500 case lots of their "damaged mouth" 5.56 brass. I am pretty sure you can find lots of 5.56 Lake City even cheaper on occasion.
    I think i understand your way of thinking, Sometimes the trip is more important than the destination.
    I would love to be able to work from scratch to the means end. Just haft to read and learn.
    Last edited by super6; 09-09-2019 at 07:28 PM.
    six

  7. #27
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ok, let's talk expanding 5.56 Nato brass up to 350 Legend without using any fire forming step at all.

    Why? Fireforming the entire body of the Nato 5.56 brass up at AR15 action operating pressure levels is a "pretty much bound to fail at the fire forming step" since about half the case is sitting out in the air. And if the case fails all that gas violently busting loose in an AR action isn't going to be something you want your face to be near, it would likely get you face dirty -- for sure it would.

    Might get your drawers dirty too, that gas tries to go everywhere.......

    We have all by now explored opening up the 5.56 neck and shoulder up to .355" so we understand that stuff pretty much by this point in time. It is a whole lot of fiddle work and several annealing steps are needed along the way. Case losses due to splitting will hit 20-25% so expect some losses.

    The final stage of jacking the case open is the very very long .355" expansion step, the one that stops just short of bottoming out the expanding pin at the case head.

    I originally ordered a new pin from LEE to do this step, but what came in from LEE was another short pin similar to what I already had. So I built an aluminum pin extension for what I already had tuned and I am using that as it is already done.

    Look at the picture and you can see the .355" pin begins to run on up the extra wall thickness at the bottom of the hole, moving the expanded case form out more and more and more as the wall thickness increases to over .020" thick as it does beside the case head.

    Pay attention to the form of that expander button, you want the extra wall thickness at the very end of the stroke to make the expanded web hang in the air at about the desired dimensions for where it will be when it gets full length resized and then fired with powder and bullet.

    Look carefully at the inverted wall thickness in the picture. When I digital caliper the form between the largest bulge and the case head I see numbers building up from .374 (at the solid case head) ramping right on up to over .398" at the max bulge.

    Pushing it back down in a full length sizing die will bring it down to .391" or thereabouts (SAMMI spec diameter at the 350 Legend case head) depending on your brand of full length sizer as some are every so slightly different. The straightened up section of that web between the rebate zone and the solid head will actually be well over .023" thick and upon firing it will move only thousandths of an inch to pick up the case wall ---- case wall thickness at that point says it will deflect only ~ 20%~ of the wall thickness to move over to seal against the reamed chamber wall. And the length of case that will be doing this movement is going to be about a 0.124" long section of the very strongest part of the case wall with the section that moves the most only moving .011" out radially at the worst case. Most of it won't move that nearly that much as it is already deflected most all of the way there.

    Put it into a bit of perspective, the case mouth itself will move at least that much during firing and the case mouth is made from far far thinner material too. The mouth will split long before that .023"+ thick web section up by the head will.

    Oddly enough, I only lost 6 cases with split case mouths doing the long expansion --- something good to be said about that .355" button form I guess.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 10-01-2019 at 10:27 AM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  8. #28
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    Hi Oldfeller, it's good to see you're back.
    How thin are the case mouths ending up? I'll be interested in hearing how your expanded cases work out and how they hold up to repeated firing.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Hey Lar,

    Mouth wall thickness is .010-.011 which isn't huge, but if you leave it on the outside of a solid bullet supported section when you seat the bullet it will stop the loaded case in the chamber just fine.

    I think I'll get more case mouth splits in use, because I already got me a crop of them in the forming ops and every firing and resizing will bring out even more.

    If I was doing this again, I might try starting with a set of blanks because the mouth thickness would be greater and you could trim it to SAMMI trim minimum, something you don't ever get up to when using 5.56 brass.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-15-2019 at 03:44 PM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  10. #30
    The Legend article I read stated that Winchester reroutes .223 brass onto the .350 Legend line after the second draw, so it is kinda sorta the parent case, albeit by a formus interruptus lash-up. As far as forming them from range .223 brass, I don't believe I'd do it myself when there's new brass available for it, BUT then again, 'Montana Pistol Hunter' and I formed several hundred .45 ACP empties into .44 'super short' by using a big shop vise as a magnum arbor press to get them fully sized and parts of a Lee loader to push them back out. We neither of us had a 1911 at the time, as I had traded mine off for a Super Blackhawk, but had the brass just sitting, and we did have M29s, Bulldogs, Blackhawks and a B92 to feed. Yes, what ended up as a semi-rim did adequately semi-headspace (they weren't so thin as to give us misfires) and they reloaded just fine with shortened .44 dies and a .45 shellholder. And you should see how many of them will fit in the B92 magazine, especially with a Lee 210 gr button wadcutter. They looked like slightly slimmer .45 Auto Rims. As my late Dad used to say, "Poor folks gots poor ways".
    So, far be it from me to carp at OldFeller for utilizing an asset. Good on ya.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Still waiting on a new full length case sizing die from LEE, so I worked on casting and powder coating a set of bullets instead.

    Not intending for much very long range shooting, but instead desiring good nose mushrooming as a primary concern, I air dropped the bullets and intentionally ran the powder coat curing temperature over 325 degrees for 20 minutes, giving me a softer bullet that would upset in a feral pig or in a jug or three of water.

    Powder coat is Easton Ford Light Blue and one coat yielded good coverage and flow as Ford Light Blue is wont to do. Learned from the taller gas check bullet that gravity flow is enough to overfill the gas check shank, so any future lots will be gas checked seated & not sized and then powder coated over the gas check and then sized once as a whole assembly.

    Some would say "Why bother" with the gas check since this larger heavier slug won't exceed 2200 fps out of my 16' barrel gun and it would be the two smaller ones would hit the higher inaccurate speeds if any of them managed to reach up to those higher speeds.

    So far no list member has volunteered to send me some as cast strings of 3 triple aught buckshot off a LEE mold for me to play with coating and loading, as I don't have a spare $60 to buy an eighteen banger mold as a "doubtful experiment".

    So, no Evil AR experimental loads, sorry ....... rats
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-30-2019 at 11:21 AM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  12. #32
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    Isn't 000 Buck .375"? would you be sizing them down for the 350? That might make an interesting load for the Judge...

  13. #33
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    I thought this post was gonna be about CAST BOOLITS??

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

  14. #34
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    LEE's 000 buckshot mold drops at .358" to .360" according to the alloy used and the speed/temperature that is needed to get the mold to fill correctly -- according to several user reports. Add another thousandth for the Ford Light Blue powder coat then mush the size back down some in the assembled round to get it to chamber well.

    I think that stuff that drops from a LEE six banger mold counts as a cast "boolit", don't you? I admit I complicate it some by dealing with three of them still on the string, so to speak, but to me it is all the same stuff -- melted lead cast into a mold.

    I also theorize that the 3 balls get separated when entering and leaving the rifling (they get slightly twisted once in each direction relative to the one in front and the one behind).

    Plus the ball to ball joints get stressed by the forces of firing and the soft balls do flattened together somewhat by acceleration forces. Mild bumping up is indeed a thing you might expect to happen to that last ball too.

    I see the two balls resting inside the case getting some lit powder blown in between them when the case first opens up and expands to seal against the chamber wall, leaving a pressure differential between the balls as they go up the bore that may be greater than the powder coat and twisted lead can hold together. I see the balls leaving the muzzle a part of an inch apart and at slightly different speeds, impacting at 100 yards with some small vertical stringing going on.

    That last ball will want to travel ~10 to 15~ fps faster than the first ball, but the first ball and the middle ball is going to be in the way, so I see some sort of "bumper cars flying in the air" thing going on too.

    My visualization and imagination still works, anyway ......

    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-30-2019 at 11:23 AM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master

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    I want to see what they look like after you fire them.

    The basic piece of brass is the same as the 223 brass. It is how it is drawn out is how it is not the same. The way the web is formed and drawn is the difference. The 350 brass it is formed from the full diameter at the bottom of the web. The 223 brass is extruded to a smaller diameter at the web. So the base is higher in the 223 brass. So you will get the ring where the brass needs to be expanded like is shown in the pic oldfeller. It can work, but like oldfeller says, "it is not for everyone".

    The way he is doing this is not for anyone that does not understand what is needed to do this the right way. He is taking many more steps than I have seen others take. He is still going to lose some of these after they are fireformed. And may lose a few more after several more firings. BUT, the only thing it is really costing him is his time. So, to some that is worth the time to do this. Others do not have the time or patience to do this.

  16. #36
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    Kelly you back in cast boolit shootin' business. I've still got my 7mm Soup Can, 8mm Maximum and the ever controversial 6.5 Cruse Missile. The old 8mm max would be my pick if a packy ever escaped from the circus. I still think about the Bison rancher saying take your pick, they're both about 1100 pounds,ka boom, he watched her quiver and collapse onto her hooves turned to me and said, WHAT CALIBER IS THAT AGAIN?

    ...and first thing that popped into my pea brain while reading your 350 Legend case forming from 5.56 was convert that FL die to a hydraulic form die, or make a new one maybe even whack a mole style. Whack it hard enough and often enough you might even get a rebate case ready to fire form. carry on
    Last edited by swheeler; 09-16-2019 at 06:53 PM.
    Hell, I was there!

  17. #37
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Hey SW,

    I'm back into tinkering, not ready to try to build anything from scratch or try to create a gun nor to coax LEE or Midsouth into making anything for us.

    My attention got caught by the 350 Legend simply because you can buy a completed upper for one for $269 last month, so I picked one of those up ..... and then I got a $129 lower from Palmetto State so I can have me a completed gun on hand for reasonable money.

    So far it is coming along OK, but being a new gun all the little bits and pieces are out of stock and pending a B/O run from whomever no matter what piece you are talking about.

    So I am grinning and waiting ...... right along with everybody else.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 09-17-2019 at 08:14 PM.
    All retired now, just growing tomatoes and building and shooting my guns.

  18. #38
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I see you are using HBN to get your molds to drop bullets out, good idea. I been tumbling PC bullets in it, just kind of a spin off of my moly coating days using Daisy BB's to impact it in to the PC. I think my next step will to be mixing it in with PC and baking, one less step. Good to see you back.
    Hell, I was there!

  19. #39
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    Only bad thing about casting the buckshot is that the material between each buckshot is so thin, it breaks apart when releasing from the mold. You might get two buckshot together, but I have never had three stay together, otherwise, I would cast some up for you. How about loading three of the buckshot in the case, maybe each one separated by a card wad.

  20. #40
    Boolit Bub .30carbnut's Avatar
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    so what is the weight of first one?

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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