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Thread: Slugging Barrels

  1. #1

    Slugging Barrels

    Getting ready to order a 45-70 sharps. Looking forward to casting rounds for this beast. Just wondering, do you guys slug your bore once you receive a new rifle prior to ordering custom moulds? If so, what do you find works best for a 45-70 bore?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Run an oily patch down your bore and use a soft fishing sinker a little bigger.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Roundballs for muzzleloaders work well, but any grease groove bullet for that caliber should work - they are slightly over groove diameter. Frankly, this might be the only thing those greasers are good for

  4. #4
    Gotcha. Thanks for the info guys!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentD View Post
    Roundballs for muzzleloaders work well, but any grease groove bullet for that caliber should work - they are slightly over groove diameter. Frankly, this might be the only thing those greasers are good for
    Click image for larger version. 

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    5 @ 100yards - the flier is me not the gun or load - grease groove boolit over straight blackpowder - from a 45/75 lever gun - boolit is from a LEE mold
    pretty useless result huh!

    and yeah use a muzzle loader ball to slug em specially first time ya do it - less chance of messing up
    Last edited by indian joe; 10-09-2019 at 06:42 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    It's not the " bore " diameter that you want . It's the " groove " diameter . It's the largest of the 2 measurements .

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
    It's not the " bore " diameter that you want . It's the " groove " diameter . It's the largest of the 2 measurements .

    That definitely depends. For me, the bore (land) diameter is far more important.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Brent is wrong - you only use pure lead for slugging, and you rarely find a pure lead grease groove boolit - they are almost always at least 20-1 lead/tin. Pure lead does not spring back, you get an accurate measure. Any other mix will spring back and your measure is inaccurate.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Wayne, don't be ridiculous.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
    Chill Wills's Avatar
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    Maybe a little explanation is needed as to why groove or bore diameters may be of greater interest.

    In general, if shooting a paperpatched bullet that needs a close fit to the bore for alignment upon loading - think getting the bullet lined up- the bore diameter become critical. The groove measurement then is less so.

    If shooting grease-groove bullets or even PP bullets of groove diameter, then barrel groove becomes the major diameter we want to measure and you do not want to have the bullet be smaller than groove. Often in the case of GG bullets, the area just ahead of the groove (throat) and after the chamber might be a better size to fit the bullet to. You want a full diameter fit from the get-go.

    I agree about spring back. However, in my experience the amount of difference using something like 20-1 or WW v pure lead is measured four places to the right of the decimal point and gets lost in the noise in practice. So, it is true, IF you have pure Pb to use, that would be best but lacking it would not slow me down getting a slug through the barrel waiting on pure Pb.

    That is my take on it. Your experience may vary.
    Chill Wills

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    for over 15 yrs, I swaged thousands of bullets from pure lead to 16:1 alloy. They were all exactly the same size upon exiting the swaging die.

    When chambering cartridges, I can feel differences in bullet diameters that are smaller than these calipers can measure https://www.amazon.com/Mitutoyo-500-...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

    But those swaged bullets of different alloys feel exactly the same when they are fed into the rifle. There is no measureable, or even feelable - differences in diameters as a function of bullet alloy. It is simple to test. Try slugging a bore with two different alloys of lead. Make it a blind experiment, and I bet you cannot tell which one was the lower alloy slug more often than you can predict a coin flip.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    using $15. or $20. calipers will vary several thousands from caliper to caliper measuring drill shanks, that is more than any spring back a hard bullet will have. I swage also and I have never seen the diameter change with different lead or lead alloys. The die is marked .444" and the bullet drops out at .44421" with 1/20 or 1/16 lead wire cores.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    Agreed, if you are measuring with a caliper it won't matter. Measuring with a micrometer and know how to use it ...
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Wayne, it still won't matter.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    boolits or roundball ? both work
    I prefer roundball
    1) they deform easier to fill the grooves
    2) they go through the bore a little easier because of less friction/ surface area in contact
    a boolit is maybe a little easier to measure with calipers?
    for all practical purposes either will work as well as tother
    Arguing it is about like saying which zebra has the best set of stripes .

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Id second roundball,as more than once has a bullet got jammed ,and heavier blows to move it have resulted in bulging the barrel......... be sure the bore is oiled...............and dont hit the muzzle with a hammer.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master piwo's Avatar
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    So, when slugging the bore, do you attempt to push it all the way through the barrel, or only the first inch or so at the muzzle?
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Both, piow

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Do the breech/throat too.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy Huvius's Avatar
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    I pay more attention to the bore diameter than the groove regardless of what type of cast boolit I'm using.
    I think that if a bore diameter boolit will obturate to fill the grooves, then why won't any boolit sized anywhere from bore to full groove diameter? (dependent of course on your throat and how far out of the case you want to place your boolit)
    Maybe a good first question is, what is the type of Sharps have you bought and what do you intend on using your rifle for?

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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