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Thread: Not sizing?

  1. #1

    Not sizing?

    I can get my friend to drop 240gr cast bullets at .431 -.432 and then coat them, but he has no way to size them.
    Can I safely load/shoot them UNSIZED as plinking loads at 700-800fps in a 44mag whose barrel slugs at .430?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    Typical ya size.001 or .002 over what your bore measures so ya should be fine. If you’re confident in your measurements. I don’t know what level of expertise you have how long you’ve been reloading all things come into consideration . Also ya Don’t say what load you using or Weather it’s a load you’ve loaded a bunch of and shot before. typically when I start a new load out I shoot a couple cautiously. I check for pressure signs, check for leading, etc. if everything checks out load and shoot. Like any new load, bullet, powder, etc., you always should proceed with caution. Let’s face it those of us that reload do so at our own risk. I firmly believe any load data should come from a recognized manual of some sorts . Not solely from information received from the Internet if you know what I mean . I read it on the Internet so it must be true . Good luck, have fun, and above all else be careful !
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    Oh and I almost forgot as I see this is your first post welcome to the forum there is a plethora of useful knowledge available here . As with all information received off the Internet it should be verified .
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  4. #4
    Thanks for the welcome and the info.
    The load is 5.5gr Titegroup, using a standard CCI large pistol primer, a thoroughly vetted target load in the 44 mag case. I've been reloading since 1969, and feel pretty comfortable with my QC. I used to cast all my BP bullets, mostly roundballs of course, but also the TC Maxiball bullets, which were not sized before use.
    The barrel of this 44 mag lever action rifle was slugged from the muzzle to the chamber, and the slug was measured using an electronic caliper, checked and double-checked, so pretty confident in the measurement to 3 decimal places.
    It sounds like I can safely give the bullets I described a try - low pressure load, barrel bore/bullet dia pretty close - my main concern may be to be sure the bullets don't plug the barrel, but the coating should lube it pretty good.
    Last edited by Bruce in WV; 11-29-2019 at 09:48 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    That Titegoup group load is the same one I set-up to load for My Chiropactor. I'm loading a N.O.E. #432-240-RF that drops at .432, I PowderCoat with Eastwood Squirrel Grey to end up with .433dia.
    His Old Vaquero's measure bbl's & chamber mouths; .430 & 431 and his Win Trapper's bore is .431dia.
    So I size to .432 and it drops to fit in every chamber.

    But You have to try every chamber to make sure.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Lee products say if it chambers you dont need to size, i dont see any risk of it getting stuck in the barrel, if its harder to start into the bore pressure will go up and put it in the barrel anyway, then it is sized to the bore and has pressure to continue just fine. Ive slowed cast boolits in my 9" 44 to sling shot trajectory and they still come out, so i think its pretty difficult to stick a lead bullet.

    If they dont chamber powder coated i think smokes clear is the thinnest type from what i hear. If that still fails they could be tumble lubed and shot.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    When I first re-started reloading didn't have Dad there showing me. I did learn to learn from reading anything and everything I could and to reason things out. Lee Precision's statement 'if it chambers' worked along side the concept that seating a boolit i an improperly expanded case can actually size the boolit down to where it is undersized. So, I loaded a few, pulled a few, and measured them all. This was 9mm, first cartridge after moving out on my own.

    I've always said 'I didn't know 9mm cast will always lead a barrel' and that I loaded the way Dad taught me to load 3 SP. We pulled and measured 38s the same way to ensure the loading process didn't size the boolit. The mold I had was a Lee 356-125 RN which cast an honest 125 measuring .3585 diameter. I was ecstatic as I knew I could use that when I finally got a 38/357 revolver.

    I had read plenty that the chamber throats and forcing cones would take care of sizing so long as the boolit wasn't too fat 'if it chambered.' Out of round however slight was somewhat corrected during seating and crimping, the rest would get done upon firing. This was back when I was pan lubing and sizing was abandoned for 'sized by seating.'

    Today, I powder coat everything. ASBBPC for handgun, ESPC for certain specialty colors that require the ES gun, and for my 30 caliber rifle boolits, well those that have gas check shanks. I have a Lyman 450 lube-sizer and even a heater for harder lube, but the Lyman has been idle for 6 years. Lee push through dies replaced the Lyman. My press is the older Turret Press with sizing dies on several turrets by caliber.

    Seating gas checks while sizing nose first is pretty straight forward. Push the boolit onto the check, run the boolit into the die, give it a good tap-push from the press handle, then push it through. It does help that I make my own checks (thanks, PatMarlins) and can adjust how thick the checks are made and how open or expanded they are when finished. Side note, Amerimax flashing after cut in strips softens when annealed by taking 10 pre-cut strips, clamped down in some vise grips, and immersed in hot lead for 10-15 seconds. Lead wipes off with a gloved hand after cooling for about 30 seconds.

    Do I need to size my handgun rounds? No, I don't, but my setup is so quick that the why not out weighs the why. The smooth sided plain base designed for PC NOE 225-62 RN I think doesn't so much need sizing beyond seating but the sizing process allows for another quick quality control inspection. That little boolit gets ASBBPC and cured/baked on parchment paper. I prefer them not to touch as that can leave marks, however slight, on the boolit. Sizing smooths that out. Then again, so would seating, crimping, and firing.
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

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  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Sizing to a thousands or so oversize of the bore is common.

    For what you're doing-- I'd do it too, just use a soft alloy.
    Everyone can learn from their mistakes.
    However; it's less painful, and cheaper to learn from the mistakes of others.

    Old age and treachery will always overcome youth, and skill.

    OK folks. Enough of this idle chit chat. This ain't no retirement home.
    EVERYONE!!
    Back to your oars. The Captain wants to waterski.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I knew a guy that cast his own bullets and never had a sizer he would make up some home made lube and put it in the lube grooves. He did that with a 45LC that he thought had a bore of 454 and the mold cast that size and in reality the bore on his 45LC was 452. never hurt a thing.

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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