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Thread: rifle bulletts

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    rifle bulletts

    Ok I'm new to casting rifle bullets. I have cast pistol bullets for years using straight wheel weights with very good results. Many of the cast pistol bullets shot as good or better than jacketed bullets.

    Rifle bullets are another issue. I get many that are wrinkled no matter where I adjust the heat on the melting pot. I am not an expert on the different types and mixtures of casting lead. I am mainly interested in subsonic HP projectiles that will expand on Hogs and deer.

    With that being said I have several different types of lead available, the wheel weights I use are clip on collected many years ago so I've never found any of the new materials in them, I have more than I can ever use.

    I have about 200 sticks of 111 plumbers lead from National lead company.

    I used to shoot a lot of skeet. I have 875 LBS of Lawerence #9 chilled lead shot. According to their website it is graphite coated with a Eq hardness factor of 2% antimonial lead alloy. Funny though I couldn't believe the cost now vs when I bought this stuff. Never plan to shoot skeet again so I can melt this too.

    My question is what would be the best one or mixture of these to use for subsonic 230 grn HP bullets in a 300 BO or my 7.62X39?

    I have no heartburn melting and or mixing any of these just can't figure out how to mix.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Could be that your mold or sprue plate is to cold. Im just getting started casting so I cant speak from experience, but those are the two most common causes of wrinkled bullets based on my research (other than to cold alloy)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Also, use COWW + 2% tin (tin/pewter helps the boolit fill out)

    work in subsonic with good expansion

    The first thing to do when you get wrinkled boolits/bad fill is scrub the mold with dawn and a toothbrush (or denture brush - from dollar tree)

    Normally do all my casting between 690 and 720 (except pure lead 750+)

    preheat mold to 400

    If not casting pure I like to have at least 2% tin/pewter to improve the flow-out/fill

  4. #4

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Long skinny boolits are the most difficult to cast, and the 30 cal 230gr is probably the longest to dia ratio boolit out there.
    If you have wrinkles, your mold is not hot enough, you can only keep it hot by casting at a fast pace, Is the Hollow point pins giving any trouble? that can slow the process and the mold will cool off.

    I'm with Conditor22, I'd use COWW + 2% tin with that boolit application.
    Maybe you could get by with not adding any tin, but that helps with fillout, and you may find that tin helpful when casting long skinny boolits.
    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
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    SE Kentucky
    Lead shot is a PITA to smelt down, could likely sell and buy known metals to alloy with what you have on hand for the alloy you want. Sub sonic loads do not need a fancy alloy, but tin gives it toughness so the bullet doesn't break up. Antimony makes the bullet hard but brittle and that's why tin is needed. Not sure how much tin is needed, about 2% helps with fill out but not sure if that enough to make the bullet tough enough to hold together.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Go to your skeet club and sell the shot. It is foolish (and not that easy) to melt it into an alloy.

    Rich above is to be heeded.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    I hear you about selling. We bought about 25 years ago, several of us pitched in to buy 5 tons at $7.00 per 25 lbs. I was shocked to see what it's selling for now.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    To stop wrinkles and improve fill out, first be sure mold is 100% free of oils or grease. Make sure alloy and mold are hot enough. Maybe try increasing alloy temp some. Finally, make sure you have a fast pour. The alloy needs to flow in fast and not dribble in. Sometimes you need to cast a dozen or more be for things start falling in place. When you do find that sweet spot, don’t stop!

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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