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Thread: Cast in AR platform rifles

  1. #1

    Cast in AR platform rifles

    Does anyone use cast in the AR platform .223/5.56? Iíd like to load more for the AR but not sure if itís worth trying to cast tiny boolits. Whatís yíallís thoughts on the cast with this platform?


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master gnostic's Avatar
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    I'm building a 9mm AR9 upper to shoot cast bullets exclusively, as we speak. Nobody, to my knowledge has been able to make the 5.56 shoot very well. Five or six inches seems to be the norm and the 5.56 is sort of expensive to load for that level of performance....

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    There are a few guys here who cast for .223 in ARs with good results and I'll admit that it sounds tempting. But, like you said, the boolits are really small. Seems like most use gas checks which adds another element to the process but there are those who do not and get good results. That's great if you're into that sort of detail. I'm just not.

    Cast boolits shoot great in my 9mm AR, if you want to go that route.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Feed ramps are among the biggest hurdles to get things going .
    I shoot an NOE 225-55 @62 gr which I believe is the 225-62 now .
    I get a well tuned group out of the 1-8" 16" carbine gas rifle with 21 gr H322 of 2-1/2 inches at 100 in a better cheap ATI Omni Hybred . The M4 feed ramps aren't bad but some of the Wilson or Mossy barreled cheap kit rifles need a lot of ramp polish to work well . Like everything else actual barrel quality plays a big role too .
    Hbar types shoot better than the bare bones A2 types that are turned down under the hand guard an stepped up for the gas block then back down and notched for M203 .

    Same fit , sizing rules as anything else . Yes you need checks unless you're going to shoot "typical myth" 12-1500 fps Unique loads and hand cycle each round . Because I shoot all of my rifles with a game suitable alloy I can only get about 2150 out of the AR based 1-8" 223 while the bolt gun 222 1-12" runs 2625 with sub MOA groups .
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I got mine to shoot about 2" at 100 yds. Thought I was going to save money when shooting 3-gun matches. Brass had to be trimmed to get consistent crimp. Then it gets lost in grass at match. Gas checks were 3 cents apiece when for a couple cents more I can get a J-word. Just wasn't worth it.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master poppy42's Avatar
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    I just started casting for my AR. I’m using a Lyman 225415. Sage has 1000 gas checks for $15. I lube size and PC. I’m just getting started so I can’t really post any results yet. I like having the ability to make my own Boolets. Especially in light of everything that’s going on over the past few months. I know that should it become A necessity I can sit in the woods, with my 310 tools, my Lee hand press, cast iron pot, molds,etc over a wood fire Make ammunition for every firearm I shoot. From my 9mm Makarov up to and including my 30-06. It’s also one of the reasons I don’t rely solely on powder coating. I also lube and size Every bullet I cast. Powder coating is great but it’s a little difficult powder coat sitting in the woods without electricity, although it could be done. If you can bake bread over a wood fire you can certainly powder coat Although it would be a heck of a lot easier to pan lube. Anyway that’s just me. I’ll keep everyone appraised of my success and failures as my test results become available.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I'd thought about it.
    But those little things would be so tedious.
    As cheap as factory seconds are or GI bullet pulls by the thousand-
    I use them for casual shooting in my old Colt SP-1 instead of getting into casting & gas checking them.

    I save my time & energy for making other, larger things- like casting 405s for my .45-70.
    Without casting, I couldn't afford to feed it.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I use the 61gn "Elvis" from arsenal molds. Powder coated. No gas check. Acquired some wc844 (h335) real cheap. Costs me about 6 cents/round and puts them in there. Quick load says I'm getting close to 2000 fps. (No chrony)

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sureYnot View Post
    I use the 61gn "Elvis" from arsenal molds. Powder coated. No gas check. Acquired some wc844 (h335) real cheap. Costs me about 6 cents/round and puts them in there. Quick load says I'm getting close to 2000 fps. (No chrony)

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    It is impressive to get the action to function, no leading and good accuracy. I'll be happy if I can do all that with my 9mm pistols and AR carbines.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_Charlie View Post
    It is impressive to get the action to function, no leading and good accuracy. I'll be happy if I can do all that with my 9mm pistols and AR carbines.
    The heavier bullet helped. My barrel is 1:7. With 55gn pills (even with gas check) it was a very small window between action won't function and can't hit anything.

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  11. #11
    So sounds like Iíll either need to check the boolits or go with a heavier one and pc. Which Iíve liked the way my heavier j words preform in my rifles so that sounds viable itís just all that extra step to run through 2000 rounds in a hour at the range lol maybe I should find a little bolt gun to plink with these loads. Thanks for the input guys!


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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    I tried it to see if I could. Gas checking tiny boolits is a pita. The date on the target is wrong, should be 2017.

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I figure I'll call it good if I can get nice performance out of my 9mm Ar with cast. The .223 needs that 3000 fps.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnostic View Post
    I'm building a 9mm AR9 upper to shoot cast bullets exclusively, as we speak. Nobody, to my knowledge has been able to make the 5.56 shoot very well. Five or six inches seems to be the norm and the 5.56 is sort of expensive to load for that level of performance....
    I have run around 150-200 round of Casting machine's 147gr cast & coated through my 9mm AR carbine. They shoot very well and leave no lead behind. But!! This is a blowback action not gas.

    I have been told that powder coated lead boolits are fine in a gas gun but I have not tried it yet. I am waiting until I have an AR that needs larger boolits. From what I have read, casting 50-70 grain bullets can be a real challenge to do well. I was eyeballing the .300BO but looking at the ballistics I changed my mind. I am still looking for the "perfect" cartridge for me. You know, the one that is dirt cheap to shoot and all of the bullets go through the same hole

    Good luck. I will be following your progress and, hopefully, be casting rifle bullets for an AR by the end of Summer.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I shoot cast in a couple of my AR 15s, one is 223/5.56, the other 9mm. I have shot lubed/checked Lyman C225-415, but have been shooting PCd boolits for 7 years. My first range visit with a recent build AR 15 Mil Spec back then was with the PCd Lyman, and testing showed 2250 fps and a sub MOA 5 shot group using iron sights. I have since switched to an NOE 225-62 RN that is plain based and slick sided just for PC. Those little checks were not as much of a pain to seat, but were a pain to make with a PatMarlins CheckMaker.

    As for the 9mm AR 15 pistol and carbine, my normal pistol loads run 1140-1150 out of a Glock 22 with a Lone Wolf conversion barrel. As for the AR 15, the 16" barrel gave me 1350 fps, while the 10" pistol gave 1325. It is probably my favorite rifle, cheap to shoot, and pretty much MOA accuracy. It is a quiet round to shoot as the gas pulse is pretty much spent before leaving the 16" barrel. It kills tin cans dead, and I hate tin cans.

    It also was easy to snap shoot on the move at a bunch of clay pigeons at 100 yards. To be honest, I was shooting about 20 times a year, and about 6 a year at work, retired LEO, former 'SWAT' member, we called it something else. Back in the '90s, we shot H&K 94s, and loved it. Our other rifle was the Ruger Mini 14, and I also own one.

    I shoot the Mini more than the ARs as I am back and forth between CA and CO, and I had to decommission all the 'black and fun' guns after the CA Governor decided to further restrict beyond the bullet button. I also had to move them back to America as opposed to Kommiefornia. I feel like building a pump action AR upper, just to thumb my nose when out west. Either that or go with a fixed 10 round mag and use one of the ejection port feeding devices such as Bear Flag Defense. Loading is actually faster than dropping a mag and inserting another. Heck of it is, as a retired LEO, I can still own standard capacity magazines as opposed to the 10 round restriction. We have been winning in the courts, but it is slowed and stymied by the 9th Circus court of appeals. Wheels of justice barely move around CA as the grease supply has been 'liberally improved' formula of adding grit to the mix of Justice Wheel Lube.
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  16. #16
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    go with a 9mm or 300 blackout if you want to shoot cast. 556 can be done but its a headache to put it mildly. With the bo you could even have a bo upper for cast and a 556 upper for jacketed. Me I love my two 9mm ar15s. A free cast bullet a primer and 4 grains of powder and its as cheap as a 22 and a heck of a lot more fun.

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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