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Thread: Is sub MOA possible with Cast ?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Is sub MOA possible with Cast ?

    So I'm curious,after watching a ton of videos on cast bullets I don't think I've seen any that shiw cast bullets grouping better than many 1.5" at 100yd. Now I could be totally wrong but seems to be the common deal and fist sized groups are whats expected. Now I'm no bench rest shooter but I love small groups with my relaods and wanted to know is it possible to get sub MOA groups with cast bullets ? It's it possible with a bit of extra work or is it just not there ? Are certain calibers in cast more in inherently accurate ?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Basic casting techniques and minimal effort will get you to the 1.5" at 100 yards with a quality setup. Shooters do get much better accuracy than that but it generally does take a significant amount of effort and testing to get there.

    Some of the records here.

    https://castbulletassoc.org/benchrest-records

    One of the more famous groups of the past

    The Ultimate in Rifle Precision

    By: Townsend Whelen

    Sportsman's Press, 1951



    THE WORLD'S RECORD AT 200 YARDS

    American riflemen have always considered the group of ten shots at 200 yards fired by Mr. C. W. Rowland of Boulder, Colorado on May 16, 1901 as being the World's Record for accuracy. Other rifles and ammunition which have made records at longer distances have never equaled this at 200 yards, and thus we think that this target can be properly regarded as The Record.

    Mr. Rowland's target, which is reproduced here in the exact size from the original, was shot with a .32-40 breech-muzzle loading barrel made by H. M. Pope, in a Ballard action. It was shot from a machine rest, probably the Pope rest, in which the naked barrel is uniformly rested at the breech and close to the muzzle, the rifle being shot with its butt-stock on it, and the butt-plate being caught and braked by the hand after a short recoil travel. The charge was a lead alloy bullet of unknown weight (probably 180 to 200 grains) lubricated with Leopold's lubricant (same as the present Ideal Lubricant), and propelled by a charge of Hazards FG black powder. The bullet was loaded from the muzzle in the usual Pope manner, and the case filled with powder inserted from the breech. Mr. Rowland has noted the weather as “No wind,” and “Sprinkling;” conditions most favorable for black powder.

    Mr. Rowland's target has been measured very carefully. There is no way to measure it with a great degree of accuracy that I know of, so I will outline the manner in which it was measured. We made this assumption: in the target above the record target there is one distinct bullet hole. The assumption is that this shot displaced the same amount of paper as the shots in the record target. This seems to be a safe assumption as presumably the rifle, paper and bullet were the same.

    We measured this single hole quite carefully”€¯optically under 4X magnification. The average diameter of this hole is .245-inch. Then we carefully measured the extreme spread of the record group”€¯that is the extreme of the displaced paper. This figure is .970-inch. Subtracting the diameter of a single bullet hole (.245” displaced paper) gives an extreme spread, center to center, of .725-inch for the Rowland record group.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 05-20-2020 at 11:39 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    I get just as good groups as with jacketed bullets.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Win94ae; 05-20-2020 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Found the video.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Bad Ass Wallace's Avatar
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    Nah! my 30.06 with 284311 (208gns) with 12x Leupold scope printed this 10 shot. Mind, I fired over 600 rounds to record 2 x 10 shot sub MOA groups on the same day!
    Sized to 0.310, in neck turned brass with 31.5gns 3031.



    Now working with a 7x57mm that is showing promise.

    Hold Still Varmint; while I plugs Yer!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Win94ae View Post
    I get just as good groups as with jacketed bullets.
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    That was the extent of my load development.

    It really isn't any different than jacketed bullets.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    You have to have a gun capable of it first. Then the person has to be capable of it. Then how much time and effort you want to put into it.

    Not everyone can do this.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
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    "The religion of KE: proposed by the ignorant, and parroted by the unknowing" - MikeG

    ​“Einstein's relativity work is a magnificent mathematical garb which fascinates, dazzles and makes people blind to the underlying errors. The theory is like a beggar clothed in purple whom ignorant people take for a king... its exponents are brilliant men but they are metaphysicists rather than scientists.”
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    As others have said, the gun and shooter must be capable first. I doubt I could fire a 10 shot group under and inch these days if ever. I only fire 3 shot groups as I am testing ammo not me or the gun, I have shot many sub 1'' groups with my 458wm and 357 max rifle, I also think it depends on how you measure the groups, if centre to centre then 1'' or less 3 shot groups are not overly difficult, but if you measure outside to outside as I do then it is more difficult, even more so for 10 shot groups. Regards Stephen

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Like others said, if your rifle is capable of shooting jacketed bullets at sub MOA then it should be able to shoot a cast bullet at sub MOA.

    BUT...the cast bullets must be made to the same standard. I reject a lot of cast bullets due to minor imperfections (especially in the base) and sort by weight in 0.1gn batches. It is also critical that the dia of the bullet fits the bore properly. If shooting with conventional lube the type of lube can matter, especially if you try to push the velocity.

    I can routinely get 1.5MOA with my .308 and can get under 1MOA with some loads (usually 5 round groups, 200 and 300yd). This rifle is touchy with jacketed bullet loads as well so this level of accuracy is consistent with jacketed loads.

    So, if you have a rifle that is a tack driver with jacketed, try cast in it. You might be surprised.

    FWIW, if you want to try cast but not invest in the equipment yet...go to Montana Bullet Works. They make superb bullets from common molds. Not cheap, but, well made and a good way to see if they will perform in your rifle. That was what I did before diving into the deep end

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Sure you can get sub MOA out of cast. Not every gun, not every shooter, not every cartridge, not every mold.

    It takes more effort than jacketed, however ..... since it takes more effort and luck .... when it does happen it is without a doubt more rewarding!

    Three44s
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    I had a 222 that I shot 5 shot groups of 5 different factory brands , Horn , RP , FC , Win , and PPU with 50 gr SP getting usually 4 touching in a 3 dia hole an one off by itself 1-3 dia out . With minimal work up from my usual cull sort and sizing I shot the same with a 62 gr cast in the heart of 62 gr jacketed speeds . 4 all clustered together one off by itself being a rebel .....

    I had a 358 Win shooting 35-250 at 2100 fps had it not been for the lost check going wild 1.5 inches I'd have shot a .900 5 shot group several times one weekend .

    Had and sks that shot about 12" at 50 with wolf steel case 123 gr
    Loaded it with a paper patched cast 200 gr one off spitzer and after everything settled down , shot regular 3×5" 100 yd groups . These weren't really impressive groups by any stretch of imagination but since a fired would take a .323 dia 323-175 Lee and chamber it with it's .318 nose at maximum mag length and had a measured barrel at .305x.3165 I felt pretty good about it .

    I've shot lots of cast "book" loads that hovered inside 1" grids and a few loads that were full jacketed potential well inside an inch .

    I can't post pictures because I've exceeded my allowed storage and what's left is story critical ....... I've lost many also .

    Little groups only count if you can do them again .
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  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Certainly one can shoot moa or sub moa 3 or 5 shot groups with a capable rifle/shooter/ammo combination. Shoot enough "groups" and it will happen. The trick is to shoot those groups consistently...….

    As to what size "groups"?

    When you were back in the 7th grade and you looked at that cute young gal sitting across the aisle next to you and she smiled......a 3 shot group has all the promise of that smile.....

    A few years later slow dancing with that same girl at a school dance and she rubs up to you and smiles again when the teachers aren't looking......a 5 shot group has just about the same promise...….

    Now a few years later you're in college and she walks up to you after class and says..."lets go get a beer and then go to your place"...…...that's the promise of a 10 shot group...….
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Win94ae's Avatar
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    Since 3 shot groups only make girls smile... The second ladder test, shots 2-8 is a 7 shot group; all the charge weights are different with .4grains increments, which is a 2.8grain difference, yet the group is just over 1MOA.

    That chick is now your wife.

    This isn't rocket science.
    Last edited by Win94ae; 05-21-2020 at 03:27 PM. Reason: typo

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    As a younger man I was truly blessed with place and timing to get involved with a group of elderly gentleman shooters. They had these single shots that looked like they weighed fifteen pounds or more, big fat octagon barrels, engraving, big horned butt plates and sticks with balls on them when they stood to shoot. After becoming involved I learned what those rifles were and how much they truly cost, oh my! But the other things I noticed were most if not all had these hand crafted personalized items. The custom wooden boxes made, open the top, pop up stands that held these rifles that were made of Oak and Cherry and such with beautiful grains and finish . Drawers with custom slides that held their handmade boolits, the custom tools fabricated to breech seat these projectiles, never ending with the cool little things they made and used. Then to watch them shoot, and they let me hold and shoot those beautiful rifles. I remember several who were absolutely miffed if they shot a 244-246/250, something must be off they would say and then off into a deep discussion of where their process had evolved and this is not acceptable. Many, many witnessed 10 shot groups lay a quarter over at a 100, and a fifty cent piece at two, 32 Miller, 32-40, 38-55 and a few of who knows what, they made the brass and would not tell you. It was magical for me to be accepted and shown this now seemingly lost art for which I am eternally grateful for the experience. I know they are all hanging out at the big range in the the sky at this point and having a mentor/mentors was an absolute bonus. You state, "I love small groups with my reloads and wanted to know is it possible to get sub MOA groups with cast bullets?". I would answer YES, but like many things no free lunch here. Lots of research, lots of time, some money, and you have to love it and want it! Having found this site you have wandered into another wonderful group of gentleman shooters who love it and will/have shared their experiences and knowledge freely for you if you really want it. How bad, good and what will be is between you and that guy in the mirror.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    In ASSRA single shot competition the record group for 5 shots benchrest @ 200yds is 0.367".
    The 200 yd score targets have a 1.5" center (25) ring. While some matches are re-entry, Dale Reynolds fired TWO targets in the same relay, both of which scored 250 (perfect targets). That means 3/4 MOA or less.
    ASSRA requires single shot single shot rifles like those made between the Civil War and WWI. Bullets must be plain base, most are breech seated.
    No bolt actions are allowed. The rifles have 2 pc stocks.

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Hmmm that's everyone one ! This gives me hope. I don't mind working on somthing as l9ng as it dosent get super expensive and since I'm planning on casting for my 5.56 and I have more brass than o know what to do with I think after I get my molds and other odds and ends this will be pretty enjoyable!

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtek View Post
    As a younger man I was truly blessed with place and timing to get involved with a group of elderly gentleman shooters. They had these single shots that looked like they weighed fifteen pounds or more, big fat octagon barrels, engraving, big horned butt plates and sticks with balls on them when they stood to shoot. After becoming involved I learned what those rifles were and how much they truly cost, oh my! But the other things I noticed were most if not all had these hand crafted personalized items. The custom wooden boxes made, open the top, pop up stands that held these rifles that were made of Oak and Cherry and such with beautiful grains and finish . Drawers with custom slides that held their handmade boolits, the custom tools fabricated to breech seat these projectiles, never ending with the cool little things they made and used. Then to watch them shoot, and they let me hold and shoot those beautiful rifles. I remember several who were absolutely miffed if they shot a 244-246/250, something must be off they would say and then off into a deep discussion of where their process had evolved and this is not acceptable. Many, many witnessed 10 shot groups lay a quarter over at a 100, and a fifty cent piece at two, 32 Miller, 32-40, 38-55 and a few of who knows what, they made the brass and would not tell you. It was magical for me to be accepted and shown this now seemingly lost art for which I am eternally grateful for the experience. I know they are all hanging out at the big range in the the sky at this point and having a mentor/mentors was an absolute bonus. You state, "I love small groups with my reloads and wanted to know is it possible to get sub MOA groups with cast bullets?". I would answer YES, but like many things no free lunch here. Lots of research, lots of time, some money, and you have to love it and want it! Having found this site you have wandered into another wonderful group of gentleman shooters who love it and will/have shared their experiences and knowledge freely for you if you really want it. How bad, good and what will be is between you and that guy in the mirror.
    You had some I wish I had honestly! Being around people who have that much of a passion about stuff has always been somthing ive loved but sadly its getting harder and harder to find people like that. Now a days its alway juat whats good enough or what will work.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Certainly one can shoot moa or sub moa 3 or 5 shot groups with a capable rifle/shooter/ammo combination. Shoot enough "groups" and it will happen. The trick is to shoot those groups consistently...….

    As to what size "groups"?

    When you were back in the 7th grade and you looked at that cute young gal sitting across the aisle next to you and she smiled......a 3 shot group has all the promise of that smile.....

    A few years later slow dancing with that same girl at a school dance and she rubs up to you and smiles again when the teachers aren't looking......a 5 shot group has just about the same promise...….

    Now a few years later you're in college and she walks up to you after class and says..."lets go get a beer and then go to your place"...…...that's the promise of a 10 shot group...….
    I actually really like the way you explained that. I'm no where near a perfect **** but I know my rifle I'm planning on casting for can certainly shoot sub MOA with a decent load.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    But again as weird as it sounds as long as it's doable I don't mind the work to get these groups. It's hard to explain but there's somthing in the idea of taking just lead and melting it,mixing alloys,smelting,pouring ingots, making the boolits,lubing ,sizing and relaoding them and getting competent enough at it that I can get these groups I want is so appealing to me for some reason.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    5.56 in a gas gun?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    This may be a case of super faulty memory.I seem to remember reading about a superb group shot back in the maybe mid 1880s that was 8 1/2" at 1000 yds for ten shots.I might have read about it here,but don`t remember.Any help to correct my memory would be most welcome.The group was shot somewhere on the East coast.I think.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
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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