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Thread: severe leading on first cast boolits

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    Just one more input to your situation.

    I have the same Lee mold. I cast the bullets, tumble lube the bullets (BLL) and load the bullets.

    When I started I wanted to see if they would work without sizing. Worked good right off. Never bought a 45 sizer.

    The original gun was replaced. The second gun also liked them as cast. I was happy

    I really recommend trying it the easy way to see what happens. What can it hurt (other than yet another lead removal session).

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by P Flados View Post
    Just one more input to your situation.

    I have the same Lee mold. I cast the bullets, tumble lube the bullets (BLL) and load the bullets.

    When I started I wanted to see if they would work without sizing. Worked good right off. Never bought a 45 sizer.

    The original gun was replaced. The second gun also liked them as cast. I was happy

    I really recommend trying it the easy way to see what happens. What can it hurt (other than yet another lead removal session).
    Thanks. I already tried without a sizer and the bullets would definitely not chamber.

    So now what I am doing is:

    half the boolits of same alloy alox'd using the greasy bad/fingers method from post #9 (warm alox, plenty of it, tumbled in a bag, dried overnight).
    half the boolits pc'd @ 400 for 20mins the water dropped

    both sized to 452 before alox/PC..not sure if I will re-size alox but I will resize PC

    as expected some of the PC boolits have missing PC because of touching other boolits or the rack they were on..is that a big deal?



  3. #43
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    TNsailorman's Avatar
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    I know what you mean. I had a Lee 200 gr. RNFP .45 mold that was a disappointment at first, leaded barrel and accuracy suffered. Then just as I was about to sell it, I cast a few, did not size them, and tumble lubed them with LLA. Shot beautifully without leading and were as good in the accuracy department that I ever got with that revolver. You never know for sure until to try. james

  4. #44
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    ... both sized to 452 before alox/PC..not sure if I will re-size alox but I will resize PC
    You need to size only once in each case:

    - Before ALOX (not after)
    - After PC (not before)

    (I suggest Lee push-through if that's not you're already using)


    BREAK BREAK ***
    If you're loading 45 ACP (?), adjust the seater/taper crimp to produce/reduce
    mouth diameter to 0.471(-) to ensure chamber/plunk.
    Last edited by mehavey; 01-24-2021 at 09:01 AM.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNsailorman View Post
    I know what you mean. I had a Lee 200 gr. RNFP .45 mold that was a disappointment at first, leaded barrel and accuracy suffered. Then just as I was about to sell it, I cast a few, did not size them, and tumble lubed them with LLA. Shot beautifully without leading and were as good in the accuracy department that I ever got with that revolver. You never know for sure until to try. james
    I had that same experience with the Lee TL 200 swc and the 32 90 grain TL bullet when I quit sizing they both worked much better

  6. #46
    Boolit Master pmer's Avatar
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    First thing I'd do is go to the store and get some Chore Boy copper scrubbers. (Like steel wool but copper) tear off a chunk and wrap it around a bore bush, it will work great to remove the lead. Clean the barrel and chamber using care to make sure there is no ring of lead at the end of chamber where the case mouth hits the chamber.

    If you have any loaded rounds left take each round (all of them) and drop them into the chamber. They should all hit the chamber mouth with a nice thud and the rim needs to be flush with the hood. That's the plunk test, and they should fall out by tipping the barrel upside down. You may find the 1.190 oal is a bit long and compared to jacketed bullets crimping lead boolits needs to be more precise. Back the tapper crimp out till the flare from seating is gone then move it in till you can measure .471 or .472.

    But the crimp measurement and the plunk test needs to be SOP for any lead boolit your loading in auto loaders.

    With this out of the way you can look to other issues like size and lube etc.
    Last edited by pmer; 01-24-2021 at 10:37 AM.
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  7. #47
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    Can't comment on the TL method as I am old school and use a lube/sizer with the same Lee non TL bullet. My standard alloy for 45 ACP in a Springfield Range Officer was range scrap and did not have leading issues. Even in other calibers the range lead was hard enough if velocities were kept down. There is something else going on if you are getting leading that severe.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    You need to size only once in each case:

    - Before ALOX (not after)
    - After PC (not before)

    (I suggest Lee push-through if that's not you're already using)


    BREAK BREAK ***
    If you're loading 45 ACP (?), adjust the seater/taper crimp to produce/reduce
    mouth diameter to 0.471(-) to ensure chamber/plunk.
    okie doke
    I'm on track to that plan
    boolits are PC'd / alox'd (not both ha) and I will be loading them up today
    somewhere between 4 and 5gn bullseye havent decided yet

    the 1.19" COAL is from my plunk test. It puts the case just slightly proud of the barrel shroud and with very light pressure it goes flush...definitely way less pressure than chambering a round
    should the plunk test be a hard stop or just dropped in?

    from what I read the round should go flush with NO pushing, and should also rotate freely..mine does neither so I guess I need a shorter COAL..but then it will be going below the minimum in the load data (1.19")

  9. #49
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Soft lead is fine for 45 ACP velocities, especially with PC.

    Yes only size PC'd boolits after you PC them .452 work in all my 45's

    sizing/loading .452 boolits doesn't do any good IF they don't stay .452 when loaded. IF you don't expand the case neck you can downsize the boolit forcing it into the case [this is the biggest mistake people make with 9mm but applies to all calibers]

    Pull a freshly seated boolit the a seated and crimped boolit and see what size they still are at the drive bands.
    You're doing a good job PCing, I wouldn't mess with the messy alox, especially with the added benefit the PC polymer coating gives you.

    I go 8-10 BHN for my 45's sized .452 with the case neck expanded by the lee powder through die and get no leading.

    measure how high the powder fills the case and how deep you will seat the boolit and see if you are compressing the load, with 5 grns BE in a 45 case, I doubt you are even close to compressing the load even if you seat it to where the end of the lube grooves where the nose starts.

  10. #50
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    ...should the plunk test be a hard stop or just dropped in?
    The round should drop in totally freely, and literally go "plunk" when the 0.471(-) mouth hit hard stop.

    ...guess I need a shorter COAL
    On the note... OAL may have nothing to do w/ interference fit at all.
    Get the mouth first to 0.471 to eliminate that variable.
    If still unable to "plunk," then adjust OAL.

  11. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    The round should drop in totally freely, and literally go "plunk" when the 0.471(-) mouth hit hard stop.

    On the note... OAL may have nothing to do w/ interference fit at all.
    Get the mouth first to 0.471 to eliminate that variable.
    If still unable to "plunk," then adjust OAL.
    okay well this may have been my problem, along with not enough alox...my plunk test DEFINITELY did not allow rotation or free drop....

    to be sure what you are saying, you are suggesting that the cast mouth may have been expanded by something (expander die, boolit too big, whatever) and thats actually causing the interference and plunk-fail, not the actual OAL, right?

    measuring one of my 1.19" failure cartridges shows that the case around the bullet is 0.472" while below that its more like 0.470"

    putting sharpie on the cartridge shows contact is actually on the case lip, I dont see any marks on the bullet itself..so you may be right
    Last edited by guy_with_boolits; 01-24-2021 at 01:57 PM.

  12. #52
    yep..putting my calipers along the axis of the cartridge, I can clearly see the bellmouth is still there......

    so, seat my bullet die a little deeper to get rid of it?

  13. #53
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    No. Not yet.

    Withdraw the seating stem completely.
    Screw the die body down gradually to taper the mouth back to 0.471"

    Once that's done, try the plunk test again.
    If it works this time, screw the seating stem down meet the bullet and lock things there.
    Then you have a setup for both seat/taper in 1-step.

  14. #54
    okay I seated my bullet die lower (the whole die) and then loosened the bullet seating knob all the way so its not touching
    then I ran one of my 1.19" cartridges through it, and it definitely reduced the cast mouth, and now the bullet plunks MUCH better

    however..this process shaved some brass from the case
    and
    the bullet doesnt quite rotate freely when plunked...ALMOST..but you have to take a tiny amount of pressure off it to rotate it

  15. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    No. Not yet.

    Withdraw the seating stem completely.
    Screw the die body down gradually to taper the mouth back to 0.471"

    Once that's done, try the plunk test again.
    If it works this time, screw the seating stem down meet the bullet and lock it there.
    Then you have a setup for both seat/taper in 1-step.
    I did, just to make sure you didnt miss my post..we posted at same moment

  16. #56

  17. #57
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    Lowering the seating die body (only) shaved brass ?
    (Or just wiped some of the magic marker off ?)

  18. #58
    Quote Originally Posted by mehavey View Post
    Lowering the seating die body (only) shaved brass ?
    (Or just wiped some of the magic marker off ?)
    yep shaved brass....

    but now, redoing the sharpie test, the marks show up on the bullet, not the case..so it seems the case is no longer the issue

    maybe on these cases I had wayyy too much flare from the powder through die and the bullet die cant un-do it without shaving brass?

    regardless, at the moment it seems now I am actually at a COAL issue if the bullet it hitting rifling and preventing free rotation right?

  19. #59
    Boolit Master mehavey's Avatar
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    At this point (mouth at 471), you might try seating the bullet just a scosh deeper.
    But if the cartridge is currently seating with the rim flush on plunk/no force, I'd just walk away for now and shoot it

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by guy_with_boolits View Post
    okay I seated my bullet die lower (the whole die) and then loosened the bullet seating knob all the way so its not touching
    then I ran one of my 1.19" cartridges through it, and it definitely reduced the cast mouth, and now the bullet plunks MUCH better

    however..this process shaved some brass from the case
    and
    the bullet doesnt quite rotate freely when plunked...ALMOST..but you have to take a tiny amount of pressure off it to rotate it
    I had to seat and crimp in separate steps, using a taper crimp.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


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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