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Thread: Bevel base cast bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Bevel base cast bullets

    I know a lot of guys use Bevel base commercial bullets. Some years back I did. And could not find a suitable load for them. With out leading. I now cast all my own bullets. As most know different Alloys need to be pushed at different speeds. To have proper Bullet Obturation. Now for my question, Being a commercially cast Bullet .they are some what hard. Logic would dictate a harder bullet should be pushed harder. How ever. Being Bevel Based Bullet. Do not obturate to seal the bore .As well as plain Base. The result is gas cutting around the bullets base with hotter loads. My guess would be these Bullets should only be loaded in mid range cast bullet loads only. Am I missing the point some where.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Something to keep in mind about commercial bullets. "Appearance", when a customer first opens the box is a major consideration concerning any alloy or lube a commercial company uses.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by hornady View Post
    I know a lot of guys use Bevel base commercial bullets. Some years back I did. And could not find a suitable load for them. With out leading. I now cast all my own bullets. As most know different Alloys need to be pushed at different speeds. To have proper Bullet Obturation. Now for my question, Being a commercially cast Bullet .they are some what hard. Logic would dictate a harder bullet should be pushed harder. How ever. Being Bevel Based Bullet. Do not obturate to seal the bore .As well as plain Base. The result is gas cutting around the bullets base with hotter loads. My guess would be these Bullets should only be loaded in mid range cast bullet loads only. Am I missing the point some where.
    Boolit fit at the start is what is important, never depend on boolit expansion to obturate the bore. A BB can shoot OK but it MUST be the right size and length. I have never had much accuracy with them and prefer a flat base.
    All of my experiments indicate that a harder boolit is needed as the powder gets faster burning---BUT IT MUST FIT THE GUN.
    Some alloys from store bought boolits can cause leading too. Seems like grain structure can SLIP or something.
    Anyway, if the boolit is right, the BB will not promote gas leakage. A boolit that skids the rifling or is too small will.
    The biggest problem I see is boolits for the .357 are .357" and .44 boolits are .429", etc.
    To make an under size boolit soft so it seals will just ruin your accuracy. If your powder needs to move lead sideways, something is wrong.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    It would be nice if more mold makers would eliminate the bevel base. I'm giving yet another LEE mold to a friend for machining off of the bevel base.

    Shiloh
    "A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master AJ Peacock's Avatar
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    For my cowboy action shooting, I like bevel base boolits. I used to shoot a lot (40,000/year) and the BB are a little quicker/easier to reload on my progressive press.

    The commercial cast boolits that I used did not lead my revolvers or lever guns, but they where sized 358 and the caster was also a shooter! The accuracy with those boolits is more than adequate (3" @ 50yds from my vaqueros from a supported position and 2" @ 50yds from my rifles).

    As was said earlier, the fit and alloy seem to be the most important. My revolvers also had the cylinders honed to just allow .358 to pass with light finger pressure.

    AJ

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Early BB bullets where sold in generic standard diameters. And this was a problem. However. Several bullet Manufacturers will now size the bullet to a specific Diameter. The bullets I mentioned where.358 and I admit at that time I had not slugged the barrel. But with the proper Diameter bullet, With a General BHN of say 18. The easy of loading BB would be out weighed by inaccuracy and leading potential. All the Bullets I now cast are from plain base Lyman molds. The reason for this line of Questions One of the other sites I go to. The advantages of BB compared to PB, is on going. I personally just cant see the advantage to the BB bullet. Other than easy of manufacturing.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master jbunny's Avatar
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    the concenses seems to be that bevel base bullets aren't as acurate.
    the j bullets all have a rounded bases and that is kindof bevel base.
    don't get me wrong, i'm not argueing, just curious. could it be that
    the base does not cast perfect around the bevel??? flat or bevel,
    it has to be perfect if u want accuracy, just as the barrel crown has to be perfect.
    inquireing minds want to know why.
    cheers
    jb

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbunny View Post
    the concenses seems to be that bevel base bullets aren't as acurate.
    the j bullets all have a rounded bases and that is kindof bevel base.
    don't get me wrong, i'm not argueing, just curious. could it be that
    the base does not cast perfect around the bevel??? flat or bevel,
    it has to be perfect if u want accuracy, just as the barrel crown has to be perfect.
    inquireing minds want to know why.
    cheers
    jb
    Jacketed is different and the slight roundness is controlled. Cast must have a perfect base because if your casting technique is off, none will be the same and some will be rounded on one side only and the next boolit will be perfect.
    One reason the BB can be bad is that for a given weight, the length of the drive area is reduced. I have never proved that the BB itself is bad. The same thing can happen if you shoot certain boolits, leaving the gas check off. Some will shoot, others will not.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have two wadcutters that I shoot alot. 358091 which is 150 gr BB, and 358089 which is 140 gr pb. I cannot tell any difference in propensity to lead, skid, slew, or smell bad. The BB is slightly easier to load, but b/c I flare my case mouths, that really doesn't matter either.

    358091 is the only BB mould I have, and it works fine for me. I use it HP'd in pure lead for my .38 defensive load. I use it HP'd in 25%WW/75%pure in my .357 carry load. I shoot lots in my snubbies using WWs for practice, and drive to about 1300 in the .357. I chose the 358091 over the 358089 just for the little bit of extra boolit weight, not anything to do with the base.
    "Time and money don't do you a bit of good until you spend them." - My Dad

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hornady View Post
    I know a lot of guys use Bevel base commercial bullets. Some years back I did. And could not find a suitable load for them. With out leading. I now cast all my own bullets. As most know different Alloys need to be pushed at different speeds. To have proper Bullet Obturation. Now for my question, Being a commercially cast Bullet .they are some what hard. Logic would dictate a harder bullet should be pushed harder. How ever. Being Bevel Based Bullet. Do not obturate to seal the bore .As well as plain Base. The result is gas cutting around the bullets base with hotter loads. My guess would be these Bullets should only be loaded in mid range cast bullet loads only. Am I missing the point some where.
    As 44man pointed out, depending on obturation to fit a boolit to a gun is an iffy thing. Better to have a boolit that fits to start with. I'm not sure where the idea that obturation is something achieve came from, but I'm against the idea. A BB boolit will obturate too, it just acts a little differently.

    As to the rest of your post, let me modify it a bit. "Logic would dictate a harder bullet CAN be pushed harder if it fits right to start with." If it fits and you aren't depending on obturation to fit the boolit in the first place it should work from low speed to the limit the alloy will grip the rifling.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44man View Post
    Jacketed is different and the slight roundness is controlled. Cast must have a perfect base because if your casting technique is off, none will be the same and some will be rounded on one side only and the next boolit will be perfect.
    One reason the BB can be bad is that for a given weight, the length of the drive area is reduced. I have never proved that the BB itself is bad. The same thing can happen if you shoot certain boolits, leaving the gas check off. Some will shoot, others will not.
    Ditto. Jacket and cast are apples and lobster. You shoot both, but that's where the similarity ends.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Boolit fit at the start is what is important
    To kind of ride on this I have a Lee mould I use for a 1894C 357 mag rifle that is a 158 grain SWC BB. It drops a .360 bullet using just WW and 2% tin so I load and shoot it as dropped from the mould. BHN averages 11-12 when tested. Lubed with nothing more than LLA, my present load is clocking just a little over 1500 fps from the rifle and I'm getting no leading what so ever with very good accuracy.

  13. #13
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    I have gotten pretty good accuracy from BB commercial bullets. The big battle with them for me was to keep the darn things from leading the barrel terribly. Most of that I find is due to the sorry lube that is on most of them.
    I do believe my cast are a little more accurate, and I have only used the commercial bullets in .45 ACP.
    Cast Boolits, Where lead balloons go over....

  14. #14
    Boolit Master GabbyM's Avatar
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    I have the Magma 44-240-SWC-BB mold.
    Used to purchase that bullet from at least two different manufacturers. Both used hard lube which from what I gather over on the lube section doesn't even have any oil in it. Leaded my revolver bore to where I couldn't even see rifling after a couple hundred shots. My bullets cast from 2/6 alloy and lubed with Felix, Lars CR or some other concoctions I've cooked up like hardened 50/50 have not leaded the bore. Same with my 9mm bullets.

    While the BB helps nothing as far as I can see I do not think it's the nemesis some point to. Many shooter have been sold on them through advertising along with “hard cast”. I have friends I work with that insist on BB bullets. Which is the only reason I have them. I tell them to place a Lyman M die in their Dillon 650 press but it falls on deaf ears. I'm assuming that would work in a 650 with all those die stations.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I agree a lot of commercial bullets problems come from a poor lube, But just the nature of the BB bullet are you not leaving your self open to, gas cutting around the bullets base with hotter loads.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master AJ Peacock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hornady View Post
    I agree a lot of commercial bullets problems come from a poor lube, But just the nature of the BB bullet are you not leaving your self open to, gas cutting around the bullets base with hotter loads.
    I don't understand how a BB can lead to gas cutting on a good fitting boolit any more than a BoatTail leads to gas cutting of an appropriately sized J-word. If the projectile fits, there will be NO gas flow past the base of the projectile, whether it's a BB, BT or PB. On the other hand, if the projectile does not fit, it doesn't matter what the base shape is. Think of it this way. If your bathtub drain is plugged, does it really matter what the shape of the top of the plug is? If it's not plugged, it doesn't matter what the shape is, the water is going to flow past.

    I've had excellent accuracy with correctly fit BB boolits and I've had horrible accuracy and leading with PB. I don't blame the horrible accuracy and leading on the plain base boolits, they didn't fit, they weren't lubed correctly and they where too hard for my needs.

    AJ

  17. #17
    stephen perry
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    Bevel Base Bullets

    Not quite sure where some of you are going on this bevel base bullet Thread. Not to start a fire here but makes me wonder what you expect out of cast bullets.

    My somewhat mentor for my BR shooting has been handicapped after a stroke since 1989. He has little or no feeling in his hands. Being a very active BR shooter and still the WR holder for group in one class he has never given up shooting. We met back in 93 and I have been casting and loading 38 for him since.

    He was a Master class 45 shooter what ever that means in years past. I have watched him with my cast shoot 20 shots inside a pie plate fom 25 ft regularly with my cast most shots towards the middle. He shoots my cast way more than I do as I am shooting BR rifle on the others side of the Range. We both shoot at Inland Gun Club recently closed. I'm back at Angeles Range he's sitting home knarly as hell playing with his wife of 54 years, she doesn't look a day over 45 even though she turned 71, Jerry is 79. I'll get Jerry up to Lytle Creek so he can snocker their pistol Range some.

    Point is guys Jerry shoots what I cast and no complaints I load for him on my Star loader and I have the 45 head for future time spending.

    So you bevel base detractors cast and load all your 38/357 molds as I do and shoot them, I have 9-10 38 molds. Odds are the bevel base 358 91 will hold it's own against whatever else you got. Hate to say this but I cast my first 38 bullet back in 1962, 358495 and they shot well my old man knew the game. Just a side note I bought at buddie price an Ideal 4 cavity 358 87 mold about 10 years back and have cast a zillion bullets using it. Jerry says it is my best cast bullet in 38. Try and find this number if you can it will not disappoint.

    Stephen Perry
    Angeles BR
    Last edited by stephen perry; 10-31-2009 at 11:02 AM.

  18. #18
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    Can we agree on one thing, whether BB or PB? The verb "obturate" is being misused here. Obturation means BLOCKAGE or RESTRICTION, and we should use it to describe what occurs between the boolit and the bore when a good seal is made.

    Obturation does NOT occur to a boolit, i.e. a boolit does not obturate to fit the bore. Obturation occurs if and when an undersized boolit expands to fit the bore with a near ideal seal with no gas leaks.

    If you want to refer to what happens to the BOOLIT during obturation, well, the proper verb would be EXPAND or ENLARGE.

    Rant off.

    I have had good luck with bb and pb both, but at the range I shoot most pistol stuff rocks or round balls would probably shoot just as well. Many folks here say that you can't really dope out a revolver load until well past 50 yards, and my experience supports that. A boolit design can fall apart even at 40 or 50 yards when it makes one hole groups at 15. I have one boolit that loves to drive tacks at 25 but keyholes at 80. I got an identical mould and cut the bevel base out to make a pb boolit, problem solved in that particular revolver.

    It just depends. As Bret said, fit is everything. I'll add that careful reloading and case prep and a good lube make everything else. Alloy and hardness matters a lot less than peopl think at lower to middle velocities.

    Gear


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  19. #19
    Boolit Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    A BB boolit will obturate too, it just acts a little differently.
    Someone did a trial with BB's and found that the base distorts under firing. This fellow did get them to shoot straight by enclosing the bevelled base in a wax cup. He demonstrated that this protected the otherwise unsupported bevel from distorting and accuracy was 'normal'. He showed pictures of the recovered boolits and it was plain to see.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiloh View Post
    It would be nice if more mold makers would eliminate the bevel base. I'm giving yet another LEE mold to a friend for machining off of the bevel base.

    Shiloh
    I agree, especially since I switched to 'M' die expanders it is of little value.
    Dutch

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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