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Thread: Bevel base cast bullets

  1. #21
    stephen perry
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    Bevel Base Detractors

    What lured you guys to BB bullets in the first place. I have 2 bevel base molds one 358 91 and the other 358 063 both doubles. Both make excellent cast bullets as fine as any of my cast 358 495. I don't know what cast encyclopedia you read from but target proof is all that one needs.

    Stephen Perry
    Angeles BR

  2. #22
    Boolit Master
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    For some reason the commercial casters all want to sell BB boolits. I think it may be that progeassive loaders can use them easier.
    Problem is that is so pervasive that you have a hard time getting a flat base bullet mold in the shape that you want. Also BB bullets are hard to lube without getting lube around the base. I set a gas check in mt lyman lub-sizer and it stops the lube from flowing under the bullet.

    Commercial lub-sizers are air operated and apply pressure only when the bullet is in position. hand sizers hold constant pressure.

    As far as accuracy, I cannot find a difference. I even shot some gas CK bullets without the cheak and used Tumble lube. They still worked great.
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  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    my typing leaves much to be desired.
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    Melting Stuff is FUN!
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    L W Knight

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen perry View Post
    What lured you guys to BB bullets in the first place. I have 2 bevel base molds one 358 91 and the other 358 063 both doubles. Both make excellent cast bullets as fine as any of my cast 358 495. I don't know what cast encyclopedia you read from but target proof is all that one needs.

    Stephen Perry
    Angeles BR
    Yes, go buy a mess of ultra hard, undersized BB boolits and put them in the target. Then you'll know why many of us view BB designs with distrust. Home cast is a different ballgame and I have a couple BB that do right well. I just don't LIKE them as well as FB.

    As for the BB itself I've noted any times that there's no reason they shouldn't shoot as well as FB, but it depends on what the particular gun wants, just as in every other case. I don't believe the BB is MORE accurate than a FB, but with a concentric BB ( the main issue IMO) it should shoot just as well as a proven FB at pistol speeds.

  5. #25
    Boolit Mold
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    I recently bought a Lee 6 banger 120 TC 9mm mold, (not the TL) for production. I shoot IDPA and the 2 cavity Lyman, 356402, although extremely accurate is a bit slow for maximum production. The Lee was a bevel base bullet. I only loaded 25 of them with 3.8 of 231 and tried them, in my Sigma 9VE which really shoots the cast Lyman 356402. The alloy was 15 on the Brinnell scale. Hard enough for autos. They leaded the barrel and the accuracy was not good.
    I had the bevel machined off of the mold, bringing the weight down to 115 grns. exactly. I cast the new bullets out of the same alloy and sized them to .358, loaded them in Federal cases, all the same length, .748--.750 and 4.0 grns of 231 and Fed. Primers. NO LEADING,
    and accuracy is excellent. I think that the higher pressure of the 9mm is not compatable with a bevel based bullet. I may be wrong, but a flat base seems to have cured the leading issue
    for me, and I can really make some bullets with the 6 cavity mold.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master dakotashooter2's Avatar
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    My issue with BB commercial bullets is that they have been too hard with too hard a lube and undersized. generally one can work around one of those problems on it's own but two or more in conjunction just seem to be a never ending problem. That is why I started casting my own.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    Very interesting disussion. Would the same consensus on BB bullets apply if the propellant were BP? I use BB bullets in my 44-40 Henry with BP, and they shoot very accurately out to 100yds. I also shoot .50 BB pure lead in my Civil War Maynard Carbine over BP, also with astounding accuracy out to 100 yds.

  8. #28
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    If the boolit fits in the first place then any good design should shoot, providing the gun likes it. The BB itself isn't necessarily the culprit. IF the BB is well designed and IF it comes out of the mould concentric it should do fine. The problem I have seen is that some times they aren't concentric and anytime you have an uneven base you'll have issues. With a FB design the base is uniformed to an extent when sized. The BB isn't going to get that action.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Yes, go buy a mess of ultra hard, undersized BB boolits and put them in the target. Then you'll know why many of us view BB designs with distrust.
    I don't understand this. Wouldn't a plain base bullet that is ultra hard and undersized create a problem also? I only have one BB mould so my experience is limited but it drops a .360 diameter, 158 grain SWC for a 357 mag rifle I shoot and I shoot it as dropped. Never had a problem with accuracy or leading. Just seems to me if it is to hard and undersized it matters not what design the base is.......... it is not going to shoot good and probable lead like crazy.

  10. #30
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    Sarcasm friend. You're exactly right.

  11. #31
    Boolit Bub STAR4ever's Avatar
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    What I am about to contribute is based on my experiences with the 45ACP. I "try" to shoot bullseye and as such I use a quite mild load of fast powder in my reloads (which are performed on an old Star progressive reloader).

    I feel in my case the mild load of powder can be the culprit for leading with either flat based or bevel based boolits which are too hard. Let me explain....

    I cast my own boolits 20:1 lead tin in either a Hensley & Gibbs #68 SWC Bevel Base or #68 SWC Flat Base mold(s) (I have both mold variants in 6 Cavity). The 20:1 mix works great as long as I take the time to find and obtain very soft pure or near pure lead. I get no gas cutting or leading with these soft boolits. I lubrisize them on a Star lubrisizer with a custom .4525 sizing die using Magma Red hot lube. There is very little sizing going on but mostly lube application. All works well with either the bevel base or flat base... no leading with these soft boolits and mild fast powder load.

    Now... for the bad news... At times I have cast a harder alloy in those same molds from alloy that was left over from a run of 44 S&W or 9mm. This harder alloy which was much harder than the 20:1 mix I use for the 45 ACP, and when I have tested the boolits, they wer in the 20 BHN range. The same happens when I have shot store bought hard cast bullets also in the 20+ BHN range.

    These harder bullets did lead the 45ACP barrel (near the throat of the chamber only) with the mild powder load. I feel (hypothesis) that the mild bullseye load of fast powder does not obturate the base of the harder bullet and thus gas cutting takes place around the base. The rate of this leading is not excessive as I can easily shoot 100 rounds accurately but after that the accuracy starts to fall off due to the leading (or my tired muscles and eyes).

    As I said, this is not too scientific but rather an observation that mild loads and hard bullets in my 45 ACP(s) cause leading at the chamber area. The bevel base or flat base does not have much to do with it but the boolit hardness does.

    BTW, I arrived at the .4525 sizing after casting the throat of my target pistol. So the boolit fit is good and and is prooven at the target... from a Ransom Rest at 25 yards the pistol and soft boolit combo is capable of .72" 9 shot groups (that first shot always goes out on its own!).
    Last edited by STAR4ever; 11-05-2009 at 08:56 AM.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    Commercial lubes are to hard, so that the lube doesn't melt off the bullets on shipping in hot weather. Lube is the problem along with the size of the bullet not being .001" over groove diameters. Bullets swage into the bore.

  13. #33
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    Star4ever, welcome aboard! Just a thought on your issue- different alloys drop at different sizes and respond to sizing differently. I suppose people get tired of hearing me say it, but fit is King with cast and there may be some slight variation in fit that caused your leading.

    I'm not a fan of depending on obturation to make a boolit fit. In any case where I have the option I try to get the boolit fitting from the start. Gives you more options that way IMO.

  14. #34
    Boolit Bub STAR4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207 View Post
    I suppose people get tired of hearing me say it, but fit is King with cast and there may be some slight variation in fit that caused your leading.

    I'm not a fan of depending on obturation to make a boolit fit. In any case where I have the option I try to get the boolit fitting from the start. Gives you more options that way IMO.
    Bret, that is a great observation and I do not have the diameter data at hand for the harder bullets....

    One question for you however, since fit is King. Is there a thread here that in which the process of bullet fit measurement and determination is brought forth?

  15. #35
    stephen perry
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    Bullet Hardness

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    Thanks for your observations. I thought some of the posters were beating the bevel base bullets into the ground unnecessarily. Lots of hype no proof. Like I said earlier my buudy held a Master rating with his .45 for years. He shoots all my .38 cast like a champ. My BB cast bullets go in the same holes as my FB cast he sees no difference on target. He especialy likes the fact that there is no leading.

    Stephen Perry
    Angeles BR

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by STAR4ever View Post
    Bret, that is a great observation and I do not have the diameter data at hand for the harder bullets....

    One question for you however, since fit is King. Is there a thread here that in which the process of bullet fit measurement and determination is brought forth?
    Boy, I wish there was. Correct fit is what the gun wants, I don't know how to explain it much more than that. I'm hesitant to try and define "fit" as I think it might mean something different to me than to others, but both of us may be correct. So keep an open mind on this.

    In extremely general terms and IMO only most guns seem to respond well to a boolit that is about as large as will chamber easily. It usually seems best to err on the large side, undersized boolits (I include those that depend on obturation or "bump" for fitting) never seem to shoot as well as those that are closer to the right size in the first place. But that's not a hard and fast rule. And I can't say that any one formula ("...size .001 over groove size") works either. There seem to be odd duck guns that like a boolit at groove size and many others that shoot better with a range of boolits well over groove size. Boolit design can play a part in this too and of course there are limits to just how much we can do to affect the fit. In the end the powder/pressure combo is the final part of fitting a boolit. The barrel is the ultimate sizer.

    So I suppose it's best to say that ultimately "fit" is finding the balance point or the happy combination of boolit size/design/pressure/temper/alloy (and probably a couple things I missed) in a particular gun with those particular components. In more basic terms "fit" is finding the general area the particular gun like it's boolits sized to.

    I tend to like using a boolit as close to "as cast" as possible. Every sizing operation we do adds the chance of damaging the boolit, so I tend to be in the "leave well enough alone" camp. If I get problems at cast size, it's quite simple to try sizing down in steps and to see if that helps. You can also try different seating depths as that seems to affect the pressure curve and resulting fit. Sometimes a different powder will help, especially as you raise the FPS- too fast a powder can really ruin your day. I try not to jump to changing alloy. I prefer to use what I have a lot of that means WW alloy. There is a limit to what any alloy will handle pressure-wise, but WW with very minor additions of tin have worked for me up to 2200fps in rifles and 13-1400 in revolvers. No matter what alloy you use you still have to have fit the boolit to the gun.

    Sometimes fit is simple and the first load you try will be a winner. Other times it seems that particular gun might hate a design of boolit and nothing makes it work. Some guns are just cast friendly, others hate cast of any kind. I don't know why, it just happens. When you get a good shooter and you want to really fit the boolit to the gun you have to move slowly changing one thing at a time and keeping good notes. NEVER change 2 things at once if you want to know WHY and WHAT worked or didn't work. You may see a trend that sticks out or over a number of experiments see a pattern that gives you insight into what seems to work in general terms. If you do, please share the info.

    There are others here who have a much better handle on explaining things than I do. So I'm going to cut and paste this into another thread of it's own.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207 View Post
    There are others here who have a much better handle on explaining things than I do. So I'm going to cut and paste this into another thread of it's own.

    Nahhhhhhhh, I think you said it very well.

    A bevel base removes weight off the back and moves the center of balance forward. If your bullet has enough weight (hardness) to handle the loss of bearing length, then all you have to do is drive it a little harder to reach the same stabilization level. Clearly, the farther to the rear the C of B is, the easier a bullet is to stabilize. Plain base bullets designed for slow velocity use, usually had a wide rear band for this reason.

    If you can't reach the higher velocity / RPM because of one of the show stoppers for cast ( hardness, lube quality, pressure, etc) then the bevel will be less accurate for you than somebody else that has conditions required to launch it well.

    The heavier a bullet is the longer it is and the less critical is minor weight shifts from either lead removed off the nose or the base to affect balance. So heavier bullets per caliber tend to be more flexible or as some would say, shoot better.
    Last edited by Bass Ackward; 11-07-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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  18. #38
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    Great post BA, as always!

  19. #39
    Boolit Mold
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    i just have to add my 2 cents,,i am i believer of bullet fit! if the bullet fits the bore snuggly then gas cutting cannot happen! i hear from all the bigtime gun magazine writers that leading is caused by bullets being to hard! they know or maybe they forgot the basics of cast bullets,,make the bullet fit the bore! what they say is right,,softer bullet to let if expand to fit the bore,,but if the bullet fits the bore already you don't have to worry about the bullet,,maybe lube,,maybe powder but you know the bullet fit is correct,, any way i guess my ranting is over,, but i guess my point is if the bullet fits the bore correctly bevel base or plain base should not matter!

  20. #40
    Boolit Master

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    I spoke with a gentleman a Magna quite awhile ago and asked why so many of their designs are BB. The answer was because they drop from the molds in their machines easier.
    If you look at the Lee BB designs most have a much smaller BB than a Magna design, except for the 200gr. SWC 45 cal.
    I have cast boolits in my molds with alloy from commercial "Hard Cast" and I got a small amount of leading with the same sizing, lube, load, etc. as I normally cast.
    Could the commercial alloy be just enough differerent to contribute to leading? The surface appearance of the bullet is differernt with commercial alloy compared to my home brew.

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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