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Thread: Cast bullet in bottleneck rifle cartridge?

  1. #1

    Cast bullet in bottleneck rifle cartridge?

    I'm buying some RNFP high quality hard cast/gas checked .266 bullets for 6.5x55 Swede to supplement the meager supply of jacketed bullets available on the market. These will be used for general purpose shooting following recipes in the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook.
    I use a 2 die RCBS reloading kit and and am wondering if I need to buy a case neck expanding die to seat these bullets. If so, I'd appreciate advice on buying a quality die to go along with the RCBS set.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    You will need something to bell the case mouth a bit. Good luck on finding one in stock.

    Shelly
    "EXPERT= Ex is a has been, spurt is a drip under pressure" Unknown

  3. #3
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    Midway has the Lee expanding unit in stock right now, $15 bucks. I use this model on a lot of different calibers with good results. The M-dies are probably a better choice, but the Lee will do what you need it to do for a lot less money.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1011184394?pid=140461

  4. #4
    To do it correctly, the case neck should be expanded according to the bullet. But, you need to check the chamber dimensions to be sure it will accommodate the bigger bullet. Using cast oversize bullets run into this problem often. You can bell/expand the case mouth to accept the bullet, and force the rest.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ShooterAZ View Post
    Midway has the Lee expanding unit in stock right now, $15 bucks. I use this model on a lot of different calibers with good results. The M-dies are probably a better choice, but the Lee will do what you need it to do for a lot less money.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1011184394?pid=140461
    "You can bell/expand the case mouth to accept the bullet, and force the rest."

    Combination of two good ideas. Die ordered!

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Joe504's Avatar
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    Another note, the lee push through sizing dies are pretty cheap, and if your commercial pills are a touch to big, this can fix your problem.

    Of course, now your only a mold and a pot away from casting your own...


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Scrounge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe504 View Post
    Another note, the lee push through sizing dies are pretty cheap, and if your commercial pills are a touch to big, this can fix your problem.

    Of course, now your only a mold and a pot away from casting your own...


    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    Since no one knows if the shortage is really going to end, it would be a really good idea to go there, anyway.
    Besides, it's fun to shoot boolits you've cast and loaded.

  8. #8
    That's really sound advice; add "coating" to the "casting and sizing" equipment list and skill set!

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Good point Bruce in WV. Every one of the steps. 1) cast, 2) size and lube, 3) PC, 4) brass prep, 5) reload, and 6) shoot, are each, in their own way, a unique skill set that requires precision and attention to detail, any one of which can change the outcome.
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master and Dean of Balls




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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in WV View Post
    That's really sound advice; add "coating" to the "casting and sizing" equipment list and skill set!


    If it hasn't been said already, welcome to the forum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore Roosevelt
    No man is above the law and no man is below it: nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    NOE bullets sells excellent M-die type expanders that fit that inexpensive Lee expander body. I use them, esp. in loading 6.5mm boolits.
    https://noebulletmolds.com/site/prod...ory/expanders/

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by fgd135 View Post
    NOE bullets sells excellent M-die type expanders that fit that inexpensive Lee expander body. I use them, esp. in loading 6.5mm boolits.
    https://noebulletmolds.com/site/prod...ory/expanders/
    This looks very interesting. Thanks for the input!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I have theLee universal die and NOE siozers for all the cast boolits I shoot. They work very well and you can get sizes Lyman don't make.
    Leo

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by 44magLeo View Post
    I have theLee universal die and NOE siozers for all the cast boolits I shoot. They work very well and you can get sizes Lyman don't make.
    Leo
    I ordered both NOE sizers I need and the Lee universal die. The Lee die is here, and the NOE sizers are enroute. Thanks for the feedback: this looks like a great solution to properly seating the bullets in my 6.5x55 and 8x57 cartridges. I'll add a note once I get the bullets and can learn to use the setup properly.

    Additional Q: both bullets have a crimping groove. Assuming that there's appropriate neck tension after using the expanders, is it normal to put a heavy crimp on the bullet, or just use it as an OAL guide with just enough crimp to roll the case mouth just a little to smooth feeding?

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Scrounge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in WV View Post
    I ordered both NOE sizers I need and the Lee universal die. The Lee die is here, and the NOE sizers are enroute. Thanks for the feedback: this looks like a great solution to properly seating the bullets in my 6.5x55 and 8x57 cartridges. I'll add a note once I get the bullets and can learn to use the setup properly.

    Additional Q: both bullets have a crimping groove. Assuming that there's appropriate neck tension after using the expanders, is it normal to put a heavy crimp on the bullet, or just use it as an OAL guide with just enough crimp to roll the case mouth just a little to smooth feeding?
    What kind of loads do you load? Light, moderate, or hot? The amount of recoil can change the answer. A light crimp will work for light and probably moderate loads. Depending on your definition, it might work for hot loads, too. For really hot loads, the bullets/boolits might slide in or out, changing your overall cartridge length (OAL). If your slugs aren't a good match for the expanding die you use, it could happen with lighter loads, too. Neither direction is good. Best way to find out for your loads is to experiment. This is one of the areas where "YMMV" is very likely to be applicable.

    So, you load some up with what you think is a good crimp, and shoot them. As you're shooting, check the OAL and see if you're getting any creep. If not, you're good. If so, crimp a bit heavier, and repeat until you're happy!

    Bill

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    As a “new to casting” handloader, bigger is better!

    I suspect that your foray into casting will be less rocky with the 8 mm and give you more wind in your sails as it were.

    I found the .338/06 to be easy peasy and a very early success. The work in smaller bores down into the .257” range more challenging. In fact I do not have a pet 1/4 bore load yet in cast.

    Good luck and best regards

    Three44s
    Quote Originally Posted by Bret4207

    “There is more to this than dumping lead in a hole.”

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Seating to the crimp groove works.
    Most boolits have a nose that fits in the bore. The body fits the grooves. This lets the nose of the boolit enter the bore while the shoulder just ahead of the crimp groove touches the throat.This seals the boolit to tyhe bore and helps prevent gas blow by.
    Gas blow by is what melts the lead of the boolit and causes leading.
    Most rifles have a magazine length and throating to accomodate long pointy bullets. The roundnose or semi round nose of most cast boolits are much shorter than comparable weight jacketed bullets. This means seating cast out so the shoulder touches will still let the cartridges feed from the magazine.
    This applies to most bolt guns. Single shots not so much. Lever guns you might not be able to seat that long. Working from a tuibe magazine requires a certain lengthan wont allow longer seated boolits. Most cast boolit for lever guns take this into account in the design.
    On your guns you need to experiment with the seating. I assume your 6.5x55 and 8mm Mauser are older military rifles, still in full battle dress or sportirized. These should easily allow the longer seating lengths.
    I have a Mosin Nagant 91/30 in 7.62x54R. I shoot Lees 185 gr .312 cat boolit. It seems to like the boolits seated out past the crimp groove. This length the boolits base is only about 1/2 way down the neck. This leaves the groove well out of the neck. I have been experimenting with crimp. My Lee Collet crimp die lets me easily crimp into any bullet cast or jacketed even with out a crimp groove. So far i have only lightly crimped, mostly to remove the belling of the case mouth.
    Accuracy is about the same as with jacketed. Playing with charges and crimp might improve things.
    Leo
    Good luck with your experimenting.

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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