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Thread: .359 Hard Cast for Micro Groove

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    western NC
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    .359 Hard Cast for Micro Groove

    Howdy,

    Been a while since trespassing here.

    I have several Marlin .35 Remington w/ the more modern Micro Groove rifling and load light loads using 180 grain .358 diameter hard cast..........like over 8 grains of Unique.

    Groups are questionable. I blame the Micro Groove rifling because I am obviously not pushing said bullet too fast.
    My old 1951 waffle top produces better groups with these same loads.

    So......... I have Lee molds but my sizer is only .358. Am not sure the Lee molds produce a .359 or capable of sizing to .359 straight out of the mold. In other words, maybe getting a lee .359 sizer won't do any good on bullets that fall out of the mold at .358-359?

    So guess my question is: Where can I find a source for hard cast .359" in a 180-200 grain range at a reasonable price? (not 30 cents each!!! like some places charge) OR............should I consider .360 diameter for Micro Groove??

    Thanks to y'all in advance. Bo in NC

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Why hard cast with light loads?

    See what your mold is dropping for size, you can make it slightly large enough f needed or maybe PC the boolits.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    Micro-groove barrels are usually on the large side. Load a few as cast (without sizing to .358). Use alox as a lube.
    Powder Coating and sizing to .358 might work. You may need to PC and up the sizing die to .359 to as much as .361".

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I haven't shot lead through my microgroove .35, but plain old air cooled wheel weights worked fine in my microgroove .30-30 sized .311".

    I know I bought a .360" H&I die for mine, and my RCBS mold drops large enough for that, but life got in the way.

    Robert

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    To answer your question directly, for light loads you will be better served with a softer alloy. Something close to COWW with added tin, roughly 12/14 brinell give or take. My alloy is 14/14.5
    As far as Marlin 35 Remington, micro groove, each gun is a law unto it's self but I cast and load for 4 different rifles and 358 shoots fine in all. Does not matter what level loads I'm shooting. I have tried .359, and they do chamber but results on paper are the same. You didn't say what powders you were using but I get better results using fast rifle powders like 4759/5744/2400 for above 1500 fps and use red dot/green dot and blue dot as well as unique for sub 1200 fps loads.
    Hope the info is of some use to you.
    Tony

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I would also recommend trying a slower powder. When I have had similar problems going from unique to hs-6 or n340 has helped out a lot.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    I took quite a while to absorb and learn one single concept when working with cast bullets. It usually is not how fast we are pushing them but how much pressure our loads generate while doing so. It doesn't sound like your charge of Unique should be excessive on either count. My guess is bullet fit is probably your culprit in this case.
    Good Luck,
    Rick

  8. #8
    Boolit Master


    Soundguy's Avatar
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    Asre oyur molds gas check style? if yes.. are you checking them.. even if running slow.. might help.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

    gwpercle's Avatar
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    Better yet ... NOE makes a bunch of 35 cal. rifle boolit moulds that are listed as .360" dia.
    NOE moulds drop them , when cast of wheel weights , right on the money .
    These rifle moulds come in 180 gr. , 190 gr. , 200 gr. 215 gr. , 230gr. , 250 gr. and more weights with RN , RF and WFN profiles . I would get one of these and a NOE .360" and .359" sizer .
    It's best to slug your barrel and get a mould / sizer that fits and a fat boolit can always be sized down, a too small boolit is a problem .
    Check out the moulds and sizers at NOE , www.noebulletmoulds.com

    In rifle boolit shooting ... gas checks always help ... sometimes they help bigtime !
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    To address your question, I don't know where you can obtain .359 cast boolits. Your cheapest route is to try as cast / unsized tumble lubed Lee designs. Do you have access to an accurate micrometer? My Lee push thru dies work, but to think the actual diameter of your sized boolit is what is stamped on the die is not realistic. I don't powder coat, but you might try to increase diameter by trying that. The NOE suggestion is excellent, but jumping in and buying an $80 mould for plinking may be more than what you are interested in spending. I don't have the .35 Rem. but shoot a .357 Marlin and use the TL 358 - 158 swc for plinking. Ben's liquid lube excellent for these designs, and this boolit is very useful, IMO. I use the RCBS 35-180-sil boolit for heavier loads, and the Lee C358-200- rf is just a little heavier for the armored dillos running around down here.
    There are only two kinds of men:

    1. Those who know Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

    2. Those about to learn that Jesus Christ is both Creator and Sovereign Lord.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    You didn't say if all you have on hand is the hard-cast lead alloy but if you have some pure lead handy, I would mix in some pure to make the boolits 60% hard to 40% pure to see if that effects accuracy. My 444 with the micro groove really likes that mix.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


    Soundguy's Avatar
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    softer non gas checked bullets will eat into his velocity cap however..

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    My 30 caliber microgroove is an early 21 groove. Not the best for cast. BUT it will shoot a lot of bullets decent if I find the right velocity. The faster the powder, the lower the velocity my rifle will tolerate before the groups blow up. With fast powder, 1200 to 1300 fps is about it for my rifle, even with gas checks.
    I think a lot of folks are able to get good performance with cast bullets in micro-grooved .35 Marlins, but each one of these old leverguns is a story in itself.
    YMMV

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    THANKS to all that responded. Great ideas and options here. I do have some 99% pure lead, #2 Lyman, and other metals to mix including bar solder and tin. Guess I just need to experiment. One Marlin Micro-gr. .35 gives great groups with Hornady JHP 158 grain .357 slugs. The problem is cast stuff........and I agree that each rifle is different. I once had a rare .35 Marauder that I quickly sold back to the seller because ALL slugs tumbled. I could not get it to group even at 20 yards. Slugs patterned sideways like a shotgun.

    Got many irons in the fire so a report may be slow in coming.

    Thanks again to all, Bo in WNC

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    I notice you are not giving any specific measurements. My advice is to get a micrometer and learn how to use it. Until you know dimensions you are guessing and so are we.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    My experience with microgroove rifling is that the boolit needs to be large enough diameter to fill the chamber neck, but not so tight as to impede loading. I use the Lee 158-FNRP which drops at 0.360" cast of COWW, air cooled and lubed with Liquid Alox. They are a plain base boolit and work great up to 1400 fps. Anything faster than that requires a gas check.
    "We take a thousand moments for granted thinking there will be a thousand more to come. Each day, each breath, each beat of your heart is a gift. Live with love & joy, tomorrow is not promised to anyone......"

    unknown

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
    FredBuddy's Avatar
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    Cast your boolit softer, then powder coat.
    They should be about .3595. Try them
    without resizing.

    This method made my 357 Marlin with
    microgroove a real shooter with the
    Lee 125 RNFP.

    A good starting point, then if you need
    a little less diameter, NOE is an option
    as well as enlarging a Lee push thru.

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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