Cast bullet questions

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Cracker-American

Blackhawk
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Sep 13, 2006
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Got several and so far cannot find the answers in search.

1. Gas checks. Yes, No, why? I do read the Elmer Keith did not like them but cannot find out why.

2. I am shooting two different sbh. I am having some leading with 18 b SWC and H 110 and just one hell of a lot with Unique, suggestions.

3. I am now ready to buy a quantitiy of .45 cast bullets and want ones that I can shoot with H 110 primarily and unique/bullseye secondarily. Which ones do ya'll suggest and with or without the gas check. I am leaning towards a bullet in the 300 gr area for all around shooting.

Thanks
 

tek4260

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Are your boolits plain base or bevel base? If they are bevel base, I'd say that is the culprit with the H-110. They may also be too hard for the speed you are getting with Unique and may need to be pushed faster. I shoot a 325 Keith from LBT with a plain base and get no leading with 23gr of H110. They are straight wheel weight and are air cooled. I have no idea what the hardness is.

Have you had Cylindersmith open the throats? May lead with any boolit if the throats are undersized....
 

hutchman

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I have had the same issues with hard cast, BB bullets......severe leading with Unique and some with 296. I increased the charge of 296 and the leading went away. The bullets were just too hard and needed a lot of pressure to shoot correctly.

I am still searching for some softer bullets for low pressure loads. I have tried some plain based bullets that did not lead as badly though so my suggestion is find a bullet maker with plain based softer bullets.
 

Pal Val

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The way to end leading is to mach the load to the bullet. H-110 is not a good choice for this kind of approach because of its narrow band of recommended loads. This doesn't mean that you could luck out with H-110 and get the right combination. Unique would be my choice for slower loads. Bullseye is also good. I have shot hard cast bullets with loaded prety stout with Blue Dot and had little or no leading.
 

Bucks Owin

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I've become a fan of heavy bullets in the .45 BH too Cracker. (I assume we're talking about the .45 LC in a Ruger). I've recently experimented with the Lyman 457191 292 gr sized to .454" over a Linebaugh charge of W296 for 1250 fps. Great accuracy, no leading and a real stump thumper for penetration to say the least. Not for the limp wristed however! :shock: Gonna try the heavy 457122 HP "Gould" bullet soon.... :wink: No added expense and bothersome GC neeeded....BTW, I've come to agree with John Linebaugh, H-110 or W296 is the ONLY powder to choose for top .45 LC velocity/energy at lowest pressure...
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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Since no one has addressed the gas check question much,, I'll delve into it.
Gas checks are used on many bullets where you are going to push the velocities up there a bit,, to keep the base of the bullet from melting as it's fired,, leaving leading in the bbl.
Most pistol bullets that are flat based & pushed at the correct velocity for the hardness of that bullet will be just fine w/o a GC. Others,,, at higher speeds,, a GC is a good idea.
 

Bucks Owin

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+1 Contender, not to mention store bought GC's cost as much as primers these days! :? JMO, but I fail to see the "need" for them on ANY handgun bullet although they can make a wrong alloy and/or size work a little better. Maybe that's the real reason so many handgun bullet molds use them. One can use powders more "kind" to flat base designs too. (The ever popular Unique isn't among them BTW). I wish there were PB versions of some of the GC molds out there. Now rifle loads, yes, if you want 2700 fps, you better have your checks on! :lol: JMO...
 

tek4260

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Veral at LBT recommends gas checks so I guess they are the way to go. Most casters would rather spend that money on primers and powder tho as Buck said. Us casters are a frugal bunch, or so we try to tell ourselves!! I am sure I have sunk over a grand in casting and reloading stuff in the past few months...

I'll know a bit more about the checks this weekend too. The UPS man just delivered a big ol box from Midway and 1k 45 checks are in there along with 2 molds, 3 Lyman sizers, 475 dies and brass, Marlin parts, and a reamer. I picked up a 250SWCGC RCBS die a few weeks ago on singleactions.com and have been foaming at the mouth to try it.
 

Sagebrush Burns

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As velocity and pressure increase, lead bullet hardness also needs to increase to prevent or reduce leading. In my experience straight wheel weights work fine at velocities up to about 1000 fps. At 1100 fps they start leading some. As previously stated, flat base bullets tend to seal better and leave less lead than bevel base bullets. Something not touched on so far is lube. The right lube makes a big difference and my experience is that softer (Javalina alox/beeswax for instance) lubes are worth the extra trouble.
 

contender

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Yes,, GC's do add to the cost by a little bit. I just saw where Midways April flyer has them listed. The 357 ones are around $26 a thousand. I guess the 2000 plus I scored recently for $20 was a fair deal. (I have a Veral LBT mould that needs them.)
 

tek4260

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No down side whatsoever. Just be careful shooting them across your chronograph. I have seen pictures where the checks have come off the boolit and destroyed the lcd screen on some chronographs.

Check out Castboolits.gunloads.com

All the answers are there!
 

Bucks Owin

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Well, FWIW, Linebaugh uses water dropped wheelweight alloy for full tilt .45 loads and I have too without leading so I don't agree with the 1000 fps limit. This alloy is in the 15-18 BHN range. The worst leading is too hard and too small IMO, not "too soft". I also think there's a lot of "voodoo" regarding bullet lube. John says it should be sticky, not like a crayon, while other sixgun notables like Taffin and Paco Kelly use a moly mix. My finding is that if the bullet is the right size for the gun, the flavor of lube isn't too awful important....Tek4260, let us know how you make out with your new gear. You're about to enter an area of handloading that is almost a hobby in itself. It's a fascinating pastime and an eye opener too! But once you get the hang of it, get yourself a good PB design mold too and see if you think GCs are a must... :wink: JMO...(BTW, locally, folks are getting stung to the tune of $39.95 per 1000 Hornady GCs.... :roll: )
 

bigboredad

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just like what Bucks Owin and tek4260 I shoot the heavy weights out of the .45 colt. I have 2 blackhawk convertibles that love the lee 340 gr fn pb.
I usually just air cool my cast from straight wheel weights sized to .454 and with a pretty good charge of h110 or 296 I have yet any leading out of them. for a softer shooting load with the 340's 2400 has been a pretty good powder as well
 

tek4260

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I shoot an LBT 315K that drops at 325 with WW. It is a plain base boolit and I size it to .452 and lube with Lyman Super Moly. I have no leading with my load of 23gr of H-110. But, my throats are all .4525 and I am sure that helps. I tried water dropping and didn't lead either, but I want them a bit softer for hunting. I have tried several powders with the 45 and I think that HS-6 and H-110 will fill my needs. I have about 7 lbs of each and I have to fight the urge to stop and buy another can of each every time I pass the sporting goods store.

The only reason I have a CG mold(RCBS 452490) is because I didn't look at the pic close enough when I bought it on singleactions.com. I figure I got it right and if I don't like it I can always sell it and the checks. Might even make a dollar or two :D
 

Bucks Owin

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tek4260":1yswcl4l said:
I shoot an LBT 315K that drops at 325 with WW. It is a plain base boolit and I size it to .452 and lube with Lyman Super Moly. I have no leading with my load of 23gr of H-110. But, my throats are all .4525 and I am sure that helps. I tried water dropping and didn't lead either, but I want them a bit softer for hunting. I have tried several powders with the 45 and I think that HS-6 and H-110 will fill my needs. I have about 7 lbs of each and I have to fight the urge to stop and buy another can of each every time I pass the sporting goods store.

The only reason I have a CG mold(RCBS 452490) is because I didn't look at the pic close enough when I bought it on singleactions.com. I figure I got it right and if I don't like it I can always sell it and the checks. Might even make a dollar or two :D
You're right on track IMO. Like Super Moly myself and we all know W296/H110 is THE powder for serious .45 LC use. Happy powder burning pal! :wink:
 

Sagebrush Burns

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"Well, FWIW, Linebaugh uses water dropped wheelweight alloy for full tilt .45 loads and I have too without leading so I don't agree with the 1000 fps limit."

Good point here. Water quenching increases the hardness of wheel weight cast bullets. For up to 1000 fps I was referring to, are dropped dry.
 
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