FN FAL cast load


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eldon519
November 1, 2009, 07:18 PM
Does anyone have data for a good cast FN FAL load utilizing the commonly available 165-grain FP that a lot of places like Meister and Magnus sell for .30-30. It is a plain bevel-based bullet, so I'd like to keep the velocity low. If I can get a load to work with this bullet, it ought to cut my cost vs. jacketed in about half.

I'd like the load to:
-operate at a fairly low pressure level to extend brass life (don't mind changing the gas settings on the rifle)
-feed from the magazine
-be good for around 3-4 moa at 100 yds (plinking/practice round)
-cycle the action

Will this bullet actually feed (if not does anyone know a similarly priced cast bullet, these go for around $80/1000)? Are these realistic goals? Does anyone know where I could find some data to start from?

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USSR
November 2, 2009, 11:47 AM
I'd like the load to:
-operate at a fairly low pressure level to extend brass life (don't mind changing the gas settings on the rifle)
-feed from the magazine
-be good for around 3-4 moa at 100 yds (plinking/practice round)
-cycle the action

Will this bullet actually feed (if not does anyone know a similarly priced cast bullet, these go for around $80/1000)? Are these realistic goals?

Chances of getting it to cycle the action are slim to none.

Don

Bwana John
November 2, 2009, 02:06 PM
By the time you reach enough velocity to cycle the action the gas port will be full of lead.

BruceB
November 2, 2009, 09:09 PM
Now, come ON, you guys!

Although shooting cast bullets in gas-operated rifles isn't merely a matter of replacing one bullet-type with the other, there are MANY of us who do use our cast bullets in gas-operated guns with great success.

When properly cast, sized, lubed and loaded, they do NOT clog gas ports or "lead" the bores.

I have a brand-new DSA SA58 (FAL) and I'm in the early stages of cast-bullet load development. It IS functioning in semi-auto mode, and accuracy is improving as the work progresses.

My M1A was bought new in 2005, and it functions 100% with cast bullets. I have now pushed over 5000 cast loads through it, all in semi-auto mode, and some of the recipes give amazing accuracy. This M1A has fired strings as long as 600-plus rounds without cleaning of any sort. When finally dis-assembled, mostly from curiosity rather than need, I found NO lead fouling in the gas system, including the gas-port.

Go over to www.castboolits.gunloads.com and then look up the "CB Loads/Military Rifles" forum on that site. There are many shooters there who use cast loads in their semi-auto rifles.

What you fellers are doing is perpetuating MYTHS.

USSR
November 2, 2009, 10:27 PM
Although shooting cast bullets in gas-operated rifles isn't merely a matter of replacing one bullet-type with the other, there are MANY of us who do use our cast bullets in gas-operated guns with great success.


Yeah, I'm using cast bullets in a gas-operated rifle as well. But, it's a M1 Carbine where a full-power load only has to reach about 1900fps. Running cast bullets at the velocity required to cycle an autoloading MBR is another story.

Don

eldon519
November 3, 2009, 12:18 AM
USSR,

I am not an expert by any means, but I believe what a lot of folks do is use a slower powder than is normally used (slower than is recommended, as you probably know, too slow of a powder can actually damage some actions) and use heavier bullets than normal with a light powder charge.

Even though the round never comes close to the pressure limit, the slow burning powder means there is still enough pressure once the bullet passes the port to cycle the action. Because it's a lighter-than-normal load, velocity isn't that great, partially due to the heavier than normal bullet.

BruceB has done some really interesting experimentation on the linked forum which was actually the impetus for this thread.

Wilburt
November 3, 2009, 09:04 AM
BruceB,

I would be interested in some of your load data that worked well. I have a DSARMS 16" Tac Para SA58.

BruceB
November 3, 2009, 09:39 PM
Eldon has it down.

The rifle's functioning depends on port pressure, not velocity of the bullet.

What a successful cast load has to do, among other things, is supply sufficient pressure at the gas port, while remaining within the pressure and velocity limits of the alloy.

There are many loads and many powders which can accomplish this, but it in most cases it requires stepping outside the "rules" normally accepted for jacketed loads.

In working with the M1A, which I refer to here because I've done a LOT more experimenting with it than with the FAL to date, I had satisfactory results with powders as fast as 5744 and as slow as H4831.....neither of which is likely to appear in a table of loads for JACKETED bullets in gas-operated rifles. The same thing applies to bullet weight, where projectiles spanned the range from 150 to 220 grains with decent results across the spectrum. Bullet diameter is also variable, depending on the particular rifle and bullet, but I have pretty-much standardized on .311" sizing for all my conventional .30-caliber rifles.

The simple fact of the matter is that cast bullets are different. As such, so are the techniques and loads used in loading them.

Most of the 7.62 NATO rifles should work with the loads detailed in the LONG M1A thread over at Cast Boolits in the CB Loads/Military Rifles forum. Only minor adjustments or experiments should be needed, but be assured that some experimentation will be needed to wrest the best out of any rifle.

With 66-year-old eyes doing the aiming through the issue iron sights, my M1A has given me a TEN-shot group of 0.60" at fifty yards, and five consecutive hits on a 14"x16" steel gong at 417 yards, sitting unsupported, no sling. This is sufficiently-good performance to allow a whole lot of entertainment, especially at about eight or ten cents per round.

eldon519
November 4, 2009, 12:06 AM
Bruce,

This might be a silly question, but were all of the loads in your M1A and FAL experimentation gas-checked? If so, did you have to seat some of them with the gas check below the case neck to fit in the action?

BruceB
November 4, 2009, 02:18 PM
The question is not silly at all.

Earlier tries with plain-base bullet designs, as well as gascheck designs fired WITHOUT gaschecks, have convinced me that using un-gaschecked bullets is a bad idea, particularly when trying to get a gas-operated rifle functioning. These earlier attempts were done with bolt-action rifles, but I think the lessons learned still apply. Plain bases have their place, but I believe they're limited to low-velocity applications. I use no plain-base bullets in anything other than my .45-70 Sharps'.

The 7.62 NATO/.308 case has a rather short neck, and yes, many of the loads I tried had the base of the bullet well below the neck/shoulder junction, and some were even seated deeper than the shoulder itself. No ill effects were apparent.

If powder contact with the exposed bullet lubricant is a concern, adding just a wee tuft of dacron on top of the charge will ensure that no contact takes place. High ambient temperatures could increase the possibility of powder contamination, but I live in desert country and have yet to see any bad effects from such conditions.

"Bullshop" on the Cast Boolit Board offers some specialized custom casting at very reasonable rates. He can provide many different .30-caliber designs, sized, lubed and gaschecked as you want them, and his service is highly regarded. Drop him a Private Message via the Cast Boolit Board for more information, since his website is under construction just now.

eldon519
November 5, 2009, 02:54 PM
Thanks for the info Bruce, I think that gives me a good starting point. I also appreciate the source since I can't cast myself.

Wilburt, here are links to the two threads that got me excited about this:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=3558
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?p=669582

Wilburt
November 5, 2009, 06:17 PM
Thanks. Haven't started casting yet, but I've made my first Ignots :D

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