Giving up on MBC "SoftBall!" 230gr LRN


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jr_roosa
May 11, 2012, 09:41 PM
So, I've been loading these at about 850 FPS with 4.8gr Bullseye as a hardball practice load as well as practice for my SD loads. After a box of 500 I can't seem to get the leading under control. I get about 1" of nasty thick smeared lead just past the chamber, and I just spend the last hour trying to clean it out, and I gave up.

Part of the problem, I think, is the little ring of lead that I get at crimp, and that little bit gets dragged into the chamber and smeared out. I got a Lyman "M" die to try to fix this, but with mixed brass, it's hard to get it to work quite right. I can't find copper choreboys to help with the cleaning at the local grocery store, but I'll keep looking.

As for the Lyman "M" die, I still get crookedly seated bullets that won't quite fit my case gauge, although they seem to chamber OK, although a little snug.

I am very happy with the MBC "Button" 185gr and "Bullseye #1" 200gr SWCs. Not nearly as much leading, they seat straighter, maybe because of the flat meplat, and they seem to shoot very well.

Unless there are any magic cures out there, I'm going to switch over to Zero FMJ, since the $5 difference per 100 bullets is worth the hour of cleaning time. Unfortunately I'm moving, and Roze Dist says they're 6 weeks in the hole, so I'll probably not get them in time to load up a batch before I pack up all the reloading gear.

Any suggestions?

-J.

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Hammerdown77
May 11, 2012, 09:54 PM
There should be no lead ring. You should be flaring the case mouth enough to where the bullet is not shaved when you seat it. You should seat and crimp in separate steps to avoid shaving lead. If you're getting crooked seated bullets, something else is wrong with your setup.

Try a slower powder.

I'm guessing your bullets are smaller than your bore (due to the shaving, or something else that is occurring during your loading process), and this combined with the fast burning Bullseye powder is allowing hot gasses to rush past the sides of the bullet as it enters the bore and melt lead to the bore.

I don't think a different bullet (other than jacketed) is going to help until you get these other problems worked out.

If you can find it, the Chore Boy is the best for getting that lead out. Shouldn't take you more than a few minutes.

If you can't find Chore Boy, look for bronze wool. Midway or Brownell's also sell de-leading wool. I think it's basically like Chore Boy.

Publix carries Chore Boy in my area. Also check your Home Depot and Lowe's.

Lyinhunter
May 11, 2012, 10:05 PM
I've recently picked up the pursuit of happiness by casting bullets. It has been a headache! After hours of scrubbing lead from my barrel, the best way to clean is simply by shooting a jacketed bullet or gaschecked bullet. Just shoot a clip or two of copper, then use the copper pad and brush.

you are getting some cutting caused by gas shooting past the bullet, your bullets could be undersized, your bore could be oversized, your lube could be insufficient. If you are scraping the bullet while seating this could also be your problem.

blarby
May 11, 2012, 10:44 PM
2 FMJ's down the bore after leading removes 97.9995% of it.......

Jeff H
May 11, 2012, 10:49 PM
2 FMJ's down the bore after leading removes 97.9995% of it.......

I've tried that as well and while it seems to work, it very probably could just be ironing that lead into the barrel. It is much less stressful when you have worked out a load that doesn't lead much if at all.

Sport45
May 11, 2012, 10:50 PM
Hammerdown77 nailed it.

The copper pot scrubber trick gets lead out fast.

Add a bit of flare and crimp into the crimp ring or in a second step and you won't need the pot scrubber any more.

J2FLAN
May 11, 2012, 11:01 PM
Don`t give up yet. I have shot MBC bullets and have issues with them, but not leading. Try this
> Bell your case just enough to be able to start the bullet in the case mouth by hand a little past the bevel base.
> Use 1.25 OAL
> Crimp to .470
> Try 4grs BE for target work
> Slower powders may make things worse, BE, 231 and Clays are great for the 45acp target loads.
>The bullet needs to be seated straight. The Lee FCD may help. ( If you worry that it may resize the bullet--think what the barrel does to the bullet ).
>If you want to duplicate your SD load, use FMJ.
Note: I shoot 25,000+ rounds a year of 45 acp lead and mostly clean the barrels with a nylon brush, soap and water, no leading problems, it can be done. And, I think you can get a better deal and service from a lot of other
outlets than from ROZE.
Just my offering, good luck

blarby
May 11, 2012, 11:08 PM
@ jeff : it certainly isnt "ironing" anything in my bores, for certain. If its thick enough to be in the groove, it has to go somewhere. Lead isn't "becoming one" with the steel :D

But I agree, it sounds like his cause for leading is more the concern.

I use this "trick" when developing lead loads, at the range between loads.

BossHogg
May 11, 2012, 11:24 PM
What bullet and BHN, sounds like you're trying to get to high a velocity with Bullseye and a soft bullet. Also shouldn't be a little ring of lead, adjust your flairing.

Bullseye and lead are made for each other.

thunderranch.45
May 11, 2012, 11:52 PM
don't give up on MBC yet,it sounds like your not belling your case mouth. i have shot alot of their 230 softballs and never get much more than a few specks of lead in the forcing cone.also make sure you have a seated round in your seating die when you tighten down the die locking ring,this should assure your seating die is aligned properly. i have always had great luck with the lewis lead remover in getting lead out of barrels and forcing cones. you can get these off of MBC web site or brownell's, they work great.

chhodge69
May 12, 2012, 12:34 AM
What is your bore diameter and bullet diameter? If you haven't slugged the bore you're rolling the dice buying a lead bullet, even a name brand one.
Did you trim your brass? If so what did you use?
As hammer said there should be no lead shavings if you're set up properly. A little lube around the crimp is ok and should wipe off easily but that's it.

There's a ton of info on loading and shooting lead here:
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/

jr_roosa
May 12, 2012, 02:30 AM
Thanks for the suggestions!

Crimp-then-seat works OK, but I just switched to a forster press, so I need a separate die for the second step since I can't just use a spacer ring. There's nothing to line up with the forster press, and I do adjust the seater using a dummy round.

I thought that the M die would help me bell less and get the bullet started straight. With the RCBS expander, I need to bell so much to get it started properly, that I had to crimp very aggressively to get it back to .471" and that absolutely required two-step seat and crimp. Something about the LRN that makes it still not align well.

I'm not getting nearly as much shaving as I was before but it requires a ton more time than I expected to get them started straight. I am belling, and I even tried a little deburring for kicks. The shaving happens with just the last 1/16" when the crimp starts to cut in. Thinking about it, this batch had a lot less shaving than the last batch, and the leading was worse with this one. I'll be the little lead ring is a red herring, and my real problem is gas blow-by.

I did no trimming, and it's mixed brass, the bore slugged at .451" it's a Colt "NM" barrel 2011 production. Softballs are .452" with a BHN of 18, which should handle GI Ball velocity, I'm certainly nowhere near +P pressures with my load.

I ordered some chore boys on Amazon Prime, and I still have about 100 rounds left of the previous pre-M-die batch that lead up pretty good. If a couple of passes with the chore boy does the trick then I might be inclined to give another 500 box a try.

No reason I cant try both another box of SoftBalls and pick up 500 Zero FMJs. It's not like they won't get used up.

-J.

4895
May 12, 2012, 02:50 AM
I have the same problem with my Kimber match barrel except I can only get 120 rounds or so before I have FTF problems. The throat of the barrel gets all gummed up from lead and lube that I don't want to shoot them. I load them with 4.0 grains of Bullseye and seat them at 1.200". I found some Chore-boy on ebay pretty cheap once. I use the Dawn pure copper scrubbers as I can find them in the grocery store. A friend of mine used some from that batch of ammo and he had the same problem in his Ruger 1911. I just use Berry's now from www.powdervalleyinc.com. They sell them for $117/1000.

Personally, I think they are too hard (18 BHN) for .45 auto velocities. Using their math, it is much too hard for the pressure generated in that caliber. I wish they would make some BHN 12. Those would probably work much better.

ArchAngelCD
May 12, 2012, 03:11 AM
I have been using the same bullets for a while now and I have had no leading problems at all. I have no "ring of lead" when loading them and I'm using a charge of 5.5gr W231 with an OAL of 1.260"

IMO W231/HP-38 is the perfect powder for the .45 Auto and the .38 Special too...

blarby
May 12, 2012, 03:14 AM
I second arch on w231 for the .45.

I'm using SWC's in the 45 in question, but at a BHN of only 12 and I get almost zero leading.

4895
May 12, 2012, 03:33 AM
I should try a load with 231 and see what happens. I have a few boxes collecting dust and might as well try them again.

Hammerdown77
May 12, 2012, 08:54 AM
I always had a difficult time seating and crimping in the same operation without shaving up a little lead, with a die that puts on a taper crimp like the 45 auto needs. Seemed a little easier with a roll crimp die and a bullet with a crimp groove, like for revolvers.

Do not be afraid to bell and crimp too much. Bell enough to get the bullet started in the case just a smidge with your fingers. Taper crimp as much as you need to (.470).

Can you take a picture of a bullet that is seated crooked? I'd be interested to see how much we're talking about here. If it's real crooked, I'd be wondering whether or not you have an odd shaped seater plug in your bullet seating die. Most seating plugs that come in the dies are shaped to work with round nose bullets, but you may have one that's different. That's highly unlikely, but I'd look at all possibilities at this point.

ljnowell
May 12, 2012, 10:10 AM
I seat and crimp in a seperate step with the MBC softball, but I didnt used to, didnt cause a problem. I think its back to your flaring if you are shaving lead.

Walkalong
May 12, 2012, 10:15 AM
If you are shaving lead, you are not flaring enough, or you are crimping too much while seating. If not both.

floydster
May 12, 2012, 10:36 AM
I tumble lube all my cast bullets from MBC with Alox, just a light coat, it works wonders for no leading--try it, you will like it.:)

bluetopper
May 12, 2012, 11:38 AM
You have some other problem other than the type of powder you're using.

Flare the case a bit, slightly crimp and lower the charge to 4.5gr

jr_roosa
May 12, 2012, 02:38 PM
Can you take a picture of a bullet that is seated crooked?

I shoot up the really squirrely ones first, so I don't have any left, and I'm out of the LRN bullets. Basically, you know the little bump that you get with .45ACP all around the heel of the bullet in a properly seated bullet? Imagine that, but lopsided and bigger on one side. About 1/4 of the circumference bulges, and the rest is more-or-less flat. That little bulge makes it difficult to fit in the case gauge. Goes into the chamber with a little resistance, but not with the satisfying "plunk" you get with a proper fit.

-J.

chhodge69
May 12, 2012, 06:59 PM
I'd suggest you assemble a round and then break it down and check the bullet diameter.

jr_roosa
May 12, 2012, 07:03 PM
If you are shaving lead, you are not flaring enough, or you are crimping too much while seating. If not both.

Yep. I'm trying to do it in one step with the new press. If I crimp to where it won't cut into the lead, I get a mouth that won't fit the case gauge. If I bell even more, I need to lower the crimp die a little bit more to get back to 0.472" or so, making the shaving worse. It's not a problem with jacketed bullets because it's really tough to shave the jacket, and I have an extra 0.001" space to deal with.

I think the only solution is to pick up another box, seat and crimp in 2 operations, and see if the leading is still there. I bet it will be.

lower the charge to 4.5gr

Then my velocity isn't where I want it to be. Probably close enough to not matter. I think I get around 800fps with that load, but it might be close enough. I'll give it a try.

Thanks!

-J.

jr_roosa
May 12, 2012, 07:16 PM
I'd suggest you assemble a round and then break it down and check the bullet diameter.

Where? At the base? Hmm...I'll have to wait to get more.

At the crimp, there is clearly an area where the case mouth is pushed into the lead a bit as I remember from other pulled-down bullets, and again that's crimped to 0.472" even with a separate operation, which was my previous method.

-J.

GLOOB
May 12, 2012, 07:40 PM
Yep. I'm trying to do it in one step. This is the reason why I love the 200 gr IDPA bullets. I wish all cast autoloader bullets had a crimp groove! Luckily, my 45 ACP is my only handgun that needs any significant amount of taper crimping (i.e. flare removal) for reliability, and the 200 grain IDPA bullets fit the bill, there.

One thing you might try is putting a little bit of chamfer on your cases. I notice that when loading my 223 rounds, a little chamfer helps a lot, even on cases that haven't been trimmed. That might allow you to reduce your flare. You might also try separating out your headstamps and trying the thinner ones for your 230 grainers. Like R-P and S&B.

Unless there are any magic cures out there, I'm going to switch over to Zero FMJ
This is an excellent idea in theory. In practice, those bullets are hard to find!

popper
May 12, 2012, 08:17 PM
M die is still for jacketed. Use a different expander to flare. Get it just started the rotate 90 deg and seat the rest of the way. LLA is better than the crayon lube. Use 231, it works better with the high BHN CBs. If you have proper neck tension, the crimp is just to remove the flair. Load the rnd a couple times from the clip and check for COL change. If none, neck tension is good. Slug the bbl - if MBC isn't right, buy the correct size or cast your own.

Cascade1911
May 13, 2012, 09:47 AM
Unless there are any magic cures out there, I'm going to switch over to Zero FMJ
This is an excellent idea in theory. In practice, those bullets are hard to find!

Missouri bullets are getting the same way. Was just on their site and everything I want is three weeks wait time. :(

ArchAngelCD
May 13, 2012, 10:22 AM
Missouri bullets are getting the same way. Was just on their site and everything I want is three weeks wait time. :(
You can order Missouri Bullets from Powder Valley now and at a better price than the Missouri Bullets site. I personally don;t care where I get them from as long as I can keep shooting the bullets.

Cascade1911
May 13, 2012, 12:13 PM
You can order Missouri Bullets from Powder Valley now and at a better price

A quick check of PV's site

MO .358 148 GR DEWC-BB PPC #2 BHN 10 (500) Out of Stock
MO .452 200 GR SWC IDP #1 BHN 18 .45ACP (500) Out of Stock
MO .452 230 GR RN SOFTBALL! BHN 18 .45ACP (500) Out of Stock


I guess not. (and watch the shipping)

Fatelvis
May 13, 2012, 12:40 PM
Is a "softball" load one using a bullet less than 230 grains? Forgive my ignorance please-

Sport45
May 13, 2012, 11:02 PM
230gr FMJ has been called hardball for a long time. I think MBC calls theirs softball because it has about the same profile as hardball, but is cast lead.

Seedtick
May 13, 2012, 11:17 PM
Is a "softball" load one using a bullet less than 230 grains? Forgive my ignorance please-

"SoftBall" is just the name MBC uses for their 230 grain LRN 18 BHN (http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/bhn-brinell-hardness-number-d_1365.html) bullet.

Here it is ---> SoftBall! (http://www.missouribullet.com/details.php?prodId=59&category=5&secondary=13&keywords=) <---

Seedtick

:)

jr_roosa
May 15, 2012, 01:07 PM
Update:

OK, copper chore boy on a bore brush is magical. Magical. The only thing it doesn't get is a little bit in the corner between the base of the groove and the side of the land, and a regular brush takes care of that without difficulty.

I shot some older loads, same specs, and had a different leading problem. Still only in the first inch of the barrel, but this time only from about 11:00 to 3:00. Weird. Now that I have a quick way to clean it out, I care a lot less.

I think that part of my problem is that usually at the end of a shooting session, I burn though a magazine of my carry ammo (JHPs) to keep rotating fresh ammo into the mix, and I bet that has been cleaning out the lead pretty well. With the batch I was complaining about, I happened to run though the carry ammo first, so the leading was left behind at the end of the session.

I am now fully prepared to try some more "Softball" to try to optimize the load to prevent leading. I don't want to download below around 830fps since I already have really good loads with 200gr and 185gr SWCs that don't lead much, are accurate, and feed just fine. I bet that if I do two-step seating and crimping after giving the case more bell with the M die that I will be in good shape.

Thanks for your help!

-J.

blarby
May 16, 2012, 01:44 AM
Copper over lead, great like sliced bread.

Lead over copper, that's a barrel popper.

murf
May 16, 2012, 02:39 AM
ace hardware has chorboy.

if the round doesn't go "clunk", the bullet ogive is bumping up against the throat's lead (narrowing from case diameter to barrel diameter). when the slide slams shut, the lead bullet is slammed up against the throat lead and is tearing off a small ring of lead from the bullet. when you fire, that ring of now loose lead is being blown into the barrel.

seating the bullet deeper to back off the ogive is my suggestion if that doesn't raise presssures too much. i'd seat more a little at a time and do the "clunk" test until you get the right sound. imop

murf

Rule3
May 16, 2012, 01:13 PM
The MBC 230 gr "softball" is 18 BHN which never made sense to me as it's the same hardness as Magnum bullets?? Why would the alloy be the same for 700 to 800 fps as that for over 1200 fps??
I asked Brad about it and they sometimes run a batch with the 12 BHN alloy which to me makes more sense for target load 45 ACP. I bought several boxes of them a like them a lot. No leading.

Sometimes they have them in stock under specials

ljnowell
May 16, 2012, 01:23 PM
The MBC 230 gr "softball" is 18 BHN which never made sense to me as it's the same hardness as Magnum bullets?? Why would the alloy be the same for 700 to 800 fps as that for over 1200 fps??
I asked Brad about it and they sometimes run a batch with the 12 BHN alloy which to me makes more sense for target load 45 ACP. I bought several boxes of them a like them a lot. No leading.

Sometimes they have them in stock under specials
__________________


I would prefer to have them in a 12bhn also, but as long as you have a good barrel fit, they arent a problem at 18bhn. Brad has always been good about doing runs in a different hardness, though right now they are backed up and slammed. Got to be one of the most successful lead bullet makes out there, I'm glad to call him a friend.

Hammerdown77
May 16, 2012, 03:39 PM
That's a good point about the hardness. I never understood why he only offered that bullet in the harder alloy. If anything, it should only be offered in 12 BHN. The only 18 BHN bullets I buy from MBC are the 300 grainers for the Casull, and maybe some 44 caliber bullets I know will only go in full 44 mag loads. Everything else, I try to get the "Cowboy action" version with 12 BHN. I even shoot the12 BHN 158 gr. 357 bullets in full power magnum loadings (using H110 and AA9) with no leading.

altitude_19
May 18, 2012, 04:19 AM
You should seat and crimp in separate steps to avoid shaving lead.
Poppycock. I seat/crimp .453 LRN 230 gn boolits in one step. Proper flaring and not overcrimping will prevent any shaved lead. Splitting seating and crimping up is something done by those who don't care to properly calibrate the die that does both in one step.

ArchAngelCD
May 18, 2012, 04:34 AM
Poppycock. I seat/crimp .453 LRN 230 gn boolits in one step. Proper flaring and not overcrimping will prevent any shaved lead. Splitting seating and crimping up is something done by those who don't care to properly calibrate the die that does both in one step.
To use your own words, that's poppycock. If someone likes to seat and crimp in a separate operation that doesn't mean they don't care to properly calibrate their dies. That statement is too broad, makes an assumption that you are better than others and a little bit insulting too. How can you make such a broad statement about other reloaders when it could possibly be only a personal preference? Seriously, not very nice and not very High Road either... :rolleyes:

altitude_19
May 18, 2012, 06:05 AM
How can you make such a broad statement about other reloaders when it could possibly be only a personal preference?
Easily. By allowing that it IS personal preference (and dismissing the idea that it is a functional necessity). Hence the phrasing "don't care to."
If someone likes to seat and crimp in a separate operation that doesn't mean they don't care to properly calibrate their dies.
That is precisely what it means. I didn't say they were incapable, just that they don't care to do it that way.

ArchAngelCD
May 18, 2012, 06:43 AM
Fair enough, I didn't read it that way originally...

EMC45
May 18, 2012, 02:50 PM
What kind of lube do MBC bullets have? Is it that rock hard blue or red lube? That may be your first problem. I cast my bullets and have a SAECO tester. My WW (Wheel Weight) lead bullets come out right at Lyman #2 on the SAECO hardness tester. I also use a soft lube and do a fine "wash tumble" in Lee Liquid Alox. I have been told that that is an uneccessary step. It works so I don't worry what others say. I get nearly zero leading in everything from .32 S&W-L up the HOT .44 Mag loads, and everything in between. The bore on you pistol is .451 and the bullets are .452? That sounds about right. I would load at 4.5gr Bullseye and see how you look then. That has been THE load for all 3 of my .45s (Springfield Mil Spec, Glock G36, and my Marlin Camp Carbine) I am running the 230gr. Lee TC and RN bullets with Moly type lube I concocted from Moly grease and beeswax. I am also shooting them through, conventional rifling, Micro Groove rifling, and Glock Polgonal rifling. Those last 2 are internet no-nos, but I do it and they shoot just fine!

Hammerdown77
May 18, 2012, 03:04 PM
From MBC's FAQ section on their website:

"We use Thompson's Blue Angel Bullet Lube"

1KPerDay
May 29, 2012, 10:09 PM
on the subject , I'm currently working on my first reloads with MBC softball in .45, and I am having to seat the bullets quite short to pass the plunk test. 1.2375 which is about to the top of the side flats. Is this typical? Crimp is .472".

Striker Fired
May 29, 2012, 10:54 PM
Seat them to whatever will fit your gun.A listed oal isn't a "have to or else" thing,it's just what they used and fit in their gun. Just remember that shorter oals effect pressures so adjust charge accordingly.
As to this original issue, I'd say that lopsided seating of the bullet and the ring of lead is the biggest leading issue, but I would also wonder if the bullets aren't being crimped too much or are undersize for what your barrel needs. Too small of bullets has been my #1 cause of leading. I've used up too 21bhn bullets in my .45(to stop feedramp nose damage) and as long as my bullets are big enough, leading stays away.
Another thing I have done to all my barrel is hand polishing them to get rid of any roughness that may "grind" lead off the bullets. Some barrel are rerally bad and others are pretty smooth as is but still do better with a small amount of polishing.

bds
May 29, 2012, 11:17 PM
MBC softball in .45, and I am having to seat the bullets quite short to pass the plunk test. 1.2375 which is about to the top of the side flats. Is this typical? Crimp is .472".
That seems a bit short. Even for my Sig 1911 barrel that has very quick start of rifling (almost no leade), 1.250" OAL will just pass the barrel drop test using .471"-.472" taper crimp. For my M&P45 and PT145 with longer leade, 1.260" OAL will work fine.

It is similar for Berry's 185 gr RN. For M&P45 and other 1911 barrels, 1.260" will work fine but 1.255" is the maximum OAL I could use before they start hitting the rifling (Factory Remington 230 gr FMJ for reference).

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165330&stc=1&d=1338344110

1KPerDay
May 29, 2012, 11:31 PM
Thanks. I ran a few at 1.260 and they cycled and fired fine, and eject easily by hand. They just don't drop out if pressed forward into the chamber. It takes a light fingernail pry to get them back out.

Scimmia
May 29, 2012, 11:49 PM
Some barrels have leads that are just too tight. A buddy of mine has a custom 1911 that has to have the flat on lead semi-wadcutters seated flush with the casemouth. If they're sticking out at all, they hit the lands and you have to push the slide forward slightly to get it into battery. The "SoftBall!" bullets have a similar flat area, although small.

bds
May 30, 2012, 12:06 AM
Some barrels have leads that are just too tight. A buddy of mine has a custom 1911 that has to have the flat on lead semi-wadcutters seated flush with the casemouth. If they're sticking out at all, they hit the lands and you have to push the slide forward slightly to get it into battery.
That's almost the case with my Sig 1911 barrel. There's almost no leade to start of rifling.

Lone Wolf barrel on the left showing "average" leade length (white arrow/bracket) and Sig 1911 barrel on the right showing almost no leade and quick start of rifling.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165332&stc=1&d=1338347310http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=165331&stc=1&d=1338347030

Peter M. Eick
June 3, 2012, 11:50 AM
Have you tried a slower powder yet?

Yesterday I loaded 1002 rounds of MBC 230 LRN's with 5.5 grns of Unique. It has done well by me so far. I shot the first 1000 about a week back and had no leading to speak of.

bds
June 3, 2012, 12:37 PM
I tried Universal, HS-6 and WSF and really liked the W231/HP-38 loads better.

With that said, I did like some preliminary Unique loads I tried last year in 9mm/40S&W with "cleaner burning dirt". This summer, I am planning to give Unique another shot and will include 45ACP.

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