Lead bullet problems continue (MBC)


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Jlr2267
April 14, 2014, 07:42 PM
I made a post here a while back about Missouri Bullet Co bullets giving me much grief, got some good advice, and have double-checked all known (common) causes. Still getting unacceptable fouling with both hot, mild or puff loads. I am using their 18BHN 240 SWC and 158gr SWC. The revolvers are a 3" GP100 and 5.5" Redhawk.

The bullets will pass thru each cylinder with mild pressure, and are coming out the same size as they went in. In both revolvers, the bullets are approximately .0015" oversize to the bore (based on slug measurements). Both bores are very smooth and do not normally get copper fouled with jackets or plating. I have tried all of the following powders, all of which had similar result:

Herco
300-MP
H110
Power Pistol
Unique
Green Dot
IMR4227

Of these, the Green Dot load left noticeably less fouling, but still it was pretty bad. The fouling is in the full length of the barrel, heavier, it seems, toward the muzzle. No fouling whatsoever on the forcing cone, but a little in the cylinders (which is new to me).
I have also verified that my seat/crimp dies are not sizing down the bullet with before/after measurements. I have reloaded thousands upon thousands of lead SWC and never seen anything like this that was not easily solved (or at least understood).

The only things remaining are in the bullet itself. They do have a beveled base, which likely allows some gas blow-by for a microsecond, and the lube is kinda hard, possibly not doing its job adequately. Never had leading of any amount with flat base and dry lube coated (like the Hornady lead bullets).

Anybody else have these kinds of issues w/MBC and if so, any remedies? I still have several hundred of these so I'd like to find a way to use them if possible (not as fishing sinkers).

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Blue68f100
April 14, 2014, 08:02 PM
How does the throats size compare to the bore? if these are smaller it will drive you nuts.

What load range were you testing at with these powders, low, mid max?

18BHN is the hard cast which requires to be pushed hard to seal. I have always used 2400 for my 357 Mag when shooting lead. Which is the one powder you have not tried. Some powders burn Hot (temp) which can lead to more leading. BE has been used with lead for decades and works great. I use WST for my 45acp loads. I'm using the softer 12TBH from MBC 185gr SWC (beveled base). Now my load is very light. I was testing for leading at 4.0 gr, 150 rounds 185gr with no leading. Min recommended is 4.4gr.

Have you tried polishing your bore with Butches Bore Shine? If you have any roughness this may help.

243winxb
April 14, 2014, 08:04 PM
I have not used MBC, but maybe tumble lube with Lee Alox Bullet Lube 4 oz Liquid? It works on reqular type cast bullets. How is accuracy? Accuracy gets worse if you have real leading. Liquid Alox application
Posted by on 20 October 2011 12:22 PM
Best results in applying liquid alox are when the alox is heated before applying, or thinned with paint thinner. This makes it flow more easily, and results in a more even coat. One technique is to boil water and pour it into a coffee mug, and then drop the bottle of liquid alox into the mug for about five minutes.

Place your freshly cast bullets into something about the size of a Cool Whip bowl and drop a few drops of liquid Alox on the bullets. Mix the bullets around until they are all coated. Lay the freshly coated bullets on some wax paper to dry. Liquid alox will usually dry enough overnight to reload the next day, depending upon the humidity. Tacky bullets can be dusted with powdered graphite.

If you subscribe to the "more is better" line of thought, your coated bullets may never dry. Don't go for a "golden" color but rather just a light varnish. If you discover that your bullets are sticky the next day, you can get by with using a little less the next time. Keep reducing until the "stickiness" is gone by the next day.

If you are sizing your cast bullets, it is necessary to lube them first. Because the sizer will remove some of the surface of a larger diameter bullet, you may need to re-lubricate the bullets after they have been sized.

Many of our bullets are of the "TL" or Tumble Lube design. These bullets have many shallow grooves that are perfect for allowing Liquid Alox to adhere to a great amount of surface. It has been reported that the accuracy of these bullets is high.
http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/th_IMG_4480.jpg (http://s338.photobucket.com/user/joe1944usa/media/IMG_4480.jpg.html)

USSR
April 14, 2014, 09:00 PM
Simply no need to use 18 BHN handgun bullets. I load .357 Magnum and hot .45 Colt ammo, and none of my hand cast bullets are harder than 11 BHN. Heck, Elmer Keith developed the original .44 Magnum load using 11 BHN bullets.

Don

Jlr2267
April 14, 2014, 09:31 PM
How does the throats size compare to the bore? if these are smaller it will drive you nuts.

What load range were you testing at with these powders, low, mid max?

18BHN is the hard cast which requires to be pushed hard to seal. I have always used 2400 for my 357 Mag when shooting lead. Which is the one powder you have not tried. Some powders burn Hot (temp) which can lead to more leading. BE has been used with lead for decades and works great. I use WST for my 45acp loads. I'm using the softer 12TBH from MBC 185gr SWC (beveled base). Now my load is very light. I was testing for leading at 4.0 gr, 150 rounds 185gr with no leading. Min recommended is 4.4gr.

Have you tried polishing your bore with Butches Bore Shine? If you have any roughness this may help.

The throats are not swaging the bullets...I checked it. I failed to list 2400, bit I did try it and got similar leading. I pretty much stay mid-range with all powders except 300-MP and H110

The bores on both revolvers are polished.

Jlr2267
April 14, 2014, 09:34 PM
I have not used MBC, but maybe tumble lube with Lee Alox Bullet Lube 4 oz Liquid? It works on reqular type cast bullets. How is accuracy? Accuracy get worse if you have real leading.

I may try that...couldn't hurt I guess.
Accuracy starts to taper after 100 or so. I can definitely tell when its time to stop.

tly999
April 14, 2014, 10:35 PM
This is a link to a PDF download about bullet casting. Chapter 7 deals with causes of leading:

http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm

I am not an expert by any means, but I shoot lots of commercially made hard cast bullets in 38 special and 44 magnum. I use Bullseye for my normal loads because it seems to prevent leading. I expect Bullseye is obturating the bullet faster so the bullet is not skidding down the barrel. I believe the fastest powder you listed is Green Dot (still slower than Bullseye) and you mentioned it gives you less leading than the other powders you mentioned.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

GLOOB
April 14, 2014, 11:07 PM
Aside from the throats, revolvers can have another common issue. There is often a constriction in the bore where the barrel is screwed into the frame. If your revos have one, then this is what you were measuring when you slugged the bore.

To check for a constriction, put a patch on a jag to where it's a tight fit in the bore, and push through the barrel while feeling for tight/loose spots.

I'm not sure why your other SWC didn't foul, though. So yeah, it might be a lube issue. I don't think 18BHN is too hard, unless there's something else going wrong.

Storm_Shadow
April 14, 2014, 11:21 PM
I can't really help but do you have pictures of the barrel after firing?

Jlr2267
April 14, 2014, 11:57 PM
I can't really help but do you have pictures of the barrel after firing?

No, I just cleaned it up. It is pretty much streaking lead from end to end, little heavier at the muzzle end. When I push it out I get strips of lead 1/2" long and lots of flakes

wmurphy
April 15, 2014, 12:03 AM
Have you spoken with MBC? He's pretty sharp, and can probably get you right to the solution.

Blue68f100
April 15, 2014, 10:31 AM
Since you have tested in mid range only. I would work up to near max since you have a very hard bullet. I don't think it's the lube. The lube used by MBC is very good and is a fairly high temp 140F.

sexybeast
April 15, 2014, 11:18 AM
I only have experience with greendot and unique of the powders you listed. First: What is the load you are using?
Second: Don't increase the load you are using. Leading is caused by gas going around the bullet. So if you increase the load it will magically seal up? I don't buy the "obutration" theory that more pressure is better when you are already leading.
A bevel base bullet won't make any difference, just easier to seat. Some real picky "bullseye" shooters like flat base bullets.
I have lots of experience shooting and loading lead in semi autos with 9mm and 40. Been loading and shooting 38 for about six months now on a regular basis with no leading out of three different guns using MBC bullets. I'm not a fan of pushing lead hard.
You've cleaned the bore in your Redhawk. Load up 7.0gr of unique with the 240 bullet and run them through. I like a mild taper crimp but a roll crimp will work fine too.
Don't worry about the lube, Missouri uses plenty on their bullets. [smokey]

Jlr2267
April 15, 2014, 11:19 AM
Since you have tested in mid range only. I would work up to near max since you have a very hard bullet. I don't think it's the lube. The lube used by MBC is very good and is a fairly high temp 140F.

I run near max with 300-mp and h110...heavy leading

blarby
April 15, 2014, 11:33 AM
Since you seem to have eliminated all of the other common problems, all I can deduce is that you are swaging your bullets when seating them into the cases.

.001 overbore doesn't matter if you are swaging them down .002 when you seat them.

Have you seated a bullet, then pulled it and measured its diameter yet ?

Jesse Heywood
April 15, 2014, 11:58 AM
Somehow your bullets are getting undersized. The added lube with Alox might work.

Jlr2267
April 15, 2014, 11:59 AM
Since you seem to have eliminated all of the other common problems, all I can deduce is that you are swaging your bullets when seating them into the cases.

.001 overbore doesn't matter if you are swaging them down .002 when you seat them.

Have you seated a bullet, then pulled it and measured its diameter yet ?

Yes, I checked 6 bullets before/after with no change.

blarby
April 15, 2014, 12:06 PM
Yes, I checked 6 bullets before/after with no change.

Well, ya got me stumped.

You either have a mechanical problem thats the same in both of your weapons, or we're missing something.

While I don't doubt that bad bullets are possible, I'd just like to throw in that from MBC its highly unlikely.

Do you have a method of testing bullet hardness ? Maybe you think you have 22, but really have 14- hey, it happens. I've done it.

The only other thing that comes to mind is bevel based bullets. Never had the same results with bevel base as I did with flat base- and thats truly a bullet issue, but not an unfixable one.

Peter M. Eick
April 15, 2014, 01:37 PM
Where is the leading occuring?

Near the forcing cone, the bullet is the wrong size or the cylinder/forcing cone have size issues
Near the barrel, running out of lube
In the middle, constriction in the barrel (normally at the threads) or rough barrel
(these are my rules of thumb)

This assumes you have the right sized bullet and it is not massively overhard which it does not sound like it is. I would prefer a tighter fit in the cylinder but yours is not bad.

Jlr2267
April 15, 2014, 01:57 PM
Where is the leading occuring?

Near the forcing cone, the bullet is the wrong size or the cylinder/forcing cone have size issues
Near the barrel, running out of lube
In the middle, constriction in the barrel (normally at the threads) or rough barrel
(these are my rules of thumb)

This assumes you have the right sized bullet and it is not massively overhard which it does not sound like it is. I would prefer a tighter fit in the cylinder but yours is not bad.

Entire length of the barrel, none on the cone. Barrel is polished.

sexybeast
April 15, 2014, 02:47 PM
I run near max with 300-mp and h110...heavy leading

OK, "near max" and "heavy leading" usually go together with lead.
The bullets are probably fine, all the thousands I bought from MBC were. Adding more lube won't make any difference either.
Don't use a factory crimp die, clean your barrel, and drop the charge to the starting load. Also use a faster powder the h110, try the unique and report back.

Jlr2267
April 15, 2014, 04:45 PM
OK, "near max" and "heavy leading" usually go together with lead.
The bullets are probably fine, all the thousands I bought from MBC were. Adding more lube won't make any difference either.
Don't use a factory crimp die, clean your barrel, and drop the charge to the starting load. Also use a faster powder the h110, try the unique and report back.

As stated, *all* powders are leading, including Unique.

Barrel is clean/polished, as stated. FCD has no effect on my bullet size, as stated.

Blue68f100
April 15, 2014, 04:58 PM
Have you tried the low end, min?

Since you have pushed these med and up the only area you have not tested is low.

Do you have a way to confirm the hardness?

No not use the FCD till this is figured out.

Wreck-n-Crew
April 15, 2014, 06:30 PM
FME 18BHN are very hard and finicky. They produced heavy leading in the model 66 S&W I had at the time (the length of the barrel) Right along the grooves. Lube change helped but not enough. I used cast with a 12 BHN and no more problems for light to medium loads. YMMV

IMO drop to a 12 BHN cast bullet with a good lube and retry.

Note: I was under the impression that a BHN 18> was for slow powder/ heavy charge and the softer the BHN are for light loads etc. Once again YMMV but your using everything in the book (powder), deciding what kind of load you would like to shoot first, then choose the powder and bullet that is best suited for that load type might be a better approach IMO.

Jlr2267
April 15, 2014, 06:54 PM
Once again YMMV but your using everything in the book (powder), deciding what kind of load you would like to shoot first, then choose the powder and bullet that is best suited for that load type might be a better approach IMO .

I shoot hot, mild and mid-range. I'm not good enough to choose a powder/bullet combo that is "best suited" without trying them first. Conventional wisdom says MBC 18BHN lead, sized properly, will work great with hot magnum loads w/slow powders (but it doesn't in my revolvers)...which led me to try different powders in an attempt to find that "best-suited" combo...

I think the softer lead may be the answer. I will try some when these are gone.

MifflinKid
April 15, 2014, 07:30 PM
Have you slugged your barrel? If the forcing cone is not building up lead but from the frame to the muzzle are showing lead deposits then I would guess you have a frame choke. That would allow the gases to blow by the bullet and foul the barrel from the beyond the point of the choke.

Jlr2267
April 15, 2014, 07:44 PM
In both revolvers, the bullets are approximately .0015" oversize to the bore (based on slug measurements).


From the OP

Peter M. Eick
April 15, 2014, 09:11 PM
Ok, I am stumped. I would have to fiddle with it.

You may just have a barrel that likes to lead. Some do I guess.

gacajun
April 15, 2014, 09:27 PM
I shot CAS and have shot thousands of MBC bullets....all in a .38sp....Ruger Vaquero. I use Clays powder and use a midrange load....3.0 grains. I haven't had a leading problem with their bullets. I've also loaded and shot several thousand 230gr MBC bullets out of a 1911...again without the major leading that you have described. I use 3.7 gr Clays...a midrange load.

I've also shot about 500 95gr .380 MBC out of a S&W Bodyguard .380..used Universal Clays powder, midrange load and not much leading.

Now I have not shot any SWC bullets of theirs.....I wonder if its something specifically related to the bullet shape, not the bullet hardness?

tightgroup tiger
April 15, 2014, 09:58 PM
I feel for you, I have a really strange problem with one of my new high dollar revolvers that I can't figure out either but that's for another thread.

I think if I had your problem I would try shooting lead bullets that were much softer than 18brn. I have shot a lot of hard cast and have always had leading but not to the degree that you apparently have.

I have better luck shooting wheel weight lead than anything else. It's around 8 brn and I like it about .002"over bore. Other than that I have miserable luck with store bought lead bullets.

I have about 1200 MBC bullets sitting on my shelf that is sitting there for the same reason. They're 18brn also. .38 and 9mm both.

Shot them through 3 different revolvers and two different pistols respectively with the same leading results. That's why their still sitting on my shelf.

Like I said, I have miserable luck with store bought lead bullets. Their to hard unless you load for bear.
That's my experience with them. Hope someone can help you with them.

Shooter14
April 15, 2014, 10:32 PM
I had problems with leading in my Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter 44 mag at first with the MBC 240 grain bullets. Decided it might be copper fouling left in the rough barrel stripping the lead, so I went through a cleaning regimen with JB bore scrub to try and smooth the barrel and accelerate break-in. I suppose it worked. I have shot hundreds of the MBC 240's using 300 MP at 1350 to 1550 fps with hardly any lead fouling whatsoever.

Peter M. Eick
April 15, 2014, 10:36 PM
One thing I am considering with my SBH's is using one of the bore burnishing bullets to smooth up the barrel. I have not committed to it though.

Jlr2267
April 15, 2014, 10:57 PM
I had problems with leading in my Super Blackhawk Bisley Hunter 44 mag at first with the MBC 240 grain bullets. Decided it might be copper fouling left in the rough barrel stripping the lead, so I went through a cleaning regimen with JB bore scrub to try and smooth the barrel and accelerate break-in. I suppose it worked. I have shot hundreds of the MBC 240's using 300 MP at 1350 to 1550 fps with hardly any lead fouling whatsoever.

I had exactly the same thought, and tried that too. It didn't work in my case, but that (copper fouling) often is the culprit

Curator
April 16, 2014, 12:33 AM
Bevel base cast bullets suck! Besides this, your two Rugers may also be cursed with "thread-chokes." This is where the barrel is compressed as it is screwed into the frame. I have two Rugers (Sp101 and SBH) that had thread chokes of .002+. Chamber throats were correct size but the barrel inside the frame squeezed the bullets down an extra .002" then they had blow-by leading in the remainder of the bore. My .44 Rem Mag SBH had .432 chamber throats and a .430 groove diameter bore but a .4275 diameter thread-choke. .432 diameter cast bullets leaded like crazy. The Sp101 only had a .0015 choke but leaded badly with cast bullets. Both guns shot jacketed bullets fine. Once I fire-lapped out the thread chokes both guns shot very accurately lead or jacketed bullets and without fouling.

Jlr2267
April 23, 2014, 07:41 PM
Well, I think I am out of ideas w/MBC and leading. Shot some SWC thru my 686 today, 6 grains of Green Dot...lead from end to end of the barrel (same result in a GP100). Shot some 240 grainers thru my Redhawk...11.5 gr Herco left no lead, 22gr IMR4227 left very little (if any)...20gr 2400 fouled the barrel end to end...no rhyme or reason....I think I am going back to softer lead and jacketed bullets...

ReloaderFred
April 23, 2014, 10:40 PM
I use the same molds MBC uses (Magma), but I cast almost all my bullets at BHN 12, and get no leading, and we're talking about thousands of rounds per year. I think your bullet is just too hard.

Hope this helps.

Fred

GLOOB
April 24, 2014, 03:07 AM
At least three people mentioned possibility of a bore constriction. One having similar experiences with some of your handguns and posting his solution. Did you spend a couple minutes checking this out?

You say you are all out of ideas. Maybe you missed something really obvious?

Fwiw my 686 has a constriction.

oldcelt
April 24, 2014, 09:25 AM
Something to consider, metal composition maybe like too much tin will cause. Not impossible.

Jlr2267
April 24, 2014, 12:33 PM
At least three people mentioned possibility of a bore constriction. One having similar experiences with some of your handguns and posting his solution. Did you spend a couple minutes checking this out?

You say you are all out of ideas. Maybe you missed something really obvious?

Fwiw my 686 has a constriction.

Yes, none of the 3 revolvers have a measurable constriction, and all lead badly with MBC bullets.

judgedelta
April 24, 2014, 01:16 PM
I had the same problem with the MBC bullets. Solved it with the plated X-treme 158 FP. Cleaned it yesterday; almost no smut on the pistol and two patches cleaned the bore. Perhaps the softer bullets would solve the problem, or perhaps full-bore loads would make the difference, but I'm not going to get into casting. No more than I shoot it is cheaper to buy plated for target practice.

GLOOB
April 24, 2014, 04:09 PM
I load 158gr MBC "Action!" bullets over 6.0 gr Unique in 357 cases. According to Alliant, this is good for around 1034 fps. This is a mild-recoiling load, as 357 goes.

Cast bullets sometimes require some troubleshooting. There's no rocket science, but it can take a good deal of patience. Most of us don't have a shooting range in the backyard.

OP: if you let those bullets sit around long enough, you will probably figure it out one day.

9w1911
April 27, 2014, 02:37 AM
slug the barrels, we cant even begin to help you without knowing what the barrels measure at
also try with a softer lead anywhere from 10-12bhn

ugaarguy
April 27, 2014, 03:27 AM
Several posts have been deleted. Treat each other with respect and help the OP if you can.

kelbro
April 27, 2014, 10:47 AM
I think that BHN is too hard.

If you have a bunch of those left over, it might be a good time to try powdercoating. $5 worth of powdercoat from Harbor Freight, a coffee can for 'tumbling' and a toaster oven will stop that leading. You would have to soak those bullets in paint thinner to remove the old lube.

Peter M. Eick
April 27, 2014, 02:58 PM
JR,

Have you tried different extremes in terms of hardness?

What about Lasercast? Do they also lead?
What about Penn Bullets? Do they also lead?
What about RimRock? Do they also lead?

Is this unique to only MBC or to lead in general?

I am starting to wonder since it is multiple guns involved.

As an aside, I loaded up a few thousand jacketeds with max loads of 2400 for my 357 SBH's. My 7.5" has a noticeable constriction and the 5" is ok. I am just going to blast them with some jacketed then get a bore polish kit to take out the constriction.

Jlr2267
April 27, 2014, 05:24 PM
JR,

Have you tried different extremes in terms of hardness?

What about Lasercast? Do they also lead?
What about Penn Bullets? Do they also lead?
What about RimRock? Do they also lead?

Is this unique to only MBC or to lead in general?

I am starting to wonder since it is multiple guns involved.

As an aside, I loaded up a few thousand jacketeds with max loads of 2400 for my 357 SBH's. My 7.5" has a noticeable constriction and the 5" is ok. I am just going to blast them with some jacketed then get a bore polish kit to take out the constriction.

I have used various brands, over the years, of softer lead bullets up to ~12 BHN, without leading, using the same loads. I occasionally got light leading with really hot magnum loads and softer lead with H110 or 2400, but not like now. This is the first batch of "hardcast" bullets I have tried, and they lead in both hot and mild loads.

I do have some Oregon Trail 158gr SWC to try...they are even harder, so my expectation is that I'll get similar results.

Peter M. Eick
April 27, 2014, 07:10 PM
So no (minor) problems with soft bullets. That tells me the lead is not bumping up enough. I agree Lasercast will be likely worse.

So you can basically shoot a swaged bullet like a speer or a remington with little to no problems but not the traditional hardcasts.

I would be really interested to see if you have a constriction in the barrel and the thread point. Off the top of my head that is the best I can come up with for why hardcasts won't work well. My theory is that the hardcasts bump up in the throat, get swaged down at the constriction but can bump up again afterwards. This is truly a guess though.

The easy answer is shoot lighter loads with swaged (soft) lead and move on. The harder is try to sort out why. Leading with hard casts is normally a fit problem and so we need to look back at the fit carefully.

Jlr2267
April 27, 2014, 07:28 PM
I will try the harder bullets this week and go from there. If leading is worse or the same, I'll go back and again go over the measurements carefully.

I did slug the muzzle end and breech end separately in 2 of the revolvers when checking for a constriction, and if there is one, I cannot measure it, nor can I feel it. Measurements indicated at least a .001" interference fit between bullet/bore in both.

Double-checking cannot hurt however

the_ogre25
April 27, 2014, 08:17 PM
Have you tried tumble lubing them with Lee alox yet? I had severe leading with the MBC target grade 200 grn SWC bullets in 2 1911 pistols and a xdm. I found elsewhere to try tumble lubing them and it cured my leading problems.
Bore is clean even after a few hundred rounds.

Jlr2267
May 1, 2014, 07:55 PM
OK, I tried some Oregon Trail bullets today (because I had some), and got what I expected...bad leading in every load but one.

The pics show the severity after only 6 rounds of 11.5gr 2400 under a 158gr SWC from Oregon Trail, but I got similar results with all the following (all in Starline Brass with std primers):

11.5gr 2400, 158gr SWC -Oregon Trail
11.5gr 2400, 158gr SWC - MBC
8gr Power Pistol, 158gr SWC - MBC
6gr Green Dot, 158gr SWC - Oregon Trail
6gr Green Dot, 158gr SWC - MBC

However, I got no leading (or very little) from 17.3gr 300-MP using the Oregon Trail bullet (but I do with the MBC bullet in the same load :cuss:). The 17.3gr load is hot, so I am assuming that my other loads did not provide enough pressure to prevent gas blowby.

Interestingly, the "book values" for pressure on the above-listed loads are approximately:

2400 --> 25,000 CUP
Green Dot --> 34,000 CUP
Power Pistol --> 33,000 CUP (estimated from a JSP load)
300-MP --> unknown (of course :banghead:)

According to MBC, that 25k CUP load with Alliant 2400 should be close to optimum for their 18 BHN bullet. I have found no load, hot or mild, that works with their 18 BHN bullet, but have used their softer ones with success (primarily in 45 Colt).

I guess my experiment is over. I'm going back to softer lead when these are gone. I suppose I can use the Oregon trail bullets for VERY hot loads w/out leading.

http://i57.tinypic.com/255nshz.jpghttp://i57.tinypic.com/vsffae.jpghttp://i60.tinypic.com/2lcnq6d.jpg

oldcelt
May 1, 2014, 09:41 PM
I cannot understand what the problem here is. I cast my bullets from 9 lbs. ww and 1 lb of 50/50 solder or Lyman# 2 sized to 358 and push to near 1300 fps and never have a lead problem. Some rifle loads about 2200 fps , no lead. This bore looks a little like I'v seen when I use Lee alox lube after sizing tumble lubed bullets for hot loads. Do I see excess lube around the bore in the picture?

Wreck-n-Crew
May 1, 2014, 10:31 PM
I guess my experiment is over. I'm going back to softer lead when these are gone. I suppose I can use the Oregon trail bullets for VERY hot loads w/out leading. I guess my experiment is over. I'm going back to softer lead when these are gone. I suppose I can use the Oregon trail bullets for VERY hot loads w/out leading. BTW what was the BHN on the Oregon Trail Bullets? Because if they are 14BHN or lower you owe me a hero cookie for my post :neener:...lol Just kidding.

There is a possibility that the MBC batch were harder than they were suppose to be. There are plenty of people who use MBC with the same load and pressure as you without the same issue so I would consider it a possibility. I once had a batch of cast bullets that leaded my whole barrel. Had me puzzled as I was using the same powder charge and same bullets as before. I opened the second box and loaded some of hem and the problem disappeared. Evidently there was a problem with the first box, it happens.

I am just glad you got it worked out.

Jlr2267
May 1, 2014, 10:41 PM
I cannot understand what the problem here is. I cast my bullets from 9 lbs. ww and 1 lb of 50/50 solder or Lyman# 2 sized to 358 and push to near 1300 fps and never have a lead problem. Some rifle loads about 2200 fps , no lead. This bore looks a little like I'v seen when I use Lee alox lube after sizing tumble lubed bullets for hot loads. Do I see excess lube around the bore in the picture?

No extra lube was used...only what MBC and Oregon Trail puts in their lube groove. There is, however, some residual lube as best I can tell.

Jlr2267
May 1, 2014, 10:48 PM
BTW what was the BHN on the Oregon Trail Bullets? Because if they are 14BHN or lower you owe me a hero cookie for my post :neener:...lol Just kidding.

There is a possibility that the MBC batch were harder than they were suppose to be. There are plenty of people who use MBC with the same load and pressure as you without the same issue so I would consider it a possibility. I once had a batch of cast bullets that leaded my whole barrel. Had me puzzled as I was using the same powder charge and same bullets as before. I opened the second box and loaded some of hem and the problem disappeared. Evidently there was a problem with the first box, it happens.

I am just glad you got it worked out.

I don't think Oregon Trail publishes their hardness (I could be wrong about that)...but from all I have read, they are harder than 18 BHN (I've read as high as 24). Luckily, I know my loads will work with softer lead, so I can get back to what I know, and leave these ultra-hard bullets for those who have figured it out.

I appreciate all your suggestions...made me think carefully about what I was trying to do.

Peter M. Eick
May 3, 2014, 11:26 AM
You have me. That is terrible leading and you are getting lube to the barrel end from the crown star you are showing.

I would just use softer bullets or relegate it to jacketeds.

tightgroup tiger
May 3, 2014, 12:11 PM
I'm sure glad I'm not the only one with this leading problem and mine spans over several guns except for one. My .327 fed mag loves my lead alloy but I have around 100lbs of alloy for one pistol. 32 caliber at that so that 100lbs of alloy will definitely last me the rest of my life and then some.

Peter, I see the lube on the muzzle crown but I've heard the term "lube streaks" also, what do they look like as opposed to the lead streaks, Jlr2257s barrels look something like mine after about 100 rounds of hard cast lead bullets. That's why I quit using them and went to plated.

My .327 is clean after about 100 rounds but those bullets are .002"over bore size instead of the general .001"over. I use alox tumble lube and Lee mold, I always figured the .002"over bore size was why I didn't get leading it that particular gun with the WW alloy I use.

I know JLR2257 is using MBC hard cast, and I have the same problem right down the line with MBC, but would a softer bullet that would be, say, .002" over help stop this leading problem more completely in his and my guns alike? Or could it make it worse. I know JLR2257 apparently doesn't cast but I always been curious about this since my .327 fed mag doesn't lead at all. (I'm using midrange loads in it).

Rule3
May 3, 2014, 03:48 PM
I am late to the "party" but shoot a lot of MBC bullets I have no problem with the 44 Mag bullets.

In the 357 Mag 158 gr I prefer the 12 BHN rather than the 18 BHN. Even with near max loads. I would rather have a little softer obturate than the hard ones not.

Same reason I do not like the 45 ACP Soft Ball made out of the same 18 BHN alloy. I special order the 12 BHN. No reason for the 18 BHN in a 45 ACP. I discussed it with Brad and he says he makes them that way as folks want hard cast for the 45 so that's what he makes .

Blue68f100
May 3, 2014, 03:49 PM
Have you confirmed the harness of the bullet that's causing all this leading problem? If these happen to be very soft <8BHN it will cause leading no matter what you do. With very soft lead it's only good for muzzle loaders and shotgun slugs.

RealGun
May 3, 2014, 04:03 PM
OP wrote in part: The bullets will pass thru each cylinder with mild pressure, and are coming out the same size as they went in.

I want FMJ to pass through cylinder throats without much coaxing, but the lead must require some tapping with possibly some shaving. Other wise I get the throats reamed. Of course, I use a bullet that I have measured as a good size representative.

Almost every revolver I have had tight throats for use with lead. Yours sound like they are oversized. The possibility offered that the gun may have to be reserved for FMJ may be the route to take.

You have measured the bore but I don't think you mentioned measuring the throats. Might want to check that.

bds
May 3, 2014, 04:06 PM
As to Oregon Trail hardness, they state 24 BHN - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=412361

Jlr2267
May 4, 2014, 04:12 PM
By the way, if anyone wants to drive the sizing ring from their 357 Lee FCD, I found that a standard (not thick-walled) 7mm deep-well sockets fits that sweet spot. There is a shoulder just above the carbide ring that is slightly larger in diameter than the ID of the carbide ring, so you have to get a punch that is just the right diameter. Takes a few good whacks too...I did it right in the press.

I'm not advocating anyone do this, or suggesting it will fix my problem, but I'm gonna try it. I loaded a few w/out the FCD, using the seating die to crimp, and that works, but it's a PITA sometimes, especially with mixed brass, etc.

I'll report here if the sizing ring removal has any effect on the leading. While the bullets I measured did not seem to be getting swaged by the ring, I have noticed that the ring bumps the cartridge when loading lead, and never does with plated or jacketed, so it may be having an effect, especially with the thicker Starline brass...we shall see.

illinoisburt
May 5, 2014, 01:17 PM
If you have a large supply of the 18 BHN bullets, instead of shelving or melting why not add gas checks to eliminate the leading? They are cheap and can be added to any bullet with a simple tool.

blarby
May 5, 2014, 06:05 PM
an be added to any bullet with a simple tool.

Meh- not exactly simple if they don't have a GC shank. And the results can be so-so at best.

If you have the sizer that buts GC's on normal base bullets- thats awesome, but its not simple, nor cheap.

If you have something new I don't know about- please share it... I have access to about 40k really cheap bullets that need a GC, and I'd be happy to have a way to utilize them faster.

illinoisburt
May 6, 2014, 12:46 AM
Suppose the cost and hassle are relative. Plain base checks are readily available. Running them through a lube sizer will swage down the base and lock them in place. Might not be great for long range accuracy, but should be fine for short range fun without the leading.

http://www.sagesoutdoors.com/index.php?id_product=59&controller=product

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lee-358-Cal-Bullet-Lube-Sizing-Kit-LEE-90048-/231165606072?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35d28b38b8

blarby
May 6, 2014, 04:32 AM
He doesn't seem to offer them in .430, sadly :(

If you shot 35 or 40 calibers, that might not be a bad way to go if you couldn't get the lead to work right.

illinoisburt
May 6, 2014, 09:27 AM
Not sure why they separate out the aluminum checks into smaller and larger sizes from the drop down menu, but 44 cal and 45 cal PB checks are listed on the site - just not quite where you would expect them. Add in a 430 lube sizer and should be good to go.

:-)

http://www.sagesoutdoors.com/index.php?id_category=8&controller=category

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lee-Bullet-Lube-and-Size-Kit-430-dia-for-sizing-44-Special-44-Magnum-90062-/321201949590?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ac920cb96

Jlr2267
May 8, 2014, 06:56 PM
Just to close the books on this one, here's what happened with the loads I made w/out the sizing ring in the FCD:

14gr 2400, 158gr SWC - Oregon Trail - HEAVY LEADING

20gr 2400, 240gr SWC - MBC - Mild Leading
10.5gr Unique, 240gr SWC - MBC - Mild Leading
20gr 4227, 240gr SWC - MBC - Very Little Leading

I used a bore brush w/choreboy to de-lead the barrel between each test.

So, it appears that the FCD sizing ring was not swaging the 357 bullets, but may have been sizing the 44 bullets somewhat. The leading was significantly less severe with the latest 44 reloads. I'm still puzzled by the 357 leading, but I don't have anymore energy (or patience) for it, so I'm definitely going back to softer lead.

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions.

RealGun
May 9, 2014, 08:49 AM
I wonder if the bullets are much harder than the rating and totally failing to obturate. Could be a fault in the alloy blend.

Jlr2267
June 11, 2014, 11:09 PM
Hate to revive this dead skunk, but I found a solution to my 44 mag leading. I just happened to have some .432" diameter RNFP bullets from MBC, of the same hardness, that I'd bought for a Marlin 1894. I was taking the rifle to the range today and thought I'd try the .432 bullets in the Redhawk just for the hell of it...based on my earlier measurements, these bullets would be 2 to 3 thousandths oversize.

They worked like a charm :what:. No leading whatsoever after 50 rounds. I guess .001 oversize just doesn't cut it with some barrels...

Learned something new, which is hard to do at my age...

Now if I can just find some 0.359"-0.360" diameter 158 grain bullets for my 357's

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