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Best cast bullet reloading data?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Run&Shoot, Sep 10, 2006.

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  1. Run&Shoot

    Run&Shoot Member

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    In the past I started reloading more and more jacketed bullets, partly because it was easier to find data for the common styles and many jacketed bullet makers produce excelllent manuals. It is convenient for me to buy Hornady and Speer bullets so I used their manuals for some time, as well as Nosler. Of course I also used manuals form the powder manufactueres such as Accurate, Hodgdon (which USED TO provide data for other powders as well!), and Winchester's pamphlet.

    Now, though, I am planning to reload almost entirely with cast lead bullets from various manufacturers as it is hard to find a reliable source from any one of them. I have to buy whatever is available as I can find it, and right now finding cast lead in .40 is not easy.

    However, even the Lyman manual is deficient in data for the most common bullet weights. Did they go out of their way to design odd ball bullet weight designs? 150 and 175 gr. .40 S&W instead of 155 and 180?!!

    I have the Laser Cast manual but it also is skimpy on bullet and especially powder selections.

    Has anyone discovered a good source of cast bullet data that covers a variety of pwders as well as the more common weights?

    Alternatively, how should I use the odd ball weight data in Lymans for the more common weights? If the manual lists 5.0 gr - 5.7 gr. of a certain powder for a 170 gr LSWC, but if I am loading a 180 gr. LRN should I reduce the 170 gr. loads by 5%-10%? I am not looking to milk the last fps out of my loads, just average loads for practice are fine.

    Or, should I quit my job, go into seclusion for five years and set up a test lab so that after trying out 1 million variations I could write my own "Common Loads for the Common Man" manual?
     
  2. 20yearvet

    20yearvet Member

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    I have EXACTLY the same question.
     
  3. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Lyman is the best for cast bullets. Its what I used for the last 10 years along with the powder manufacturers data. The Hodgdon annual has good data and you can also call Hodgdon for data if you are using one of their powdersor IMR or now Winchester.
    Most all of the cast bullets data is listed for are made from standard lyman molds. Its based upon the weight for that alloy noted in the book. Your caster may get 180 grain bullets from the same mold noted in the book due to his alloy of lead weighing slightly more.


    175 may be close enough to 180 for all practical purposes that you can safely use the data for the 180 grain lead bullet as well. Starting out by reducing the load 10% would be a good idea.
     
  4. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    You can use data for the next HEAVIER bullet, don't use a lighter weight bullet's data. As with all loads work them up starting at a lower than maximum listed for that heavier bullet (usually 10% redcution) and increase 1 to 2% untill you reach a desired level of accuracy or max load.
     
  5. Run&Shoot

    Run&Shoot Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I also relaized I should be able to at least use the jacketed load data for my cast lead loads, right?

    As I understand it, the jacketed bullets have more friction and therefore cause higher pressure for a given amount of powder. So if a load manual recommends 5.0 - 5.7 gr of a certain powder for a 180 gr JHP bullet, I should be able to use that same data, especially toward the middle like 5.5 gr, with a 180 gr LRN bullet. Right?

    Are there any instances where a lead bullet of the same weight should NOT be loaded with the powder weight of a jacketed bullet?

    I am not particularly interested in getting the most velocity, so if the lead bullet lost 50-100 fps over the jacketed load that is fine by me. I am more interested in safety and repeatability than max velocity.

    If this approach is OK, then my Speer, Nosler, and Hornady manuals get a new life in the cast lead world. Still, I can't believe that with as much cast lead that is used there is not more specific information for loading it.
     
  6. Grump

    Grump Member

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    Lyman is by far the most complete. Next up is the one by Laser-Cast/Oregon Trail Bullet Company.
     
  7. BruceB

    BruceB Member

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    Run&Shoot, pard;

    Lyman's most-recent handbook is now all of 20 years old. Many things have changed in the interim, and the book is badly out-dated.

    The best current source for cast-bullet information of which I'm aware (and note that I'm PREJUDICED) is the "Cast Boolits" site at www.cb.gunloads.com

    There are over 1800 active casters there, and some extremely good and up-to-date information.

    The Cast Boolit board is busy, too, with many posts every day on a vast spectrum of subjects. This is distinctly UNlike most cast-bullet sites on the Internet. Come on over and introduce yourselves to a great and friendly group of casters and reloaders.
     
  8. Shoney

    Shoney Member

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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2006
  9. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I'd agree with above agvice. I think it says in the Lyman book that you can use info from a heavier bullet for a lighter one. For example, if you have a 170, you can use 180 info
     
  10. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    Lymans book is, IMO the best when wanting to start out with loading cast bullets. By the time you become comfortable with everything, then go to the websites like what was previously suggested...Cast Boolits is an excellent place to go for more advice as to what loads, moulds, alloys, lubes, and other equipment you would like to try/need/use. Of course, this will invariably lead to, more likely than not, into a life of casting your own...so be wary... :)


    D
     
  11. JoeHatley

    JoeHatley Member

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    I've got a RCBS Cast Bullet book. It's great, unfortunately it went out of print a few years ago, You might be able to find one on the used market.

    Joe
     
  12. bakert

    bakert Member

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    Joe, I've got that same book. It's a good one. Been using it for a lot of years.
    Also according to Richard Lee, using a bullet that weighs a bit less than the data calls for is OK but not vice versa.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2006
  13. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The Lyman Pistol and Revolver Manual, 3rd edition, came out last year and it's an excellent source of information. I also use about a dozen other manuals, too. You'll find quite a bit of lead bullet data in the Accurate Manual, but only with their powders.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  14. Run&Shoot

    Run&Shoot Member

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    Thanks for the references BruceB and Shoney. I'll try those out. By the way, the second edition Modern Reloading has some pretty good cast bullet listings as well. I just received it yesterday and it looks at least as good as Lyman, maybe more data.

    The other thing I was thinking was that since I am not looking for top velocity and jackected bullets cause more pressure per gain than lead, I should be able to use the jacketed bullet data for the same weight of lead, right?

    Man can you believe this? My wife is not into my shooting activities at all. Not negative but just no interest. I was planning some reloading for my new Glock 23 with Storm Lake barrel and she just comes out and asks, "Honey, wouldn't it be cheaper if you made your own bullets? I'm sure you could do that too." :what:

    How can you love your wife more when she says things like that. I need to buy a furnace and moulds quick!! :D
     
  15. robertbank

    robertbank Member

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    Your wife is a keeper....clone her!

    Take Care

    Bob

    ps they have a habit of changing their minds so get yourself a RCBS furnace a a couple of molds and a lube sizer while she is in the mood!
     
  16. Run&Shoot

    Run&Shoot Member

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    Handloads.com! Thanks Shoney!

    Wow! Handloads.com is quite a site.. The load database is something else. It has listing galore. Maybe a hundred just for .40 S&W 180 gr.

    It looks like members and guests can submit their own load data and also state a reference source, if any. To use this I would first compare several entries against each other to see which ones seem reasonable. Then I would look for the reference sources to see if I can get confirmation and more data.

    Not something to use by itself, but a great starting point if you can't find data for the bullet or powder you are wanting to use; or you just want to try something new. Cross refernce with similar known data and you should have a good idea whether the listed load is reasonable. And I would also start at the low end and work up as always.

    Thanks, Shoney!
     
  17. Nhsport

    Nhsport Member

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    Just a heads up for the new guys---Lymans sells a specific "Cast Bullet Handbook" That has loads not shown in the standard Lyman Reloading Manual.
    Yes,the manuals are out of date
     
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