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Cast bullet help.

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Jack B., Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I have no experience with cast bullets. However I just received some for free. A friend just bought some at an estate sale.
    They are marked 44 & 357 caliber. It appears that the bullets were cast by a mom &pop outfit in a small town nearby some time ago. I've tried to look them up and call them using the address label on the box. I haven't had any luck. I don't know how old the bullets are but I suspect they have been out of business a long time.
    My question is how much variance should I expect to find bullet to bullet? Most of the 44 caliber bullets are measuring .431 inch and the .357 bullets are measuring at .358. Weights on the .431 bullets are running from 231gr. to 239 gr. these also have gas checks on them. The .358 bullets ( no gas checks) are less wide spread in their weights. They are running within 1 to 3 grs. of 152 gr.
    I have no way of measuring the hardness of the lead.
    I'll send some photos as soon as I figure out how to send them from my new phone. I also have some head stamp questions on a bunch of free brass that came with the bullets, that I have never seen.
     
  2. lightman

    lightman Member

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    That much variation seems excessive to me. My cast bullets are much closer than that unless I accidentally weigh one with a defect that I missed seeing. But having said that, those bullets should shoot well enough for plinking or casual target practice. You can always sort them by weight.

    Post up your questions on that odd brass. Chances are that someone can ID it even without pictures.
     
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  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    what you shooting them in, the weights will be fine for cast. i you can scratch the bullet with your finger nail it should be under about 12 bh.
     
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  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    The weights, especially the .357 bullets are alright. Unless you are using them for a Bullseye competition just load them up, shoot them and enjoy the free bullets.
     
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  5. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Loading the 44 calibers with 44 special data and shooting them in a 44 magnum hand gun. Same with the .358 bullets. 38 special load levels shooting in .357 magnum hand gun. I have Jacketed bullets for the hot stuff. Will try to have pictures of brass and a couple pics of bullets soon.
    Just got to find some young kid to show me how.:rofl:
     
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  6. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    if you got any questions just ask.
     
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  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Just a note, if the bullets are very hard you can possibly get some leading in your barrels. (BHN18) The low pressures from "Special" type loads may not expand the bullets enough to seal off the barrel an prevent leading. More leading happens from bullets that are too hard than too soft. Bullet fit is most important.

    I'm not trying to make you change anything, I just want you to be aware so as not to blame the lead bullets for the leading if it happens. Check the hardness with your fingernail, hopefully they are softer bullets. (BHN12).
     
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  8. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    cases 1.jpg cases 1.jpg As promised here are a few pics. Is anyone familiar with this bullet maker? I'm sure they went out of business many years ago
    Can anyone tell me anything about cases?

    cases 3.jpg
    These cases are all 38 special.Over 400 are new unfired.

    cases 2.jpg

    Here are the Bullets that came with the cases. 4 boxes of .431 and 1 box of.358

    cases 4.jpg
    I don't know where they came from and have no history on any of these items. They were bought at a estate sale by a friend but have not talked with him about any of it.
     
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  9. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    LC is usualy Lake City Arsenal. They make ammo for the military but I don't know if they made 38 Spcl. The military did have revolvers.
     
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  10. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I think those cases are very old. Maybe 40-50 years. There is no caliber stamped in them which makes them old. I'm just guessing. I need help on this one.
    I'm stumped.
     
  11. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Those cases are from ' 76, '78 and '79. It's stamped on them. Lake City brass as mentioned. Not common at all.

    Military cases don't have cartridge info on the headstamp.
     
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  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Again, it doesn't matter who made the bullets. It does matter how hard they are and the diameter. Since you already said the diameter correct are they sort of hard?

    Load them up and shoot them. The gas checked bullets can be used in a levergun. (or revolver of course)

    Correct on the brass, Lake City 1978-1979. Very good brass BTW.
     
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  13. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    I found that weight variation tends to be higher if the bullet are lubricated. I can't tell from the picture but could we be looking at several different bullets in each caliber?
     
  14. mdi

    mdi Member

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    For a new lead shooter I'd suggest you just use data for the specific cartridge you are reloading. Guessing or substituting load data may just be a solution for a problem you don't have. The most important factor in shooting lead is bullet to gun fit. Measure your cylinder throats ("push through", "drop through", "snug" and "tight" are not measurements, closer to a WAG). Pin/plug gauges are not overly expensive and you can slug throats like you slug barrels, and measure with micrometers.

    I have been reloading 44 Magnums for 30+ years and lead only for at least 25. With an appropriate alloy (not over 14 BHN) you can shoot lead bullets without leading if they fit your gun. I have 3, 44 Magnum revolvers (and all throats measure .431" and I size all my bullets to .431". Minimal if any barrel leading. Use starting loads right from your manual until you gain enough experience to substitute data. K.I.S.S. Yeah, it's no big deal shooting Special data in Magnum brass, until you have a problem.

    I have found a forum (castboolits.com) that have as much/more information than any source I've seen...
     
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  15. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    My 44 mag SBH likes brn 8-10 .432 with its .4315 factory throats with very minimal leading. Minimal meaning brush and hoppes #9 easily remove. No choreboy.
    Enjoy!
    My testing reveals boolits need to be .002 to .003 larger than bore to not lead. Jmho.
     
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  16. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    They are lubricated. As far as them being different I haven't compared them side by side yet but I will. I don't have the eye to distinguish the difference just by looking at them yet. I've been fooling around with the brass separating it new from used. It all came in a bucket and there is fired brass mixed in along with some .357 and I even found a 44 magnum case mixed in.
     
  17. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry Member

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    The measurement here has to do with unfired sized and lubed bullet. Lube starts to move. Check out you handgun after lubed bullets are fired. You should have a "lube star" at the muzzle. I has asked if there was more than one style of bullet per caliber. This difference can account for some of the weight variation. One of the signs supposedly of failing lube is lead fouling at the muzzle end of barrel. It's possible to find some store bought bullets to still have lube in the grooves when recovered at the range. That's not the way it supposed to be. Seen it plenty of times. Hope ;you stick with your reloading.
     
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  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Considering the .44s have gas checks, I would assume they were intended for full power loads.

    Nice bras haul, it will keep you shooting .38 Spl for a long time.
     
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  19. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    The .44s with gas checks are marked on the box 44 magnum. I guess that's what the maker intended them for. Thanks for all the help and advice everyone. Now I have a direction to go in. I still have much to learn about cast bullets.
     
  20. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    I have some other questions about casting bullets. Do you weigh your bullets before you lube them and if so how many grs. dose it add to the bullet weight? Lets say the bullet in question is a .44 cal. bullet.
     
  21. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    It depends on the bullet. It's such an open ended question there is no right answer. Also different lubes will add different amounts of weight.
     
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  22. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Where can I find pin gauges?
     
  23. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    Amazon?
     
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  24. mdi

    mdi Member

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    I have a full set from my machinist days but individual pins are available. I would get 2, one .429" (minimum) and one .432". If a .429" fits, the throat is small. If a .432" fits the throat is on the large size. For more precise measurements I would get more gauges; .429", .430", .431", and .432". This is one supplier, but google pin gauges for more...

    https://www.mscdirect.com/browse/tn...ages?navid=12107890#navid=12107890+4288242252

    I shoot bullets because I like to. I enjoy casting, lubing, sizing, developing a load, loading and shooting. I use jacketed bullets for my "Just in case" ammo (I keep about 1,000 rounds of 45 ACP with 230 FMJ that work in every 45 ACP gun I've encountered.). There is great satisfaction casting and shooting my own, just like handloading vs. factory ammo. More involved? So? More clean up? Minimal. Messy? Only as messy as the user. But retrieving a very good target from my cast load is unquestionably the most satisfying aspect of reloading I've found. While I don't hunt anymore, I can imagine how it would feel to take trophy game with one of my cast handloads...
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019
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  25. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    How much of that lube makes it out of the barrel and past the first one foot of its travel?
    I think you’re way overthinking the situation now. Just use the boolit weight and shoot them suckers!
    Good luck!
     
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