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Cast Bullet Quality

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by red rick, Apr 19, 2013.

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  1. red rick

    red rick Member

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    Is there a difference in the quality of cast bullets ( 45c RN FP ) from Oregon Trail at 68.75 vs Missouri Bullet Co. at $51.00 for 500.
     
  2. funklord12

    funklord12 Member

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    I believe the only difference is OT uses an alloy that is 24 BHN. MBC bullets are 18 or 12 BHN.
     
  3. AABEN

    AABEN Member

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    There is nothing wrong with a 18 they do not lead up your barrel if you clean your gun when done shooting.
     
  4. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    No, there is not. OT is simply way harder. Too hard in fact. I shoot MBC 300g LTC at absolute blistering speeds from a blackhawk, no leading. I also shoot the Cowboy#9 255SWC at low and ruger only pressures, no leading issues.

    Basically you can pay more for a much harder bullet that I doubt you would need.
     
  5. red rick

    red rick Member

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    45c

    I received my first 500 bullets from Oregon Trail last week. Since then I found out about Missouri Bullet Co.

    What velocity should I stay under for 12 ?
     
  6. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    There is no blanket right or wrong answer to that. I shoot the 12bhn Cowboy9(255swc) over 1300fps in my Blackhawk with no leading at all. They fit my throats good. I could push it faster too, I believe. I also load thier 18bhn bullets well over 1500fps out of my 7.5" Blackhawk. Not to eager to share that data, as its very much so over pressure by SAAMI specs. The bullets can take it if the fit is right.
     
  7. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    The Missouri Web site has a formula you can use to estimate what BHN you should based on pressure. In my talking with them, I was told a rule of thumb is to use 12 BHN on loads under 1000 FPS and 18 for over 1000 FPS. This is just a quideline. They produce very fine bullets.
     
  8. jjjitters

    jjjitters Member

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    As long as you get the bullets that are at least .001"(up to .0025ish) over bore size harness won't make much of a difference. 12 bhn will shoot the same as 24bhn at the same fps. The only place where I've found harder is better is with certain caliber the harder grips better without skidding when spinning up and on shallow rifling.
    I have some .45acp 150gr lswc that accuracy went up when I added more lino to my alloy and ice water dropped them.The 45 barrels tend to have rather shallow rifling.
    9mm "can" benefit with harder alloys due to the twist rate and getting the bullets spinning. Either way leading isn't an issue whether harder or softer.

    I'd go with MBC and make sure the bullets are big enough and will still chamber, usually .002" oversize.
     
  9. bds

    bds Member

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    Yes.

    I used to shoot 22-24 BHN commercial "hard cast" bullets before in 9mm/45ACP and had to use high-to-near max lead load data to minimize leading but always had to deal with some amount of leading in the barrels. When I switched to 12/18 BHN Missouri Bullet Company bullets, now I could use mid-to-high range target load data and not experience leading.

    When my oversized factory barrel of PT145 could not produce accuracy and experienced heavy leading with 18 BHN 200 gr SWC (IDP #1) and 5.0 gr of W231/HP-38, softer 12 BHN 200 gr SWC (Bullseye #1) deformed/obturated easier to produce accuracy without leading, even with lighter target load of 4.0 gr Promo - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=578444

    Many will post that bullet-to-barrel fit is king and .001" over barrel's groove diameter is the way to go regardless of the BHN/hardness of the bullet but I load for multiple pistols with varying barrel diameters and it is not feasible for me to have different sized bullets. For me, it is easier to simply have one "soft" or lower BHN bullet load that will work in multiple pistols.

    Here's Glen Fryxell's comments on cast bullet alloys and obturation - http://www.lasc.us/FryxellCBAlloyObturation.htm

    More on cast bullet alloys - http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_3_alloySelectionMetallurgy.htm
     
  10. red rick

    red rick Member

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    This has been a very educational thread for me, thanks.

    Looks like I made a bad bullet choice for my loading. I will just have to clean a little harder for my first 500 rds. and pay close attention to the leading vs the different BHN, 24 that I have now and 12 that I will be going too.
     
  11. blarby

    blarby Member

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    FWIW,

    If your leading isn't bad, you can blow all of it out using an FMJ round in 45.

    This is how I kept the pipes clean testing alloys for my bullets.

    I used 3 FMJ's after every 2 magazines of lead round nose bullets, and it worked like a charm.

    Now that I have the hardness set I use 1 fmj after every session- and it just blows the lube out perfectly, and leaves the BBL ready for cleaning, or action again !

    I settled on bullets .001 over bore diameter, in the 12-16 range for 45 acp, and 16-20 range for non-gas checked 44 mag at near full pressure. I'm still able to use my standard 12-16 bullets in 44 mag using Unique loads- but not full tilt h110 loads.
     
  12. jjjitters

    jjjitters Member

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    Rick, what size did you get? (.451, .452,or .453) If they happen to be over your barrel size, leading shouldn't be much if any of an issue. Its just not necessary to be that hard. Most 45's will be fine with .452, if not then they won't be able to seal as easy as a softer alloy.

    BDS, I like you point of only having one size bullet for all guns, I have tried that and it works for the most part, except I seem to get 2 barrels in several calibers that are on total opposite ends of the specs and could never get the biggest barrel to not have leading(and decent accuracy) when the boolit is .002" undersize just to fit that d##n large one ,or small one. ( a 9mm@.3565-.357"max for one barrel to allow chambering, to .359 for 2 Beretta barrels) also a .4515 NM Nighthawk barrel to a .454 PT1911 barrel. I settled with 2 sizes for both calibers and just use a different colored marker on the containers to keep organized. It work good and I now get no issues with stuck rounds in tight chambers this way.
     
  13. bds

    bds Member

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    jjjitters, my 9mm Lone Wolf and KKM barrels range .355"-.356" in groove diameter and the 124/125 gr 18 BHN MBC/16 BHN Dardas/14-16 BHN ZCast bullets sized .356" work well without leading using mid-to-high range W231/HP-38 and 3.8 - 4.0 gr of Promo. I have tried .357" sized bullets but the problem is the tighter chambers won't allow the finished rounds to fully chamber.

    The chambering problem gets worse with 40S&W and 45ACP barrels. While M&P40/45 factory barrels will feed/chamber larger than .401"/.452" sized bullets, Lone Wolf 40S&W and Sig 1911 TacPac chambers are tight and .401"/.452" sized bullets with flat taper crimp just so snuggly will fully chamber. There is no way these tighter chambers will accomodate larger sized bullets. 170-180 gr 18 BHN MBC/16 BHN Dardas/14-16 BHN ZCast bullets sized .401" worked well without leading using mid-to-high range W231/HP-38 and 3.8 - 4.0 gr of Promo.

    The looser chambers of RIA Tactical and Taurus PT145 will just about accomodate anything but the PT145 has oversized groove diameter around .456" and it's hard to get 45 bullets sized .457"-.458" and the finished rounds certainly won't chamber in anything else. ;) For the oversized PT145 barrel, even the 18 BHN MBC bullets (IDP #1) didn't help and produced erratic accuracy with heavy leading. 14 BHN Mastercast and 14-16 BHN ZCast bullets helped but 12 BHN MBC 200 gr SWC (Bullseye #1) was the solution with mid-to-high range W231/HP-38 that produced accurate shot groups and no leading. The 12 BHN bullet even worked well with lighter 4.0 gr Promo load that produces lighter recoil target loads. Of course the 12 BHN MBC load works in Sig/RIA 1911 and M&P45 so I settled with just one load of 12 BHN bullet.

    YMMV depending on the pistols/barrels used.
     
  14. red rick

    red rick Member

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    I have the .452 bullets and will be shooting them from a Uberti Smoke Wagon.
     
  15. red rick

    red rick Member

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    bds, I live in the Falling Creek area, but I never heard anyone talk about Falling Creek having the first North American lead mine in 1621. Very intresting links you posted. Strange that I would ask a lead question, makes me fill like I live in a small world.
     
  16. bds

    bds Member

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    Sing along with me ... "It's a small world after all .... It's a small world after all ..." :D :D :D
     
  17. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Its a small world afterrrr ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL.
     
  18. caster

    caster Member

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    It is amazing, the speculative voodoo associated with cast bullets and leading on the internet never ceases.

    There is no x BHN for over or under any fps.

    Take the BHN of the alloy, multiply by 1422 and don't load to exceed that number in psi.

    Leading, or the lack thereof is all about proper bullet to groove diameter fit and not running a higher psi than your alloy can withstand.

    12 BHN shoots perfectly fine in 45 ACP, as does 10 BHN, as will (with some loads) less.

    Slug your barrel/throat and size your bullets accordingly and don't outrun your alloy.

    No mystical catch all or speculation, just simple fact.

    Anything over 15-16 BHN with any 45 ACP load is a waste of linotype or antimony and unless your bullet fit is absolutely perfect harder than this will cause leading where a softer (proper BHN) alloy would not lead at all
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2013
  19. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Thats exactly what has been expressed here. I havent noticed any talk of voodoo or cutoff points in speed, in fact quite the opposite if you read the posts in this thread and that are generally found in this forum. Maybe other forums subscribe to that policy. Around here we stick with facts and experience, not rumor and voodoo.

    Fit is king, after that comes hardness. Hardness can make up for poor fit.
     
  20. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    Red Rick,
    Get your hands on a copy of the LEE, MODERN RELOADING (2nd addition) Book (if you don't have one already)
    Mr Richard Lee is really into cast lead bullets and devotes a couple of chapters to the subject.
    ....Guess this makes sense since they sell more bullet molds than anybody in the business!

    In the front of book he does a very good job providing extensive info on loading & shooting cast lead bullets, the relationship between, harness, pressure, fit, barrel leading, calculations, tables, charts, etc.
    This is a topic where the LEE Reloading book really shines.
    Their load data also shows cast lead loads not found in other books.

    Lyman's reloading book ( #49 is the newest) is another place to find good info on cast lead bullets and load info not found in other reloading books.
     
  21. hang fire

    hang fire Member

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    Buy the Chore Boy pure copper pot scrubber pads, unravel a bit and wind around a brass bore brush for tight fit. It will clean leading out of a bore muy pronto. Just make sure the pads are pure coppper, some cheapos are copper/brass plated steel, not nice for bores.
     
  22. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Simply no need for bullets as hard as what the commercial casters are selling. EK developed the .44 Magnum using bullets with a BHN of less than 12. All my cast bullets for full power .357 Magnum loads have a BHN of less than 12.

    Don
     
  23. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I deleted a couple of posts. Y'all play nice. :)
     
  24. bigdaa

    bigdaa member

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    Ahhhhhhh you're no fun!
     
  25. boom boom

    boom boom Member

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    Ditto on the usefullness of the Lyman and Lee manuals cited above using cast bullets. You can also find good information about .45 cast bullets from Gun Digest's Big Fat Book of the .45 written by Patrick Sweeney.

    I have used Oregon Trail bullets in 9mm and 45 and they are hard without leading. My problem is that their 9mm rounded bullet profile in 9mm demands really deep seating in the case with a very short OAL in my P225 but are too short to feed in my BHP. Sigh.

    Fortunately, Accurate and Ramshot reloading booklets cite pressure tested specific Oregon Trail loads for those who are interested.
     
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