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Giving up on MBC "SoftBall!" 230gr LRN

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jr_roosa, May 11, 2012.

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  1. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    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.
     
  2. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Member

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    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.
     
  3. Lyinhunter

    Lyinhunter Member

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    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.
     
  4. blarby

    blarby Member

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    2 FMJ's down the bore after leading removes 97.9995% of it.......
     
  5. Jeff H

    Jeff H Member

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    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.
     
  6. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    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.
     
  7. J2FLAN

    J2FLAN Member

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    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
     
  8. blarby

    blarby Member

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    @ 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.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  9. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    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.
     
  10. thunderranch.45

    thunderranch.45 Member

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    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.
     
  11. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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    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/
     
  12. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    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.
     
  13. 4895

    4895 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2012
  14. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    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...
     
  15. blarby

    blarby Member

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    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.
     
  16. 4895

    4895 Member

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    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.
     
  17. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Member

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    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.
     
  18. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    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.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    If you are shaving lead, you are not flaring enough, or you are crimping too much while seating. If not both.
     
  20. floydster

    floydster Member

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    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.:)
     
  21. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

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    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
     
  22. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    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.
     
  23. chhodge69

    chhodge69 Member

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    I'd suggest you assemble a round and then break it down and check the bullet diameter.
     
  24. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  25. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    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.
     
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