Lead boolit questions

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gotboostvr

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I'm just getting started loading 357/38 and was wondering how much extra work (if any) is needed to load lead boolits.
I know of gas checks, some boolits need wax and some need sizing.
Would like to keep it simple. Can I load lead similar (but cheaper) similar to jacketed bullets? Is there someone out there selling boolits that I can just go ahead and seat in a charged and primed case?
I like the idea of a 158 SWC for both hunting loads and plinking loads. Am I just over complicating things?
 
Here would be a vendor that could get you started. I cast all my own bullets and never have used them but I know they are highly thought of here.

You will need to bell your case mouths when using lead bullets.
 
Hard cast bullets do not need a gas check if they are sized correctly for your barrel. There are a lot of casters selling on the internet that have great quality hard cast bullets that are ready to load in a choice of sizes (diameters). I have been reloading almost nothing but hard cast loads for many years and had very good results.
 
If you buy 'em, they're usually ready to load (sized/lubed). You don't need gas checks. I've used lots of MBC 158 gr SWC out of my 357s, loaded mild to wild. They work for me, but with cast bullets, every gun can be different in what it likes.

All you need to do is flare a little more. And cast 357 will have a nice big crimp groove. As opposed to an itty bitty cannelure on a jacketed round, this groove is deep which makes it perfectly interference-free to crimp while seating. So loading cast revo bullets is actually faster in some cases. Don't use the Lee FCD if you have it.

You will probably need to clean out some lead fouling every now and then. And in my experience, cast bullets are smoky and dirty out of a revolver. The lube sprays out the gap and covers the cylinder right quick.

If you cast 'em, yourself, you need to lube them somehow.
 
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There are several vendors of lead bullets that come lubed and ready to load. Google Lead Bullets. I have also bought some locally at sporting goods stores.

I cast my own lead bullets. The need to be sized and lubricated. As jcwit mentioned you need to bell the cases a bit so you don't shave lead as you seat them.

You won't need gas checks unless you intend to drive them hard then a gas check is in order. Helps prevent leading under high pressures.
 
You are not overcomplicating anything.

Flare the case mouth a LITTLE more than usual to allow for the extra width of most cast bullets.

If you cant find anything you like online, please feel free to hit me up. I don't cast for .357 currently, but if you find a shape you want in a mould, I would be happy to trade bullets made from a mould of your choosing in exchange for the tools.

You can find great accuracy, and great economy, using cast lead bullets.

If you'd like to use gas checks- you can certainly do that- they will significantly cut down on the leading of your barrel, and allow you to push your loads a bit hotter than an un-checked bullet.

Thanks for coming to us for advice- we're glad to help !
 
I think they covered it all. Be sure and use load data for lead, not jacketed.

I shoot 1300fps out of my 44mag with no gas checks and no leading problems. SWC's ALWAYS make an exit wound. Hollow points not so much.
 
Just adding my two cents. Unless you're casting your own I wouldn't worry about lube and gas checks and all of that. Just buy from a reputable company, save a little money, and shoot a little more over FMJ. I recommend http://www.laser-cast.com/ . Great bullets for a great price. As mentioned by bangbig, make sure you are casting for lead loads, even if the grains are the same as FMJ, the loads are different. laser cast will send you the loads you need for free. I know because I've done it.
 
Thanks a lot everyone! You guys are telling me exactly what I was hoping to hear. The suggestions for vendors are much appreciated.
I've been reloading bottle necked rifle rounds on my lee hand press for about a year now and am looking forward to the notorious ease of loading up for these two calibers
 
Also understand...

Lead doesn't engage the rifling the same way as jacketed. Copper is a lot harder and can do just fine with the same bore size as the barrel. Lead on the other hand needs to be .002" larger (IMO) than bore size for best stability of the bullet.

If you start shooting lead, you'll want to 'slug' the barrel first so you know exactly what size you're starting with, then can size the bullets accordingly.

BTW I also use a Hand Press. Great tool.
 
Missouri bullets get my vote also. Not just the bullets or the price but super fast shipping and real shipping price. Plus they stock starline .357 brass!

I load 158gr swc over some trail boss and I don't have any leading issues. Very accurate round & low recoil.
 
Has anybody here used both Missouri Bullet and Laser Cast? I have used and liked Laser Cast but I noticed Missouri Bullet is cheaper. I just wonder if they are worth the price difference. And just to be sure I understand, loading either one to .357 mag velocities is OK? I was going to buy some Magtech SJSP in 158gr but, again, they cost more. I don't mind paying for performance but I don't want to waste resources ($).
 
Has anybody here used both Missouri Bullet and Laser Cast? I have used and liked Laser Cast but I noticed Missouri Bullet is cheaper. I just wonder if they are worth the price difference. And just to be sure I understand, loading either one to .357 mag velocities is OK? I was going to buy some Magtech SJSP in 158gr but, again, they cost more. I don't mind paying for performance but I don't want to waste resources ($).

I have used Oregon Trails "Laser Cast", and bullets from mastercastbullets.com, and Magnus bullets from Midsouth Shooting Supply. I haven't tried Missouri yet. They are all very good; Laser Cast might be slightly better (or not) for full-tilt magnum loads because they are as hard as woodpecker lips, but it's not worth paying a premium for them. They used to be competitively priced but last time I checked they were ridiculous.
 
And just to be sure I understand, loading either one to .357 mag velocities is OK?
Well, I've shot a bunch of the MBC 158 gr SWC over 16.5gr of H110. That qualifies for my definition of .357 mag velocities.
 
Lyman M die for expanding the case neck = worth weight in gold

First post that made sense. Flaring the mouth is not what you want to do. You want to properly expand the case to accept a larger lead bullet. You end up over working the mouth if all you do is flare it. But this is a debate that goes on and on just mike the one that involves "hard cast bullets." The reason the commercial casters cast so hard is so they survive shipping without damage. Wheel weight lead that most home casters use is harder than what was considered "hardball" when the 357 magnum first came about. Hardness does not equal no leading. Fit is king with lead bullets.

To anyone that wants to learn about shooting lead bullets read this: http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm
It has a lot of valuable information in it.


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