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Question for the cast bullet crowd

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Kachok, Mar 4, 2013.

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  1. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    I ran into a quote from John Taylor and it had me confused, I have seen cast bullets tested before but I know nothing of an expanding lead bullet like this, here is the quote.
    "The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid."
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"
    Can anyone clue me in? Never seen an expanding cast bullet with a metal base as he is describing here, and how would a bare lead bullet "never break up" how is it stronger then a bullet with a jacket?
     
  2. cja245

    cja245 Member

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    He's talking about cast rifle bullets with gas checks, at least I thinks so.

    expanding jacketed bullets have more of a tendency to expand very rapidly and fragment due to the lead core being much softer alloy

    cast lead bullets have a much more controlled expansion and seem to hold together better.

    I'm certainly not an expert and this is somewhat of a generalization, but that's been my experience.


    This article goes into detail about the merits of cast bullets for hunting and it would give you a better explanation than I could

    http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_textonly2.pdf
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    It's taken out of context. What he's talking about is a jacketed bullet with a nearly pure lead core and exposed nose. It's very similar to the .30-30 bullet, only larger for dangerous game, with a tougher jacket.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  4. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Not having read the actual source quoted, other than what you posted, I will go along with Fred on this.

    But for some general info on bullets, here are my .02.

    In general factory produced jacketed bullets have a core which is designed to flow back with the jacket at a predetermined velocity. The flowing can be called malleable, which simply describes the lead being able to flow or deform without breaking apart. It can be controlled by various means, usually by altering the tin, and antimony content of the alloy.

    With cast bullets using a gas check or not, depending on the caliber and velocity, this same thing can be accomplished, in a similar manner. By altering the alloy you can also have a solid cast lead bullet which will expand to some degree and still hold together for very deep penetration. By the same token, you can also pour a cast solid or HP which will expand just like the jacketed bullets do and still hold together, by matching the alloy to the velocity. By using a large HP for lower velocity and a smaller or shallower one for higher velocity, you can get just as good and/or better results from cast as you would from a jacketed HP bullet, and similar with a solid cast bullet as well.

    These are only a couple of examples of my own testing, but they somewhat show what I am talking about,

    Lee 452-300 RF, poured from straight air cooled wheel weight alloy,
    P7290251.jpg

    From left to right, MP 45-270 SAA; MP .452-640 SM HP; MP .452-640 LG HP,
    P1010011.jpg
     
  5. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Yep, expansion or lack thereof, is all about the alloy. 41 Mag, I have the very same 2 MP moulds that you have. I am presently using a 20:1 alloy for my .45 Colt loads (1050 - 1100fps) and .357 Magnum loads (1200 - 1250fps). Just curious what alloy you are using?

    Don
     
  6. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    Wow 41 that is some pretty impressive expansion, that one on the far right looks to be well over an inch! I was actually thinking low end rifle velocity, looking at the prospect of building a 358 win, not alot of suitable factory bullets for it and it is illegal here to hunt deer with non-expanding bullets. Lyman#49 says I can get just shy of 2000fps with a cast 204gr, I would think that would be more then enough if I could keep reliable expansion inside 30-30 range. Been reloading for a few years now but never once cast a bullet, this is all new to me. Is the 35 caliber well suited to cast bullets? They are normally a slow twist caliber which I would think would work better on bare lead projectiles. Don't know if a HP bullet would be the ideal at those speeds, how exactly would a soft point bullet work without a jacket? Would the lead have to be too soft to shoot to deform properly on impact, say aprox 1400-1800fps on target.
     
  7. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    I go with the gas-check hypothesis..
     
  8. Kachok

    Kachok Member

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    What is the purpose of the gas check, just to protect the base of the bullet?
     
  9. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Exactly. If you want to exceed 2,000fps with a rifle load, then gas checks are a necessity. However, properly sized bullets using a suitable alloy can be driven quite fast without a gas check. I shoot full power (1900fps) .30 Carbine bullets without gas checks, and all my handgun rounds (including .357 Magnum) do not use gas checks. It's just an added expense that is not necessary in most cases.

    Don
     
  10. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    I believe he was referring to gas checks. I have had some great expansion using 150gr. soft lead (about 6-8 Brinell) and gas checks with my 30/30.
     
  11. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    Could it be a half jacket he was referring to?
     
  12. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Yep the MP molds are a hoot for sure. Once you get things ironed out with the velocity and alloy that is. The bottom ones used an alloy I blended starting with the large Iso Core which is 1/3/96 or there bouts. Starting from there and using the alloy calculator which was posted on Castboolits, I worked it into some 1.5/1.5/97 which is MUCH more ductile as you can see. The previous straight Iso core was blowing the noses off leaving bits and pieces as it went. These penetrated around 8-10 or so inches into my sand filled bucket.

    I decided that it was just a touch soft for my magnums so I blended up some 1.75/1.75/96.5, again using the calculator to get the base metals in the proper weights. I haven't had much chance to work with it just yet but I did pour up some of the MP 358-640 HP's this past week and hopefully will be ready to test them next weekend. I have too much on my platter to get to them this weekend.

    If you wanted to build a .358 caliber rifle then yes it is suited for lead for sure. There are plenty of options that you could go with. Again for expansion it is simply a balance of velocity to alloy. That 300gr bullet above was shot into a 5 gallon bucket of water at 50yds with an initial muzzle velocity of 1550fps. If you look at the link under my sig, you will see a list of albums on the left side. Look under shooting and you will find a sub album with cast bullets in it. One of the two has a video of that particular bullet being shot into the bucket. We had three of them standing up on a board and it went through the first two and hit the third hard enough to leave a permanent indention which almost was punched through. Check out the clip and you will see how hard that bullet hits.

    I use the GC on those bullets simply to avoid any chance of leading. I am loading them with a goodly dose of 296 or AA-9 and they aren't even up on the top end with that particular load. I have had them up to just over 1700fps but I am not overly fond of shooting many at that dose.

    Anyway I doubt you would need to go the GC route keeping velocities within 1800fps IF you have a good fit and good lube. There are so many good molds now days which are wide flat nosed or some variation and also HP's as well. Thing is with HP's you can also use the size of the nose cavity to help control expansion as well as aid in it. The smaller the diameter or the shallower the cup point the less of a degree it will expand, but with the wide flat noses you actually get better results if you can keep your "impact" velocities within 1250 - 1400'ish fps. They will develop a pressure wave in front of the nose which will give you a pretty big permanent wound cavity with hardly any expansion at all. Also from what I have been told, most game officials that see all lead bullets hardly question whether or not they expand. I can't say from experience though as I have never had to worry about anything like that. At least yet anyway.
     
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