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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am new at loading cast bullets but have been reloading since 1960, just never cast.
I am loading for a 454 Casull and bought 3 weights from Beartooth, a box of Hornady HTP Mags and a box (100) of brand "X", 360 grn GC. The 360s arrived before the Beartooth and I started to test weigh a few. The actual weights range from 334 grains to 360 with most that I tried settling around 350 +/- 4 grains. Is this acceptable? The bullets are all uniformly sized and lubed and are all right at .975" in length. The Beartooths are all pretty much right on the weight and the Hornady JHPs likewise.

I'm planning on sorting them if for no other reason than accuracy plus I'd hate to accidently load one that actually weighed 360 grains into a bunch that weighed, say 340 if I was loading max loads!

Can anyone shed light on this? Typical or not?
 

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Elk Whisperer (Super Moderator)
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Hmm, I'd be getting in touch with the manufacturer. That's quite a bit of variance. If mine don't weigh within 5 grains of each other, they get throw back and remelted.

RJ
 

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I don't do much cast bullet shooting, but almost 10% difference from the light to the heavy seems quite large to me for the brand x. Such a percentage would be unacceptable in precision varmint or target rifle shooting.

Some may think that such a large weight difference won't matter too much in relatively short-range handgun shooting, but it does. There is a large difference in elevation impacts from revolvers shooting light vs heavy bullets because in the heavies, the muzzle is already rising in recoil before the bullet leaves the barrel. It's very noticeable in my Ruger Redhawk 44 mag. Probably not as noticeable in a lever gun shooting the same loads.

Doubt I shed any light, but if wanting accuracy, I would sort those bullets!
 

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Can anyone shed light on this? Typical or not?
It would be atypical in my experience, but not across the board.

My main experience with cast bullets has been with now gone Carrol, and over even more years, Penn Bullets.

Sadly the Carrol's are no longer available. They were +/- 4gr over several years for 240gr SWC', less for the .45 SWC's and .357/9mm.

Penn bullets has a couple unique designs that work real well, and the .357/180gr TC's haven't varied over many years by more than a couple grains.

On the other hand, there was a local source, now gone, that carried the usual weights in several calibers. Each box was it's own weight class, and they did go +/- 15 gr box to box over time, but each shipment was quite close.

+/- 10gr in a single box seems a bit much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I ended up sorting these into three groups with each grouping in a 5 grain spread. I bought 360s and the heaviest group is the 350-355, about 1/3 of the total. The lightest group is 332 to 337! Go figure.
I'm glad I bought only 100. I'll just shoot 'em and move on.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Light bullets generally indicate voids. I have machined a few cast bullets down for projects (not sure where I got them), and a surprising number had large voids in them. Think they were home cast?
 

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Mike's right that the light ones likely have voids. Good luck seldom puts such voids dead center, so they make the bullet wobble eccentrically in flight. I think your 350-355 group will probably be best. The heavier ones may just be from a different cavity, but could also have been cast in mold blocks that weren't fully closed due to dirt. If the mark left by the sizing seems taller perpendicular to the flashing, then that's happened.

Don't be surprised if a lot of the light ones end up sideways in the target and not grouped at all well. Personally, I'd return those, if it were economical to do, and melt them into my own bullets if it weren't.
 
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