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Discussion Starter #1
I am pretty new at bullet casting.I am casting up bullets for my Marlin 1893 32-40 cal rifle.Its a Lyman 165 gr #319247 and sized at .321.I cast them from WW lead with 5% tin added.When shooting this at apprx 1200 fps it shoots great.I increased the load to 1400 fps and the bullets are all over the target and some are hitting sideways.Can anyone give me a clue of whats happening?
 

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Levergunz, Being new to casting my I suggest getting a copy of "Jacketed Performance With Cast
Bullets" by Veral Smith from LBT P.O. box 357
Cornville, AZ. 86325 (602) 634-4300.  $25
It is a must read for a serious caster, it answers a lot of ?'s about bullet fit to throat and rifling, bullet
hardness ect.

It has changed my thinking about cast bullets!! :)

Looking at pic. of bullet in ? it does not have a lot of bearing surface, which means at 1400 it could
be stripping the rifling, here again bullet fit and hardness may be the answer.

You did not say what powder you are using, a fast
powder pushes bullet hard into rifling.

Try a slower powder to get 1400, it will have a softer push on bullet.

Also check for leading at vol. between 1200 & 1400.
Type of bullet lube also has an effect on leading and accuracy.

Hope this helps.
Calamity Jake
 

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Stripping ... no doubt about it.

Might try hardening them a bit, either by dropping from the mould into a bucket of water or heat-treating them in the oven.
 

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Hi, Levergunz:
   I'm pretty new to casting myself, but 5% tin is too much for wheelweights.  If the percentage of tin exceeds the percentage of antimony, the alloy is softer than a one to one mix. WW's have about 3% antimony.  Mr. Bill Ferguson told me this.

   Have you tried heat treating the bullets?

   Jake's points are all good.

   Mike types faster than I do :D
Bye
Jack



<!--EDIT|Jack Monteith|June 19 2002,10:12-->
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for your answers guys.I haven't tried hardening them yet.The powder I was using was 2400.I am currently using the RCBS Rifle bullet lube.I'll also back off a bit on the tin.Do you think I should use the WW lead without any extra tin and water drop harden them?I also have Unique and IMR4227 powder to load with.Would one of these be better?
 

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Here's my amateur advise.  Cut your tin in half to 2 1/2%. That's about optimum for hardness and castability.  Then heat treat them.  Otherwise you'll have to jack up your antimony content some how.  Extra hard or magnum shot in the small sizes supposedly goes 6%. Try some linotype if you can find any.

  4227 is a bit slower than 2400, while Unique is quite a bit faster, so try the 4227.

   Some of the old pros here likely know a few more tricks.

Bye
Jack
 

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another thing to try is if that rcbs lube is a hard lube switch to a soft one something like Javalina or lbt blue. They lubricate much better.
 

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Levergunz, If you don't have one, get a copy of Lyman's Cast Bullet Manual ( the best for cast bullet load data out there).

You might also look at some of the fast to medium
burn rate rifle powders like ACC2015, IMR3031,
4895, 4198 ect. But give the 4227 a hard workout
first.

A softer lube like LLoyd talks about is a gggd move too.

Have fun! Be safe!
 

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Leverguns

I think your bullet does not fit the throat of your rifle. I see no need to make them any harder than wheel weights.

Undersize bullets will key hole as velocity increases.

I dont know what it takes to make a lead bullet strip the rifling but I have tried this experiment. I have inserted a bullet in the muzzle of my rifle. Tapped it into the rifling (past the first lube band) with a rawhide mallet. Grabbed it with vise grips and twisted it. The bullet twisted and it did not strip the rifling.
This required considerable force. the bullet was undersize and did not fill the grooves.

I have found a lot of commercial cast bullets undersize. They shot well with light loads but lead the barrel and open their groups at higher velocities. An example is a 405 grain commercial cast bullet I have for my .45-70. This bullet is sized .457" and it is worthless above 1300 fps in my Marlin Guide Gun. .459" and idealy .460" gives better results at all velocities.
Bullets that dont fit the throat allow gas to get around the base before the bullet can fill the throat and seal the bore. Your bullet may fill the grooves of your barrel but if your throat is too big the buulet will be cut by gas and will lead your barrel.
I am not a lead bullet expert but I have found that bullets can be too hard for best accuracy at medium velocities. I have also found that bullet fit in the throat is very important.
 

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Levergunz,
             I would first slug the barrel, to see how your current bullet fits. Optimal accuracy is usually obtained with a bullet .001-.002" over groove diameter. Measure with a micrometer, for accurate readings. No loading bench should be without one.

             The easiest fix to try, would be to harden your bullets, by water quenching them. This is simply dropping the hot bullets from the mold into a bucket of cool water. With pure WW alloy, you will get a BHN of 19-21, which is pretty hard. Tin will help fill out your bullets, but I don't see a need to go over 1.5-2.0 %. It will minimumally increase bullet diameter, if this is part of the problem.

              Depending on the measurements you get from slugging your barrel and measuring a unsized bullet, you may have to polish out your mould cavities. If bullets are .001-.002" over your groove diameter, unsized, simply get a larger sizing die, perhaps .322 or .323". Or you can polish out the current sizing die with the hand drill, split rod, emory cloth method.

             Lastly, don't give up ! Shooting cast bullets is a fun, efficient, self sufficient way of shooting. It's part science, part art, part obsession. Once you conquer the proper combination for a given gun,load, and bullet you cast yourself, you will have a great sense of pride and accomplishment, that cannot be rivaled. This is what true handloading is all about.

                Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Lots of great info here.Thanks everyone.I'll try some of these ideas and let you guys know how I make out.This is a very old rifle and the bore is worn a fair amount.It is quite possibly worn oversize.It will shoot the Speer jacketed bullet(165 gr)very well although the crimping groove isn't located correctly for the 32-40 because the bullet was made for 32 spl.I'd really like to get a good lead bullet load for use in this gun.Thanks again.
 

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lo vel accuracy

In my 30/40 and 30'06,I get accurate loads up to 1450-1500 fps with bullets NO harder then ww alloy.You should not need harder bullets.I also regularly use 5%tin;but not any more then that,with good results in that velocity range.
I suggest that you try a softer lube,and a different bullet diameter.You might want to go to a slower powder.My favorites in this range,are 4227 and 4198.
Keep posting your problems,if they persist.There is plenty of help here,from quite a few Folks.
Frank
 

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Levergunz

I have a 1925 made Win 94 in 32/40 that came with an original Ideal peep. I am shootin a 165gn Lyman as cast and unsized and only finger lubed with 14.5gn 2400 for 1386fps average.

Accuracy to 100yds is about 3" with excellent evenly round groups. I always inspect each target to chech if any bullets tumble. At these low vel's a soft lube is definately required.
 

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A couple of suggestions

Lever

What I've done in the past, besides all of the above ideas is to check the nose of the bullet by sticking it into the muzzle of the rifle. Is it a tight fit?
If not, when you size give the bullet a bit of a bump when the bullet bottoms out out in the sizing die. This expands the bullet nose a bit.
A number of years ago I found a great buy on Rl-7. I've used it successfully in my 45-70 and a 243 Win. I would recommend this powder for all cast bullet shooting.
Jim
 

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You didn't say what powder you are using, but I believe you are probably trying to use too fast a powder and it is causing excessive base upset with your relatively soft bullet.

Try using a slower powder such as 4227, or 4198 in your .32-40 and you will probably have better results. With a 165-gr bullet I would work in the range of 16-18 grs. of 4227 or 18-20 grs. of 4198, leaning towards the lower end for plainbased bullets, or increasing not to exceed published maximums if using gaschecks. RL-7, about 21 grs. works great with a gaschecked bullet.
 

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H4227 is virtually identical in performance, you shouldn't notice a difference. In some parts of the country the Hodgdon powder is less expensive, you can essentiualy use them interchangibly, although normal caution is required in maximum loads due to lot-to-lot variations.
 
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