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Well, I have read Marshall's and Verals's books, obtained a giant can of clover 320 over the internet, and have cast a supply of air cooled wheel wieght 300 grain bullets.  About how much bullseye would be required to push these grinders out of a 7.5-inch stainless super red with a full .001 constriction?  Once I get to range, if I get a bullet stuck its back to teh shop to get it out.  The range fee is &#3610 so am hoping for as few trips as possible.

Thank you
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Matt, if you want to absolutely positively ensure that you don't get one stuck, then go about 2.5 grains.  Seat the bullet backwards, with the base flush with the case mouth.

Personally I'd start at 2.0 grains, and take a dowel rod and mallet with me to the range.  If by chance a few get stuck - and almost invariably one will - knocking then back through the tight spot only helps get it cut out sooner.   They'll tend to stick nearer the muzzle.

By the way, if some do get stuck, after a while this will quit as the barrel gets smoother.  So don't despair if it happens early on.

You didn't say if this was .44 mag or .45 Colt but I would use the same charge either way.

Be sure to throw away the brass when done or make an effort to get it REALLY clean.  The abrasive will scratch up dies, sometimes even carbide dies.  Been there - done that.

Make sure the cylinder throats are correct (a little over bullet diameter) before you start.  Otherwise, the cylinder throats just size down your bullets and they don't to much lapping.  Cylinders are much harder than barrels, and no, lapping isn't a good way to open them up.

Do make sure you see every bullet go downrange.  Usually you can feel the difference in lack of recoil if one gets stuck.  Be prepared for some funny looks from people at the range also.
 

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Matt,

With Marshall's lapping bullets I used a charge of 1.8 grains to get the bullets to pop out of my Marlin 1894 44 magnum with a 20 inch barrel. My advice would be to load a few rounds starting at 1.5 grains and see what it takes to get those lapping bullets out of the barrel. Test  them in the garage or basement just for the sake of finding the load you need. You don't want to run the loads too fast and cause a leading problem. That will just slow down your lapping progress.

I tried lapping my rifle in the back yard but the noise level was higher than I was comfortable with.
 

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The advice here is good!  Do plan on at least a couple stuck bullets... it does happen and is no problem.  Going to the range prepared for such an eventuality is good counsel!

If having to load at home, then go to a pay to enter range, I would load them at 2.2g Bullseye, and let 'em go!  

That should get you into the ballpark.  Do make sure that your bullets are oversize to start with! And too that the cylinder throats are also larger than groove diameter as mentioned earlier here.

Enjoy!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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I hand lapped all of my pistol barrels except one, the Colt Anaconda, in 45 Colt. I used 3.5 grains of bullseye, using a 255 unsized. I fired 50 thru the revolver and took it home for cleaning. There was still a little of constriction so the trip to the range I fired another 50. That took care of the problem.
Now I'm curious if maybe I should have used less powder.
Is there a reason for using such light loads? Does the light loads work better or do the heavier loads cause too aggressive lapping action?
Any suggestions for lapping a Winchester 1886 in 45-70? I've not slugged the barrel yet, to find out if there are any constrictions.
Jim
 

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The best rule of thumb in fire-lapping is to use the lightest charge possible without sticking a bullet.  What happens when using higher velocity rounds to lap with is rather difficult to explain, but basically the faster and harder that the lapping bullet hits the barrel steel, the more aggressively it will work the metal of that barrel.  At higher velocities, rather than only lapping the surface of the bore, the extra energy from the harshness of the those higher velocities actually works the metal deeper than the surface, which in turn work-softens the steel primarily in the throat area.  Down the not-to-distant road, the throat of that gun will be in very poor shape.  Now I  am speaking of this in the extreme, because there are a couple of companies that are advocating using abrasive compounds to lap firearms at normal, full velocities, even in .22-250's and 300 Win Mags!  

I've seen the barrels of three guns that were fire-lapped this way.   The owner of two of them was so very proud of his accomplishments that he wanted me to come over and look at his finely polished and lapped bores... one a 6mm Remington, the other a .30-06.  He had used one of the "kits" advocating treating ordinary jacketed bullets at full snort.   Indeed they did look nice, they were shiny, and smooth.   He showed me targets as well... there was a marked improvement with the before and after targets that were fired from the same box of shells in each respective rifle.

As Paul Harvey would say...Now, for the rest of the story!

This gentleman who had lapped these two rifles began warming them up on Rock Chucks that spring.  Shooting, according to him, less than two hundred rounds through the .22-250 (A Winchester M70 XTR) and around a hundred and fifty through the .30-06 (A very nice Husquavarna), the accuracy had gone to near paper plate sized 100 yard groups!   Upon examination, the first 3" of the barrel in that .30-06 was totally devoid of any sembelence of rifling!   The .22-250 was worse!  It had nothing for nearly 5" of the barrel immediately ahead of the throat... it was all throat!

Subsequent to this, I used two VZ24 8x57 Mausers, lapped one with the method that I recommend in our Technical Manual, the other with the same grits, only at 1800 fps velocities.   Upon initial inspection, both barrels looked the same, I polished them the same in the final steps as outlined in the Tech Guide, and gave the same breaking routine for each.  (By the way, the 1800 fps method did the job with 1/3 the total lap rounds, it was quicker)  Then, I set about shooting each with bulk packed Remington .323" 185g PSP jacketed bullets at 2400 fps.  Fairly conservative loads by anyone's rule.

Upon shooting nearly 150 rounds in the "Quick Lapped" bore, the groups began opening up measurably (beginning with 2" average with the issue sights), after a total of 200 rounds groups off the same sandbag rest, at the same range, from the same lot of ammo loaded on the Dillon, groups averaged something over 5".  By 250 rounds, an 8" paper plate at 100 yards was a challenge, and the barrel was all throat for the first 3+" looking like the described .30-06 barrel above.

Conversely, the VZ24 lapped with my more conventional, and conservative practices, as detailed in the Technical Manual, consistently shot 1.5-2" groups throughout the entire 250 round marathon shooting session.  I even intentionally got the barrel very hot (something I was cautious not to do with the "Quick Lapped" gun), by fast repeated gunfire.  Never did I hurt the gun, and the throat looked perfect after cleaning, following the 250 round shooting session.

Wow, sorry to get carried away, but I wanted you to know that there is a very definite reason for lapping slowly!  Precision takes time... haste makes waste!

Now, about that '86 .45-70, I'll wager to say that you'll have constrictions under the dovetail cut for the rear sight, and perhaps where the front barrel band is located.  Lapping the .45-70 is no more difficult than your .45LC.  With the bullet seated so all bearing surface is located within the brass in the loaded lapping round, use 5.0g Red Dot for a lapping charge... this should get you to the velocities you want... be careful to make sure each and every bullet leaves the bore... this is a light load and might just possibly stick a bullet... only time will tell.

Hope this helps!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I made a little scoop by cutting off the end of a 22 case with a dremel.  The little scoop throws about 1.8 grains of bullseye.  I loaded 25 charged with 320 clover like marshall's book said, swabbing my clinder between each load.  The 1.8 grains of bullseye pushed the 280 grain WFN out of the 7.5 inch Ruger SR 1/2 way into an old calculus book.  Slugging indicated no change in constriction, but slug was MUCH easier to push through, so polishing evident.  Have put 25 more through,  this time the victom was a business law text, constriction seems to be about 1/3 of a thousanth now, only in the extended frame.  Slug pushes through like butter, only a little harder at the constriction, still can push through by hand.  All done gleefully at home while wife not home.  Bulldog gave dirty looks, did not get out of chair or tell wife.  As a note, I think Marshall's sinkers are easier to measure than the LBT slugs as you have a better longer surface to measure instead of thin bearing band.  I now save these for cylinders only.  DOn't waste money on the slugging kits for &#3622 dollars.  1/2 once eggs are good for 44 and 45s.  Take one out of the bag at the store and see if your thumb nail can easily scratch them, pure lead ones are hard to come by around here. ( The bags are ziploc so if a hard alloy just put it back)          Fun stuff. Can't wait to try out some 100 yard groups.
 

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Matt,

Sounds like the "at home" lapping worked for you. Glad to hear you got results and weren't arrested.

Thanks for posting your results so far. Keep us posted on your range trip.
 

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Marshall,
I see you mentioned Red Dot for the 45-70 and Bullseye for 44 mag or 45LC.  Would I need to use Red Dot to firelap my 444 and Bullseye for my 44 Mag, or could I just use one powder for both (hopefully the stuff ain't cheap)?  I have already slugged the barrel on my 44 and the lead sinkers are the trick.  Thanks again,
Jeff
 

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"Have put 25 more through,  this time the victom was a business law text, constriction seems to be about 1/3 of a thousanth now, only in the extended frame."
Just curious but would the lapping been aided by shooting at a business lawyer rather then a business law text?
Jim
 

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I think I'll do the old tried and true hand lapping, rather then trying to fire lap. I can can control the lapping by feel as the lap is pushed through the barrel.
Thanks for your input.
Jim
 

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Jeff,

I specifically prefer Red Dot for all my lapping projects.  I was asked about charges for Bullseye, and that's why you see data for the Bullseye powder, it 's what he had on hand!

I like Red Dot, as it seems to be more predictable in performance, and not as volatile as Bullseye.  If you must buy one or the other for lapping, go for the Red Dot!

Does this help?

God Bless,

Marshall
 
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