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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy to all my fellow cast bullet enthusiasts,

A few years back, I had been shooting one of my favorite fast stepping .30-30 loads used for silhouette and varmint hunting. It featured a 110 gr. Sierra H.P. bullet at 2,760 f.p.s. and is a replication of the old Winchester original Super Speed loading.

Anyway, on this particular day, I had fired about 40 rounds which had  produced copper fouling in the past, and which I normally had to clean out  by a good barrel "scrub a dub". But this day proved to be different.

My alloted time at the range was growing short and I still wanted to test some 200 grain cast bullet loads that I had brought along.  Not having the time to clean out the copper wash, I fired them anyway since I was more curious about the velocity than the accuracy at that time.  

When I took the rifle home and started to clean it, I noticed something unusual . . . . . . there was no copper wash in the barrel!  I had fired 10 cast bullet loads and, as it turned out they had done the cleaning for me! All I did then was to put a few wet patches through the barrel to clean out the powder fouling and that was it!

Since that day, I now use this method to clean copper fouling out of my .30-30's and, so far, it has worked every time.  Most of my barrels measure around .309" groove diameter and I typically use a .310" or .311" diameter bullet.

I have also used this method on my  Winchester 43
.22 Hornet and it has worked in that application too.
Since I have only fired cast  bullets out of my .45-70 in the past 10 years, I'm not sure of the results in the .45 caliber bore.

It appears that the copper wash in the bore has a tendency to bond to the lead alloy bullet similar (?) to how lead alloy solder bonds to copper pipe.

If this technique works in a number of other calibers, it would appear as if all one would have to do is fire 10 or so cast bullet rounds that are at least .001 over bore diameter prior to firing your cast bullet load for accuracy.

It sure saves on the elbow grease and it's more fun than cleaning too!

If you decide to try this method, please let us "hep castbulleteers" know what your results are.

John
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Well that sure is interesting.

A lot of folks report the opposite, that lead bullets in a copper-fouled bore will lead like crazy.  Copper and lead will indeed stick to each other... the only question is, where does the 'sticking' occur, on the bullet or in the bore?

But you might be on to something... my guess is that your lead bullet loads were pretty moderate, and that might just be the key.

Gas-checked or not?
 

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Beartooth Regular
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650 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Dear Mike G,

The  200 gr. cast bullet .30-30 load that I used on my first experience was gas checked and I was "pouring the coal to it" as velocity was just over 2,000 f.p.s. in a 26" barrel. Bullet alloy was wheel weights + 2% sn (tin) and heat treated to 25 b.h.n.

Since then, I've also used 1,200 f.p.s. loads with plain based 120 gr. bullets made from the above alloy but not heat treated and they seemed to work as well.

The barrels on my .30-30 rifles are relatively smooth and are not lapped but, as a rough bore could give different results similar to what you described.

Sincerely,
John

(Edited by John Kort at 4:10 pm on July 14, 2001)
 

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115 Posts
Very interesting thread and report.

I have found that when I shoot lead through the 1911's all day, if I use a 230 ball load for several rounds at the end, the lead is cleaned out considerably as well.

Hhmmm, Had never thought to try it the other way around. Wonder if pistol velocities will incur the same results as the rifle John mentions?

I'll have to remember this in the future.

Thanks for the tip John.

Brownie
 

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Just be careful that pressures don't build up too much. You are sending a projectile down the barrel that has some obstruction (leading or copper wash). That could create enough friction that pressures could build to the point of damaging the gun, or worse.
 
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