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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen...

Within the last year I have acquired two .45/70 rifles, a Browning High Wall (not bpcr) and a Ruger #1.  Load development has been frustrating.  I am an experienced handloader, however, this has been my debut into cast lead bullets in rifles.  Both rifles have demonstrated superb accuracy with my jacketed handloads and with factory jacketed fodder.  With cast lead, however, I have tried many combinations of three different brands of bullets in weights ranging from 300 to 530 grains, including bevel-base, plain-base and gas checked, with five different powders.  Sizing has ranged from .4565 to .459.  Both magnum and standard primers have been investigated as recommended by the books.  All loads have been within published parameters.  

Observations:

1.  Plain and bevel base bullets prefer less than 1300 fps in all cases.

2.  With all but the gas-checked bullets, severe leading has occurred at all tried velocities, (1200 to 1800 fps)

3.  With all but the gas-checked bullets, splattering of lead down the outside of the brass has occurred, most of which has adhered to the brass, requiring alot of scraping.

I am hoping that someone out there has seen similar symptoms.  I am at the steep end of the learning curve and appreciate your advice.

Thanks,
Smith
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gentlemen,

First:  Thank you for your quick responses and sound advice.  

Second:  Thank you for providing and moderating this forum.  I have looked into several online forums and have been disappointed by most, and even disturbed by a few.  It is readily apparent that this forum is moderated and frequented by intelligent, articulate men whose experience I find very valuable.  I prefer not to reinvent the wheel.

Third:  Congratulations on the excellent results found by Mr. Taffin of GUNS magazine.  I imagine that bit of publicity will dramatically boost sales.  There is no substitute for excellence.  I'll get my order in soon.

Fourth:    What are the criteria for determining the need to lap a barrel?  Upon close examination of the Ruger's freshly cleaned bore, I see far more machining marks than I am used to seeing.  Does this condition affect the accuracy of cast bullets more than jacketed?

Thank you again,
Smith
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Marshall...

As usual, you were right on the money.  There were two distinct constrictions in the Ruger, under the barrel band and under the front sight.  In the high wall, there was one tight spot about 2/3 the way through.  The Ruger was the worst; upon squeezing through the constricted areas the rest of the bore seemed almost loose.  The groove diameter at the constrictions measured .458 in both guns.

I suppose I'll be ordering the lapping kit.  

In speaking to several local shooters, those who have lapped rifle barrels have seen either no effect or a detrimental effect on accuracy.  It is noteworthy, however, that the number of different techniques matches the number of shooters.  The common denominator, interestingly enough, is that they all used full power loads with jacketed bullets.  That makes no sense to me.  There is logic in your system and I am willing to try it.

Cheers,
Smith
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Contender...

That is one of the possibilities presented to me by another bullet manufacturer.  I tried varying degrees of casemouth expansion, with no change in the amount of "flashing".  I even pulled a bullet after seating to see if I could see any free lead, and didn't.  

It may be a symptom of a combination of causes, but the problem was practically solved when I used a larger diameter plain-based bullet, in my case, .459 or .460, (the problem was most pronounced with bevel-based bullets).  It disappeared altogether when I used larger sized gas-checked bullets.

I had also contacted the manufacturer of the bullets and he mentioned that the lot I had purchased was considerably softer than advertised.  Also, I was naive enough to trust the sizing data on the label.  the .458s were actually .4565.  Just like the old computer axiom, Garbage In, Garbage Out.

Needless to say, I've ordered some Beartooths.  Until they arrive, I'll probably just shoot jacketed loads.

Best of luck,

Smith
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's what I love about this forum...

Jack,  

Thanks for the last post...I was intending to try the wad idea if bullet size and style were ruled out as the causes.  However, I believe I have identified the primary problem as being the bullet size and second, the barrel constrictions.  The bullets that gave me the worst leading, flashing and accuracy problems exhibited the same behavior in three different guns:  High Wall, No. 1, and a Sharps.  This, at least in my mind, indicated a problem inherent in the bullet.  That proved to be the case.  

The gun with the worst constrictions demonstrated the worst accuracy with all the cast lead bullets tried.  I'll try the wad in that gun, but I still intend to lap it and use .460s.  The throats in my two guns are relatively short, but I haven't checked the diameter.  It's worth a look.

I think Contender will find this pertinent as well.


Thanks, Gents.

Smith
 
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