I have no experience with cast bullets, but have been handloading jacketed bullets for about six years now. Is there any differences with regards to bullet seating, etc? Also, what size would be best for my 416 Remington Magnum, .417" or .418"?
Tod: I have no experience with 416 but--- here's some thoughts:
Best accuracy is usually obtained with bullets which are a thou or two over depth of groves. It's pretty hard to make a mold smaller however and keep everything round. You can lap a mold bigger with a bit of care,so---. The alternate way to figure it out would be to buy or have given a few samples in different sizes and try to figure it out before you buy a mold. It's a good idea to slug your bore before ordering as well so you are sure just what you are trying to fit a bullet to. I think the host here has what you need for doing this.
You will need to bell the case slightly to prevent shaving the bullet. Lyman makes a simple die just for this purpose although I don't know if they make 416. You can also carefully bell the case slightly with a tapered centre punch or possibly even something like a larger bullet and a light hammer- just needs a bit.
Seating depth will be controlled by either or both magazine length and interference with the lands. Most cast bullets also have a crimp grove which allows you to get rid of the bell and anchors the bullet in the case. If you are going to load heavy in the 416 I recommend crimping. The groove may or may not be the same as the ideal (as in jacketed bullet) seating depth in your rifle. It'll probably work fine regardless. With some bullets in some rifles loaders may opt to crimp in a lubrication grooverather than the crimp groove. Probably not many clear answers here but may help. LOL.
BC has made a good start on what you need to know!
Slug your bore. Get some .44 or .45 cal muzzleloader roundballs and drive a couple through the barrel, measure the largest dimension across the grooves, and add at least 0.001", even 0.002".
I don't believe that Lyman offers an M die in 416. Too bad. I've seen enough requests on this board for that item, I'm tempted to go into production myself! Some sort of tapered punch is probably the next best thing.
When seating cast bullets for rifles, especially light loads, most people report good results when the bullets lightly engraves the lands as the bolt closes.
For heavy loads, especially in a 416, crimping would probably be required! So in that case load to the crimp groove.
Hope this helps. You may find that cast bullets save enough money to get that 416 shooting more often.
Many of our customers who buy our cast bullets for the .416's intending to plink with them do just that, have a great time and save lots of money... but then, almost without exception, they begin using them to hunt, then never look back at dollar-per-each jacketed bullets! The cast do an amazing job of harvesting game!
About loading them, the comments above are well placed and well spoken. Lyman does not make their "M" die in .416, but RCBS makes the equivilent of the Lyman product, and is available through Graff & Sons as well as Huntington Die Specialties. It's about sixteen or seventeen dollars and well worth the money!
I can't underststand all the problems that are prevelent with simply "belling" the case. I load for the 45/70,so naturally I bell every case. All I do is keep pushing the expander plug into the case until it engages the larger diameter ridge on the plug.
My die is RCBS.
The Lyman "M" die does more then bell the case,it expands it,to the standard size for jacketed bullets;and then,if pushed further,will expand the mouth .0002 further.
Kragman: Not having a 416 or dies for one I can't say this is an absolute but I suspect the 416 dies use a standard expander button as in smaller calibers and dont have the same type expander as the 45-70 which usually has a small shoulder on it expressly intended for belling. Belling not generally used when loading jacketed bullets. besto.
I don't plan on casting my own bullets, just using the Beartooth product. They offer 2 different diameters, but I don't know which one would be the best. My 416 Rem. is a Ruger No1 Tropical, so seating depth is very flexible and crimping is not a problem. I'm pretty sure my RCBS dies don't bell the case, so that may be a problem.
How big of a problem would it be if the bullets are "shaved" when seated?
Tod: The object is to have a completely round bullet of the correct diameter after it's put in the case. If the case shaves the bullet it may not be round anymore as it may remove lead unevenly. If it is removing lead it's also changing the dimension of the bullet. Just another difference between reloading for cast and for jacketed. It's worth the effort to get involved in cast. Lots of load versatility and relatively inexpensive once set up.
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