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Discussion Starter #1
Hello from Scotland

Well i have just sized and lubed my first bullets !

I produced 325 gn bullets from my Lee 310gn gc mould using wheel weights. The bullets came out 0.4315 from the .430 Lee mould.

I melted lee stick Alox than dipped each bullet (90) , some would take the gas check others it would not stay no.

Then i ran them though a Lee .430 sizing die , seating the gas check on these that had'nt stayed on earlier.

Now i have 90 .44 bullets of 0.430 with lovely lube filled grooves ready to load.

No gun yet to fire them out of but i have been told my .444 should be here in June.

This first batch of bullets are simply air cooled so i will be keeping them under 2000 f.ps

The second batch were dropped into a bucket filled with cold water and ice cubes. These babys are much harder and can not be marked with a finger nail at all.

Just a quick question, what are your veiws on Lee liquid Alox for these bullets at these speeds ? Also any good for my .308 ?

Regards Englander
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Can't help with the Alox question, but I'd suggest that you don't need ice cubes in the water when you drop bullets from the mould.  The bullets are still a big soft and could hit an ice cube and deform somewhat.

Congrats, sounds like you are really on your way.
 

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ENGLANDER,
               I would polish out that Lee sizing die to .4315, to maximize your accuracy potential in the Marlin .444 . I've been shooting them for a little over a year now, and get best results with bullets sized .432". This can easily be done with a hand drill, a piece of 8-10" 3/8" steel rod, hacksaw, and 320 grit emory paper. I've done several dies this way, with perfect results.

               I would try a better lube than alox. Best reults with this lube are with velocities no greater than 900-1000 fps. without leading. I would get some LBT lube or Marshall's lube for the higher velocities wanted.

               Not to make you envious, but I just picked up a Marlin .444 P and shot it this past weekend. One hole groups of 1.3-1.6" were obtained consistantly at 100 yds. with a 330 gr LFNDCGC over 56.0 grs. H335 stuffed in Rem. brass and ignited with a WLRP. These loads clocked out at 2130 fps. What a sweeeet piece.

              Please don't take this as info. from a know it all, but from one who has been there, and learned from my past experiences. Good luck in your endeavers and if you have any other questions, I'd be more than happy to help out.

                             Jeff
 

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Englander,

Jeff is right about opening up your sizing die. Easy to do and worth while.

I get along okay with Javalina or Lee stick Alox. I do experiance some light leading with certain loads. It brushes right out. These are pretty short barrels so you probably wont run out of lube. Bullet fit in the throat is the key . Your outside air temperatures are reasonable, so your lube should not fail due to heat.

I had forgotten about your having to log jacketed bullets. This makes cast bullets a necessity.

I shoot the Lyman 429421 with Lee liquid Alox at between 1700 and 1800 fps (Winchester TC). I dont have problems with leading. In the .30-30 Winchester I shoot the Lyman 311291 tumble lubed with Lyman gas checks at about the same velocity with no trouble. This bullet will not shoot in the Marlins, wrong diameter nose and too short a body. For the Marlins the Lyman 311041 works pretty well in the later ( smaller bore diameter) barrels but there are better dimensioned bullets from Beartooth and NEI.

What did you decide between the 444P and the 444SS? I take it you are waiting for the P Model.

I will be very interested to hear about the difference in accuracy from the hard and soft bullets. I will predict that with slightly undersized bullets you have a little better accuracy with softer bullets. The harder bullets should shoot very well at the maximum speed you are required to run by law. Will you use a scope for your initial accuracy testing? What powder have you decided on?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks gent's-

I do plan to open up this die, but as i havent a rifle to slug yet i thought it best to start here - see the results ? And go from there.

A slight problem i have found is some / most of my bullet will not hold the gas check till it has been pushed though the die ? If i open it up to 0.4315 will it still force on the check ?

Due to the likelyhood of my new roifle liking 0.432 bullets and our stupid firearm laws i have been thinking fo getting a steel lyman 255 gn gc mould i believe they come up to 4 cavity, and open up the mould to produce 0.432 ? what you guys reckon ?

when i think of what i have learnt from this site and you kind gentleman over the months about bullet casting etc its remarkable ! Yet i still have a huge amount to learn ! And i shall no doubt be asking for your help and advice even more when my rifle finallt gets hear.

William- To answer your questions yes and no !

No i did not buy the second hand rifle, and yes im waitting for my new rifle although you got me thinking re-velocity requirements and i have asked if i can have a 22" tube on my .444 P

According to the British importer finally got hold of the " sales directer " he says marlin have my requirements and will e-mail me with delivery and comfirm if they can meet my requirements. nxet shippment due 2nd June !

As for powder i fancy H4198 although N133 looks attractive.

Yes i will have to scope this rifle for testing loads i will probably stick on a Tasco world class plus 4 x 44mm lovely clear picture and it can handled recoil no problem.

Like i said still got a lot to learn but slowly, slowy, i will get there- culminating in dropping my first Deer with my home made bullet, home loaded !

Thanks again to every one whos helped with advice etc.............

Regards Englander
 

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ENGLANDER,
               Take a look at Redding/Saeco for their bullet molds. In particular, their .44 265 FN GC. I have one of these molds, and they drop out at .4325" when cast of WW and weigh 270 gr. I have driven this bullet in excess of 2500 fps with 54.0 grs. ReL 7, with 1.5" groups at 100 yds.

               The Saeco molds are a joy to use and of excellent quality, probably the best made non-custom mold out there. They go for about $50.00 U.S. currency. Just a suggestion <!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo--> .

               After using the Lee molds, you will think you've died and gone to heaven. Not to knock Lee, I have and still use many of their molds and other products such as dies, Pro 1000 re-loader, auto prime, etc. Their products are bargains. In fact, bullets from their molds are the most accurate in many of my guns. Just somehting to chew on while making your decisions.

                             Jeff

            P.S.
                  About your gas checks not staying on some of your bullets. Are the bases well filled out ? Because you said some are holding and some are not. The bases should be square, with a nice sharp 90 degree angle on them. Compare the ones that stay to the ones that don't. I'll bet the ones that don't have rounded edges on them. If they do, drop them back in the pot. One of the great things about casting your own, no waste. Not up to snuff ? Recycle it !
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Englander,

It might be a good idea to see if you can get a .431" sizer from Lee.  This could help keep the gas checks on the bullets while only sizing the minimum amount.

Sometimes just a bit larger sizing can make all the difference in the world.
 

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Englander,

The Lee Liquid Alox is really inner panel automotive rustproofing compound. It has a wax base with other petroleum ingredients and "dries" after exposure to the air.

I know a gent that prefers to thin it a bit with mineral spirits for better "flow" onto the bullet exteriors.

He uses it with mid range loads and has no trouble with leading at all. It may be somewhat over extended for use on the heavier loads but may be worth a try with a few bullets to see what happens.

You could also try some of Marshall's lube to pan lube your bullets. I've found it to be excellent on his bullets and am going to order a few sticks when my sizer is empty of my LBT stuff.

Regards
 

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Also a note on hardening your bullets.

If you want to play around while you are biding your time till the Marlin gets there, try heat treating your bullets in a toaster oven.

Simply take about 20 unlubed, unsized bullets and place them on a tray base down and not touching each other, inside the oven.

Crank the oven up to about 450-460 degrees and bake for about 30-45 minutes. After that, carefully take them out and quickly and smoothly dump them into a 5 gallon pail of cool water. Remove them and spread them out on an old towel and allow to dry overnight. They will be like a rock in about 24 hrs.

If you find that the bullets actually slump when set at that temp, lower it by about 15 degrees and soak another batch until no slumping occurs. The bullets will be of an extremely uniform hardness through the entire batch. You can do a few hundred at time if you have room in the oven.

The one problem with water dropping is the hardnesses will vary considerably. I've documented this with my hardness tester. Unless you have an extremely smooth routine of casting and dumping them into the water which is quite hard to do.

Regards
 
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