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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to load cast bullets for the 450 Alaskan.
I've handloaded for many years but with jacketed slugs only.
Do I load cast slugs in the same manner as jacketed slugs?
As I browse through various adds for cast bullets, they mention different sized slugs for the .458.
They are usually listed as 459, 460, ect.
Is there a process using these slugs before loading into my cases?
I know this probably sounds pretty basic to most of you, but I want to do this the correct way the first time around.
I've read some pretty interesting things on other forums concerning the use of cast bullets as compared to jacketed bullets. It seems that they penetrate better than jacketed.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Roger
 

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Beartooth Regular
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#Moderation Mode

Moved to Rifles and Rifle Cartridges for a better audience and discussion.

Regards

<a href="http://beartoothbullets.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/topic.cgi?forum=6&topic=135" target="_self">Moved here</a>
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Roger, welcome aboard!

If you an experienced handloader I think that you'll find the transition to be an easy one.

First, slug your barrel - ie drive a soft chunk of lead like a fishing sinker or muzzleloader roundball through the barrel, and measure the diameter of the slug.  This will save you much time and effort in working up a load.  When you get this done, post the measurements back here to get advice on what size bullets to buy.  Likely you'll end up with .459" or .460".

Second, get a Lyman "M" expander.  I'm sure one cataloged for the .45-70 or .458 Win mag will work fine.  This will expand the neck leaving the sides of the case mouth parallel (as opposed to tapered) and leave a little 'step' for the base of the bullet to sit on which helps it get started straight.  They are also a real blessing with jacketed bullets.

Third, get gas-checked bullets to start with.  While plain based bullets are cheaper and often work well, gas checked bullets are more forgiving and easier to start with.

That should get you started, slug that barrel and let us know what you come up with.  For loading data start with what you've used for jacketed, working up of course.  Often you can run a good cast bullet a little faster, so a chrono really helps.

Make sense?
 

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Hi, Rodger:
  I'm not sure that a .45-70 M-die will work and Lyman doesn't list one for the .458 Winchester. You probably can use a .50-70 or a .50-90 die with a &#363 .458 expander plug.

  Lyman M-Die parts amount to a short & long body, and a short & long top screw, plus an assortment of calibre specific expander plugs. Mix and match bodies, top screws and plugs and you can use them on most cartridges without buying a die for each one. The trouble is, a .348 Winchester case and it's parent, the .50-110 Winchester, are too fat to fit into the standard long body. I just checked. So the .450 Alaskan grandchild won't go either, unless they've reamed out the latest bodies.

  Lyman covers several rifle cartridges with one die. The 30L does every thing from the .308 Winchester to the .300 RUM and the .45-70 die also does the .45-90 and the various .45 Big Sharps and likely works for the .458 Winchester too. However, they list the .50-70 and 50-90 separately. The .50-70 is a shorty and likely is set up with a long body and long top screw to reach down to the case mouth. I think you need a .50-90 die (#7342109) and a .458 expander plug. Give Lyman a call at 1-800-22Lyman and see if they can fix you up.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Jack and Mike,
Thanks for your help. Kind of figured something would be needed for seating the slug to prevent shaving of the bases. But with everything new it's good to get advice from folks that have experience doing it.
I hope to load some of the Garret line of bullets.
Not sure if I will be able to purchase these for reloading as their website doesn't list just bullets for sale, only loaded rounds. You might know if this is the case and if so what brands are equal to or as good as this manufacturer.
Also saw some very interesting loads in your wildcat loading section for the 450 AK.
I think I must get my chronograph looked at, as the loads shown are much faster than what I've gotten out of my rifle.
Again, thanks
Roger
 

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    Hello all,
               This subject has got me to thinkin' maybe I should slug the bore of my 38-56 Winchester. Is the correct method to push the slug from the chamber or the muzzle? I'd have to remove the bolt of my old '86 to push it from the chamber. I have been loading 255gr LBT in .376 because those were recommended by RCBS. Lots of lube is required 'cause I don't want to damage those extra expensive cases. So far, accuracy has been very good, but I'm curious about the true diameter of the bore. Thanks.
                Mike
 

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Hi, Roger:
  There's no way a .300 RUM or any .404 Jeffery based case will go into my 1994 30 Long M-Die, so Lyman must be reaming current production dies out some if they can do a .300 RUM. The question is; do they ream them an extra .010" so the .450 Alaskan will go in? If they are, a .45-70 die will do.

  If they're reaming the bodies enough to handle the Fifties, no problem, except there's one more fly in the ointment. The top screw is threaded 9/16-18 and you use a 33/64" drill for that size of tap. That's .515" which is the diameter of a .50-70 bullet. That means at least .518" for the step on the expander plug. So Lyman is either reaming the top off the threads or going to 5/8" thread for the Fifties dies, else they couldn't get the plug into the die.
Next question. Do they use a plug with the Fifties that doesn't fit the regular top screws?

 You'll have to talk to Lyman unless you can get a current .45-70 in hand before you buy.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.
Jack
 

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Hi, Mike:
  Get some .40 calibre swaged round balls from Hornady or Speer and drive them in from the muzzle. As Marshall says, use a big hammer (3 lb.+). I use a big brass punch on the ball and just let the hammer drop under it's own weight. No need to wind up like you're driving railroad spikes. Put a rag on the bolt face so you don't ding the ball when you push it through. Be sure you oil the bore a bit first.

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
Jack
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Depending on how much taper that the AK case has, the standard M die body might still work.  They can be adjusted up and down quite a bit.  The entire case doesn't have to go up into the die.

Moral of the story... always take a caliper to the gun shop!

P.S.....  you guys quit pointing out my mistakes or I'll be forced to delete your posts!  (just kidding).

If you just can't find a combination that will work, mail me the die body and I'll bore it out on my lathe.
 

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ditto on the round balls for slugging bore. a wooden mallet will suffice to start ball with out risk of damage to muzzle crown. If you happen to be a muzzle loader use your short starter to get WELL LUBRICATED ball started down bore then use a heavy ramrod to push through. [possible light taps with mallet may be needed but not much.] Any good bore lube will work but liguid moly is fantastic for this process.
 
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