Welp… I am happier than a pig in the mud!
I used to think I was pretty good at the boolit casting game. I'd grab the old lady's kitchen sink, throw it in the lead pot - and melt it down, and then chuck in the stove for extra alloyed goodness. Once I got the mess melted down, I'd flux the ever loving pooh out of the melt and remove the peanuts and corn that floated up to the surface. Then I'd get my mould and dipper and go to work. It must have been good enough for my
Retirement BPCR guns, because they'd swallow my home brewed ammunition without a hiccup and shoot like aces. I read about the black powder/cast boolits geeks fussing with something called boolit 'resizing' - but wrote that off as accuracy zealots picking the flyshit out of the pepper. Resizing? Bah! I slugged my bores for both rifles, they came out at .459". I measured my boolits, and they dropped from the mold at .459". Done like dinner!
In my innocence I assumed it would be the same story for my pistols. That is when Darwin and Murphy dropped by the Reclusium to inform me otherwise. My home made boolits hung up in the 1911 like clockwork, and a few even bunged up my pistol. I guess that boolits can expand and contract as they cooled... and many were overbore in their final dimensions. I screwed around with my dies to no avail, and the devils laughed. AB picked up on my difficulties and soon had the issue in hand. He told me to pick up the resizer and now I am off to the races. I was also able to make a favourable bargoon during our visit and stock up on some much needed supplies.
I think I paid less than 60 bucks Canookistannie including shipping for the resizer. All it does is squish the boolit down to .451" which is the commonly accepted nominal boolit diameter for both the 45ACP and the 45 Colt. I spent a dreary half hour running my boolits through it... and all of a sudden, they loaded up and chambered like champs. Darwin and Murphy were run out of the Reclusium on a rail, and I am now back in control of my mental facilities. Apparently some rifles will need this boolit swaging nonsense done too. Be sure to slug your bore before buying one of these, and give your boolits a couple days to cool before measuring their final dimensions.
There are a lot of rod and gun forums out there but in my opinion, this is one of the better ones
Cast Boolit Forum
Be careful of the info you get there - the old hands are great and really know their stuff... but like anything else, the pikers are there and they are not shy about sharing their opinions even when they know nothing about whatever it is the experts are talking about. Usually the experts will pretty much be very close to the book in their advice.
In any event, I am over the first hurdle in cast lead mastery. Now all I gotta do is get a handle on my alloys and bullet hardness... and I should be good to go.
I'd like to thank AB for all his help in getting me off to a reasonable start. If you have any questions you can post them in the comments, or over at the boolit forum and we should be able to help you out - or at least point you to somebody who knows what they are talking about.
Going past you in the opposite direction. 20-some years ago, I was fussing with hard alloys dropped in cold water followed by sizing .001" over bore size, and ensuring the forward portion of the bullet was no less, and preferably a hair over the distance between the lands. Then seeing how flat I could get them to shoot accurately. Know I'm dropping 1:20 tin/lead bullets onto a soft cloth, pan lubing, and maybe neck sizing for tension before giving it a swift kick with Pyrodex..........ReplyDelete
Yeah I am pan lubing too. It's okay for just me... but if I had to make bullets in serious volume... I'd really want one of those Lyman lubrisizers...Delete
You are sizing only, not lubes and size? I'm not sure about shooting straight dry lead.ReplyDelete
I pan lube and then put them through...Delete
I had a problem many years ago with lead bullet diameter. I have never cast them myself, but bought them from a local sporting goods store. My 1911s really liked cast bullets, so after I picked up a Walther in .380 ACP I wanted to see how they would shoot from that little sweetie. I asked the guy behind the counter at the shop if he had any light 9mm bullets around 90gr. He gave me a box of either 500 or 1000 9mm Makarov bullets and said that they should work fine. Went home and set up to load a bunch and ended up with the first case bulging horribly. Same with the next one. Couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Then I remembered that the Mak is not really a 9mm, but a 9.2. Damn commies. .362 diameter instead of .355/.356. Instead of taking them back and calling the counter critter foul names I bought a couple of those Lee sizers from Midway USA for $11 a piece. Sweet. Sized them to .356 and rolled them in liquid Alox. Those babies shot better than any of the hardball or HP that I used in that PPK. I even did some .357 plinkers for the Ruger Blackhawk. They weren't real great, but they shot minute of beer can......ReplyDelete
For my Wobbly Webley 38/200 I actually had to powdercoat my .357 cast bullets to size them up to fit the .361 bore. On the 44 mag Handyrifle I can use them as cast from the LEE 429-200RF.ReplyDelete
how is the powder coating M? Don't you have to bake the bullets with that?Delete
Yea.. basically tumble them in a plastic tub with the powder and then cook them in the oven at 400 deg F to melt the plastic powder onto the lead. I first coated some 357s for the SP101 as an experiment. Here is the first time I played with the idea.Delete
But then I got the Webley and they were useful in that as I was able to fatten the .357 diameter pills to .360 .361 diameter.
That wobbly Webley sure is an interesting caliber M. But…2 grains HP38? What kind of velocities did you get?ReplyDelete
Ooops - read the book Filthie! HAR!Delete
Jeeez that is light!!! It’d problem be a great plinker but I’d hate to do actual social work with it…
Yea its light. It was accurate enough for my use. I seem to remember the book said the resulting speeds would be around 700 fps but don't have a cronograph. Those loads were likely developed for the weaker American top break 38 S&W. The actual 38/200 loads for the Webley with a 200 grain pill would not really get much more than that. But hey, the Fwench all had those little Rubys in 32 acp at the time, so a 200 grain pill at 700 fps had to be better.Delete