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Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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Handloader
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
Posts: 1032
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2006 10:25 pm    Post subject: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

Shooting full power loads in 454 Casull, 44 Mag and 45 Colt are an enjoyable pastime for me. Today's visit to the range, however, was a nice contrast as I was using very mild to midrange cast bullet loads.

Shooting handguns, for me, is about trigger control and sight picture and today's session was instructive. I can fire some full power loads and maintain these disciplines, but, at a certain point there is a deterioration in performance and groups begin to get increasingly larger. With the milder loads of cast bullets I can prolong the point where such deterioration begins. Between the three aforementioned revolvers I shot close to three hundred rounds and my hand doesn't hurt at all!

My 45ACPs run mainly on cast bullets for practice sessions as well and I can burn up several hundred rounds per visit to the range. Did I mention that I love my Dillon progressive?

Too, cast bullets will have no long term wear on these handguns; in fact, I believe they serve to make them run smoother and more accurately. I've posted some of those loads in our forum's database.

If you don't cast your own, like me, you can buy great cast bullets from the manufacturers directly or through on line sources such as Midway USA. If you buy in volume, the freight cost isn't too big a factor. My per round cost runs from 7 to 10 cents for plain base, about double for gas check. I used to cast my own, but, time and health concerns related to casting have persuaded me to sell the casting equipment and buy commercial.

I use cast bullets in several rifles as well for practice sessions and have found that they can be remarkably accurate as well as extended the life of those special rifle barrels.

Do many of you use cast bullets regularly in rifle and/or handguns?
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mc223
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Posts: 115
Location: S/E Kansas

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 1:51 am    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

I too Use cast loads in 357 and 38 super. what a great way to spend range time without breaking the bank. I also use the additional range time for some benchrest trigger control exercises and accuracy testing. and of course lots of off hand practice.

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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 13171
Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 4:26 am    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

Cast bullets are definitely the way to go with pistols for target shooting.

When I was pistol shooting every week, at least twice a week, I used nothing but cast loads. I cast all my bullets myself....158gn SWC, 9mm conical (for light, low recoil target loads in my S&W 586) and 150 FN GC for use in my 30.30 TC Contender for sillouette.

I now shoot those same cast 150gn FNGC in my Mod 94 30.30 and use them for hunting and general plinking, although they are not exactly mild.

There is no argument that milder, low recoil loads are more pleasant to shoot and as Handloader says, you don't tire or wear out as quick which allows you to concentrate more on the principles of shooting...trigger control and sight alignment.

The best scores I ever shot with any of my pistols were with low recoil target loads. From memory my lightest load was 2.8 gn Hercules Bullseye behind a 124gn 9mm Conical bullet in a Federal nickel plate .357 MAG case. It only needed enough power to penetrate a sheet of masonite at 50m which it achieved. Boy, was it a pleasure to shoot. Very Happy

Cheers, Vince

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roklok
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
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Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

Maybe I am missing out on something but I always shied away from cast bullets because of worrys about leading in barrels. For my high volume handgun shooting I use either Remington or Rainier jacketed bulk bullets. You dont have much trouble with lead in barrels?I never really did much light loading either,prefering to use my rimfire handguns for practising trigger control and form. I save plastic jugs and fill them with water for big bore handgun practice,the heavier loads make this more interesting!
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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 13171
Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 8:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

roklok wrote:
Maybe I am missing out on something but I always shied away from cast bullets because of worrys about leading in barrels. For my high volume handgun shooting I use either Remington or Rainier jacketed bulk bullets. You dont have much trouble with lead in barrels?I never really did much light loading either,prefering to use my rimfire handguns for practising trigger control and form. I save plastic jugs and fill them with water for big bore handgun practice,the heavier loads make this more interesting!

G'Day roklok. Never had a real problem with leading, but then again I cleaned my pistols after each outing. I believe that the lube you use on cast bullets has a lot to do with reducing leading, not entirely, but certainly a lot. The other thing to consider is how hard you drive the cast bullets.

I made my own lube, a mixture of pure beeswax and automatic transmission fluid (ATF). I would bring the beeswax up to about 150 deg so the ATF would mix thoroughly. This lube came a a soft pink colour and retained the waxy feel to it, not greasy. The consistency was soft enough to put through a RCBS Lube Sizer. Worked well for me.

I would occasionally drive some of the 158 gn SWC hard, but even then leading wasn't a problem. The big thing is light loads, generally, don't cause a leading problem. If you are going to push cast bullets hard they need to be gaschecked.

Practicing with rimfires is great, I had a Ruger Mk1, but nothing beats practicing with the pistol you are going to use. The only difference using light loads is low recoil. The trigger pull and sight alignment are the same.

Plastic jugs filled with water is great fun for sure. When I was in the Army we would use 5 gallon metal drums for 7.62 mm (.308) out of M60 machine guns. On occasion our Pioneers would fill a drum with diesel and a little petrol and on impact detonate the cloud of spray with a fuse. Now that is SPECTACULAR...."Foo Gas" we called it. Very Happy Very Happy Laughing Laughing

Cheers, Vince

_________________
Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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Handloader
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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

Among the causes for leading is too low a velocity with hard cast bullets. The base doesn't obturate or upset due to lack of pressure and that allows the heated gas to "leak" around the base and lead the barrel. I have often cured a leading situation by simply increasing the charge weight of the powder.

Most of my cast bullets are commercial from Lazer Cast and will not produce leading if kept between 800fps and 1,100fps. For higher velocities I use a gas checked bullet.

I have had good results with jacket bullets in the 45 Colt on game (2 black bear and 3 mulie buck) but the heavier cast bullets have given greater penetration, albeit, less expansion (1 mule deer, 1 whitetail). In terms of killing effect I haven't seen any difference, but, I haven't shot that many big game with either one. I shot one 6X6 bull elk with the 454 using a full power 265gr GC @ 90 yards and it hit the shoulder, penetrated the lungs and exited; the bull went 20 yards or so and collapsed.
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george20042007
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Joined: Jan 27, 2006
Posts: 568
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 12:42 am    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

Like Handloader, I buy the Lazer cast bullets. I load cast bullets in 45 ACP, 45 LC, & 45-70. I load them from mild to down right nasty and have had great results. Jacketed bullets are over rated for use in these 3 calibers & leading hasn't been a problem. Cleaning a barrel properly in the first place will get rid of leading. I like lead bullets because they save me money & are easy on barrels.
Keep it coming...
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Flint54
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Joined: Apr 09, 2005
Posts: 389
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

Cool Cast Bullets are not only for casual and target loads! Many of the whitetail that I have taken with pistols have been taken with cast bullets. For my hunting bullets I use a hard cast @ 19 - 21 BHN cast with a linotype/lead mixture. Some use a gascheck and others do not. I have not had any leading issues pushing them up to 1500-1600fps. A flat nose 300gr from a 45-70 Contender is very impressive to say the least. A large flat metplat creates a very large permant wound cavity in tissue, also if cast with enough lead in the mixture it will not shatter when striking bone as will pure linotype. I also use hard cast bullets for hunting with my .357 Mag, .357 Maximum, .35 Remington, .41 Mag, .44 Mag, .445 Super Mag, 30-30 & .303 Savage. All have been very successfull. I personally believe that a hardcast bullet with a large flat metplat is the best bullet to use for handgun/revolver hunting bar none. Cool
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george20042007
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Joined: Jan 27, 2006
Posts: 568
Location: Arizona

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 11:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Mild Loads, Cast Bullets for Revolvers Reply with quote

Looks unanimous to me, hard cast lead bullets is in...
Keep it coming...
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