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copper jacket bullets and lead bullets
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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teebone51
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:25 am    Post subject: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

why do you use more powder for jacketed bullets than lead bullets? I use red dot powder for my handgun loads,and the chart says 4.0 for lead in45.cal 230 grain lead and5.0 for jacketed bullets. When i use 4.0 in lead the gun jams but it dosent in 5.0 Any help would be welcome. thanks teebone
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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

Lead bullets are "slicker" so they need less powder to reach the same velocity.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

More than likely your gun is jamming because the 4.0 gr. load isn’t creating enough pressure to operate the gun!!!

Changing to lighter recoil spring should fix it.

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wncchester
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:15 pm    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

Jacketed bullets can be driven faster. That takes more powder.
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gelandangan
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

Copper are much "harder" than lead, it requires more energy to swage into the barrel rifling.

Thus the need of more energy (ie. powder) to achieve this.

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:49 pm    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

Sidenote: Early generation N and K frame Smith and Wessons were developed at a time when cast and swaged bullets were the most common factory loads. With the advent of jacketed, pressures increased and caused frame stretch which increased cylinder gap and caused timing issues. Smith responded by introducing their Endurance Enhancements and that truly addressed the problem. Interesting, during the introductory years of the 44 and 41 Magnum handgunners, in general, didn't shoot their revolvers nearly as much as many do today.

Now, a counterpoint: cast bullets can be driven as fast as jacketed bullets. If the source of the cast bullets or if the bullet caster knows their trade, hard cast bullets, some with gas checks, can be even faster than their jacketed counterparts. Since cast bullets require less powder to match the jacketed bullet velocity, it is not difficult to load hard cast to velocities beyond the velocity level of jacketed when loaded to maximum pressures. And, without leading.
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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:44 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

Handloader wrote:
Since cast bullets require less powder to match the jacketed bullet velocity, it is not difficult to load hard cast to velocities beyond the velocity level of jacketed when loaded to maximum pressures. And, without leading.

I'm interested in the "without leading" part. I don't believe every thing I read but, the legend has been going on for years that if you push lead bullets too fast leading will occur. Are you saying I can push cast bullets out of my 460 S&W Magnum at 2,350 fps and get no leading? If so, how?

I'm all ears.
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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:10 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

I am not going to say "without leading"...but if you use the right hardness alloy, the right lube, and use a gas checked boolit...then you will reduce leading to the point of being almost nil.

I used to load 158gn hard cast boolits (no GC), using my own lube, at very close to magnum velocities from my .357 Mag S&W Mod 586 without any appreciable leading.

I also load a 150gn FN GC, also using my own lube, in my Mod 94 "jack handle", again with minimal leading.

So Grumps...yes, it is possible mate.

Cheers, Vince

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

I don’t know about the .460 but I have ran hard cast 240gr. SWC’s out of my .44mag using H110 and Win 296 powders !!!

The only leading that occurred was very minimal in the beginning of the barrel after 150-200 rounds.
A nearly perfect star pattern would form on the muzzle.

I will have to admit though, 3-4 inch groups were the norm at 25 yards.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:03 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

Grumulkin wrote:
Handloader wrote:
Since cast bullets require less powder to match the jacketed bullet velocity, it is not difficult to load hard cast to velocities beyond the velocity level of jacketed when loaded to maximum pressures. And, without leading.

I'm interested in the "without leading" part. I don't believe every thing I read but, the legend has been going on for years that if you push lead bullets too fast leading will occur. Are you saying I can push cast bullets out of my 460 S&W Magnum at 2,350 fps and get no leading? If so, how?

I'm all ears.

Handloader is right. Since lead bullets create less friction than jacketed, they attain higher velocities with comparable powder charges on a per weight basis. In essence, this is free "horsepower".

When he says "without leading" I'm sure he means with minimal leading. This is perfectly acceptable. Since jacketed bullets leave minuscule amounts of copper we can't expect lead not to leave traces also. It all is a matter of degree and balance. Properly cast (and designed...no bevel bases!), sized and lubed bullets fired through proper bores can be fired for a considerable amount of time between cleanings. I shoot nothing but cast bullets through my .45 ACPs and .44 Magnums with no leading problems as long as the bullets are properly designed, neither cast too hard or too soft and the lube is of the proper kind for the job. The .45s all have match-grade barrels that have glass-smooth bores. The .44s also have quality bores, all have cylinder throats cut to .0015" larger than the bore and all the forcing cones have been cut to 11-degrees. Bullets are sized to be .001" larger than bore diameter.

As to 2,300+ fps with lead; we have pushed 250-grain cast SWC (Keith style) bullets through my friend's .444 Marlin at speeds up to 2,200 fps without much problem.

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:16 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

I'm interested in the "without leading" part. I don't believe every thing I read but, the legend has been going on for years that if you push lead bullets too fast leading will occur. Are you saying I can push cast bullets out of my 460 S&W Magnum at 2,350 fps and get no leading? If so, how?

I'm all ears.[/quote]

In addition to what Vince replied, many centerfire rifles with cast bullets achieve velocities of 2,400fps. Of course, they aren't using pressures equal to the .460 S&W and they have longer barrels. "Chambered 221" does reload for the caliber, but, there are no velocity figures to add to the evaluation. In regard to that specific chambering, I have nothing to add, sorry. But, I do load my own cast @ 2,372 (405gr GC) out of a Ruger No1 in 458 Win Mag.

Above 2,000 fps, that rifle produced leading the entire length of the barrel. It doesn't now, however. A bore scope revealed that the barrel was rather rough from the rifling process and suggested that lapping the barrel was in order. I used a hot lapping process with medium/fine grade compound for twenty rounds @ 1,300 fps estimated and then switched to hand lapping until no apparent roughness was observed at 20X through the bore scope. Leading went away. So, the property of the barrel is one of several factors.

The .460 S&W uses EDM barrels. I have observed that EDMs in several revolvers are usually very polished and smooth from the factory and seldom require further lapping. Still to achieve the highest velocity level, it seems to me that a bullet weight around 180gr to 200gr cast with gas check would be in order and that presents a conundrum.

Finding such a bullet mold could be problematic or, of course, a custom cherry could be cut for it. Evenso, it would seem the only advantage would be the cost of the bullets, presuming you cast them yourself. Cast bullets loose effectiveness with high velocity on game whereas if kept at velocities below 1,200 fps they often outperform jacketed in terms of penetration. Likewise with cast in excess of 1,200 fps. The preceived advantage of the .460 owes to flat trajectory and long ranges. Now, we have entered the area of mutual exclusivity regarding cast in this application. Add to the matter the gain twist of the .460 S&W and we may
have other issues at hand at higher velocity levels with cast.

OTOH, several .460 S&Ws have been returned to the factory for new barrels from those that have been handloading to max or using max loads commerical. Rebarrel charges are reasonable, around $125. Frame cutting is also apparent at low round counts with max loads. Downloading to .454 Casull or hot .45 Colt is a practical alternative.

In all, except for moderate velocities, my impression is that the .460 S&W isn't the best candidate for high velocity cast bullets. But, that is merely a guess on my part.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:50 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

No velocity figures were given because I never put them over a chronograph. If I were to take a WAG at it.....I would say around 1400-1500 fps. A far cry from the 460’s ability, I was just trying to show mag velocities are a possibility.
I abandoned that project due to the unacceptable groups I was getting.

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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:00 am    Post subject: Re: copper jacket bullets and lead bullets Reply with quote

So, it sounds like it's pretty much like I thought. I've never put cast bullets through my 460 S&W and in general I don't have any great need to. The exception might be if and when I take on a cape buffalo with one; for that application, a heavy hardcast bullet might do better than jacketed bullets on the market.

A couple of other things about barrels. I shoot a S&W 460 & an Encore in 460. My 460 S&W Encore as well as my 500 S&W Encore don't have gain twist barrels and are the smoothest fastest to clean barrels I have so might be the best candidates for cast bullets.

The reason S&W used a gain twist barrel on their 460 S&W revolvers was not because bullets would strip out at the high velocity but because the torque was very hard on scopes. Having broken several quality scopes between my 500 S&W and 460 S&W I can testify to that.
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