New to .223 casting

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  • Last Post 31 May 2008
Win52D posted this 10 May 2008

   I am used to casting for pistols.  I normally use Lee's liquid Alox for lube.  For bullets in the .357 Maximum I would use gaschecks.  I know that sizing will hurt accuracy and should be avoided is possible.  I have an RCBS mould that drops bullets at .225” and 57.7gr.  I would like to use Hornady crimp on gas checks.  Is there a tool or method that will do this without running thru the sizer?  I currently have a Lee .225 sizing die.  It still sizes the a small amount.  Would a sizing die opened up to .226 solve this problem.

I plan on continuing to use the Liquid Alox and avoid the expense of a Lubrisizer

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CB posted this 11 May 2008

Win52D,

It depends on what you consider expensive. Some of my guns you can use “as cast", while other get very accurate when I run them thru my Star sizer to a certain size. I have a RCBS Lub A Matic that doesn't see a lot of use, but I have a great many dies for it, so it gave me what would be the best sizes for dies to use of my Star.

Over the last 30 years, I have cast a lot of bullets, so the Star is handy for me. The Star is a simple push the bullet thru the die in one actions, while RCBS and the Lyman push the bullet down and then bring it back up.

I do cast 223 bullets, and size them to 224 or 225 depending on the pistol or rifle I am using them in.

But I will admit that I have not used the Lee sizer.

Jerry

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giorgio de galleani posted this 11 May 2008

I too have saeco 225 bullets and a 225 sizer,I am planning to hone it out a bit to lube without sizing the bullet ,but to crimp the gas checks.

Incidentally,I like to anneal the gas checks,to reduce the effort of crimping them.

This is the method I use for my rifle bullet,in .30,.375,6.6 and 7mm.

Ed Harris says small caliber cartridges work at higher pressures than bigger bores,needing harder bullets than a .30, at comparable speed,(1400-1600 fps)what are your experience with a 223?

I do not size Lee pistol bullets of the tumble lube design,just give them a coat of liquid alox,

I used to size 230 tumble lube round noses for a couple of too tightly  chambered 45HP italian 911 pistols. that would not feed 452 bullets and used with satisfaction a lee sizer dies system.of 451 diameter.

Now,following my Guru's teaching,I load lubed bullets as cast and,if necessary size the loaded cartridges in the Lee factory crimp pistol dies.

A kimber in 45acp and a chinese 45acp  barrelI have feed absolutely everything I can concoct.

I have a Star ,two rcbs and an orange Lyman sizer,and for rifle gas check bullets I strongly advice the RCBS,using Lyman dies,they have the number on the top,it stays clean and you do not have to scrape the lube off to read it.

I use for all bullets,some universal top punches,Those having a negative cone shape,they center the bullets better,like the lathe's centering morse cone.

I fear that sizing gas check  .22 cal bullets nose first in a die might lead to a failure,so please let us know if you have success ,I like to learn by my mistakes.

 

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CB posted this 11 May 2008

You can get by with the Lee push through die to crimp on gas checks. They make one in .225 diameter. The weight of the CBs left in the die holds the gas check to the cb while the next one is pushed into the die. Running a cb through sizing die hurting accuracy is not true in each situation, but I find it most always helps towards accuracy in rifles...................Dan

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PETE posted this 11 May 2008

 Win52D,

  Not sure where you've gotten the idea that sizing bullets is not good. Not true.... in most cases. A lot depends on how much you size. One or two thousandths is not bad. I've read, but can't back this up with experience, that sizing a bullet .002” - .003” does not affect accuracy. Yes, it's great if you don't need to size, but out of the 75+ moulds I've got, both custom and commercial, there's not one that doesn't need to be sized.

  Most commercial moulds have to be made to handle a wide variety of alloys and their subsequent variations in size. So they are usually made a coupla thousandths oversize than what they are marked for. Plus some guns can be very finicky as to the size they like. Rifles especially. Even custom mould makers will tell you that they work on a - .000 + .xxx basis, and will need the alloy you will be using.

PETE

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Win52D posted this 11 May 2008

Pete.

When shooting PB cullets in the 357 Max and the 45ACP not sizing helped accuracy.  As cast width was .000” - .001".

When I joined CBA I received a book on casting by Joe Brennan and he also suggested avoiding sizing is the as cast diameter was within specs.

Dan,

I used the Lee system on my pistols and liked it.  The only issue I have with gas checks is that bottom punch doesn't quite match the diameter of the gascheck so I get minor crscent shape indents.  Perhaps a custom punch will overcome that issue.

Thanks for the input :dude:

-Jeff

 

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CB posted this 11 May 2008

Ya Jeff, the 'no sizing' condition would apply most often to pistols and also rifles with worn throats using medium and soft alloys. You need to find the opening diameter of your rifle throat and size to that, then try .001” over and .001"under just to try and see.

My Lyman sizers also leave a slight concave in the base of the gas check. I find this does not hurt anything. The important part is that the circumference edge of the gas check is 90 degrees square to the sides of the cb....................Dan

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Win52D posted this 12 May 2008

Thanks Dan,  I had always wondered about that on my .357 Max.  My first barrel refused to shoot cast bullets.  I had a Thompson expert look at it and he couldn't figure it out either.  The new barrel does much better.  I will give the .225” sized bullets a go and let you know.  I also ordered the .224” from Lee so we'll see how the sizing compares between the two :coffee

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linoww posted this 12 May 2008

PETE mentioned neck tension critical on 22's in another thread.He crimps his 22's to get this,I just use heavy neck tension before I seat the bullets for the same results.Before he mentioned it I hadn't thought about neck tension possible being the answer to my luck with the 22's.I have sized from .223 to .225 in my 22-250's with firm neck tension and all seem to do well.The extra tension you get with larger bullets may be the reason,not the size of them why they shoot better in 22's.I use the Lee push through .225 and it makes pretty bullets with flat bases,but hasn't shown itself a “magic"solution.But to get away from a lubrasizer its the way to go.I shoot the 225438 with no GC just tumble lubed for my 50 yd squirell load in my 22-250 Stevens.

 

George

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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PETE posted this 13 May 2008

 Win52,

  Of course if your mould casts within the diam. you need so much the better. If you are satisfied with the diam. your mould casts and want to use it that way, more power to you.

  The first thing tho is you will have to change your mindset over from shooting pistol to shooting rifle. They are two completely different games and shot at completely different distances. At the standard distances CB rifles are shot at  problems show up that aren't even noticeable with a pistol at the standard pistol target distances.

  What I've found is that for max. accuracy in a rifle the bullet has to fit the throat. Wear and non standard (customized) throats call for certain procedures to be followed, as has been mentioned by others on this, and other threads. Sometimes just changing the bullets diam. by .001", either way, can improve or worsen accuracy. Thus my statement very few if any moulds cast to the required diam. that I want.

  Instead of taking my word, or anyone elses, you should look at the match results and the loads in The Fouling Shot and see what the winners are doing. In just the .30 cal. you'll see bullets sized, and/or bumped from .308” to .311". I use the latter in my Springfield 03, & Win Mod. 70.

PETE

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Win52D posted this 14 May 2008

I was able to do some casting this weekend and managed to come up with about 250 bullets.  After weighing and culling out the imperfect bullets I should be able to come up with around 100 shootable bullets.  I should know in a few weeks how I'm doing...I'll keep you posted

 

My thanks to everyone who replied.  I got a lot of great info and I'm sure it will pay off in small groups :dude:

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linoww posted this 14 May 2008

Win52D wrote: I was able to do some casting this weekend and managed to come up with about 250 bullets.  After weighing and culling out the imperfect bullets I should be able to come up with around 100 shootable bullets.  I should know in a few weeks how I'm doing...I'll keep you posted

 

My thanks to everyone who replied.  I got a lot of great info and I'm sure it will pay off in small groups :dude:

I am surprised at your cull rate.With my 22 molds i don't even weigh,just visual sort as i cast and again when I lube.Cast 22's are extremely uniform especially out of good metal.The info on .22 shooting by John Alexander in Brennens book pretty much sums it up.

Good luck shooting.I just loaded 100 RCBS 55FN's for rock-chuck hunting this weekend in my 22-250.The loads shoots a solid 1.25-1.5” at 100 and under 4” at 200 out of a Sporter weight Stevens going 2100 fps.Shots to about 125yds are about the max,past that they make it back into the rockpiles too often.

 

George

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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Win52D posted this 14 May 2008

 Since this is my first attempt at rifle (and one of the tougher calibers to get accurate)  I decided to very selective with the first bullets and rounds to get an idea what I am dealing with :)

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linoww posted this 15 May 2008

 Since this is my first attempt at rifle (and one of the tougher calibers to get accurate)  I decided to very selective with the first bullets and rounds to get an idea what I am dealing with :)

Being picky wont get you in trouble so i see your point getting rid of all the variables.Were you gettiing alot of variation? How selectve were you weighing your bullets?

I just get suspicious if i have too many culls in a casting lot.it makes me think my processs/casting session was flawed.

George

"if it was easy we'd let women do it" don't tell my wife I said that!

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Win52D posted this 15 May 2008

All of the culls were visual flaws.  The few that I weighed are right at 57.7gr and measured .225.  Some other samples were at .226” and weighed upwards of 59gr.

This weekend I will weigh them and do a final sort.

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CB posted this 18 May 2008

Win52D

Why not save some of those culls and shoot them in alternate groups with your “good” bullets and see if you did any good by culling?

It might answer the question of how bad visually is bad for accuracy and save you a lot of work next time.

John

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Win52D posted this 18 May 2008

John,

Not a bad idea.  I'll try that on the next batch.  I did discover by mistake that hasting at higher than normal temps tends to fill the bullets out better.  yes I get whiskers and a frosty appearance but with a tumble lube that should actually help a bit.

 

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CB posted this 31 May 2008

I have a Lyman .225 44 grain mold that once It gets warmed up, the bullets are highly uniform. I size mine in a RCBS Lub a Matic to 225. with Hornady GCs. This is probably the only bullet that I still use the lub a matic for.

My castings are used in Contenders, some single shot rifles and a couple bolt guns. They work flawlessly.

Some times it is casting technique that causes changes. Keeping your pot and mold at the right temp helps at lot. When I am casting I cast two different molds, I fill one with lead and then sit it on a ceramic brick letting it cool for a moment, while I am filling another mold with lead. Repeat as needed.

It also helps to preheat your molds, I use an old cast iron pan on a hot plate to warm up my molds, also to keep them warm if I need to take a break or do something different.

As far as 357 Max in Contenders using lead, I use a 180grn, 204grn and a 214grn CBs in mine and don't have any problems, all of the g'hogs that I have dispatched since T/C brought out the 357 Max barrels are a testiment to both of my Max barrels with cast bullets. Plus I still have two boxes of the orginal Remington run on 357 Max cartridges.

 

Jerry

 

 

 

 

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