I'm sure this question has been asked before but my use of forum “search” feature didn't yield any help. My question is whether it's advisable to use jacketed data in manuals to work up cast loads. I'm sure there must be drawbacks or there'd not be separate manuals. Just from a safety standpoint a cast bullet ought to offer less resistance going “downbarrel” than a jacketed bullet. Anyhow, what are the rules if any? Cast data seems to stick with fast and medium burning powders and I can guess why, but I'd like to know for sure. Thanks for you help.
Jacketed data with cast bullets
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- Last Post 08 February 2012
Hello, dimebox. Usually, when I am working up a cast bullet load..I am mainly interested in accuracy only..and this usually means low velocity, with fairly fast burning powders. However, with a pre-WW1 7mm Mauser sporting rifle, I have found this one likes e'm hot..seems to shoot better with more powder..The bullet is a 150gr. Leeth nose-pour gas-check copy of the old Lyman 31141. I am using H4895..and am well up into the starting jacketed bullet loads..accuracy is a bit over 1” at 100yds.
The scope is an original Zeiss 4X, with pointed post & two pointed stadia for horizontal.
Are we talking pistol or rifle?
Because I said so!
Yes and no.
Yes, cast bullets realize lower pressures than jacketed bullets for a given load.
No, some loads specified for jacketed bullets don't work well. Sometimes the lower friction of cast bullets yields insufficient pressure for reliable powder burning.
There is a lot of explanations for both of those answers.
Use manuals that have cast bullet data. That is the safest route. Blind experimenting by beginners and using inappropriate data for cast bullets is just as ignorant as doing that with jacketed bullets and either kind of blunder can blow up firearms or kill you.
Your question seems like you may be a beginner to cast bullets. You can save yourself a lot of grief and lessen your risk of tragedy by purchasing good books and studying them. Then you can be much more specific with your questions.
The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook 4th Edition and the Lee Modern Reloading 2nd Edition, studying BOTH of them is a great place to start.
Bullet fit to your firearm, alloy selection for your load level and powder selection are very important. Using gas checked bullets also greatly extends the pressure /velocity range of a given bullet alloy.
The best powder selection is not always fast powders. The fast burn and high peak of pressure works well for low pressure/low velocity loads in rifles and low to medium pistol loads. Slower burning powders with pressure curves that are much flatter give a soft start to cast rifle bullets that works very well with pressure and velocity limits of the alloy you select when you are aiming for top end velocity with rifle loads.
A primary cause of my request is that there is data lacking for the real heavy weight bullets in the 35 calibers and 8mm. I was VERY disappointed in the latest Lyman cast bullet loading manual with these 2 calibers. Despite Lyman's new approach in including the cast bullet offerings of other mold makers they stopped with their own 204 gr. 358315 in the 35 calibers completely overlooking the BEAUTIFUL 245 gr. Saeco bullet. Since I own a 35 Whelen and my 2 sons each have Marlin lever guns in 356 Winchester I'd like data on this bullet. (YES, it does cycle through the Marlin action when cases are kept trimmed). In addition, the 8mm offering in the Lyman book stopped at 190 grs.. I have both of the much heavier Lee special order 8 mm molds (+/- 225 grs. & 250 grs.) as well as the standard Lee +/- Lee 175 gr. offering but it's difficult to find data anywhere on the heavy bullets but from other's proposals at websites. I've tried a couple of these and, in my opinion, they are way too hot. I don't want to beat up on Lyman, their book still offers the most information. Anyway, that's the problem I have. I also have a close personal friend who's a member of the CBA and regular contributor here that, like me, likes heavy weight bullets.
Your 245 gr Saeco can be loaded in the 35 Whelen with data for a 250 grain cast bullet on page 593 of the Lee 2nd Edition. Lee lists 10 different powders for that lead bullet in the 35 Whelen and a wide variety of load levels from 1788 to 2489 fps
Accurate 4350 looks like the best choice to me with the lowest pressure for the highest velocity.
start 54 gr. @ 2084 fps... 60 gr. capacity load @ 2368 fps with only 44,800 PSI.
That would definitely be a first choice for me!
Onondaga, Thanks for the information. Now I need to head to the gun store and get the powder. You know what it's like when you find out about a great load but the 20+ choices on your shelf don't include that powder. Incidentally, I come from Rochester (Irondequoit) a LONG time ago.
With out a doubt, everyone that owns a 35 Whelen and casts has their load for the 250-280 grain cast bullets. Mine likes R-15 and delivers full powder and is plenty accurate for Elk. What a great rifle......... R-15 is a good powder to try in the 35 Whelen. Smart riflemen own and hunt with a 35 Whelen:cool:
With out a doubt, everyone that owns a 35 Whelen and casts has there load for teh 250-280 grain cast bullets. Mine likes R-15 and delivers full powder and is plenty accurate for Elk. What a great rifle.........
R-15 is a good powder to try in the 35 Whelen.
Smart riflemen own and hunt with a 35 Whelen:cool:
Or a 356 Win.!!!:dude:
The 35 Whelen has awesome ballistics and large caliber flat-nose molds for big game. I have wanted a 35 Whelen barrel for My NEF Handi but just noticed that the availability is limited in that caliber right now.
When using jacketed bullet data with cast, as long as you stay a bit off maximum loads, and use alloy of suitable strength for the pressure level, you will be OK. When you go above 30,000 psi you need something stronger than wheelweights and harder alloys don't expand well. What has worked for me for hunting bullets is to heat treat a dilute alloy of 1 part wheelweights to 4 parts plumber's lead, soaking them in the oven at 450 degrees for 4-6 hours, to be sure all of the antimony is in solution, then water quenching, putting the wet bullets right into a ZipLoc bag and cold soaking in the freezer for 30 days to accelerate their aging. They will harden to about 20 BHN and can stand high velocity, but expand normally and stay together similar to 1:25. Great in the .44 Magnum with the LBT flat points. Absolute killers.
73 de KE4SKY In Home Mix We Trust From the Home of Ed's Red in "Almost Heaven" West Virginia
Ed Harris, Thanks for the useful information. :dude:
I use a Lyman 47th Reloading Handbook. It has cast load data I like to use for my references.
Since I had a surplus of IMR 4895 to “play” with, and was working towards loads to get my (then) 10 year old Grandson interested in High Power rifle shooting, I worked with some of Hodgdon's Reduced Load Data.
I don't believe I would try my pet load with my cast bullets. Probably not ever. 47.5g of IMR 4895 pushes my hunting 110g bullets out there beyond 3000 FPS. I think even my Lyman #2 formula alloy might turn into a molten spray along the way.
No, cast bullets, IMHO, need the data provided to load safe loads for them. Mine are getting Unique in mild to moderate loads now. Lots of fun, without a large amount of powder.
PS: Please don't tell my manual that I'm using Lyman Data with Lee molds. They might start fighting with each other...
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