G'day John & Jeff,
Thanks for the welcome folks.
John, would not say no to checking out the journal. My email is [email protected]
Jeff, I have been perusing the CBE website quite frequently over the past few months looking at various patterns available. A friend, who got me all fired up over casting, has quite a few of their moulds. One in particular has me thinking of ordering similar. It is a combined mould that casts two different 303 projectiles. A 220gn for the older 303's & a 190gn for the younger variants. As I have a couple of 303's from both era's, I thought it would be a good idea when casting I'd be producing projectiles to cover my collection of 303's.
I have picked up a number of second hand moulds recently, Lee, T E Buggs & a couple of early steel moulds which have been modified with a brass mould insert. The gent I bought them from said they were his fathers, who'd cast all his shooting life. He thinks these two moulds were damaged at some stage, so his dad had them bored out & a new mould insert put in. I don't know exactly how but once I have the rest of the gear & begin casting, it'll be interesting to see what size/weight/style projectile is thrown.
I'll need to start chasing up some sizing dies also, to cover the calibres being cast for. I have sourced two RCBS Lubesizers for bargain 2nd hand prices. Both from older gents, either cutting back on their casting gear or getting out of it. Have begun gathering wheel weights from a couple of local tyre repair stores. Just need the melting pot, stand & burner. Will be chasing these up from a smelter business nearby, who caters for bullet casters.
Whilst I've been using factory cast such as Hawkesbury River CB, Spartan, Redback & WestCastings products in several rifles & pistols for the past 10yrs, it's time to take the next step. I spent a week-end with the friend who got me into casting recently. He ran me through the selection of the right alloy for the rifle/calibre/use. Ths setting up of the pot, fluxing, temp, mould prep etc. He showed me a few tips for pouring of a good projectile, what to look for with defects etc.
I used steel & brass moulds in single, double & quad cavity styles. The four cavity mould was the hardest to get consistent pours with, but I got the hang of it. I knocked out some 400-500 casts in a couple of hours. Then we got into weighing to look for internal air pockets, batching by weight & what to keep or reject. Then to sizing, correct lube, seating of gas checks.
Some of the SAECO 196gn 8mm casts I brought home that week-end, were loaded over 28.5gn of AR2206H (not sure what this Aussie powder is sold as in the US) to use in a Combined Service Rifle comp Saturday just past. At 100m I was able to put 5 out of 10rds fired during an Action M match (start prone, then stand, then kneel/sit, then stand & finally back to prone with 2rds fired at each position, time 75sec) into the v-bull. That's a 6"diameter circle within a 12" circle, which is the bull. Four of the remaining 5rds went into the bull & the 10th round I know I pulled in the first standing off-hand position, landed low in the 4-ring.
Overall I was immensely pleased with the results of the cast loads. Am looking forward to more time shooting cast.