Ruger American Predator and .223 Cast

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shastaboat posted this 14 June 2023

I've been using a load consisting of 10 gr of 2400 in my small game varmint hunting.  It chronographs at approx 2000 fps in a 20" 1 in 12" twist barrel.  A bit faster in a 24" barrel.  Up until last summer all of our rifles with this load have been 1 in 12" twist.  They are a Rem 788, Browning Medalion and a custom cast built AR15 which functions 100%. Most of our shots taken are under 100 yards and our hit rate is approximately 90% at that range.  At 200 yards we hit at  approx 80%.  Last summer I decided to purchase a Ruger American that used AR 15 mags to facilitate easier loading and reloading.  I have found that the 20 round mags are the best for use as 30 round interfere with a good rest.  This rifle has a 1 in 8" twist barrel so I wasn't very optimistic to shoot our cast load in it.  I've been pleasantly surprised that my shooting results have equaled our 1 in 12" twist barrels.  I've been casting straight WW with no leading but cleaning after approx 100 rounds in each rifle.  Powder fouling seems to be the deterrent to accuracy. That generally equals 1 day of shooting.  There have been a few days shooting Belding Ground squirrels that I cleaned guns 3 times a day.  One thing I'm changing up is to add 20% linotype to the WW lead.  I've already cast over a thousand bullets with the new mix and the casts are coming out smoother and more consistent.  I use Sage aluminum gas checks and size .225 with a homemade lube consisting of 50/50 beeswax and high speed lithium wheel bearing grease.   (the red stuff)

Another thing I'll be changing up is the powder I've been using.  No one on this earth seems to have any Alliant 2400 in 8 lb Jugs.  Alliant advised me they are regularly producing it but couldn't or wouldn't tell me who they are selling it to.  Using a current burn rate chart has led me to Accurate #7 which I just ordered an 8# jug from Midsouth Shooters.  I'll still be able to keep my round cost down to about $.08 cents per round.  Thank God I ordered primers the last time (25K) at $22 per K.  Still have over 10K small rifle in my inventory.  We should be good for 5-8 years.

Has anyone used Accurate #7 in any cast rifle caliber?

Because I said so!

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shastaboat posted this 14 June 2023

Because I said so!

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delmarskid posted this 14 June 2023

I used a lot of #7 in 30 calibers for cast. Well over 20 lbs. of the stuff. In the 06, 308, and 7.5x55 22g with weights going 150 to 205grouped well and seemed to have plenty of speed. I cast 50/50 wheel weights and no.2 with a lube very similar to yours with the exception that I used white lithium grease. I would still be using #7 but I have a good amount of other stuff I need to use up.

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ray h posted this 15 June 2023

Brent,  ground squirrels are about the only thing I hunt any more. I've been wondering about using cast on them. Since they are so small what shot reaction do you get, does the bullet pencil thru?  Do you have many crawl offs?  I use 17 and 20 cal wildcats now and still get bullet pass thru, at times, after killing one. I was hoping to use WW plus some tin.  Have you tried heat treating your WW? Most of our shots are 100 to 225 yds so accuracy would be important.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 15 June 2023

22 rat bullets ... i used to have a 225438 hp mold that simply disentegrated barn rats ... about 1700 fps cast of 22 rimfire range recovery ...

it was a very humane killer ... very ...

ken

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shastaboat posted this 15 June 2023

I don't heat treat or water drop.  I found years ago that I could shoot COWW at 2000 to 2200 fps in a 10" or slower barrel without any leading issues.  Cast .22 doesn't blow up on squirrels like a jacketed hp or sp at 3100+ fps.  The Lee flat nose does the damage. Occasionally we get a crawler that doesn't die instantaneously but  they die soon enough.  We occasionally will use a second shot if we just blew off a limb.  On a body shot they are just about blown in half.  We are mobile in our shooting and get probably 75% of our shots under 100 yards.  If your rifle doesn't shoot 1-1.25" groups at 100 yards you might not be satisfied.  With shooting cast at 2000-2200 fps I find it is very important to maintain hold a second after firing.  A 1 in 12" twist is recommended.  Now here is another thing I do.  After casting a large lot of bullets in any caliber I freeze them for a minimum of 3 days.  I then size and lube from room temperature bullets.  I believe that speeds up age hardening.  Of course some of my coffee cans of ammo may age for a year or more.  On Wyoming P dogs we generally shoot 100-150 rounds a day each and kill 90%,  On Belding ground squirrels in Nevada we have shot over 300 rounds a day.  They are skitzzier than P dogs so if you miss you generally don't get a second shot.  As you know P dogs will hang around waiting to be hit.

Because I said so!

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shastaboat posted this 15 June 2023

delmarskid, thanks.  Makes me feel good about my substitute choice.  

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John Alexander posted this 15 June 2023

Interesting post. You shouldn't have been surprised that the 8" twist shot as well as the 12" twists. The idea that you must have the slowest twist that will stabilize the bullet for best accuracy has been vastly overhyped.  This may be significant in two instances one -- if you are a JB bench rester shooting eggs under 0.2" or, two -- you have terribly unbalanced bullets. But for most of us, it seems insignificant or non existent. 

I have had 8 good 223 rifles with 8 or 9" twists and all shot well even with short 35 and 40 grain JBs even though a 16" would have stabilized the bullets.

Linotype or sweeting WW with linotype makes prettier bullets. I will look forward to your test to see if they shoot better -- or worse.

Please remind us what bullet or bullets you are shooting. I think you have said earlier but can't remember.

John

 

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MP1886 posted this 15 June 2023

Interesting post. You shouldn't have been surprised that the 8" twist shot as well as the 12" twists. The idea that you must have the slowest twist that will stabilize the bullet for best accuracy has been vastly overhyped.  This may be significant in two instances one -- if you are a JB bench rester shooting eggs under 0.2" or, two -- you have terribly unbalanced bullets. But for most of us, it seems insignificant or non existent. 

I have had 8 good 223 rifles with 8 or 9" twists and all shot well even with short 35 and 40 grain JBs even though a 16" would have stabilized the bullets.

Linotype or sweeting WW with linotype makes prettier bullets. I will look forward to your test to see if they shoot better -- or worse.

Please remind us what bullet or bullets you are shooting. I think you have said earlier but can't remember.

John

John, that's about the smartest thing I've ever seen you say on this forum. Way to go man!!  You nailed.  We know who worships that hype don't we John?

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Larry Gibson posted this 16 June 2023

"But for most of us, it seems insignificant or non existent.

Yes, it "seems insignificant" when shooting at short ranges but, in reality, it is not.  The non-linear expansion of the group size will increase as the range increases.  I've shot numerous different lubed cast bullets at 1400 0 2400 fps out of 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 14" twist barrels using the 223/5.56 cartridge.  Sometimes, with some bullet load combinations, the accuracy at 100 yards out of the  faster twists "seemed" as good as with the slower twists, especially if only 3 or 5 shot groups were fired.  However, testing at 200 yards consistently revealed the better accuracy of the slower twists with the same cast bullet/load at the same velocity.

I lived in NE Oregon for 18 years and killed a bajillion Belding ground squirrels with cast bullets.  Judging "accuracy" by the % of hits is a poor method of the actual accuracy of the rifle/ammunition.  Even on those small targets out to 150 -200 yards a pretty inaccurate load can still give enough hits to give a false sense of "accuracy".  An average adult Belding sitting twill give a target 1 1/2 - 2" wide (depends on how much alfalfa its eaten).  Thus a 3 moa load can give a large % of hits out at 150 yards.  Even a 4 moa load still can give a large % of hits and give a deceptive idea of "accuracy".

Take a hard look at all the CBA match scores.  How many are shot at HV out of faster twists?  How many of the winning scores are shot with loads that exceed the RPM Threshold?  There is a reason for that.

LMG

 

Concealment is not cover.........

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MP1886 posted this 16 June 2023

Larry with all due respect you really need to sit down with Bryan Litz and have a good talk with him. He's only one of many engineers that can tell you the real true story. As for your mention of the CBA match can everyone play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix, can everyone paint like Picasso, can everyone be a brain surgeon? Same with shooting cast accurately.

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shastaboat posted this 17 June 2023

Larry, I agree with your post.  With my 1 in 12" rifles we do attempt longer range shots with at least perceived more hits.  Occasionally hits at over 300 yards.  With the Ruger Predator I don't even attempt the shots often.  And when I do I might shoot 4 or 5 times before getting a hit or giving up.  Prairie dogs (Richardson Ground Squirrels) give a target about twice the size of a Belding.  Also they are more curious and hang around even if you miss. Probably our most accurate rifle is my Remington 788 with a 24" barrel.  I had the bore deep throated to .010" some years ago.  My lady has pretty much taken it over and at 5'9" tall the length of pull seems to fit her.  she can be extremely slow to fire but when she does, she doesn't miss very often.  We cut our teeth with cast .223 bullets on Belding ground squirrels in Nevada.  Up until now my cost per round was approximately $.06 cents per round.  With the new powder order I expect that to go up to $.10 cents per round.  Still a whole lot cheaper than jacketed.  Not as explosive but just as fun.

Because I said so!

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Larry Gibson posted this 17 June 2023

"MP1886 posted this 22 hours ago

Larry with all due respect you really need to sit down with Bryan Litz and have a good talk with him. He's only one of many engineers that can tell you the real true story. As for your mention of the CBA match can everyone play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix, can everyone paint like Picasso, can everyone be a brain surgeon? Same with shooting cast accurately."

MP1886

With all due respects to you I attempted contact with Bryan Litz several years back several times, he failed to respond.  I have the utmost respect for him and his work.  I have his book and his ballistic program and use it often.  I also have read or watched most, if not all, of his videos.  He is, indeed, and excellent engineer and ballistician.  However, I have yet to see any experimentation on his part with shooting lubed cast bullets of a ternary alloy shot at high velocity.  Yet, in his book and explanation of the adverse effect of imbalances in bullets I find nothing that disagrees with what I have found.  Perhaps I've missed something?  If so can you point it out.

Most all, again if not all, of Bryan Litz's testing has been done with the highest of quality jacketed bullets.  I would be gland to show Mr. Litz how I have induced sufficient imbalance in jacketed bullets to lower the RPM Threshold of them and induce the helical arc which causes non=linear group dispersion as the range increases.  It can easily be done with even the best of match quality bullets.  I have demonstrated that on the Cast Boollet Forum and probably even this one.

As to Hendix and Picasso, both were/are considered top artists but neither performed outside of the laws of physics. Neither does the adverse effect of an imbalance ion accuracy [precision actually] n bullets, cast or jacketed.  It is also a matter of opinion as to the quality of Hendrix's guitar music [that's as in what he plays, not how well he plays it] and Picasso's paintings (again, in what he painted, not how well he painted it) that is a matter of discussion.  The CBA Match results are facts based on actual results, thus are rather indisputable.  The CBA match results that are referenced on this forum as the standard of cast bullet accuracy.  Perhaps you disagree and can expound on that disagreement?

Many shoot cast bullets with reasonably good accuracy high velocity at short ranges and want to offer it as proof there is no RPM Threshold.  However, they do not realize, in the 223 Remington cartridge for example, in shooting a cast bullet less than the 3200 fps +/- with the same accuracy/precision as can be done with jacketed bullets is proof the RPM Threshold exist.  Keep in mind, as I've reiterated over and over, the RPM Threshold is not a "limit" as it may be moved up or down.  Also keep in mind the adverse affect occurs in a non-linear group expansion as the range increases.  The RPM Threshold has nothing to do with bullet stability either as has been proven again and again.  Ternary lubed cast bullets have a lower threshold than do, PC'd and PP'd  cast bullets and even jacketed bullets can have a threshold. 

LMG

Concealment is not cover.........

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MP1886 posted this 17 June 2023

That's right he did mainly, might even say exclusively, worked with jacketed bullets. You have eluded to in the past that a fast twist barrel won't shoot as accurate as the same caliber, but with a slower twist, even with jacketed.  Litz will tell you that you have to be the top shooter in the world, have the most extreme accurate rifle, and shoot past 1000 yards to see the difference. As John Alexander said the difference isn't that much.  The thing is, and we both know it, is that with cast bullets it's harder to get the accuracy then with a slower twist and we know ALL THE REASONS.  Everything, and I mean everything, has to be perfect. To say that you can't do is fall from the truth. There are many that can do it. Probably one of the toughest to get really good accuracy is the 6.5 Swede especially when you are really pushing the bullet. Even with cast, and we're talking a perfect bullet with no voids etc,  if the bullet enters the bore perfectly straight and  exits still straight the rpm threshold (barf) has no effect on it.  It will shoot very good groups. You whole theory is made up for those out there that can't do EVERY step of loading cast bullets PERFECTLY.  Your followers then are those that can't do that and are lost in being able to do it. You sure don't have followers that CAN do it patting you on the back.

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Larry Gibson posted this 17 June 2023

I have never “eluded” [I’ll assume for the sake of this discussion you meant “alluded”(?)] to that at all.  I have stated, as has Bryan Litz, that with quality jacketed bullets faster twist rifles will shoot as accurately as slower twist rifles with the same cartridge/load as long as the bullet is sufficiently stabilized.  However, if you’ve actually read Mr. Litz’s book/works you would also note he states there is a certain twist rate that will give the best accuracy for a given bullet at a given velocity, especially at longer ranges.  It’s why Palma 308W rifles have 13 or 14” twists.  It’s why match 6.5s have 8.2 or 8.5” twists.  It’s why AR service rifles ARs built with 8” twists to give the best accuracy at longer ranges with 70 to 85 gr VLD bullets.

 What I have stated and proven is with a ternary alloyed lubed and GC’d bullet there will be a threshold at a certain velocity RPM rate where accuracy begins to deteriorate in a non-linear fashion as the range increases.  That Threshold may be moved up or down by numerous factors such as, the powder used, the quality of the cast bullet, the design of the cast bullet, the lube used, the GC used, etc.  I have completed extensive testing of the RPM Threshold in numerous rifles of varied cartridges.  The end result is always the same.  I also have tested the 223 Remington cartridge with different cast bullets in 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 14” twist barrels and in the 308W cartridge with 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14” twist barrels.  The results were always the same; the slower the twist the higher the velocity could be pushed while maintaining linear group expansion maintaining 2 moa ten shot groups at longer ranges out to 500 yards. 

 I also took part in the design of the NOE 30 XCB which was designed specifically for accuracy at high velocity.  I proved it to be very accurate specifically in 12, 13 and 14” twist 308Ws.  Same as before the 13 and 14” twists maintained 2 moa accuracy ten shot groups with liner group expansion at the longer ranges than did the 12” twist maintain linear expansion which  was proven to be at a higher velocity than the 10” twist.    When the velocity was converted to RMP it was found all the twists lost linear expansion at about the same RPM yet different velocities.

I then put a lot of time and money into having a 16” twist custom cartridge/rifle made, the 30x60 XCB.  With the 30 XCB bullet consistent 1 moa accuracy was obtained with 10 shot groups to 600 yards, the farthest range tested.  That was with the 165 gr 30 XCB bullet at 2900+ fps.  Please show us, with factual proof, where anyone has done that with any faster twist using ternary alloy lubed GC’d bullets.

Please show us with factual proof where anyone has shot an 8” twist rifle chambered in 223 Remington that will hold 1 moa or less with 10 shots at 200 yards with a ternary alloyed lubed and GC’d cast bullets shot at a velocity that is commensurate with an equal weight jacketed bullet.  Ok, we know you can’t do that so how about that 55 gr Lee Bator bullet at 2500 fps?  Or even 2200 fps?  You might come close with a 12 or 14” twist but with an 8” twist….show us?

The RPM Threshold is not a “limit”.  I have asked John numerous times to conduct a simple test to prove it to himself, he hasn’t.  I doubt you would either.  Let me know if you want to try and I post the test, it is actually quite simple.

Now, as to the Perfect cast bullet”, how many of us can really cast a “perfect bullets that is absolute symmetrical and evenly balanced.  Maybe one person in this world can but occasionally.  I know I can cast pretty good bullets as can many others.  But, perfect as in perfectly symmetrical and balanced….that would be a bit arrogant.  BTW, I have sectioned a lot of “light weight” bullets which appeared perfect on the outside searching for that mythical “void” but have yet to find one.  It is the slightly non symmetry of the cast bullet that causes imbalance, even if minute and undetectable to the eye.  We may put any cast bullet into the chamber throat with perfectly fit as possible but if shot, particularly at HV it will not come out the muzzle as perfectly as it went into the chamber.  Thus, any imbalance at all is acted upon by the RPMs centrifugal force.  It’s why we shoot groups instead of the bullets all going into one hole…..at any range.

 The last part of your post tells us where you are really coming from.  Instead of facts to substantiate what you’re alluding to you turned it personal about “followers”, what I’ve made up, and “patting on the back”.  All of which is unnecessary.

LMG

 

Concealment is not cover.........

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John Alexander posted this 18 June 2023

I have just deleted a post from this thread. Sorry that I didn't see it sooner. Getting personal and name calling is not part of a decent discussion when people disagree.

Presenting evidence to support your argument does not require uncivil behavior.

John

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Mike H posted this 18 June 2023

Thank you John.

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2frogs posted this 22 February 2024

This is all very interesting about the 223. Here's my confusion. I have 2. 223 rifles. One with a 12 twist and the other with a 7 twist. My 7 twist is a match rifle I built for F class shoots. I guess what I want to know is what weight bullets would be good for the 7 twist. I cast with either #2 or linotype. Gas checks and powder coat. Mold 225415 or noe 225 40 grain. Thanks for any advice...

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John Carlson posted this 22 February 2024

This is all very interesting about the 223. Here's my confusion. I have 2. 223 rifles. One with a 12 twist and the other with a 7 twist. My 7 twist is a match rifle I built for F class shoots. I guess what I want to know is what weight bullets would be good for the 7 twist. I cast with either #2 or linotype. Gas checks and powder coat. Mold 225415 or noe 225 40 grain. Thanks for any advice...
My best results  have been with heavier bullets like NOE 22565 or22779 in 8" twist rifles.  Velocities around 1700.  Alloy is 2WW/1Lino, very close to #2. Have used 2400 but will be seeking an alternative.

John Carlson. CBA Director of Military Competition.

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shastaboat posted this 22 February 2024

Chiming in again.  My findings over 50+ years of shooting cast rifle bullets.  The faster the barrel twist rate in any caliber designates a slower velocity to shoot accurately.  With jacketed bullets that may not be the criteria at all.  The recent trend for jacketed fast twist barrels to shoot heavy for caliber bullets just doesn't relate to cast bullet shooting in any manner.  My experience with trying to shoot 140 gr 6.5 bullets was poor because they tended to bend when sizing.  Just to fragile.  I dropped to the Lyman Loverin bullet in 120 gr and was able to get i" groups at 100 yards at 1700 fps or slower with an 8.5" twist rate in a Sweed 96 barrel cut to 18.5" length in my light weight carry rifle.  I have shot cast rifle bullets, mainly with straight COWW accurately to 2200 fps if the twist rate was 10" or slower.  I know there are others who claim higher velocities with harder alloys but I'm only interested in hunting and not target shooting for the fun of just target shooting.  And then there are the powder coaters which I'm just not interested at all.  Have fun!

Because I said so!

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