Shot some rejects today

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  • Last Post 27 February 2021
Spindrift posted this 02 January 2021

I had a handful of NOE 310-165 XCB bullets, that were sub-standard. Slightly rounded, frosted driving bands- I had overheated the system while casting. But they weren’t horrible, either. I decided to give them a spin; powder coated, but without GC. Sized .310. Loaded to 0,02in jump in my Schultz & Larsen .30-06 hunting rifle. 

 

Shot at 100m. I only loaded a few, using Vihtavouri N110 (fantastic cast bullet powder) 19 and 20grs. Shot one of each load over the Magnetospeed (1640 and 1720 fps, respectively). Shot one 4-shot, and one 5-shot group with the remaining cartridges.

 

Now, these results won’t win me any matches. But I think my rejects did pretty well. I will certainly try the checkless PC XCB- bullet again, with bullets that has actually passed my quality control.

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John Alexander posted this 02 January 2021

Great groups. Good pictures.

I don't know why anybody is still surprised when they discover that bullets with rounded edges and/or frosted bullets shoot just as well as the most shiny and sharp edged casting.  They do for everybody. It's just that few shooters ever find out because they never test to find out.

I have been trying frosted vs. shiny and rounded against sharp edged bullets in good shooting rifles off and on for over 60 years and have never found any accuracy difference, i.e. the "defective"  groups are better half the time.  If anything, the frosted may be a little better for tumble lubes.

Most of the advice you read about rejecting cast bullets for rifles is untested B.S.  And it is even harder to cast a bullet bad enough to affect the actual pistol accuracy for most of us if we are honest.

I hope you will post the groups you shoot with your "good" bullets.

John

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Larry Gibson posted this 02 January 2021

Certainly usable groups for general shooting.  Great groups?  No I don't think so.  Certainly fine for general shooting fun though.

John and I have discussed this many times and while he considers rounded edges, frosty bullets and/or other small defects as not detrimental to accuracy [as in "Most of the advice you read about rejecting cast bullets for rifles is untested B.S."] he has been provided with ample "evidence" that rejecting such bullets and proper weight sorting is essential to best accuracy/precision. 

However, I will agree with John that if one does not have a rifle of sufficient accuracy/precision potential and the shooting skill to use it then discarding such bullets really doesn't make much sense.  Even though I visual and weight sort (properly) the bullets I use for match shooting [both military and commercial rifles] I do shoot many such bullets as shown in numerous other rifles because they are not capable of using the sorted bullets any better.  With those accuracy/precision as spindrift shows is just fine.

The issue here is with rifle bullets, particularly the 30 XCB, in a 30-06 rifle not with such bullets in handguns.  I also agree with John that most of us, especially as we get older, notice the difference in pistol bullets when shot unsupported......

LMG

 

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

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Ross Smith posted this 02 January 2021

That's it in a nutshell Larry.

I shoot the xcb in my good 30-06 14" twist and it does great. I tried powder coating and it worked ok if the coating wasn't too thick on the "bore ride" section. Could't even close the bolt on a couple. I need to try thinner coating. Also, I shoot 20 gr. R7 and sized .311.

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4and1 posted this 03 January 2021

Ross, I size my rifle bullets before PC and then again after. But on a portion of the bullet you can't size, yes there is a difference. I size the bore rider portion of my bullets, so they go in fine.

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John Alexander posted this 04 January 2021

Larry wrote: "Certainly usable groups for general shooting.  Great groups?  No I don't think so.  Certainly fine for general shooting fun though

John and I have discussed this many times and while he considers rounded edges, frosty bullets and/or other small defects as not detrimental to accuracy [as in "Most of the advice you read about rejecting cast bullets for rifles is untested B.S."] he has been provided with ample "evidence" that rejecting such bullets and proper weight sorting is essential to best accuracy/precision. "

============ 

Larry,

Sorry to be a little slow in answering, but I can't let your post stand without a bit of a rebuttal.  The subject of the thread was about frosted bullets with slightly rounded edges producing some good groups for a factory rifle.  I noted that such bullets usually shoot well since they have always shot well for me when I compared them to shiny bullets with sharp edges.

You seem to take offense to my claim.  My memory isn't what it used to be, but I can't remember when you have ever provide me with evidence, ample or otherwise, on the subject of either frosted or rounded edged bullets. In fact I don't think we have ever discussed those two "defects." If this is just my faulty memory please give me a hint where I can find such evidence posted by you in the archives. Since I don't want to be saying things that aren't true, can you remember the threads involved or at least the category or perhaps repost your evidence.

As far as your implying that the limited quality of my equipment and/or limited shooting ability may be the reason for my questionable statement, you are absolutely right.  Because I only shoot cast bullets in factory rifles, most of my testing as well as my competitive shooting is at the precision level of about one minute of angle for AVERAGES of five shot groups, seldom much better.  So you are right, for shooters with custom built guns shooting AGGREGATES of much less than one minute these small defects may make a difference.  I usually note that limitation in my articles but didn't in my post above.

However, for the 95% of cast bullet shooters whose average for strings of five shot groups is usually larger than one minute, the conclusions from my experiments should apply.  If a defect can't be shown to affect groups averaging one inch it is unlikely that they will affect the two or three inch groups that most of us shoot.

John

 

 

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JeffinNZ posted this 04 January 2021

Larry raises an interesting point regarding individual ideas of what is a ‘good group’. I am not a match shooter. There are no cast bullet matches in New Zealand. I cast and shoot for hunting small game and curiosity. A good group to me is one that will allow me to keep the shot in the vitals of a rabbit/hare/wallaby at the range the rifle is suited to. For the .310 Cadet with iron sights a rabbit at 75 yards is a small target so 1.5-2.0 inch groups suffice and that makes me happy. For the .223 REM with longer legs I need 1.5 inch at 100 yards at least.

Cheers from New Zealand

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 05 January 2021

Good groups for me:  minute of beer can or minute of prairie dog.

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Larry Gibson posted this 05 January 2021

John

No offense taken.  Just a discussion is all and difference of opinion, no reason to be offended.  

What you said was; "I don't know why anybody is still surprised when they discover that bullets with rounded edges and/or frosted bullets shoot just as well as the most shiny and sharp edged casting."  There in you made a distinction between the frosty bullets with rounded edges with those bullets being shiny and having sharp edges.  Many of us consider frosty bullets and/or with rounded edges as having defects.  Point being they do not shoot as well, especially past 50 yards, as do shiny bullets with sharp edges.  The reason being they are unbalanced. The higher the velocity and the longer the range the less accurate they will be.  Sometimes that is a lot and other times it isn't. 

However, as I mentioned, "I will agree with John that if one does not have a rifle of sufficient accuracy/precision potential and the shooting skill to use it then discarding such bullets really doesn't make much sense........Even though I visual and weight sort (properly) the bullets I use for match shooting [both military and commercial rifles] I do shoot many such bullets as shown in numerous other rifles because they are not capable of using the sorted bullets any better. "  Thus we appear to be harmoniously in agreement.....smile

I, as do many others, consider frost on a bullet to be a "defect" as are "rounded edges".  Thus those are culled out in the visual inspection of the bullet prior to proper weight sorting.  I'm not familiar with the search engine on this forum but will attempt to find the threads we discussed this in and post it.

LMG

Okay, you might try this thread where we had a discussion on eliminating defective bullets through visual culling and proper weight sorting.  Also the last post where I show results at 600 yards with 11 shots in slightly less than mow.  That is with weight sorted shiny cast bullets with no rounded corners at 2900 fps muzzle velocity.  

https://forum.castbulletassoc.org/thread/bs-weight-segregating-bullets-in-categories-5-grain-5/?order=all#comment-d8dfa438-c460-49e8-884a-a93c01035671

 

 

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

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Larry Gibson posted this 05 January 2021

jeffinNZ

"A good group to me is one that will allow me to keep the shot in the vitals of a rabbit/hare/wallaby at the range the rifle is suited to."

Perfectly acceptable by me also.  I shoot a lot of cast bullets like that....no need to weight sort for such and I even let a wrinkle or two slip by if not in the right spot.  Have to say I seldom have any frosting on my bullets as I've learned how to not get frost on the bullets.  Used to shoot those too though.....  but in my neck of the desert it's rabbits, coyote and communist rocks for me.....undecided

LMG

 

 

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

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tony1960 posted this 05 January 2021

Yep, interesting point. The Cadets iron sights are too fine for me to see adequately these days, even my 32/20 I am struggling, so any group shot over iron is a good group. BUT....I want to see what is the best group I can get with the powder/bullet/distance combination, so a scoped rifle is the only way to go for me.

The current load I am working on for the 310 will hold a tad over 1" at 50yds, but through iron sights I am lucky to hold 4", but I know the combination will do better and that is what I am working on. After I have the right load then my eyes and iron sights are what it is.

I shoot the rifles for fun, don't hunt or enter comps, it's all a test for me and rifle. Maybe if the injuns/zulus were coming over the hill then I might take a little more notice.

I have way too much more to learn before I can say I have good groups.

 

Tony

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JeffinNZ posted this 05 January 2021

Larry, I used to weigh every bullet I shot then one day it occurred to me I didn’t have any bench rest guns that my efforts would by reflected in. So I stopped.

Cheers from New Zealand

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Spindrift posted this 07 February 2021

I cast some new XCB bullets a couple of weeks ago. After sorting out the bullets with minor defects, I coated them and sized .310 without GC. I’ll shot them next weekend, probably, using the 19grs N110 load that worked best last time. 25 cartridges with «cull» bullets, and 25 with «good» bullets. I haven’t done any load development with the checkless PC XCB bullets, but the load seems to be good enough for this experiment. 

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Pepe Ray posted this 07 February 2021

My curiosity prompts me to ask why the pointy bullets?  Given the previous comments regarding relative accuracy, I find the absence of flat nosed (ie) hunting bullets a strange issue.

Pepe Ray  

Only in His name.

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Spindrift posted this 07 February 2021

I have rather a lot (25+) of different .30-caliber bullet moulds, in a wide range of weights and shapes. Round nose, pointy, flat, different hollow points. GC, PB. 100grs-230grs. I make my own gas checks, both regular and «plain base gas checks». I shoot bullets with both regular lube, and powder coat. That makes a lot of options!

Almost all of my shooting is recreational, general fun shooting. I like the XCB bullet, since it has proved to be accurate in all guns I have tried it in, so far. It also seems to shoot well without GC (with PC), which saves me some work. It does not consume an unreasonable amount of alloy, either. I like it!

But if I were to pick a bullet for hunting purposes, other bullets would get the nod.

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John Alexander posted this 07 February 2021

Spindrift,

I will look forward to your results comparing "cull" to "good" bullets. This is the type of seldom done testing to really learn about what does and doesn't affect CB accuracy.  

Would you please say a few words about what keeps your 25 culls bullets from being "good" bullets? 

Thanks.

John

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Spindrift posted this 08 February 2021

Hello, John

The defects were of three categories. Slightly rounded bases, or small filling defects in the driving bands, or small inclusions. No gross defects. No bullets were returned to the pot this time.

 

My casting, bullet preperation, reloading and shooting activities are fitted into a slightly busy time schedule. If I were to spend more time in my reloading room, I’d have to spend less at the range. So, everything I can do to simplify my processes is very welcome. 

 

This time, the bullets were loaded in «fresh» FL-sized Norma range pick-ups. The groups in the opening post were loaded in similar brass, reloaded for the 16th time without annealing. This lot of brass have been put aside for a later experiment, where I plan to anneal half the cases and compare accuracy.

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Shopdog posted this 08 February 2021

Nice shooting Spin,and fantastic pics. Thanks for sharing.

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Spindrift posted this 27 February 2021

Today, I got to shoot my PC, checkless XCB bullets. 8 groups of 5 shots at 100m. 4 groups with rejects, 4 with «good» bullets. Schultz & Larsen 30-06 hunting rifle. Norma range pick-ups, FL sized. Win LRP. 19grs Vihta N110. Bullet seated to 0,02in jump. 

This load is the result of absolutely zero load development. And the groups are no bragging groups, either. Interesting results, though. 

 

The «rejects» are in the top row of the photo. Average group size with the rejects was 1,5 MOA, with the «good» bullets 2MOA.

 

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 27 February 2021

why surprised ?? .. everybody knows that in high school, the reject jerks get all the cheerleaders ...

...and i could, but won't ... mention a recent election ...  

all above in good humoure ... ken

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John Alexander posted this 27 February 2021

Spindrift,

Very nice  test.  I am not surprised that the "reject bullets" ("Slightly rounded bases, or small filling defects in the driving bands, or small inclusions") shot better.  I have fired many such comparison over the years, usually in the course of normal load development or while practicing. Sometimes the rejects were much uglier bullets than what your describe and half the time the rejects shoot better which means there was no difference. 

You didn't mention that your bullets had wrinkles but I have also shot lots of similar comparisons tests with wrinkled bullets  and it is amazing how big the wrinkles can be and not affect accuracy. For a report of one such test including photos of the wrinkles see the article in Fouling Shot # 213.

My tests usually involved a rifle and load that would average about one moa for five shot groups so my results should apply to 95% of all cast bullet shooting but may not be valid for accuracy levels better than one moa.  We may never know because folks with such rifles never seem to try it to find out.

John

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