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Thread: Good rifle.

  1. #1

    Good rifle.

    I know from experience that bullet casting isn't very popular in the UK or, at least, not as popular as it is in the US, so I thought I'd fill you in on my latest doings in cast bullet shooting. The 100 yard target below was fired with my new, 1944 dated Remington Model 03A3 30-06 using a 190 grain cast bullet that cost a whopping 3-cents. The rifle has iron target sights and is no sloucher!

    I'll be hunting deer with cast bullets again in the fall. I may use this rifle! .~Muir

  2. #2

    Bullet casting

    Hi Muir

    Bullet casting - I pressume this is done using lead?

    Do you use pure lead or is it hardened with something?

    I don't know anyone that does it in the UK, can it be done for any calibre or do you get better results with larger calibre bullets?

    For 3 cents and that sort of accuracy it certainly makes me think.........!


  3. #3

    don't listen to my ugly cuz, he is a cast bullet fanatic and has been for years. He has even had lee make up cast moulds to his own design. Listen at your peril it will lead you deeper into the dark arts

    Just for your information wheel weights are a good source for cast bullets, they can be used as is or hardened by heat treating. Outstanding accuracy and surprising speeds can be achieved by using cast.

    As you can see it is too late for me the damage is done, I cast for .22, .243 and 6.5

    It does mean that you can go shooting rabbits with your deer rifle's and get as much practice as you want for pennies.


  4. #4
    (You and that crummy .243 again. You should sell it to me and get that albatross off from around your neck... )

    Daemo: I cast bullet from 5mm to 62 caliber. Like JAYB I also shoot them in Hornet, 243, and other cartridges. JAYB is right, I'm a bit of a fanatic as I have been doing it for 30 years and have 100+ bullet molds.

    It is slightly more dificult to cast and load for smaller calibers but only because the bullets must be processed and because at best they are only 1/3 as hard as copper, they can be damaged more easily in handling. When casting 35 grain .22 bullets I must be careful to get them aligned in the dies carefully, etc.

    They are cheap, that's for sure. I use wheelweights but like to add a bit of printer's type metal: about 10% if I am going to shoot high velocity. For hunting loads, (and I know this will fly in the face of sanity for some folks) the trend is to add pure lead to the wheel weight and use a softer bullet at slower speeds. An example would be a 308 or 30-06 loaded with a 165 - 200 grain soft bullet at 1500 to 1800 fps. At 100 yard this bullet will expand well and kill readily. Probably not applicable for you though as I understand there are velocity requirements?

    The other method is to use a heat treated bullet (one that was baked in an oven ar 460F for an hour then quenched in water. Wives love that one!) and drive it fast! I shoot a 188 grain bullet from my Brno .308 at 2400 + fps and it kills deer like the hand of God. These heat treated bullets are the ones that are only 1/3 as hard as copper so they will expand at high speed.

    Like JAYB said, the real benefit to shooting them is the cost reduction and the ability to practice with your big game rifle on paper and small game. Since the essence of accruate shooting is sight alignment and trigger control, practice sessions shooting lightly loaded, accurate ammunition from your deer rifle can be invaluable when the time comes to shoot that once-in-a-lifetime stag you've been dreaming about. ~Muir

  5. #5

    Now you know you don't really want my .243

    It's my Hornet you covet


  6. #6
    great topic guys,

    i thought that cast bullets were only for "davey crockett" type rifles and were made by rounding the edges off old fishing weights .

    is there velocity limits on these type of bullets?

    i might be wrong/right but is it as simple as getting a bullet mold melting lead or equivilent poreing into mold and thats it (like fishing weights)


  7. #7
    In it's simplist form, yes. It's just that easy. It takes some reading and preparation to cast bullets: a heat source, a mold, a sizer of some sort. (Lee makes on that fits in your reloading press. Cheap and simple) As to velocity, they can be shot as fast as 3000 fps in 30 caliber, I know that. Not particularly accurate at that speed, but it can be done. The key to successful cast bullet shooting is to choose a load that will deliver the velocity you want at the lowest pressures. Different lead alloys have different "yield" strengths. In other words, the strength at which the alloy compresses under ignition and does not resume it's original form. Heat treated bullets will take a 42,000 psi kick in the pants and still hold together. When I was working up loads for my .222 I chose H-4895 powder because I could hit 2700+ fps with only 32,000 PSI pressures. Since this is well under the yield strength of my heat treated 55 grain bullets, I knew it would give optimum performance. As it turned out, it shot between .8 and 1.1 MOA. Not great for that particular rifle (.25 MOA with Sierra 52 grain Match bullets) but they cost a penny each and the prairie-dogs didn't know I'd used a cheap bullet at all.

    Casting bullets takes reloading to a new level. You will come to understand your rifle's barrel and chamber quite well in the process and, of course, save a bit of hard earned money in the process. I can point you to a lot of information should you be interested. ~Muir

  8. #8

    can I ask where you get those zeroing targets from, best I've seen for a while

  9. #9

    Of course you can ask, and if I knew I would tell you I lost all that info in a computer crash some time ago. I have been using up old targets but I shall have to start looking again I suppose.

    neil, don't get him started, this could lead to a whole new forum, if it does he is going to be in charge of it


  10. #10
    JAYB: It there was an interest I'd do it but I'm afraid it would be the most obscure forum in the UK! Too bad though. The way your folks get raked over the coals on bullet/powder prices you'd think there would be an interest. For the price of a few boxes of bullets a person could make their own. ~Muir

    A Later Post Script: If there are any people teetering on the edge of this cast bullet hobby but think it a bit lunatic, I wanted to say that here in the US, there was a time when every reloading manual had as many, or more, cast bullet loads for a cartridge than jacketed... and not that long ago, either. I was reminded of this tonight as I read a 1950 Ideal Manual (Later to become Lyman) in which they had perhaps 40 different cast bullet loads for the 30-06 alone. Back then it was considered common and sensible practice for a hunter to work up a small game/ target load using cast bullets. Just an FYI.......

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