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Thread: Cast lead bullets for target shooting and even hunting in the UK

  1. #1

    Cast lead bullets for target shooting and even hunting in the UK

    Cast lead bullets for hunting in the UK well now have just read this thread:-

    http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...t-lead-bullets


    And found it inconclusive to say the least. Over the last week or so have spent some time on some American shooting forums reading up on bullet casting and this morning searched for and found both my old Lyman Spar-T turret press and the Lyman 450 Lubrisizer. They both need a clean up after years of not being used and laying in storage. The Spar-T did see some use for reloading my rifle cartridges the Lyman 450 I never used in fact it still has the ticket attached to it where I bought it from Fultons of Bisley many moons ago when starting to get set up for bullet casting. A move into a flat put paid to that idea but have kept the lubrisizer just in case all these years.

    The reason that this has come back in my thoughts is that seeing that most of my shooting will be on the range. Shooting cast lead bullets should not only reduce the cost but loads such as "The Load" would reduce pressure on the rifle and still should provide the accuracy for 100 yard/meter range shooting.

    http://members.shaw.ca/cronhelm/TheLoad.html

    That is "The Load" I mentioned. 13 grains means more loads per tub of powder with less risk of a double charge due to the bulk of the Red Dot and bearing in mind the cost of powder today this saving has an attraction.

    So there will of course be some set up costs. Dies, Gas checks, and lube for the Lyman 450 to size and lube the bullets and of course a mould. Checking on Brownells UK site they stock the Lee alloy two cavity moulds for less than a tub of powder. In the garage on a shelf is an old electric casting pot that I need to pull out and see if it works. This too was acquired back then for the casting venture that never happened. If it works then that is a real saving right there.

    Am thinking that the Lee #90038 looks like it would fit my needs. It is a 30 cal mould dropping a nominal 170 grain bullet that should be ideal for a 7.62x51 or 308 rifle and funnily enough we were looking over such a rifle the other week at the gun club. Further reading has revealed that many are driving suc bullets from a 308 rifle at around 2600fps with good accuracy and there is even an article on casting soft nosed bullets using pure lead for the nose and a lead alloy for the body.

    The question that really remains unanswered is is it legal to hunt in the UK using cast lead bullets?

  2. #2
    THere was a large discussion about this years back under , IIRC. "Monometal bullets" ? I could be wrong. Before you settle on a mold I would slug the bore and groove of the rifle you intent to shoot, and measure the throat length. If the rifle is free-bored, accuracy won't be stellar. Cast bullets should nudge into the lands for best accuracy. Additionally, if the bore diameter is larger than 300-301,, the typical Lee pattern will have too small a front section. The bullet you have chosen is a compromise / 'bore riding' design. The cylindrical front section of the bullet is designed to ride the tops of the rifling but this design had driving bands for half it's length so you might be fine. The Lee bullet number you gave is the catalog part number for the C307-170FN which is the actual mold designation. I have it, it shoots well from what I remember. (I have 100+ molds, I only remember the really bad ones!) I would also caution you to get your bore free of copper before you test your bullets. Copper fouling is like concertina wire on even the hardest cast bullets.

    "The Load" has been around for a couple of decades. One of it's main problems is that it develops relatively high pressures for the velocity you get. A 150 grain cast bullet will develop more pressure than a starting load of Varget / H4895 with the same bullet -tho admittedly with less powder. Pressure is the enemy of successful cast bullet shooting, not velocity, and low velocity in no way equates to low pressures. The opposite is true as well. I shoot cast bullets from .223 at 2800 fps but I do it at the lowest pressures I can. Good luck with your venture.~Muir

  3. #3
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Cast bullet hunting

    This is one of my threads from a while ago, also inconclusive but some good info in there from Enfeildspares.
    BASC did say that in their eyes lead bullets are legal as by definition they are a soft point.
    In England and Wales we need "a soft nosed or hollow nosed" bullet whereas in Scotland we must use a projectile "which isndesigned to deform in a predictable manner". For this reason BASC would support the use of cast bullets on deer in England or Wales but weren't sure if they would in Scotland.

    If I was going to do it I would want it in writing from my FLO and BASC. I would also paper patch as I have mentioned before on this forum, that way you can use whatever alloy you want without fouling.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  4. #4
    Thank you have just read through that thread and and one thing that strikes is that how can an uncontrolled cast lead bullet be considered a "soft point" when unless I missunderstand it "Expanding Bullets" and by definition surely soft point bullets are expanding bullets and they are classed as section 5 are they not? To say that I am confused is no joke!

    My only experience with cast bullets so far has been in pistols when they were allowed used to buy from a firm called K&T bullets and a few commercially case gas checked bullets in an old 303. Custom Bullets they were 205 grain gas checked. I just looked it up in my reloading notes. Those cast lead bullets shot fairly well through the old 303 the notes indicate. No mention of leading being an issue though but the old 303 did have an almost new barrel on it.

    For now we will worry about target shooting on the range so it is less complicated. As yet we have to source the main material ........ the lead to smelt. Wonder if it would be possible to buy some range scrap? Will have to ask the owner of the range next time I get over there. Meanwhile there is more reading to be done on such things as how to slug a bore to determine cast bullet size and how to set up and recommission the Lyman 450 sizer. That means sorting some space in the shed and getting a sturdy bench built to work on. Not to mention paper patching as mentioned here by Greener Jim well it should keep me busy and away from the TV. This looks like turning out to be a nice little project and it has been a while since there was one of those to occupy me.

  5. #5
    Like you Conure I am interested in using cast bullets. I first looked into it when imported supplies of jacketed bullets came in short supply as a way to keep up practice as well as the economy offered in reduced loads.

    However I have not yet started to cast my own but have bought bullets in .22, 7mm, .30 and 9.3 which are hard cast and gas checked from "dodgyrog" off this site.

    He casts in many calibres and sizes to your requirements if you want to go down that route to get you started.

  6. #6
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conure View Post
    Thank you have just read through that thread and and one thing that strikes is that how can an uncontrolled cast lead bullet be considered a "soft point" when unless I missunderstand it "Expanding Bullets" and by definition surely soft point bullets are expanding bullets and they are classed as section 5 are they not? To say that I am confused is no joke!
    Yeah it's all a confusing grey area. Soft points are a little more grey so let's use hollow points as the example (bear with me)
    - A cast hollow point is not regulated.
    - The deer act states to use a soft point or hollow point
    - A cast hollow point fills that requirement
    - Nowhere does it say that you must use S5 bullets on deer.

    However, this is very much like the A-max arguments until a definitive answer was given. Honestly it'd need to be tested in court and I don't wanna be that guy. As stated earlier, I'd want approval in writing from the FLO and BASC if I was to do it.
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  7. #7
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    - A cast hollow point is not regulated.
    Ooh! They are! Hollow point shot gun slugs (yes even with that silly little dimple that Winchester have) are very much s5. Unlike the Brenneke typ with a point that isn't.

  8. #8
    SD Regular Greener Jim's Avatar
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    Well that's ridiculous! Learn something new everyday
    Any Questions Feel Free to PM me

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by VIGILAIRE View Post
    Like you Conure I am interested in using cast bullets. I first looked into it when imported supplies of jacketed bullets came in short supply as a way to keep up practice as well as the economy offered in reduced loads.

    However I have not yet started to cast my own but have bought bullets in .22, 7mm, .30 and 9.3 which are hard cast and gas checked from "dodgyrog" off this site.

    He casts in many calibres and sizes to your requirements if you want to go down that route to get you started.
    Thank you for the information. It is something I will look into in the near future.

  10. #10
    If you google she'll house bullet company, they are producing lead bullets in most common centre Fire calibres. Now jus a case full of Trail Boss ( if you can get it in the UK) a perfect practice and rabbit load.

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