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1/16/2020 9:48:49 PM
Posted: 9/12/2009 3:49:33 AM EST
Do you shoot shoot cast bullets out of your rifles? If so, do you have any issues?

I cast my own bullets for both .357 and .44, and I have decided I'd like to get a lever gun in each caliber as well. I have no intention of buying a lever rifle in a pistol caliber if it puts me back to buying bullets, though. I'll stick to rifle calibers if that's the case.

I push my .357 and .44 Keith bullets up to 1350-1400 fps from my revolvers(with water-quenched wheelweights), so one could likely reasonably expect and additional 200 fps from a rifle, I think.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 5:51:59 AM EST
Check out Leverguns.com and Shootersforum.com as both sites have extensive discussions of lead bullets in rifles. They haven't complained about leading and most shoot hardcast bullets. I have two 357 Rossi '92 leverguns but I shoot 158grn Zero JSP bullets.

You'll likely see larger increases in velocity over pistols than 200fps with a levergun. My 24" Rossi rifle chronos 357mag 158grn Zeros over 16.5grns of H110 lit by SPM primers at 1,822fps without any sign's of pressure. My 20" carbine is brand new and I'm planning on taking it out to compare velocities tomorrow.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 9:15:36 AM EST
When I first got my .44 mag lever actions, I shot two boxes (100rnds) of Winchester JSP (Wally World 50 rnd boxes). Since then all I have shot are reloads using cast. I was lucky to find a little over a 100 .44 Mag casings on the range I shoot at, so I always have a little over 200 rounds of cast reloads on hand.

As far as how fast you can push them...I don't know. I use kind of light loads for plinking:
200gr RNFP over 8gr of Unique
240gr LSWC also over 8gr of Unique

I get my bullets locally, either from a gun store that stocks a brand from a company about 30 miles north of Cheyenne, or a place I drive to just outside of town.






Link Posted: 9/12/2009 4:46:10 PM EST
Hanzerik, I also shoot a 200grain bullet over 8 grains Unique in 44 Special outta my marlin. GREAT load! For jacketed bullets, I like a 200grain JHP over 8 gr Unique for Specials or 12 Grains Unique for Magnums. That Magnum SCOOTS! But it isnt a recoil monster. Pretty tame actually
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 7:02:54 PM EST
Popular wisdom is that shooting shorter cartridges (more compatible with cast bullet velocities) dirties your chamber and in non-Marlins, is not worth it because the the chambers are harder to clean. Ie, in a Marlin, you can easily remove the bolt and scrub the carbon ring out, in a 94, you'd probably use a bore snake and call it a day, so you are better off shooting 357's all the time, and not bothering with 38's, even though the 38's shoot fine.
Link Posted: 9/12/2009 9:30:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 2:50:00 AM EST by Milo5]
If you are buying cast bullets and not casting them yourself, look for bullets listed for use in cowboy action shooting.
The bullet design is based on older bullets and these feed much better in the lever action than conventional semi wadcutter designs.

Since you are casting your own, I can give you a couple of excellent Lyman bullet mold numbers for .44 and .45
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 7:08:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By Milo5:
If you are buying cast bullets and not casting them yourself, look for bullets listed for use in cowboy action shooting.

Wrong. Stay away from cowboy action bullets for your useage!! You are loading your ammo at high velocities. Cowboy action bullets have a low brinell, i.e. are soft lead, which when shot at your velocities will lead up your barrels quickly.
Link Posted: 9/13/2009 10:15:23 AM EST
This is only about light to medium loads of Trailboss. They work fine in the .45 Colt and 44-40 pushing 200 gr RNF bullets cast from range lead with Lee molds and lubed with Liquid Alox.

44-40 has thin brass, it seals well. .45 Colt has thicker brass, it doesn't seal well and there is gas blowback into the shooters eye through the firing pin hole. This is not a problem with open actions like the toggle link 1860 Henry, 1866 Winchester and 1873 Winchester but it is a problem with more closed actions like the 92 and 94 Winchesters and the 94 Marlin.

30-30 brass is thin so it gets a good seal with even light loads.

Don't know about higher velocities.
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 2:44:58 AM EST
I've shot cast bullets in my '92 Browning ever since I bought it and it's very accurate with them. I've been using a flat-nosed SWC bullet that's cast pretty hard, I bought 50,000 of them from a caster that was going out of business so I don't know exactly how hard, with very good results. You may have to play with your crimp and AOL to get your gun to feed "just right" but it's no big deal.

I use water quenched wheel weight bullets in my '86 and Sharps 45-70s. They're harder than the hubs of hell compared to most cast bullets and both my guns shoot them well at mild to moderate velocities. For heavier loads in the '86 I'm going to work up a bullet cast of type metal with just enough pure lead added to keep them from being brittle or go to a jacketed bullet.

Rob
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 2:56:12 AM EST
I haven't had leading problems with bullets I've cast, sized and lubed, but some I've bought were not so good. Marlin in .357, Win 92 in .32-20 and Browning B92 in .44 Magnum
(I even shoot cast in my Win. 95 in .30 Krag)
Link Posted: 9/15/2009 3:47:47 AM EST
Cast bullets are a joy.
I have a stiff (near the top of published loads) 240 gr /alliant 2400 load that works well in my Ruger Blackhawk, my two S&W 629's and my Marlin Cowboy with its cut rifeling. I actually load it with a semi wadcutter for the pistols and a round nose flat point that feeds a bit smother in the Marlin.
I also download the same bullets to a medium velocity with Unique

Word is that the Marlin "Micro-Grove" guns are not the best choice for lead bullets. I have a friend with a 357 Marlin who has put a couple of deer in the freezer for years "just because I like the way this little gun carries" He uses a 180gr rn bullet. This guy is a real gun nut who has many guns that should be "better" but the marlin with the cast bullets works just fine for him.
Link Posted: 9/16/2009 7:58:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sockrotter:
I haven't had leading problems with bullets I've cast, sized and lubed, but some I've bought were not so good. Marlin in .357, Win 92 in .32-20 and Browning B92 in .44 Magnum
(I even shoot cast in my Win. 95 in .30 Krag)


What kind of loads and velocities do you push your .357 up to?
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:47:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 2:57:51 AM EST by Milo5]
Originally Posted By COSteve:

Originally Posted By Milo5:
If you are buying cast bullets and not casting them yourself, look for bullets listed for use in cowboy action shooting.

Wrong. Stay away from cowboy action bullets for your useage!! You are loading your ammo at high velocities. Cowboy action bullets have a low brinell, i.e. are soft lead, which when shot at your velocities will lead up your barrels quickly.


Right, how do you know how I or any other shooter is going to load for their own personal rifle?
I cast my own bullets, they are Lyman cowboy action design and I cast them fairly hard.

Some areas are lucky enough to have folks who do casting at a commercial level who supply bullets to the retail trade that are also cast hard.
Not all cowboy action bullets are "low Brinnell".

YOU CAN'T SAY STAY AWAY JUST BECAUSE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH A BRAND OR TWO OF COMMERCIAL BULLETS WERE NOT FAVORABLE.
Did you even notice I made no suggestions as to brand name of the bullets before you took it upon yourself to make a personal rebuttal against me?
Oh, and did you even read the original post?

"I CAST MY OWN BULLETS,,,,,"

I am pretty sure the original poster isn't a dumbass and knows what to look for when choosing a buillet for his intended task.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 10:45:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By Milo5:
Originally Posted By COSteve:

Originally Posted By Milo5:
If you are buying cast bullets and not casting them yourself, look for bullets listed for use in cowboy action shooting.

Wrong. Stay away from cowboy action bullets for your usage!! You are loading your ammo at high velocities. Cowboy action bullets have a low brinell, i.e. are soft lead, which when shot at your velocities will lead up your barrels quickly.


Right, how do you know how I or any other shooter is going to load for their own personal rifle?
I cast my own bullets, they are Lyman cowboy action design and I cast them fairly hard.

Some areas are lucky enough to have folks who do casting at a commercial level who supply bullets to the retail trade that are also cast hard.
Not all cowboy action bullets are "low Brinnell".

YOU CAN'T SAY STAY AWAY JUST BECAUSE YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH A BRAND OR TWO OF COMMERCIAL BULLETS WERE NOT FAVORABLE.
Did you even notice I made no suggestions as to brand name of the bullets before you took it upon yourself to make a personal rebuttal against me?
Oh, and did you even read the original post?

"I CAST MY OWN BULLETS,,,,,"

I am pretty sure the original poster isn't a dumbass and knows what to look for when choosing a buillet for his intended task.

You might want to look on the bullet sites that list 'Cowboy Action' bullets for sale. They're almost universally made in a softer brinell so that they will seal in the barrel at the lower pressures and velocities normal in Cowboy Action Shooting. Whether you cast your own Cowboy Action bullets hard or soft is irrelevant to the discussion because my statement specifically mentioned the caution against buying bullets marked for Cowboy Action.
Link Posted: 9/18/2009 4:23:33 AM EST
I cast for both 357 and 45 colt. I use a RCBS 158 SWCGC from wheel weights for my Marlin 1894 CP with no problems except for leading up the ports.
This spring I picked up a 265 gr, SWC RCBS mould for 45 colt. After I cast some bullets I was a litter concerned about them feeding with their profile, but luckily they feed great in my Winchester 94.

These are cast from wheel weights and going a little over 1200 fps. Great accuracy and no leading.
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