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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 10/22/2013 6:44:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/22/2013 7:14:23 PM EST by garred8787]
Looking for your opinion's on a different take on a prep idea of mine. For starters I'm a reloader and I rarely shoot factory ammo anymore. These last few year's my volume of shooting my ar's has dropped significantly due to lack of being able to re-supply componets for the ar's for decent price's. so during all this madness I finally pulled the trigger on buying casting equipment and have started with 9mm. i've been saving lead for the last 5 years or so and I have a small yet steady supply of it(probably 20-30lbs a month)

I owned a .357mag lever gun years back and sold it during my "consolidation phase" and regret it. so here I am thinking about selling a ar to fund a couple .357 lever gun's and a mold. It would only cost a primer about half the powder of .223 and some time to load up some decent ammo. I'm afraid the days of 6 cent .223 bullets and $75 kegs of wc844 are long gone. (I missed the suplus powder bus all together )

I do own a 300blk ar and have considered running lead in it but that leave's me with either buying gas checks (yet another cost) or blowing lead fumes into my face (DI gun) I'm not sure how well I trust the powdercoating to block all the lead and I don't want to give myself lead poisoning to save a few bucks.

would you keep the AR and ration your ammo and shoot less throughout the year or get the lever guns and have a good ol time. (a 180gr@1850+ isn't a horrible step down in power) and it's easily 5:1 ratio for ammo cost.

what's your guys reccomendations? I don't have ton's of money nor do I spend much. maybe $500-1000 a year (not including selling a gun to buy a gun type of thing) most that money is spent on reloading componets to be able to keep them fed.
Link Posted: 10/23/2013 5:15:05 AM EST
Like you did, Im going through my "consolidation phase". I have learned working on a range that most shooters just blast through ammo....

I have also learned its far more important to shoot 60-100 discilplined rounds a month for a year than 500-600 rounds in one or two sessions per year.

Keep loading for your AR and dont be concerned about loading for 500 rounds per month.

As much as I lust for a new gun, (I was considering an H&R .357 Mag) I have to keep telling myself "no".

Link Posted: 10/23/2013 5:31:11 AM EST

I went through a "consolidation" phase about 6-7 years ago also. Now I am literally considering buying a .357 lever gun as well, and getting it threaded for my 9Osprey w/ .38specials. It's would be a fun, lower cost (comparatively) way to shoot vs my ARs. But I can't bring myself to sell any of my ARs, because I love them. For now, I will lust after that .357 lever gun, and hope I don't bump into one at my LGS, as I need to just save my money right now overall.

Out of curiousity, what casting equipment did you get? I have a 300 BO 220grn sub bullet mold, but I have yet to get a furnace or any lead to use it. Similarly, I would have to buy gas checks, and probably not shoot those lead loads through my silencer, rendering the mold almost moot.

It's hard to make a recommendation on selling an AR if we don't know how many/which ones you have, that would make sense to then sell in place of the lever gun. But if you feel you have two similar ARs, that essentially do the same thing, then I would sell one to buy the lever gun. All of my ARs are very different, so I don't see myself selling one.


Good luck either way! I don't think I really offered any useful thoughts here though!

Link Posted: 10/23/2013 5:32:28 AM EST
Powder coating cast bullets absolutely rocks! I have recovered cast and powdercoated bullets and the powder coating jacket was not compromised by the rifling and after several hundred rounds there was absolutely no lead deposits in the barrel. It is another time consuming step, but it works. Several guys I know have made metal jigs to hold the cast bullets while applying the powder and while baking. Besides I would rather spend time doing something usefull at night rather than sit there drooling in a hypnotic trance created by the idiot box.....
Link Posted: 10/23/2013 8:11:16 AM EST
I used to buy .224 bullets 6K at a time and then load them on a Dillon for my AR-15s. Now, with the near total unavailability of suitable .223 bullets at anything close to a reasonable price, if you can find them at all, I shoot them a lot less.

A few years ago I ramped by the amount of pistol shooting I did, and increased my use of cast bullets. A couple years ago I extended that to pistol caliber lever guns as well as black powder era rifle cartridges that do well with case bullets, such as .45-70 and .38-55.

The other big increase has been .22 LR shooting. I stocked up well before the last election and while the supplies are getting lower, I'm still doing ok on restocking mid grade match ammo such as SK Standard Plus, buying a couple thousand rounds every month or so at pre-panic prices.

I've also focused on less common calibers that use less common bullets. The .22 Hornet is a good example, with excellent accuracy but low reloading costs and using bullets that are too light for AR-15s and thus still available.


Link Posted: 10/23/2013 12:04:40 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DakotaFAL:
I used to buy .224 bullets 6K at a time and then load them on a Dillon for my AR-15s. Now, with the near total unavailability of suitable .223 bullets at anything close to a reasonable price, if you can find them at all, I shoot them a lot less.

A few years ago I ramped by the amount of pistol shooting I did, and increased my use of cast bullets. A couple years ago I extended that to pistol caliber lever guns as well as black powder era rifle cartridges that do well with case bullets, such as .45-70 and .38-55.

The other big increase has been .22 LR shooting. I stocked up well before the last election and while the supplies are getting lower, I'm still doing ok on restocking mid grade match ammo such as SK Standard Plus, buying a couple thousand rounds every month or so at pre-panic prices.

I've also focused on less common calibers that use less common bullets. The .22 Hornet is a good example, with excellent accuracy but low reloading costs and using bullets that are too light for AR-15s and thus still available.


View Quote


This is pretty much where i'm at right now. shoot pistol's way more than my rifles, hell I even shoot my .308 bolt more than my ar because I can set a target out at 500+yds and 20-30 rounds will last me awhile. switched over to lead in pistol about 4-5 years ago and just started casting my own 6 months or so ago.

I too have considered a 45-70 or even a 45 colt/454 levergun I would actually like a 45 colt lever gun over the .357 but it would burn through my lead stockpiles quicker than the .357 and my favorite 9mm bullet is acually a .357 bullet (lee 125 rnfp) (haven't gotten desperate enough to mine lead out of the burm but I bet there is alot)

on the fence about a less common caliber also. was thinking about the 17 fireball, 20 vartag or any of the .223 based wildcats.

As for the guy asking about the casting equipment. I went all lee and very happy with it. production pot 20lb bottom pour, 358-125-rf, and .356 sizer. using harbor freight powder coat shake and bake style as lube/jacket

for ar's i'm bare bones. 2 lowers, 3 uppers, 1 kiss a2 16" dissipator upper, 1 m4 flat top, and a 300blk with 12" rail swap a leupold 1.5-5 mr/t in qd mount between the m4/300 upper
Link Posted: 10/26/2013 3:57:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/26/2013 3:59:46 AM EST by McGruff1533]
Last year I picked up a .357 mag lever gun just for many of the same reasons you have listed. Your comment about pushing a 180 grain bullet at 1850 fps did catch my eye though. While its true that rifle or carbine barrels can provide a significant boost in velocity over a pistol length barrel, it seems that 1850 fps with a 180 grain bullet may be a bit of a stretch.

By way of example, Im pushing my handloaded 158 grain Hornady XTP bullets just shy of 1800 fps with 16 grains of 2400 powder and a Federal #200 magnum pistol primer. This is a rather warm load, but still quite safe in a strong action such as my Rossi 1892. I would be curious to learn the pressure required to push a 180 grain bullet at 1850. Im not saying it cannot be done, but its gotta be right on the edge of stupidity.

Regardless of velocity, a 158 grainer at 1800, or a 180 grainer at 1600, both loads are nothing to sneeze at. Both loads will easily take a Deer at 100 yards, and provide energy approaching that of a .30-30, but with a larger bullet diameter. The .357 magnum is a simple cartridge to load for. It is efficient with powder and case life is quite good unless you are pushing max loads or have a very loose chamber.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 7:53:33 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By McGruff1533:
Last year I picked up a .357 mag lever gun just for many of the same reasons you have listed. Your comment about pushing a 180 grain bullet at 1850 fps did catch my eye though. While its true that rifle or carbine barrels can provide a significant boost in velocity over a pistol length barrel, it seems that 1850 fps with a 180 grain bullet may be a bit of a stretch.

By way of example, Im pushing my handloaded 158 grain Hornady XTP bullets just shy of 1800 fps with 16 grains of 2400 powder and a Federal #200 magnum pistol primer. This is a rather warm load, but still quite safe in a strong action such as my Rossi 1892. I would be curious to learn the pressure required to push a 180 grain bullet at 1850. Im not saying it cannot be done, but its gotta be right on the edge of stupidity.

Regardless of velocity, a 158 grainer at 1800, or a 180 grainer at 1600, both loads are nothing to sneeze at. Both loads will easily take a Deer at 100 yards, and provide energy approaching that of a .30-30, but with a larger bullet diameter. The .357 magnum is a simple cartridge to load for. It is efficient with powder and case life is quite good unless you are pushing max loads or have a very loose chamber.
View Quote


here's a "factory" load that does 1850 out of a 18.5" marlin with a 180 Buffalo Bore 180gr Hardcast
There is also a gentleman who developed a cast bullet mold that drops at 180gr with WW that he specifically designed to fit the chamber of a marlin and rossi 92. these bullets have a very wide meplat and fill the entire throat so that makes the bullet length shorter thus allowing more case capacity which translates into more velocity with less pressure. he and several others actually push that bullet into the 2000 ft/sec realm with 20" carbines safely (lil gun/h110 are powders of choice) remember lead bullets have less friction so they generate slightly less pressure than it's jacketed counterpart and with the gas checked bullet, attention to appropriate sizing, alloy used, and lube pushing them that hard is not a problem.

here's another good read showing the .357's true potential. Paco Kelly and the .357 Magnum

I also like the above's author's "poor man's partition" where he put's the bullets nose in a pan of the water leaving only the tip out of the water and de-temper's them with a butane torch to soften the alloy which promotes expansion upon impact then the hard cast shank allows an area for the softer lead to fold over. pretty impressive results in some of the calibers I read about.
Link Posted: 10/27/2013 3:15:27 PM EST
Buffalo Bore is certainly known for loading hot ammo. Im sure their 180 grain .357 Mag stuff is no exception.
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