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Posted: 9/12/2010 10:34:13 PM EDT
i have a couple questions for the collective expertise here......

First off, how do you decide on a COL for reloaded hunting rounds and rounds in general? I am loading for .308, .264, 300 win, and 243 right now, and am not sure how to decide on the overall length.
I will primarily be using Nosler Accubonds.


second, as far as casting your own goes, is there a bullet that would serve duel purpose as a .38 spcl &357 mag plinking/target rounds, and then be able to carry in the hills in a .357 loaded a little hotter. (just wondering for convience as i am going to start casting this winter and it would be easier to start off with one.)

Third, do you guys find it hard to come upon WW for casting, or do tire shops freely give them up? I am in Missoula MT so if any local big sky shooters know of any places and want to let a noob in on it let me know.

thanks, you guys are always awsome so i only turn to you for answers.......
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 10:48:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 11:23:00 PM EDT by AKFF]
I don't cast so I can only answer the first question.

For auto-loaders I load to magazine length.

For my bolt actions I start by seating the ogive to .02 - .05 off the lands and then tweak it from there for accuracy. For about 50 or so bucks you can buy the tools to find out where each rifle's lands start and then seat for each rifle based on that. If I have two rifles of the same caliber I will try to find a seating depth that works well for both.

Edited because I put in too many zeros
Link Posted: 9/12/2010 11:18:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2010 11:20:45 PM EDT by rg1]
If you had the opportunity, you can measure a factory loaded round. Next I'd consider starting with the recommended overall length in Nosler's manual or their "Reloading Room" on-line. Most factory rounds and recommended lengths in manuals will give a generous oal that should chamber safely in factory chambered rifles. I'd say that manual length and factory rounds will be from .030-.060" off the rifling in most rifles,maybe more in some. You can buy tools to measure the gap between the bullet ogive and lands. For hunting ammo it's often recommended to not try to seat bullets out very close or touching the rifling. You can try seating to recommended manual length and check for accuracy, then play with seating depth. One of my Rem 700's I tried .050-.040.-.030-.020-.010" from the rifling and that particular load showed slight accuracy improvement at 30 thousandths from touching. That test was done AFTER experimenting with powder charges, a couple different powders, and a couple bullets. Just another experiment that you can do as a reloader. I'd start with Nosler recommended lengths. Don't cast or shoot cast bullets.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 6:58:46 AM EDT
Start by working up a load based on the recommended COL. Once you've found a powder charge the rifle likes, load some test rounds using that charge and varying the seating depths in .10 incriments. One of the groups will probably tighten up for you. It does help to measure from the Ogive and to know exactly where the lands are. Lots of threads on this topic.

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 7:33:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Finley:
i have a couple questions for the collective expertise here......

First off, how do you decide on a COL for reloaded hunting rounds and rounds in general? I am loading for .308, .264, 300 win, and 243 right now, and am not sure how to decide on the overall length.
I will primarily be using Nosler Accubonds.


second, as far as casting your own goes, is there a bullet that would serve duel purpose as a .38 spcl &357 mag plinking/target rounds, and then be able to carry in the hills in a .357 loaded a little hotter. (just wondering for convience as i am going to start casting this winter and it would be easier to start off with one.)

Third, do you guys find it hard to come upon WW for casting, or do tire shops freely give them up? I am in Missoula MT so if any local big sky shooters know of any places and want to let a noob in on it let me know.

thanks, you guys are always awsome so i only turn to you for answers.......


Sir, all my hunting rifles have magazines that store cartridges for feeding into the rifle chamber regardless if the rifle in question is a bolt action or has a detachable box magazine. Therefore the COL I normally use for hunting cartridges is that which is provided in my reloading book. I prefer the cartridge length be suitable for loading into the rifle magazine. I've always been quite satisfied with the accuracy of my rifles loading this way and never felt a need for improvement. While I may agree that some improvement in accuracy is possible seating the bullets closer to the lands for most hunting situations the relative improvement is meaningless for my purposes.

As a bullet caster I started with .38Spl/.357 Magnum some years ago. I used the RCBS 158gr "Keith" type bullet for general purpose paper punching with either cartridge but for carry in a hunting situation consider the cast bullet is to hard for proper expansion in most game animals. Cast bullets from a wheel weight allow need to stay below 1200fps to keep from leading the bore of the pistol if you're not using gas checks. Pushing cast bullets faster is possible with gas checks but regardless I still consider the wheel weight alloy to be to hard for proper expansion in most game. For hunting I just buy a box of .357 Mag. cartridges with 158gr HP bullets. I was successful a few years ago when presented the opportunity to use my pistol on a Virginia white tail, I wonder how successful I might have been if I had been using one of my wheel weight cast bullets.

I used to get used wheel weights from tire stores or various garages near where I live but I've not tried recently. The cost of the so called "hard cast" bullets presently on the market make me believe casting bullets is a bit tedious and to time consuming for my purposes. Recently I've been told that current EPA restrictions do not allow dealers to dispose of wheel weights the way they used to, so it may not be possible to get used weights from dealers as in the past.

HTH, 7zero1.

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 7:33:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 7:34:29 AM EDT by 7zero1]
Originally Posted By Finley:
i have a couple questions for the collective expertise here......

First off, how do you decide on a COL for reloaded hunting rounds and rounds in general? I am loading for .308, .264, 300 win, and 243 right now, and am not sure how to decide on the overall length.
I will primarily be using Nosler Accubonds.


second, as far as casting your own goes, is there a bullet that would serve duel purpose as a .38 spcl &357 mag plinking/target rounds, and then be able to carry in the hills in a .357 loaded a little hotter. (just wondering for convience as i am going to start casting this winter and it would be easier to start off with one.)

Third, do you guys find it hard to come upon WW for casting, or do tire shops freely give them up? I am in Missoula MT so if any local big sky shooters know of any places and want to let a noob in on it let me know.

thanks, you guys are always awsome so i only turn to you for answers.......


Sir, all my hunting rifles have magazines that store cartridges for feeding into the rifle chamber regardless if the rifle in question is a bolt action or has a detachable box magazine. Therefore the COL I normally use for hunting cartridges is that which is provided in my reloading book. I prefer the cartridge length be suitable for loading into the rifle magazine. I've always been quite satisfied with the accuracy of my rifles loading this way and never felt a need for improvement. While I may agree that some improvement in accuracy is possible seating the bullets closer to the lands for most hunting situations the relative improvement is meaningless for my purposes.

As a bullet caster I started with .38Spl/.357 Magnum some years ago. I used the RCBS 158gr "Keith" type bullet for general purpose paper punching with either cartridge but for carry in a hunting situation consider the cast bullet is to hard for proper expansion in most game animals. Cast bullets from a wheel weight allow need to stay below 1200fps to keep from leading the bore of the pistol if you're not using gas checks. Pushing cast bullets faster is possible with gas checks but regardless I still consider the wheel weight alloy to be to hard for proper expansion in most game. For hunting I just buy a box of .357 Mag. cartridges with 158gr HP bullets. I was successful a few years ago when presented the opportunity to use my pistol on a Virginia white tail, I wonder how successful I might have been if I had been using one of my wheel weight cast bullets.

I used to get used wheel weights from tire stores or various garages near where I live but I've not tried recently. The cost of the so called "hard cast" bullets presently on the market make me believe casting bullets is a bit tedious and to time consuming for my purposes. Recently I've been told that current EPA restrictions do not allow dealers to dispose of wheel weights the way they used to, so it may not be possible to get used weights from dealers as in the past.

HTH, 7zero1.

ETA: sorry for the double post.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:01:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 8:02:53 AM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Originally Posted By Finley:
i have a couple questions for the collective expertise here......

First off, how do you decide on a COL for reloaded hunting rounds and rounds in general? I am loading for .308, .264, 300 win, and 243 right now, and am not sure how to decide on the overall length.
I will primarily be using Nosler Accubonds.


Load to the recommended OAL given by the bullet manufacturer. Be sure the rounds fit in your magazine and feed easily.[/b]


second, as far as casting your own goes, is there a bullet that would serve duel purpose as a .38 spcl &357 mag plinking/target rounds, and then be able to carry in the hills in a .357 loaded a little hotter. (just wondering for convience as i am going to start casting this winter and it would be easier to start off with one.)


[b]Don't shoot lead bullets at 357 velocities. Use jacketed bullets.





Link Posted: 9/13/2010 5:27:44 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 5:48:45 PM EDT
Thanks guys, i have most of the current reloading manuals, including the current Nosler one, but i do not see in there where it says what the COL should be. I saw it in the Hornady book, but not Nosler. I am probably just missing it.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 7:33:26 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:10:37 PM EDT
Gotcha, thanks
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:12:14 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:35:22 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Originally Posted By Finley:
i have a couple questions for the collective expertise here......

First off, how do you decide on a COL for reloaded hunting rounds and rounds in general? I am loading for .308, .264, 300 win, and 243 right now, and am not sure how to decide on the overall length.
I will primarily be using Nosler Accubonds.


Load to the recommended OAL given by the bullet manufacturer. Be sure the rounds fit in your magazine and feed easily.[/b]


second, as far as casting your own goes, is there a bullet that would serve duel purpose as a .38 spcl &357 mag plinking/target rounds, and then be able to carry in the hills in a .357 loaded a little hotter. (just wondering for convience as i am going to start casting this winter and it would be easier to start off with one.)


[b]Don't shoot lead bullets at 357 velocities. Use jacketed bullets.









I shoot cast bullets almost exclusively from various handguns. I have run them to over 1400 fps from a .357 revolver and 1900 in a .357 carbine, with others from .44 mag and .45 Colt handguns at essentially the same speeds. There is not a damn thing wrong with doing it and lots of other folks will tell you the same thing, as will eighty years of history if you care to enlighten yourself. Folks in this forum use them in rifles at 2000+ fps and don't have issues. D.B. Wesson took game up to and including polar bear and moose with cast lead bullets from a 8.75" barreled .357 Magnum back in the thirties.

Got issues with lead? Dimensional problems in the gun, or between the gun and bullet will cause it. Poor choice of bullet alloy will cause it, as will an incorrect choice of lube.



OP, for question 1: If it shoots the groups I want and reliably cycles through the magazine, that's where it stays for hunting guns.

For question 2: It would help to know what gun you're loading for. My favorite bullet doesn't work in N frames unless deep seated(magnum cases). If you'll go over to the castboolits forum, you'll find a mold company by the name of NOE(Night Owl Enterprises). I have two of their 358429 clone molds, one being a cramer style hollowpoint mold. In solid form, it weighs around 174 grains as cast(depending on alloy) and in hollowpoint form, should weigh around 160ish. You can load it mild to wild. I will hunt hogs with it in solid form, and deer in hollowpoint form. Lots of folks like the 358156 as well, although it is a gas check design.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 9:26:43 PM EDT
I am looking to load in a S&W 686SSR to start, and Model 29 classic eventually. Im not looing for a hunting load, although i am sure it cast bullets are more than capable. I have lots of factory loads for that, i get for free ( i have connected friends that take pity on me). Mostly just target shooting and take in the hills to plink etc. I was looking at one that had a cone type shape with a flat nose in 158gr i believe and that looked like the ticket. not sure. I am mostly doing it for another hobby ( as if i dont have enough now) but if i can find really cheap lead, also to save a few bucks.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 9:53:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By machinisttx:
Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Originally Posted By Finley:
i have a couple questions for the collective expertise here......

First off, how do you decide on a COL for reloaded hunting rounds and rounds in general? I am loading for .308, .264, 300 win, and 243 right now, and am not sure how to decide on the overall length.
I will primarily be using Nosler Accubonds.


Load to the recommended OAL given by the bullet manufacturer. Be sure the rounds fit in your magazine and feed easily.[/b]


second, as far as casting your own goes, is there a bullet that would serve duel purpose as a .38 spcl &357 mag plinking/target rounds, and then be able to carry in the hills in a .357 loaded a little hotter. (just wondering for convience as i am going to start casting this winter and it would be easier to start off with one.)


Don't shoot lead bullets at 357 velocities. Use jacketed bullets.








[b]I shoot cast bullets almost exclusively from various handguns. I have run them to over 1400 fps from a .357 revolver and 1900 in a .357 carbine, with others from .44 mag and .45 Colt handguns at essentially the same speeds. There is not a damn thing wrong with doing it and lots of other folks will tell you the same thing, as will eighty years of history if you care to enlighten yourself. Folks in this forum use them in rifles at 2000+ fps and don't have issues. D.B. Wesson took game up to and including polar bear and moose with cast lead bullets from a 8.75" barreled .357 Magnum back in the thirties.

Got issues with lead? Dimensional problems in the gun, or between the gun and bullet will cause it. Poor choice of bullet alloy will cause it, as will an incorrect choice of lube.



OP, for question 1: If it shoots the groups I want and reliably cycles through the magazine, that's where it stays for hunting guns.

For question 2: It would help to know what gun you're loading for. My favorite bullet doesn't work in N frames unless deep seated(magnum cases). If you'll go over to the castboolits forum, you'll find a mold company by the name of NOE(Night Owl Enterprises). I have two of their 358429 clone molds, one being a cramer style hollowpoint mold. In solid form, it weighs around 174 grains as cast(depending on alloy) and in hollowpoint form, should weigh around 160ish. You can load it mild to wild. I will hunt hogs with it in solid form, and deer in hollowpoint form. Lots of folks like the 358156 as well, although it is a gas check design.


This... I've shot lots of cast lead in everything from .38 Special to 45/70 and .308. If you're that worried about it, use a gas check.

BTW, here's an interesting article about using filler in cast rifle loads... I've done it and it works like a dream. Tried it out in .308 and 45/70. I imagine it would do the trick in .357 mag as well.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting/castfiller/index.asp

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 10:27:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 10:31:19 PM EDT by angus6]
[b]Don't shoot lead bullets at 357 velocities. Use jacketed bullets.

Got to say you caught me there for a second Mike but you're right it wouldn't be wise to run lead at 1400/1500 fps
But I have no problem running a lead Alloy at 2500 + in my rifles ,
For 357mag Lyman publishes just over 1700 fps . Alloy ,fit and gas checks are your friends ,
Lyman 3rd edition has some smoking loads ,they get really close to 3000 fps in rifle and break 2700 fps in pistol in a 10" barrel
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 10:29:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Finley:
I am looking to load in a S&W 686SSR to start, and Model 29 classic eventually. Im not looing for a hunting load, although i am sure it cast bullets are more than capable. I have lots of factory loads for that, i get for free ( i have connected friends that take pity on me). Mostly just target shooting and take in the hills to plink etc. I was looking at one that had a cone type shape with a flat nose in 158gr i believe and that looked like the ticket. not sure. I am mostly doing it for another hobby ( as if i dont have enough now) but if i can find really cheap lead, also to save a few bucks.


The numbers I listed are Lyman mold numbers. the lymanproducts.com website has illustrations of bullets with the mold they come from. I'm pretty sure midway also shows illustrations for what type of bullet each mold should produce, and they carry several brands. It sounds like you want a semi wadcutter style bullet.

The previously mentioned 358429:
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 10:37:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By angus6:
[b]Don't shoot lead bullets at 357 velocities. Use jacketed bullets.

Got to say you caught me there for a second Mike but you're right it wouldn't be wise to run lead at 1400/1500 fps
But I have no problem running a lead Alloy at 2500 + in my rifles ,
For 357mag Lyman publishish just over 1700 fps . Alloy ,fit and gas checks are your friends ,
Lyman 3rd edition has some smoking loads ,they get really close to 3000 fps in rifle and break 2700 fps in pistol in a 10" barrel


From what barrel length?

16.5 grains Lil' Gun, CCI 550, home cast 358429 bullet @ 176 grains = 1904 fps average from my wife's 16.25" barreled Marlin carbine. The same load runs around 1425 fps from an 8.375" M586. I haven't been brave enough to try it in my 2.25" Sp101 yet, although it will go 1100 fps from a .38 special case in that gun(recoil approaches the "not fun anymore" level).
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 10:45:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 10:50:52 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Originally Posted By machinisttx:


... There is not a damn thing wrong with doing it ...if you care to enlighten yourself.



Feeling a little raspy tonight, eh? Too much caffeine, perhaps?

Lead works, jacketed works better. I have shot lead in 38 and 357 using both handguns and rifles. If you do shoot lead at high velocity, do yourself and your bore a favor and finish up with a few jacketed bullets to help clean out the bore.

Gas checks are not a good trade off. It's like your trying to make lead behave like jacketed by making the gas check the last thing to pass through the bore. You have to buy them, swage them on,... by the time you pay and do all that you should just shoot jacketed bullets.

Link Posted: 9/13/2010 10:52:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By machinisttx:
The numbers I listed are Lyman mold numbers. the lymanproducts.com website has illustrations of bullets with the mold they come from. I'm pretty sure midway also shows illustrations for what type of bullet each mold should produce, and they carry several brands. It sounds like you want a semi wadcutter style bullet.

The previously mentioned 358429:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/gun%20stuff/100_1422.jpg


These look to be very well made bullets. Did you gas check them? What lube? What size (OD)?
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 10:54:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 10:55:35 PM EDT by Mike_Mills]
Originally Posted By angus6:
Lyman 3rd edition has some smoking loads ,they get really close to 3000 fps in rifle and break 2700 fps in pistol in a 10" barrel



Those sound like more like 357 Maximum loads not 357 Magnum but they are from very long barrels.

Has this gotten a wee bit off topic?
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 11:26:40 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Originally Posted By machinisttx:
The numbers I listed are Lyman mold numbers. the lymanproducts.com website has illustrations of bullets with the mold they come from. I'm pretty sure midway also shows illustrations for what type of bullet each mold should produce, and they carry several brands. It sounds like you want a semi wadcutter style bullet.

The previously mentioned 358429:
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b20/imakechips/gun%20stuff/100_1422.jpg


These look to be very well made bullets. Did you gas check them? What lube? What size (OD)?


The 358429 isn't a gas check design, so..nope. IIRC, they come out of my uncle's well used size die at .3575" by my micrometer. The lube is RCBS black. this stuff There was some minor leading in the 586, but it may have come from some commercial cast bullets backed by a stout load of H110 that I shot in the same session.

Also, shooting jacketed after shooting lead puts a layer of copper fouling over the normal lead fouling, making cleaning more time consuming, IME.
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 8:26:26 AM EDT
I believe those are the ones i was talking about, im thinking i will just use light target loads anyway, definatly dont want a leading problem. thanks guys
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 6:23:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 6:29:40 PM EDT
thanks, i was inspired by claybrook, hope he doesnt mind
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