Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: cast bullets?

  1. #1

    Question cast bullets?

    Just read the post on cast bullets for the 375. At approx what velocity max can a hard cast bullet be shot and still retain any accuracy. In my rifle (458 cal), I can't get any accuracy past around 1600+, so I quit using them and are staying with jacketed. Is it just my particular rifle?

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bethel, Cantwell, Fort Yukon, Skagway, Chevak and Point Hope
    Posts
    967

    Default

    Veral Smith the innovator behind the LBT style bullets made by both Beartooth Bullets and Cast performance Bullets had a book on the market years ago titled "Shooting cast bullets to jacketed bullet velocities" or something along that line. I'll have to dig out my copy and see what the title is exactly. He was shooting them up to 2600 FPS from a 338 using his proprietary lube. Don't think his lube is available anymore but Marshall at Beartooth Bullets makes an excellent substitute that he uses on his bullets.

  3. #3

    Default

    Cast accuracy is highly dependant on bullet design, alloy, and the gun it is being shot out of. That being said you can usually get most bullets to shoot reasonably well.

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    What I've found over the years with cast bullets is there are no hard and fast rules, but there are several very important factors.

    First of all, if you've been shooting jacketed bullets, you need to thoroughly clean the bore of all copper fouling. If you aren't willing to go to the effort of using my preference of Barnes CR10 and JB compound to have a good foundation, then forget it.

    To get a cast bullet to shoot well out of your rifle, the size of the bullet needs to be tailored to your chamber and bore, the alloy needs to be of the correct hardness (not too hard or too soft), and you need to have a good bullet lube. I've found most commercial bullets are too small, too hard, and have lubes that do a great job of staying on the bullet in shipment, but which due a poor job of lubing and sealing the bullet on it's journey down the bore. Hence, I cast my own to have better control.

    I'd say as a general comment, you can get up to 2000 fps in a centerfire rifle while retaining very good accuracy. I shot a 5 shot 1" group at 100 yds with the 350 rigby, and that's as good as it'll shoot with jacketed. The other advantage of the nominal 2000 fps cap is you can use softer alloys that will expand on game vs drilling through like a solid, or in some cases shattering. Another factor that will limit cast bullet velocity is barrel twist. A fast twist barrel puts alot of stress on the bullet, and thus limits velocity. I'd say a 1-10 twist is pushing it, and you'll find a 1-12 more friendly, 1-14 or 1-15 friendlier still. Also pressures are an issue, running to the highest modern bolt gun pressures put's alot of stress on a bullet, and hence keeping it down under max levels helps.

    There are those that have had very good accuracy at even higher velocities, but that is the advanced level of cast shooting where everything has to be perfect, and one has to do a fair bit of tinkering. I'm a lazy caster and like to keep things as simple as possible.

    In the case of your .458 rifle, I'd say start by sizing bullets .459" and using LBT blue lube, and using a gas checked design. Even cast from air cooled wheelweights, you should have no problem getting very good accuracy upwards of 1800 fps.

  5. #5
    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Homer Alaska
    Posts
    704

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    What I've found over the years with cast bullets is there are no hard and fast rules, but there are several very important factors.

    First of all, if you've been shooting jacketed bullets, you need to thoroughly clean the bore of all copper fouling. If you aren't willing to go to the effort of using my preference of Barnes CR10 and JB compound to have a good foundation, then forget it.

    To get a cast bullet to shoot well out of your rifle, the size of the bullet needs to be tailored to your chamber and bore, the alloy needs to be of the correct hardness (not too hard or too soft), and you need to have a good bullet lube. I've found most commercial bullets are too small, too hard, and have lubes that do a great job of staying on the bullet in shipment, but which due a poor job of lubing and sealing the bullet on it's journey down the bore. Hence, I cast my own to have better control.

    I'd say as a general comment, you can get up to 2000 fps in a centerfire rifle while retaining very good accuracy. I shot a 5 shot 1" group at 100 yds with the 350 rigby, and that's as good as it'll shoot with jacketed. The other advantage of the nominal 2000 fps cap is you can use softer alloys that will expand on game vs drilling through like a solid, or in some cases shattering. Another factor that will limit cast bullet velocity is barrel twist. A fast twist barrel puts alot of stress on the bullet, and thus limits velocity. I'd say a 1-10 twist is pushing it, and you'll find a 1-12 more friendly, 1-14 or 1-15 friendlier still. Also pressures are an issue, running to the highest modern bolt gun pressures put's alot of stress on a bullet, and hence keeping it down under max levels helps.

    There are those that have had very good accuracy at even higher velocities, but that is the advanced level of cast shooting where everything has to be perfect, and one has to do a fair bit of tinkering. I'm a lazy caster and like to keep things as simple as possible.

    In the case of your .458 rifle, I'd say start by sizing bullets .459" and using LBT blue lube, and using a gas checked design. Even cast from air cooled wheelweights, you should have no problem getting very good accuracy upwards of 1800 fps.
    I agree with Paul H.
    It may not be your rifle at all but the bullet , size and or lube you are using with the cast bullet and just to be on the safe side use a gas check .
    I mainly stay with one brand of lube for rifle and revolvers for high velocities and it is Carnuba Red from White Label Lube .
    There are many lubes that work equally well such as Verals LBT soft blue , Felix , Jake's Purple Ceresin ETC .
    For lower Velocities and or Black powder use I like SPG , Paul Mathews Blend and the best I like is While Label BPCR Supreme .
    An air cooled wheel weight bullet should work just fine at 12.5 BHN if not you can tweak it a bit to get it a tad harder with a little Linotype 18 BHN and or water quench to get them around the 22-24 BHN or you can even heat treat them to get 32+ BHN many flavors to choose from .

    From the velocities you mentioned I shoot a 720 Grain WFNGC water quenched .458 Dia bullet lubed with Carnuba red out of a 458 Win Mag 1675 vel . At 100 yards off the bench 3"group .

    I am sure you could get your rifle to shoot cast with just a bit of tweaking .

    I have a safe full of revolvers and rifles that I use nothing but cast bullets . Most of them have never seen a jacketed round .

    Good luck on your endeavor .

    RR
    Practice does not make perfect !!!!!
    Perfect Practice makes perfect !!!!!!!!!!


    USS SARATOGA CV-60

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v5...ex_2-1-1-1.gif

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    448

    Default

    I have been shooting cast bullets for target practice in my 06, 270 and 338 for 30 years. My cast bullets will typically shoot as well as my hunting bullets, 1" at 100 yards. I drive them about 1600 fps, they are all gas checked and I use Lyman lub. 21 gr. 4198 in both the 06 and 270 and it does not seem to matter what is the bullet weight. I use 150, 180 and 196 in the 06, all with the same load and it all works. Don't remember what is was in the 338. Good luck. J.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •