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Thread: Bullets for 500SW

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    Default Bullets for 500SW

    I just talked with the owner of a small lead bullet producer and he seem cautious about shooting regular target lead bullets above 1,000 fps for the 500SW cartridge. He mentioned that the rifling may not be able to grab the soft lead properly at higher speed. I know of no magnum loads for the 500SW that's 1,000 fps or less.

    What lead bullets are you using successfully that gives you a reasonable cost?

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    Default Hodgdon's confirmation

    I just called Hodgdon and the technical guy confirmed that I should not use any plated or bare lead bullet with the H110 because of running the risk of melting the base of the bullet, which will make the bullet lose its integrity and accuracy. The key is he also mentioned that it may cause partial discharges due to the softer bullet leaving too early and leaking pressure in the case.

    I guess hard-cast bullets are pretty different due to their significantly higher BN values.But, jacketed bullets are freaking expensive. Any way out of this?

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    Sure, cast your own, make them hard and use a gas check.

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    I think casting my own would be interesting and enjoyable but it will take away time which I can spend on shooting and assembling ammo. Wouldn't it take like the whole weekend cooking some 500 cast bullets that are sized correctly and lubed? Just wondering out loud.

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    The first guys you talked to are leading you astray with misinformation. Yes, if you want to drive your bullet faster than about 900fps you will want to go with a gas checked design, regardless of powder type. (The risk of "H-110 melting the bullet base" indicates the "technical guy" doesn't know what he's talking about). Harder BN is not the solution to reduced leading; a properly sized, lubricated bullet is what does that. If you want to talk with someone who has a clue about the subject, try Dave Jennings at Montana Bullet Works.
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    I've used many ranger rick gas checked 535, 600 and 700 grain with h110 and no problems. My standard load is 700 grain bullet, 25.5 grains h110 and cci 250 primers, starline brass. About 1125-1150 fps . Matts bullets bought out the ricks molds

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    Yup, I called up Matt's Bullet because nothing on his website is in stock. He makes them when you order them and the turnaround time is between 3-6 weeks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    [...]try Dave Jennings at Montana Bullet Works.
    Will do. First, let me read his website. Lots of juicy info. Thanks!

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Here's a very informative and factually accurate article: http://www.lasc.us/FryxellCBAlloyObturation.htm Lots of additional extremely informative writings on the parent site. Well worth digging through and reading.
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    Yeah there is more to it than just cast hard and check. At slower speeds a properly sized bullet does not have to be very hard at all but it must be sized properly. At faster speeds it not only has to be sized right but must be hard enough not to skid when entering the rifling. This still is not as hard as some would make you think. The base of a cast bullet does not melt with any powder but if the bullet is not sized large enough it will high pressure gas cut as the hot gasses rush past the bullet. This will cause leading. As far as taking a long time to cast, size and lube, it depends on what method you use and what equiptment you use. Casting may take a couple of hours more or less depending on your mold and type of furnace. Sizing and lubing 500 bullets could also take a couple of hours more or less depending on the method and equiptment you use. But, what does 500 jacketed bullets cost for a 500 S&W? Even cast bullets from someone else aren't going to be very cheap. Properly sized and lubed you could probably get around 1200 fps with a non gas checked bullet. Faster will probably take a check. Plenty of people are shooting cast in the 500 and other hand cannons without problems. It does take some time to cast but if I didn't cast I wouldn't be able to shoot much because of the cost. Loaded ammo for my 454 cost about $35 for 20rds where as 20 rds of my cast loads is about $3.25. Casting does take time but it's part of tuning ammo to your gun that gets the most out of it. Besides it's fun and adds to the whole shooting experience.

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    I know there're lots of info out but where is an optimal place for good information about casting? What molds are you using? Lee 440gr or are you using Mountain Molds (MM)? MM molds don't even come with a handle? Are there other mold manufacturers, besides Lee, RCBS and Lyman?

    Also, is it possible or difficult to do hard-cast bullets your own? Is the BN hardness purely adjustable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    I know there're lots of info out but where is an optimal place for good information about casting? What molds are you using? Lee 440gr or are you using Mountain Molds (MM)? MM molds don't even come with a handle? Are there other mold manufacturers, besides Lee, RCBS and Lyman?

    Also, is it possible or difficult to do hard-cast bullets your own? Is the BN hardness purely adjustable?
    Yes, there are many other mold manufacturers besides the three you mentioned. Many mold makers do not provide handles, but build molds to accept the ubiquitous handles made by RCBS or others. Hardness is adjusted by means of tweeking the alloy, or heat treating, or water quenching, or a combination thereof. You could shoot anything from a BN in the single digits to in excess of 20, but something between 12 and 18 would serve you best. Anything much in excess of 18-20 starts getting too brittle and will not hold together when it encounters hard tough material such as bone (or dry phone books).
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    google " cast boolits " for everything you can possibly want to know about cast boolits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Here's a very informative and factually accurate article: http://www.lasc.us/FryxellCBAlloyObturation.htm Lots of additional extremely informative writings on the parent site. Well worth digging through and reading.

    Thank you for this link iofthetaiga. I have been lead to the lasc site with several different google searches, but on this link there is anotehr link to all the articles on lasc authored by Fryxell. Very informative. I appreciate it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbuck351 View Post
    google " cast boolits " for everything you can possibly want to know about cast boolits.
    Thanks for the casting suggestion.
    I have been reading Veral Smith's book, looked at Lyman's Casting book, went through The Art of Casting and finally smelted some expended bullets, lead blocks given by some people and made some ingots.

    Today, tested and started my first casting session using the hand poured method. Tempt control seem to be the key to success and those lovely beautifully SWC came out quite attractively.

    Also, did a hardness test on ones with dry towel drop vs cold water shocked ones and it turns out that I was doing the hardness test too soon. I need to let them age a little to allow for their hardness to settle down. I will re-test them tomorrow.

    Quite an interesting activity!

    What are your favorite lubes for hand-casted bullets? Don't tell me bacon grease. I have heard that before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    I just called Hodgdon and the technical guy confirmed that I should not use any plated or bare lead bullet with the H110 because of running the risk of melting the base of the bullet, which will make the bullet lose its integrity and accuracy. The key is he also mentioned that it may cause partial discharges due to the softer bullet leaving too early and leaking pressure in the case.

    I guess hard-cast bullets are pretty different due to their significantly higher BN values.But, jacketed bullets are freaking expensive. Any way out of this?
    Wow...I've got one word for his statement here.... BUNK!

    He should have said. "Use a good hard cast boolit properly sized for you gun. Plane base is fine up to about 1300ish fps. Go with a gas check any faster than that. (there are those who would debate that but it's a fairly reasonable approach and a good starting point) DON'T shoot reduced loads of H110/W296, use a magnum primer and a good tight crimp and be aware of possible poor ignition at below freezing temps."
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    Thanks for the casting suggestion.
    I have been reading Veral Smith's book, looked at Lyman's Casting book, went through The Art of Casting and finally smelted some expended bullets, lead blocks given by some people and made some ingots.

    Today, tested and started my first casting session using the hand poured method. Tempt control seem to be the key to success and those lovely beautifully SWC came out quite attractively.

    Also, did a hardness test on ones with dry towel drop vs cold water shocked ones and it turns out that I was doing the hardness test too soon. I need to let them age a little to allow for their hardness to settle down. I will re-test them tomorrow.

    Quite an interesting activity!

    What are your favorite lubes for hand-casted bullets? Don't tell me bacon grease. I have heard that before.
    How did you test the hardness?

    Your hardness will depend on the alloy. It sounds like you are using "mystery metal". If the "lead blocks" you were given are pure lead then water quenching will not harden them. There needs to be antimony in the alloy. Tin helps some but not as much. Clip on wheel weights are about perfect for us home casters. They are lead, antimony and tin with a hint of arsenic. Typically 9-12 bhn air cooled, 18-22 water dropped. Stick on wheel weights are pure lead. Watch for zinc clip ons and trash em.

    Lots of good lubes on the market. I have made my own with beeswax and vaseline. I now have some LBT soft that I'll be trying out.

    Good luck on your new casting obsession!! Last weekend I casted up some 200gr .452 swcs, 255gr .452 rnfp and some .512 440gr for the 500 Linebaugh.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    [...] If you want to talk with someone who has a clue about the subject, try Dave Jennings at Montana Bullet Works.
    I gave Dave an $84 1st try and I find him somewhat tardy in delivering the products after receiving my money.

    Here's the story ... I started corresponding with Dave and enquired about payment methods. He said accepts money order or checks. So, I asked if he were going to wait till checks are cleared before he ships out and he said he ships the moment he receives the check.

    My check arrived on 7/12 and Dave said he will ship the following week.
    I just received the bullets today (7/27) and the postage stamp said he shipped it out 7/25. That's way off the original estimates. Dave sounds like a nice guy on emails but he seems to be managing his customer's expectations quite poorly ... *sigh* ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    How did you test the hardness?
    Lee's Hardness Tester Die

    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Your hardness will depend on the alloy. It sounds like you are using "mystery metal".
    It's a mixture of lead alloy and expended bullets.
    I've learned that it takes a good amount of time for the casted lead to harden.


    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Lots of good lubes on the market. I have made my own with beeswax and vaseline. I now have some LBT soft that I'll be trying out.
    I tried car wax and it seemed to work pretty well.
    Will try Alox next and other home-brewed ones. Thanks for the beeswax + vaseline suggestion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthury View Post
    I gave Dave an $84 1st try and I find him somewhat tardy in delivering the products after receiving my money.

    Here's the story ... I started corresponding with Dave and enquired about payment methods. He said accepts money order or checks. So, I asked if he were going to wait till checks are cleared before he ships out and he said he ships the moment he receives the check.

    My check arrived on 7/12 and Dave said he will ship the following week.
    I just received the bullets today (7/27) and the postage stamp said he shipped it out 7/25. That's way off the original estimates. Dave sounds like a nice guy on emails but he seems to be managing his customer's expectations quite poorly ... *sigh* ...
    Not sure what to tell ya there, except that Dave cannot be held accountable for "managing his customers expectations". Only the customer can do that. Perhaps the customers expectations were wound a bit too tightly. Have been dealing with dave for some time now and he always returns calls or emails within 24 hours or so, and his deliveries have always been timely. His product it absolutely top of the line too. Perhaps he didn't have the bullet you ordered in stock and needed to make more before he could fill your order. He does maintain a pretty good inventory, and as such I believe his web site says something to the effect that he usually can ship your order as soon as he receives payment, because usually all he needs to do is lube/size prior to shipping. But he is just one man, making top quality bullets one at a time. This aint the fast food drive through window you're dealing with. Not to worry tho, as now you're off on the adventure of making your own, so you can crank em out as fast as your expectations dictate. Personally, I'm not currently inclined to make my own, and am happy to give my money to Dave. It's money well spent.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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