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Thread: Speed for cast bullets

  1. #1
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Question Speed for cast bullets

    I was thinking about trying some 400 grain or perhaps some 370 grain cast bullets in my 500S&W handi-rifle.

    I can shoot the 440 at around 1900 fps. I bet the 370 might go 2100 or faster.

    My question is what is the max recommended speed for these bullets?

    Would a 370 at 2100+ leave my barrel full of lead or would the gas scheck handle that speed?
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  2. #2
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    Gas checks work the same at any speed, so if it's not leading your barrel already then it'll come down to how good the bullet lube is. The pattern of the leading can help shed some light on this too--if it's toward the muzzle, then it shows you that the bullet doesn't hold enough lube.

    I think you'll be just fine. I've shot 180 grain cast bullets in my .30-06 at about 2300 fps with no leading whatsoever, and the bullets were softer than commercial cast lead bullets. By far, the most common reason for leading a barrel is a bullet that's undersized--that's something that'll lead your bore at any velocity. Not only doesn't it grip the rifling, but it doesn't seal the bore so you get hot gases going past the bullet and slightly melting the sides. The bullet then smears this in the bore.

    Mike

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    Member RANGER RICK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeT View Post
    Gas checks work the same at any speed, so if it's not leading your barrel already then it'll come down to how good the bullet lube is. The pattern of the leading can help shed some light on this too--if it's toward the muzzle, then it shows you that the bullet doesn't hold enough lube.

    I think you'll be just fine. I've shot 180 grain cast bullets in my .30-06 at about 2300 fps with no leading whatsoever, and the bullets were softer than commercial cast lead bullets. By far, the most common reason for leading a barrel is a bullet that's undersized--that's something that'll lead your bore at any velocity. Not only doesn't it grip the rifling, but it doesn't seal the bore so you get hot gases going past the bullet and slightly melting the sides. The bullet then smears this in the bore.

    Mike


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  4. #4

    Default Cast bullets

    Hi Miller;
    I have the old Lyman Cast bullet handbook, of coarse your caliber is not listed but there are cast 385gr 458 loads going to 1872 FPS with 60 Grains of 3031 Plain cast lead, no gas check. I think speed is fine there. Another theory I have is powder selection may play a part so far as heat & pressure.
    I am just trying Lyman Super Moly Bullet Lube too. My project is the 454 Casull, but I am downloading.
    Mark

  5. #5
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I will be brief, but basically there are 4 main factors that contribute to leading.

    Alloy Hardness: to hard and the bullet will not obdurate and properly seal the bore resulting in gas cutting of the bullet and lead plating in the bore. Too soft and the bullet will deform and lead will smear in the bore. In my experience alloy hardness is by far the most common cause of leading issues.

    Velocity / Pressure: Max velocity varies with alloy composition, lube etc. but I have exceeded 2000 FPS routinely with no leading issues.

    Bullet dimensions / diameter: In my experience you should size the bullets to .001 - .003 over bore diameter for the best results. In my experience this is the second most common cause of leading issues.

    Lube: I have found the soft NRA 50/50 lube to be satisfactory for EVERY load, and preferred for most. Hard lubes in my opinion are inferior. This is however only an opinion.

    Gas check or not, you should be just fine pushing up on 2200 FPS if you use an appropriate alloy and have your bullets sized correctly.
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