Cast bullets in .303

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Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 18 Dec 2018, 5:32 pm

G'day All,
I have a silly question regarding cast bullets in a .303 if you could help. So, I am using Hawksbury River .311 180 grn cast bullets with the black coating. I am shooting at 50 yards at this stage with my Savage No4 Mk1* over open sights with a starting load of 23 grns of AR2206H. All good but accuracy not so good so I loaded 3 rounds in increments of .5 grn up until 24.5 grns were I encountered a cloud of blue smoke? The projectiles are non gas checked. Is that an indication of pushing the cast bullet too fast? Cheers.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by bladeracer » 18 Dec 2018, 5:37 pm

Stoney wrote:G'day All,
I have a silly question regarding cast bullets in a .303 if you could help. So, I am using Hawksbury River .311 180 grn cast bullets with the black coating. I am shooting at 50 yards at this stage with my Savage No4 Mk1* over open sights with a starting load of 23 grns of AR2206H. All good but accuracy not so good so I loaded 3 rounds in increments of .5 grn up until 24.5 grns were I encountered a cloud of blue smoke? The projectiles are non gas checked. Is that an indication of pushing the cast bullet too fast? Cheers.


.311" is too small for mine. Fine for jacketed though. I use .314" for cast.
You could try powder coating to bring the size up a little, but it's a pain having to get the lube off the bullets first.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 18 Dec 2018, 5:55 pm

bladeracer wrote:
Stoney wrote:G'day All,
I have a silly question regarding cast bullets in a .303 if you could help. So, I am using Hawksbury River .311 180 grn cast bullets with the black coating. I am shooting at 50 yards at this stage with my Savage No4 Mk1* over open sights with a starting load of 23 grns of AR2206H. All good but accuracy not so good so I loaded 3 rounds in increments of .5 grn up until 24.5 grns were I encountered a cloud of blue smoke? The projectiles are non gas checked. Is that an indication of pushing the cast bullet too fast? Cheers.


.311" is too small for mine. Fine for jacketed though. I use .314" for cast.
You could try powder coating to bring the size up a little, but it's a pain having to get the lube off the bullets first.


Yeah I thought so Blade, I was using Trail Boss and the projectiles were keyholing. I am thinking the Hawksbury rounds are rattling down the bore.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 18 Dec 2018, 6:15 pm

So does anyone know why the cloud of blue smoke?
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by bladeracer » 18 Dec 2018, 7:46 pm

Stoney wrote:So does anyone know why the cloud of blue smoke?


Possibly gas cutting as the gas blows past the bullet and melts it.
If you run a chronograph you'll know straight away, it'll be very slow - .311 cast in my No.4 were running around 700fps on fairly stout loads :-)
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 18 Dec 2018, 8:48 pm

bladeracer wrote:
Stoney wrote:So does anyone know why the cloud of blue smoke?


Possibly gas cutting as the gas blows past the bullet and melts it.
If you run a chronograph you'll know straight away, it'll be very slow - .311 cast in my No.4 were running around 700fps on fairly stout loads :-)



So, bin them Blade?
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by bladeracer » 18 Dec 2018, 8:53 pm

Stoney wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
Stoney wrote:So does anyone know why the cloud of blue smoke?


Possibly gas cutting as the gas blows past the bullet and melts it.
If you run a chronograph you'll know straight away, it'll be very slow - .311 cast in my No.4 were running around 700fps on fairly stout loads :-)



So, bin them Blade?


Shoot them in something else.
Or melt and recast, or you could try swaging them up to size, or powdercoat them. Maybe even just a gas check would be sufficient. Can also try drilling a hole in the base of the bullet as it might be enough to get the bullet to obturate to fit the bore.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 18 Dec 2018, 9:11 pm

bladeracer wrote:
Stoney wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
Stoney wrote:So does anyone know why the cloud of blue smoke?


Possibly gas cutting as the gas blows past the bullet and melts it.
If you run a chronograph you'll know straight away, it'll be very slow - .311 cast in my No.4 were running around 700fps on fairly stout loads :-)



So, bin them Blade?


Shoot them in something else.
Or melt and recast, or you could try swaging them up to size, or powdercoat them. Maybe even just a gas check would be sufficient. Can also try drilling a hole in the base of the bullet as it might be enough to get the bullet to obturate to fit the bore.



Why do they even make them if they are that s**t?
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by bladeracer » 18 Dec 2018, 9:24 pm

Stoney wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
Stoney wrote:
bladeracer wrote:
Stoney wrote:So does anyone know why the cloud of blue smoke?


Possibly gas cutting as the gas blows past the bullet and melts it.
If you run a chronograph you'll know straight away, it'll be very slow - .311 cast in my No.4 were running around 700fps on fairly stout loads :-)



So, bin them Blade?


Shoot them in something else.
Or melt and recast, or you could try swaging them up to size, or powdercoat them. Maybe even just a gas check would be sufficient. Can also try drilling a hole in the base of the bullet as it might be enough to get the bullet to obturate to fit the bore.



Why do they even make them if they are that s**t?


No idea, any cast bullet manufacture knows the bullets need to be a thou or two over goove diameter. I bought some hardcast bullets at .358" and .430" which are only one-thou over-size. They work okay in the .38 Special, but not in the .44 Mag. I use .432" in the .44 Mag.
I bought 1000 Berry's .311" copper-plated hardcast 123gn bullets for the .303/7.62 but even those don't work. Shoot really well in the .30-06 though.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 19 Dec 2018, 7:05 pm

So, Blade, do you know of anyone producing .312/.313/.314 cast bullets commercially? Thanks for your input mate, very much appreciated.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by bladeracer » 19 Dec 2018, 8:07 pm

Stoney wrote:So, Blade, do you know of anyone producing .312/.313/.314 cast bullets commercially? Thanks for your input mate, very much appreciated.


Not off the top of my head as I usually cast my own. I like to buy over-size moulds. Casting them fat makes it easy to size them down to what you need. If they're under-size though it's harder to punch them up to size.

If I do spot anything I'll add it to this thread.
I pay about $10/kg for lead alloys and occasionally cast bullets come on special for little more than the material cost. Even shotgun shells can be a cheap source of hard lead when they're on special.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by in2anity » 19 Dec 2018, 8:13 pm

I think 23gr 2206H might be a little stout for HRBCs. Try 18 or to 20. Also 2207 is good - around 17 to 18. Btw have you slugged your barrel?
Last edited by in2anity on 19 Dec 2018, 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by in2anity » 19 Dec 2018, 8:19 pm

I know for a fact that HRBCs can be pushed in the realms of 1500fps - and correctly sized they can be bloody accurate.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by in2anity » 19 Dec 2018, 8:20 pm

Also you can ask Les to size for you (provided he has the swage)
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by in2anity » 19 Dec 2018, 8:23 pm

Chronoed these at 1420:
A5FEBD1E-3B64-4EA4-B2E1-F4904A405E33.jpeg
HRBC 115gr 32-20 .313”
A5FEBD1E-3B64-4EA4-B2E1-F4904A405E33.jpeg (631.69 KiB) Viewed 411 times
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 19 Dec 2018, 8:37 pm

in2anity wrote:I think 23gr 2206H might be a little hot for HRBCs. Try 18 or to 20. Also 2207 is good - around 17 to 18. Btw have you slugged your barrel?


G'day in2anity, So I actually started with 10.5 of Trail Boss which just keyholed perfectly at 25 yrds. Would love to hit a feral cat with a sideways .311 180 grn cast projectile at 25 yrds :lol: But, yeah, so I moved to AR2206H using the ADI formula of 60% of the max load for 180 grn. Obviously Cast and jacketed have different pressures. Being very new to cast well...…learning So, 23 was ok. 23.5 was way better. 24 just a big blue cloud, and 24.5 bigger blue cloud.
No I haven't slugged the bore, which obviously I should do.
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by in2anity » 19 Dec 2018, 8:47 pm

With cast bullets, my experience is Trail Boss can be a little hit-and-miss. I have a marlin cb that is insanely accurate with 2205, but is terrible with TB. I had a microgroove marlin which also didn’t really like TB. Meanwhile my Winchester 32-20 absolutely loves the stuff - prefers it over AP70 and 2205 hands-down. I think 2207 might be a good choice for you - what’s your barrel length and twist?
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Re: Cast bullets in .303

Post by Stoney » 19 Dec 2018, 8:52 pm

in2anity wrote:With cast bullets, my experience is Trail Boss can be a little hit-and-miss. I have a marlin cb that is insanely accurate with 2205, but is terrible with TB. I had a microgroove marlin which also didn’t really like TB. Meanwhile my Winchester 32-20 absolutely loves the stuff - prefers it over AP70 and 2205 hands-down. I think 2207 might be a good choice for you - what’s your barrel length and twist?



Standard Savage No4Mk1* with 2 groove barrel. I have read the 2 groove does cast very well, hence my decision to go that way.
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