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Most users ever online was 66 on Sat May 28, 2011 5:55 pm


    My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

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    roachcreek
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    My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by roachcreek on Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:57 pm

    I got reinterested in casting bullets when I purchased my Ranger 45.

    Before I had burned out casting bullets while competing in 1000 yard black powder cartridge rifle. I used to cast one hour per day to obtain the bullets for a weeks practice, I culled anything not visually perfect and then weighed each bullet, then I culled everything not within 1 grain + or -, so as a result out of 100 bullets cast, I would keep an average of 40.

    I also hunted with cast bullets in my Sharps rifles, A shlio# 1 Sporting rifle and a orginal engraved Borshardt, both in 45-100. I lived in the middle of an elk herd for many years and as a result I have killed 50 elk in my lifetime, but the real fun was the 5 elk I killed with the big singleshots and cast bullets, I have shot some nice bulls, but my real trophy was a spike I killed with a 500 grain cast bullet, cast in a Lee pot powered by my solar pannels, I always called it my solar bullet.

    I eventually sold all my reloading and casting equipment, including over 30 molds, and traveled for a few years.

    Then when I bought my Ranger 45, I had Accuratemolds build me a .452 bullet mold that weighed slightly over 400 grains. I knew my bore dimensions and had the mold made precisely the same diameter as the bore, which is somewhat different that what you would do with a firearm.

    With that bullet I have shot under an inch at 100 yards and achieved over 600 FPE.

    Airguns do not deliver an expanding push as do firearms and in particular black powder arms, so they must be the same size or perhaps.0005 over.



    I had read posts from Marvin Mello about his casting for his Condor 25 using a 25 acp bullet, Marvin had miked his barrel and he was around .2495, so a bullet coming out of his RCBS mold at .251 was just right after a little sizing with a Lee Prescision die. Lee does not make a standard die for the 25 so you have to have them custom made..

    Problem was my LW barrel measured .2545, but I ordered a mold anyway hoping I could make it work. I also ordered a .253 sizing die from Lee Prescision, thinking I could make it larger if need be.

    LW barrels are all over the map in dimensions. And they are choked of course, so when you slug the barrel you must push the expanded slug into the breech and a few inches down the barrel, then push it back out the breech, the choke in the last inch or so will be considerably smaller, mine meansured .251. To date the mold only cast bullets in the .252 to .253 realm, so I have had flyers.





    My intial groups with unsized/undersized bullets and 30-1 lead were in the inch range at 38 yards with flyers taking them out to 1.5 inches. I started experimenting with alloys with more tin, 20-1 and Lyman #2 alloy until I had a hard bullet, but even then when I looked into the choked end of the barrel, only the rifleings had lead smears on them, indicating my bullets were still undersize. But my groups also tightened up, at 50 yards the typical 5 shot group will be .5 to .6 inches, with a 1 out of 10 flyer that takes the group to 1.2 iches. I can measure the bullets diameter and pretty much pick which bullets will be flyers.

    What I do get is incredable power from my Condor. I have been able to push these bullets at 1025 FPS which equates to 120 FPE. To take that into perspective, a 25 acp at the muzzle is doing 750 FPS, the Condor is doing 750 FPS at 145 yards!

    Usually I keep the velocity at 950 or so for now.





    I sent the RCBSmold off last week to Hollowpointmolds in Corvalis Oregon. Erik alters conventional molds into Hollowpoint molds, and he also cuts molds to a larger diameter. I am having him cut my mold to .0005 over my barrel diameter and also add a driving band to the nose. Erik can also remove a gas check from a mold, something really not needed on a air gun bullet, for we have no heat as firearms do, and as a result do not need gas checks or lube.

    But even a cold lead bullet rubbed against steel will tansfer lead onto the steel. Some do not use any lube on air gun cast bullets, I however do use lube on my bullets, I spray them with moly. I have experimented with different lubes, everything from Transmission fluid to Johnsons paste wax, and see no difference other than they are messier than moly.

    I have ordered a 2nd mold, a Lyman 25-20 mold that throws a 65 grain gas checked SWC bullet, which could be a great hunting bullet. But either bullet will give tremendous penetration. The 25 acp bulets will shoot thru my Morrel crosbow target.

    Hopefully in another week or two I will have the molds back and more information.

    Regards,

    Roachcreek
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    Squirrel
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    Re: My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by Squirrel on Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:52 pm

    bounce I need to talk with YOU! bounce

    I've got some bullet issues and my first couple of molds, not gotten my pot yet. Will come later.

    I've got a TON of questions but not much time to ask them at this very moment. I sincerely hope you'll watch this thread for more input from yours truly maybe tomorrow?

    It's been a loooong day here. Ugh!

    Talk to you soon about all this. That's a TON of information and I need to peel through it and apply it to some of my own projects not yet started.

    Thanks for the great information, Roach!


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    roachcreek
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    Re: My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by roachcreek on Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:18 pm

    I will eagerly await your questions.

    In the meantime, I just found out that the Hollowpoint mold service has opened my mold up .006 oversize and has offered to replace the mold.

    Right now I am thinking I will wait until a couple of Sumatra owners who I am sending out bullets to tomorrow test those bullets and some 65 gain Lyman SWC bullets I plan on sending them to test also.

    Again I am not planning to go into production, but those little 25 Sumatra Carbines do look interesting.

    Oddly enough when in the Philippines researching air guns in 2009, the ill fated Filaarms and the Sumatra were the most available PCP's in the islands.

    Two steps forward and one step back.Laughing

    Regards,

    Roachcreek

    roachcreek
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    Re: My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by roachcreek on Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:11 pm

    I got this mold in yesterday, I doubt that it will work for my application due to the fact it drops the bullests out too large in diameter and the length of the bulet makes it hard to chamber.

    I had hoped to have the gas check shaved off, and make it a 58 grain bullet.

    I also ordered a sizer die from Lee Prescision in .255 as the exact measurement of the unchoked portion of my bore is .2549.







    I have this 6 cavity mold on order from Ranchdog, I have high hopes for its performance.









    The length of the bullet is considerably shorter than the Lyman and the width of the bands are much less compared to the Lyman 257420, which means it will chamber easier.
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    StubExt
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    Re: My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by StubExt on Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:39 pm

    Neat. I couldnt jam anything into my leade bigger than .251. Even that took a finger saver.


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    roachcreek
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    Re: My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by roachcreek on Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:03 pm

    The Ranchdog bullet was a complete failure, it cast out at .262, no way can you size a bullet down that far and have it still shoot well. This is typical of Lee quality control, the mold was supposed to be a .256. Ranchdog was great and refunded my money and sent me a mailing label.

    I then ordered a LBT mold from Veral smith, I got it in a couple of weeks ago, two days later and a couple different alloys and this is what resulted.

    Bullets drop out at .2565 for my .2549 bore, I size them to .255. With a 3200 PSI fill and my hybrid valve the first 5 are averaging 1033 FPS with a 57 grain bullet. That is 130 FPE, almost a identical match to the Gold Dot 32 ACP HP which is 60 granins at 1000 FPE.

    The next 5 shots from that 3200 fill are averaging 120 FPE and shoot a little better, almost cutting 1/2 inch at 30 yards. 50 groups are intially showing up at around .80 to 1 inch, but I am doing that with a 2x7 Burris scope set mid to lo power to allevaite parallax.



    With the 130 FPE level and a 85 yard zero, and the 3 inch high Condor scope, the 57 grain bullet is 2.5 inches high from muzzle to 50 yards, dropping at 85 yards to the sight in zero and then down to 2.5 inches low at 100 yards where it still has 99 FPE.

    That is minute of coyote rib cage with a center hold from 20 yards to 100 yards and the power to make him chase his tail until he dies.

    About the finger pressure bullet seating, yes I hear you, I sure can't do it. I had to open my lead up to accept the .255 bullet, which ruined it for conventional 25 grain pellets, not that they shoot so well at 1300 FPS or so. Luckily I have another 25 AF rifle for Kings.

    Regards,

    Roachcreek
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    grizzlyadams
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    Re: My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by grizzlyadams on Sun Feb 12, 2012 8:54 am

    nice i do a lot of shooting and alot of reloading and have often thought of getting into casting my own pistol and bpcr bullets as well as for my airguns. guess i have to just "bite the bullet" and and jump right in! problem is finding the time to do it! too many other hobbies Smile

    roachcreek
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    Re: My evolving airgun cast bullet quest

    Post by roachcreek on Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:12 pm

    I shot this group today at 150 yards from a field postion, using a unchoked 17 inch LW barrel, I cut the choke off, 3000 PSI fill.



    I am using a 30 yard zero Burris 2nd plane 2x7 Fullfield on 2 power to get my 150yard zero using the lower heavy duplex.

    The three shot group measures 3.5 inches. The bullets passed thru two layers of metal plate and 1/2 inch plywood.

    Regards,

    Roachcreek

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