hard cast .44mag

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Ricochet, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. Ricochet

    Ricochet New Member

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    hey friends, i'm thinking of casting some bullets for my .44mag. do u guys think i'd be good to use ww or should i get some linotype lead? i'd like to shoot these out of my revolver as well as a H&R rifle. i'm thinking i'd get a mold for either 200gr or 240gr and with lube grooves and no gas checks. feedback please...thanks!
     
  2. 207driver

    207driver New Member

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    Many will tell you to use very hard alloy if you go above 1000fps, but I have had good results with my 357 and 10mm out to 1500 (no gas checks), with basically WW hard lead. Much of my supply is a mix of range recovered, and WW, and will test out between 15 to 18 BHN. The key to limit leading is what ever you use, size to at least .001, and preferably .002 over bore. Don't go by published bore figures, slug your gun to be absolutely sure. Be advised that S&W puts 5 grooves in so measurement can be somewhat tricky.

    I have had mixed results with harder lead, and have used water bath and heat treatment. More leading was usually the result, so I have discontinued the extra steps. That has been my experience, and as an engineer by trade I do love to experiment. Keep good notes and good luck!
     

  3. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use straight ww, but I like gas checks over about 1200 FPS.
     
  4. string1946

    string1946 New Member

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    Lyman #2 alloy

    I usually use Lyman #2 alloy which is 9lbs. ww and 1 lb. 50/50 bar solder and for the .44 mag my mold is for gas check bullets. I gotta size and lube them anyway so might as well clamp on a gas check.
     
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Adding Tin is a very good idea. Straight (clip on) wheel weights are pretty hard, especially when dropped directly from the mold to cool water. Avoid the stick on weights as they are nearly pure lead (99+%).

    Tin will help with hardness (a little) and make a much nicer bullet. Tin helps with the "flow" of the alloy. 2-3% tin will yield a bullet that is shiny and has nice crisp edges. The Lyman #2 alloy will work well at nearly any pistol velocities. If you want to push it to 1600-1700 out of a rifle, you will be happier with a gas check.
     
  6. Ricochet

    Ricochet New Member

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    i guess i need to get a bhn gauge. what's a good way to add tin?
     
  7. RUG3R44

    RUG3R44 New Member

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    I use straight ww because I'm a tightwad. I generally keep the velocity of my .44's around 800fps. I've never had a problem w/ leading.
     
  8. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    WW alloy with a small amount of tin or linotype no GC below 1,500 FPS. WW alloy can vary in content and BHN so you need a Hardness tester to really know what you have. :)
     
  9. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Th most cost effective way to add tin is to get some 50/50 bar solder from some place like Rotometals. I just add a 1 lb bar to a full pot of wheel weights and have good luck.That gives about 2.5% Tin in a 20 lb pot. That is plenty of Tin.
     
  10. Ricochet

    Ricochet New Member

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    does the lee hardness gauge work good?
     
  11. Ricochet

    Ricochet New Member

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    sorry for all the noob questions, but if my barrel slugs at say .430 do i wanna cast and size some .431s? and would the same go for a jacketed bullet? thanks
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Yes, maybe. It depends on the cylinder dimensions. If a round loaded with a .431 bullet will chamber properly, then yes.

    Did you use a good micrometer to obtain this measurement? .001 is really small. Perhaps w/in the margain of error for your measuring tool.
     
  13. 207driver

    207driver New Member

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    The reason you want an oversize lead slug, is to make sure you have a good bullet to bore seal. Hot gasses during the acceleration down the barrel can vaporize and deposit lead on the bore if it leaks by. Copper, being harder and melting at a much higher temperature is not so fit critical, however, copper deposition does and can occur, especially in over-sized bores, at faster velocities, meaning higher temperatures.

    Make sure you are measuring land to land across the slug, when you make the bore size determination.
     
  14. Ricochet

    Ricochet New Member

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    good info! is the "land" the rifling? and so i'd size to .001 above the lands?
     
  15. 207driver

    207driver New Member

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    The grooves on the slug pushed through the barrel are made by the rifling. The "lands" are the result of the slug forming to the overall barrel diameter. Many drive the test slug part way in from the muzzle and another just past the throat, to find if there is any wear, which will show up in the throat area. Of course, it's going to be tough to do the throat (or forcing cone), test on a revolver.
     
  16. Ricochet

    Ricochet New Member

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    ok so the "lands" on the slug will be thickest part of the sides of the slug, assuming the slug ends up being an oval shape?
     
  17. 207driver

    207driver New Member

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    Well, hopefully you will end up with a cylindrical slug that has grooves inscribed in it. There have been experiments with odd shaped bores, even triangular, but modern barrel manufactures try to produce highly cylindrical bores. :D
     
  18. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    The grooves provide the greatest dimensions. The lands provide the bore dimensions. The number .429 refers to the distance across the bore from the bottom of the two opposing grooves. Measuring from the top of two opposing lands will give you a bore dimension. This could be .423 or .006 below groove measurements. :)
     
  19. Ricochet

    Ricochet New Member

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    ok, so i had it backwards on what the ''lands'' are. couldn't i take my calipers and measure the id of the muzzle? most calipers will measure id as well as od
     
  20. locutus

    locutus Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sure, but remember your caliper isn't as accurate as a micrometer.