Why buy cast bullets (boolits)?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by Laufer, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    Other than being cheaper than those of the large bullet manufacturers such as Sierra etc, what are the pros and cons in a Lee-Enfield #4, #5 or Yugo Mauser? Other than extra cleaning, what would be a drawback?

    Am a brand-new reloader and only work with fresh Prvi Partizan .303, in order to have what others call thick cases.
    So far, the only bullets used are standard fmj 147 grain from a few private sellers and a store or two, using HMR 4064 powder, 39 grains.

    Will try 8mm reloads next, but the only cheap bullets appear to be cast lead, and don't know what "boolits" are, unless insider slang.

    The single objective is long-term economical reloading, for fun plinking and nothing else, except to avoid using good stash of surplus .303 and 8mm, mostly kept in reserve.
     
  2. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    This is a subject I know about. 1st off not all cast bullets are the same. Boolits comes from cast boolits.com. You really need to understand the die/style used for your intended purpose. One of the top manufacturers is Beartooth bullets. Marshalls stuff is second to none, but pricey. For rifles such as yours you want to use Gas check bullets w/ a velocity of 2000+-fps. You won't need to develop loads as w/ jacketed bullets. I have recipes for 8x57, .303, 9.3x57, 6.5x55 and 7.62x54r. Last year I started using Glenhills cast bullets. Excellent prices. His e-mail is gutshot_again@yahoo.com. Don't buy a spirepoint lead bullet, not worth it as the bullet will deform if pushed to fast. I use .323 170grFN GC cast lead for short range hunting and as a reduced load for my kids(100 yards). 285gr 9.3 shoot and perform as well on game as 286gr top end JSP. Glenhills average $12.00 per 100 gas check bullets. If you don't use GC you will get allot of leading in the barrel. W/ a pistol caliber rifle the GC is not nessesary since the velocity is much less. Let me know if you need any recipes. BTW, if you order frm Glenhills tell Vern, JP in NH says hello.
    You can also sign up for Midway USA E-blast e-mails. They have a blemished bullet sale once or twice a year. The case color on these bullets is off, that is all.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2010

  3. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    Thanks very much for the useful info.
    My brother found me some 8mm dies at a small auction in Evansville last week.

    For economical reloading, which is why I got the time-consuming basic
    'Lee Ann. Kit' (slow balance scale etc), would using cast boolits with minimum powder loads in new 8mm Prvi shells possibly allow three or four firings, if done correctly?

    Am about to use Prvi today in one of my "Jungle Carbines" for the fourth time with the same brass. Have no idea how accurate, and don't care at this point- just want to see if the brass will still look normal.
    My targets are objects on a river bank at 40-120 feet, seldom go to the range.

    A month ago bought my first Mauser, a typical Yugo 48A.
     
  4. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    Since you are not loading to full power, you should get at least 8 reloads. Make sure to anneal your brass.
     
  5. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    Thanks.

    Does annealing equipment add up to a fairly big chunk of money?
     
  6. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    Annealing is heating the case neck. I use a propane torch. It makes the brass softer, having more spring holds the bullet tighter w/ equal force over the neck area while giving more reloads. If you ever notice, some brass has a slightly different modeled color on the neck of the brass, that is annealed brass. Here is an article that explains it better than I can.
    The Art and Science of Annealing

    The only cost is the price of propane. A $3.75 bottle of propane will do thousands of cases.
     
  7. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

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    The SMILE are a strange breed of rifle and here are a couple of tips. The actions are springy due to their design. US manufactured brass is lighter and undersized dimentioned, and even though it head spaces on the case rim, a lot of movement goes on as it expands to fit the chamber. Neck size only and do not full length size the cases. I don't agree with anneal of the necks to prolong case life. The failures occur in the case body just up from the rim.
    Case separation occurs around the body simular to that of a belted case. With US cases it can happen after four or five loadings. Norma are unaffordable and used to supply Herters at reasonable prices. They are closer to dimention and heavier than US. Also when I had nothing but time,
    I tried the military cases, but Berdan primers suck. They were the best for multiple reloads, and the heaviest brass. It very well might be Privi being made in Europe will be great, no clue as I haven't used them.
    I put a lot of various rounds experimenting with loads though a T Sniper and found many .308 bullets did well in it. Never slugged the bore for true dimentions. Cast .3085 in 180 grain gas check with 3031 and 4895 proved accurate as some of the jacketed .311/312 bullets. For awhile, the Brits were taking these very same rifles, beefing up the receivers to take the spring out of them, and rebarreled them to 308 or 7.62 x 51. This was strictly for target rifles, and not a combat item.
    Check for case separation after a couple of reloads. You can feel them start by running a paper clip up and down on the inside of the case or a shinney line running around the outside of the case just up a ways from the rim. Sometimes a case separated will come out easy with a tap on the ground with the rifle butt, and others are not that easy. Best to retire the case when they begin to show signs.
     
  8. Laufer

    Laufer New Member

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    Thanks.
    Have used about ten rounds, six times each in the Jungle Carbine, including the first time when removed from the Prvi Partizan box.

    The cases still look good, as smooth as the new ones.
    Only one reloaded round kept the bolt from turning after the fourth 'operation'.
     
  9. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    Did you check the OAL case length? You may have to trim your brass. BTW, Annealing does help w/ lead bullets.
     
  10. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    I worry about what you claim here! The Brits never beefed up anything. The L42A1 was the Brit sniper for years! 7.62x51, not .303 or .308.
    Modern Firearms - Sniper Rifles - Enfield L39A1, L42A1 and Enforcer
     
  11. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

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    Yeah they did, and it wasn't the Ishys that everyone sees. Those converts never left the Oueen's country as far I know. We were really competitive at one time, even with the civilians shooters.
    Case length, seldom is there a need to trim this one as usually you have a case separation on the body of the cartridge on the weak part up from the rim. Yes I measure OAL case length on everything I load. Trimming is a good thing to enable uniform length/crimp of the loaded round. A poor boy, and a new loader back in the early 60s, a quick and easy test I used then to tell if a trim was needed ( a practice I no longer use as some cartridges it would be too close to a dangerous pressure build up) was if a bullet would drop freely down the neck of the case, good to go, little resistance trim time. Back then a pain in the rear as case was presed into a full length sizer, and trimed by filing whatever stuck out of the top of the die!
    I'm not against neck annealing, it's a good thing. However, it does nothing to extend case life of case body failures, which is what happens. Annealing will give uniform crimp pressures and prevents work hardened case neck brass from neck splits, but it is doubtful you will face neck splits with this one.
    A couple of other factors on those conversion 7.62 x51s. All were done on Mk5 No 1s. Same as the ones made into T sniper models. The sights were beautiful fancy micro, that looked like they had enough adjustment to shoot at a couple of 1000 yards. Just kidding, but they were not dainty little things.
     
  12. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    Interesting. The link I posted showed that the 7.62 version was intended for Civilian marksmanship, but it does note the mods. . Receiver work is not one of them. The No4 is much stronger than the MKIII, so what did they do? These were all No4 rifles.
     
  13. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

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    Crap, there goes credibility!! I typed No.5, and truely meant No 4 Mark 1 . Roman numbers got me again! The modifications were add on material to the recevier. I can't recall if it was external, but I think it was. There is an expert that writes books on English arms that lives in Grants Pass, Oregon.
    Will see if I can locate him, and find out further as to specs and dates. Had to be in the early 60s I think. They had some pretty pristine SMILEYs back then, and I owned several. I kept one, as pristine as I have seen a No.4 Mark 1-T. It even has the orginal scope, with the only defect being it is picketed post only, and suspect the cross hair that I know was a part of their scope is missing. It is respectably accurate, with about any loads used. I have not fired any of the old Choridite? stick powered military ammo in it, but everything else seems to do well. Also I didn't have a range beyond 300 yards to shoot on but groups of 1.5 MOA where easily doable with 150 to 180 grain reloads. Will have to try out some of today's better performing bullets someday, like an Amax Hornady bullet.
     
  14. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    I can send you a bandolier of WW2 ammo. Nothing else smells or shoots the same. A taste for ya!
    [​IMG]
     
  15. budman46

    budman46 New Member

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    cast boolits and smle's

    laufer.
    british smle's nominally have .311" bores, but they vary. with cast bullets (in any rifle), best accuracy is achieved 1) when the diameter is .001-.002" greater than groove diameter and 2) if resistance is felt when the bullet is inserted nose first into the muzzle.

    gas checks allow for more velocity than plain-base, but i use 17 gr of alliant 2400 in all my milsurps...for about 1500fps. they don't punish me, the gun or the brass and, offhand, will keep them on a gallon milk jug at 100yds if i do my part.

    i run new .303 brit brass thru an 8mm mauser sizer to expand the case mouth, then size them in a .303 die just enough to get a "crush-fit" when chambering. the false shoulder created by necking up allows cases to fire-form without the case stretching common due to generous smle chambers. buy a stuck case remover anyway...it's one of those tools that's cheap insurance.

    if it weren't for cast bullets, i doubt i'd be doing much shooting. the days of $1/lb powder and milsurp bullets for $25-50/1000 are long gone; even gas checks cost 5 times more than when i started casting as a way to get deeper into the shooting/reloading hobby over 30 years ago.

    budman
     
  16. Oohrah

    Oohrah New Member

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    You are correct in all your statements. I used to have several .303s, of various models. I have only retained one Mark 4 No. 1 in the T sniper. In is very tight bored, and although I never slugged the bore, I have used a few .308 bullets and it maintained reasonable accuracy. Light bullets in either jacketed or cast does prolong case life, along with neck sizing only after the first firing. Your method of case forming to fit the chamber is exact same as I use. I also use this method when case forming 30-06 cases to the 30 Gibbs.
    I used to lose cases with forming the Gibbs using any other method, and the crush fit using cast bullets gave some accurate plinking rounds with perfect formed cases. The fore and aft movement when the firing pin drives the case forward, followed by the rearward thrust against the bolt face really stresses the brass with the movement. I have also used the 2400 powder for reduced loads, and an old powder that used to work very good also with lighter bullets is 4759. Correct in the variance of bore sizes. A well shot one can go above .312. Slug the bore will give, and it will give at least a close
    guess before you buy a bunch of moulds that will not give the best results.
    Yep, it appears that cast gas checks prices are fast getting right up there with the jacketed ones. Sticker prices are pretty heart breaking from 30 years back aren't they? Still have some of that $.50 a pound 4831. You could buy it in a paper bag per pound, or in a cardboard, I think, 25 pound keg. You could load a hundred rounds for what you pay for a box of .22 LR Target. At least we had a taste of the good old days!!!
     
  17. budman46

    budman46 New Member

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    oohrah,
    you bring back memories with the paper bag 4831, i was more a $1/lb h-335 guy...magnums beat me up too much!

    the downside of us experiencing the good old days is we now pay for the priviledge in arthritis and high cholesterol! :D

    budman