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Got a box of Lasercast 170 grain lead flatnose bullets to try in my Model 94. Looking at these bullets they appear to need a gas check on the rear. I'm new to cast bullets in rifles so any help would be appreciated - Can I shoot sans gas checks and does anyone have any favorite load data?

Thanks!
 

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That Lasercast 170gr. FNGC is very similar to Lyman 31141, which I shoot in my .30-30s. I've never tried it without a GC, but I imagine that you would get gas cutting around the base and leading of the bore by leaving the GC off.

One of my best mid-range target/plinking loads for .30-30 is:

170 gr. Lyman 31141 + 23.0 gr. IMR 3031

You'll need to get a Lyman neck-expander die for .30 cal. lead bullets so you don't shave off lead when you seat the bullets.

xtm
 

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I just loaded up some .30-30s over the weekend with Missouri Bullet's 165 grain lead FP (no gas-check), over 8 grains of Alliant Promo powder (same as Red Dot). Supposedly good for about 1300 fps. Will try em out this weekend. 8 grains of powder is a heckuva lot more economical to shoot that 23! ;) That and Promo powder is "only" $10 a pound!
 

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Hey toro,

Is your Missouri bullet a plain base design, or are you just leaving off the gas check? I'm guessing you have plain base bullets, but he is asking about shooting his without GCs.

I've left GCs off revolver bullets before with OK results at slower velocities. When the velocities would start to approach the 850-950fps range, I would start to get gas cutting and telltale leading in the forcing cone area or beyond. That's why I've never tried to omit GCs from lead rifle bullets - the velocities are always above that threshold. I bet it could be done with homemade GCs if you had one of the punch kits.

Jaholder, you should ask about this on the cast bullet forum.
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/

xtm
 

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The Missouri Bullets that I loaded are flat base, with a brinell hardness of 18. Here is their website page for these .30 cal bullets:
http://www.missouribullet.com/results.php?category=6

Then here is their write up regarding Brinell hardness, etc.

The MBC Difference
Hardness-Optimized Bullets
Most cast bullet shooters don't know a lot about the properties of the lead alloy they're shooting because they haven't been educated about it. If you want to learn a little bit about some important cast bullet facts, then please read on.

A common conception is that when it comes to lead bullets, harder lead equals less leading. This is a false perception! To explain this surprising statement, it is necessary to discuss the physics of getting the bullet out of the barrel and how lead residue comes to be deposted in the bore. When the powder charge ignites, pressure is generated. This pressure is measured in “copper units of pressure” (CUPS) and expressed in thousand of pounds per square inch. The heavier the powder charge, the greater the CUPS. Naturally, the purpose of generating pressure in the cartridge case is to force the bullet out of the case mouth and on down the barrel.

Lead is a soft metal. Its hardness is expressed on a standard scale, called the Brinell Hardness Number (BHN.) The BHN of the bullet interacts with the pressure generated by the burning powder. The mechanism of this involves the effect of the generation of thousands of pounds per square inch of pressure which causes the base of the bullet to expand, or “obturate”. Properly obturated, the base will have expanded beyond its original diameter which has the effect of “sealing the bore” against the explosive pressure of the gases burning behind it. Properly sealed, and working in conjunction with the lubricant in the lube groove, the bullet will thus not allow gases to escape forward from around the base of the bullets, which prevents it from shaving lead from the bullet body and forcing it into the bore grooves (otherwise known as “leading”.)

This failure to obturate (“seal the bore against onrushing gases”) causes leading which is a chore to clean and is a major obstacle to accuracy.

An optimally hard lead bullet is simply one which obturates at a given pressure sufficiently to seal the bore against the gases which would otherwise “cut through” the soft lead (called “gas-cutting”, forcing molten lead into your rifling. A bullet which is too hard won't obturate and seal the bore, because the gas pressure is insufficient to expand the base of the bullet. A bullet which is too soft at a given pressure will experience excessive base expansion and vaporization of the lead, causing leading.

There is a formula for optimal bullet hardness which is simple and it is worth knowing:

Optimum BHN = CUPS / (1422 x .90)

The CUPS of your reloads is published in the reloading manuals. Take a typical .45 ACP load, using a 200-grain LSWC bullet – 5.0 grains of Bullseye. This load develops 900 FPS and is in common use among IPSC and IDPA gunners. The reloading manual shows that the pressure generated by this load is 20,000 CUPS. So, the formula for optimal bullet hardness is

20,000 / 1279.8 = 15.62

There it is! For this application – shooting a 200-grain LSWC at 900 FPS requires that you use a bullet with a BHN of 16 to 18 (round upwards a couple of BHN points for flexibility.)

You may be asking why shooters don't know much about this whole bullet hardness optimization business. The reason is basically that the large manufacturers, for ease of production, use a standard alloy for all of their cast bullet construction, an alloy which has a Brinell Hardness Number of approximately 24. Why do they do this? It's simple – one standard alloy simplifies logistics for the big manufacturers and, equally importantly, a bullet this hard ships well by standing up to getting dinged around during transportation. The fact that their bullets are too hard and cause leading and aren't very accurate because of improper obturation is something they'd really rather you weren't aware of. This explains why neither their packaging nor product information will ever refer to the BHN of their products.

Along those lines, how many boxes of cast bullets – from any source – state the BHN on them?

At the Missouri Bullet Company, we optimize bullets for your intended application. We don't take a “one size fits all” approach to manufacturing your bullets. Every box of our bullets displays the BHN, which we constantly sample and monitor. We take the time to create lead bullet alloy that is specialized for the bullet hardness that works best for you. It is a fact that we spend significantly more time alloying our lead than we do in making the bullets that come from it and we do this to provide you the right bullet for your application.

Try the MBC Difference. You'll be glad you did.
 

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toroflow said:
I just loaded up some .30-30s over the weekend with Missouri Bullet's 165 grain lead FP (no gas-check), over 8 grains of Alliant Promo powder (same as Red Dot). Supposedly good for about 1300 fps. Will try em out this weekend. 8 grains of powder is a heckuva lot more economical to shoot that 23! ;) That and Promo powder is "only" $10 a pound!
Well, I tried them .30-30 loads over the weekend. Shot at 75 yards and they shoot great! Nothing like a $3 box of .30-30 shells!! ;)
 

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Hey toro,

Glad that is working out for you!

Did you run any through the chronograph?

and did you put any fiberfill in the case to hold the powder against the primer?

xtm
 

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xtimberman said:
Hey toro,

Glad that is working out for you!

Did you run any through the chronograph?

and did you put any fiberfill in the case to hold the powder against the primer?

xtm
No, I don't own a chrony. Load data estimated just a shade under 1300 fps though, FWIW.

And no, I did not put fiberfill in the cases. I thought about it, but the load density seemed to be about 40% so I figured I'd be alright without fiberfill.
 

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Shooting lead bullets at low target velocities in a .30-30 makes those rifles kick about like a .22WMR, doesn't it?

I could do that all day long, but with regular factory loads in a light carbine, I'd be beat and bruised by round #20!

Great fun!

xtm
 

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xtimberman said:
Shooting lead bullets at low target velocities in a .30-30 makes those rifles kick about like a .22WMR, doesn't it?

I could do that all day long, but with regular factory loads in a light carbine, I'd be beat and bruised by round #20!

Great fun!

xtm
Yep, them loads did not kick at all in my Winchester 64, just a slight push...less than my .22 Hornet!
 

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Thanks for that link, Toro!

I saved it as a reference for future study. In the rifle cartridges I'm interested in shooting with lead, the velocities using pistol powders are a bit slower than I want. Not that I am a speed demon, but I like them to be at least 1500-1600fps so my sights aren't so far off from the hunting loads. Recoil is still mild - almost negligable in most cases - at these velocities.

I know that you dearly love your Alliant Promo for the economy, but I consider powder expense to be almost a non-issue for any cartridge that I don't load in bulk. It is an expense, but the least of my component worries! :D

After many years of experimentation, my two favorite lead bullet gunpowders for low-to-midrange velocities in rifle cartridges are SR-4759 and Accurate-5744 (Sorry, no photo of XMP-5744 !). Both are very accurate through a whole range of velocities and aren't sensitive to position in the case.


For rifle loads that are on the high-end of lead bullet velocities (usually with a Gas Check design) - but below standard velocities for jacketed bullets - my preference is for either variety of 4198.


I can't seem to find it on YouTube, but I recently saw a video of a talented rifleman running through the falling plates with a '94 carbine and some really light loads. I bet he was loading a pistol powder.

xtm
 

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OK xtm, I'll quit promoting Promo! :lol: No pun intended!! ;) I should shut up about Promo anyhow, as its one of the only powders in stock at Powder Valley. They're out of Bullseye, Unique, etc. Think I'll stock up on a few more kegs before they run out of Promo too!
 

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I bought a pound of Promo to try out after one of the RedDot/Promo threads! :oops:

I doubt that it will replace my beloved Unique, but it might kick GreenDot out of the running - particularly in 12ga. target loads. There is some real savings when using Promo gunpowder in shotgun loads. We'll see ;) - GreenDot is a clean, relatively soft-shooting powder in light shotgun loads, and soft-shooting is more important to me than super clean. :)

xtm
 

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I use 165 grain RNFP cast lead without gas checks for Lever Gun Silohuette shooting. I've found that anything over about 1500 fps and I get a lot of flyers. I've tried both 3031 and 4064 but found them to be less accurate when trying to dial the muzzle velocity down to suit the unjacketed bullets. What has worked great for me is 10.4 grains of Unique with no filler material added. Great care must be taken not to double charge the cartridge though so absolutely not football while loading these babies. I've found this load gives me good definition between the settings on my rear sight and plenty of ooompf for knocking down the 55 lb. rams at 200 meters. Light recoil as well. I have not chronoed this load but a reasonable estimate is 1400 fps. Very little leading in my Marlin 336.
 
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