Wednesday, May 24, 2006

At the Loading Bench

Tired of politics, looking for something I could control, I wandered out to my loading bench today. Junior had sent me a handful of the .312 Meister 117 grain bullets. Junior sized them to .309 and gave them a coating of Lee Liquid Alox (aka LLA, aka Frog Snot). It seems they are giving him fits, trying to get them to shoot. I had loaded a few in .30-30 cases over 4 grains of Bullseye. Paco Kelly suggested that load in this article. I'm hoping they shoot without leading. If so, I'm going to increase the charge a bit, to 4.7 grains. 4.7 grains of Bullseye is the load I use for .45 ACP with 230 grain cast bullets. Coincidentally, that load can be thrown by using a 1/2 cc measure. If I could find a cast rifle load that shot reasonably well, then I could use that load also for plinking, for letting the kids shoot, and for general fun and practice.

If you've never read Paco, he is one of the unheralded gurus of the lever action world. What that man has forgotten about cast bullets and lever guns is enough to fill volumes. His writing style is like sitting down and talking. Good stuff. I hope I get to meet him one day.

While I was at the bench, I started seating gas checks on a batch of 311041 bullets I had cast for the .30-30. I've only got a few of the .312 Meister bullets loaded because Junior said they leaded badly. But, they come in the door at about 4 cents apiece, already lubed. I have trouble making bullets that cheaply. If I can get them to shoot with a small charge of fast powder, we'll have learned something. And Junior will have to go buy some Bullseye.

When I go to the range on Saturday morning, I'll need something else to shoot, so I'm thinking about Paco's advice with that 311041 and the advise in the Lyman Cast Bullet handbook. I think I'll load some of those with Unique and see what happens. I'm thinking 10 or 11 grains of Unique ought to be fun. They don't lead at all with my load of 27 grains of S4895, so a moderate load of Unique ought to give me a plinking load.

I guess I should load a few of those while I'm at it, with my load of 27.0/4895 and run them over the chronograph. I still don't know what velocity that load produces, and as it is accurate, I should really know the speed of the bullet.

The thing about cast bullets is you never really learn it all. We're getting better at shooting them and the guys in the Cast Bullet Association are pushing the limit of speed and accuracy. Still, there is a lot of experimentation to do and it is a heck of a lot of fun.

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