The Firearms Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Winchester 1885 highwall/hunter model will group 6 rounds at 1.5" at 100 yds w/325g FTX, w/43.0g IMR 3031, crimped.
I want to get it to shoot a 405g cast bullet. I have a bunch of 405g Missouri Buffalo#1 cast bullets, which I would like to use up. To date, best groups are 5-6" at 100yds. Right now my MV = 1300 to 1400fps.

Some say I must "slug" the barrel to find out what cast bullet this rifle will like.
If I push MV to 1600-1700fps, will the cast bullets fly better? Are gas checks necessary now or at higher MV?
How do you slug a barrel? Can I just drive a bullet down the barrel w/a brass jag on a 1/4" stainless steel cleaning rod? I can probably start the bullet with my muzzle loader bullet starter. Or do I need soft lead? Where do I find soft lead(no antimony?)? Once I produce a slug and measure across the high points, how many thousandths greater does the bullet have to be? Anybody do this before?
My C5-C6 disc says stay away from pushing this bullet faster than what you're doing now, so if slugging and buying a cast bullet to the right diameter work I'll go in that direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,770 Posts
The best and easiest source is to have a friend that shoots a 50 caliber muzzleloader. You get him to give you a .490 round ball. You could buy a box, but you don't need a hundred you only need one.

Lacking a muzzleloader friend, you can take your calipers down to the tackle shop and measure some egg-shaped fishing weights. You would want something about .475" in diameter.

I use steel rod from the hardware store. I have two sizes. I get a piece of 3/8 rod and stick a piece of 40 Smith & Wesson brass on the end of it. That's the end that goes down the barrel. The brass cartridge case is what might be hitting against the rifling. And if I'm doing something that is smaller than 40 caliber, I have a piece of quarter inch rod with a 25 ACP case on the end of it.

I'm sure that many people would be shocked and appalled at the idea of using a steel rod, but a steel rod neither bends nor breaks. I've seen many people recommend using wood dowel, but dowel breaks. I've seen brass rod recommended, but brass can bend.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,985 Posts
That will do it!

If your groups are that big at 100 there's something amiss in the bullet fit. 1300-1400 fps is plenty until you get to a lot longer bullet. Driving it faster, if the bullet fits the bore like a pinball bouncing around, all you're going to do is lead the bore at a higher velocity. You want the bullet .001 to .002 over groove diameter. If your bullet fits and the bore is good you shouldn't need gas checks up to about 1600 fps.

Bear in mind the original, black powder velocity for that bullet in a 45-70 was about where you are now and it shoots great, if everything is right. Sloppy bullet fit, sloppy groups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
Fishing sinkers are a good idea ... I used bell sinkers to do a few ... they are small on one end and large on the other , lube bore and sinker and start small end into barrel muzzel ... after that , tap it into barrel and on through with a metal stiff rod . I hope your state still allows lead fishing sinkers , Louisiana does and tackle shop had a wide range of sizes... big ones for salt-water fishing !
Gary
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
Alpo and Sharps have pretty well nailed it. Fishing sinkers and a steel rod is the way to go. One broken wooden dowel in a lifetime is plenty! Too small, too hard and too fast have caused almost all of my problems (both accuracy and leading) with cast bullets.

Maybe worth mentioning; my rifles don't do well with cast bullets if there is even a trace of copper fouling in the bore. JB bore paste has always worked for me. My two cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The best and easiest source is to have a friend that shoots a 50 caliber muzzleloader. You get him to give you a .490 round ball. You could buy a box, but you don't need a hundred you only need one.

Lacking a muzzleloader friend, you can take your calipers down to the tackle shop and measure some egg-shaped fishing weights. You would want something about .475" in diameter.

I use steel rod from the hardware store. I have two sizes. I get a piece of 3/8 rod and stick a piece of 40 Smith & Wesson brass on the end of it. That's the end that goes down the barrel. The brass cartridge case is what might be hitting against the rifling. And if I'm doing something that is smaller than 40 caliber, I have a piece of quarter inch rod with a 25 ACP case on the end of it.

I'm sure that many people would be shocked and appalled at the idea of using a steel rod, but a steel rod neither bends nor breaks. I've seen many people recommend using wood dowel, but dowel breaks. I've seen brass rod recommended, but brass can bend.
Excellent: I have a .50 cal ML and use .490" round ball. For muzzle loader competitions, I have a SS 3/8" dia ram rod(aka range rod). Brass casing is great idea.

From my coveted BTB technical guide by Marshall Stanton. Hope this helps...
I also have a tackle box with all kinds of sinkers. I will try a round ball and compare against the egg shaped sinker.
Thanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
15,985 Posts
I also have a tackle box with all kinds of sinkers. I will try a round ball and compare against the egg shaped sinker.
Thanks.
Yeah, I'd like to see that. 40 years of slugging barrels and I never knew lead to spring back making a barrel slug. Once you drive a slug about 6 inches down a barrel you can usually just push it through by hand with little resistance. If it sprang back, on a bore that had tight and loose spots you would feel it get tighter and/or looser but, it doesn't. If you hit a loose spot the darn slug flies through it, it doesn't spring back. Betcha can't make it do it.

Now, if you're compressing lead slugs to make cores for swaging jacketed bullets, yes, it will spring back a couple thousandths, maybe. MOSTLY it's the copper jacket that springs back unless you hold the 20,000+ PSI on the slug for a few seconds. Slugging a bore you are NOT applying 20K PSI. If anything, you're cutting a slug of lead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,770 Posts
I also have a tackle box with all kinds of sinkers. I will try a round ball and compare against the egg shaped sinker.
Thanks.
Let us know the results. I, also, have never heard of lead springing back, and am quite interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Excellent: I have a .50 cal ML and use .490" round ball. For muzzle loader competitions, I have a SS 3/8" dia ram rod(aka range rod). Brass casing is great idea.


I also have a tackle box with all kinds of sinkers. I will try a round ball and compare against the egg shaped sinker.
Thanks.
I have used the egg shaped sinkers before and short wooden dowels worked out well for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok. We're going to test .490" dia round ball, .490" dia round ball with 5/64" hole drilled thru the middle, and egg shaped sinker w/ hole about 1/16"(will take more exact measurement prior to slugging).

Once I get slug measurement, what is ideal cast bullet diameter?

Does anyone remember "Nancy and Slugo" in the comic strips?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Ok. We're going to test .490" dia round ball, .490" dia round ball with 5/64" hole drilled thru the middle, and egg shaped sinker w/ hole about 1/16"(will take more exact measurement prior to slugging).

Once I get slug measurement, what is ideal cast bullet diameter?

Does anyone remember "Nancy and Slugo" in the comic strips?
1-4 thousandths over the measurement I'd probably start at 2 example my mosin slugs at 0.308 it shoots .311 the best
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,049 Posts
Just out of curiosity, why drill a hole in the round ball? I usually just place one over the muzzle and tap it into the bore with a rubber faced mallet. It shaves it off to fit the bore, and then push it down bore with a cleaning rod.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
I usually use a cleaning rod with a loop type patch end on it, put it in the barrel about 1" from thr muzzle, pack some paper towel around it, and the pour some melted stick on wheel weight lead in the hole. This will let you polish the bore also but you want to measure it with a micrometer before you work in up and down the bore very much as the lead slug will size down pretty easy.

You can do muzzle loaders this way also but it is a little tricky.

Running a dry slug up and down the bore is one of the best ways I've found to remove lead build up also. The lead in the bore will embed in the slug and come out with the slug.

If your doing this to polish up a muzzle loader bore dont run it down past the rifling as it will stick behind the lands down near the breach plug and is hard to get out edit (on some mdls anyway).

I also use this method to take the tight spots out of revolver barrels down at the threads and near the muzzel.

6000 grit polishes and will also remove the tight spots. Only needs to be done once and dont over do it. Rise any lapping compound out as you dont want to shoot it with it in the bore. 1000 grit on rough bores but I never go larger than that in grit size and always polish out with 6000 after the restrictions are out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,049 Posts
If your doing this to polish up a muzzle loader bore dont run it down past the rifling as it will stick behind the lands down near the breach plug and is hard to get out.
If your muzzle loader has that problem then the breech plug was not installed correctly, the face of the breech plug should be in direct contact with the bore of the rifle, there should be no space at all between the lands and the face of the breech plug. I know because I make rifle barrels for a living and I've installed hundreds of breech plugs and slugged many a rifle bore. BTW if you pour the slug out of molten lead it will shrink as it cools giving you a false measurement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,193 Posts
If your muzzle loader has that problem then the breech plug was not installed correctly, the face of the breech plug should be in direct contact with the bore of the rifle, there should be no space at all between the lands and the face of the breech plug. I know because I make rifle barrels for a living and I've installed hundreds of breech plugs and slugged many a rifle bore. BTW if you pour the slug out of molten lead it will shrink as it cools giving you a false measurement.
I've done it both ways and never really noticed a difference but I suppose there could be. Also, until its lapped in properly the bore is not going to be the same size end to end.

The ends of revolver barrels are probably smaller because of the clamping pressure used to screw them in with. For some reason I forgot about that. Getting old I guess.

I was going by an old spanish cva I have - its junk and not made right any way. They probably over bored the breech plug hole when it was made.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,049 Posts
I've done it both ways and never really noticed a difference but I suppose there could be. Also, until its lapped in properly the bore is not going to be the same size end to end.

The ends of revolver barrels are probably smaller because of the clamping pressure used to screw them in with. For some reason I forgot about that. Getting old I guess.

I was going by an old spanish cva I have - its junk and not made right any way. They probably over bored the breech plug hole when it was made.
I could address all of those issues but that would be straying way off topic of this thread. agreed about CVA's methods on breech plugs though, they way they did them leaves a lot to be desired.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top