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Well-Known Mumbler
Aromatherapy 😍
4,286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It was a great morning to do a rough ladder test on my Wolf with a new conical.

A little back story first.

I had some problems getting lighter conicals to shoot consistently in the fast 1:28 barrel, so, on a whim, I got a 440gr Lee .500 S&W mold from Midway for about $17. Couldn't beat that price.

As I suspected, the bullet cast slightly smaller than needed. So I opened it up a bit by spinning a bullet lightly coated with aluminum polish. That killed two birds at once, also allowing bullets to drop out of the cavity with ease.

In preliminary testing, the bullet shot well (with a felt wad since the bullet is a gas check design). A 1" three shot group at 50 yds is definitely promising...

Although it shot well, the bullet still seemed loose in the bore. Fine for range work, but I just didn't feel comfortable trekking deer season with a loose bullet. If the bullet came unseated, I could have a problem. Grizzley1 suggested I perform a series of tests, whacking the butt pad then check if the bullet stayed seated. It did.

Even so, I was still a bit nervous. Additionally, I'd rather see a bit more lube volume in the grooves. So the search continued.

Grizz had also pointed me to a site with a rifling twist calculator. With that, I knew the potential for an even heavier bullet was promising. After slugging the bore, I bit the bullet and ordered a custom .503, 465 gr mold.
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Actual bullet weight with 99% lead, 1% tin is 473 gr
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I set out this morning with 40 conicals, all cast at the same sitting. They are pan lubed with a (by weight) mix of 6 parts Beeswax, 2 parts Vegetable oil, 1 part anhydrous Lanolin.

The target was set up at 200 yds from my pickup. Two sand bags on the tailgate, shooting prone.

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I tested with 80, 90, 100, 110 grains of 777 FFg, swabbing between shots. A good cleaning, then the same again.

Second string I used a blue marker on the end of the bullet, so I could tell the hits apart.

My overly expensive spotting scope :rolleyes:
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The results.
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I actually had to take two shots for the second 110 gr, as the first landed off target.

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Looks like more testing right around 90 grains is in order. :)

The wind was picking up and I had to run, so I wrapped up.

Until another day.....

Then I'll be ready for Early Muzzleloader deer season :D

Well-Known Mumbler
Aromatherapy 😍
4,286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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