Originally Posted by Kevin Thomas
When you say, "reducing" here, are we talking sizing .284" diameter bullets down to .277"? The notion scares me a bit, at least, as far as coming up with a usable bullet after the process is done. I've seen bullets turned down in lathes, and I've seen some sized down from larger calibers, but I've never seen anyone come up with anything really successful via this route.
Am I off base here, or what are we doing?
Here's the full story.
First, you Berger guys pushed me into it. Hey, any excuse will do.
I had my first custom rifle built. A 270 Allen Magnum. The cartridge design was based aroung a Wildcat 169.5 grain bullet. I suppose ya know the story behind Wildcats. Being used to factory rifles I was stuck in the thinking that one bullet would work better than another. Big mistake. This rifle shoots 'em all, w/in reason. Thus I purchased only 100 169.5s. I then got tinkeritus and shot more of them than I should have.
I then went the 195gr Wildcat route. I got some from a LRH member in Texas. They never did shoot well. Bearing surface too long. Jacket too thin.
The 169s went 3400 the 195s went 3050.
Being out of bullets I tried 150 Ballistic Tips. worked great. Settled on 140 NABs worked great. But hey, shooting 140s out of an 270 AM is a bit demeaning. Plus their little chutes open down range just a little ways.
I tried Berger 150s but these gave the same symptoms as the 195s. I think they are/were too fragle for the 3 groove 8 twist and 3300 FPS. Jammed they shot best which was around 1.5 MOA @ 100. As the bullets jump was increased the groups increased. Hmmmm......
Not to be stopped by a bit of a challenge I had a visit with Dave Corbin. He was pretty up front with me. As in if you really want to do this I'll help you with it but.......
Undaunted I sent him a box of Berger 180 Match bullets. He shortly returned the die with two sample bullets. As is typical for me, I started running bullets through the die. I know now how to change the axis of a bullet.
Ruined a box of 'em.
If you're gonna dink w/bullets get a decent press, as corbin or some other of the same class. The RCBS Rockchucker Supreme didn't cut it for several reasons.
Next step was to make straight, true on-axis bullets. Whoo Hooo. Had a local Nukalar grade machine shop (there are bunches of those in Los Alamos) turn out a 0.486" thick washer w/a 0.2845 hole for use as an alignment device.
Things improved greatly. Bullets were, well except for about 30% of em. I had to devise a uniquely simple method of determining straight and trueness.
Shot 'em. Most dusted before reaching 50 yards. Those that made it were all over the target holder with banana shaped holes. Wow, I just turned a long range extreme magnum into a 50 foot bone crusher.
Hmmmmm, undaunted I tripped on up to Los Alamos' only hardware store and purchased myself a torch. 0.007" reduction is bound to harden the jackets. Also if the jacket expanded back more than the core could be a another cause.
Next step was to stand a bullet on the bottom of an upside down coffee cup and heat 'er up. Guess what lead flows out. I violated every OSHA rule I ever knew, but hey the wife was off visiting in Idaho.
Of the 168s nothing worked. The 180 thicks showed promise.
I then got serious and made 6 of the best possible bullets ever turned out in the appartment kitchen. All were 180 grainers. All were annealed. All weighed between 175 and 176 grains. Truely works of art.........
Loaded 3 with 86 gr of US 869 velocity anticipated to be around 3000 fps.
Loaded 3 with 91 gr of US 869 which is 2 grains under the max load w/195s I figure velocity around 3250+.
Shot them round robin.
First shot w/86gr hit the target paper. First w/91 gr missed the paper.
Second shot w/86 went w/in 1/2" of first shot. Whoo Hooo I'm in the berriers!!!!
2nd w/91 nearly centered the target
3rd shot w/86 gr went about 6" low
3rd shot w/91gr went about 5" under the 2nd round.
Thus ends the era of Mr. Roy's venture into bullet customizing.
And all of this because Eric, Bryan and Kevin are behind schedule in developing a heavy 277 high BC effective, perfectly performing both accuracy wise and terminally bullet.
The sad part is that after all of that I'm no closer to a Darwin Award than I was before I started.