Brass Fireforming With Cast Bullets?

Alibiiv

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I was curious if someone had a magic elixir that would address leading. Powder coating etc. COW works but just looking for other options.Paper patching?
Back in the day when we had to fight off dinosaurs to get to the range we shot a lot of rifle cast bullets. There certainly was no shortages of either wheel weights or linotype lead around so materials were no problem. The "elixir" was that we didn't/couldn't crank the velocity of these rounds up as one would do with a jacketed bullet, or you would get a serious leading problem. Also we used a "gas-check" bullet and....the lube formula/misture could also help prevent the leading of the barrel. The biggest contributing factors were velocity and then no gas check If you belong to a club or do some checking around your area I am certain that you will find a club that does "black powder" buffalo shoots, cast bullets are all that these guys shoot out of straight walled cartridges. These guys ought to be able to help get you started if you are interested in shooting bullets. Also another good resource would be to call Rim Rock bullets, cannot remember the guy there, however he is very knowledgeable and he will give you some direction on using cast bullets. This company makes the hard cast bullets that Buffalo Bore bullets use. I have used their .357, .40 and .458 caliber bullets, followed their recommendations and have not had any problems with leading. I too use the COW method for fire forming and find that to be quite effective (.270 Ackley). I do not try to work up loads until I have brass that it "semi formed" before attempting to work loads. I really do not get good brass until I have fired a full load with the brass.
 

lotech

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I don't remember all the details, but years ago I fireformed .250 Savage brass in an Ackley Improved chamber using a 120 grain cast (RCBS design) bullet. My cast bullets were and are conventionally lubricated. I don't know anything about the powder coating process but it may work well.

As I recall, all worked fine, though getting the right powder charge to fully form the brass is a trial-and-error process. I wouldn't be concerned with leading; if it happens, it's easily removed, but I'd use a fairly hard bullet alloy if available and a stout charge. You can use a lesser charge if you prefer and get most of the case formed and then fully form it with the first regular full charge loading.
 

bengineer

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Yes. I haven't shot jacketed yet in my 35 Whelen. Pawn shop find. Formed brass from BAR-fired ‘06 cases. I have several different moulds for .358” bores, all of which cast .360” or larger. As mentioned above, size the bullet at least .001” larger than your measured bore diameter. From 230 to 310 gr, they all form Whelen brass fully with speeds from 1500 and up.
I use a max load from Paco Kelly with the 310; if that wont form a case, the case must be steel. It also feels like its gonna twist the action out of the stock and detach my retinas. And it does lead a little. But lead is soft and easy to remove. The best way (prevention) is to work up to the max speed of the bullet in that bore with the lube of choice. If I planned to shoot those a lot, I would hi tek coat them.
Some traditional cast lubes are found wanting at pressure and speed. I use my own lube (Felix) on low velocity/moderate pressure rounds and LBT soft or blue on zingers. Both have limits, but both are generally good for how I use them.
 

del2les

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I have used COW, cast bullets and jacketed, and all 3 have and do work. If using cast bullets, I tend to use the heavy for caliber bullets with varied pistol powders to get the pressures up and keep velocities on the lower end. I have a few cast bullet manuals and use old Lyman's mostly for a guide to powder charges, vels and pressure.

Properly lubed and heat treated cast bullets, especially gas checked, do not overly lead the bore, as I have used these for decades in varied rifle loads. There were even BR comps using cast bullets, and while I have not shot in these for sometime, I used 30cals with cast 190's with very good accuracy.

I believe all of my 30-30AI brass were formed with cast, same with the Herrett's, and a few others have seen there share. It does work.
 
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Tac-O

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This might be a really BAD or good idea. I've not done it myself. So in keeping safety in mind, you probably shouldn't try it. Anyway...

Ovee on the cast boolit forum there's a lot of cap and ball guys that make their own caps. I think they use the toy cap gun caps for ignition material by putting them into their used cap cup.

Since primers are the hardest to come by, it might be possible to do the same if you save your primer cups and anvils and use a powder that is easily ignitable to fireform.

Once again, it's probably a bad idea. But an interestingly bad idea haha
 

del2les

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This might be a really BAD or good idea. I've not done it myself. So in keeping safety in mind, you probably shouldn't try it. Anyway...

Ovee on the cast boolit forum there's a lot of cap and ball guys that make their own caps. I think they use the toy cap gun caps for ignition material by putting them into their used cap cup.

Since primers are the hardest to come by, it might be possible to do the same if you save your primer cups and anvils and use a powder that is easily ignitable to fireform.

Once again, it's probably a bad idea. But an interestingly bad idea haha
Huh? Cast bullet shooting has been around for a LONG time. Various cast bullet manuals are full of them, and they are just as safe, maybe safer, than jacketed loads.
 

Tac-O

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Huh? Cast bullet shooting has been around for a LONG time. Various cast bullet manuals are full of them, and they are just as safe, maybe safer, than jacketed loads.
I'm referring specifically to making one's own primers from spent cups and anvils and using toy cap gun caps for the ignition, for fireforming. Similar to what some of the cap lock guys do.

I'm not saying anything about the safety of cast shooting. I shoot cast myself. I think that'd be great for fire forming
 

wonderman4

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Oct 7, 2013
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The "secret" to cast bullet shooting at high velocities is in the lube.

A guy who calls himself mtngun over at the Cast Bullet Association tested various bullet lubes at 3000 + fps. It was amazing watching his progress as he developed his analysis.

 

ArkiePaul

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Sep 6, 2021
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Ca
Hey muddy boots, I have powder coated pistol bullets using Ford light blue from Eastwood. It coats nicely and is very good looking. Check them out. I have also used Harbor Freight red and yellow. They are ok but not as nice looking. They are half the price. An inexpensive toaster oven works fine but I went all in and bought an oven from Eastwood. Cost me a hundred bucks. Don’t use the wife’s toaster oven!
 
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