Winchester bore and cast bullets leading

Dean2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
909
Location
Alberta
I have been shooting targets at long range, short range and game with cast bullets, round balls, minnie balls and drawn lead for over 50 years. You don't want to take my word for it because it varies from what you have read. I suggested you try shooting some 18 and 25 bn at plate and stumps to see for yourself the results. Do, or do not but I am done trying to help you since you clearly think I am full of it. All the best.
 

Tac-O

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
728
Location
Utah
I have been shooting targets at long range, short range and game with cast bullets, round balls, minnie balls and drawn lead for over 50 years. You don't want to take my word for it because it varies from what you have read. I suggested you try shooting some 18 and 25 bn at plate and stumps to see for yourself the results. Do, or do not but I am done trying to help you since you clearly think I am full of it. All the best.

I don't think you're full of it, nor am I trying to prove you wrong.

I'm just trying to reconcile what I've read in my research with your experience, that is all. I aIppreciate all your advice! And I hope there's no hard feelings.

I checked my books and neither say linotype would be too brittle, but Lyman says their alloy is best for hunting, of course. Maybe higher antimony bullets would be more brittle than a Lyman 2 alloy, but I guess that doesn't mean they would fracture entering a thick skinned animal.

On the bullets you have recovered, did they expand much? Just wondering.

I'll have to try some linotype bullets sometime soon. I'll also use straight BP with my softer bullets to see what happens.
 

emp1953

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
281
It is interesting that EVERY reloading component is in short supply. I casted up a bunch of .357 SWC's over the weekend. About 1000 then went on line looking for gas checks figuring they would be easy to find. No such luck. In past shortages you could get brass, but nothing else, or primers and nothing else. This shortage encompasses EVERYTHING. Dies, Presses, bullet molds, sizer/luber dies, etc etc. Sounds like a communist plot to me.
 

emp1953

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
281
I have been shooting targets at long range, short range and game with cast bullets, round balls, minnie balls and drawn lead for over 50 years. You don't want to take my word for it because it varies from what you have read. I suggested you try shooting some 18 and 25 bn at plate and stumps to see for yourself the results. Do, or do not but I am done trying to help you since you clearly think I am full of it. All the best.
I agree with you. Regardless of what all the books say, be from Missouri and show me. At least try the harder alloy before dismissing it.
 
D

Deleted member 118572

Guest
Funny how Harry Pope and all those guys who "knew nothing" shot SOFT lead bullets at the same velocities as this 45-90 and had no leading issues.

OP, you may wish to join a cast bullet site and ask some folks who know.

castboolits.com

Not that I do, but this is 45 caliber, shots pure lead 450 gr with 2% tin lubed with SPG at 1800 fps and never leads.

"Dusted" both sides of 5x6 bull at 200 yards. He died.

From a real "expert":

"Streaks, following the rifling. If the leading is seen to "follow the rifling" (i.e. streaks that twist down the barrel in close association with the rifling grooves), then this is a tell-tale sign that the bullet is cast too hard and failing to obturate. Obturation is usually thought of as a plastic deformation that swells the bullet's diameter, but it also leads to a back-filling of engraving defects along the trailing edge of the land. If the bullet is cast too hard to obturate, these defects will not be back-filled and gas-cutting will take place through these voids, following the trailing edge of that particular land. This effect can be mitigated somewhat through judicious choice of lube, but lube by itself can only do so much. The real solution here is to go with a softer bullet and a better lube."

IMG_2051.jpeg

IMG_2044.jpeg


Gas checks exist to prevent gas cutting of the bullet to prevent leading NOT to scrape lead out of the barrel.

 

Dean2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
909
Location
Alberta
Good article on leading and casting. Explains it far better than I was able to. Hope it helps.

The Los Angeles Handgun, Rifle, Air Pistol, Hunter/Field Pistol Silhouette Club


Return to the index to LASC
A wide range of bullet casting information
Reprinted With Permission Of Jim Taylor and leverguns.com
Leading Defined
By Jim Taylor​
Leading is: Deposits of bullet alloy that have been smeared into the surface of the gun's bore. In extreme cases, it will build to the point where the rifling is completely choked with deposits and the barrel appears to be smooth-bored. Once leading begins, it will have a tendency to strip alloy from the next bullet which builds the deposit with the next shot. Each successive bullet fired will "iron" the lead into the surface of the bore and make it more difficult to remove the deposit.
Chamber and Forcing Cone Leading
This is normally caused by shooting a bullet that is too hard (BHN too high) for the velocities used. Either use a softer alloy, or increase the charge (within published loading data, of course!) to correct this problem. This can also be caused by shooting a bullet that is too small in diameter. Revolvers will lead in the chamber and forcing cone while closed breech weapons will lead in the chamber and the beginning of the rifling area. Have the cylinders measured for revolvers and size the bullets to them, not the bore (unless the bore is larger than the chambers, in which case the problem will have to be corrected by a gunsmith or the factory) and measure the bore in closed breech weapons to determine proper bullet diameter. Rule of thumb says the bullet should be .001" larger than the bore or equal to (or very slightly larger than) cylinder diameter in a revolver. If the alloy is soft enough, you can get away with a slight "push fit" in a revolver cylinder, but certainly the bullet should be large enough to not fall through the small diameter portion of the cylinder freely!
Breech Leading
This is lead fouling that begins in the rifled portion of the bore, but after the chamber or forcing cone, and extends into the bore for a distance of up to several inches. This is normally caused by shooting a bullet that has a low BHN (too soft) for the pressures or velocities used. The bullet will actually strip as it enters the rifling as it does not have the strength to properly engage and begin rotation due to the forces pushing it through the barrel. It doesn't mean it's a bad bullet alloy, it just means you are driving it too hard. If you want to go faster, you will need a stronger alloy with a higher BHN number. Alloys must be used which fit the application. There is no such thing as a "magic" alloy that works for every single application!
Bore Leading, Muzzle End
When lead fouling occurs at the muzzle end, you have run out of bullet lubricant. Either use a better lube, or more of it to correct the problem. If you can, use a bullet with more, or deeper and/or wider lube grooves. After firing a box of cast bullets, say 20 to 50 rounds, there could be a lube "star" on the muzzle. This indicates that there is simply left over lubricant and the bullet exited the muzzle with plenty of lube. If, however, you find a lead "star" instead you need to try something different as the bullet ran out of lube. You may be able to simply reduce the charge (lower velocity) and correct this. The alternatives are use a better lube or a different bullet design that can carry more lube. As an example, there are .45-70 Govt. 405 grain bullets on the market with only a single lube groove. Barrels over 16"-18" long using this single lube groove design bullet will exhibit muzzle leading after only a few shots! Frankly, the only reason this bullet exists is that it is simple to manufacture!
Bore Leading, Entire Bore
Normally, this is caused by shooting a bullet that is too small in diameter for the bore. If the bullet doesn't seal the bore, gas will be able to escape past the bullet causing a cutting action similar to the way a cutting torch cuts steel. By the way, gas cutting will only occur if gas can flow. If it flows, what you have in effect is leak. The bullet is not sealing the bore.​

The burning propellant will not melt the base of a lead bullet! There is simply too much physical mass to heat to the melting point of lead (about 600-700F) in the short time a bullet is exposed to the propellant gas to bring it to it's melting point! If you want proof, examine wads used in shotguns or black powder cartridge loads after firing. They may show slight darkening, but won't be consumed in flames either! If the burning powder won't melt the plastic or burn up the cardboard, why would it melt a bullet base? The answer is, it can't.​

Some years ago my Dad and I ran tests to see if heat could actually melt the bullet bases. We used .357 and .44 Magnums as the test vehicles. To the bullet bases we glued flash paper, the kind magicians use. No matter which powder we used, we were never able to ignite the flash paper. We also put low temperature wax on the bases of the bullets and again were unable to get any wax to melt. As was said already, if you can't melt the wax you sure won't melt lead.​

Damaged bullet bases are caused from other things, principally incorrect bullet fit to the bore or a bad bullet to begin with!​

Optimum Accuracy

Cast bullet accuracy is directly related to the pressure levels your cartridge is loaded to. If the operating pressure is too low relative to the bullet's BHN (hardness), you will not achieve obturation and the bore will not seal. This will cause gas leakage and erosion (gas cutting) that causes leading at low pressure and low velocity! Optimum accuracy occurs at a point just below the pressure levels that induce breech leading for a given bullet alloy. In other words, if you are shooting an excessively hard bullet for Cowboy Action pressure levels, you will get leading, usually in the forcing cone or chamber area.​

Optimum Bullets

Use a bullet of proper alloy for the velocity you are shooting. Many shooters today are using bullets much harder than is called for. In addition use the best lubrication you can get. These three things, proper fit to the bore, proper hardness for the velocity/pressure, and proper lube can make shooting cast bullets an enjoyable time instead of a headache.​

Webmaster's note - much of the above information was originally published on the old Mid-Kansas Cast Bullet website. Unfortunately they are no longer in business. There are a number of good cast bullet providers available if you do not cast your own. Those that I personally know are: MONTANA BULLET WORKS - CAST PERFORMANCE - BEAR TOOTH BULLETS. There are many others also, but I know these people.​


Jim Taylor
 

emp1953

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
281

Good article on leading and casting. Explains it far better than I was able to. Hope it helps.​
The Los Angeles Handgun, Rifle, Air Pistol, Hunter/Field Pistol Silhouette Club

Return to the index to LASC
A wide range of bullet casting information

Reprinted With Permission Of Jim Taylor and leverguns.com

Leading Defined
By Jim Taylor​

Leading is: Deposits of bullet alloy that have been smeared into the surface of the gun's bore. In extreme cases, it will build to the point where the rifling is completely choked with deposits and the barrel appears to be smooth-bored. Once leading begins, it will have a tendency to strip alloy from the next bullet which builds the deposit with the next shot. Each successive bullet fired will "iron" the lead into the surface of the bore and make it more difficult to remove the deposit.
Chamber and Forcing Cone Leading
This is normally caused by shooting a bullet that is too hard (BHN too high) for the velocities used. Either use a softer alloy, or increase the charge (within published loading data, of course!) to correct this problem. This can also be caused by shooting a bullet that is too small in diameter. Revolvers will lead in the chamber and forcing cone while closed breech weapons will lead in the chamber and the beginning of the rifling area. Have the cylinders measured for revolvers and size the bullets to them, not the bore (unless the bore is larger than the chambers, in which case the problem will have to be corrected by a gunsmith or the factory) and measure the bore in closed breech weapons to determine proper bullet diameter. Rule of thumb says the bullet should be .001" larger than the bore or equal to (or very slightly larger than) cylinder diameter in a revolver. If the alloy is soft enough, you can get away with a slight "push fit" in a revolver cylinder, but certainly the bullet should be large enough to not fall through the small diameter portion of the cylinder freely!
Breech Leading
This is lead fouling that begins in the rifled portion of the bore, but after the chamber or forcing cone, and extends into the bore for a distance of up to several inches. This is normally caused by shooting a bullet that has a low BHN (too soft) for the pressures or velocities used. The bullet will actually strip as it enters the rifling as it does not have the strength to properly engage and begin rotation due to the forces pushing it through the barrel. It doesn't mean it's a bad bullet alloy, it just means you are driving it too hard. If you want to go faster, you will need a stronger alloy with a higher BHN number. Alloys must be used which fit the application. There is no such thing as a "magic" alloy that works for every single application!
Bore Leading, Muzzle End
When lead fouling occurs at the muzzle end, you have run out of bullet lubricant. Either use a better lube, or more of it to correct the problem. If you can, use a bullet with more, or deeper and/or wider lube grooves. After firing a box of cast bullets, say 20 to 50 rounds, there could be a lube "star" on the muzzle. This indicates that there is simply left over lubricant and the bullet exited the muzzle with plenty of lube. If, however, you find a lead "star" instead you need to try something different as the bullet ran out of lube. You may be able to simply reduce the charge (lower velocity) and correct this. The alternatives are use a better lube or a different bullet design that can carry more lube. As an example, there are .45-70 Govt. 405 grain bullets on the market with only a single lube groove. Barrels over 16"-18" long using this single lube groove design bullet will exhibit muzzle leading after only a few shots! Frankly, the only reason this bullet exists is that it is simple to manufacture!
Bore Leading, Entire Bore
Normally, this is caused by shooting a bullet that is too small in diameter for the bore. If the bullet doesn't seal the bore, gas will be able to escape past the bullet causing a cutting action similar to the way a cutting torch cuts steel. By the way, gas cutting will only occur if gas can flow. If it flows, what you have in effect is leak. The bullet is not sealing the bore.

The burning propellant will not melt the base of a lead bullet! There is simply too much physical mass to heat to the melting point of lead (about 600-700F) in the short time a bullet is exposed to the propellant gas to bring it to it's melting point! If you want proof, examine wads used in shotguns or black powder cartridge loads after firing. They may show slight darkening, but won't be consumed in flames either! If the burning powder won't melt the plastic or burn up the cardboard, why would it melt a bullet base? The answer is, it can't.

Some years ago my Dad and I ran tests to see if heat could actually melt the bullet bases. We used .357 and .44 Magnums as the test vehicles. To the bullet bases we glued flash paper, the kind magicians use. No matter which powder we used, we were never able to ignite the flash paper. We also put low temperature wax on the bases of the bullets and again were unable to get any wax to melt. As was said already, if you can't melt the wax you sure won't melt lead.

Damaged bullet bases are caused from other things, principally incorrect bullet fit to the bore or a bad bullet to begin with!

Optimum Accuracy

Cast bullet accuracy is directly related to the pressure levels your cartridge is loaded to. If the operating pressure is too low relative to the bullet's BHN (hardness), you will not achieve obturation and the bore will not seal. This will cause gas leakage and erosion (gas cutting) that causes leading at low pressure and low velocity! Optimum accuracy occurs at a point just below the pressure levels that induce breech leading for a given bullet alloy. In other words, if you are shooting an excessively hard bullet for Cowboy Action pressure levels, you will get leading, usually in the forcing cone or chamber area.

Optimum Bullets

Use a bullet of proper alloy for the velocity you are shooting. Many shooters today are using bullets much harder than is called for. In addition use the best lubrication you can get. These three things, proper fit to the bore, proper hardness for the velocity/pressure, and proper lube can make shooting cast bullets an enjoyable time instead of a headache.

Webmaster's note - much of the above information was originally published on the old Mid-Kansas Cast Bullet website. Unfortunately they are no longer in business. There are a number of good cast bullet providers available if you do not cast your own. Those that I personally know are: MONTANA BULLET WORKS - CAST PERFORMANCE - BEAR TOOTH BULLETS. There are many others also, but I know these people.​

Jim Taylor

Excellent Info for sure
 

arch408

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2012
Messages
379
Sometimes, I wish that i have heard of a bore scope. Your bore is better than some I‘ve seen. I don’t see any deep groves. Play with different lubes, bullet diameters and stay with harder bullets. Lubes with Carnuba wax seem to help.I’ve had pretty good luck with straight wheel weights, but I‘ve been thinking about adding some reclaimed shot to increase the antimony level. Give your barrel a chance to ”break” in. Maybe shoot lower power loads to polish the barrel. Clean all the lead out as soon as you detect any. I’d stay away from fire lapping. It causes accelerated wear and works more toward the breech. I have a Pedersoli 45-70 High-Wall with more than 500 rounds shot through it and has never had a jacketed bullet shot. Be patient, you might be pleasantly surprised after several hundred rounds.
 

Tac-O

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
728
Location
Utah
Sometimes, I wish that i have heard of a bore scope. Your bore is better than some I‘ve seen. I don’t see any deep groves. Play with different lubes, bullet diameters and stay with harder bullets. Lubes with Carnuba wax seem to help.I’ve had pretty good luck with straight wheel weights, but I‘ve been thinking about adding some reclaimed shot to increase the antimony level. Give your barrel a chance to ”break” in. Maybe shoot lower power loads to polish the barrel. Clean all the lead out as soon as you detect any. I’d stay away from fire lapping. It causes accelerated wear and works more toward the breech. I have a Pedersoli 45-70 High-Wall with more than 500 rounds shot through it and has never had a jacketed bullet shot. Be patient, you might be pleasantly surprised after several hundred rounds.

Thanks! That's kinda what I was thinking about the bore. I thought it looked better than a lot of massed produced barrels I've seen pictures of.

Yes... I like the scope because I feel like I learn a fair bit from it, but honestly... Maybe the small amounts of lead I'm seeing in there don't actually matter. On one load, I had a pretty small amount and accuracy was as good as I can expect for iron sights. If accuracy is good....
 

Dean2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2010
Messages
909
Location
Alberta
If you want zero leading load your powder, add a small cotton wad, add 5 to 10 grains of Cream Of Wheat so you have enough the seated bullet will compress it slightly. You get a number of benefits, the cow works like a gas check, also helps seal the bore so you don't get gas blow by but it also cleans the bore spic and span clean. It makes the bore so clean you need to ensure you lube at the end of shooting.
 

Tac-O

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
728
Location
Utah
Funny how Harry Pope and all those guys who "knew nothing" shot SOFT lead bullets at the same velocities as this 45-90 and had no leading issues.

OP, you may wish to join a cast bullet site and ask some folks who know.

castboolits.com

Not that I do, but this is 45 caliber, shots pure lead 450 gr with 2% tin lubed with SPG at 1800 fps and never leads.

"Dusted" both sides of 5x6 bull at 200 yards. He died.

From a real "expert":

"Streaks, following the rifling. If the leading is seen to "follow the rifling" (i.e. streaks that twist down the barrel in close association with the rifling grooves), then this is a tell-tale sign that the bullet is cast too hard and failing to obturate. Obturation is usually thought of as a plastic deformation that swells the bullet's diameter, but it also leads to a back-filling of engraving defects along the trailing edge of the land. If the bullet is cast too hard to obturate, these defects will not be back-filled and gas-cutting will take place through these voids, following the trailing edge of that particular land. This effect can be mitigated somewhat through judicious choice of lube, but lube by itself can only do so much. The real solution here is to go with a softer bullet and a better lube."

View attachment 273171
View attachment 273172

Gas checks exist to prevent gas cutting of the bullet to prevent leading NOT to scrape lead out of the barrel.

That's a beauty. Does it shoot that load without a gas check?

I hope to dust an elk with mine sometime soon.
 

Tac-O

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
728
Location
Utah
If you want zero leading load your powder, add a small cotton wad, add 5 to 10 grains of Cream Of Wheat so you have enough the seated bullet will compress it slightly. You get a number of benefits, the cow works like a gas check, also helps seal the bore so you don't get gas blow by but it also cleans the bore spic and span clean. It makes the bore so clean you need to ensure you lube at the end of shooting.

I've seen that's a common filler method for smokeless. I guess that cleaning aspect is a benefit over going with that Dacron stuff?

Do you know what the lowest safe case fill is for 5744? I don't think I've seen that information anywhere.
 
Top