FrankenBullets

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by Hyphenated, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Okay sometimes I try stuff that is a little unconventional. But hey, if you don't think outside the box occasionally how are you going to make improvements or new discoveries?

    I bought a bunch of plated bullets for my 41mag pistol. I tried them in my Marlin 1894 with mixed results. They shot pretty well with small doses of Bullseye, but full power loads were a disappointment. Lately I have been playing with aluminum plain base gas checks from Sage Outdoors. These are a very cool item if you are a bullet caster and want to double the usefulness of your molds.

    I had been buying these gas checks for my 45cal cast bullets, but none were available in 41cal. So I contacted James Sage and he said if I sent him bullets he would get the tooling. Talk about accommodating. James had sample gas checks back to me in less than a week. This is where the mad scientist in me came alive. Why not try these on plated bullets?

    The gas checks go on slicker than snot and the bullets are a thing of beauty when completed. However, the plated bullets have their limit. I was shooting them at a chronographed 1440fps. The ES was good so that can't get the blame for the poor accuracy. I have to chalk it up to them being just too soft to go full throttle.

    I have ordered a .413 Lyman H&I sizer die and will try that next. But, for now, I'm happy to use the plain base checks on my cast bullets and will leave the plated bullets for plinking.
     

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  2. tahoe2

    tahoe2 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome

    As a 41mag fan myself, love the experimentation, I have been shooting a cast 215 bevel base (only 1050 fps) and would like to try those gas checks.
    I also use XTP's and Gold Dot's :D
     

  3. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Tahoe2.... Depending on the Brinell Hardness I have had some luck using the plain base checks on bevel base bullets. I was able to install them on home cast .375 BB bullets, but commercial .44 BB bullets were too hard.

    If you are casting a plain base bullet yourself and know the hardness you could be in luck. Wheel weights or any other mixture up to about 14 or 15BHN should work fine. It it appears the plated bullets are just to soft to benefit from a gas check. I have put some on Rainer plated .44mag bullets that I plan on trying in my .444. However, right now I have too many irons in the fire.

    I am waiting on some bullet lube to arrive and then I will be playing with a heavy bullet in my .41mag 1894 using the plain base gas checks. I am curious if the twist rate is fast enough in the Marlin to stabilize a 255gr bullet.

    Here's the Rainer .44mag HP's with a check.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    I am interested...

    I am interested in this procedure, but I have to ask...why clamp a gas check of any kind on the base of a jacketed bullet?
     
  5. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Hombre....these are not jacketed bullets. They are plated swagged bullets. Some folks refer to them as copper washed.

    They are sold in bulk for most pistol calibers. They are economical and clean to handle. I use them in my 41mag pistol. I tried them in my rifle with poor results. I thought a gas check base might help them grab the rifling better and improve accuracy.

    I was wrong...not the first time that has happened.:eek: :D Maybe if I put the checks on with a .413 sizer they would fit the bore tighter and improve.

    When I get around to trying the Rainer bullets I'm hoping they are a little harder and will work at faster speeds.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  6. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Aaaaahhhhh!

    Sound like something I might try in 45 Colt or 9mm, or...

    Where can they be purchased?

    And thanks for this info in advance.
     
  7. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Hombre....
    I got mine from this guy.
    http://www.sagesoutdoors.com/

    I may have misunderstood your question. So to cover all the bases...
    Plated bullets are sold by Berry's and Rainer. The gas checks came from Sage's Outdoors. I hope this helps you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  8. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, now I have the idea

    I just received 500 bullets from Midway USA. I decided to try something new and ordered these Rainier 250 gr bullets for my 45 Colt. I got a 25% birthday discount so I got them for $67.50+ per 500. Normal price is $89.99. I am glad I got them. I went back and read the specs better and these are exactly what you described. Now I don't have to go lookin huh? Midway USA has em...unless I got the last box.
     
  9. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Less than $14 per 100 is a bargain. Way to go.
     
  10. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Now you have me wanting to cannelure my Rainier bullets. From what I read, slippage can be a problem and by canneluring the bullet that can be eliminated. Of course a roll crimp may work better than the taper crimp, but then, some powders need a tighter crimp to help with combustion.

    http://www.corbins.com/prices.htm#cannelure

    I ordered the tool. I will let you know how it works.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  11. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Here is another question

    I looked into the Rainier bullets and I like the lead safe idea. I am not real concerned but being cautious is always a good idea. My question is about the bullet style that has no cannelure. I read that the bullet can slip in or out a little during recoil so I thought a cannelure would be a good idea. However, will a cannelure damage the copper plate enough to hurt the accuracy of the bullet? Then, after pressing the cannelure in, will the roll crimp also damage the bullet? I don't see how except that maybe the plating could open up and cause leading. My logic is that copper jacketed bullets have cannelures and tight roll crimps and the bullet flies just fine.

    I wonder if this type bullet is good for anything except low velocity loads. My mind is reeling with all the what-ifs. I bought the Rainier .452/250 gr flat nose bullets thinking they were FMJ SWC. Now I find out they are thinly plated lead. Would hard cast lead be just as good...and less of a problem? I know the Rainier bullets are a lot more expensive. I am not seeing the logic of the style.

    HELP!:eek:
     
  12. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    It took a couple weeks to hear back from Rainier but I got an email from "Shane" and he said no cannelure was needed. As was mentioned in the forum, only a light crimp is necessary and if too heavy a crimp is applied, cannelure or not the bullet may be deformed. OK, got it.

    I am still going to cannelure the 45 Colt stuff. I got the newest Lee manual today and the section on crimping gave good explanations about crimping, and even said the factory crimp rifle dies make their own cannelure. Hunting loads should be crimped, as should autoloaders and tube magazine rifles. There is more info there than I can put here but the Lee manual is available at MidwayUSA for $19.95, in case anyone feels like getting one. Thanks to all for all the help. Now I have all I need to go make bangbang.:cool:
     
  13. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    Hey Hombre...glad to hear you got your components and info from Ranier. I don't like a heavy crimp on cast or plated bullets. I will put a modest roll crimp on cast bullets if there is a crimp groove provided. Here is what I do with soft plated bullets with or without cannelures. I'm not saying this is any better than anyone else's procedures, but it works for me.

    For example when loading the Ranier plated bullets. I set my dies to seat the bullet and not apply any crimp. Then when I have my batch loaded I put my sizing die back into the press. I will bump the loaded rounds back into the sizer about .25". This puts a concentric squeeze on the bullet. I prefer this to rolling the brass into the bullet and risk deformation.

    I hear lots of guys talk about how they have slugged their barrel. Picked out the perfect bullet and sized it to exact bore filling dimensions. Then after all that, they put a big 'ol honking roll crimp on and deform it during loading. Seems counter productive, but hey it's a free country.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
  14. R.Ph. 380

    R.Ph. 380 Well-Known Member

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    The cannelure tool is nice, but using it on the plated bullets, you can break through the plating and can cause separation of the plating . Not a big problem, but may leave more copper in your barrel. Bugger to get rid of.

    Bill
     
  15. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Cannelure/plated bullets

    Thanks, I thought of that. I will just have to make sure the cannelure is light. I thought about dabbing them with some lube. It is going to add an extra step but may help solve the problem of copper fouling.

    I will use it mostly for 45 ACP, as that round uses a taper crimp and a little roughness at the crimp may help hold the bullet better. I use 45 ACP in my Blackhawk. I like heavier loads and I don't want any slippage. Time will tell if it is worth the trouble.

    I found 2 different cannelure tools. I am glad I bought the cheaper one.

    I know I will use it on the 3030 loads when I use the blems. I use 1 load per bullet weight after I find one that shoots well. The cannelure will help me eyeball that the bullet is seated to the correct depth and will indicate proper COL.
     
  16. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    I did some measurements with a ruler and it looks like my plated 45 LC bullets won't need a cannelure. I haven't loaded any yet but I am almost certain, if my eyeballs are still eyeballin accurately, the crimp will be lightly over the shoulder of the bullet so, no cannelure should be needed. I may need to cannelure for a 45 acp but I don't know yet. I will probably use the tool on the .308's I got from Spoon but as I am now informed, the crimp tool on the Lee die will automatically cannelure the bullet. Not worried, I can always return or sell the too if it becomes an unnecessary item. I do believe though that a cannelure will allow a lighter crimp, so less case mouth deterioration and reassurance the bullet won't slip in the cylinder of a revolver.
     
  17. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    It's like shoving a wall

    Hahaha on me. I thought it would be easy. This little unit I got uses man-steam to determine depth of the cannelure. My lightweight table just isn't strong enough to exert a lot of pressure on the lever that holds the cannelure knurling wheel. I can get a rough cannelure looking pattern on the copper of the Sierra blems but not near as deep as factory. This may be a good thing for the plated Rainier bullets. I can adjust a stop screw to limit depth of the cut and it is all done with grip pressure, the way I have this set up which is good also because I don't usually have a good grip ...wait...that doesn't sound right...because I have a WEAK grip and that will help me not gouge the plate. You get my drift.

    I think it will work just like I need. Light cannelure just to add a little roughness for the brass to grip. Works for me.

    I loaded 30 3030 150's this am and now when the weekend comes around I will shoot for score and compare with the store-boughts.

    I loaded a few 45LC rounds yesterday. No cannelure. Today I want to run a dozen .452 bullets through the tool and just see how that works. I can see now that having Lee Factory crimp dies has made the cannelure tool another of my impulse purchased specialty tool. (I believe when the storage area gets too full of all my specialty tools I will have a yard sale and make myself rich enough to buy a whole box of factory fodder.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  18. Hyphenated

    Hyphenated Well-Known Member

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    I am surprised it takes so much horse power to put a cannelure on a bullet. Some how I was thinking a press with mechanical advantage would do the job with only modest pressure. You learn something new every day.
     
  19. hombre243

    hombre243 Well-Known Member

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    Horse power

    This tool is a "simple" tool. I push...it cuts the groove. If it is mounted on a solid table against a wall it would be easy to push a bit harder. I saw a Corbin unit (May have been a Dillon???...I posted the link earlier on) that was twice the cost but appeared to offer a bit more oomph for the buckaroo. But I got the cheap one, not knowing just how helpful it would be. Now as it turns out, I saved over $75. Not a bad days pay for doin nuttin.:D

    It does what I want...offers some necessary roughness on jacketed bullets and a deeper grove on plated and lead. And with my weak grip, I doubt I can cut too deep. I think I will keep it.
     
  20. Spoon

    Spoon Well-Known Member

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    Let us (me at least) know how the newly can'd Sierra's perform after you get done Saturday. Thanks!