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Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast (Read 4210 times)
SSShooter
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Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Jul 13th, 2011 at 3:15pm
 
What is the practical difference between the two? Shooting BP loaded to ~1300fps will it make any difference? If so, what? Thanks.
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Fred Boulton
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #1 - Jul 13th, 2011 at 4:20pm
 
In my experience, it depends on the bullet and groove diameters. An under-size bullet will cause leading if cast too hard. An equivalent soft bullet will set-up on firing to fill the grooves and not cause the lead build up.
If the bullet diameter is groove diameter or very slightly above, you need to run a comparision test. You may not find any difference. Note that it is the groove diameter in the throat that counts.
Fred
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boats
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #2 - Jul 13th, 2011 at 9:05pm
 
Hard cast never made any sense to me except it sounds good when advertising store bought cast bullets.  I shoot a fair amount of revolver matches using cast bullets. Always somebody complaining about leading and with few exceptions they have bought some bullets advertised as hard cast.

Revolvers have been using cast bullets at moderate velocitys for well over 135 years with no problems using very soft bullets.  Same with our single shots under 1300 fps you don't need hard bullets. Hard can work if the size is correct but they are prone to gas cutting when they don't expand to grove size.

Boats
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40_Rod
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #3 - Jul 14th, 2011 at 8:33am
 
What the barrel wants needs testing it will depend on the barrel its self and the propellent used. Earlier this year I saw some test targets that John Lewis published shooting 22:1 against 25:1 side by side. His results were better with the 22:1. It got me to thinking I had been using 30:1 for years because it shot well in 1 rifle. Since then I had been using 30:1 in all my guns. I made up a pot of 20:1 cast some bullets and went to the range. I shot the 2 sets of bullets side by side. First 5 of one then 5 of the other. In every case the 20:1 groups were noticeably smaller some as much as half the size of the 30:1. I also tried it with my .25 and got the same results. That convinced me that in my RKS barrels to go harder rather than softer.
  I would caution against using antimony in your alloy. I believe the loss of ductility that comes with antimony is detrimental to accuracy. crush a bullet cast with lino and one cast with just tin-lead and look at the difference. The lino tends to crumble and the tin-lead to just deform.

40 Rod
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westerner
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Quilcene, Washington, USA
Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #4 - Jul 14th, 2011 at 12:14pm
 
I use 40 -1 or 30 - 1 in my RKS barrel.   Ron Smith tells me to go harder.

That tin dont grow on tree's and I'm cheap. 

At Spokane this spring I used some of Chuck Bordmans  Saeco bullets cast 22 - 1.  First shot went 25 at twelve, next five went in a dime size group lower in the 25 ring. Then it was time to go to record, then the wind picked up,  SHTF!   Didnt bother me much, it was Chucks tin.

Hard wheel weight bullets tend to lead up my barrels.

                Joe.
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feather
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #5 - Jul 17th, 2011 at 11:18am
 
SSShooter,

Bullet nose is also important when deciding between soft and hard alloys.  I had a heavy 38 caliber bullet mould made that gave me a very long, non-bore riding nose for use with black powder.  When I used my standard 20 to 1 lead/tin melt, accuracy was very poor.  When I switched to wheelweights and 2% tin, it became a tack driver.  The nose was slumping with the softer alloy.  Sometimes you have to go with what works.

feather
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feather
 
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #6 - Jul 17th, 2011 at 8:39pm
 
feather wrote on Jul 17th, 2011 at 11:18am:
SSShooter,

Bullet nose is also important when deciding between soft and hard alloys.  I had a heavy 38 caliber bullet mould made that gave me a very long, non-bore riding nose for use with black powder.  When I used my standard 20 to 1 lead/tin melt, accuracy was very poor.  When I switched to wheelweights and 2% tin, it became a tack driver.  The nose was slumping with the softer alloy.  Sometimes you have to go with what works.

feather



How did you determine the noses were slumping, changing shape?  If you recovered them, what did the slumping look like? 


                Joe.
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J Louis
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #7 - Jul 17th, 2011 at 9:57pm
 
40 Rod don't hesitate to try 16-1 my 33-47 Bresien came into its own with this harder alloy although my 32-40 doesn't quite like em quite that hard. I have found the harder bullets will tend to shoot smaller and more consistent groups up to the point of the alloy being harder than a particular rifle will digest in regards to leading.

Joe bullet slump with the softer alloy spritzer bullets is a proven fact and the noses slump from 2 thous on up and never slump in the same direction. A very close friend of mine did extensive testing with nose slump by capturing and measuring fired bullets of different alloys and nose designs. And when you find the time to come back out this way or head to Montana, Raton or else where to compete in another match it is beyond me why you would feel you would be better served to save enough money for food, gas and accommodations to drive that many miles yet still have a hard time with buying and adding enough tin to win!

J.Louis
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« Last Edit: Jul 17th, 2011 at 10:18pm by J Louis »  
 
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westerner
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Quilcene, Washington, USA
Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #8 - Jul 17th, 2011 at 11:00pm
 
John, I'm not disputing feather.  I've read about nose slump for years.  I never said or thought it doesnt exist. Just want to know what it looks like.

I've never captured bullets. Have had soft bullets not shoot accurately like Feather. Just asking what they look like. My imagination tells me they must slump down and to one side causing them to be unbalanced.

For offhand I dont need super tack driving 250 ten center hair splitting accuracy, so, I dont use much tin and dont drive the bullets very fast.

If I get interested in BR matches I'll use all the tin it takes to make a bullet shoot best in a given rifle.  But BR shooting is like watching the WSU forum, for me.  Trap shooting puts me to sleep too.   Embarrassed
The pictures in precision shooting are always excellent!


                  Joe.
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J Louis
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #9 - Jul 17th, 2011 at 11:44pm
 
You lost me Joe one minute you are talking about harder bullets with 1 shot high and 5 lower in a dime size group all in the 25 ring so one would tend to think you were talking about bench rest shooting and then you say you have no interest in bench rest just off hand shooting using soft bullets at low velocity so now you have me totally confused.
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westerner
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When in doubt, say it's
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Quilcene, Washington, USA
Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #10 - Jul 17th, 2011 at 11:50pm
 
BR is part of the aggregate John. Now do you get it? 

            Joe.  Smiley
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boats
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #11 - Jul 18th, 2011 at 7:08am
 
Seems to me if the bullet nose slumps the fit is wrong for that rifle.  Might be able to fix it with harder alloy but the real problem is, bullet does not fit.

Joe and I are in the same camp on Bench Rest shooting, Glad guys shoot bench so I can learn what the best loads are though. Keep at it tell us what works.

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40_Rod
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #12 - Jul 18th, 2011 at 7:56am
 
John
I plan to try some 18 : 1 soon. I just got my Borchardt bench rifle back from Bernie Harrell. Now that it is finished I am working with it to find the correct load. I am finding that all the gain twist barrels want slightly different speeds. I think it has to do exactly where they are trimmed. The difference of a 1/4" at the muzzle will make a difference in final twist. So far this barrel wants more powder. I am getting close I need 1 or two more sessions with it. The differences are subtle and not always as apparent as one would like. I am at the stage where I am adding 1 click on the measure Shooting 50 or so in 5 shot groups and evaluating. The differences from day to day make it a slow process.
40 Rod
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J Louis
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #13 - Jul 18th, 2011 at 11:52am
 
40 Rod tell me a little bit about your Borchardt bench rifle I always thought it would be the best choice for bench rest shooting and with Bernie doing the stock work I could only imagine how graceful it must be Bernie is a true artisan. The work he did on Dale's Frogmore Rifle is absolutely gorgeous.

By chance can you post a couple of pictures of it for us all to enjoy

J.Louis
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Re: Hard Cast vs. Soft Cast
Reply #14 - Jul 18th, 2011 at 2:12pm
 
John
I have never been able to get pictures of website I try from time to time but no luck. I'll E-mail you a few if you can figure out how to get them on be my guest.
The Action is an Argus Barker Borchardt with Schoyen pattern Doublesets. The barrel is an RKS. Glenn Fewless fit the barrel and chambered it with my reamer in 32-30 IMP.
Bernie Harrell did the stock work using a blank I bought for a bench project. The blank showed no figure what so ever but was the heaviest piece of walnut I have ever picked up. Bernie said that the figure just started to show up as he cut deeper in to it.

$0 Rod
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