Modern Sporting Rifle Evolution
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Full.Lead.Taco

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Reply with quote  #51 
Yes, but the meplat would have to be a minimum of 0.200"instead of 0.180 I believe.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RenaissanceMan
I like the secant ogive version.  

Can NOE do a 208 flat point and one hollow pointed down to around 180 grain on the same mold?

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RenaissanceMan

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Reply with quote  #52 
Let's bump the meplat up if possible then?  I think a ~180 grain hollow point version would be a lot more interesting companion to the 208 grain RF than a GC/non-GC.
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Killing Time

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Reply with quote  #53 
My only concern with bumping up the meplat is a question of possible feed issues in the AR platform.  I don't currently have 357AR so I have no way of knowing how the flatter point will feed. I am just going by my experience with the 300 BO and 7.62 X 40. When we made a lead boolit big enough to be hollow pointed I had feed issues and deformation of the nose portion of that boolit. That one had a .225 meplat and a .150 hollow point opening.

I have also found that at rifle speeds 1650 -2200 fps there is no need for a hollow point in cast boolits.  The bigger issue for me has been heat treating my 50/50 lead/wheel weight + tin bullets to 18 - 22 BHN to obtain accuracy at those speeds and retain malleability.

Two of my best bullets so far have been the 30 XCB and the HTC 310-135/312-137 style bullets. Others opinions my vary but my favorite 300 BO supersonic cast boolit right now is the 312-137 from NOE. It also workes very well for my SKS.

There is already a 35 XCB that runs around 230 grains. I am waiting for Mole Man to do some more testing with this boolit.

I will let those with more experience chime in with there knowledge here.  I just don't want a bullet designed that will not meet our needs.
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #54 
Post 45 with the 0.180" meplat and the "more ogive" profile is real close to what I had in mind for the "357AR" profile.

This "special" profile is customized to have the best chance for good 357AR feeding and Pmag compatibility.  These are the "special requirements" that make the boolits under discussion entirely different than all of the "over the counter" boolit designs out there.

Some folks may want to do "what ever it takes" to get reliable feeding with bigger meplats.  This would be a challenge for others.  If you want a bigger meplat, you will need to go the "whatever it takes" approach to gun customization.  If you do this, there are ample choices for great cast bullets "off of the shelf".

And for those that would prefer "NOE quality", I understand.  However, until such a group buy effort gets enough people to agree on a final design, you are kind of stuck.  On the other hand, a "no lube groove" mold is an order of magnitude easier to make and as such is an order of magnitude easier to get "good enough" to have perfect boolits just rain out of mold cavities with no "mold beating" required.

As soon as someone will post "I will be 357AR cast boolit test club member2" in this thread, I will provide 400 test boolits for them to try out.  In return, I will get a couple of blank molds.  With blank molds in hand I should be able make a "loner test mold" that is close enough to post 45 for the group's satisfaction. This mold would become available for member3 to try out. I have a plan in mind where the "test club members" would end up with a "try before you buy" mold option.  With a "try before you buy" concept, there is no risk that you will get stuck with a boolit mold that your gun "just does not like" which is a risk even with a NOE.

Any test club member will have some up from cost, but lets get real, it will not be much.  The cost for member2 will be less than most pay for two 100 count boxes of jacketed bullets.  I expect that no one would pay more than that 2 box purchase.

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Full.Lead.Taco

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Reply with quote  #55 
I can buy you 2 blank molds or small cavity molds to start with if you can send one back to me (I can pay for shipping both ways) so that I may cast some bullets with it and do some testing. I don't, however, want anybody waiting on me as I have several projects I am working on right now and can't guarantee any specific timelines. Hopefully that will help you get started? I may even be able to grab some NOE mold blocks to use which are out of spec "throwaways" (ie blocks that have bullets with incorrect diameters) that you might be able to use which would be of higher quality than the 2 cavity lees.

Quote:
Originally Posted by P Flados
Post 45 with the 0.180" meplat and the "more ogive" profile is real close to what I had in mind for the "357AR" profile.

This "special" profile is customized to have the best chance for good 357AR feeding and Pmag compatibility.  These are the "special requirements" that make the boolits under discussion entirely different than all of the "over the counter" boolit designs out there.

Some folks may want to do "what ever it takes" to get reliable feeding with bigger meplats.  This would be a challenge for others.  If you want a bigger meplat, you will need to go the "whatever it takes" approach to gun customization.  If you do this, there are ample choices for great cast bullets "off of the shelf".

And for those that would prefer "NOE quality", I understand.  However, until such a group buy effort gets enough people to agree on a final design, you are kind of stuck.  On the other hand, a "no lube groove" mold is an order of magnitude easier to make and as such is an order of magnitude easier to get "good enough" to have perfect boolits just rain out of mold cavities with no "mold beating" required.

As soon as someone will post "I will be 357AR cast boolit test club member2" in this thread, I will provide 400 test boolits for them to try out.  In return, I will get a couple of blank molds.  With blank molds in hand I should be able make a "loner test mold" that is close enough to post 45 for the group's satisfaction. This mold would become available for member3 to try out. I have a plan in mind where the "test club members" would end up with a "try before you buy" mold option.  With a "try before you buy" concept, there is no risk that you will get stuck with a boolit mold that your gun "just does not like" which is a risk even with a NOE.

Any test club member will have some up from cost, but lets get real, it will not be much.  The cost for member2 will be less than most pay for two 100 count boxes of jacketed bullets.  I expect that no one would pay more than that 2 box purchase.


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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #56 
My real reason for asking for something up front is just to weed out folks not willing to do their fair share.  This really has no need of being "costly" for anyone.

Any result will be worth so much more if it is a true "group effort".

If we pull together and focus on meeting the "group need" we can all benefit.

Any source of suitable molds or mold blocks would work. 

Let just move past the "hey what about..." and get on with the "what can we do now" mindset.

As far as the offer from Full Lead, I am pretty open to anything reasonable.  A source of cheap "reject" blocks would be super for this kind of thing. Figure out what you feel is best & let us all know. 

I am trying to think through some things to improve my mold making abilities.  A fixture to repeated mount and spin properly centered mold blocks in my lathe would have the potential to make "fine tuning" go from "hard" to "no big deal".
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Cabob

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Reply with quote  #57 
RenaissanceMan stated that he would be tester #2 a few posts ago.
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willbird

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Reply with quote  #58 
A radius turning widget would make it much easier to generate that Ogive on the reamer...it could also be used to make a slightly smaller reamer to create a swage die. My game plan was to make a mold that could be tried as is, then a swage die to make those bullets even better :-). A near net casting sort of makes sense for that type of setup.

Bill
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #59 
Darn, my bad.  I missed the nugget that mattered in all of the discussion on "bigger meplat" and hollowpoint.

At times I can get frustrated with too much talking and not enough doing.

So I went out to the garage for some "doing".  My attitude is all better now. 

I did some grinding and hand work on the reamer to get closer to the post 45 shape.

Here is the "improved reamer".  I also reduced the "shank" down to 0.352".  This way I will cut the "profile" with the "shaping" reamer and come back with a second pass with a straight reamer to get the final diameter for the shank. 

Has anyone slugged the group buy 357AR barrels to find actual groove diameter.  My plan (subject to adjustment based on feedback) is for making a mold that will drop with the shank as close as I can to 0.001" above actual groove.  The PC will add another 0.001" to 0.0015".  This will allow an "easy" sizing pass down to 0.001" above groove. 

Adjusted reamer:

 

Boolit packaging for shipment to member2:

 
IMG_20181209_230213792.jpg 


I plan on shipping 60 of my 160s (discussed in post 1).  I have more than enough ready to load (coated, and sized/formed) 180s and 200s.  I need Renaissanceman (enough of that, it will be RM in the future) to decide if he wants any coated but not sized boolits (for comparison) and if he wants even split or not on the 180s vs. 200s.  I will PM him my address and I need a PM from him with his address.

The next item needed is to find a few "mold testers" to help pick final details for the "loner mold(s)" and to work out some other details.  I am working up a mental "want list" for some small hardware items that a member3 could "donate" to the test effort.  You know, setscrews and other such items that any blank Lee mold needs to be made in to a more of a reliable tool instead of "bottom cost consumer product".  The first test club members to get a loner mold will also need to be ready to crank out out plenty of test boolits and/or conduct some testing in a reasonable time frame.  Any time a test club member gets a loner test mold and decides he really likes it, I also want to be ready to make up a replacement to send out to the next tester in line.


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RenaissanceMan

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Reply with quote  #60 

Copy on the PM, I'll get you my address.  Even split is fine on the 180/200.  What are the sizes for as cast/coated and post sizing?  If you want to throw in a small number of unsized, I'll see if I can run them as cast -- I do this in 357 mag frequently (I have a 0.354 bore and I've shot 0.361 without issues in my Rossi).  and as long as they chamber I have no qualms shooting them a few thousandths over bore diameter.  

I'm planning on loading and running each load over the chrono for groups and stats when I am off work around Christmas.  

I have a bunch of "off the shelf" small meplat coated bullets coming from Missouri Bullets Co. as well that I will be able to test in comparison.  

Stay tuned for a report.

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willbird

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Reply with quote  #61 
Not seeing any picture of the revised profile ?? I have a 309-113 2 cavity sitting here I bought to modify.

For holding them in the lathe a 4 jaw chuck that uses bolt on top jaws would allow milling out a set of jaws to hold the mold. Not sure how good Lee centers them up in the first place tho, the reamer will just follow the existing hole unless you take a boring cut with a single point boring bar, or even just run an endmill in there :-). Doing Tool and Die work we used to "bore" a lot of holes with an endmill that had the OD relieved except for the last .03" of flutes..relieving the body stops it from walking over as it goes deeper. We would spin them down on a tool and cutter grinder, but it can be done by hand too.

Bill
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #62 
Oops.  I had one in, went to replace it with a better one and ....  

Using a dremel tool on a makeshift tool post grinder, I am "eyeballing" the shape changes. 

I tried to print a reduced version of the post 45 profile for comparison but it did not work out.  I will have to try again this weekend. 

FYI, it looks like blank molds are headed my way, and I get to make a drop off at the post office.   

IMG_20181211_225256166.jpg 

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RenaissanceMan

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Reply with quote  #63 
I got a shipment of Hi-Tek coated Missouri Bullet company bullets today:

[20181212-152514]
[20181212-152317]
[20181212-152348]
[20181212-152415]


I'm impressed so far and excited to load them up.  The 357 striker has a 0.200 meplat, and I think it will feed great based on my experience with the Hornady XTP feeding fine.  If for whatever reason I can't get them to feed, they will be loaded into 357 mags to feed the levergun.
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #64 
Well I made some progress on the tooling front.

IMG_20181213_194800578.jpg 

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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #65 
My 357MAXAR mold 2 looks like it is about ready for loaning out to test club members.

I took a previously used mold block that did not work out and re-cut it for the 200.  The previous 30 cal cavity was so deep that I ended up stopping just before removing all of the old cavity and still needing to trim the mold block to get down close to 200 gr (204.5 ish). 

I cut the 180 and then had to deepen it after the block trim. Ended up at 182.5 ish. 

They both needed lapping to get closer to what I wanted.  Now the both drop very close to 0.360".

IMG_20181214_153829130.jpg    

I am thinking that my "eyeball" reshaping of the reamer got close enough to the 357MAXAR that FLT drew up. 

The as cast 205s and some run through a 0.358" sizer look like:

IMG_20181214_131935993.jpg 

The as cast 182s and some run through a 0.358" sizer look like:

IMG_20181214_132516050.jpg 

And yes they drop out of the cavities with no tapping required.

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Full.Lead.Taco

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Reply with quote  #66 
looks good man!
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Killing Time

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Reply with quote  #67 
Those are looking good
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Hunter Big Jon

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Reply with quote  #68 
I got my new barrel about 5 months ago got to working 12-14 hr days and I have not had a chance to shoot it yet things are slowing down now hope to get back in the gun room. I'm glad to see guy are still working with the 357AR . I'm open to the new bullet design. I'll be in for a group buy or just buy one from you when you get to the point of selling/trading them. I would be willing to trade lead or blank molds. I'm going to keep an eye on your progress.
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #69 
Friday and yesterday were windy and rainy which messed with my hopes for a trip to the range. 

So instead, I spent a lot of time working on molds and stuff.

I did some "tune-up" on the latest mold and then did a test run for a decent sized batch. They are now running 182 gr and 204.5 gr.

As a warning, this is Lee mold.  It was not closing good (occasional case of alignment pins not even hitting the holes) so I made some adjustments.  It is better now, but not perfect.  When I ran the test batch over the scale, a small fraction of were a grain or more heavy indicating the heavy boolits were cast with the mold not fully closed.  This should get better with use, but be sure to lube the alignment pins more often than typical for now. 

I also made up a "base first" ram for push through sizing with a companion nose profile for the mold.  A few years ago, I was unhappy with a portion of my plain base boolits having some extrusion around the bases.  I swapped over to "base first" and the bases looked much better, but it was hard to keep the nose centered on the ram.  With my lathe, I now have "custom" rams that make base first easy, keep everything centered and smooth out the nose just a little.

So now I have a ready to loan out the mold and companion base first ram for push through sizing.

I am looking for someone to post that they are willing to be test club "member3" and request the loaner package.  There should probably be some rules on the loaner package to keep things "fair".  These are not hard & fast, PM me if you have suggestions for improvements.

  • All requests are to be made on this thread with details worked out via PM.
  • Understand that I not a professional.  The current loaner looks a little used & beat up.  However, anything I make will be well tested and should be good to go for function. 
  • The mold and sizing ram are yours to use for at least 6 weeks. 
  • After you have had them for 4 weeks, someone else can request them.  You are responsible for mailing the package to the next tester.  Try to get them in the mail within 10 days of a request.
  • The primary "payment" for using the loaner will be to use it, give the boolits an honest check out for accuracy, feeding, etc., and report the results. 
  • Take some photos of the mold when you get it and when you are ready it ship it.  Just keep them for now.  If you damage the mold, take some photos, fess up and ask what to next.  
  • When you ship, PM the next tester with shipping info and PM me with name and address so I can keep track.
  • If you want to keep the mold, you will need to contribute "something of value" to the test club similar to what member2 did. 
  • After 2 or 3 shooters are happy with the profile, I will be willing to make more.  If you want a 357AR double cavity custom mold with the standard mix, two 180s, two 200s, or even something heavier, I am pretty confident I can make more with this profile and with a shank diameter of your choosing.  The "two of one kind" will be hardest for me to get right since they need to be matched for diameter and weight.  

IMG_20181215_162654847.jpg 

IMG_20181216_154845396.jpg

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RenaissanceMan

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Reply with quote  #70 
Looking great!
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RenaissanceMan

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Reply with quote  #71 
The mailman brought a meticulously packaged box for me today:

[20181217-121557]
[20181217-121943]

I'm looking forward to trying them out.  
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #72 
Note to RM.

I did two big batches. 

Each box should be from one batch or the other. 

The forming operation adjustment may have been a little different between batches.

When loading for accuracy, using all of your batch from one box could help.
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #73 
Given the lack of any requests for use of my loner mold, I changed the "rules" to give an interested individual at least 6 weeks to play with it.
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Full.Lead.Taco

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Reply with quote  #74 
I would like to cast some bullets with the test mold if possible.  I can cast them up quickly and pass the mold to the next guy, but I am not sure on my timeline for testing them.
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P Flados

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Reply with quote  #75 
FLT,

I can send it as is, or I can swap out the handles to try to get it working smoother.  I may do the latter regardless (weather is going to be yucky here this weekend).

PM your address for the mold.
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