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Thread: This must be why my 45's don't lead...

  1. #1
    The Prophet... BBerguson's Avatar
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    Default This must be why my 45's don't lead...

    Because my sizing die is .452. I've always had trouble with my 38's and 44's and my sizes are .358 and .429... I think it's time for some new, larger sizers. I know Versi has always said to go a little over to reduce leading but I didn't know this 27 years ago when I was getting all my casting equipment. I must have gotten lucky the 452 die because I didn't fit it that size on purpose. No idea why that happened... Anyways, I think I'll get a 359 and 431 if I can (Lee sizers, I like them better) and see what happens.

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  2. #2
    The Prophet... BBerguson's Avatar
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    Shoot... Lee doesn't make them in 359 or 431... But Lyman does and I have a Lyman Lubrisizer so that may have to do...

  3. #3
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    You can open a Lee sizer up several thou if you need to. Slot a dowel, make a tight fit with 0000 steel wool, and chuck it in a hand drill so the hole stays round and not oval. If you have clover or other carbide grits then you can use a very tight cloth patch with 200 or 300 grit in light oil instead of the wool.

    I use a .360 that I made on the lathe and love it in .38, .357, and .35rem. I use my Lee .358 for 9mm's, that's why I made the custom one instead of just opening it up. But I have opened them up successfully as much as .004, one for a friend was .308 up to .312 for his Moisin, bringing the groups from 12" to 2". I didn't want to risk catching a drill bit in it and forming a burr so I did that one with 150grit in light oil on a tight patch then 300 to finish it. It took an hour or so. You could go .002 in a half hour easy, even with just the steel wool. Mine are softer so I am not worried, I can drill them close then once I get them to size I harden them if needed. I no longer bother hardening the push-through sizers I make, the lead alloys don't wear the tool steel, and with cast, problems come with undersized bullets. If it opens up another thou in thirty years of use it won't be a big deal.

    Nothing wrong with conventional lube/sizers if the sizer is set to fill the correct grooves of the bullet. They can become frustrating if you want to lube several very different bullets of the same needed diameter, and without the correct nose punch they can damage the bullet's nose as they are pushed through the sizer base first. When set up correctly they can be a lot faster and neater than tumble lubing. I had a bad time with one when I first started casting and went right to tumble lubing and have never had a problem since. If I owned today one each bullet would get its own personal sizer die with the lube holes custom drilled for its grooves. And the %$#&ing heater under it would have a timer with an automatic shutoff. I have toyed with the idea of getting a Star more than once because it goes nose first and uses conventional stick lubes. I could make custom sizers for it, too, with a lot less work than threading the press mounted push-throughs.
    Last edited by versifier; 11-03-2014 at 02:41 AM.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  4. #4
    Grunt
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    Did you slug your barrels or just go with popular opinion on proper size?
    You could do what I have done for about 40 years--don't size the bullets at all. I found that as-cast bullets were as accurate and, almost always, more accurate than sized bullets. I actually got over-sized bullet sizing dies so my bullet would NOT be sized during lube. Then went to pan lube and now to tumble lube. Back then, there were several articles about sizing damaging accuracy, making me check out shooting as-cast, and that sizing water-quenched bullets would return the driving bands back to the air-cooled soft state (meaning you have a harder bullet where you don't need it and a soft bullet where you think you have a harder bullet).
    Right now, since I can hand tumble lube 500 bullets in a couple of minutes and always hated the Lubri-sizer (how long does it take you to size/lube 500 bullets?), I wonder if I would ever go back to sizing bullets, even if I ran all the tests again and found that the new sizing was giving my more accurate loads (which I don't think is going to happen).
    If I did go back to sizing, it would be via Star or Lee's push-through method, though.
    If you shoot hard bullets (10-13 BHN), they can still expand to fill the bore. If you shoot modern HARD bullets (18-22 BHN), there is no hope for them to expand and fill the bore, so being sufficiently over-size is critical. Next, I can tell you that some guns like over-sized bullets and you won't know unless you try some.

  5. #5
    Dogs Like Him versifier's Avatar
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    It depends. If it is an older rifle I will generally slug it, especially if it's a milsurp. In a modern one, if the barrel is made here in the US I generally will just try a few rounds with the same bullet of different sizes, starting with the one I use most, i.e.: .310 for the .30's, .360 for the .35's, .266 for the 6.5's, etc. The only handguns I slug are revolvers to get all the throats, barrel, and forcing cone numbers to see if it needs some smithing before using cast. With a semiauto pistol I will use the largest diameter it will feed cleanly.

    I used a .451 for the .45's until I got a 6cav .230TL mould last year to replace my old 6cav 2302R (it was pretty beat after well over 10,000 bullets cast in it), but as I use a very soft alloy for all my handgun bullets (WW/pure 1/4) I never had issues. My bro had a Sigg .45 with a really tight chamber that wouldn't feed anything bigger than .451, so I could use the Lee factory crimp with the carbide ring (I removed the sizer ring from it when he sold the pistol). I don't bother sizing TL style handgun bullets, 9mm, .38/.357, or .45's. My moulds drop them .358-359, .360-361, and .452-453.
    "Stand your ground.
    Do not fire unless fired upon.
    But if they mean to have a war let it begin here."
    - Capt. Parker, Lexington Militia, April 19, 1775

  6. #6
    Grunt
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    Try NOT sizing them at all. It's worked for me for over 35 years.

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