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  #1  
Old 11-19-2009, 07:50 PM
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Talking H110/W296 Observations

I know that H110 and W296 are the same powder. I have spoken to Hodgdon and been reassured about this by Mike in their technical support department. So, in essence I'm not questioning that at all. I am going to do some testing on my own and see what transpires.

Not a real fan of H110. I have had an aversion to the muzzle flash it produces, I think it is cool but might cause some of us to increase "flinching".

It isn't as noticeable in the carbine venue though and that is what I am trying to develop loads for.

My load is a 200gr LRNFP cast from a Lee mold that is "semi-hard". I mix some Linotype in with the wheel-weights and used a White Label lube on them.

They chamber like a dream.

My load was 26gr of H110 under this bullet with a Wolf Large Magnum pistol primer.

I got these results:
Average velocity: 1905fps ES 51 and SD 22. The temperature was 44*F with a slight rain/mist.

Accuracy was exceptional for shooting lead to these velocities. Because the bullet fit the barrel so well and the pressure/hardness relationship seemed to match, leading was not a factor. Two patches with Ed's Red and the lead that was in there came right out. No melted lead or anything.

Well, back on subject. Our local reloading supply store was out of H110 and I ran out before getting enough bullets for stock. I went to get more and had to settle with W296.

I went to load up some bullets and still had the powder measure set for the H110 load. The first thing I noticed was the difference in volume/weight ratio. The W296 was a bit less dense, it weighed much less for the same amount of volume. About .8gr! I thought that was weird since they are supposed to be exactly the same.

Well, now all I have to do is go to the range with them, probably Friday night or Saturday!

I'm wondering if anyone else has done any kind of test like this!


What say you?
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2009, 05:57 AM
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We had heard stories like this 35 years ago or so, and found that like charge settings produce approximately the same ballistics with 296 and 110. Unless something has changed in one or both of those powders, I would suspect that still holds true. Of course for safety's sake, ALWAYS back off and work back up, when any component is changed........The reason you are getting some muzzle flash is because the lighter bullet is offering less resistance to the charge....These two powders are really designed for the heavier bullets at near max charge rates. Regardless of the type of powder being used, to allow the charge to burn more completely in the bore, add resistance by increasing neck tension on the bullet, and/or applying an increased crimp on the bullet. We had found that even with mid range loads, that this improves standard of deviation, or ballistic uniformity, and of course accuracy as well. Again, when this is done, you will need to back off and work your charge back up...Safety First!........Also, over the years, we had found that for top end magnum pistol case loads (I take it that you are talking about the 44 Magnum here), that CCI 350 magnum primers have produced the best results....they brisance at a high rate and produce a cleaner burn of the powder charge...We tested these when they first came out, and their performance was a great improvement over other brands utilizing "like" powders............What kind of carbine are you speaking of here....a levergun? If so what type...and, why are you working with such a light bullet in it....CAS? Well, I am off to hunt deer...later!
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:02 AM
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Cool Duh!

OK, not the sharpest tool in this shed!

Yes, I am loading for a 44Mag, Marlin 1894 CS (Cowboy Special) with Ballard rifling.

I appreciate the caution about working back up on a load but this one is already at the bottom of any data. As you know, W296/H110 loads shouldn't be reduced much if any. But, once again, thanks for the warning.

As for primer type, the Wolf Large Magnum Pistol primers work about like the Winchester Large pistol primers when used with 2400. I have already done tests in that area. I will have to see about getting some CCI primers, but not sure if they are available in our area.

As for bullet selection, I cast my own. I have a H&G #503 mold (250gr Keith bullet) that casts a bit small for these rifles as they are known to have "generous" bore sizes. The quickest way for me to remedy that size issue was to go to our local reloading supply store and pick up a mold. I did and this is what they had. It is a Lee so relatively inexpensive, at least not cost prohibitive to my test!

Another thing about bullet selection is that I am a terrible judge of distance. I probably need a range finder and will get one before venturing into the deer woods. The flatter trajectory is appealing and could be used on smaller animals too. Nothing wrong with having several loads for different jobs.

Right now I have several jacketed loads for this rifle BUT as I am "tight as bark on a tree", I want to develop a bullet that shoots reasonably well that I make myself.

The jacketed load is a proven performer. I have several friends that have used it successfully this year and prior in the deer woods. One fellow took a buck about 15 minutes into season and a doe later that same day!

I hope that clears up some of your questions and please feel free to solicit others!

Hope you read this real late today, like after you hang, skin and butcher your reward from the field!
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2009, 11:42 AM
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I used to think they were different too, but the load data was so similar, they looked so alike and I got to checking into it and once Hogdon admitted it to me by phone, I can now see that they are EXACTLY the same.

They differ only in the container they are dumped into at the end of the production line.

Either way, I've found them to be the supreme magnum powder for my needs.

BTW, I never use a magnum primer to ignite them. As per Skeeter's advice in the mid 80's I tried WLP primers (my choice of non magnum) and found the ignition to be complete and consistent in velocity for excellent accuracy. Magnum primer use gave me poor accuracy.
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:00 PM
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Snapping Twig; Thanks for the verification on the powders...I have used both over the years and have found no difference. I heard about the non-magnum primer thing years ago, and if I remember tried it, or a buddy tried it with mixed results....I do remember though that one of the fellas at our club swore by it! I am old, just dont quite remember. Anyway I think that the difference in results that some obtain has to do a lot with the way they reload the cartridges (I turn down my expanders and put a very hefty taper crimp on the case mouth). That may have something to do with it...but, dont know. Anyway, I have always had better accuracy, SD, and a more complete burn with the magnum primers. As long as we are both hitting what we shoot at, then we are in good shape!
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Old 11-20-2009, 02:16 PM
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Thumbs up W296 results

I must say that I have not had a big enough sample yet to make definitive statements so I will speak in generalities.

The two lots of powder I am comparing are 15 years apart. My can of H110, which is no more, was purchased during one of my "hot rod" phases of loading!

I must admit that the volumetric differences makes me wonder. I will get another can of H110 when it becomes available in my area. Then I will be able to do a better comparison.

Here are the results from shooting today:
Low 1834fps, High 1862fps, Average 1850fps, ES 28 and SD 14.
Now those numbers were more consistent out of my rifle but about the same out of my handgun. My 629 Classic, 5" bbl, gave 1339fps with an ES of 70 and SD of 25. I didn't check the handgun for accuracy today, I will but it will be in the future. (They were a handful too! )

I did notice that in broad daylight there was no visible flash.

I did do a little test of accuracy in the rifle. @ 100 yards I could hit a quart sport drink bottle every time! When I put it on paper I was pleasantly surprised. Someone had left some paper targets up that had no holes in them so I took advantage of them. 2" or less group of 4 shots and that was after shooting a bunch to get velocity statistics. I thought that was pretty good! I even had two bullets that were touching of the 4.

My jacketed bullets worked that well. I am pleased at this point.

My accuracy issue seemed to come with the EK bullet. Now I am going to go back to the reloading bench and try to develop an H110/W296 load for them.

Twig, thanks for the input. In tests done by me long ago with primers, the Wolf Magnum primers give the same exact velocity and statistical information as do the Winchester that are rated both ways. Thanks for your input though!
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2009, 02:45 PM
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Tell; Have you slugged your bore? To get decent cast bullet accuracy, and obturation, a cast bullet should be sized at .002 or more (some go .003 or 4) over the bore diameter.

Talking about a terrible judge of distance.....My eyes are bad as well. I can judge the distance, but just cant see what I am shooting at!!! Old age has its pitfalls! We just need to work around those things!

I used to cast my own...still have all the stuff, and a good supply of 250 Keiths for my magnums. Now, I really dont have the time. I have found that buying the upper end cast bullets from Beartooth Bullets or Montana Bullet Works, is the best way to go for me. They make outstanding bullets, and it amazes me how the technology has changed. You can even order bullets that are specifically made for hunting, or target shooting, and they will size the bullets to your needs....and the dimensions and weights are dead on the money.

One thing about Marlins. The bores are not uniform. There are restrictions in the bores, and when you clean the barrel you can actually feel them, if you run a tight oiled patch down the bore (try it). The first restriction from the muzzle end might be where the front sight is mounted, the next restriction might be where the magazine and fore end are hung, the next at the roll mark (warning label), at the rear sight dovetail, and lastly where the barrel is threaded into the reciever. Any restriction in the bore will cause inaccuracy with cast bullets. These restrictions can be anywhere from .001 to .005,6,7!!!! Mine had restrictions as much as .005, and that was at the roll mark...at the reciever, it was about .0025. Marlins can be tack drivers! My Marlin...16 1/2" barrel, Kevlar stock, opened up the cycling spaces, and retimed the action to accept a 2.650 OAL cartridge (maximum OAL for that caliber in the Marlin is 2.580)...I also lapped the barrel to eliminate those restrictions, and remove the machine marks. What I have now at maximum loading is a levergun that with same weight bullets will mimic the 400 Nitro Express in performance, and shoot one hole groups.....and, the action cyles smooth as glass...no "hang ups", and no chunk and clunk!!! My Marlin will accept and cycle "cleanly" any shape or weight 44 bullet up to 355 grains. With a little work, that 44 mag levergun could astound the troops down at range! There are also other tricks that can be added to the above...floating the barrel, uniforming the torque of the fore end screws, etc.

I passed on a little six point buck this morning...there is a big boy in the neighborhood, and I am bound and determined to give him my all. I dont meat hunt anymore...just go for the trophy bucks, and if I land one the meat is a welcome side benefit.
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:00 PM
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I had one reloader "prove" to me tht H110 and 296 were different by showing me the different loading density.

I then took two different batches of 296 and showed him the difference was GREATER than he had found.

All this bull about the two being entirely different powders is getting boring. Anytime you change batches of the same powder, you need to check all volumetric measures against a scale to recalibrate. If you think the ball powders are bad about density differences, try precision checking the flake powders.
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
I had one reloader "prove" to me tht H110 and 296 were different by showing me the different loading density.

I then took two different batches of 296 and showed him the difference was GREATER than he had found.

All this bull about the two being entirely different powders is getting boring. Anytime you change batches of the same powder, you need to check all volumetric measures against a scale to recalibrate. If you think the ball powders are bad about density differences, try precision checking the flake powders.
Good information thanks!
Not trying to be boring. Just mentioning what I have noticed.

Since you bring it up about the volumetric thing, what about those that use dippers, no scale and load to the Lee manual? Most of those folks won't have a chronograph either.

If what you say is true, and I don't doubt it a bit, they have no real clue as to what they are getting from their loads!


Not me, give me the tools!
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:18 PM
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flat,
I sent you a pm.

My bore slugs right at .432". I cast my H&G #503 bullet today from the same alloy that I cast the 200gr with. It came out of the mold at .431" +/- .001". For my rifle at the velocity I am trying to attain, that just won't work.

What I would like to get is a good Lee mold that is up into the 240gr range that mimics the Keith style. There has been a group buy over on castboolits.com but some of those folks have had some real problems with them being out of round. They are being made right but who wants to go through that?

If I could just find a Lyman 429421 that cast as big as I need, I'd send the check out today!

Keep the help coming!
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Old 11-20-2009, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Since you bring it up about the volumetric thing, what about those that use dippers, no scale and load to the Lee manual? Most of those folks won't have a chronograph either.
The "safety valve" on the dipper loads from the Lee manual is that all the ones I have checked are quite mild. If someone becomes aware of this and tries to push it and make a max load with an uncalibrated dipper, ANYTHING could happen, including disaster.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2009, 03:57 PM
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Talking

Recieved and answered your PM.......looks like you have a hunt on your hands! If your bore slugged at .432, then you theoretically should be shooting a .434 or + diameter bullet. I always slug my bores three times to verify........My Marlin, after the lapping process slugged .430, and I have found gas checked .432's to work to expectation............By the way, OKFC05 is correct about powder density and weight differences even within the same types of powder. A fella that shot at our range years ago worked for Olin Corp, across the river, and he told us any time you change from one canister to the next, even within the same lot of powder always recalibrate, start a bit low and work back up. Thats why I try to buy the largest canisters of the powders I use....eliminates a lot of unnecessary waste. He also said to insure that powders are tightly capped, and that powders and primers are stored in a dark, cool, dry area. I have always done that (my loading/gun storage room has a de-humidifier) and I have never experienced any problems....no rust on the blued guns either!
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OKFC05 View Post
The "safety valve" on the dipper loads from the Lee manual is that all the ones I have checked are quite mild.

Ditto. The ones I have checked were "ballpark" to scale readings at best.
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Old 11-21-2009, 08:50 AM
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Well,
I will have another test today. After I gave it a little thought, and having the beautiful H&G #503 mold, I thought I would give it another try only with this powder.

I was using the "new rave" powder, Lil' Gun for my previous trials with lead bullets and just couldn't get the accuracy I knew was possible from this firearm.

I spoke with the Hodgdon tech about this too and he assured me that it would burn WAY too hot to work well on a plain based bullet. I wonder if that was the reason for my poor accuracy previously, don't know yet. If the accuracy turns out to be OK today, I am going to really play with that bullet and powder. If it doesn't I may have a mold for sale!

This mold is bringing upwards of $200 on ebay and that would get me a long way towards an NEI or other mold that would cast a tad bigger.

Wish me the best!
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:06 PM
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Just back from the range. Nope, not any better. 3" group at 50 yards, unacceptable in my book. Not when I can get 1 1/2" groups with the 200gr bullet or 1" with jacketed.

Guess I will sell this mold and get another that casts bigger bullets.

The velocity was right at 1650fps with the maximum load of W296. Consistency was there.

At any rate, these are my findings.
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Old 11-21-2009, 05:45 PM
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Tell; I always use gas checks on my bullets. I used to leave them off on low velocity rounds, and the bullets shot very well. There are differing opinions on when to use gas checks, but I have been told (and, there are many opinions on this) that anywhere from 900 to 1200 fps is the top end velocity for a plain base bullet, but I would think that a plain base could go a bit more...depending on the alloy, and of course its diameter in relation to the bore diameter (a proper fitting bullet). Anyway, when you go beyond that a gas check is suggested. It has gotten to the point that I just gas check all my bullets, or order them that way. I have not noticed any problems by using them in lighter loads. I would still think, that if your bullet diameter is correct for the bore diameter...and, you have a gas checked bullet that your groups would tighten up considerably with the proper load. Another aid to accuracy is "crimping" Over the years, I have become very fond of the Lee Factory Crimpers. I used to make my own "taper crimpers", but Lee has taken the work out of that issue. I have found that gradually increasing the crimp on a bullet with a taper crimper will result in changes in accuracy...and almost every time for the better. I dont use the roll crimper that is incorporated within the die set. I use the Lee's or my own, and making crimping a seperate step.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:11 PM
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Flat,
Thanks for all of your suggestions. One thing I do know, cast bullets are capable of much greater velocities than once imagined.

The pure lead & tin bullets are regulated by alloy to under 1300fps without a doubt but, I have personally driven wheel weight + Linotype to 1800fps and beyond without gas checks. The biggest issue to this is size. The bullet MUST fit the bore correctly, no "fudging" on that. The lube while important is of less an issue with leading but more with accuracy and I plan on switching to Lyman Orange for a test in the near future.

The bullets I shot today, while not accurate worth a hoot had only a trace of leading, I'm beginning to wonder if a faster powder wouldn't be better to raise pressure for better obturation, but that is something that will have to wait.

The crimp I have on these bullets is indeed from a Lee seating/crimping die but if that were the problem, my 200gr bullets wouldn't shoot good either as I employed the same sequence of steps to them too. 1 1/2" groups at 100 yards with one of these lever guns is pretty acceptable accuracy.

Thanks for the help though.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:43 PM
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Amusing that I have heard the question raised and discussed for more than 30 years.

As stated above, Hodgdon has stated H110 and W296 ARE the same, and they have stuck to that story for over 30 years.
I believe it.

Also as stated above, if you ever compared two Lots of H110 OR two lots of 296, you are likely to find some slight volumetric/weight differences. Everything has tolerances.

I had no trouble believing what Hodgdon said when we needed some 296 back in the early 80's, and there was NONE to be had. We called Hodgdon, and he had some H110. A 25 lb keg of H110 arrived in a couple of days from Hodgdon. It was neatly labeled with a Hodgdon H110 label from a small can (I forget what size- 1lb? 3 lb?). Underneath that label was the original W296 label for the 25 lb keg. The original shipping label from Winchester to Hodgdon was still on the keg.

110/296 DOES like firm crimps. I am many years away from reloading now, but I always liked 296. I found it to be the cleanest and most consistent powder I had ever used for Mag loads.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:26 PM
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Right on with the 296 Lee!! If a 44 mag wont shoot with 296, there is something wrong with the gun! LOL!........Tell; I drive a 325 grain cast, properly sized, Gas Check bullet out of my modified Marlin 444 (16 1/2" barrel) at 2200 fps. There is no leading, and accuracy is of benchrest quality. A levergun can be made to shoot...and, it can be made to shoot cast bullets at high velocity...but, there are many things that need to be done to achieve that end...not only on the reloading side of it, but to the gun as well. Your 1 1/2" group at 100 yards is good for an unmodified Marlin, but, that same gun with a little work, and the reloading tips I have stated so far will shoot one ragged hole...Is it necessary or practical? That is left up to the shooter.
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Old 11-21-2009, 10:51 PM
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Tell;
I live in SW Ohio. If you live at all close to me, I have some of the Group Buy MiHec H&G #503's that cast large enough for you. I wouldn't be adverse to giving you a few to try (but you MUST live close enough to pick them up).

Dale53
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Old 11-22-2009, 06:09 AM
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Dale,
That's a great offer. I'm sorry I don't live that close to Ohio, though.

Thanks for your kind offer.
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Old 11-22-2009, 07:46 AM
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GUNS magazine did an article on St. Marks Powder Co a few years back. They manufacture most of the powder sold in the US, whether it's branded Hodgdon, Winchester , Alliant , IMR , etc. Used to be owned by Winchester/Olin , now owned by ATK/Alliant. H-110/W-296 is not the only Hodgdon/Winchester powder that is the same. HP-38 really is the same as W-231 , H-414 really is W-760 and so on.

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Old 11-22-2009, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkk41 View Post
GUNS magazine did an article on St. Marks Powder Co a few years back. They manufacture most of the powder sold in the US, whether it's branded Hodgdon, Winchester , Alliant , IMR , etc. Used to be owned by Winchester/Olin , now owned by ATK/Alliant. H-110/W-296 is not the only Hodgdon/Winchester powder that is the same. HP-38 really is the same as W-231 , H-414 really is W-760 and so on.

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I believe St. Marks is owned and operated by General Dynamics. It is my understanding that Alliant production is in Radford Va. Unless this has changed which it may have IMR powders were produced in Canada.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:44 PM
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[QUOTE=flat top;1181291] I have found that buying the upper end cast bullets from Beartooth Bullets or Montana Bullet Works, is the best way to go for me. They make outstanding bullets, and it amazes me how the technology has changed. You can even order bullets that are specifically made for hunting, or target shooting, and they will size the bullets to your needs....and the dimensions and weights are dead on the money.

flat top, PM sent.

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Old 11-30-2009, 06:17 PM
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Found one on Ebay about 2 hours left current price is $52.99

Lyman #429421 4 Cavity Mould for 44 Mag. - eBay (item 280428377023 end time Nov-30-09 17:09:05 PST)

Also a single cavity on ebay with a buy it now price of. $35.00

http://cgi.ebay.com/LYMAN-IDEAL-BULL...item27ad71240c

I have no interest in the mold nor am I the one listing them. nor do I know the person that is. Just trying to help a fellow bullet caster
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:50 PM
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Cool Cool!

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Originally Posted by Beans View Post
Found one on Ebay about 2 hours left current price is $52.99

Lyman #429421 4 Cavity Mould for 44 Mag. - eBay (item 280428377023 end time Nov-30-09 17:09:05 PST)

Also a single cavity on ebay with a buy it now price of. $35.00

LYMAN IDEAL BULLET MOULD MOLD 429421 245GR W/BOX NICE - eBay (item 170413597708 end time Dec-06-09 11:09:51 PST)

I have no interest in the mold nor am I the one listing them. nor do I know the person that is. Just trying to help a fellow bullet caster
Thanks Beans! You are awesome!
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Reloading Thread, H110/W296 Observations in Ammunition-Gunsmithing; I know that H110 and W296 are the same powder. I have spoken to Hodgdon and been reassured about this ...
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