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Old 08-16-2011, 11:02 AM
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Default brinell hardness of 15; how fast can it go?

I just got a model 29 4" and picked up a box of 240 grain lswc hard cast, and I found out through the company that they have a hardness of 15. I was wondering how fast I can push these with 2400 without excessive leading. Any thoughts?

I have lots of loading manuals but none refer to the brinell hardness of the bullet.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:42 AM
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Two things that will determine the performance will be the fit & lube used with the bullet.

Bullet fit in the bore to seal itself needs to be 0.002" over bore size but cylinder forcing cones can also play into this if too tight they will reshape the bullt too small to seal the bore! The bullet needs to obdurate (pressure from the powder gases to bump the base of the bullet making it fit better)

Lube which will not hold up to the heat, friction and pressure can lessen potential performance.

I shoot my cast bullets between 1000 fps and 1400 fps using Rooster Labs Red Zambini lube or RCBS rifle lube. Gas Checked bullets almost as fast as jacket bullets.

I cast 0.309", 0.356", 0.358", 0.401", 0.430" and a few various other MZ types.
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:13 PM
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Use the MBC "formula" 15 is a bit soft for a full house 44 Mag without a gas check. I would try some midrange Unique type loads. But as mentioned if it fits well you should not have a lead problem.

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Old 08-16-2011, 12:58 PM
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Working the MBC formula backwards gives me a CUP max of about 19,200. I would consider this low to possibly mid-range 44 mag.

I have tried 8 grains of power pistol to good effect, but was looking for the equivalent in 2400. Alliant lists a 250 grain lswc keith style at 13 grains 2400 as their max for a 44 special. This load is my next trial, but was wondering if I could bump this bullet a bit with the 2400 to get more into the mag range. They list that same bullet (keith 250) at 20 grains of 2400 with their 44 mag load max. With a brinell hardness of 15 it seems to fall right in the middle of soft and hard cast.

As to lube, it's what comes on HSM bullets. Sorry that I cannot be more specific than that. It is sized at .429.

Any thoughts on bumping it to 14 and 15 grains 2400?
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:06 PM
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It's not going to hurt anything, just might get leading to have to clean out.If they fit your bore well then no problems. 2400 may not throw as much flames as say H110.

The MBC formula is really just an estimate. I have asked Brad(owner) about it

Why would 230 gr 45 ACP bullets be the same 18 BHN as the 240 gr 44 Mag bullets???

If yours are 15 then that is in the middle of the MBC 12 to 18.

I would shoot them, I clean my guns after 5 or 500 rounds.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:15 PM
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I just went and grabbed Lyman #4 Cast Bullet Manual.

They list a 250 gr bullet with their alloy #2 (15BHN) with 2400 a min of 17.4 to Max 19.2 in the 44 Mag

The 240 grain bullet of linotype (harder 22 BHN) list even higher loads.

You can use the next higher bullet weight and just get higher velocity.

I would use the lower of the 250 gr bullet 17.4 grs. But that's me.

You load what you think is best, I am not responsible, just ask my wife
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rule3 View Post
I would shoot them
That's the plan, just wanted to make sure that I hadn't started thinking on a tangent. Thank you for your assurance. I have ordered the Lewis lead remover to clean up the mess after I finish tomorrow's practice session.

Woo Hoo, can't wait to try it out again
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedaddy View Post
That's the plan, just wanted to make sure that I hadn't started thinking on a tangent. Thank you for your assurance. I have ordered the Lewis lead remover to clean up the mess after I finish tomorrow's practice session.

Woo Hoo, can't wait to try it out again
You do not need that expensive tool (nothing against it, it's a fine product)

Just go to the grocery store in the dish cleaning section and find a copper Chore Boy scrubber(like heavy steel wool) Wrap a few strands of it around a old 45 cal brush and it cleans out the lead. It needs to be fat and have a real snug fit put some oil on it to help.

Chore Boy - Products

EDIT:

I would not reduce the 2400 powder charge very much. You can get in as much trouble under charging as over charging. As you mentioned the Alliant lists a MAX load of 20 grs for the 250 gr bullet. 90% (10% less)of that is 18 grs. Which is what the Lyman example also shows
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Last edited by Rule3; 08-16-2011 at 01:31 PM. Reason: Add more info
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:31 PM
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Thanks Rule 3, but too late for me. I ordered it yesterday and it's really just the conversion kit part. I have one that I bought 20 years ago for my 357 and thought it would work well for the 44.

I really appreciate your help. You are a great asset to this forum.
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Old 08-16-2011, 01:57 PM
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Rule 3,

I noted your edit, and I guess I need some more advice. The 13 grain 2400 load is a published load for the 44 special. Frankly I had originally intended on going next to 17 grains for a respectable 44 mag load with the same bullet, again using alliant's load data for the 250 grain bullet, but thought that 14 and 15 might be a good idea because of the leading concern. I know you can get into trouble with H110 with reduced loads, but I haven't heard that with 2400. It would seem to me that the entire spectrum from 13-20 would be fair game, of course looking for pressure signs on the way up. That said, I really enjoy loading using published loads.

Have you heard of reduced load problems with 2400?
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:41 PM
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I have driven 12BHN to 1800fps in a 44Mag Marlin 1894 Cowboy Special rifle with no leading, not much accuracy either but not because of leading.

The absolute most important thing about shooting lead bullets, soft or hard, fast or slow is FIT, um, period. After that, lube, then hardness.

If you have a hard bullet, 30bhn and it is too small in the bore and you drive it moderately, watch out. Big problems are going to come in that bore! Remember, FIT first.

I cast and straight wheel weights for the most part are driven to 1400fps regularly, with no leading.

All of that being said: The harder the bullet the higher the pressure needed to get it to obturate, or seal off the bore. So, say you get the bullets you are waiting on, they are just right for size, then, you need enough pressure to get them to "squash" and fill the throat on your revolver.

It may be that you need a faster powder to get that to happen, depending on how hard the bullet actually is.

At any rate, numbers mean little, honestly. Starting point? Yes. To find out how your components/firearm fit together is part of the adventure. There is no "one size fits all" here.

Enjoy, and be safe!
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedaddy View Post
Rule 3,



Have you heard of reduced load problems with 2400?
No, that is one advantage of 2400.You can reduce it just don't go too low or you will have incomplete burn, dirty and poor performance. Load just a few at 14 or 15 and a few at 18 see what works best for you.

The difference between 14 and 18 grs will have no change in the amount of leading . It's like Skip (Smith Crazy) stated it's more about fit. If 14 grs of flame go past the bullet or 18 grs of flame it's gonna lead regardless.

Edit.

Forget about the hardness for a moment. Per the Lyman manual the start load for a 240 cast lead bullet in 44 Mag is 18.5 of 2400.
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Last edited by Rule3; 08-16-2011 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:21 PM
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Thanks Guys; solid information.

Should one slug the barrel to figure out best fit, or just deduce it from the amount of leading from, say .429 as compared to .430?
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:09 PM
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Lots of folks slug their barrels. I have yet to do one. I figure the bullets I buy are one size so there is not much I can do about it.

Some companies offer different sizes and others cast their own bullets.

There is no way I am going to try and match a perfect fit bullet for every gun.

I'm confused enough.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:18 PM
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Well I tried them out today and, as you surmised the lower end loads with 2400 were both incredibly dirty and inaccurate. I had loaded some 13, 15 and 17 grain rounds and as I went up in powder levels, they became more accurate and cleaner. The 17 grain load was stout indeed.

There was some leading, but not bad. I'm not sure which load, or if all of them contributed to it, but it should be easily removed with the lewis lead remover. (gets here tomorrow)

This was my first extended session with a 44 mag, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I ran 100 44 special equivalents, 15 mid-range, and 25 mag rounds through my new model 29. It happily ate them all. Those, coupled with 100 rounds of 45acp have managed to make my hand pretty tired. The 45 rounds felt light in comparison!

Thanks again for your help in this endeavor. Much appreciated.
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:24 PM
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Glad to hear you had a fun outing and everything worked out well.

Run a patch or two soaked with penetrating oil (any kind) Liquid Wrench, Blaster, Kroil) and let it sit in the barrel overnight. Helps get under the lead and cleans out easier.

I usually just go with the lowest start loads on the 44 Mag. The paper doesn't know the difference. 18-19 grs of 2400 is enough "boom" for me.

Unique and Blue Dot (the only thing it's good for) make some nice loads that will not wear out you hand and gun.
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Old 08-19-2011, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joedaddy View Post
As to lube, it's what comes on HSM bullets. Sorry that I cannot be more specific than that. It is sized at .429.

Any thoughts on bumping it to 14 and 15 grains 2400?
Unless you have a tight bore, that is going to lead badly at most vel. You want a bullet at least 0.001" larger than groove dia. Measure the cyl throats, if they are larger, then match that, if smaller, then you need to open the throats for best results. With a slow powder, 1200fps shouldn't be a serious leading issue w/ good bullet fit. If you are NOT going to slug the bbl or cyl, buy them at least 0.430" in dia, even 0.431" will likely shoot better.

Last edited by fredj338; 08-19-2011 at 12:05 AM.
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