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Old 03-21-2017, 02:41 PM
gehlsurf gehlsurf is offline
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Default Cast bullet sizing question for newbie

Hi guys, I've cast a few 357 bullets for my trr8, used the Lee 358-158 LSWC mold, shot 10 today, and VERY accurate, more than factory bullets!!! I was very pleased, but was paran oil about leading. I cleaned the gun when I got home, 5 or 6 runs with a .40 brush and the bore was back to pretty and chrome, so mayne no leading??? It looked the same as shooting factory ammo, so I think I may just be lead paranoid, haha. I've cleaned it out of my 44 mag before though..... horrible!!

Either way, I bought some roof lead, formed up a bullet, slugged the barrel and got .355 (put slugged bullet in calipers and turned, geting this measurement)

Formed bullet was .36 unsized

Sized using Lee sizer was .357 (this is what gave me great accuracy)

So what's the best size out of the 2?

The sized .357 or .36?

Thank you very much for the advice.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by gehlsurf View Post
Hi guys, I've cast a few 357 bullets for my trr8, used the Lee 358-158 LSWC mold, shot 10 today, and VERY accurate, more than factory bullets!!! I was very pleased, but was paran oil about leading. I cleaned the gun when I got home, 5 or 6 runs with a .40 brush and the bore was back to pretty and chrome, so mayne no leading??? It looked the same as shooting factory ammo, so I think I may just be lead paranoid, haha. I've cleaned it out of my 44 mag before though..... horrible!!

Either way, I bought some roof lead, formed up a bullet, slugged the barrel and got .355 (put slugged bullet in calipers and turned, geting this measurement)

Formed bullet was .36 unsized

Sized using Lee sizer was .357 (this is what gave me great accuracy)

So what's the best size out of the 2?

The sized .357 or .36?

Thank you very much for the advice.
I would go with 0.357" in a 9mm. You may have issues getting rounds to fit if you go over 0.358" in some guns.
In a 38/357, the 0.360" may be just fine if they chamber.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:23 PM
reddog81 reddog81 is offline
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If .357 gives good results than go for it. Your cylinder throats are probably .357 so any bullet you shoot will be .357 by the time it hits your barrel anyways.

The standard lead bullet diameter is .358, but you should use whatever works best in your gun.

A couple of observations - 10 bullets isn't very many. You might not notice any leading until you've shot a couple dozen rounds and once the barrel starts to lead it can get worse quickly or reach a point and stop. Also roofing lead is usually really soft. I'd stick with light 38 special loads. Trying to push soft lead into .357 Mag territories can result in severe leading pretty quickly.
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:26 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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In your 44 mag revolver you have several things to check regarding proper size cast bullets . A leaded barrel is easily cleaned with a piece of " Chore Boy " wrapped around a worn bore brush . It is pure copper scouring pad , available at most Ace Hdwe stores and some walmarts . Do NOT buy a substitute as most are " steel " plated with copper .
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:52 PM
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If you are going to shoot lead bullets you should know a couple things about your gun. Slug the barrel (I would question the measurements you got, .355", especially from an S&W, which prolly wouldn't be .002 under SAAMI specs). Slug measure the cylinder throats (pin gauge or slug, calipers not accurate in small IDs). Size/purchase bullets the same size as your cylinder throats. Unless the cylinder throats are smaller than the groove diameter, this will get you started in shooting lead bullets...
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Old 03-22-2017, 10:14 AM
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I would not be surprised by a .357 magnum bore slugging at .354. It happens, and it can be dealt with when using cast lead bullets. As others have pointed out, the far more important dimension is the cylinder chamber throats, and that is where you should target your bullet sizing.

Leading can become a serious problem when all factors of your loads aren't correct for the application (bullet alloy, sizing, lube, etc). With stainless steel revolvers it is possible for moderate leading to occur without being visibly obvious. Routine cleaning methods may do little more than polish and burnish lead deposits and leave the appearance of a bright shiny bore. When shooting lead bullets (nearly all of my shooting for the past 40-odd years) I have adopted a cleaning method that starts with a dry bronze brush in good condition, which will usually remove light to moderate lead deposits from all surfaces with multiple passes. When that doesn't get the job done I use a worn brush wrapped with 0000-grade steel wool, and have not found a leading problem that won't deal with in short order (and no, steel wool will not damage the bore, rifling, or finish--either blued, plated, or stainless). After the dry brushing nothing more than solvent-soaked patches followed by dry patches are needed. My 40 year old 6" Model 19 has churned out 50,000-plus lead bullets in practice and competition over the years, always cleaned as described, and remains an excellent shooter to this day.
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Old 03-22-2017, 12:37 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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I don't know what a trr8 is, but assume from other posts it's something chambered in 9mm. If .357" diameter works, stick with it, but fire a sufficient number of groups from a 25 yard rested position to verify accuracy. I've found 9mm pistols shoot best with the largest diameter cast bullet that will safely chamber without difficulty; this could be as large as .359".
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Old 03-22-2017, 01:24 PM
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I can offhand hold the 8" center of an IDPA target, @ speed, @ 50yds with my 1911/9 & 0.357" cast/coated bullets. I am sure it shoots better than that but have never tried for pure accuracy beyond 25yds. which is just under 2" offhand.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:25 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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Anyone that uses steel wool on a barrel , I'm just glad it's your barrel and not mine . Why even think of taking a chance of damaging a barrel ( over time ) when a better alternative is available ! It's called " Chore Boy " pure copper , no steel . I'll just use the proper tool for the job and not take any chances . To each his own .
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Old 03-22-2017, 07:58 PM
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Didn't I just reply to this question a little bit ago ?

My mind must be going.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:28 PM
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Anytime I load lead bullets my rule of thumb is .001" over the bore size.
If my barrel is .357" I use .358" bullets to avoid/minimize gas cutting and leading up the bore.
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Old 03-22-2017, 09:50 PM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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If I pull a few tiny flakes out of the barrel I don't consider it " leaded " . When you get pieces an inch or more long and quite a few , then to me that is a leading problem .
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by patrickd View Post
Anytime I load lead bullets my rule of thumb is .001" over the bore size.
If my barrel is .357" I use .358" bullets to avoid/minimize gas cutting and leading up the bore.
That is the bear minimum though. Alloy too hard, even 0.0005" too small will cause leading issues.
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:29 PM
gehlsurf gehlsurf is offline
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Well, I shot 50 of the sized bullets today, had a little bit of leading, but they stayed VERY accurate. at 15 yds, 2 ragged holes (getting used to the gun and red dot, so pulling and bad shooting created the second ragged hole just up and left of bulls eye-atleast my F-ups are consistent, too...?). I'm going to keep resizing these, and try a different lube, just ordered some of the 45/45/10 from LsStuff.com, see if that helps with the little bit of leading.

And No, Nevada Ed, you're not losing your mind, I opened another thread, same topic, sort of, but specifically about the type of bullet i'm using, haha, sorry for the confusion.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:22 AM
cowboy4evr cowboy4evr is offline
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I tumble lube the round nose LEE 158 gr bullet for my fiance's 586 and the barrel is spotless after a shooting session just using the alox cut 50/50 with Johnson's Paste Wax . I dropped the solvent .
But , it took some time and some work to get her pistol to that condition . I ended up shooting about 25 " fire lap " bullets to finish the job . I have a 681 that does equally as well , but again I had to shoot over 60 firelap bullets to finish the job . I use the TL Lee design bullets for fire lapping , no lube . They work well .
I make up about a dozen at a time , shoot 2 , pull a bore snake through the barrel to clean it , shoot 2 more , pull the bore snake again till I have shot all 12 . Then I begin a regular range session . I like to shoot at least 50 rounds , then see if leaded -- or not .

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Old 03-23-2017, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
Anyone that uses steel wool on a barrel , I'm just glad it's your barrel and not mine . Why even think of taking a chance of damaging a barrel ( over time ) when a better alternative is available ! It's called " Chore Boy " pure copper , no steel . I'll just use the proper tool for the job and not take any chances . To each his own .
Precisely. To each his own.

As to which might be the proper tool for the job, I was trained in my method in a US Army arsenal dealing with small arms of just about every type (US and foreign) for training purposes by thousands of troops. I also spent a 6-month stint with the US Army Marksmanship Training Unit with some of the top shooters and armorers in the US military.

As for taking a chance of damaging a barrel over time, I think I pointed out that my 6" S&W Model 19 has seen over 40 years of service and remains in excellent condition to this day.

Repeat: 0000-grade steel wool will not damage either carbon steel or stainless steel, it has no negative effects on handgun finish or bore quality. This is from long personal experience.

Stick with your Chore Boy if that is what you like. I will continue with my proven methods.

Best regards.
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Old 03-23-2017, 07:45 PM
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I use Chore Boy myself and it works very well. However, just my thoughts regarding steel wool...it is likely much softer than the steel in a gun barrel. Conceivably, damage could probably occur if overdone, but it might require a lot of effort. It doesn't seem like regular, judicious use would harm a bore, but that's using conventional wisdom on my part and may be wrong.

Perhaps there are some real experts on here that know the facts.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:50 PM
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Hey, powder coating is easy!
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:29 PM
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Leading can be controlled by proper sizing and lube.. l made some

sizing/lube changes recently for my 629 Magnum Hunter.. l miked

the cylinder and found it was .430''. l then purchased a .431'' sizer.

l was REWARDED by a 20% increase in scores on my targets for a

minor investment in labor.

As for leading, l don't worry that much about it unless accuracy is

suffering... l personally think more good barrels have been worn out

from cleaning than shooting
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:54 AM
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Default Soft lead at low velocity....

Soft lead at low velocity with a decent lube or coating probably won't cause leading problems and be accurate at 9mm in .357 size because it will swage down easily in the forcing cone.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockquarry View Post
I use Chore Boy myself and it works very well. However, just my thoughts regarding steel wool...it is likely much softer than the steel in a gun barrel. Conceivably, damage could probably occur if overdone, but it might require a lot of effort. It doesn't seem like regular, judicious use would harm a bore, but that's using conventional wisdom on my part and may be wrong.

Perhaps there are some real experts on here that know the facts.
There are steel bore brushes too, I won't use them. The idea of rubbing steel against steel leaves me cold. Regardless of what others do, I won't clean my guns with anything steel. I also don't shoot steel cased/bimetal ammo either.
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Old 04-08-2017, 01:10 PM
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KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!! Sounds like you got it right the first time. YAY, You!
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Old 04-08-2017, 02:28 PM
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I got that you used the roofing lead just for a bore slug, but what kind of alloy do you use for your shootin' bullets ?

Larry
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Old 04-09-2017, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nevada Ed View Post
Didn't I just reply to this question a little bit ago ?

My mind must be going.
0000 steel wool wrapped on a bronze brush certainly would not scratch or damage a S&W barrel. I've experimented with an undersized doll rod wrapped with 0000 steel wool to polish brass and it removed tarnish but didn't scratch the brass. After all the S&W barrels are not match grade air gauged quality to begin with.
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Old 04-09-2017, 01:06 AM
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Default And what velocity...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lebomm View Post
I got that you used the roofing lead just for a bore slug, but what kind of alloy do you use for your shootin' bullets ?

Larry
The velocity you are shooting at will factor in to leading also. I've found that big, soft slow bullets are very accurate and don't lead if not pushed too hard.
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:20 AM
Mikeinkaty Mikeinkaty is offline
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I've shot 2000+ Powder coated lead bullets through my 357 magnum and have not had any leading. I coat 100 at a time. 5 minutes of prep then 20 minutes in an electric oven followed by resizing to .358. Can pretty easily get 1000 a day coated. The resizing is done later. You should try it. Mike
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:14 PM
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Lebomm, or Larry, I only used the plumbers lead to slug, and also to "lead" or soften the bullets I tried originally, as the BHN was way too high. They were from some other bullets I made for my 44 mag. Now I've got some bullets in the 11.5 to 12 (been sitting a while and probably hardened to 12 or so). I'm gonna try these, but haven't gotten a chance yet.
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