Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby shadowwalker » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:10 pm

Bmt85 wrote:Chances are you were jamming the rifle because the case length grew too much. Could be case head growth, but I’m really thinking case length. What were your numbers for case head and length?

It's a straight wall cartridge case. The case length is not going to grow that much.

Bmt85 wrote:You could try opening the gas port to get more gas into the system, but I would switch powders first, either back to 1680 or maybe something a little slower. If you still don’t get it cycling, then think about opening the gas port.

I agree, he should change powder first. H110/W296 does not perform well at low charge weights. Pressure can spike and cause the primer to blow out of the primer pocket ruining the primer pocket. H110/W296 is a magnum powder and must be charged with case capacity in mind. Density is paramount when using this powder. If he wants subsonic velocities, he's going to have to use a pistol powder. I would suggest Trail Boss powder, but I don't think it will cycle his action. Bullseye, W231/HP38 and Unique would be my choose since these powders are very forgiving at low charge weights. I would also suggest installing an adjustable gas block.
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby Bmt85 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:58 am

shadowwalker wrote:
Bmt85 wrote:Chances are you were jamming the rifle because the case length grew too much. Could be case head growth, but I’m really thinking case length. What were your numbers for case head and length?

It's a straight wall cartridge case. The case length is not going to grow that much.
Yes it can, I had it happen. Ended up locking up the rifle, had to mortar it to unlock it. Case length was right at 1.70” before resizing, I believe. After resizing, it was well over 1.70”. Case head growth was within safe limits..

Bmt85 wrote:You could try opening the gas port to get more gas into the system, but I would switch powders first, either back to 1680 or maybe something a little slower. If you still don’t get it cycling, then think about opening the gas port.

I agree, he should change powder first. H110/W296 does not perform well at low charge weights. Pressure can spike and cause the primer to blow out of the primer pocket ruining the primer pocket. H110/W296 is a magnum powder and must be charged with case capacity in mind. Density is paramount when using this powder. If he wants subsonic velocities, he's going to have to use a pistol powder. I would suggest Trail Boss powder, but I don't think it will cycle his action. Bullseye, W231/HP38 and Unique would be my choose since these powders are very forgiving at low charge weights. I would also suggest installing an adjustable gas block.
The pistol powders you suggested probably are too fast to cycle the weapon with subs. While not a direct comparison, the 458 Socom uses powders like Lilgun, h110/win 296, 1680 to run subs in an AR. So slower than typical pistol powders, but faster than what is optimal for the heavy weight supers. The midlength gas system is going to make it harder to dial-in, though.


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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby Rklenke » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:51 pm

Bmt85 wrote:H110/Win 296 appears to be too fast for running those supersonic. Max pressure is too high, and not getting enough gas to cycle the action. Chances are you were jamming the rifle because the case length grew too much. Could be case head growth, but I’m really thinking case length. What were your numbers for case head and length?

You could try opening the gas port to get more gas into the system, but I would switch powders first, either back to 1680 or maybe something a little slower. If you still don’t get it cycling, then think about opening the gas port.


I completely agree with you on the high pressure not allowing the action to open. I measured case head and length and wrote the numbers on the case in sharpie which ended up getting rubbed off the case during the 1/2 extraction. This was another sign of high pressure to me as usually the sharpie stays intact. My guess is the chamber pressure was high as extraction started, which resulted in high friction between the case and chamber. I'm going back to 1680 and also going to try SWBO this weekend. The H110 loadings may be particularly interesting to the bolt rifle loaders.

plant_one wrote:quick question on your sizing process
are you sizing from .459 to .452 in one step?
if so, thats probably why you're seeing the ugly ring at the base of each bullet.
and by having to hand sand them to remove that i suspect you're probably causing a bunch of weight variance in the finished product. which is going to play hell on your accuracy, especailly at subsonic speeds.
you may be much better served to get an intermediate sizing die - lets say .454, and open it up to around .455 with a roll of emery paper or sandpaper so that you're moving the metal less - even if it means two sizing passes to get to your desired diameter.


I am sizing in one step. I recently switch from Unique to One Shot lube and they come out a little better. The sanding doesn't cause much weight difference in the bullets, it's only a little bit of dust that comes off. The biggest thing I've found that changes the weight is the temp at which I cast them at. I weighed my most recent batch and it came in almost exactly 50/50 at 490 grains and 486 grains (about 25 of each), 4-5 bullets at 483 grains and a single 480 grain bullet. I suspect this was when I got low on lead and tossed another 1lb ingot in the pot, which cooled it down a bit. I am a novice at casting, so I can only hope the bullets get more consistent as I learn more about casting. I powder coated them different colors for accuracy testing.
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby Rklenke » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:59 pm

I missed the second reply on the 3rd page as I haven't been getting notifications here. I did some more research on the SOCOM guys and they tend to like H4198 for the heavies. Almost all of the 458 rifles have a carbine gas system, and the mid-length guys have trouble getting H110 to cycle with heavy bullets (sound familiar?) I like the idea of an increased gas port size with an adjustable gas block, especially since I have a suppressor in jail for this rifle (ETA next deer season...hopefully). I'm sure the gunsmith down the road would love to help me open it up. My gas block is under the hand guard and I've don't own and adjustable block, so I'll take any advice on blocks you guys have. An adjustable block would also allow me to turn off the gas and have a REALLY quiet single-shot and I could go revisit those subsonic loads :D
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby Rklenke » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:06 pm

This may be my last post for this thread until my suppressor stamp is approved (or if I load a shoot a bunch at 29.3gr with good results). Good new though, solid cycling and great accuracy with Shooters World Blackout. I may have gotten there with the 1680 if I had added a bit more powder, but nonetheless...

Single-shot velocities:
23gr - 1126 fps
24gr - 1203 fps
25gr - 1243 fps
26gr - 1285 fps
27gr - 1308 fps
28gr - 1370 fps
28.5gr - 1386 fps
29gr - 1382 fps

3 shot group
29.3gr - 1395 avg fps
3 shots circled off to the side. The rest were work up shots, not necessarily aimed at the same point.
good group.jpg
good group.jpg (110.23 KiB) Viewed 786 times


The 29 and 29.3 shots had full bolt lockback (I'm using a 1oz buffer and Sprinco yellow (light) spring). Those three I chrono'd were magazine fed and I loaded 3 more to shoot at the 100 yard target which also cycled perfectly from the magazine. I only got 2 of the 3 on the steel as my second shot broke the 2x4 my steel target was attached to. Impacts were tight, but not measured.

Very bottom case had 23 grains, next up at 29.3. The primers have a barely perceptible change in roundness, but I'm pretty sure its there. From my tests with this and the H110 at 1450fps, I would wager a bet that 1400 is the top speed for this weight of bullet in the 450 before we start getting too high of chamber pressures.
Fired cases.jpg
Fired cases.jpg (77.96 KiB) Viewed 786 times
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby shadowwalker » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:24 pm

Just received these in the mail Friday. Going to cast them as soon as time will allow. The .452" sizing die will be honed out to .453" and the .454" sizing die will be honed out to .455". Hopefully, I wont run into the same issue that Rklenke ran into when sizing his. After I get some cast, my plan is to size them down to .451" and then powder coat them and then resize them to .453". I do have two other sizing dies (.451" and a .452"). So, I should be able to achieve the size that I'm after. I'm going to be using a bolt gun, so I have several powders that I going to try out.

Lee Precision 2 Cavity Mold 459-500-3R 90577
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item/0000690577/double-cavity-mold-459-500-3r

Lee Precision .452" Sizing Die 90055
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item/0000690055/lube-and-size-kit-point452-diameter

Lee Precision .454" Sizing Die 90056
http://www.midsouthshooterssupply.com/item/0000690056/lube-and-size-kit-point454-diameter
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby Rklenke » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:36 pm

Looking forward to your results, looks like a lot of work. BTW, those bullets I shot at about 1400fps into my lead recovery box (long box filled with dirt) traveled about 2.5 feet, almost to the end of it.
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby shadowwalker » Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:17 am

Rklenke wrote:Looking forward to your results, looks like a lot of work. BTW, those bullets I shot at about 1400fps into my lead recovery box (long box filled with dirt) traveled about 2.5 feet, almost to the end of it.

Tired of the industry ripping us off with there over price bullets. Might be allot of work but the end product is going to be well worth the effort. And being able to cast and powder coat these at .04 cents, is going to be well worth the effort in my opinion.
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby plant_one » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:05 am

shadowwalker wrote:
Rklenke wrote:Looking forward to your results, looks like a lot of work. BTW, those bullets I shot at about 1400fps into my lead recovery box (long box filled with dirt) traveled about 2.5 feet, almost to the end of it.

Tired of the industry ripping us off with there over price bullets. Might be allot of work but the end product is going to be well worth the effort. And being able to cast and powder coat these at .04 cents, is going to be well worth the effort in my opinion.



it really bothers me when people complain about prices of commercial goods but don't even figure THEIR labor into the cost of the product you're producing. which is only a small % of the cost of said finished product.

the price of lead and copper has gone up almost exponentially over the last 5-8 years -- and thats only factoring in the material cost.

even going by your claim that they only cost you 4 cents each in material - but if you factor in your labor time, even at a nominal rate of $12/hr, the industry still isnt ripping anyone off.

i also wanna know where the hell you're getting lead suitable for casting bullets at 56 cents per pound.... cuz that stuff is in the realm of unicorns and leprechauns

lets do some simple math - lets say you're buying your casting alloy at $2/lb. which is pretty fair for clean ingots these days - and thats assuming you're willing to buy 1000 pounds of the stuff at a time. 500 grain bullets = 14 bullets per pound (7000 grains per pound / 500). thats 14.3 cents per bullet just in lead cost alone.



thats not considering ANYTHING for the cost of industrial grade equipment to mass produce bullets - which isnt cheap ....


just as an example, looking at equipment ONLY

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthr ... tra-25-000

a current model of that equipment sells for $12,500 PER MACHINE. and thats not including the molds - which go for about $800 per set for each bullet you want to make on that machine..
http://www.magmaengineering.com/magma-m ... et-master/


or the cost of leasing the building that equipment is operated in. and paying for insurance for said building and the equipment and employees it houses. the safety equipment required to properly ventilate the facility so your employees (and you) dont die from lead exposure. the electricity required too run it all. or the labor required to turn those raw materials into something useful. no less retail packaging. Or the shipping to get them to the retail location you buy them from, or the folks who stock the shelves, etc etc etc.

and i can only imagine the amount of red tape the EPA requires a manufacturer to go thru for a facility that makes bullets.


so comparing your cost per bullet on maybe $150 or $200 of hobby grade casting equipment you operate in your garage or basement isnt fair at all when you say we're getting ripped off.

Image

[/rant]
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Re: Heavy Cast Subsonic Bullets (500 grain) Range Report

Postby Rklenke » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:34 pm

"I'll save money" is the foot-in-the-door technique I use on my wife to buy casting and reloading equipment. Maybe in the long run I'll save money, but in the mean time, I'll shoot a lot more and have a great time doing it. Not to mention the valuable skills I'll pick up along the way.
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