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Thread: Anybody shoot cast lead from 9.3x57????

  1. #1

    Default Anybody shoot cast lead from 9.3x57????

    Just wondering if any of you shoot cast lead from your 9.3's? I'm on the list for a group buy of a mold over at "cast boolits" and it's getting close to when they will be starting to make them. I'm getting a 3 cavity mold with two gas check cavities and one plain base. One of the plain bases will be pinned for a hollow point. I believe the weight will be in the 280-285 grain range but I'll have to wait and see.

    If any of you do cast for it, could you share some load info? Most load info is for jacketed bullets.

    This will be my first mold purchase so I still have to buy a furnace, lead, handles etc etc...

    Really looking forward to it.

  2. #2
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    Yes.

    I use an odd NEI bullet mold, casts .272 diameter bullets and I size them to fit my rifles which have oversize groove diameters.

    I have used Unique, Green Dot and H4895 and obtained very close grouping at 25 meters, and thus for some time I used them for shooting grouse while elk and deer hunting. Hundred yard 3-shot groups were good, under 2 inches, some hovering closer to and inch on occaision on very still days.

    Remember, in order to fit the bullet to the barrel, you MIGHT find you have a groove depth that exceeds the allowable bullet diameter because of tight chamber case neck tolerance. For example, if you have an .370 groove depth you might want to shoot .371 diameter bullets, but beware!!! Some 9.3x57 chambers will not allow proper release of such bullets. Check your case neck release first. Try a sized, lubed bullet in a fired case mouth. It should slide in easily. If it doesn't, you cannot use that bullet diameter or you will risk excessive pressures.
    Last edited by 9.3x57; 08-28-2010 at 08:54 AM.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the info. I'm planning to slug the barrel before I start. What sort of speeds were you going for in your hand loads? I'm thinking a gas checked cast bullet should be usable up close to the normal factory velocities of around 2,100 fps but don't really care if I get them that fast or not. It'll probably get used on whitetails more than anything else. Don't need a lot of speed with those heavy bullets for a critter like that.

    Can't wait!

    p.s. Could you tell me more about your mold? Is it still being made? Does it have a number? etc. etc.
    Last edited by dave bulla; 12-27-2010 at 02:44 AM.

  4. #4
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    dave,
    Go to mountainmolds.com. Dan has a program that permits you to design a mold specific to your rifle's throat. I did this with a couple of my rifles and they are by far the most accurate. You will need to make a chamber cast of the throat or, as I did, use a soft lead slug to upset in the throat area of your rifle. This will be measured so you can get the exact size for your rifle. Dan does great work and has a forum there that may be of help. The most accurate bullet will be .0005" smaller than the throat but, be sure that won't be so large as to prevent the case from releasing the bullet.
    Most of the time, a bullet that's .002" over groove diameter will shoot fairly well but, as above, be sure that won't be so large to prevent the case from releasing the bullet. HTH

    Almost forgot, be sure all the jacket fouling is removed prior to taking measurements.

  5. #5
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    I have a good workshop, including a lathe. I bored out a .38 wadcutter mould, and it ended up at 272 grains. I used the wadcutter mould because it has a long bearing surface. For a hunting bullet, a bit of a flat on the nose is better as it punches a hole, rather than spreading the hide apart. If you ever examine the ground on a pistol range that uses wadcutters, you will see what I mean, with all those nice little paper circles on the ground.

    Also, I have used a 200 grain .35 Remington mould and paper patched it with good results. Another way is to use a 275 grain, .375 bullet, ran through a push type sizing die similar to the Lee ones for use in a reloading press. If your bore is in the .368 or so diameter, this works nicely if you use Lee Liquid Alox and tumble lube them, both before and after sizing. You can make a sizing die using a "U" sized reamer (.368) and a tapered reamer for the entrance end.

    On another note, I have successfully Bumped" up 225 and 250 grain .35 Calibre factory bullets, from .357 to .366, using an arbor press and a home made die set. I buy old dies at Gun Shows, usually for $5 or so. If they are hardened, you can heat them up to anneal (soften) them so you can work on them. and make custom dies for odd calibres. For "one off" projects, a "D" type reamer and fine emery cloth works well. HINT: .223 is close.
    I can make it to the front gate in 3.2 seconds. Can you do it in 3.1?

  6. #6

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    I have some recent experience shooting a 280gr gas checked bullet of my design that The Bullet Barn manufactures in British Columbia. See http://www.thebulletbarn.com. I have tried this bullet in three 9.3x57 rifles with similar results. One of my rifles is scoped and has some quite bad scoring about 3 inches back from the muzzle. Surprisingly this seems to have little effect on the results on target. The Bullet Barn casts to Brinell 25. Ballistic coefficient calculates to 0.254 using Precision Ballistic Coefficient Estimator from http://www.uslink.net/~tom1/calcbc/calcbc.htm. I haven't confirmed this BC with any velocity measurements yet. Think I would want to armor the chrony before taking a velocity at range! I haven't ramped velocity up but have tended to stay with loads that are very comfortable to shoot in a recoil sense. Here is a list of a few loads that I have tried thus far:


    Powder-- PowderWt-- Velocity
    AA5744-- 25gr-- 1450fps
    I4895-- 38gr-- 1720fps
    I4895-- 40gr-- 1820fps
    Unique-- 13.5gr-- 1280fps
    Unique-- 14.1gr-- 1367fps
    Unique-- 14.6gr-- 1389fps


    Also tried 36gr of I3031 which I didn't get around to chronographing yet. The 38gr of I4895 shot 5 into 2 at 100yds from the scoped M46A. The 36gr I3031 looks like it wants to do the same. Overall cartridge length for all loads was 2.937. Used some Norma brass and re-necked Remington 8mm and didn't notice any consistent velocity differences between them over the low volume shooting done. I think with the Unique I will use a 14gr load as it seemed to shoot a little tighter on the paper. I think the 9.3x57 is a natural for cast bullets and have been reserving the jacketed bullets for the x62. Will have to get the lead after some game one of these days!

  7. #7
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    I'm shooting a bullet from one of Dan's moulds. I'm using 35.5 grains of H4895 for a muzzle velocity of around 1800 fps. It shoots very well. I've also tried some of the very slow 867 surplus powder and it gives me around 1594 fps which although slow is a good plinking target load. I have on occasion been able to hover around one inch groups with that slow load.

    It's very true to slug your bore and groove to see what you have and to do a chamber throat cast. The neck portion of my chamber is .394 and my groove diameter is .369. Depending on what cases you use a .369 or fatter cast bullet is too much to let the neck of the case fit in that .394 area. I have a neck turner and I'm currently using Rem 30-06 brass. I may switch to some brand of 8x57 Mauser brass as the necks are thinner.

    The caliber is a wonderful cast one and very suitable for hunting even the largest game in the U.S. The only limiting factor I see is that the cast load trajectory isn't as flat as it's jacketed load or other flatter shooting calibers. For back east deer hunting this is no problem, but long shots on elk out west may be.

  8. #8
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    Ive done some with 280 grain beveled base and 290 gas checked bullets in my model 46a ,
    13 gr unique = 1250fps
    15 gr unique= 1400 fps
    42 gr H335 = 1950 fps with some leading
    38 gr Imr 3031= 1750 fps
    43 gr Imr 3031= 2023 fps with leading
    I have a new to me 146 in this caliber on the way in very good condition so may be doing some more experimenting soon, am going to call Lois at the bullet barn after Christmas to order up a couple hundred of their new offering.
    Last edited by Slim Chance; 12-20-2010 at 10:22 PM.

  9. #9
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    I shoot quite a few cast bullets from bottle-necked cartridges at jacketed speeds. I know we are talking about commercially cast bullets, but if you can cast your own and then heat treat them (9:1 WW/Lino harden's nicely) they will attain a Brinnell hardness of 31BHN. This is half again harder than linotype and will take 42K-CUP easily, with no leading, provided the bullets are a good fit to the throat and bore. I use them for deer evey year and they never fail me. This year I used my 648, 8x57, with a 206 grain GC bullet at 2350 fps. With iron sights it shoots an inch or so at 60M with NO leading. The first muley I shot at is in the freezer.

    The trick to cast bullet shooting, once bullet fit is attended to, is to load to pressure that matches your alloy strength, not velocity. The 9.3 is probably a no brainer but unfortunately, the mold I ordered from NEI ($$$) was so screwed up dimension wise that I have shelved the project for the time being. When I find the right mold I will have a load that shoots to the original sights, I'm sure of it. Right now I have 8x57 fever.... ~AMMOe

  10. #10
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    Dave, if you go to the castbulletassoc.org site and contact Veral Smith (who is a stanch member there and does group buys on moulds also - you can buy his lottle book which will teach you how to heat treat alloys to allow shooting to any speed your rifle is capable of, without leading. Hi bok is called "Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets" or something like that.
    Daryl

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the heads up on the book Daryl, I'll look him up as it would be really nice to be able to drive the 290 grain gaschecked cast at 1900=2000 fps in my 46 , I'd be tempted to take it bear hunting in the spring just to try it.

  12. #12
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    If you call or e-mail Veral he will be happy to talk to you about making a mold specifically for your rifle. Be warned that for top results he requires a chamber cast be sent to him before he cuts the mold. I have several of his molds (One a 4-cavity for a 303 made back in 1985 that has cast thousand and thousands of bullets) and they are superb.~AMMOe

  13. #13

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    Wow, good to see this has popped up to the top again with some good info added.

    My mold is still "in progress". They ran the group buy for a lot longer than originally planned due to people always at the last minute popping in and wanting to get in on the deal. Now, there has been a production delay as the shop retools. They are getting in two brand new CNC machines but need to set them up, wire 'em etc. September turned into December and now January but I don't really mind as I've yet to buy my casting equipment. I have found a fella who offers a lyman .366 caliber cast bullet on his website. I've dealt with him before and he seems to be very knowledgeable and helpful. He said he's got over 300 different Lyman molds! Guess that's why his website is called www.damnhardtofind.com pretty cool name and he shows pictures or prints of most of the bullets he offers which is nice. He'll tailor the hardness to whatever you want it to be too.

    I still can't wait to get my own mold and get set up though...

    Keep the load data and tips coming. I like having this sort of info handy.

  14. #14
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    Maybe Daryl can comment on resizing .375 cal bullets.

    We do that with jacketed bullets, but he mentioned that it can be done very well with cast, too.

    It goes against all the old saws about the ruination of accuracy with significant resizing of cast bullets but I've seen some pic's of his bullets and they look really good. Maybe Daryl can help us out here. Having all the various .375 cal molds at a guy's fingertips would about solve the problem.
    Formerly LeeSpeed; I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth...and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary...I believe in the Holy Spirit...the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

  15. #15
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    Rod is right, sizing bullets more than a few thou goes against what we've been told - but then, so does sizing down .375" bullets to .366" - even Corbin said it was impossible to get good bullets. We've proven that 'fact' wrong, as well as the one about cast.

    Here are two bullets which were originally .375" in diameter. They are now .367"- sized in the same die I use for jacketed bullets. The reason they are unharmed, is that they were lubed first, then sized down in a die that held the entire bullet inside it at .375" diameter, before being shoved through. The bullet always had support. It can be done, if you have the right die or dies. I suspect much the same would happen with a series of Lee dies.



    That is the only 'trick' involved. Size them first, then size them to whatever size you need. I've not shot any as they are underize for be 9.3x57 - it requries .370" to .371". In order to shoot them, I'd have to increase my chamber's neck diameter by .004". It is to tight as-is to chamber a round with a bullet larger than .367". i cold try them in the 9.3x62, However that bore suffered some damage in the flooded basement of a freind's wife - during a divorce settlement - 12 year long story. it shoots jacketed still - I am fortunate, but is too rough to attempt shooting cast at descent speeds.


    Tried to remove a pictue and couldn't.
    Last edited by Daryl S; 01-11-2011 at 11:23 AM.
    Daryl

  16. #16

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    Daryl,

    Regarding your constant support die, is this something you did to modify an existing die or a "from the ground up" home made tool?

    Also, from you comments, I'm guessing you've slugged your bore on your x57 and came up with something like .368 to .369 since you want a .370 to .371 cast bullet? I have not slugged mine yet but will do that before I actually get going on my casting and reloading.

    I'm also curious about paper patching 35 caliber bullets for this rifle. Any good sources on that topic? Bet that'll be a whole 'nuther can o' worms. Might be fun though...

  17. #17
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    There is information about patching bullets on castboolits.gunloads.com.

  18. #18
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    Had a good day out at the range with the new to me 146 and some of Lois' cast 9.3 280 gas checked bullets from the bullet barn today, things started off a little rough but got better as the day progressed ( some days I sure dont shoot like I used to)
    38.5 grains of IMR 4895 with the bullet barn bullet in resized privi 8mm brass gave an average of 1625 fps with decent ( not great accuracy 4 inches @ 100 yds with open sights)
    40 grains of the same provided 1700 fps with greater spreads and poorer accuracy however no leading was noted with either load. I need to do quite a bit more experimenting with other powders and seating depths before I pass judgement on these bullets but things look promising and like other cast bullets in this loading it will probably do quite well at around 14-1500 fps. Played around with a couple of unique loads and found the magic elixer for a good subsonic 280 gr cast grouse and rabbit pounder thats on at 20-25 yards.

    I'm starting to drink some of Darryl's kool aid though when it comes to temp sensitive powders, my summertime load of 46.0 grains of H335 in front of a privi 285 was only clocking 1980fps across the chrony today in the 46 instead of its usual 2070-2080, thats a substantial difference and the cases in the model 46 were fairly well smoked as well almost as if the load is too light and the brass isnt expanding enough to grab the chamber wall, I fired 30 of them out of the 46 and all had smoky necks , bodies and around the head, rim of the case. The same rounds fired in the 146 were fine though but the chamber is tighter and the shoulder more pronounced in the 146 by the looks of things. Might be time to try the BLC 2!!

  19. #19

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    Howdy Slim,

    What load were you using with the Unique? I'd expect something close to the universal 10 grains would be about right.

  20. #20
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    9 was the magic # , nice and quiet

  21. #21

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    Not sure if this will work or not but I'm going to try to copy a pic from another site showing a couple bullets from a mold I have on order. Been a long wait but it looks like it'll be a winner.

    http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i8...368280GrFN.jpg

  22. #22

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    Well, looks like it worked. Didn't put the pic in the post but the link worked for me.

  23. #23
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    Hi Dave- my groove diameter is .370". I would like to shoot a .372" or so, bullet, however even with 8x57 brass necked up, which has thinner necks than 9.3x57 Privi brass, I cannot use a bullet larger than about .367" to .368". My best solution would be to purchase a "Chucking" Reamer from Pacific in the appropriate size and open up the neck of my chamber- if I seriously wanted to shoot cast, that is. As-is, it shoots splendidly with jacketed & I have many other rifles to shoot lead in, including a .375.

    The die I use for sizing both cast and jacketed down, was a Pacific .222FL die form the junk drawer. I cut it off just at the shoulder corner, & tested it. It took a lot of pressure and sized the bullets down to .364". I then used a .375 throating reamer to open that section up enough to it would size .375" bullets to .367". This 'reaming' was done by hand - & with a 'light' touch. It didn't take much pressure at all - the reamer was almost new.

    I attempted to do the same thing with a set of .223RCBS dies, but they were too tightly reamed to start with and wouldn't allow a .375" bullet to be started in the lower shank portion - common for RCBS (over sizing brass -no- they weren't small base dies - they are even tighter). The best I could do with them, was to ream them so they'd put out a finished bullet of .368", I think they were. It all had to do with their tight interior shape. By the time they'd allow a .375" bullet inside for support, with MY reamer doing the cutting, the 'mouth' had been opened too much to produce a .366" bullet. I felt quite badly that I couldn't proude a successful die from that set of dies and mailed them back - no charge. I won't do any more - don't need the agravation - now, if someone has a .222FL PAcific die they want converted, I'm all for it. Fro some reason the Pacific die didn't need to be annealed, but of course I had to do that as well, with the RCBS dies. Too much work, no reward. The only reward I wanted, was a set of useable dies for the fellow who sent them to me. I offered to do this no charge. As I said, no again. Anyone with hand tools and a .375 Throating reamer can do the same. It cost me the same for mailing to the Us from Canada as it did for the reamer when I bought it. So - this would work perfectly for a .366" groove diameter or larger, using the reamer and .223FL dies - even from RCBS. All you need to do, is to buy your own reamer and get busy.

    Now, I don't mind shooting a jacketed bullet .001" to .002" large than the groove diameter (as long as the loaded case fits the chamber neck properly) as I start low and work up - unlike many others, who do not do this, but look for the highest speed load they can find and try that load as listed. Dangerous to say the least.

    The dies I made from the .223FL die set would have worked perfectly with cast bullets, I'm sure. The main reason, is there are better pr more bullet moulds available in .375" than for .366".

    For some reason, the Pacific die was almost perfect as-is. It took very little 'reaming', just enough to set a proper angled shoulder. With my die, sizing .375 Jacketed bullets to .367" in one pass takes no more pressure than FL sizing a .300 mag. case in a standard RCBS FL die which takes, or in past years took more pressure than some other dies. I worded it that way as they may have reduced the amount of oversizing they used to do. The Pacific .375 throating reamer must have close to the correct angle for drawing brass - or lead. To long a sloping angle increases friction and the necessary pressure for reducing jacketed bullets or case for that matter. That is what happened prior to my using the throating reamer inside the die. This is my opinion only on the cause and remedie.
    Last edited by Daryl S; 01-11-2011 at 11:22 AM.
    Daryl

  24. #24
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    Daryl,

    Perhaps a seating die would work better (versus a FL die)? IIRC, they tend to be larger, correct?

  25. #25
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    There was a difference in the RCBS seater die, but would still not allow the full length of the case bullet inside- I think, I am not sure ----- or ----- & I'm going from memory, about 2 or 3 years ago, but I think perhaps the shoulder/neck portion of the seater die was too large to size the bullets small enough. This, being the main fault with the seater die as a sizer die. Could be perfect for case, though. You would need to measure some dies to see what's useable.

    I would lay odds .204 Ruger dies would work well and allow precise reaming. Being longer, the finished die would be easier to use as well. Mine is so short, it must be screwed into the press from below. BTW- I use a shell-holder plunger from Lee for pushing the bullets through the die. Don't try this with any other than a compound press. Even those are prone to failure if too much pressure is needed. Also- be aware a die can also expload from inside pressure - which is why I didn't re-harden the dies. There is lots that could go wrong - however mine works perfectly.
    Daryl

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