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just curious, ever purchased a rifle specifically for cast bullet use.

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just curious, ever purchased a rifle specifically for cast bullet use.

Old 02-13-2019, 02:44 PM
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Default just curious, ever purchased a rifle specifically for cast bullet use.

just curious, have you ever purchased a rifle specifically for cast bullet use?
If you've gotten into seriously trying to specialize in use of cast bullet rifles , you are almost forced
to do some research, into bore size twist rates, yes your rifle land & groove designs does mater.
as does the cartridge case volume and powder burning rates you intend to use.
btw its a rather well documents fact that as the bore diam. increases the projectile mass rapidly increases ,
and potential irregularities in the cast projectiles become less critical to accuracy.
this tendency varies with the cartridge and bore size and intended velocity,
but the 30-45 calibers tend to have an edge if ranges over 200 yards,this becomes a factor.
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Old 02-14-2019, 02:43 AM
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Yes, I bought a .32 special years ago in order to shoot plain base cast as well as jacketed bullets. It was designed with a one-in-16 twist to shoot both back at the turn of the 20th century when there was a distrust of the new-fangled smokeless powder. I developed a bunny load that shot on at 25 yd. when the jacketed loads were on at 100 yd. I shot a lot of rabbits and squirrels with that rifle as well as deer and one bear.
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Old 02-14-2019, 04:46 AM
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yes its a damn shame in my opinion that so few riflemen, continue the long tradition of casting and hunting,\
with precision cast bullets in cartridges that work very effectively with the cast projectiles
some cartridge designs like the 32 spc, 30/30, 375 win, 45/70, 444 marlin,450 marlin are almost ideal in design
and certainly cartridges like the,
300 savage,
445 DWSM,
358 win
, 35 whelen
, 400 whelen,
30/40 krag,
303 brit.
416 rem
458 win
, 458 LOTT ,
can be made or tweaked to shoot exceptionally well in some cases
I don,t know how others feel, but having used a
45/70 ,
445 DWSM,
35 whelen,
and 44 mag,
with cast bullets to shoot exceptional groups at the range,
and on more than a few occasions drop game with cast bullets,
gives me a sense of added accomplishment

Last edited by hardcastonly; 06-07-2019 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:10 AM
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I spent a lot of my reloading career casting or loading factory cast bullets, and I just never have taken a shine to it. With the availability of copper solids on the market today, I may never hunt with hardcast ever again. Outside of a few cowboy action shooting excursions here and there, which Iím passing farther and farther from every year with the culture and rule changes there, I donít have any other reason to shoot cast bullets anymore. I never bat an eye at spending a nickel more per round for a jacketed bullet over a cast bullet, and many of the hardcasts I used to shoot cost more than some jacketed bullets. Just not my cup of tea.

I gave away most of my casting gear - I handload to facilitate precision and volume, but reloading is not my hobby. Some folks only shoot to have empty brass so they can reload, but thatís not me.

But that said, I have bought several rifles with the intention of their barrel never touching a copper bullet, ever. 357, 44-40, 44mag, 45-70, 38-55, 45-90...

I never did care for shooting cast in Safari magnums. Just not my bag, but I know a lot of guys who do use hardcast 400-500ís in 416 and 458ís to hunt deer.
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Old 02-15-2019, 11:38 AM
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Bullet Casting is almost a hobby and skill set on its own,
yes its closely linked to hand loading without any doubt,
but most people never look at it as anything but a way to reduce cost,
they don,t get into understanding blending alloys and the difference in quenching, and lube formulas
thats a damn shame as there are advantages to cast bullet use and in the correct caliber, weight and design they can perform,
very well on either target or game.
Ive purchased and use at least occasionally, at least 100 plus custom and 40 plus commercial bullet molds
most from NEI, LYMAN, LEE, a few older RCBS, and HUNTINGTON
many people have had less than stellar or praise worthy results, and give up,
many people not fully realizing,
the casting alloy, casting temp, sized diam and lube being used,
must be compatible with the rifle bore and powder charge to maximize the accuracy,

and the impact velocity and bullet design,also must match the application.
some designs are very versatile,
example the lee 310 grain 44 caliber provides excellent results in my 44 mag revolvers and marlin 44 carbine and a buddies 444 marlin
the NEI 175 grain works well in both of my S&W revolvers and my brother-in-laws marlin carbine.


theres also the advantage in some cases of allowing the use of a more powerful rifle ,
at reduced velocity and reduced recoil levels
I have a couple friends that have purchased and use 458 win and 416 rem rifles,
that are regularly used for deer and hog hunts
pushing bullets of significantly lighter weight at reduced velocity... yet ..
they still provide a devastating punch at the 50-150 yard ranges they get used at.

this NEI mold get a rather regular use.(45/70, 450 marlin,458 win)
rarely pushed to over 1900 fps

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-15-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:43 PM
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Sure, several. A 45 cal Hawken, a 50 cal Hawken, a 45 Kentucky long rifle and a H&R 45-70 and a 44 mag NEF.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:43 PM
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I went through all of those games of alloyment, blending and manipulating the crystalline structure of the alloys, and hated every minute of it - minutes I would rather be shooting. Better things to do with my life than spend that much time making bullets. I have always favored the Swift A-Frame to hardcast bullets, and now that we have so many great copper solids on the market, life is even easier. Then I found myself crimping on gas checks to help hardcast act more like copper, and I just couldnít wrap my head around what I was doing with my life...

I think a lot of guys feel like they HAVE to start casting if they shoot certain cartridges. I wasted thousands of dollars on molds and hundreds of hours making bullets... after 20yrs of it, I decided enough was enough and I kicked it all out of the door. A lot of guys do enjoy casting and I know a few guys who really only shoot just to get their brass back to enjoy reloading. When I was competing in cowboy action shooting, there were guys who would talk the entire match about the time they spent working with this mold and that mold and blending this lube or trying this sizer or asking how to set ups their PID controller on their pot... It always struck me odd, since only one or two guys out of a fleet of a hundred would spend time talking about technique on the stages we were shooting, or practice methods to actually improve on the firing line - but those guys spent as much time worrying about and working over their loads as most benchrest guys I used to shoot with, when all of our targets were HUGE and CLOSE. For hunting, i only buy a couple hundred bullets each year, so the value of my time is much greater than the small extra cost I spent on those bullets over casting my own. Iíll happily give my money to hardcast manufacturers these days, and NOT pour my own.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:40 PM
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some guys prefer brunettes, some red-heads, some blonds....
we all learn to accept the results of out personal choices and yeah,
we all find some choices we regret and some we are very glad we made,
no one can make choices for someone else, and expect them to be pleased with the results,
and of course that strongly implies your choices may not reflect anyone else's values or meet their expectations.

Last edited by hardcastonly; 02-18-2019 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:23 PM
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The bullet caster is to shooting and hunting, as the fly tier is to fishing. The guy who works six days a week, and still has house chores and family obligations, If this guy wants to enjoy either hobby, he'll need to pick up ammunition or dry flies before heading out. On the other hand there's people like me, medically retired when I was 48 years old. I used to work between 48 and 60 hours a week, and now I'm 58 years old on Social Security. I still have my Palmer Hot Pot that I bought back around the early 1970's to make sinkers with. Well one day I was hanging out with a good friend who I worked with before I got injured, he also likes to shoot, but he was still working. I told him about making sinkers and that if I ever found a source for lead, I wouldn't mind attempting bullet casting. He told me "hold that thought, I'll be back in a couple minutes". A couple of minutes later his back yard gate opened and he wheeled a five gallon bucket of reclaimed bullets from an indoor pistol range. He said this should get you started, and if the hobby works out to see him for more lead. Those first bullets were nasty ugly, but shooting at the 7 yard line my groups weren't any worse than bulk factory ammo.

That was over 9 years and my bullets look like they should. I now have 2 Lee bottom pour pots and a couple dozen molds. As far as the original question, yes I have bought 3 rifles and 3 pistols just to shoot cast bullets, and even the guns that use jacketed bullets for hunting or self defense will see a diet of cast bullets throughout the year. It also helps that our gun club has a store for members to buy reloading supplies at their cost. I combine these low cost supplies with my cast bullets and I can make ammo for most standard handgun calibers for $35 per 1,000 rounds.

Last edited by Centaur 1; 03-20-2019 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:39 AM
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I traded my microgoove 45-70 for a ballard marlin just to shoot cast.
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