Author Topic: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets  (Read 1107 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline HGunner

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Avid Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 225
Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« on: March 11, 2012, 12:34:31 pm »
I am looking for an inexpensive but trouble free bullet for bulk shooting of my Freedom Arms 97 in 44 special.  I can get the Laser Cast 240 grain SWC locally but only 500 at a time.  Has anyone used this bullet in their FA 97?  I don't want to by 500 and find out they won't chamber.


Thanks,  HGunner


Offline zoner

  • Trade Count: (59)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1495
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 01:36:05 pm »
I've been using OT cast bullets for a couple guns. They sell packs of 100 for trying out.....give em a call.

Offline HGunner

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Avid Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 225
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2012, 07:00:40 pm »
I called and they fixed me up.  Thanks zoner!

Offline HGunner

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Avid Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 225
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2012, 07:20:37 pm »
They offered to send me six for free.  I loaded up 5 of the 240 gr SWC in 44 special cases with 8 gr of Unique.  I shot them over the chronograph then gently swabbed the barrel and noticed mild to moderate leading in my FA 97.  This load ran about 1050 fps.  Is this too fast for this bullet?  I noted that this bullet is listed at .431 and cannot be pushed through the throats by hand.  Should I get more and try a different load or is this bullet not right for this gun?




Offline jlchucker

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • A Real Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 613
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 06:55:47 am »
They offered to send me six for free.  I loaded up 5 of the 240 gr SWC in 44 special cases with 8 gr of Unique.  I shot them over the chronograph then gently swabbed the barrel and noticed mild to moderate leading in my FA 97.  This load ran about 1050 fps.  Is this too fast for this bullet?  I noted that this bullet is listed at .431 and cannot be pushed through the throats by hand.  Should I get more and try a different load or is this bullet not right for this gun?

If you are getting leading I would think that either the bullet that you have shot is not sized to your gun properly and/or the lube isn't doing its job.  Pushing the bullet through the throats doesn't really tell you much about the barrel. Slug the barrel itself, and measure. I prefer to cast my own rather than buy, and some of my thinking has to do with having my own control over the lube that I use, which is mostly Javalina Alox.  I cast for several rifles, and two Smith revolvers, and have never experienced leading.  My bullets, cast fairly soft, are leaving my rifles significantly faster than 1050. I can't speak for manufacturer of your bullets, but some commercial casters use a hard lube that really doesn't lube as well as Alox, but does package prettier.  Don't give up on cast bullets just yet. They require careful experimentation with each gun that you use, but once you reach your accurate load, write it down for future use.

Offline Blackhawker

  • Trade Count: (38)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2012, 07:23:53 am »
They offered to send me six for free.  I loaded up 5 of the 240 gr SWC in 44 special cases with 8 gr of Unique.  I shot them over the chronograph then gently swabbed the barrel and noticed mild to moderate leading in my FA 97.  This load ran about 1050 fps.  Is this too fast for this bullet?  I noted that this bullet is listed at .431 and cannot be pushed through the throats by hand.  Should I get more and try a different load or is this bullet not right for this gun?
The bullets are probably too hard for that kind of load.  If the pressure is too low in the load and the bullet too hard, the bullet will not obturate into the groves.  Flame, fire, extreme heat from the powder burning will flash around the bullet and actually melt and plate out lead into your barrel. 

There is a calculation that one can use to determine the proper hardness of bullet to use for a given load pressure.   Here is a link to an article that might help you.  It has the calculations on it.

http://www.grantcunningham.com/blog_files/15e296c61415e831fecfe8fddcc1dc92-414.html

I believe that the Oregon Trail bullets are about 18 brinnel hardness or higher.  That hardness will probably match pressures up over 32,000 cup.  Check your load manual for pressures of various loads.

As an example, I just tested out some loads using Missouri Bullet Co. bullets.  They are Brinnel Hardness of 18 and my loads were roughly 26,000 cup.  Guess what I have to clean from my barrel now?  LOTS of lead.
Aside from hardness, sizing is a big factor as well.  When in doubt, slug your barrel and mic the bullets.  You should be .001 to .0025-ish greater in size with cast bullets.  Preferably .001".

Hope that helps.

Offline BigMuddy

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Avid Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 126
  • Gender: Male
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2012, 03:28:43 pm »
Hgunner...what Blackhawker said.


That is my guess anyway. My '97 also got severe leading with my own cast bullets that were water quenched wheel weight lead. Loads were 1000 fps. I read some of Glen Fryxell's work on proper hardness for pressure reached and decided to try some bullets that were air cooled instead of water dropped. Leading went away and groups shrunk from what I called "patterns" to ragged one holers.

You may try some of the Missouri Bullet in the "cowboy" alloy. You know I cast my own but have also used these softer lead bullets at 1000 fps and they shoot great with no leading.

Good luck there Pard.

Dan
"Remember the Code"

Offline HGunner

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Avid Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 225
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2012, 06:47:17 am »
Thanks for the tips on hardness -- the article was informative.  I never considered that they were too hard for light loads.  I may give the Missouri bullets a try -- I wish I could try less than 500 though.  In the meantime I ordered more of the 255 SWC-GC bullets from Montana Bullet Works.  Not cheap but very accurate and trouble free.

Offline Blackhawker

  • Trade Count: (38)
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1504
Re: Oregon Trail Laser Cast Bullets
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2012, 07:52:47 am »
HGunner....and to all reading this thread.
I have an update on those Missouri Bullet Co. bullets.  As I went over my data from the range the other day, it seems that some other cast bullets fouled my barrel something awful prior to shooing my MBC bullet test loads.  I couldn't hit a barn from inside once the barrel was so leaded.  When I got home later, I ran a swab of solvent though my barrel and the lead became more visible.  I've never seen a completely coated with lead barrel before.  By the time I got around to shooting those MBC bullets, I might as well have been shooting them from a smooth bore.

As of last Monday, I was very disappointed with the MBC bullets as I thought they were responsible for the severe leading.  This Saturday I tried them again AFTER removing all of that lead. They shot great.  My guess is that I'm at just about a high enough pressure to use the BRN hardness 18 bullets but probably right on the edge of that.  The bullets I had fired prior to testing the MBC bullets were probably running about 20 to 22...obviously much too hard for my loads (by calculation and by results).

I still advise using the formula from that article and buy your cast bullets in accordance with the pressure load you intend to shoot.  It's a good guideline at best but keep in mind that sizing can also attribute to leading as well.