Secret sauce for loading cast bullets for Freedom Arms revolvers - Page 3 - Graybeard Outdoors
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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 09:00 AM
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I have 5 FAs. One 83 in .44 mag and 4 model 97s in .357 and .44 spl. The .357 will only chamber bullets of .357 diameter and all of the .44s will only chamber bullets of .429 diameter. Cast .358 and cast .430 will not work so Ive been loading jacketed bullets.
But there is one exception. .358 full wadcutters loaded flush will chamber.
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-24-2019, 10:03 PM
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OP-Is there any update?
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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-25-2019, 07:41 PM
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2 of my 83's, the 357 mag and the 44 mag, both gave me fits with my cast bullets. The transition from the chamber to the throat is very abrupt on FA revolvers (told to me by FA and figured out by me fighting to get cast bullets chambered).

The 357 went back for a trigger job and while there they did something to the transition from chamber to throat in the cylinders. They would not open up the throats though. The 44 is still a tight SOB and requires a push to seat the loaded rounds when I use heavy LFN bullets. I don't need a hammer on the 44, just a push with my thumb. They both are fantastically accurate with my cast bullets (all LFN).

I size the 357's to .3575" and the 44's to dead on .430" measured with a quality micrometer. Any larger and it would be too much trouble.
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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpy grits View Post
OP-Is there any update?
LG
Yes, I forced my stingy behind to buy a micrometer. My 0.357" bullets were actually 0.35766" (ish), closer to .358" than 0.357". When I swaged them with a Lee 0.357" swager, they ended up at 0.35758" (ish).

I'm going to need to get either a better swager, or get a supplier whose bullets are closer to spec (or both)

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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-26-2019, 08:32 PM
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Those specs are fine, you are worrying about .0005 or less.
Not worth worrying about.
Put one of those bullets in the fridge for a couple of hours and check it.......
Lead bullets should be about .001 over bore dia.
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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-27-2019, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Lead bullets should be about .001 over bore dia.
LG
The FA throats are around 0.3572"(ish) by my estimate - I used a 0.357" plus gauge and it went in but felt very snug. A 0.3576" bullet doesn't fit.

I spoke to FA and was told to use 0.357" bullets, not 0.3576"; they were very friendly but I got the feeling I was not the first person to talk to them about this. Given the cost of another cylinder and the fact that my FA out shoots all my other 357s, I'm looking solve this by getting bullets that fit the throats rather than fiddling with the revolver.

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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-03-2019, 11:10 PM
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The FA throats are around 0.3572"(ish) by my estimate - I used a 0.357" plus gauge and it went in but felt very snug. A 0.3576" bullet doesn't fit.

I spoke to FA and was told to use 0.357" bullets, not 0.3576"; they were very friendly but I got the feeling I was not the first person to talk to them about this. Given the cost of another cylinder and the fact that my FA out shoots all my other 357s, I'm looking solve this by getting bullets that fit the throats rather than fiddling with the revolver.
You are not the first to ask them this.

Anyway, try this if you are of a mind to. Get a Lee bullet sizer die for 9mm (.355" +/-) and open it up to the exact size you need. I've done 3 so far, dies that is, and it takes a while but my bullets are sized to what I want them to be. I cast my own, and powder coat almost everything now, so I use the Lee dies more than my lubesizers.

There are plenty of how to videos about opening up the Lee dies. Now a fat bullet won't be a problem. You may size a few down too much, but you'll get there.

2 of my 83's are picky about fat bullets, but when you get them sized right, are stupid accurate. For me, I want the bullet to just be able to be pushed through the throat with a pencil. Not beat through the throat or fall through the throat, just pushed through.
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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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You are not the first to ask them this.

Anyway, try this if you are of a mind to. Get a Lee bullet sizer die for 9mm (.355" +/-) and open it up to the exact size you need. I've done 3 so far, dies that is, and it takes a while but my bullets are sized to what I want them to be. I cast my own, and powder coat almost everything now, so I use the Lee dies more than my lubesizers.

There are plenty of how to videos about opening up the Lee dies. Now a fat bullet won't be a problem. You may size a few down too much, but you'll get there.

2 of my 83's are picky about fat bullets, but when you get them sized right, are stupid accurate. For me, I want the bullet to just be able to be pushed through the throat with a pencil. Not beat through the throat or fall through the throat, just pushed through.
I've got a Lee .356" sizer which swages to 0.3566". I'd like to get it up to a few 10Ks over .357" - around .3572".

Looks easy enough in the videos. You just need to take it slow, do a little and measure. You can always take off more but you cannot add back!

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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-06-2019, 09:28 PM
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It is easy. Give the die a very good polish after opening it up. I only use mine for powder coated bullets, but they work just fine with uncoated lubed bullets too.

Gotta make those bullets fit the throat if you're looking for precision. You already know what too big does, and too small isnt prefect either. Also, a LFN style can be more forgiving to those steep transitions in the FA cylinders. They are all I cast and shoot in any of my revolvers. The WFN styles have been more problematic for me accuracy wise, and I have zero SWC style molds around. Not saying a WFN or SWC won't shoot well, I just have great luck with all of my LFN molds.
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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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It is easy. Give the die a very good polish after opening it up. I only use mine for powder coated bullets, but they work just fine with uncoated lubed bullets too.

Gotta make those bullets fit the throat if you're looking for precision. You already know what too big does, and too small isnt prefect either. Also, a LFN style can be more forgiving to those steep transitions in the FA cylinders. They are all I cast and shoot in any of my revolvers. The WFN styles have been more problematic for me accuracy wise, and I have zero SWC style molds around. Not saying a WFN or SWC won't shoot well, I just have great luck with all of my LFN molds.
To polish the inside of the die, would it be prudent to used a dremel tool and some automotive or household polish?

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