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I have used 1680 with 158 gr swc gc bullets cast from a Lee mold with good accuracy. Also, 180 gr rf gc, from NOE mold. Both of these bullets shoot well for me. I haven't used the for hunting as yet, but likely will this coming season.

No chrony, so I don't know velocity numbers, but I'm guessing that they exceed 2000fps. I use the same loads that I've used for jacketed bullets. I cast a couple of thousandths over bore size and have had no leading problems.
 

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This is interesting info for me. I have 8+ lbs of 1680 and several hundred cast bullets suitable for the Maxi.

Thanks, Dinny
 

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How fast can you get away with using lead? Everywhere I see either gives absurdly low maximum velocities that a .38 could exceed, or broad claims of no leading ever. The locally-available jacketed bullets are fairly uninspiring and I'm looking elsewhere for ideas.
 

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skiddyfisk said:
How fast can you get away with using lead? Everywhere I see either gives absurdly low maximum velocities that a .38 could exceed, or broad claims of no leading ever. The locally-available jacketed bullets are fairly uninspiring and I'm looking elsewhere for ideas.
I powder coat mine and have no issues with leading, regardless of how fast I push them. With that being said, I have no idea which bullets I have pushed the fastest but IIRC, I have pushed some 454" cast bullets into the high 1800s.

Thanks, Dinny
 

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Skiddyfisk I'd say too many variables to list.

Speed is one of the big ones, rifle twist rate. Combine speed and twist rate and push it high enough and you can make lead bullets self destruct in mid air into a cloud of gray dust.

Lube is a big one. Many work well at lower speeds, I think really just a few work well over the 2400-2500 fps range.

Bullet fit to bore.

Bullet design comes into it.

And of course alloy of the lead, we talking pure? 20 parts pure to 1 part tin? Antimony? Arsenic?
Air cooled? Water Dropped? Soft nose annealed?

There are those who have pushed the envelope with a specific rifle shooting a given load with the right lube that reach almost 3,000 fps with good accuracy and no problems.

ANY time you pushing over 1400 fps your first move is to make sure you are shooting a gas check bullet.

Personally I've had my best luck at opposite ends of the spectrum. SKS (Yugo) 185 grain gas check boolit from a Lee Mold, 20-22 grains of IMR 4895 set as long as possible and still slide in the magazine makes my old SKS sit up, walking and talking.

It has iron sights and my old eye's don't do iron sights over 50 yards. But it shoots exactly to point of aim, cold, warm, matters not.
But I started by increasing bullet size by half. 124 grain to 185 grain. To do that safely I needed to reduce speed significantly. So I pretty much reduced powder charge a third to slow things down. May have a bit more of an arc, but it hits just as hard as factory loads at 50 while doing roughly 2/3rds the speed. But that is just one example.

The other end of the spectrum is a .357 handi which shot 3 shots into 1 hole with 5.2 grains of Red Dot behind a .358 158 grain tumble lubed non gas checked bullet.

.444 marlin did pretty much the same with .310 grain bullet under 13 grains of Red Dot.

Since then I have been slowly working through each caliber and finding a low and slow load with Red Dot that works well.
.223, 55 grain bator bullet, no gas check, 4.6 grains. That shot so well I tried duplicating it in .300 BO, bigger bullet of course. Same good results.

Red Dot is NOT going to function your AR or semi auto most likely. Slower powder with more gas will work better there.
But for a single shot, under a light for caliber bullet, start at 4 and work up or at 7 and work down.

I'm betting that someplace between 5.5 and 4.0 you are going to find a sweet spot.

And if you can shoot for 5,6,7 cents a round, who cares if it does not go 3k fps?
 

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Moto357, far as I'm concerned 1680 is the only powder I'll use in the max. Tried some 2400 and 4227, results were mediocre. Went to 1680 with loads in the lower 20's and worked up to 28gr at which point the soot was all gone and groups had shrunk to the 1/2" range. I shoot a RD 190gr either lubed w/LLAand a GC or PP the same bullet with JPW for lube. Velocity runs a little over 2100. I also use it in my .445SM with equally good results. GW

Incidentally my Max has a 24" barrel, 16" twist, and requires .360 bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are certainly a lot of pieces to the puzzle of getting cast to shoot with speed, as Ghosth pointed out

Goatwhiskers, I find your post quite intriguing... Most of my load work has been primarily paper patch. Thus far h4227 has given best speed by far as well as smallest groups. I'm pretty new to 1680 but I'm hoping with a little work I can make things work. First load I fired was a hang fire, second shot never ignited the powder leaving me with a stuck bullet in the barrel. This was with a 185gr pp and mag primer. My pp boolits are seated pretty long which is possibly why.

I posted the original question about cast as I figured a cast boolit with no crimp would be similar to my pop with no crimp. Shot some heavier 212gr pp boolits today and they did better. Just trying to find a direction to go for next weekends outing
 

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Mag primers are a good idea with 1680, it's a bit harder to ignite. I'm not any kind of expert on interior ballistics, far from it, but it sounds as tho you had a mighty light load. That powder requires a certain amount of pressure to get the burn rate up where it should be, as evidenced by the case soot disappearing as the load increases. My load is slightly compressed with my powder charge with no signs of pressure. I got my load and pressure info from a site called 357Max.com which no longer exists, but the owner had his loads tested by Western Powders and pronounced safe, in fact the pressures were way less than one might expect, but around 28-29gr is right up at the top as the case is mighty full. That powder is about the slowest that can be used in the Max case as it fills the case up. Good luck with yours. GW
 

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moto357 said:
...........Thus far h4227 has given best speed by far as well as smallest groups. I'm pretty new to 1680 but I'm hoping with a little work I can make things work. First load I fired was a hang fire, second shot never ignited the powder leaving me with a stuck bullet in the barrel. This was with a 185gr pp and mag primer. My pp boolits are seated pretty long which is possibly why..............
I have neither found nor looked for 1680, although it looks to be THE (currently available) powder for the 'Max based on the reports I have been seeing. My preference is IMR 4227 or Alliant 2400 for their versatility (more on that another time).

My current 'Max, on which I have been reserved about posting until I get some "bugs" worked out, has the dreaded "pistol throat" or SAAMI chamber with the long, running jump to the rifling. It seems to shoot quite well with long bullets seated WAY out, which has me cautious about the same thing moto357 mentions - extra space in the case and how that will go with certain powders.

EDIT: That is a RDO 190 grain seated with the aluminum gas check and one one driving band below the mouth and roll crimped. I could go longer to accommodate the SAAMI chamber but would be holding onto no more than the gas check. I have only shot it with Unique so far because Unique doesn't seem to care about "extra space" like the other powders being discussed.

Unique (not ideal for the top end velocities) works well with that extra space and I believe that IMR 4227 and 2400 will too, but I would hesitate myself to invest in 1680, H110/296 or 300MP right yet because I wonder how well they will respond to that extra, unused powder space.

From research, 300MP, being "like" H110, but slower, makes me believe that it wouldn't be ideal unless I filled that space. Just how much more of that powder I could fill it with is an open question I am hesitant to try to answer. From experience, H110 has always performed best for me with as close to 100% load density as practical and leaves me with the same question. From what I have read, I would personally be inclined to hold similar reservations about 1680 but have neither data nor empirical first-hand knowledge.

If I had a "proper rifle chamber" in the 'Max I am using, I would not hesitate to grab a caddy of 1680 for it for use with cast bullets, but then I would also not hesitate to crack open the 8# of 300MP I have either. I have seen a lot of data which indicates 1680 to be a fine cast bullet powder in the 'Max. When taken into consideration with my own experience with cast in the 'Max, and in general, I would think it a good choice but not with the extra space I have in my cases with the long-seated bullets. I would have to use too much precious powder or worse, could get into trouble with that much of that powder.
 

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Anymore, I lube most everything with JPW/Alox lube. I also cast about .002 over bore diameter, and have no problem with leading. I typically use straight wheel weight lead.

Years ago, before I started casting, I experienced terrible leading from hard cast that I purchased. If you have good fit and good lube, you push cast bullets pretty fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Goatwhiskers, being my bullets are seated long, I went with the T/C data from Accurate which for both 180-200gr has a starting load of 27gr. I realize the extra case room I have as well as low initial pressure of a pp bullet going into the riflings give lower pressure but still thought this to be the logical place to start. As stated the longer/heavier 212gr boolits did OK other than large variations in velocity at 27gr. While at 28+gr things settled down, but further testing next week will tell the tale. With the boolits being pp I try to get as close to the throat as possible. Also, since I've annealed my case necks I don't get soot on any cases regardless of low pressure loads(ie. RL7, H4198 or H322 loads)

Jeff H, the long throat is the rifle throat, where as the short is for pistols. Though shooting short 140xtp's shot best when crimped firm in the cannalure shot great even with the "long" jump. This is not the case with my paper patch loads, as I've shot a hand full of loads with them seated deeper with various powders, groups were opened up to the 4-6" range. Seated long, closer to the rifling produces best accuracy with these bullets. My experience is similar with 180speers and hornady200gr sp, they shot decent when crimped in the groove though my best groups with either were with them seated way out of the case. Unless using light bullets 296 is just too fast to work with bullets seated long, plus the need for a firm crimp makes this a poor choice for long seated bullets - in my experience!

Parson48, that's my lube for cast too, 50/50 jpw and Alox. Fav load is a subsonic using my smooth sided 212gr boolits but left unsized, tumbled twice in that lube over 4gr TB. Gives about 715fps and repeatable accuracy 8)
 

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moto357 said:
.......Jeff H, the long throat is the rifle throat, where as the short is for pistols............
What I am trying to describe is the SAAMI chamber which includes the revolver chamber-throat/forcing cone dimensions (and all the unnecessary length that goes with that) where there is a looong "ball seat" as opposed to the shorter leade produced by the GBO reamer.

Looking at my data, I see IMR 4227 for 180 to 200 grain cast at around 20 grains max. There may be data which exceeds that but I am going from my records, my bullets, etc. with a GBO reamer.

I wonder what that extra 7 grains is doing for you besides filling up space. Are you getting proportionately higher velocities than 20 grains would provide with a more deeply seated bullet?

I have had no problems with IMR 4427 igniting or burning well with some space (lower charges are not wildly inaccurate) and more powder just seems to provide more velocity - up to a point.

On the other hand, with H110 and WC820, they have always seemed to be crappy loads until a certain load density is met. Granted, the extra powder space will mean less pressure for a given charge but that pressure seems more important in H110 and WC820.

I wonder if (for the OP) 1680 acts like this and whether 300MP (for myself) will as well. What I imagine happening is that more powder would work but the efficiency of the 357 Max. case is negated - meaning you could end up with the same velocities using 20 grains in a bullet seated deeper as 27 grains in one seated way out.

This is not an assertion - this is a question with some hypothetical possibilities based on what I have seen. Wondering if someone else knows.
 

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I also have an older H&R .357 barrel that has been butchered with a pistol Maximum reamer. I have resorted to seating the 200gr FTX bullet long and using 28gr of 1680. This combo shoots to 1"-1.25" at 100yds. I have seen data all the way up to 30gr of 1680 in long seated cases for the Maximum. Pressure tests revealed they are unexpectedly low, with all other things considered.

Thanks, Dinny
 

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Dinny said:
I also have an older H&R .357 barrel that has been butchered with a pistol Maximum reamer. I have resorted to seating the 200gr FTX bullet long and using 28gr of 1680. This combo shoots to 1"-1.25" at 100yds. I have seen data all the way up to 30gr of 1680 in long seated cases for the Maximum. Pressure tests revealed they are unexpectedly low, with all other things considered.

Thanks, Dinny
Kind of what I suspected. Using extra powder to no real gain other than not throwing away a barrel.

I will be experimenting with mine. I used Unique to fiddle with seating depth to determine if it was going to be able to shoot and now I will start looking at slow(er) powders to fill up that case. I started wondering if an even slower rifle powder might not start making sense.

I wonder how close to the .357 Herrett capacity some of these long-seated "Maxes are getting...........
 

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Member, [email protected], is the one who "charted" this territory. He closed down his website that contained the answers to the experiment questions you have. He too used a long throated Maximum chambered in a Ruger #1. He is extremely knowledgeable in this area.

Thanks, Dinny
 

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Jeff, per Western Powders, 1680 is the slowest powder practical in the Max case. Anything slower you won't be able to get the pressure up enough for a proper burn. GW
 

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Goatwhiskers said:
Jeff, per Western Powders, 1680 is the slowest powder practical in the Max case. Anything slower you won't be able to get the pressure up enough for a proper burn. GW
GW,
Right, but I imagine that's with bullets seated to "normal" depth. I am adding a fair amount of space by seating so far out.

I realize the notion is a bit of a stretch, but at the same time I wonder.

Skiddyfish,
Thanks. I may measure what I have where I have seated my bullets. I believe 1680 was listed in the Herret data last time I looked.

Dinny,
It's a shame that site is gone. I had bookmarked it s ome time before I got my first 'Max and it wasn't there anymore once I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
[quote author=Jeff H link=topic=309220.msg1099975919#msg1099975919 date=1442173545
I wonder what that extra 7 grains is doing for you besides filling up space. Are you getting proportionately higher velocities than 20 grains would provide with a more deeply seated bullet?
(Snip)
I wonder if (for the OP) 1680 acts like this and whether 300MP (for myself) will as well. What I imagine happening is that more powder would work but the efficiency of the 357 Max. case is negated - meaning you could end up with the same velocities using 20 grains in a bullet seated deeper as 27 grains in one seated way out.

This is not an assertion - this is a question with some hypotheisn't l possibilities based on what I have seen. Wondering if someone else knows.
[/quote]

Comparing the Accurate load data for the max with 1680 between revolver and T/C its seen that the bullets seated deeper use less powder, but produce similar pressures...all while the T/C loads show higher velocity. My experience shows the same(minus the pressure equipment which I don't have). Yes more powder can be used to get similar pressures as long as the bullets are seated out further. In doing so more powder is used, which means more fuel/potential energy thus giving higher velocity. I have been testing this for 3-4 months with near 100 different loads now and have compiled a fair amount of notes. Also to note, this has all been done in my own gun and this isn't the same for all.

Using a powder like 296/h110 seems to be a case this doesn't work so well. There seems to be a pretty small window, pressue wise, which this powder works optimally. This coupled with the powder needing to be near full load density (97%-100%) doesn't leave much wiggle room. Add the extra "fuel" and pressures spike. I knew this beforehand but still had to figure it out on my own ::) :p. It seems best saved for lighter bullets seated normal with a firm crimp.

Dinny, any clue if Steve of 357maximum.com is still around? I've read a few of his threads and got excited but was dissapointed to see his website gone
 
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