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  1. #1
    Grandmaster
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    May 2008
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    Sizing Cast Bullets

    The short of it: for various reasons (OK the wife said "NO") I can't cast in my house or yard or the garage. I have a Parker Hale .45 Volunteer Rifle; recommended bullet is 560 grain .451. The closet available retail cast bullets are for the 45-70 at .458, so the question. Can I resize the .458 to .451 just using a .451 sizer die or do I have resize progressively, .458 to .456, .456 to .454, etc? I know Track of the Wolf has .451 cast bullets, trying to save some $$$.

  2. #2
    Marksman Old Dog's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    Location
    Central Indiana
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    385
    I can't answer your sizing question but I have a question for your consideration. Assuming you already have the sizing press, you would only have to buy the sizing die(s). With that purchase and your time to run them through, would you really be saving any great amount of money? How many rounds will you be using over the next 5 years? It seems to me that it would be much more efficient to buy ones already sized. Just my thoughts.
    The colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

  3. #3
    Take a look over at castboolits. There's a few guys there that shoot Parker Hale's and Witworth's.

  4. #4
    Shooter
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Summitville
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    270
    For starters, Have you slugged the bore to see what diameter bullet is needed?
    That will tell you what diameter is needed.

    You could size 45-70 bullets down, but don't expect any accuracy at all. Each time you run a lead bullet in a sizer it has more and more chances of being swedged
    ( damaged ) more out of round than it already is.
    That's why lots of cast bullet shooters buy molds that drop bullets to the diameter that shoot well in there firearms. The term would be, shot as cast.
    I would suggest that you just order the correct bullets from track the wolf.

    And like suggested go and read on Castboolits.com, you might find a deal on bullets that will work for you.

  5. #5
    Tired Of Winning
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    Feb 2008
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    Monroe County
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    16,634
    I'm betting if you get in contact with Slowhand, you two will find a way to get this done to your liking.
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    Done, done, and Iím on to the next one...
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  6. #6
    Grandmaster Leadeye's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Depending on the alloy of the store bought stuff .007 is going to take some armstronging so progressive is probably your best bet. Are the bullets available in pure lead, probably better for that period rifle. Accurate mold can set you up with what you want if you ever get the green light on casting. It's not that big of an issue, been doing it for over 40 years.
    Where's the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth shattering Kaboom.

    Marvin the Martian

  7. #7
    Marksman djones's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Greenfield
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    You can easily size from .458 to .451. I do it all the time from .462 to .454. The key is to make sure that the lube grooves are full of lube before sizing down. This will keep the lube grooves from distorting in shape and losing lube volume.

    If the bullets are too hard to size as leadeye mentioned, you will want to try the following procedure to soften the alloy up to allow for easy sizing. Place bullets in an oven at around 400-425F. Heat them up for about 45 min to 60 minutes. If harder bullets are desired drop the hot bullets into a bucket of water. If soft bullets required remove from oven and allow to air cool to room temp. Once cool enough to handle place lube in lube grooves and size down to .451".

    PM me if you need any other help.

    David

  8. #8
    The store bought .45 rifle (.457-.458) cast bullets are going to have alloy content too hard for your rifle.
    The Volunteer is going to need a low tin percent lead alloy that will compress down its length (and get correspondingly fatter) when the powder charge kicks in the behind. A cast bullet like people usually shoot in a 45-70 needs greater hardness and that is what folks generally sell to the public.
    Me myself, I use soft lead of no particular alloy. My bore diameter is .458 so I shoot as cast. Soon will be shooting paper patched.


  9. #9
    Grandmaster
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    Mar 2011
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    Lafayette, IN
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    I sized hard cast pistol bullets down 3-4 thousandths with not trouble.

    Have your checked with Dixie gun works for soft lead bullets for your rifle?
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large numbers.

  10. #10
    Grandmaster
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    May 2008
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    Update: Got a Lee Hand Press at a gun show, ordered .451 die sizer from Track of the Wolf, .452 357 grain cast bullets. I sized a few and it wasn't that hard, pretty easy with the hand press, was worried that maybe a hand press wouldn't give enough leverage to drive the bullet through. Hope to do some shooting this weekend and have a good range report.


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