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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm being encouraged by a friend to try cast for the 1919. We checked out the local gun show today and turned up a Lyman .30 round nose 155 grain mold designed for gas checks. His experience is that with a hard lead and using gas checks velocities can be pushed past 2,000 feet per second. My plan is first use an A6 barrel in 30-06, have boosters in three basic calibers to swap, and various cartridge stops. The first problem I see is feed issues, second will be the cycling due to OAL cartridge length. .308 is another possibility. And lastly of course chamber pressure, or lack of.
Anyone have input from previous efforts?
 

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I know soft tip ammo has OAL issues because upon takeup the bolt will crush the tip against the bunter shortening the OAL, hence creating feed issues. You may very likely have similar issues even with hi tin content lead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Round nose design

I know soft tip ammo has OAL issues because upon takeup the bolt will crush the tip against the bunter shortening the OAL, hence creating feed issues. You may very likely have similar issues even with hi tin content lead.
The bullet mold I'm using is a round nose, hoping to avoid that problem. Going with 30-06 will allow the use of a short round stop, if that helps.
 

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The bullet mold I'm using is a round nose, hoping to avoid that problem. Going with 30-06 will allow the use of a short round stop, if that helps.
Never done this myself, but there may be something to ice water quenching hot cast bullets fresh from the mold that may help with this aspect. Total speculation here.
 

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I've a young friend that grew up casting bullets, mostly for handgun, but including rifle calibers. He is encouraging me to try cast for the 1919. We checked out the local gun show today and turned up a Lyman .30 round nose 155 grain mold designed for gas checks. His experience is that with a hard lead and using gas checks velocities can be pushed past 2,000 feet per second. My plan is first use an A6 barrel in 30-06, have boosters in three basic calibers to swap, and various cartridge stops. The first problem I see is feed issues, second will be the cycling due to OAL cartridge length. .308 is another possibility. And lastly of course chamber pressure, or lack of.
Anyone have input from previous efforts?
Yes it works very well your on the right track with the A6 barrel. You want the lightest barrel and heaviest bullet so you can keep the velocity as low as possible. I used a Lyman 210 grain round nose cast with a A6 barrel. 2300 fps with WC 867 surplus 50 powder. The booster will not work it jams with lead after 200 rounds with the hardest alloy. Even pure linotype bullets jam after 200 rounds. Instead of a booster you will need make a booster into a bearing that just supports the end of the barrel. It will need to go deeper into the shroud since the A6 barrel has a shorter bearing surface. Then you will need to modify a 308 front cartridge guide so the shorter bullets don't drift forward during feeding.

The water cooled guns are easier with cast since the barrel is lighter. There are some old lyman molds that copied the spire point that the military had. Those work the best since they feed good and they work in the belt loaders. The number of the best lyman spire point is 311365 No spacer is needed with this bullet it is long heavy and pointed. There is a company that makes it still in Aluminium. Unless you can find a old one since lyman doesn't make them anymore.

Advantages are, cheaper and almost no barrel wear
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Excellent information

Yes it works very well your on the right track with the A6 barrel. You want the lightest barrel and heaviest bullet so you can keep the velocity as low as possible. I used a Lyman 210 grain round nose cast with a A6 barrel. 2300 fps with WC 867 surplus 50 powder. The booster will not work it jams with lead after 200 rounds with the hardest alloy. Even pure linotype bullets jam after 200 rounds. Instead of a booster you will need make a booster into a bearing that just supports the end of the barrel. It will need to go deeper into the shroud since the A6 barrel has a shorter bearing surface. Then you will need to modify a 308 front cartridge guide so the shorter bullets don't drift forward during feeding.

The water cooled guns are easier with cast since the barrel is lighter. There are some old lyman molds that copied the spire point that the military had. Those work the best since they feed good and they work in the belt loaders. The number of the best lyman spire point is 311365 No spacer is needed with this bullet it is long heavy and pointed. There is a company that makes it still in Aluminium. Unless you can find a old one since lyman doesn't make them anymore.

Advantages are, cheaper and almost no barrel wear
Thank you for postings all of this information. On booster, can I use just the bearing part from the two piece style? For the front cartridge guide is 8MM close? I've a good supply of fifty cal powder. The water cooled is still a work in progress, but getting closer. I'm on vacation this week and then retired as of next week! That should help me have time for fun stuff again! First project in line is refinishing the deck, I like being on the deck and working there on fun items.
 

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Thank you for postings all of this information. On booster, can I use just the bearing part from the two piece style? For the front cartridge guide is 8MM close? I've a good supply of fifty cal powder. The water cooled is still a work in progress, but getting closer. I'm on vacation this week and then retired as of next week! That should help me have time for fun stuff again! First project in line is refinishing the deck, I like being on the deck and working there on fun items.
When you work the bolt see if the barrel drops in the front. It it does you will need to make a bearing that goes deeper in the shroud. The A6 barrel has the step at the muzzle end so it needs a longer muzzle bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update

Order placed for Lyman mold number 311284, should cast around a 210 grain bullet depending on the alloy. The design uses gas checks. I will check for barrel drop with the A6, maybe substitute a USGI A6 bearing and shroud. Or see where the A6 barrel sits in a shroud for a 16" barrel with the two piece booster minus booster cap. First alloy will be wheel weights, then surplus fifty cal powder for propellant. I will be reviewing load data for 30-06 using cast bullets and commercial powders.
Looks like there are options, planning to test this with loading 37MM and testing on the same trip.
 

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Order placed for Lyman mold number 311284, should cast around a 210 grain bullet depending on the alloy. The design uses gas checks. I will check for barrel drop with the A6, maybe substitute a USGI A6 bearing and shroud. Or see where the A6 barrel sits in a shroud for a 16" barrel with the two piece booster minus booster cap. First alloy will be wheel weights, then surplus fifty cal powder for propellant. I will be reviewing load data for 30-06 using cast bullets and commercial powders.
Looks like there are options, planning to test this with loading 37MM and testing on the same trip.
That is the round nose bullet that I used it works very well. It works well in the Vickers also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Range report

My thanks to Mike for his input. He definitely steered me in the right direction. I used Lyman mold 311284 to cast bullets, gas checked & lubed them, loaded loaded fifty cal powder, used an almost A6 barrel I turned(longer bearing surface), and a two piece booster minus the booster plug. This combination cycled with out any issues. Also tried this with IMR-4064 and got the same results.
Lyman 311299 was also tried but had feeding issues, similar bullet but lighter. I will try a few more until the small supply of bullets is gone. All bullets were sized to .3105 with a hard lube in a Saeco lubricant-sizer.
I had only loaded sixty rounds for testing, and in regards to possibly leading the bore was clean.

Cost estimate per round is: .035 primer, .06 powder, gas check .035, lead .065 bringing it to .1995 PLUS labor expenses. (Please don't mention the price per round of 762x54R.) I figured powder at $8 per pound and lead at $2 per pound, nothing added for 30-06 brass.
 

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Ive ran some in my 54 conversion, they can be made to work. Not sure if I would recommend them for a FA gun that is going to see long belts. Friend of mine who casts worked up some loads for my 1919 and they ran, alittle hot but the concept worked. 54s still cheap enough that I have not seriously persued the idea.
 

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NICE!!
You may be able to lower the cost a bit more if you have a metal recycler close like I do. Wheel weights by the five gallon bucket and a Lyman ingot mold with a Coleman dual fuel stove= Priceless!
I burn regular gasoline. No stink to mention, really.

Any idea how fast your bullets are moving?
I just put a bunch together with 4064 and Magtech FMJ's. I really like that powder. I ran out and need to get more.These are for the AR-10 and PTR91.
What fifty cal powder are you using? I gotta try this.
 

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1600 -1700 ish FPS for the coated lead IIRC.
Ha, ha! I should have used the quote button. When will I learn?? :D You apparently sneaked your post in when I was typing my last one up.
I was asking Mt-ac what brand and number .50 cal. powder he was using and the speed of his lead, hand cast bullets. LMAO!! If it's the 48 or 68 dollar for 8 pounds stuff from Pat's and it works, I'm gonna give it a whirl.

I'm still only using surplus ammo in the Browning while I have it. The Magtech handloads are going to the AR10.
Using 4064, 42.5 grains under 147 grain Magtech FMJ. Should be around 2300 fps-ish. I do need to chrony them still. I have one, but forgot to drag it out.
If I go the cast route with rifle bullets, I'm gonna maybe have to pop for a lube-sizer. Don't really trust the tumbled way at those speeds. And another bullet mold.
Geez!! What are you guys doing to me, anyhow?!?! :rofl:
 

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I can't wait to try powder coating.
I have a few coffee cans half full of hand cast bullets coated with Hy-Tek bullet coating polymer. 9mm, .30 cal. for .30 carbine and .45 for the 1911. SHINY! :)

Now, if I can only get some frikkin powder to load them with,,,,,,,:jedicrying:

My Sterling's front end clogs up with lead so bad after six mags, the darn thing starts hitting two feet to the left. That was my motivation for trying this stuff. Still don't know if it works, what with no powder and all. :confused:
 

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I had tried cast bullets once and was discouraged when it became a bolt action rifle instead of a full auto. After reading the above I may try it again. I wasn't using the A6 barrel and evidently not the right powder. Good info, thanks.
 
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