Choosing the right bullet

Discussion on Bullets and Bullet Lubes, Casting, Swaging, Paper Patching, and Lube Cookies.
horseman308
PostsCOLON 55
JoinedCOLON Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:29 pm
LocationCOLON Maryland

Choosing the right bullet

Post by horseman308 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:52 pm

I'm curious about y'alls process for identifying the right bullet for your loads. Assuming that most, if not all, serious BPCR shooters cast their own, do you start with buying pre-cast in various weight and design and then buy a mold that matches what works best? Or do you just buy a bunch of different molds and hope you get lucky sooner rather than later (for lack of a better term - I know there's enough science that experienced folks can get pretty close by knowing their intended purpose, range, barrel length and twist)? The latter seems pretty expensive if you're just experimenting, but I was curious.
The only bullet you fire is the one in the chamber. Make it count.

Brent
PostsCOLON 1644
JoinedCOLON Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:12 pm
LocationCOLON the most boring real estate west of Illinois

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by Brent » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:18 pm

Depends on who you ask. Most folks look around at what others are doing and follow the crowd so to speak. Others like to whip up their own design and some prefer to hold seances and bring back ghosts of the dead for advice. All such methods make their practitioners happy so I guess they all work. :)
I'm not from here, I just live here.

gunlaker
PostsCOLON 396
JoinedCOLON Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:46 pm
LocationCOLON British Columbia

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by gunlaker » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:36 pm

Most often you can find out what is working well for others using the same rifle. In some cases this can be very easy. For instance in my Shiloh in .40-65 many people reported good results with the Saeco #740 and the "Kidwell" money bullets. Both shoot very accurately for me so load development was straight forward.

There are some pretty varied chambers being used by the different manufacturers. Some chambers, particularly oversized fat chambers, can be tricky to get to shoot well. I have one such rifle and it's very picky. I went with what I read on the forums and tried various "off the shelf", Postell, Saeco, Rcbs, Money bullets, etc none of them shot well until I did a chamber cast and discovered the diameter of the throat. This rifle only shoots reasonably well with 0.460" or larger diameter bullets.

What rifle do you have?

Chris.

User avatar
Ranch 13
PostsCOLON 1578
JoinedCOLON Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:41 am
LocationCOLON Eastern Wy
CONTACTCOLON

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by Ranch 13 » Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:31 pm

Assuming you're talking about an off the shelf rifle, with no special chambers cut in it, and shooting grease groove bullets. The simplest way is to buy a selection of the more popular bullets , and give them a whirl, then when you decide on the "best" bullet get a mould to cast it for yourself if you shoot a lot.

horseman308
PostsCOLON 55
JoinedCOLON Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:29 pm
LocationCOLON Maryland

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by horseman308 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:21 am

Thanks for the tips.

Chris, my rifle is a Pedersoli Sharps in .45-70 with a 30" bbl. So it's a pretty common rifle. I live in central Maryland, so most of my shooting opportunities will be under 300 yards, more often 200 and less. I may be able to get out to shoot 400-500 yards once a year or so. So, I'm thinking through aspects of whether I would want to keep things simple and go straight for a heavy weight bullet for all ranges or try to find one lighter (cheaper?) bullet for close-ish shooting (200-300 yards???) and another heavier one for longer ranges, or if it even matters.

I'm still very new to both BPCR and to reloading, so I'm not really in the place where I'm ready to buy a bullet mold, but I figured doing some research would be wise. The vast majority of my shooting has been roundball muzzleloading or small-bore rifles, so I've got lots of learning to do.
The only bullet you fire is the one in the chamber. Make it count.

Premod70
PostsCOLON 96
JoinedCOLON Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:25 am

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by Premod70 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:46 am

I don't own a Uberti but those friends of mine that do have good success with these molds;
http://www.sageoutfitters.com/molds-44-to-50-cal.html , drop them a e-mail and tell them you need a mold for a Uberti throat. The trick is to get a bullet that has a bearing surface long enough to seal in the throat at the front band before the base leaves the case thus not permitting gas erosion.

User avatar
Ranch 13
PostsCOLON 1578
JoinedCOLON Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:41 am
LocationCOLON Eastern Wy
CONTACTCOLON

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by Ranch 13 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:33 am

In your rifle a grease groove bullet at .460 diameter will be the best place to start. Try to stay at or above 480 grs. those 18 twist barrels don't always do well with bullets lighter than 450. Check with Chey cast.com and Big Sky Components. they both sell a good variety of proven bullets.

gunlaker
PostsCOLON 396
JoinedCOLON Sat Aug 09, 2008 1:46 pm
LocationCOLON British Columbia

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by gunlaker » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:25 am

I would recommnd choosing just one proven bullet and get it shooting well for starters. I've heard others recommend a .460" bullet for the Pedersoli like Don says. You can usually tell pretty quickly if the bullet is going to shoot well too.

Chris.

User avatar
Ranch 13
PostsCOLON 1578
JoinedCOLON Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:41 am
LocationCOLON Eastern Wy
CONTACTCOLON

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by Ranch 13 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:43 am

Chris is right. The postel is never a bad choice, and usually works well all the way to the 1000 yd line.

User avatar
montana_charlie
PostsCOLON 1413
JoinedCOLON Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:35 pm
LocationCOLON West of Great Falls, Montana

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by montana_charlie » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:03 pm

The Paul Jones Creedmoor is a tiny bit more 'meaty' in the ogive, so it comes closer (than the Postell) to the Gunn-Trenk bullet - which is specifically shaped for the Pedersoli Sharps.

Creedmoor and Postell comparison:

Image

Although Paul Jones has retired, there are a number of mould makers who will cut that P J Creedmoor cavity.
I don't know any (right now) who are making the Gunn-Trenk, but that design is 'public' so anybody can produce it without violation of trademark or copyright laws.

I have two PJ Creedmoor moulds that throw .460" bullets, and I could be talked out of one ... if you PM me.

In my Pedersoli, it can do this.

Image
Retired...twice. Now, just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

laowho
PostsCOLON 15
JoinedCOLON Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:48 am

Re: Choosing the right bullet

Post by laowho » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:09 am

Hiya Horseman,

I'm gonna try and touch all the bases already hit upon here, and cuz I'm just starting out like yourself. Have ordered from Chey and had my bullets in two days, all well cast. And have seen Big Sky bullets and they were beautiful. Am also glad to see that Sagebrush is still in business--had heard they were regrettably gone cuz they made good moulds, as does Accurate and NEI. One of these will be my next, or possibly a BACO money. Which brings me to your OP...

I had to wait a bit to get my rifle and started casting before I even had it, and you'll probly enjoy this part too. Moulds I bought were from research I'd done on what works well with what, so what Montana Charlie says is especially pertinent to yer question when you hear from someone who knows both yer particular rifle and bullets generally. Even tho I had bought 4 moulds before we got the rifle, I've only cast 2 so far cuz they shoot so well, and cuz I'm still learning what's involved in good casting. Now that mould that MC is offering is highly desirable and you might consider grabbing it as PJ is no longer making them, and in the meantime get some already pre-cast. You won't lose money on the mould, but you'll almost certainly end up using it instead. Very satisfying. AND you'll skip the mediocre mould purchasing I went thru--nuthin wrong w/ my Lymans or Saeco, but our next will be a "custom." Cheers

BUTTON_POST_REPLY