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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone reload .44 on here? I'm getting a new rossi 92 but ammo is impossible to find so it looks like ill have to load most all f it. Can anyone suggest hard cast bullets to load with?also I've never seated hard cast bullets before any things I new to know? I'm going to order a set of 4 lee dies in carbide soon.

tips would be great, thanks guys!
 

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Hard cast bullets are fine, you will see some leading if you push the bullets too fast or they are Not adequately lubed. You will know if you have a leading problem if your accuracy goes out the window. A sure cure for that is fire a few jacketed bullets down the barrel or use gas check bullets.

Gas check bullets are more economical than jacked ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
dsdmmat,

Can you suggest any hard cast manufactures with a good product?

Now I notice that seating them seems to be a bit more tricky? I want to make sure I get the correct die set for the process. Any suggestions?
 

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I cast my own or buy from my local gun shop. Seating them is no different than seating jacked ones, bell the case and push it in. Most have a crimp groove so you know where to seat them. Jacked ones tend to bulge the cases if they don't go in just right, lead bullets tend to slide right on in. There are a few companies that make a gas check flat point bullet for the 44, which is what you want to use in a lever action gun.
 

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You'll be hard pressed to find anyone that will sell them to you for less than 1k count
 

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The other problem you might have is the action liking your choice of bullet and cycling your reloads. Sometimes rifles can be finicky and not like some styles of bullet heads. Do you have a .44 mag pistol? If yes then you can reload some and if they don't cycle through the rifle you can shoot them up in pistol.

More than likely your loads will cycle fine so I would suggest hard cast lead as they work fine and gas check bullets are going for almost as much as jacketed, I have shot my 9mm reloads thru my rifle and handgun and have no problems with leading. First because lead bullets are loaded to lower pressures and second hard cast bullets are just that super hard and lastly like the other gentleman posted just run a couple jacketed bullts down the barrel at the end of your shooting session and that will clean out any lead you might have in barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I guess scratch that. I saw grafs had them in stock, but that's not working out. Guess the preppers got to it all.

If you guys buy hard cast lead bullets, what manufacture do you buy from? There seem to be a lot of guys out there, but I'm not looking to get a 50lb box of scrap lead. I can't find too much on their bullets.

The bullets with the gas checks seem very expensive compared to hard cast... It's like .40 for a gas checked bullet, or .10 for a regular hard cast.

Can you give me more insight on the bullets?

Thanks guys.
 

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Hard cast bullets are a lot harder than lead bullets and generally don't lead the barrel unless you are really pushing them fast. I cast from a 10 pound pot mixed with 9 pounds of wheel weights and 1 pound of 90/10 tin solder. I really dont need the extra tin alloy mix but it helps fill out the molds better IMO. Wheel weights have antimony and tin in them already so they are good enough for shooting as they are, unless you like to push them to IPSC major power factor loads (which is what I used to do). Any hardcast bullet with a Brinnel Hardness ratings for Wheel weights as published are:
8 BHN immediately after casting and air-cooling
12 BHN about 2 weeks after casting with air-cooling
14-16 BHN in about 2 weeks if tin is added to the mix and air-cooled
18-30 BHN if water quenched
25-35 BHN if heat-treated in an oven and water quenched.

So any comercial hard test bullets you buy should rate anywhwere from 14-30.
My cast bullets have been hanging around for a long time so I would imagine their hardness level has dropped to around 21.

Here is some good reading on the subject and probably more than you ever wanted to know about cast bullets.
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=54
Cast bullet alloys, characteristics of CB alloys, maintenance of CB alloys
 

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.44magnum/.44special

My Marlin 1894 (.44) has Ballard deep cut grooves. Years ago Marlin made a micro-groove 1894 (,44). The deep cut gtooves will handle lead SWC/LRN at less than 1000 ft/sec. In the past I've loaded National Bullet, Meister and currently use Dardas Cast Bullets. dardas cast bullets (My preference is 240gr SWC & 240gr RN.)

92-2-6 seems to be the magic formula w/a BHN of 16. No leading in either my .44 or .357. Straight up pistol bullets. I keep my velocities at about 800-900 ft/sec.

Oregon Trail Laser cast bullets are a propritary bullet alloy. I load mine up to 1000 ft/sec. They are hard. Not sure about the availability right now.http://www.laser-cast.com/44Cal.html

Use RIFLE loading data for loads. A handgun load will give a little extra velocity in a carbine/rifle. Use large pistol primers as per the specific reloading instructions.

Many of the lead load powders are comparable to shotgun powders commonly used for trap shooting. Very little powder is used so if you need powder you might be able to borrow a pinch from a friendly trap shooter.

Check the specifics on your rifle model. You might be able to use .44 special cartridges/brass as well. .44mag seems to be in short supply. I've seen .44 special out there. But check the specific manufacturer's info on your rifle. Your .44 magnum dies may also be suitable for .44 special loading (RTFM).

Speer and Hornady load books have lead data for rifles. Lee is also pretty good w/the load data.

I final crimp mine w/a Lee factory sizing die/crimp for the .44 Magnum. Good final product.

At about 6-7 pounds the .44 rifle recoil is nill. You will be addicted. W/iron sights you should be able to plug any target out to 50 yards offhand w/ease. W/a little patience out to 100 yards it should be fine, but w/a slow moving pistol cartridge you will have to make a serious elevation adjustment.
 

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Hard cast bullets are a lot harder than lead bullets and generally don't lead the barrel unless you are really pushing them fast. I cast from a 10 pound pot mixed with 9 pounds of wheel weights and 1 pound of 90/10 tin solder. I really dont need the extra tin alloy mix but it helps fill out the molds better IMO. Wheel weights have antimony and tin in them already so they are good enough for shooting as they are, unless you like to push them to IPSC major power factor loads (which is what I used to do). Any hardcast bullet with a Brinnel Hardness ratings for Wheel weights as published are:
8 BHN immediately after casting and air-cooling
12 BHN about 2 weeks after casting with air-cooling
14-16 BHN in about 2 weeks if tin is added to the mix and air-cooled
18-30 BHN if water quenched
25-35 BHN if heat-treated in an oven and water quenched.

So any comercial hard test bullets you buy should rate anywhwere from 14-30.
My cast bullets have been hanging around for a long time so I would imagine their hardness level has dropped to around 21.

Here is some good reading on the subject and probably more than you ever wanted to know about cast bullets.
https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_list&c=54
Cast bullet alloys, characteristics of CB alloys, maintenance of CB alloys
I have some lead ingots that I bought (they were a take it or leave it deal with some stuff I wanted) and I think they are soft lead. How can I test the hardness?
Thanks in advance
 

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Dam $60 I just want to know how hard it is, isn't there some old time test like throw it out the window from 10 feet up and measure the dent? lol.
Where are you I have about 200 lbs of ingots I am looking to sell or trade?
I just save lead for my casting buddies. I looked at the cost of casting and it got a little expensive for my liking. At one point I was getting wheel weights but they've gotten away from lead. I just scour garage sales, estate sales for old lead, tin, antimony, solder, sinkers. A lot of work to save a little money so I avoid casting.
 
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