Tikka 223 won't shoot cast

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  • Last Post 20 February 2019
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max503 posted this 09 February 2019

I've always felt I had a Midas touch with cast bullets.  Any gun I've tried gave acceptable accuracy - until now.  My Tikka 223 won't shoot cast worth a hoot.  The gun is amazingly accurate with jacketed bullets.  So it's not the gun.  I've tried both 45 and 55 grain boolits and neither works.  It has a 1 in 12 twist.  Both of those boolits work in my Hornet.  I've tried Blue Dot, Unique, IMR 4227, and SR 4759.  They all gave consistent inconsistency.  

I've got some of that Cerro safe alloy in case I need to make a chamber casting, but I've never actually done that.  I would need help.  Like how do you funnel the melted alloy down into that deeply recessed chamber?

Maybe I need to size the boolits bigger.  Right now I'm sizing to .225 because that's the size of the dies I have.  I don't want to buy a die for my Lyman 450 and not have it work.  I like the Lyman better than the Lee push through dies.  The Lyman seats the gas check noticeably better. 

I was hoping to make this my main cast boolit gun but so far its not working.

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onondaga posted this 09 February 2019

Sorry Max,  but you have reached the dilemma that causes many to give up on cast. Weight isn't as important as fit. The Lee Lube and size kit dies are easily modifiable to enlarge.  I have defined fit a bazillion times here on the forum, once again: use the largest diameter bullet that will easily chamber.  Make a dummy round with at least one driving band exposed and ink it. Chamber/unchamber it once and look at it. A good fit will show the ink smudged and will be 1-2 pounds harder to chamber than a drop in fit of a jacketed bullet. Cast bullets are fit to the rifle differently than jacketed bullets are.  Any less than this slide fit to chamber subtracts accuracy potential as you have demonstrated. Cast Bullets with a long bearing area and a short nose shoot best in .223 and the 225646 is wonderful to prove that to yourself.

 

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/790896/lyman-2-cavity-bullet-mold-225646-22-caliber-225-diameter-55-grain-semi-point-gas-check

 

Cast bullets rely on stability during ignition in the chamber for accuracy, you miss that and they shoot all over the place for everybody....not just you.

 

Gary

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onondaga posted this 09 February 2019

Chamber castings done perfectly only give you a number to aim at for bullet size. INK on your bullet and the feel chambering in your rifle tells the truth. Try that.

Gary

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John Alexander posted this 09 February 2019

max503,

I have been shooting a Tikka T3 lite in competition for nearly ten years and have another that shoots cast bullets almost as well, so you are right there is probably nothing wrong with your rifle.  Mine are 1 in 8" twist and I shoot mostly 70 - 85 grain  bullets but my experience with shorter bullets has also been good.

You didn't say what alloy or bullet design you are using or how you are making sure the bullets fit so I can only offer general advice.

1. A lot of people think because most 22 CF factory loads are fast, CBs in 22s should be also.  Dead wrong.  If you are shooting faster than 1,800 fps slow it down and worry about high velocity after you master a 1,600 fps load. If you can't him em--------.

2. I use mostly TiteGroup, Blue Dot, 4756, etc. but all the powders you mentioned will work fine. Don't waste your time chasing the perfect powder.

3. You didn't say what alloy but if it is harder than 20:1 try a softer alloy. COWW or #2 usually work OK. Linotype or other hard alloys are a common cause of poor results in factory chambers. The common BS that 22s need a hard allow is plain wrong.

4. Lap out your sizing die to .226 or try unsized bullets if they will fit.  The only reason for die manufacturers not offering dies bigger than .225" is ignorance and one of the major reasons that the conventional wisdom thinks 22 CBs are hard to shoot well.

Try some of these things. Let us know how they turn out. Tell us more about exactly what you are doing and maybe get better advice. good luck.

John

 

 

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onondaga posted this 09 February 2019

Stability in the chamber is also something you can build on. Get the ink test fit on the exposed driving band, it will stabilize your bullet in the chamber. Your bolt action can also be fitted for the bullet to engage the chamber ball seat on the ogive of the bullet .010" by LOA adjustment. That additional stability lowers group size too. Just the band fit and modest loads with an alloy that matches the load level should be expected to shoot 2 MOA or 1" @ 50 yards if you do the job well. Engagement of the ogive will reduce group size due to even better stability on ignition. Get both band stability and ogive stability from engagement and you will have the best shot at accuracy in .223 and will approach 1 MOA.

Gary

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max503 posted this 09 February 2019

I might try chambering some dummy, unsized boolits. I do have a Lee .225 push die.  Maybe I could hone that out a little.

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onondaga posted this 09 February 2019

Just liking the Lyman dies better is a an empty excuse. A slotted dowel and 300 grit emery cloth with oil spun on a hand drill to enlarge a Lee die is easy and leaves them smoother too. Keep going by trial fit of bullets till your size is big enough to pass the ink and push test. You don't need any numbers for the true reality check of fit with ink on the bullet and your hands pushing one in the chamber to evaluate fit. Screw the numbers, get the fit you can see and feel.

Also very different with cast bullets is only chamber them once, don't be putting them in and then extracting them. You only get the fit once per round, don't play with them when they are fit well. Chamber them and shoot them once per loading. Un-chambering and re-chambering cast loads that were fit properly dramatically decreases accuracy and makes groups larger, don't do that.

Gary

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Scearcy posted this 09 February 2019

 

Also very different with cast bullets is only chamber them once, don't be putting them in and then extracting them. You only get the fit once per round, don't play with them when they are fit well. Chamber them and shoot them once per loading. Un-chambering and re-chambering cast loads that were fit properly dramatically decreases accuracy and makes groups larger, don't do that.

Gary

Seriously?? I am not doubting you Gary I had just never thought about it. Of course you are swaging them some when you chamber them. Learn something every day - if I am lucky.

Jim

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Scearcy posted this 09 February 2019

max503

You are about 6 weeks ahead of me on the learning curve. I have a 12" twist CZ 223 that I want to use in the groundhog matches this coming year and I have never tried cast bullets in it.

I have shot a whole bunch of cast through a variety of 243s and the only unusual problem I had (relative to the 30s) was the sensitivity to the twist. I agree with John regarding softer alloy and moderate velocities at least to start with.

Good luck! I'll be studying over your shoulder.

Jim

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max503 posted this 09 February 2019

I've been using pure lino.  I'll soften that a bit.

Make a dummy from an unsized bullit, chamber it, remove it, measure it, hone out my push die to slightly exceed that measurement. 

That's what I'll do.

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JeffinNZ posted this 10 February 2019

Softer alloy could be the answer.  My .223 with the same twist shoots air cooled clip on wheel weight alloy at 2300fps very accurately over 13gr H4227.  Alloy is less than 10 BHN.

Cheers from New Zealand

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R. Dupraz posted this 10 February 2019

My 6mmx223 14" bull Contender pistol barrel seems to like a --12 Bhn bullet much better than one of pure Lino. 

Hope to verify if we ever Thaw out.!

 

R.

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Hornet posted this 10 February 2019

Max,

    How about some heresy?  Size a couple of bullets through the .225 die, seat one in an expanded case neck, and chamber it to find your "jam length". Take a close look at the front edge of the front drive band. Does it show distinct marks from the rifling origin or does it have a bright contact ring all the way around? If it has a full contact ring, you might get much better results by sizing SMALLER and increasing the loaded length to the new jam length.

   The vast majority of the throats that I've checked have a little taper to them and I've always obtained the best and most consistent groups if the front band contacts the rifling origin to some degree, even if the diameter is well below what some of the "Experts" claim. My .22 K-Hornet ,using the 225462 H.P. for example, gives me a jam length of 1.741 @ .2251 Dia, 1.761 @ .2246 Dia, and 1.778 @ .2241 Dia. It does its best at the 1.778 &.2241 combination. All require sizing the nose diameter to .2184 to enter the actual bore of the barrel. Annoyingly, my Rem 788 in .223 wants the .2246 dia with a .2193 nose and the .22-250 wants .225 dia with a .220 nose. It'd be too easy if they all matched, I guess. My .270 does the same kind of thing with the jam length changing .093 going from .2780 dia to .2272 dia. Again, better groups with the smaller diameter and longer length.

    Frank Marshall once did an article where he claimed the best sizing diameter was 0.0005" under throat diameter and up to 0.001 under for hunting. Maybe he knew something.

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Scearcy posted this 10 February 2019

I just reread a couple of old cast bullet manuals (only the sizing section!). Generalizing a bit they recommended starting at bore size and moving up to bore size +.002 to find the sweet spot. I believe it was the old RCBS manual that recommended bore size +.0005. My 243 shoots as well at .244 as .245 IF the alloy isn't too hard.

Jim

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onondaga posted this 10 February 2019

I just reread a couple of old cast bullet manuals (only the sizing section!). Generalizing a bit they recommended starting at bore size and moving up to bore size +.002 to find the sweet spot. I believe it was the old RCBS manual that recommended bore size +.0005. My 243 shoots as well at .244 as .245 IF the alloy isn't too hard.

Jim

Jim, it is time to consider the old RCBS advise on fitting cast bullets an idiotically stupid method. There is more accurate advise on this topic from me in this post up the page.

Gary

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max503 posted this 11 February 2019

Max,

    How about some heresy?  Size a couple of bullets through the .225 die, seat one in an expanded case neck, and chamber it to find your "jam length". Take a close look at the front edge of the front drive band. Does it show distinct marks from the rifling origin or does it have a bright contact ring all the way around? If it has a full contact ring, you might get much better results by sizing SMALLER and increasing the loaded length to the new jam length.

   The vast majority of the throats that I've checked have a little taper to them and I've always obtained the best and most consistent groups if the front band contacts the rifling origin to some degree, even if the diameter is well below what some of the "Experts" claim. My .22 K-Hornet ,using the 225462 H.P. for example, gives me a jam length of 1.741 @ .2251 Dia, 1.761 @ .2246 Dia, and 1.778 @ .2241 Dia. It does its best at the 1.778 &.2241 combination. All require sizing the nose diameter to .2184 to enter the actual bore of the barrel. Annoyingly, my Rem 788 in .223 wants the .2246 dia with a .2193 nose and the .22-250 wants .225 dia with a .220 nose. It'd be too easy if they all matched, I guess. My .270 does the same kind of thing with the jam length changing .093 going from .2780 dia to .2272 dia. Again, better groups with the smaller diameter and longer length.

    Frank Marshall once did an article where he claimed the best sizing diameter was 0.0005" under throat diameter and up to 0.001 under for hunting. Maybe he knew something.

**********************

So you're saying size the bullet down until the driving band crushes into the rifling?  I routinely adjust OAL until the bullet touches the rifling.  Not sure if the nose or the driving band is touching the rifling.  I haven't payed attention to that distinction until now.  I set the OAL to where I can feel some resistance when I'm closing the bolt.

You size the driving bands a different diameter than the nose?  How do you do that?  

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John Carlson posted this 11 February 2019

I'm about to enter this fray myself (assuming we get some shooting weather in the next couple of monthsangry)  I have cast some NOE 227-79-SPs.  I find that, in order to be able to chamber them, I have to seat the bullet to where the front driving band is flush with the front of the case neck and the gas check is well behind the case neck.  Even there I have to pretty much slam the bolt shut.  Are other folks using this bullet having a similar experience?

I should add that the limiting factor is the front of the bullet just behind the ogive is engaging the rifling.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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Hornet posted this 11 February 2019

   You don't try to crush the rifling but being able to see where there are contact marks from the rifling origin on the front of the front band maybe .005/.015 long seems to work well. Much more contact and you're trying to shove the bullet back into the case which isn't that hard to do in some cases, especially the Hornet (.007 thick brass). That can cause the bullet to stay in if you have to open the action. Ever clean 8 or so grains of 1680 out of locking lugs? A crimp helps in some instances but not always.

    As to the nose diameter, I bought one of NOE's sizing rigs and several nose sizing bushings. It works pretty well if you don't try to move too much on one pass. It allows for a good fit of a slightly oversize or out-of-round nose to the bore of that particular barrel. This helps when the mold dimensions are not exactly optimal or when an alloy change does bad things to the fit. I made a guide sleeve out of a fired 22 Mag case to help keep the bullet aligned with the push rod while nose sizing( used a .30 Carbine case for .30 cal.).

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max503 posted this 11 February 2019

It looks like the nose of the bullet contacts the rifling, stopping the forward driving band from touching anything.

From what I understand this could prevent the bullet from centering and sealing in the leade.  

Is this a problem?

Looks like all I can do is try a softer alloy.

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R. Dupraz posted this 11 February 2019

"You size the driving bands a different diameter than the nose?  How do you do that?"

 

I shoot bore riders in all my cast bullet guns and the nose is sized to fit the bore with the appropriate NOE nose size bushing. Then when the bands are sized to throat, the bullet is fully fitted. When completely chambered the front of the first driving band acts as a stop when it contacts the beginning of the leade. Can adjust from there with more bolt pressure.

Usually seat long enough to see a slight engraving of the front driving band by the leade.

All of the above only apprlies if the casting is large enough to begin with of course. 

R.  

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John Carlson posted this 11 February 2019

My previous casting has all been 30 cal for old military rifles.  Sometimes could use  a bump die but never needed to make one smaller.  Looks like I'm getting a new toy!applause

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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