I have been trying to obtain cast bullet loads that don't lead the barrel, are accurate and cost effective( cheapest). And I don't want to use gas checks and prefer shooting as cast with a coat of Lee liquid Alox.
I have tried numerous powders with mixed results. It seems that severe leading results above 1300 fps with every fast powder.
So I tried Trailboss which gives good results but is crazy expensive. Then I remembered an old can of IMR SR4759 that I got from the estate sale of a departed shooting buddy.
All the loads listed in the Lyman manual are WAY too hot and leaded something awful. Last week I tried 8.5 grains of SR 4759 in my Model 70 223 Remington and bingo! 1450 fps with Lyman 225415 made of wheel weights which according to my Lee hardness tester have a hardness of 12 Brinell and weigh 53 grains as cast and measure .225 +.0005. 30 shots into a 3 inch circle at 50 yards and about the same at 100 yards. Perfect for close range groundhog shooting. I expect better accuracy when I can recover my good rest which is currently hidden under the snow bank in my back yard where I put it last December just before the start of the snowiest winter in 40 years here. Is it safe to reduce loads so drastically with this powder?
"Is it safe to reduce loads so drastically with this powder?"
SR4759 is an extremely easy powder to work your way down in data. It has no coatings and is very porous. You will reach a point where there is not enough pressure to burn all of the kernels and you will have squib loads or stick a bullet. Accuracy drops off as ignition gets worse, but it is safe as far as pressure spikes are concerned.
Last edited on Mon Feb 21st, 2011 11:03 am by RicinYakima
I have used it for years in the 30-06; 20 grains is a good place to start. It is position-sensitive so I am careful how the round is handled. I generally try to keep the charge level in the case and not against the primer or at the bullet end.
In the .223 Remington with #224415 you might also try 3.5 to 4 grains of Bullseye, no filler necessary. Approximates .22 WRF or WRM. Your wheelweight alloy and LLA should be fine. About 5 grs. of Unique or PB also worked well for me when I was living in NH and shooting alot of small game with the .223
Last edited on Tue Feb 22nd, 2011 10:14 am by Ed Harris
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Ed Harris wrote: In the .223 Remington with #224415 you might also try 3.5 to 4 grains of Bullseye, no filler necessary. Approximates .22 WRF or WRM. Your wheelweight alloy and LLA should be fine. About 5 grs. of Unique or PB also worked well for me when I was living in NH and shooting alot of small game with the .223
Ditto,i use the 225438 with Lee liq Alox sans GC with the similar loads(3-5g 0f BE or Win St) in 22-250.They do roughly 1300 and shoot 1-1.5" at 50 yards.
Last edited on Tue Feb 22nd, 2011 10:22 pm by DAMRON G
A lot of folks holler about TB being expensive. I have not done the math becasue it did what i wanted from the get go.
To do an honest check you can't just look at the price per jug and then say it is $$$ per pound rather than $$ per pound. The question should be, the cost per round with how many rounds per pound you get.
Kind of like the old question, what weighs more a pound of feathers or a pound of sand?
There are two areas to consider"
1) Some powders (like H110/296) need a certain level of pressure simply to fully burn. If you decrease these loads, then you will hit a point where you will have a squib load and chunks of unburned/partially burned powder in your barrel.
2) As you drop in pressure and velocity, you should move to a faster powder. There are "magic" charges of Red Dot, Unique, and 2400 for reduced pressure loads. You seem to want to get max velocity, which will require a relatively (for lead bullets) slow powder. You have found a good one.
Also, for Trail Boss you need to calculate the cost of the charge of powder vs. the cost of the charge of another powder. With Trail Boss, if you do not compress it, you can not have any pressure problems.
You make a very good point. I should know by now that good tools and ingredients are well worth the price. I now use Trail Boss in most of my cast loads. I love the stuff. Clean, accurate and pleasant to shoot. Superior velocities with no leading. Magic?
The only technical drawback is that it meters like styrofoam and is tricky to get into a .223 case. But it is a poor workman who blames his tools. Now that I am retired I hope to get over my obsessive need to get things done in a hurry. What's the hurry now? None. Quality and fun are the only considerations now.
Excellent points. I use 2400 in my cast loads for my 1894 Marlin Microgroove in .357 magnum. There seems to be a tipping point where the load density becomes correct. There needs to be enough powder to fully burn before it starts to shoot well. There is about a 4 grain window above this point that works very well.
I find Red Dot causes extreme leading so I use it for 12 gauge target loads only now.
What mystifies me is how 10 powders will give identical velocities but 8 of them will lead like crazy and 2 don't lead at all.