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45/70 340 gr Lee Mould - cannot get it accurate
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<Yspen>
posted
Fellow Casters


In South Africa ( due to the exchange rate ) it is difficult to find Lyman , Saeco etc moulds but Lee is freely availble . All people can easily afford is the Lee and thus the only that gets imported - others can be ordered but the price then makes it unviable .

I have tried two moulds : the 340 gr Lee and the 500 gr Lee GC.
Both the moulds drop bullets at .457 from the mould and I then use a Lee sizer ( which only comes in 457 ) to make it uniform .

So far after months of trying I cannot get the 340 gr mould to shoot accurate . ( no problem with the 500 gr GC'd bullet )
( I sort bullets by weight , I use two coatings of Lee Liquid alox and a alloy mixture similar to Lyman#2 )

The only promising results was when I inverted Gas Checks under the bullets and used it at 1600fps . ( about 3inch groups at 100m ) Every other load gave no grouping whatsoever .

I am using a powder similar to IMR3031 . The interedting fact is that :
52 gr S335 , 340 gr bullet = 1650 fps
52 gr S335 , 500 gr bullet GC = 1630 fps
Considering the last data ; am I using a too slow powder for the 340 gr bullet ?

Should I just give up and get a mould ordered from the states that will gives me a bigger diameter bullet ? Or one that can accomodate a GC.?

Any other suggestions welcome .....

Thanks
Ben
 
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You might try casting a batch from straight linotype and shooting without sizing. That ought to run your bullets up to .458 or so. You might also cut your powder charge a few grains. You really need gaschecked bullets for much velocity and you already have the only one that Lee makes in that caliber.

I have heard of folks gaschecking plain base bullets using aluminum from beer cans. Were I in your shoes, I would use a half inch punch to cut some discs from a can bright side up. I'd put the disk still bright side up on the base of of one of your #2 alloy bullets and run it through the sizer base first.

IF the sizer will keep things centered and crimp all the way around the base, I'd shoot them and see what results I got. May not work, but it sure would be cheap to try.

And finally, it's easy to lap that sizer out a thou or so.
 
Posts: 1570 | Location: Base of the Blue Ridge | Registered: 04 November 2002Reply With Quote
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If that dosen't work you could try the old black powder route and use an over powder wad made out of felt,it would protect the base of the bullet,which may be part of the problem
 
Posts: 1529 | Location: Tidewater,Virginia | Registered: 12 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Ben you didn't mention how hard an alloy you using for the 340 gr slug. And what dia does it come out of the mold at? You could try unsized slugs with a faster powder. Lapping the mold out to a larger dia is doable too.

1600 is around the limit of accuracy with plain base bullets using conventional techniques. The fact the base protected load per the inverted check shoots the best sez something. I haven't had much luck getting the 340 to shoot real accurately either though, so your not alone.
 
Posts: 1529 | Location: Central Wisconsin | Registered: 01 March 2001Reply With Quote
<Yspen>
posted
Thanks for the reply

I have tried Lino ( it drop from the mould at 457 and weighs 305 gr ) and my own mixture of Lino , Lead and solder ( it weighs 330 gr out of the mould ).
The Lino unsized gave no improvement in accuracy .

I have also tried a soft-check mad out of toughend wax sheets . No leading but accuracy not improving .

Thanks again
Ben
 
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What size is your barrel? Most .45 rifles have a nominal dia. of .458". My Marlin is .459"; with .460" bullets it shoots into an inch at 50 metres at 1800 fps, with .458" bullets it just shoots patterns at any velocity! Try using wheel weight alloy or lapping out the mould a couple of thou'.
 
Posts: 157 | Location: england | Registered: 03 September 2001Reply With Quote
<Yspen>
posted
Thanks Andrew
I slugged the barrel of my ruger#1 : 458 / 450 .

I will ask the next question in a new thread : how do you lap the mould ?

Ben
 
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I found that, in my rifle, H4198, and Rel 7 shoot much better than IMR3031with that Lee 340 bullet.
I also do not size, and cast the bullets from straight wheel weight metal. Loads that don't fill the case, will shoot better with a tuft of dacron over the powder in my rifle.
 
Posts: 872 | Location: Lindsay Ontario Canada | Registered: 14 April 2001Reply With Quote
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I use the LEE 340 grain mold also and do just as JohnyCanuck does though I drop my bullets from the mold into a 5 gallon bucket full of water to make them a bit harder. I also use IMR 4227 for my mid range loads with no filler. I have found 3031 to be the least accurate powder I have used in my 45-70 bar none and the powder fouling with bullets under 400 grains is far too great. An accurate load with this bullet in my rifle comprises of 31 grains of IMR 4227, a Winchester large pistol primer and I crimp with the Lee factory crimp die in front of the crimp grove shoulder, preferring to use this groove for lubricant. I expect to get 1500 fps with this load which is power enough for most game inside of 150 yards.

[ 11-23-2002, 09:23: Message edited by: rickt300 ]
 
Posts: 2899 | Registered: 24 November 2000Reply With Quote
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Yspen....Before you start lapping and modifying moulds, shim that thing. I use adhesive backed aluminum tape and shim alongside the cavities using strips cut with scissors.

The tape mikes .002" and I do both mould halves and get pretty consistent bullets that are about .003" bigger than the original diameter.

This tape is used on air conditioning ducts. The nice part is that if you don't like it, you peel it out, clean the mould and then can go another route.

I'm betting it will bring the diameter up to at least .459-460 and the resulting bullets will be fairly concentric./beagle
 
Posts: 234 | Location: Lexington, Ky,USA | Registered: 26 January 2001Reply With Quote
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I like that, Beagle.

The cheap and reversible solution is always the one to try first.
 
Posts: 1570 | Location: Base of the Blue Ridge | Registered: 04 November 2002Reply With Quote
<bigbelly>
posted
I`ve used that bullet quite a bit with 12 gr. red dot and wlr`s,never had a 5 shot group over 1.5" with it.My 405 gr lee mould however would not shoot,I wrote to them about it and they had me send it in and they re-cut or gave me a different one altogether,it has deeper and very wide lube grooves ,casts at .460" and shoots better than any other bullet I`ve tried.I don`t know if you can do that,but it might be worth a try.I also use an alloy of 1 part lino to 4 parts lead.and lyman super moly lube on the bullets,the spray first,then the cast lube through a .460 sizer.hope some of this helps,also try a fast powder.
 
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