Tips for loading with Cast or Swaged Lead Bullets
- Lead bullets should be sized one to two thousandths larger than the jacketed bullet diameter to ensure a good gas seal and to avoid leading.
- Bell the case mouths before seating the bullet to ensure that lead is not shaved off or the bullet is damaged.
- 1400 feet per second is generally considered to be the fastest that a plain base lead bullet can be driven before significant leading occurs from the melting and deformation of the unprotected base of the bullet. It has been my experience however that leading can occur even at slower speeds particularly with bulk swaged bullets which may contain little if any tin. If lead bullets are undersized for the bore then gas blow by may cause lead fouling to occur as well.
- Lead bullets can be driven up 2200 feet per second if a gas check is used. A gas check is a small metal cup that is seated on the base a bullet to protect the base from melting from the heat and pressure of hot gases produced by the burning gun powder.
Most commercially swaged bulk lead bullets will be presized and lubricated. I have been generally satisfied with most swaged handgun bullets that I have purchased. One type that I have found completely unsatisfactory are double ended wadcutter bullets with no lubrication grooves. Generally these are coated with an oily film and I have found that even with light loads, severe lead fouling will occur in short order.
Cast Bullet Reloading Data for Rifle
Some things to note;
- I am only relating my personal experience with the firearms and equipment that I own and that I am not making any loading recommendations. If you use the loading data here, you do so at your own risk.
- I never use Large Pistol Primers in place of Large Rifle primers for a variety of safety and practical concerns.
- I have never found it necessary to use fillers such as cream of wheat, polyfill or toilet paper to position the powder against the flash hole in a cartridge case.
- Unless stated otherwise, muzzle velocities listed on this page are from my own test data.