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  #1  
Old 10-25-2016, 08:53 PM
Henryseale Henryseale is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Texas City, Texas
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Default Lead Cast Bullets OK?

I have just purchased a quantity of lead cast bullets for reloading .30 Carbine. It has occurred to me that these lead non-jacketed bullets may clog the gas port. Is this a problem? I have not yet loaded any of them. Please let me know any experiences you may have had using all lead bullets. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2016, 09:20 PM
Rich/WIS Rich/WIS is offline
 
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Location: Corbin, KY
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Forty plus years ago the gentleman who taught me to cast reloaded for his M1 carbine. He used a plain base Lyman bullet of about 130 grains, I can't recall the mold number. He got good accuracy, no leading and IIRC did not mention any issue with lead clogging the gas port. I have used cast in my Garand and did find some minute slivers of lead in the gas cylinder, but even after several hundred rounds it was not an issue as far as reliable function goes.
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2016, 09:31 PM
tmark tmark is offline
 
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Location: Dagsboro, Delaware
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I've checked with my 44th and 49th edition of the Lyman Reloading manual for the .30 caliber M1 carbine.

Good news is that both manuals give reloading data for cast bullets of varying grains. The 44th edition mentions using #2 cast bullets sized to .308. I don't know what the #2 means because I only reload with jacketed bullets.

I do know if you push a lead bullet too fast through the barrel, this tends to increase "leading" in the barrel.

A friend use to shoot cast bullets through his .357 magnum revolver resulting in leading of the barrel to the point of filling in the grooves making the barrel look like a smoothbore. He would use a stick to try to scrape out the lead in the barrel while at the public pistol range.

My point is data is available for reloading M1 carbine using certain cast bullets. Too soft a lead cast bullet traveling too fast through a barrel will likely cause lead build up.

Otherwise, I have no first hand knowledge of firing lead (unjacketed) bullets through a carbine.
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2016, 11:17 PM
Miata Mike Miata Mike is offline
 
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Location: Wisconsin
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I have shot cast bullets that I sized with gas checks with no problems. Gotta shoot some more. :-)
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  #5  
Old 10-26-2016, 06:38 AM
HB of CJ HB of CJ is offline
 
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Location: 42N -123W OR USA Kinda
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Default Cast Bullets OK ...

Before you start hand loading cast lead bullets, consider doing some easy and fun things. The first would be to slug your barrel to see exactly what remaining bore diameter you have.

If you have any OO buckshot, just open up the shell and use one ball. They are slightly larger than your bore. Tap then push through the barrel and then measure the diameter. Fun.

You might find your Carbine likes .309 or even .310 diameter lead bullets. The other thing is to make sure the correct very hard lead is used. Carbines push lead bullets pretty fast. Hard lead only.

Fifty years ago our High School Rifle Club, (yep!) shot hand loaded lead bullets through our many cheap USGI M1 Carbines. We used car wheel weight lead. Only my Rock Ola shaved.

The quick and easy fix was to every so often, (500rds) remove the piston nut and piston and take a .070 drill bit and hand spin it through the gas port. Again fun and easy. All of this is doable.
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  #6  
Old 10-26-2016, 07:38 AM
Dollar Bill Dollar Bill is offline
 
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Location: Huntsville, Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmark View Post
The 44th edition mentions using #2 cast bullets sized to .308. I don't know what the #2 means because I only reload with jacketed bullets.
That's Lyman #2 alloy, 90% Lead, 5% Tin, 5% Antimony. It's their standard for alloys and what all their testing is based on. It runs a Brinell hardness of 15.

I shoot the old Ideal / Lyman 311359 from my carbine and it does just fine. It's a gas check bullet and mine come out of the mold right at .310 so I run them through a .310 sizer to lube and crimp the gas check. Don't take this for gospel because I don't have my notes handy but I believe 12 grains of 2400 is the load I use. I probably have close to 1K rounds through it will no issues.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2016, 08:32 AM
Bob S Bob S is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich/WIS View Post
Forty plus years ago the gentleman who taught me to cast reloaded for his M1 carbine. He used a plain base Lyman bullet of about 130 grains, I can't recall the mold number. He got good accuracy, no leading and IIRC did not mention any issue with lead clogging the gas port. I have used cast in my Garand and did find some minute slivers of lead in the gas cylinder, but even after several hundred rounds it was not an issue as far as reliable function goes.
That would be Ideal/Lyman 311410, 130 grain plain base. I cast mine out of straight old (pre-1970) wheelweights with nothing added. 12.5 grains of DuPont IMR 4227 worked the action perfectly and grouped about as well as the USGI ball ammunition that was available then. I used to pull the gas piston after each range session and scrub a few flecks of lead off of the face of the piston. No other special maintenance. As I recall, I needed 250 on the elevation slide to center the groups on the 100 yard target: heavy bullet going slow.

Note that I specified that the wheelweights were old. Somewhere around 1970, the alloying components of antimony and tin were cut way back, and the result was a much softer alloy. Nowadays, you can't even count on them being a lead alloy, and if they are, they are likely to be alloyed with zinc, which is VERY bad ju-ju for bullet casting.

FWIW, my Garand load was the Ideal 311284 with 42 grains of WW II surplus 4831. When seated to the dirt-scraper groove, the loaded cartridges would clip load fine, worked the action fine and grouped about as well as the M2 Ball that was around then (late 50's, early 60's). As with the carbine, I would pull the gas cylinder and brush off a few lead flakes from the face of the piston on the op-rod. This was my first M1, an I-H, and not "accurized".

YMMV ...

Respectfully,
Bob S.
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2016, 10:30 AM
DaveHH DaveHH is offline
 
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Leading is no joke. Using too soft cast bullets in something like a 9mm the pistol will go from fine to keyholing in about five shots. Getting the lead out is not easy at all. I've found that a tight wad of paper will eventually take out the gobs of lead after a lot of effort.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2016, 11:04 AM
douglas34474 douglas34474 is offline
 
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Location: Ocala, Florida
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I use wheel weights and gas checks. Never had a problem with leading.
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  #10  
Old 10-26-2016, 09:55 PM
tmark tmark is offline
 
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Getting the lead out is not easy at all. I've found that a tight wad of paper will eventually take out the gobs of lead after a lot of effort.[/QUOTE]

I've been told long ago that shooting jacketed bullets through a bore having lead deposits from shooting lead cast bullets will clean out the bore of lead. I don't know how true this is.

I was told the jacketed bullet "pushes out" the lead from the bore.
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