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Thread: Being a little disorganized can sometimes be a good thing

  1. #1

    Being a little disorganized can sometimes be a good thing

    I was rearranging (wife calls it cleaning) my reloading area and found 1000 hard cast 160 grn .357 SWC GC bullets that I apparently bought sometime around 2002. I guess they have been misplaced ever since. I have a ton of cases and thought about making a general purpose or field load at about 1100 to 1200 FPS. The purpose for these loads would be recreational shooting and general desert/woods bumming. I have CFE Pistol, 2400, Unique, H110, and 231 on hand and in quantity to load up a 1000 rounds.

    I am looking at:

    6.5 grains for Unique
    5.0 grains for 231
    5.5 grains for CFE Pistol


    I will probably leave the H110 and 2400 out of the mix for now.

    Just checking in to see if anyone has some suggestions? I will shoot these out of a couple of Ruger GP100's, a Blackhawk, and a Ruger M77/357.

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  2. #2
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    The following assumes you're going to use .357 Magnum brass. I'd go with either Unique or CFE-Pistol since they're about the same burn rate and slower than 231. Hodgdon shows 6.6 grains as max for a 158-grain LSWC getting 1321 fps from a 10" barrel, which would get you in the ballpark of 1100 fps from a 4" barrel. 6.8 grains of Unique under a 158-grain RNL gets about that from my 4" 681. I haven't tried CFE-Pistol in .357 Magnum myself so what I've written is a SWAG.

  3. #3
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    The lube in these bullets is a hard lube that was selected to stay on the bullets during shipping. That is its best trait. If bullets are .357 diameter, they may lead especially when used with the hard lube. Ideally they would be .358 or .359. My suggestion is load them with 6.0 grains of Unique. If you have leading, do this. Buy a can of Johnson's paste wax and use a pinch of this in a small plastic tub for tumble lubing these bullets. Tumble lube the already lubed bullets. If you decide to do this, pm me and we will discuss this simple process.

    The gas check will help prevent leading. But load about 30 rounds to see what you get.

  4. #4
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    I have an excellent mold that drops a 160 gr SWC, a Lachmiller. With this bullet I have used a lot of 5.5 CFE Pistol and 5.0 Universal for my 357 Magnum loads.
    Looking at the pics of the bullets I would probably dip them in some thinned 45-45-10 or alox, as the lube looks pretty dry..
    Last edited by mikld; 05-03-2021 at 01:29 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikld View Post
    I have an excellent mold that drops a 160 gr SWC, a Lachmiller. With this bullet I have used a lot of 5.5 CFE Pistol and 5.0 Universal for my 357 Magnum loads.
    Looking at the pics of the bullets I would probably dip them in some thinned 45-45-10 or alox, as the lube looks pretty dry..
    Your lube suggestion is much better. I selected the J paste wax because it would be easier. To the op I say follow this suggestion with the alox. I have this too if the op can't find it. Will share.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the tip about Alox; I have got some on the way. I will work on my cases and get them ready while I wait for it to arrive.
    Credo Quia Absurdum!

    I am not an LEO; I am an LEA.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECVMatt View Post
    Thanks for the tip about Alox; I have got some on the way. I will work on my cases and get them ready while I wait for it to arrive.
    You will receive an older version of yesterday's Alox of which I remember two. Regardless, what you receive will work. It is messy stuff and smells bad. Only a very thin layer is needed. You might take a small amount, cut it 50-50 with mineral spirits, and using needle nose pliers, dip each bullet in this concoction. Set bullets aside base up on wax paper.

    These steps are not as much trouble as they sound. Right now you are trying to develop a load using an unknown batch of cast bullets. If you control barrel leading, then you can proceed.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    Iíve reloaded a bunch, but my experience with cast bullets is very limited. Iíve had some not-so-good experiences with leading as well. What makes Alox so magical? Everything Iíve seen on it says the same thing, and itís been around since the dinosaurs.
    Working diligently to enlarge my group size.

  9. #9
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    Alox is a metal preserver/rust preventative. Way back, Ed Harris was experimenting and found alox to be a decent cast bullet lube. Mr. Harris approached Mr. Lee and they worked up an easy, quick method to lube cast bullets; tumble lubing (I'm sure tumble lubing wasn't invented by the two, but they found a way to tumble successfully with alox). I have lubed many, many cast bullets with alox, both "micro-groove" and standard lube groove bullets. Normally I thin the alox with mineral spirits as too much, too thick alox won't dry and is messy and smokes when shot. I didn't care for the brown noses on my tumble lubed bullets so I dip lubed. I've never been in a hurry so the little extra time of dipping a bullet doesn't matter to me (grab a bullet by the nose, bug tweezers or pliers work well enough, dip bullet up to the crimp groove, seating depth, and set on alum. foil). Alox had been called "Mule Snot", bullet diarrhea, and plain old "brown crap" but it works. Many detractors use too much and are messy, but done properly, it works...

    Jes my experience. I've used alox on some of my 44 Magnum cast bullet loads up to approx. 1,200 fps, no leading. More than I can count 38 Special lead bullet loads, and a few others. I use a concoction of alox, paste wax and mineral spirits (aka; 45-45-10) quite a bit now with my Ranch Dog design bullets in my Puma 44 Mag. Carbine. Works quite well...

  10. #10
    Site Supporter entropy's Avatar
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    Hey! Thanks a bunch for the Alox tips. Iíll try it out.
    Working diligently to enlarge my group size.

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