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swagged commercial bullets

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james r chapman
John Dervis
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Bmitch996
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Post by Eindecker 6/20/2023, 12:19 am

Had a short range session a few days ago. And after i spent a few days, yes days, mining the lead out of my barrel i made an experiment with the SPEER 158 grain LSWC i was using. 

I noticed things werent good besides the leading.  PRevious time i used this loading data, i was staying on target fine.  Not the greatest group size, but "ok" in a pinch..  This time, 55% were capable of staying on the target ITSELF at 20 yards. 

After mining lead, it was almost a business card thick at the forcing cone, i did the "plunk test" by dropping 20 randomly selected speer 158 SWC through the chambers. 5 managed to stay inside the chambers. the rest just fell right through without effort.   SO i dug deeper into the box and repeated the test, with worse results. 


WHO actualy puts forth that swagged lead bullets are the end all of quality?

Eindecker

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Post by Bmitch996 6/20/2023, 9:59 am

I use their 158 gr LRN in my Dan Wesson revolver and their 148 gr HBWC in my model 52 and don't experience any lead build up in the barrels or forcing cone.  

Their website doesn't say the bullet is swaged the say "cold formed" whatever that means.

Hornady sells good quality swaged bullets, I've used them in my revolver and model 52 however the lube they use is a bit messy.

Bmitch996

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Post by Eindecker 6/20/2023, 10:06 am

Bmitch996 wrote:I use their 158 gr LRN in my Dan Wesson revolver and their 148 gr HBWC in my model 52 and don't experience any lead build up in the barrels or forcing cone.  

Their website doesn't say the bullet is swaged the say "cold formed" whatever that means.

Hornady sells good quality swaged bullets, I've used them in my revolver and model 52 however the lube they use is a bit messy.
its the same thing, different terms.. 

you can say "i diced the tomato" or "i cut the tomato into little pieces".

The 148 speer hbwc ARE dirty little things.. loaded a few up this morning..  only managed to get 4 usable rounds due to LEE seating/crimping die being pure shit that i need to replace... 

each chamber was left with a big crud ring where the HBWC went through. Like paint. So wierd... 

and funny enough, ONE spent case actually had a small flake of LEAD inside it, stuck to the side.

Eindecker

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Post by Bmitch996 6/20/2023, 10:42 am

All I can say is I've been using them for years and never had a leading issue.  I use a Star reloader and they run though it just fine, much cleaner than the Hornady

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Post by DA/SA 6/20/2023, 12:10 pm

Perhaps some more info would get better results.

Have you slugged your barrel? 

Have you measured the bullets and cylinder throats? Are the bullets undersize, or the throats over size?

What is your load data? Too hot a load? (Swaged lead is softer than cast)
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Post by John Dervis 6/20/2023, 12:44 pm

It's been a while since I bought any but I use ZERO swagged bullets and have not had the problems you are having.

The one time in my life I had leading problems was with cast bullets using a light charge of 2.7 BE.  That would leave streaks of lead in the barrel.  I changed to swagged (first STAR and now ZERO) and have not had any issues since.  My theory is that the cast bullets were too hard so the light charge failed to expand them enough which allowed the hot gasses past the sides.  That cause the sides to melt lead off on the way down the barrel.  Not sure if that's true but it doesn't happen with swagged bullets.

John

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Post by chopper 6/20/2023, 9:24 pm

Is this the first time you've used these bullets.
When you checked the throat size with those Speer 158 swc were the throats in the cylinder good and clean. If the box says they are .358" diameter and some of your bullets slide through with no effort and others don't those throats could be okay. Try checking the diameter on some of those bullets and see if they vary much.
 You don't say what powder or charge you're using, for 158 gr RN cast, I like Titegroup 2.9 grs. For a swaged 158 gr. SWC I had used 2.8 WST for the short line and 3.1 gr long line. I roll crimp in the crimping groove firmly so I get a good powder burn.
 You say you use a Lee FC die, are they a taper or roll crimp die? If it is a taper crimp type, try using the roll crimp die that came with your die set. If you didn't get a separate crimp die just follow the instructions that came with your die set.
 Let us know how you are doing with your accuracy, you'll find a good accurate load that won't lead, it takes a little effort. 
 
Here's another forum where you can get some help, https://castbulletassoc.org
 Stan

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Post by Eindecker 6/21/2023, 12:02 am

people need to learn to read.. 


freshly cleaned revolver,, 7 shot cylinder .  20 randomly selected speer swagged 158 grain LSWC from top of box,, with revolver cylinder OPEN,, and muzzle pointed down.  dropping bullets point first through the chambers, 5 bullets MANAGED TO KEEP FROM FALLING THROUGH THE CHAMBERS> 

other 15 fell through every chamber with out trouble.  

Results were worse when i stuck my hand into the box of bullets and grabbed a sample from the bottom half..  slightly less then 1/3 have any resistance and stay in the chamber. Some of them, if i spun the cylinder would wiggle out. 

in the 4 rounds of 148 grain speer HBWC with 3.0 grains Red Dot power, per Lee die insert, the 4 bullets left a nasty mess in the chamber, right at the junction of CHAMBER and CYLINDE THROATs... its nasty stuff that a brand new bore brush wont touch,,, but the barrel, forcing cone, and cylinder throats are actually clean....

when i was crimping the 148 hbwc, i damaged 3 rounds via the use of the lee seating and crimping machine from hell. In order to prevent the CRIMP portion of the seater die from pushing the bullet down further into the case and constricting the diameter of the case, i had to have 3/8" distance between the shell holder and the bottom of the seating die. 

and i still had to only close the die enough to make contact, im on market for no crimp seater die.

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Post by james r chapman 6/21/2023, 5:19 am

You really need to find the throat diameters of your 7 cylinders throats.
148 WC bullet cases need to be sized so a large portion of the bullet seats freely in it. 
A seating die, no crimp, seats it flush. A separate crimp die rolls the case mouth into, or over, the lead bullet.
The reason Remington 148 were in such demand was their .360 dia skirt.
The HB allowed the charge to expand to seal the cylinder throats.
It’s not uncommon for 148 HBWC’s to shoot 2” or better at 50 yards.
158 Magtech 10 ring or better.
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Post by BE Mike 6/21/2023, 7:29 am

I never liked Speer swaged bullets in any caliber. Buy something else and report back.
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Post by WesG 6/22/2023, 9:30 am

The whole concept of the Lee FC die makes no sense to me. You've expanded the case to accept a properly sized bullet. And then run it thru a sizing die again.
So the bullet that was the correct size is now smaller... AND, the case is going to spring back leaving it looser than it was.
????????
Ok, maybe for a carry gun so nothing gets hung up? And is likely never going to be used anyway.
Personally, I think it's a dumb idea to be packing handloads to begin with.

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Post by chopper 6/22/2023, 11:08 am

So Eindecker, with you describing you have 7 chambers your revolver must be a 357 magnum, I presume.  If you are getting a carbon ring in behind the throat from the HBWC's you must be using 38 special cases, it's fairly normal when using the shorter case. It should clean up nicely with some Hoppes 9, letting in soak in the holes for 5 mins or more then patch them out. For lead build up I use the copper Chore Boy pads you get for cleaning pots&pans, just make sure they aren't copper coated steel, touch with a magnet. Wrap strands of this around an old cleaning brush.  I like to pre soak the chambers for and hour or so with Hoppes or Kroil then brush out the lead. You can use bronze wool also, don't use steel wool it can cause some scratching or wear.
 Have you found a good load? I  prefer my own cast bullets because I size them for my revolvers ( Lee tumble lube 158 gr RN, and H&G 50 WC moulds)
Stan

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Post by Eindecker 6/22/2023, 11:29 am

yes i know about the lead ring,, but the funny thing is that with the wadcutters, 1 shot in 4 seperate chambers... its only right at the junction where the chamber intersects the portion we call the throat.. not where the 38 special case mouth sits in the chamber. 
not in the chamber throats, not in the forcing cone or barrel that i can tell. chamber throats are rather shiny

the accuracy with the load is a crimp issue, plain and simple.

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Post by chopper 6/22/2023, 11:56 am

Once you get a good load developed that should go away also. Glad you found the issue of crimps to be the factor. 
 I use a Dillon press with their dies easy to set, and the separate seating and crimping dies are 2 piece and held with a clip and come apart for easy cleaning without losing the adjustment.
 Stan

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