Author Topic: Swaged vs cast round balls  (Read 18423 times)

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Swaged vs cast round balls
« on: July 31, 2016, 10:05:56 PM »
Hi ya'll. I've been working on a .54 target rifle for some time. It has a Douglas 1 1/8 x 32 barrel, if I'm correct, 1 in66 twist. Using Hornady swaged .535 rb, .020 ticking, bore butter lube and 70grs. FF I can have 5-8 shots touching, that can be covered with a soup can lid at 100yds. Usually better than that.
 Using cast balls from a Lee .535 mold, and all other factors the same I've been getting a string about 6-8 inches long, 3 +/- inches to the right. Tried pure soft lead, 90% lead 10% antimony, 90% lead 5% tin 5% antimony, no real difference. Mold cuts sprew off fairly clean. Have tried sprew up, sprew down. Even tried polishing off sprew. Any thoughts on difference in results? Suggestions? The weight of cast ball is 230gr. Swaged is 231. Diameter mikes true. Conditions, weather, wind, humidity close enough to call the same. I'm at a loss. Any help would be appreciated, Mike
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 10:07:30 PM by Squirrel pizza »

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2016, 10:41:10 PM »
Could the minute line left from where the mold meets possibly effect a .54 ball at 100yds? I don't think it could to this degree but I'm running out of ideas.

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 12:27:01 AM »
Tumble them with some graphite to remove all traces of sprues and parting lines.  The balls will look perfect with very small marks all over, like a golf ball, but less so. 

I would bet there is another reason.  The lead may be a little hard or the diameter a little different.  It has been shown that the sprue does not matter. 

Offline Standing Bear

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2016, 12:53:45 AM »
No ideas on why but keep us informed of what you find.  Have you tried .535 from a steel (iron) mold?  In the mean time shoot what works best.

Curiously just last nite a new acquaintence said he got 3 different poi w Hornaday, Speer and cast. Don't recall caliber but it was a specialty cross stick gun.

Iirc, for vertical dispersion increase the powder charge for horizontal dispersion decrease the charge.
TC
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 12:56:45 AM by Standing Bear »
Nothing is hard if you have the right equipment and know how to use it.  OR have friends who have both.

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Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2016, 01:18:01 AM »
Haven't tried iron mold, the Lee is aluminum. Would try if I had one. Open to remote possibilities because at this point I squeeze one off, think "that felt good", look through scope and think what the...
  Tumbling sounds like a good idea because I've tried almost everything else and figure why not. Though I have never heard that approach, especially with a round ball. Have run many a bullet through sizing die but have never tumbled a rb. Maybe if I'd paid better attention in math class...

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2016, 01:22:01 AM »
And I switched from cast to swaged just to see if there was an outside force at work, was it me? Anyone can have an off day, but I'm religious about writing results, marking increments on sights, etc. swaged shot. Cast shot differently. Why?

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 01:27:27 AM »
No sense getting attached to swedged ball, cause the end of that industry is comin' up faster than the ground on your first sky dive, along with all other products made of lead. So get a good mold, a good furnace, and as much pure lead as you can store.
 I went through the whole rediculous process of weighing, and rolling, and fooling around with every round ball I shot, and the gain just wasn't worth it. In fact it often wasn't even measurable.
 Alloyed balls will be lighter, and bigger diameter, which will make them shoot, and load,  differently than pure lead balls.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 01:34:18 AM »
But HH, by that logic, if they cast bigger, with same patch, they should take rifling better, thus shot straighter. No? Agree the world is teetering on the edge of distruction and doom, but that's a different thready thing.

Offline okawbow

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 01:36:44 AM »
I have a .48 cal. Chunk gun that I was having trouble getting groups, using swagged .480 balls. I would get a flier out of every 4 or 5 shots. I got best accuracy with 100 grains Old Eynsford 2F, and .018 patch.

I switched to a .475 ball from a aluminum mold, and immediately got consistantly smaller groups with no fliers. A change to Swiss 2F tightened up the groups a little more.

You might try going up in powder charge, as much as 110 grains 2 F and maybe try 3F to see if that works better. Pure, soft lead always works best for me. Balistol and water, 1 to 7 parts also works better for me than bore butter. I also clean between each shot.
As in life; it’s the journey, not the destination. How you get there matters most.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2016, 01:46:25 AM »
Thanks Okabow, you know how it is working a recipe you rifle likes, and I know what works in this one. You're suggestions will, I'm sure help in the future as they make perfect sense, but it doesn't answer my question. Why they shoot so differently. I may have answered my own question, a fellow new to BP shooting posted "2 questions". I said shoot. Shoot a lot. And your rifle will tell you what it likes. But I was hoping for a technical, anylitical answer, if there is one, as to difference.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2016, 02:27:30 AM »
Squirrel;

  Just a little antimony, tin, or any number of other alloys will make a difference in ball diameter, and make a big difference in how much the ball obturates. It corispondingly will affect the way the patch interacts with the barrel. Harder balls, in a deeply rifled barrel won't deform enough in some cases to allow the patch to seal the bore.
 Can any of us give you the magic beans that will make your gun perform at its best without a lot of trial and error? The short answer to that is NO. You still have to take all this freeby knowledge to the range and find out what works in your gun.
 
  Hungry Horse

Online smylee grouch

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2016, 02:33:46 AM »
I know of at least one shooter who index's his round balls by placing a real small punch mark on the inside of his mold, when he casts balls the little punch mark creates a super small blemish on the surface of the ball and then he loads the ball with that blemish facing him every shot. He thinks he gets more loading consistency by doing it and I have seen him shoot some real small groups. Been thinking of trying it myself.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2016, 03:28:20 AM »
 That is just possibly the craziest thing I've heard of in a long time. In a shooting sport that has the most steps between an empty gun, and a loaded ready to fire weapon,  this guy feels he needs to add another step. I'll bet he is real popular on the firing line, fiddle fooling around, trying to find the divot in his balls, so he can get it just right. YIKES!!!!!! He's lucky someone hasn't shot him.

  Hungry Horse

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2016, 03:49:21 AM »
Please don't take this the wrong way...but...how good are at casting ?   Are you using a bottom pour , or ladle?  Is the lead hot enough?  Voids in the balls?
If this is all old school to you, and the balls are all good, the only other reason I can think of is that the mold is casting off round ??   Otherwise, I'm at a loss  ???

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2016, 03:50:56 AM »
Smiley Grouch, kinda have to agree with HH that that is pretty far fetched. It reminds me if watching the guys balance your tires at the tire gettin' place, which I suppose is your point. But honestly this suggestion is a first.
But again, we are getting off point. Does anyone know why a swaged ball flys differently than a cast ball? Not shooting at 400 yds. Just a simple 100. Wish I knew, but I'm having a record year.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2016, 03:56:35 AM »
Hey Bob itw, been casting for years. Lee electric pot, ladle, as it's a 2 cavity mold. Only use under lever for (6 cavity bullet) or such. Mold is cured. Re-cure with film from stick matchs, bees wax, permatex anti seize, yada yada. Not first rodeo but understand your question. Do it by the book. Religiously.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2016, 04:00:56 AM »
No creases, only maybe first couple pours. Pre heat mold. Let mold cool down when too hot. After a while you can tell. Lead sticks-cold. Lead flys off- too hot. Sumerizing. You know what I mean. Waiting to long for "crystal-hazy-you know when you see it color".out of 500 rb's cast maybe 10 thrown back in pot. At range, examine every ball before loading. If I see something suspect, off to side, back in melt pot. I take this serious. I want to be the guy to set the record. But can't do it alone.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 04:49:42 AM by Squirrel pizza »

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2016, 04:52:13 AM »
But I honestly believe I have the rifle that can. Witnesses and videos. I'll bet this rifle. But it can be better. Looking for answer. Please help.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 04:55:14 AM by Squirrel pizza »

Online smylee grouch

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2016, 05:25:35 AM »
The guy I was talking about is a bench rest shooter and a good one at that. This sounds like a good before and after experiment. 25 shots before dimple and then 25 after. 100 yd. bench.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2016, 05:38:06 AM »
I was thinking about the possibility of contaminants in the pot , [zinc ??] but you say that you've weighed the cast balls and that they mike true, so...is there any difference in "hardness" ?   You are only using one cavity of the two cavity mould, or both ?   If both, try one only.  If one only, try the other one . I never use a double cavity mould for serious target shooting.

Online smylee grouch

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2016, 05:57:32 AM »
If you want to shoot good groups, no matter what kind of gun your shooting, consistency in every detail is key. Consistent components,loading procedure, gun placement on the bench, wind, mirage, and the list goes on. If your shooting two different bullets you most likely will get two different results.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2016, 06:28:55 AM »
I shot both cast and swaged in my .45 long rifle. I shoot cast and swaged in my new .50 long rifle. I see no difference in group location, just that cast ball groups are smaller than swaged ball groups.  Yes - cast balls shot smaller groups than swaged balls - every time. I used both Speer and Hornady swaged balls, but I only shot to 50 yards. When using a grease or oiled patch, I had to increase the powder charge for either swaged or cast.
I once tried bore butter - once was enough.  I find ANY patch-lube-type oil or water based liquid including spit, gave better accuracy than bore butter.  I point my finger at the lip-balm lube (+ wintergreen oil and all).
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

galudwig

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2016, 07:01:20 AM »
I know of at least one shooter who index's his round balls by placing a real small punch mark on the inside of his mold, when he casts balls the little punch mark creates a super small blemish on the surface of the ball and then he loads the ball with that blemish facing him every shot. He thinks he gets more loading consistency by doing it and I have seen him shoot some real small groups. Been thinking of trying it myself.

There was an older gentleman leading one of the seminars at Dixon's this weekend who said he did this very thing when he was an active offhand rifle competitor.  He said he loaded sprue down with his index mark on the top so he could see it each time he loaded.  He also said that he shot larger than bore sized RB's that had to be started with a hammer. 

Seems counterproductive to me to go to all the trouble of loading a meticulously cast RB in a consistent manner only to turn around and crush it with a hammer.  It stands to reason that the the inability to control the final shape of the hammered RB and weight of lead shaved off it at the muzzle would would pretty much eliminate any consistency advantage gained up to that point.  Then again, they say shooting is mostly a mental game, so there may be merit in "believing" that your process is what gives you an edge over your competition.

Offline Squirrel pizza

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2016, 07:17:30 AM »
When I was  5, my dad started teaching me how to shoot in the basement. A Marlin model 100 .22 that his dad gave him. That rifle is now a smooth bore from being shot a few hundred thousand times. Still my pride and joy. When I was big enough to hold both ends up I moved on to bigger family guns. I'm afraid the moderators will once again cast aspersions on me for using words like Marlin, Sharps, and Winchester, but that's what I shot before I was ten. My first muzzle loader was a CVA I bought with money earned planting Vidalia Onions in a field near Lyons Ga. You could call them Vidalias if they were grown in Tombs County. Point is, I've shot all my life. And I'm fairly good at it. But I'm not real technical. Was and consider myself still a Marine. And still a good shot. Never heard of tumbling round balls. A fingernail can show the hardness of a round ball or thanks to the internet look up the bhn of lead/ alloy. I've asked a very specific question. Can anyone answer it ? Or at least help stear me in the right direction?
  Why would a swaged round ball shoot so much differently than a cast ball?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2016, 07:29:59 AM by Squirrel pizza »

Smoketown

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Re: Swaged vs cast round balls
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2016, 11:02:22 AM »
Mike,

Shooters have been looking for "WHY" for as long as we have been shooting and there are NO easy answers.

Perhaps it's what hasn’t been mentioned – “barrel harmonics”. 

Each rifle/barrel has a favorite load and/or sweet spot.

Some, (a few) are also more forgiving than others and shoot different loads with minor variations accurately.

Accuracy itself being a relative term ...   ;)

You changed the recipe and now the projectile is leaving the muzzle at a different point in the node(s).

Therefore, the the point of impact will change in relation to the point of aim as will the size of the group(s).

Without altering the powder charge, patch material, type and amount of lube ONE item at a time to compensate, you just wind up chasing your tail.

As it is, you have a rifle and load that appears to shoot well.

Not knowing what discipline you are shooting, the question then becomes, is it a winning rifle?

If so, buy as many boxes of swaged round balls with the same lot number as you can afford.

Do the same with the lot of powder, lube and the bolt of patching material and anything else you’re using.

Then, shoot it until something changes …

Best of luck!

Cheers,
Smoketown

PS

Back in the day, I had a .222 Remington that was a ‘one hole rifle’ until they (Herters) discontinued its favorite bullet.
(I got rid of it when I used up the last of my ‘stash’.)    :(