About the leading question - I've recently been doing some research with lead-only and started shooting it in my pistols... both .40 SW and .45 ACP. Obviously much lighter loads than the .44 GS (Gunco Special) will yield ;)
The trick to reduce fouling seems to be to use the correct lube and loads. In other words if you're leading your barrel you're doing it wrong. I think there are limits and gas checks apparently help as well. Also the casting forumla - using pure lead will lead faster vs. an alloy such as wheel weights. Mixing some solder into a pot of pure lead will provide enough tin content to make a good alloy. I just use wheel weights :)
My dad suggested a way to reduce leading would be to mix jacketed bullets in with the cast, so perhaps 1 jacket following 4-5 cast would help eliminate leading. I might try that too... depends on how much leading I get using just the cast bullets. HOWEVER since all my autoloading pistols seem to function fine with the cast bullets it will definitely be casting more since it is so much cheaper!
There are tons of high-power rifle loads that use only cast bullets. I'd like to pick up the Lee cast bullet reloading manual so I can get a handle on some better loads... should have some good info in there. The Cast Boolits forum also has a plethora of information.
There about about as many bullet lube recipes as there are reloading recipes. After going through a few of the $5.00 sticks I can see why! Up on the Cast Boolit forum, there are a few more popular lubes. One of the most popular is a "green" lube (forget the nickname) that is simply parafin wax and synthetic 2-stroke engine oil. Amsoil or something like that. I'm going to the local craft/candle shop to see how cheaply I can get a pile of candles and make my own!
Speed green lube = 3:1 ratio:
- Bees wax (parafin wax) = 3x
- Amsoil synthetic marine 2 stroke injector oil = 1x
- Add 15% wax (carnuba or otherwise) to harden if too sticky...
Hadn't heard of the 2 cycle oil/bees wax lube, Thanks HC. I have some bees wax on the way to try the 50/50 bees wax/molly ep grease lube that Mauser1959 linked to a while back. I also dust the lubed bullets with motor mica to keep them from being as sticky and for additional lube.
SO HOW FAST CAN LEAD BE PUSHED IN A RIFLE LENGTH BARREL?????? IM ALSO WONDERING ABOUT PORT FOULING AS WELL.
How fast can only be answered in reloading manuals and the cast boolits forum. I'm looking at possible 6.5x55 loads. Rifle loads seem to be more common than I ever considered when I started reloading.
That lube is referred to as "Speed Green" lube on the cast boolits forum and is designed for higher velocity loads.
I HAVE WAY TO MANY PROJECTS GOING ON TO START MESSING WITH LEAD RIGHT NOW. I KNOW A GUY WHO HAS ALL THE ANSWERES AN MAKES THOUSANDS OF BULLETS A MONTH HIS SHOP IS AMAZING iD SEEK HIS WISDOM OUT IF i EVER START TO GET INTO IT. I KEEP COLLECTING LEAD AN WILL DO IT SOME DAY. ID LKE TO SHOOT MY PISTOLS MORE ESPECIALY THE 9MM AN 357 SO iT WOULD BE A WORTH WHILE INVESTMENT BUT NOT RIGHT NOW.
IM SURE IF YOU CAN GET THE ROUND INTO THE BARREL WITH OUT DAMAGING THE BULLET LEAD IN A 444 AK WOULD WORK GREAT.
LIKE YOU SAID THERE IS A TON OF INO ON THE NET ABOUT CAST LEAD BULLETS.
My 444 has the micro groove rifling which isn't supposed to be great for cast bullets, so I haven't tried. With straight wheel weights and alox lube I get no leading in my 44 mag on a 240gr LSWC at 1300fps which is slower than you're wanting to go.
UNLESS BULLET WEIGHTS ARE INCREASED AS SPEEDS ARE DROPPED YOUR GOING TO NEED A BIGGER PORT TO ALLOW CYCLING THIS MAY BE MORE FOUL PRONE. NOT REALLY SURE BUT ITS WORTH MENTIONING.
Another thing to bring up is port location. The big bore diameter is going to mean the pressure spikes and drops off alot faster than a 7.62x39 round. I was surprised on my 357AR build that I needed a .090" gas port on a 17" barrel with a carbine length gas tube, especially since the round has 60k psi chamber pressure. I worked the gas port up slowly every few thousands and around .090" is what the minimum that it takes to cycle the action. Looking at a quickshot graph of a 223 and the 357AR showed that while both started out with the same psi, the 357 had a much sharper dropp off than the 223. On my next barrel I will try a pistol length gas system to see if I can keep the gas port diameter a bit smaller. Of course on the AK platform you're not restricted to a .116"ish gas tube (which really seems to top off nearer to .100" on the ar) and can go with a larger port diameter.
Interesting. I wish there were more data on port placement an port size gs barrel length an pressure