Runnin’ Ball...

Discussion in 'Shooting Accessories' started by smo, Mar 14, 2019 at 11:50 PM.

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  1. Mar 14, 2019 at 11:50 PM #1

    smo

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    smo

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    I was getting low on .530 round ball’s , so
    I thought I’d run a few....

    I’m using repurposed lead fishing weights, diving weights and misc. size round ball’s I no longer use.

    Out of shear boredom and for squirts & giggles I thought I’d weigh a few...

    The average weight came in at .234 - .236 grs, 53 of them .

    18 were heavier than .236 grs , 23 were lighter than .234 grs.

    With the lightest being .230.4 and the heaviest weighing .240.8.....

    The balls all look ok , some have swirls in them .

    I think they we’re some of the first one while the Mold was heating up..

    I was surprised at that much difference in weight....

    I’m not a good enough shot too be concerned with it, but some may be.

    Has anyone else ever expierienced this???



    upload_2019-3-14_18-48-47.jpeg
     
  2. Mar 15, 2019 at 12:12 AM #2

    necchi

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    Yep, That happens when using as you say, "misc", supply stock for the melt and casting session.
    It's all up to the individual and that persons experience with casting and his needed standards.
    It's all good, toss some of the high and low ones back in the pot and do it again, ;)

    p.s. them with "swirls" are automatic culls in my book,, they don't even hit the scale
     
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  3. Mar 15, 2019 at 1:39 AM #3

    biliff

    biliff

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    Weight variations are common. As you found out the early casts tend to be problematic as the mold probably isn't up to temperature. I weigh mine and use +/- 1 grain as the determining factor for my large calibers. I use the rejects for non-critical practice like shooting 50 m. chickens on the silhouette range.
     
  4. Mar 15, 2019 at 12:42 PM #4

    Grimord

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    Precisely why I weigh the balls I cast. +/- 1 grain for 50 cal and larger calibers, +/-1/2 grain for calibers below 45. I may not be the best shot, but I want to eliminate as many "flyers" as possible that are not my fault.
     
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  5. Mar 15, 2019 at 1:06 PM #5

    smo

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    Will 1/7000 th of a pound make any difference at < 100 yards ?
     
  6. Mar 15, 2019 at 1:43 PM #6

    curator

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    Variation in weight of cast balls can be the result of smaller diameter (cool mould or alloy) or be due to voids (air bubbles) inside the ball. Both are detrimental to accuracy particularly as the range increases. A rifle with a 1 in 48" twist and a ball velocity of 1500 fps spins the ball at 22,500 RPM. Any imperfection that results in the ball not rotating precisely around its center of gravity will affect its flight.
     
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  7. Mar 15, 2019 at 1:48 PM #7

    Rifleman1776

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    Nice work. Like the others, I'm sure the balls with swirls are the result of low melt or mould temps. Recast them. But, I'm more concerned with the mixed metals you used. Shooting results may be very different than if you had used only pure soft lead.
     
  8. Mar 15, 2019 at 1:52 PM #8

    ADK Bigfoot

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    I, too, weigh my bullets/round balls. Any with swirls or voids are immediately put back in the post. Usually due to the mold/lead not being up to temperature yet. I heat my mold before starting, but often have to toss the first five pours. Once the balls begin to look smooth and shiny, I cast away until I get a good pile. If you add rejects/sprues back to the pot, remember to let the lead come back up to full temp.

    I weigh and spot measure (wth a micrometer) to make sure I am getting what I need; a good supply of fully filled out, consistent weight round balls. Since I worked up a load with the right diameter round ball, patch, lube, and powder charge, no sense then going out a shooting if you have changed one of the parameters (ball size/weight).
     
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  9. Mar 15, 2019 at 2:05 PM #9

    Melnic

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    yup, I had like 90 lbs of dive weights I got free when I started molding.
    molded bullets for "unmentionables". When I went to mold balls for patched muzzle loading, that is when I noticed the difference. That .535 ball for my Lyman GPR 54 was a pain to start. Really took a pounding. Plus accuracy suffered. Switched to pure lead and problems went away. Its how the ball fits in the groves that the hardness affects. Plus after it goes bang, how it squishes into the groves more. (there is a word for that)
    I ended up wanting to be more knowledgeable about my lead and got a lee hardness tester that works in my reloading press. Really showed how hard that dive weight scrap was. comparing the dive weight lead and pure lead with a thumbnail scratch showed me how to better field test with my fingernail. Even hard lead scratches, but how much it scratches is the subjective experience you need to tell the difference.

    I pulled about 200 .535 balls I had made and put them with my hard lead scrap to relegate to fishing weight I'll mold.
     
  10. Mar 15, 2019 at 9:44 PM #10

    Rifleman1776

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    It is a dirty word not allowed here. :eek: Don't say it out loud, causes posting explosions.;)
     
  11. Mar 15, 2019 at 10:07 PM #11

    necchi

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    Depends. Smooth bore or rifle?
    Considering we make a ball "spin" or rotate on it's axis because of the twist of our rifling,,
    Is that missing 1grn of weight on the side of the ball or in the exact center of the ball?
    It's all relative to the shooter.
    Some aren't concerned, other's like to eliminate the possible variable.
    Some guy's hunt, some guy's plink at pop cans and gongs, and some guy's are tournament shooters seeking 5X.
     
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  12. Mar 15, 2019 at 11:47 PM #12

    biliff

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    Your numbers indicate a variation of over 1.5% in the weight of a ball. Whether that is significant is up to you.
     
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  13. Mar 16, 2019 at 2:04 AM #13

    smo

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    The ball still appear too be round, except for the sprue.

    So wouldn’t a lighter ball just shoot higher and a heavier one shoot lower?

    And this is shooting a 42” barrel Longrifle .

    I’m more of a hunter myself, but feel out of respect for the game I’m hunting , that I should be an accurate shot

    I do like shooting the occasional woods walk or novelty shoot as well.

    As far a X’s , I’ve got my share, but that’s another story ...

    How could one prove if a void would cause a ball to change in flight?

    After all didn’t they rifle barrels too stabilize the projectile ?
     
  14. Mar 16, 2019 at 2:22 AM #14

    necchi

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    Truth to that, I guess we really can't,, considering all of the other variables with-in any given shot.
    But given the years of conversation you've seen here on the forum about this subject,, wouldn't it prudent for those seeking to understand why a shot went astray to at least attempt to maintain ball condition with the knowledge of minor variation of it's weight being an indication that's it's "somehow" different then the others?
    At least when one seeks accuracy through consistency?
    Wouldn't a weight change indicate something?
    I think most would agree to at least that simple principle. To what "tolerance" of change is acceptable is up to the individual.

    Point is; If all cast ball shot during a session are the same,, and there is still inconsistency at target (deer heart or X) then it's not the cast ball causing the inconsistency.
    Found accuracy is the elimination of variables of the gun as a tool. Once that's done then a person can begin the real test,, the nut behind the butt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 2:34 AM
  15. Mar 16, 2019 at 3:41 AM #15

    smo

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    That’s kinda’ what I’m getting at.

    Most , including myself will never shoot well
    enough too see any difference in accuracy caused by
    our Roundballs being a few grains off.

    I seperated the balls I poured into 3 groups .234-.236,
    Those .236 and above and .234 and less were each put into
    groups.

    I plan too shoot them and see if my accuracy changes.
     
  16. Mar 18, 2019 at 2:31 PM #16

    Rifleman1776

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    I'm not sure it can be proven conclusively. But, I do believe, under the right conditions, it can be shown to be about 99% conclusive. I'm thinking of a test that could be done in my county. [won't happen, jest thinking]. An acquaintance is a very high level machinist/gunsmith with a passion for accuracy. He has an indoor 100 yard shooting range. It is climate controlled and virtually eliminates all wind currents. If we had a heavy bench rest rifle mounted on his concrete shooting benches and shot lead balls that would not roll straight, methinks that could pretty well prove if, or if not, the voids affected poi. I would like to try it but unlikely to happen.
     
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  17. Mar 18, 2019 at 4:43 PM #17

    FishDFly

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    I cast a lot of balls in different sizes and see quite a bit of variation in weights.

    What I find interesting is that Lee molds have more variation in weight difference than the Lyman molds. Why I do not know, but it is there.
     
  18. Mar 19, 2019 at 2:32 PM #18

    Stumpkiller

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    The 4 gr. heavy ones are a concern because the only way that can happen is the mold not being fully closed or a loose sprue gate.
     

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