Trying out Lee real 360gr cast lead bullets for the first time

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gun_painter

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I've recently rekindled an old love of muzzle loading. I acquired a cva 50 hawken rifle from a local gentlemen for $200 and went to work shooting it, usually with roundballs. I live in the country and a trip to the range is just a few steps outside of my shop door, which is nice cause I can reload in the a/c.

I got a lee lead melting pot, and some lead, along with a lee real 360gr mold, and got to making some bullets late last night. Shot em today to work up a load and seemed to have found something that looks good, requires a repeat effort to confirm. 85gr pyrodex p, no wonder wad, and some patch lube I have until I can do some wax/oil mix and pan lube.

The plate is 12", and 54 yards from my shooting position. It's a bit tighter than my best roundball load, but is that pretty good for a muzzleloader? Or do I need to do better? I come from the world of precision rifle shooting, my competition rifle shoots groups like this at 400 yards, so I'm not really sure what to call great, and good.

Going from 70gr and a roundball, to 85gr and a 360gr bullets, the recoil is much sharper, and the brass buttplate has the 'ol shoulder pocket a little tender, lol.

Branden
 

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rhett45acp

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Is this a 360 gr or a 320 gr? I just cast some 250 and 320s for my .50 I will be very pleased to have your group at 50 yards. That is about the max range from two of my favorite blinds.

How did you lube? Right now I plan on using a .50 cal wad over the powder and finger lube the REAL with 50/50 BW and Crisco.

I have my eye on a Hawking right now. Availability new is slim. For $200 and its in pretty good shape you did very well.
 

gun_painter

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Is this a 360 gr or a 320 gr? I just cast some 250 and 320s for my .50 I will be very pleased to have your group at 50 yards. That is about the max range from two of my favorite blinds.

How did you lube? Right now I plan on using a .50 cal wad over the powder and finger lube the REAL with 50/50 BW and Crisco.

I have my eye on a Hawking right now. Availability new is slim. For $200 and its in pretty good shape you did very well.
You're correct, i've been saying 360gr all this time and it's actually 320gr, I need to make a few corrections.

The lube I used was in a tube, and it's call CVA Grease Patch. Says on the back it can be used to lube Minie and Maxi balls, I used it in a pinch until I get some better lube solutions in, I was thinking beeswax and olive oil,BW & Crisco I imagine would work well too, and I know I have Crisco on hand, it's how my wife fries up her famous chicken tenders. :)

Branden
 

gun_painter

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I guess I can't edit my post to correct it to 320 instead of 360. If i'm just not seeing how to do so, someone let me know please.

Branden
 

rhett45acp

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@gun_painter, I would not worry about the 320/360 edit. It happens. Folks really interested will pick up and read your error.

I added this to my 50 tonight. Yes, I know, modern tech, but my eyes are catching up with the date on my drivers license.

1627341458276.png


I cast these yesterday. The 50 cal 250 and 320 REAL. Probably not the best but this was my first try with the REAL molds.

1627341747934.png
 

gun_painter

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@gun_painter, I would not worry about the 320/360 edit. It happens. Folks really interested will pick up and read your error.

I added this to my 50 tonight. Yes, I know, modern tech, but my eyes are catching up with the date on my drivers license.

View attachment 86782

I cast these yesterday. The 50 cal 250 and 320 REAL. Probably not the best but this was my first try with the REAL molds.

View attachment 86783
Those look really good. Mine aren't perfect, but i'm just learning to cast, so i'm giving myself some time to improve. I have a mold for my .44 cap and ball that I just got a notification has shipped. I'll order some beeswax tomorrow to use as lube moving forward with my testing.

My eyes aren't as good as they once were, but still not bad. I'm only 42, and don't need glasses to read yet, but I notice I need a lot more light to see small things than I used too.

Branden
 

rodwha

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My .50 cal will keyhole the 320’s at 50 yds if I don’t use a wad. Do you have shallow grooves? Lyman claims the .50 cal has .520” grooves and my REALs measure .517” across the top band so it’s likely not capable of sealing the bore with obturation since the base bands are so much smaller. I’m guessing we share the 1:48” twist.

You may want to try Gatofeo’s #1 lube. It’s traditional and it works well. I use it on my REALs, cal n ball bullets, and felt wads.
 

gun_painter

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My .50 cal will keyhole the 320’s at 50 yds if I don’t use a wad. Do you have shallow grooves? Lyman claims the .50 cal has .520” grooves and my REALs measure .517” across the top band so it’s likely not capable of sealing the bore with obturation since the base bands are so much smaller. I’m guessing we share the 1:48” twist.

You may want to try Gatofeo’s #1 lube. It’s traditional and it works well. I use it on my REALs, cal n ball bullets, and felt wads.
I did a quick google search and pretty sure I found the recipe, thank you for that. I didn't notice any stability issues largely because I was shooting a steel plate rather than paper. I can shoot paper, I just largely figure I wasn't having issues because it grouped quite well. my groove measures at .510-.512, i'm not sure how precise my measurement is, lands are .493". With PRB I shoot a .490 ball and .010 patch. It's slides down pretty easy, but shoots well with a wonder wad under it, and I don't beat the hell out of my palm and ramrod to get it down. If I find some .012 or .013 patch, i'll try those out too. I am the same 1:48" twist.

Branden
 

rhett45acp

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I am going to cast the Lee 360 grain Improved minie tonight.

I am also working up my lube. I started with 50/50 Crisco and Beeswax. 1/2 cup each. I used a pyrex bowl and stuck it in the toaster oven ~350F and it liquified and mixed pretty well. Today I purposley put it in the car for work and let it sit in the SC heat in the car. It was pure liquid this afternoon. I took it inside AC @ 76F and in a few hours it was a pretty good viscosity. Maybe a little thicker than tooth paste, but not chapstick. But the reality it will be upper 80s low 90s the weekend when I go to the range. Tonight I added 1/4 of beeswax and 1 tbs of mint mouth wash. Let's see about tomorrow and the car test.

Question, for hunting what is the best way to pre-lude the REAL? I thought about cigarette paper? Or kitchen shrink wrap? Ends twisted up. Would either one just scrape off upon loading and be inert to the shooting? The thought of lubing a bullet on the fly for a follow up shot and greasy fingers is not appealing. I do plan to use felt over the powder wads for it seems the reports of better accuracy are common.
 

dave951

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Group size on steel is not an accurate way to test. Put up some paper and look at that if you're serious about it.
 
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@gun_painter, I would not worry about the 320/360 edit. It happens. Folks really interested will pick up and read your error.

I added this to my 50 tonight. Yes, I know, modern tech, but my eyes are catching up with the date on my drivers license.

View attachment 86782

I cast these yesterday. The 50 cal 250 and 320 REAL. Probably not the best but this was my first try with the REAL molds.

View attachment 86783
These look excellent. I've been casting the 250 grainers for about 3 years now and yours look great. I dip-lube mine in SPG. That seems to work for me and is much less messy than greasy wet lubes.
 

rhett45acp

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Thank you Mr. Mitchell. The lube has me the most puzzled right now. I have some commercial stuff and few different BW/Crisco combinations I am going to try finger applying at the range. The weather now is so hot everything seems to be a liquid. My hunting conditions will more likely be high 30s to mid 50s.

I tried pan lubing with 50/50 BW/Crisco and everything looks very good. While the pan was cooling from warm to overnight, the results were the same. Absolute no lube sticking to the bullets. Repeated with 70/30 BW/Crisco - same result.

I may give some SPG a try.
 
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Thank you Mr. Mitchell. The lube has me the most puzzled right now. I have some commercial stuff and few different BW/Crisco combinations I am going to try finger applying at the range. The weather now is so hot everything seems to be a liquid. My hunting conditions will more likely be high 30s to mid 50s.

I tried pan lubing with 50/50 BW/Crisco and everything looks very good. While the pan was cooling from warm to overnight, the results were the same. Absolute no lube sticking to the bullets. Repeated with 70/30 BW/Crisco - same result.

I may give some SPG a try.
I can guarantee that you won't have a problem with SPG staying on the bullets. I warm a small chunk of it in a double boiler arrangement on the range, and dip the REAL bullets (using tongs) up to the top ring. Then set them aside on foil or wax paper and let them cure overnight. I also like SPG on Minie bullets for my Enfield and Zouave, but for whatever reason the Minies seem to get better accuracy using Lee Alox!
 
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I shoot the 250 REAL bullets out of my two Pedersoli Hawkens (Traditional and Rocky Mountain). I push them with 70-80 gns. of Triple Seven 2f and #11 magnum caps. I think the REALs need a bit more powder to show their best (compared with PRBs). A bit like Minies, I think the higher powder charges cause them to obturate and better catch the rifling. MAKE SURE you are using PURE lead!
 

stevemoede

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I have a 50 cal. REAL mold that is 360 gr. It is hollow in the back . I never got decent groups with it in the inline. I guess I should go out and try them in my 50 cal. TC Hawken with the 48/1 barrel. I am happy with the round balls so I never wanted to use an extra 180 grains of lead to make a hole.
 

rhett45acp

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I have a 50 cal. REAL mold that is 360 gr. It is hollow in the back . I never got decent groups with it in the inline. I guess I should go out and try them in my 50 cal. TC Hawken with the 48/1 barrel. I am happy with the round balls so I never wanted to use an extra 180 grains of lead to make a hole.
Is it possible that is not a REAL, but a Lee Improved Minie Ball ? I just cast these.
IMG_1lee.JPG


The REAL does not have a hollow base.

As Mr Mitchell mentioned, it is really important to have pure lead. Also may want to experiment on the powder charge. I don't plan on hot rodding any of these bullets, but I will not softball them either.

The inline's twist may not agree so much with the long and heavy profile of the 360 minie.

Rhett
 
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dave951

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Thank you Mr. Mitchell. The lube has me the most puzzled right now. I have some commercial stuff and few different BW/Crisco combinations I am going to try finger applying at the range. The weather now is so hot everything seems to be a liquid. My hunting conditions will more likely be high 30s to mid 50s.

I tried pan lubing with 50/50 BW/Crisco and everything looks very good. While the pan was cooling from warm to overnight, the results were the same. Absolute no lube sticking to the bullets. Repeated with 70/30 BW/Crisco - same result.

I may give some SPG a try.
I have zero issues with my lube recipe sticking to a bullet. Beeswax/lard/lanolin. Mix 60/40 Beeswax/lard and add about a spoonful of lanolin.
 

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