Mountain Molds
Range Report 5/20/04

More lube and groove experiments in the 357 snubby.   "YES" means the data is significantly different than the control load.   Ballisticast lube was used for today's control load.

2 little grooves loaded with 18.5 gr. H110, 160.8 gr. HT mystery alloy, seated 0.325" into case, 37513 psi / 1237 fps estimated by Quickload.

Keith base loaded with 18.0 gr. H110, 164.5 gr. HTWW, seated 0.350" into case, 37730 psi / 1224 fps estimated by Quickload.

2 little grooves / Ballisticast lube   1247 fps (10 fps faster than Quickload prediction), 84 fps ES, 5.2", cleaner than average (compared to NRA lube).

2 little grooves / Permatex form-a-gasket   1289 fps - YES, 54 fps ES -- YES, 5.7", a hazy sheen but absolutely no leading.

2 little grooves / liquid alox 100% filling grooves   1182 fps -- YES, 59 fps ES -- YES, 6.2", 100% clean.

2 little grooves / liquid alox 100% filling grooves / mica dust   1185 (no significant difference compared to no mica), 41 fps ES -- (significant compared to Ballisticast but not significantly better than liquid alox without mica), 6.5", cleaner than average.

2 little grooves / 1:1:2 Taurak/Beeswax/Crayon   1190 fps -- YES, 89 fps ES, 5.4", cleaner than average.

2 little grooves / 1:1:2 Bear Fat/Beeswax/Crayon   1179 fps -- YES, 68 fps ES, 7.3" -- YES, cleaner than average.

Keith base / Ballisticast lube   1212 fps (12 fps slower than Quickload prediction), 66 fps ES, 6.7", cleaner than average.

Keith base / NRA lube   1178 fps -- YES, 50 fps ES, 6.4", average cleanliness.

Conclusions The Permatex kicked butt, proving in my mind that the main function of bullet lube is to help form a gas seal.   Adding crayon to soft lubes actually seemed to hurt.   Crayon may be hard but it is also crumbly, slick, and has a low melting point, which may work against forming a gas seal.   The liquid alox also seemed to fail to form a good gas seal, and I cannot explain why.   Mica dust did not seem to make a difference.   The Keith base did not make a significant difference.

I fixed the scope problems on the '06 but but wasted a lot of shots getting it sighted in and dealing with some problems that were unrelated to the experiments......

165 gr. HTWW .310" body/.313" check 16 gr 2400 grooves completely filled with liquid alox   1501 fps, 15 fps ES, 2.4", only one valid string others had unrelated problems.  Velocity was low, compared to the 1550 - 1600 fps that is normal for this load.

165 gr. HTWW .310" body/.313" check 20 gr AA 5744 grooves completely filled with liquid alox   1571 fps, 33 fps ES, 2.4".   I will switch to this powder for my lo-vel loads just because I have a 2 pound jug that has been taking up space on my reloading bench for 20 years.

165 gr. HTWW .310" body/.318" 32 caliber check 59 gr 4350 grooves completely filled with liquid alox   2740 fps, 42 fps ES, some shots off target.   The thinking was that the fat gas check would provide a good gas seal while the 0.310" body diameter would minimize bullet distortion.   Instead, velocity was about 100 fps lower than it should be, suggesting a poor gas seal, and accuracy was wild.   There was some grey wash at the muzzle but not bad by hi-vel standards.   This load seems to have a dilemma -- conventional 0.309" - 0.311" bullets won't stay on the target, 0.316" - 0.318" bullets are better if you can call 4 - 6 MOA better.