Trying a New Load in My Rossis

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COSteve
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Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#1 Post by COSteve » Thu Sep 05, 2019 11:55 am

Been shooting a bunch of my Lil'Gun powdered .357mag loads in my leverguns and I decided to give something new a try. I have a lot of 158grn Berry's plated bullets I've used in low power pistol loads and I thought I'd give them a try with Lil'gun as reduced load plinking rds for my rifle and carbine. As they have a soft lead core with a thin plated surface, I decided to drop the powder charge band from 16.0-18.0 Hodgdon lists that I use with my jacketed 158grn Zero JSP bullets down a full 2.0grns to account for the softer 'lead like' plated bullets.

I talked to Hodgdon before I loaded anything and they don't have the low load caution with Lil'Gun like they do with H110 so I figure I'll see how it goes. Anyway, I made up 30rds of test ammo this morning with 14.0grns of Lil'Gun and 158grn Berry's plated bullets lit by a WSR primer in some Starline brass with an OAL of 1.580". In addition, I made up 65rds of the same but with 14.6grns of Lil'Gun to see how each load shoots. (I had a pack with 95 WSR primers so that's why I picked the odd number.)

I'm looking for group size, not speed so I'll be shooting at my standard, bowling pins at 200yds to see if they are any good. Besides just range plinking, I'm looking for some loads to take out plinking a pine cones and possibly small game as I've seen that the plated bullets do well there. Further, I'm also looking to see how the 14.6grn loads work in my tang and globe sighted 24" rifle out at 300yds as I'm particularly fond of shooting at that distance with it.

I can't go to the range today as I'm busy but we'll see how things turn out soon.
Steve

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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#2 Post by GunnyMack » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:17 pm

When I got my Henry 41 the only bullets I had on hand were Berry plated. I knew Lilgun was THE powder and with mid range charges I proceeded to copper foul the bore something fierce! The plating and rifle velocities dont play well together. However since your bore is well broken in you may get different results. Let us know how they shoot!
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#3 Post by Leverluver » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:19 pm

I've often looked at lower than max charges of Lil GUN with the interest in middle of the road loads (~1400fps with 170gr cast) for one of the new Winchester 73s in 357. I know the rifle can take 36,000psi but I'd sure prefer ~24,000psi. Our goals are not exactly the same but I'm still looking forward to your results.

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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#4 Post by piller » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:24 pm

I use L'iL gun in a couple of different calibers. I am interested in your results. My .480 does very well with it.
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#5 Post by COSteve » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:55 pm

GunnyMack wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:17 pm
When I got my Henry 41 the only bullets I had on hand were Berry plated. I knew Lilgun was THE powder and with mid range charges I proceeded to copper foul the bore something fierce! The plating and rifle velocities dont play well together. However since your bore is well broken in you may get different results. Let us know how they shoot!
The funny thing is that I've shot many Berry's and X-Treme plated bullets out of my Rossis using slightly lower charges of H110, Power Pistol, and some Unique some years ago when my rifles were new and I was experimenting with different bullet types. Even though I pushed them into the 1,800fps range out of my Rossis, I didn't get any copper fouling at all.

In addition, I shoot X-Treme plated bullets in my Custom Glock 6" G20/21L; both 180grn in my G20L 10mm and 200grn in my G21L 45 Super and neither caliber produces any copper fouling at all, even after thousands of rds. Further, I have a plinking load for my 30-30, X-Treme's 150grn plated bullet I push at just over 2,000fps out of my Mossberg 464 and after about 500rds, no copper fouling in that one either.

That's 4 different calibers and 2 different manufacturers of plated bullets, all pushed at magnum velocities and beyond without any fouling. In fact, I get some copper fouling with jacketed bullets that I don't see with plated as I'm guessing that the soft core on the plated deforms easier.

Seems to me your Henry might be the problem, not the plated bullets.
Steve

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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#6 Post by OldWin » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:33 am

I used the Rainer 158gr round nose for my .357 plinker in handguns and my 20" Rossi.
Since Rainer went out of business, I went to Berry's.
Never tried Lil' Gun, but I use 6.5gr of Unique. This gives 950fps from a 4" model 66, a few more from a 2nd gen Colt SAA 5.5, and 1350fps from my Rossi.
It has been very accurate in all 3.
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#7 Post by GunnyMack » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:52 am

I tend to think my Henry had a bit of a rough bore. I spent quite a bit of elbow grease getting it cleaned and a bunch more with JB Bore paste. Just figured I'd enlighten you about my findings?

Waiting for your range report.
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#8 Post by Rusty » Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:04 am

GunnyMack wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:52 am
I tend to think my Henry had a bit of a rough bore. I spent quite a bit of elbow grease getting it cleaned and a bunch more with JB Bore paste. Just figured I'd enlighten you about my findings?

Waiting for your range report.
Have you ever thought about fire lapping the bore?

I just bought a brand new 77/357 and figured that would be the first thing I did with it before even firing factory rounds thru it.
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#9 Post by GunnyMack » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:49 am

I thought about fire lapping but after the initial fouling and lots of elbow grease with JB Bore paste and a steady diet of jacketed the fouling is not been a problem. I'll just not shoot the plated stuff with full house loads if at all...
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#10 Post by COSteve » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:55 am

So, I went to the range yesterday afternoon and gave my loads a try. I should correct something in my original post I misstated. I didn't load up 65rds with 14.6grns, I actually loaded up 30rds with 14.3grns and then the remaining 35rds with 14.6grns to give me enough of each to get an idea how they would shoot in both my carbine and rifle as well as in a cold barrel and a hot one. Sorry for the goof on the first post.

Out at the range I didn't bother with my chrono as I'll get to that when I decide upon a load I like. As I said, I'm not looking for velocity, but good accuracy in a lighter load for range and plinking use. Anyway, I started with the 14.0grn 158grn Berry's plated loads and wasn't surprised to find that in my 24" rifle, at 300yds the velocity was so low that they dropped too much to use at that range. In the carbine at 200yds, they produced OK accuracy but not what the full power loads would do. Recoil was mild, especially in the 1lb 12oz heavier rifle (24" barrel octagon barrel adds lots of weight).

Next up was the 14.3grn 158grn Berry's plated loads and they worked well in both Rossis with accuracy increasing to near full load levels on the bowling pins at 200yds, especially with the carbine, but I still saw some significant drop with the rifle at 300yds so I'll hold off on final judgement as I want a load I can use in both my carbine and rifle.

Finally, I shot the 14.6grn 158grn Berry's plated loads and I was pleased with them in both platforms. Even though I still have more drop at 300yds with the rifle, it's on the verge of acceptable for me and at 200yds, both platforms produced good accuracy on the pins. Actually, I have to say that accuracy was probably much better than I expected. I've heard that plated bullets aren't known for great accuracy and in truth, these aren't quite as good as my Zero JSP, however, I was pleased enough with them that I'll definitely be using them for range and plinking use as the price is compelling.

The Recoil of the 14.6grn loads compared to the 14.0grn loads increased more than I thought that 0.6grns would produce but it still is lower than with a full load under a jacketed 158grn bullet. However, I attribute that to the fact that I'm shooting what are essentially, lead bullets pressure wise. I consider that at 14.6grns, I'm likely above the mid level pressure one would see with 17+grns with a jacketed bullet.

As to GunnyMack's comment on his Henry's copper fouling, when I was cleaning them up last night, even with my bore light I couldn't see any evidence of any copper fouling in either my carbine or rifle. Plated bullets do require care in loading to ensure that one doesn't cut the plating but other than that, they are quite easy to use. With 10s of thousands of rds I've loaded in 38spl,.357mag, 40s&w, 45acp, 45 Colt, 10mm, 45 Super pistols as well as M1 Carbine and 30-30 plinking loads using plated bullets, I feel I know how to deal with them.

My conclusion is that I may see what a 14.8 or 14.9grn load does before I settle on a final selection but I'm pleased with the results so far. They worked better than expected, didn't cause any issues, fed very smoothly, and just worked. And the bowling pins didn't notice any difference either. :D
Steve

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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#11 Post by AJMD429 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:22 pm

Thanks for the post. I have a 357 Mag 24" octagonal Rossi, and I also put a tang sight on it; at the shorter ranges I have available, it is the closest I'll get to the fun I've read about when guys take the 45-70's out to 800 yards or so. I figure it is sort of a mini-equivalent.

I used to pine away that I didn't have a good-bore 32-20 of the same type, but I've begun to think of the 357 as sort of a 'larger-bore, slower-bullet' equivalent of the 32-20, although I know full well that is a mind game I'm playing with myself to rationalize not having the 32-20.... :D Still, I can load the 357 Mag that way - larger bullets than the 32-20 and lower velocity...it's just that I can ALSO crank 'em up a bunch too.

357 Mag is really one of the most versatile cartridges out there....!
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#12 Post by COSteve » Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:27 pm

AJMD429 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:22 pm
357 Mag is really one of the most versatile cartridges out there....!
Well said Doc!!!
Steve

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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#13 Post by COSteve » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:59 pm

What can I say, I can't leave well enough alone. :lol: After I posted my results above this morning, I got a wild hair and loaded up some different loads and went back out to give them a try instead of watching football today. :shock: I loaded up some 14.8grn to try in my rifle and some even lower power, 13.6grn on a lark for my carbine to see about some really light recoiling plinkers for it.

You see, I often get young ladies coming over to check out my rifles and "look at the cowboy guns" at the range. We're a private range on company property with a large membership but most of us know each other from work. As I retired some 12 years ago, it's a chance to see and catch up with folks I worked with for many years so, it's not uncommon to see someone from 'back in the day' with their wives, daughters, and grand kids out shooting and many stop by to say hi. As black rifles are all the rage with the under 40 set, many of their wives, daughters, and kids have never seen a levergun up close and personal.

I'm happy to stop and let them check out my leverguns (or any of my firearms they show an interest in) and it they wish, I'll give them instruction and then let them try a few rounds. Over the years I've introduced hundreds of people to leverguns and my M1 Carbines. The last few, I've also introduced them to my Mini M14 as well. I've found that the ladies, especially the more petite ones, really like both my M1 Carbine and Mini M14 as they say it fits them much better than the bulky receiver'd ARs most of their hubbies or dads have. I've even seen them back at the range with their own M1 Carbine of Mini-14.

Anyway, back at the testing. I gave the 14.8grn loads a go in my rifle and I'm not impressed. They shot no better at 300yds than the 14.6grn loads but I could feel the extra recoil. Unfortunately, at 72, I'm developing a slight case of arthritis in my shooting shoulder so I'm not a big fan of heavy recoiling rifles any more. I found that shooting my Rossis, especially the rifle with the crescent buttplate, produces some discomfort even though I get none when shooting my M1A with full NATO level M80 loads. I think it's because of the small buttplate size and light weight of the Rossis. So I have taken to strapping on a Caldwell Shooting Recoil Shield to soften the impact on my shoulder and that solves the issue for now. Bottom line, the 14.8grn load isn't a candidate for a plinking load any longer.

Next I gave the 13.6grn plinking loads a go in my carbine. Performance at 200yds was good and the recoil was very mild. Accuracy was good enough for me to pick off a couple of bowling pins even though it's been a while since I plinked them. As I rarely shoot my carbine over 200, I'm considering loading up 13.6grn for the carbine and 14.6grn for the rifle. However as I already load 16 calibers (7 pistol and 9 rifle) with 42 different rifle loads and 45 different pistol loads, I need another 2 unique loads like a hole in the head!! :lol:
Steve

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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#14 Post by GunnyMack » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:11 pm

Nice reports, I'm curious as to the velocity of those loads.

I'm sure that my fouling issue was due to brand new cut rifling and full house loads was the reason. Since your guns are well broken in you shouldn't see any. In my case I need to develop a cast load!
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#15 Post by COSteve » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:06 am

We're going to Italy next week for a couple of weeks so velocity testing will have to wait until October when I return. I've kept a few of each load level to satisfy my curiosity as well. As the bullets act like lead, I'll be interested to see what velocities I get. I'm also interested in finding how much velocity increase or decrease corresponds to a noticeable difference in felt recoil.
Steve

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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#16 Post by GunnyMack » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:45 am

Have a great trip and dont take any wooden nickels!
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Re: Trying a New Load in My Rossis

#17 Post by piller » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:52 am

I hope your trip is wonderful. The velocity testing will give the same results if you wait until you are back. Have fun in Italy and don't gain too much weight from all that good food.
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