Cast bullets in the Air Force Condor

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Cast bullets in the Air Force Condor

Postby roachcreek on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:21 am

I started out abut 8 months ago trying to find a way to shoot Cast bullets in my AirForce 25 caliber rifles. After several false starts I ended up with two rifles that I refer to as my 25 LBT's, one is a carbine with a 17 inch barrel on a Talon frame which duplicates 25 ACP velocties at the present time and the other is a 23 inch Condor that is shooting 56 grain cast SWC of LeadBulletTechnology design at 1030 FPS/132 FPE.

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Eventually I found that success meant that I had to cut the choke off my barrels, once that was accomplished my groups hoovered around .6 to .7 at 40 yards and recently have been in the .5 range at 40 yards.

But long distance is where they really shine, the bullets are far more accurate at ranges past 150 yards than a Diablo designed pellet. Corkscrewing is completely absent and retained energy is far greater than the Diablo can muster at long range. The rifle is a good example of that, it is still retaining more enrgy at 145 yards than a 25 ACP has at the muzzle. Sighted in at 100 yards it is only dropping 14.5 inches at 150 yards

THe carbine has not always been so sedate in performance, at one time I had it shooting well over 120 FPE and shooting it at my 260 yard range my best group to date is 4.5 inches for 5 shots at 260 yards.

This is my range, the little white speck over the tin clad sheep house is a 3x4 metal target with a white painted 12 inch metal plate gong.
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After trying several over the counter 25 caliber molds and not finding a slug close enough to fit my .2549 LW barrel, I had Veral Smith of LBT make me a mold that shoots these culled bullets shown here flanked by Kings.
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roachcreek
 
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Re: Cast bullets in the Air Force Condor

Postby roachcreek on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:48 am

One of the critical factors that make or break a cast bullet air rifle is the bullet diameter in relation to the the groove diameter of the barrel. Groove diameter is the widest portion of your rifled bore. Powder burners especially black powder rifles can take undersized slugs and shoot them reasonably well. This is due to the fact they have such violent igniton forces that will bump the soft lead bullet up to fill the grooves made by the rifling valleys. A bullet that is oversized will swage down, if it will fit in the chamber lead, because forces up to 55,000 PSI will instantly give the presures needed to swage a slightly oversized slug.

Air guns have none of these luxeries going for them as far as sizing upon firing. There is neither enough force to bump up a solid bullet and swaging a bullet down to groove diameter with air power is a energy thief. My LW barrel slugged out to .2549, all the molds I could find over the counter were either undersized, .251 for the RCBS 25 ACP mold, to oversize, .261 for Lee and Lyman molds. So I had a custom one made as I mentioned and had it made to my specs.

What I asked for was a .256 mold and then sized the bullets to .255 for my .2549 barrel.

A choke barrel I have found in my application was another deal breaker. Although some get by with chokes and cast bullets, I never could. My LW barrel went from .2549 to .251 for the last inch. I had constant trouble with flyers that would be a inch or more out of the group.

I shot several hundred bullets trying to get a handle on those flyers, but when I was able to buy a used 18 inch LW barrel, for $75.00, I decided to take a $75.00 gamble and I cut the last inch off and threw the choke portion in the trash. Instantly the flyers stopped, groups shrank, a couple thousand bullets later I also cut the choke off my 24 inch barrel making it a 23 inch 25 LBT and I get even smaller groups with that barrel.
roachcreek
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:05 pm


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