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Mysterious Stranger

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About Mysterious Stranger

  • Birthday 12/19/1950

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    Porcupine Hills Shadow Riders

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    Province of Alberta, Canada

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  1. Thank-ypu BB for that very thorough analysis and guidance. I really appreciate your taking the time to do that! I am going to copy and paste your text onto my computer and study it at length I think I cna learn a lot from it.
  2. Big Boston, I find your observations on both alloying and casting very interesting and helpful as I try to find the right alloy and casting techniques to make cartridges that will work well in my Pedersoli 45-70 Sharps replica ("Hunter" model specifically), at LONG range side matches. I have had difficulties. I am using wheel weight alloy that I was given by my best friend, and that ww alloy is over 30 years old. I add about 1% Tin just to enhance castability a bit. My Lee tester consistently reports it as being about BHN = 10.7, which should be pretty ideal for loads whose load tables say produce peak pressures between 14,000 and 17,000 psi. The first mold I tried is a Lee aluminum 485g, with sharp pointed ogive, that does its best looking and consistent bullets when the Lyman Mag25 melt furnace is at 720F, and the Lee mold is stabilized at 275F. This bullet shoots GREAT at 100 yards, shooting 3-shot groups as small as 0.62". However, by 150 yards, it won't group at all. Labradar readings show it goes transonic at about 125 yards and the Labradar data also shows that the normally smooth decaying velocity from muzzle to 150 yards (150 yards is the longest distance that the Labradar will detect) has a significant "flat node" at 125 yards with this bullet. Clearly, this bullet does not like the transonic zone, at least at the muzzle velocities I have tried (5 different velocities from 1228 to 1317). I DO p[lan to try both subsonic (1050 to 1100 fps) and supersonic (1300 and higher to still under safe limit of load tables - maybe as high as 1400 fps). This Lee mold produces VERY consistent bullet weight, length, and diameter. The weight from absolute lowest to absolute highest in a batch of 50 bullets is only 0.8%, which is better than most commercially cast bullets. The second mold I tried was the classic Lyman pn 457125 500g iron, with bulbuous ogive. This mold produces its best quality bullets when the pt is at 720F and the mold is stablized at 220F. Noticeably different best mold temperature than the Lee mod. The bulbuous ogive of this bulelt prevents it from even chambering in my pedersoli, even when I reduce the COAL. It stalls as I push it into the chamber with at least 1/8" of case still outside the chamber! Apparently, this is a common problem with this mold - the mold dimensions vary too much right from the Lyman factory. Also, the bulbuous "bore rider" ogive shapethat some blakc pwoder shooters want for fouling control is what causes the cartridge to not chamber if the rifle's chamber is tight versus loose like on the original Trapdoors the bulelt was designed to use in. In addition, the consistency of the mold is poor, with weight varying from lowest to highest as much as 2.3%. Pretty bad. I'm thinking my best bets are to: - Keep the alloy BHN at 10.7 - Abandon efforts with the Lyman 457125 because of its bulbuous shape and the weight inconsistency - Attack the transonic issues on the Lee bullet by ladder testing both subsonic and supersonic muzzle velocities, that stay as far as possible from the "middle" of the transonic range (about 1120 fps at my 3000 foot elevation). With the 45-70 cartridge, it is impossible to avoid the full transonic range (realistically about 900 to 1300 fps) , but hopefully, staying as far from the actual (1120 fps) speed of sound as practical will at least REDUCE the transonic disturbances - hopefully enough to enable decent grouping. - Push the supersonic ladder test speeds as high as is still completely SAFE per load tables, because higher muzzle velocities mean higher rates of bullet rotation, which will increase bullet stability and thus also at least REDUCE the effects of transonic disturbances. Here is a photo that shows the dramatic difference in shape between the 2 bullets: Any suggestions?
  3. Griff, I have the Hi-Lux 6x full barrel length scope on my Pedersoli Sharps replica in .45-70., and I too have the upgraded CNC rear mount. That rear mount is FANTASTIC if you take the time to do 2 things: 1. Disassemble and CLEAN and OIL every part of it before using. That will take all the manufacturing grit out of it and make it wonderfully smoooooth in use, with elevation changes being accurate, smooth, and repeatable. You won't believe how much difference cleaning and oiling will make. 2. Develop a "crib sheet" for both elevation and windage, based upon the specific distance between the pivot points of the front sight mount and the rear sight mount. That distance varies with rifle model and how you chose to install the scope. Once you have the crib sheet, adjsutments are quick, easy, and accurate. If you can measure the exact distance between the front and rear pivot mounts, I have a Microsft Excel template that I can email you that will give you all the settings increments automatically. I love that scope. It made it possible for me to shoot longer distances despite my age (72) and macular degeneration. Here's a photo f my setup: The MA rnage with my specific front/rear spacing is over 200 MOA: Jim G
  4. Be aware that Pedersoli dovetails are sometimes WAY tight or way loose. On my Pedersol Sharps replica, even the professional gunsmith had trouble driving the OEM sight out of the dovetail. he said it was way too tight a fit. On the rear sight, a different story. After the screw in the Pedersoli OEM rear sight mount plate as loosened, the plate came out via hand pressure only! And, of course, the dovetail was found to be SO loose when a proper sized replacement mount plate was inserted, we were able to slide .0075" of brass shimming under the new mount!! No way that would stand up to .45-70 500g recoil, so the gunsmith made me a new mount plate that utilizes the Pedersoli factory pre-threaded holes on top of the Octagon barrel to mount the rear mount of my full-barrel-length historical scope. Whoever did the dovetails on my Pedersoli apparently was having a bad day.
  5. That's actually the CHIMNEY for their gas fireplace. It's also upwind for our prevailing winds (We get all the snow from their roof in the winter right onto our deck and into the spot where the casting station is located). and again, I will not anyway be reaching temperatures where Lead actually vaporizes. It will just MELT. Vaporization requires a couple hundred more degrees. And since I will be using Linotype and pure lead, NOT wheel weights or other salvaged lead alloys, my melts will not have the other crap that many casters encounter that generates smoke and fire. My only "contaminant" should be the bees wax I'll use for fluxing.
  6. No, the Canadian justice system leaves alone all polluters, gang members, mobsters, and assaulters. It occasionally arrests some of them as a publicity deterrent, but it believes firmly in "catch and release", so the arrest are merely photo ops.
  7. Good precautionary thoughts. No kids to worry about in our case. The emergency shutoff is the melting pot's plug into the electrical extension cord, but I can add an electrical splitter box with its own onboard on/off switch and circuit breaker too. I'm not worried about the concrete tabletop moving. It weighs 102 lb and it sits on concrete blocks that weigh 229 lb. I'm sure I'll discover shortcomings, and also improvements as I learn. I really did not want to play with hot lead at all, but it appears that my Pedersoli Sharps replica needs .459" or .460" diameter cast lead bullets to shoot decently at long distances, and I cannot practically get those commercially premade where I am located. So, I have tried to edcuate myself on the processes and the issues, and am setting things up for as much safety and ease of use as I can foresee. My volume needs are low, so my casting sessions will be relatively small, and likely only 2 or 3 times per summer (too cold in the winter around here!), so this is not an everyday undertaking for me. And, I don't want it to be.
  8. The proximity to the garage and deck is unavoidable given the size of our lot. The space is NOT a "fume trap" though, as we almost always have some wind here in Lethbridge. And I plan to only MELT the Lead, not vaporize it! I have to work with what I have available, and this is what is available. It's a lot more than many other successful casters have.
  9. Fortunately, we only get 14 inches of rain in an entire year around here, and very little of it in the summer months, and very few birds. The number of birds is now so small that we really notice when we get one. Scientists have said that the bird population worldwide has declined a LOT very quickly. Not sure why, but thta is not good news, despite the reduction in bird poop on our cars! One thiong we get a LOT of around here is WIND. Lethbridge is statistically the 2nd windiest city in Canada. I view the wind as being helpful when casting with Lead, but it sometimes get strong enough here (50 mph or even higher gusts) to tear car doors off their hinges,. Days like that I would avoid casting!! Jim G
  10. Yeah I get the importance of the tabletop being level! Things could get VERY messy otherwise when pouring into ingot moulds!!
  11. Wow, that's a lot of work! I think I'll wait to see if there is an actual need to do it. If the blocks actually move, It might be a lot easier and faster to just relevel and set them up again. That's minutes of work versus hours! Besides, I can only sell this whole setup to my wife by assuring her it is "temporary"!
  12. Those of us who want to shoot "buffalo rifles" at relatively long ranges (600 yards) figure out pretty quickly that we need to cast our own heavy bullets because the commercial bullets available are both expensive, (because of the weight of lead needed AND cost of shipping those heavy weights), and too hard (because the softer bullets we need for 45-70 and heavier calibers at Trapdoor pressures are prone to damage in shipping, so commercial casters make them harder than we want). But lead alloying to get the Brinell hardness numbers we want, and bullet casting using melting pots and moulds, can be seriously unsafe to our bodies if not done carefully. It can also result in serious lead pollution and smoke or fire damage to our homes if something goes wrong. I do want to be able to shoot relatively large diameter (.459" or .460") and heavy (485g or heavier) bullets out of my Pedersoli 45-70 Sharps replica, because the Pedersoli's tend to have larger diameter bores and seem to shoot long range far better with heavier bullets (rediscovering what The U.S. Army found in the late 1800s!). So I needed to figure out how to create a safe and low cost, and outdoor, workstation, that would also not offend my wife's opinions on what is acceptable in the family back yard in a suburban setting! This photo shows the alloying and bullet casting workbench I built a couple of days ago: It is outdoors, and it is concrete, for safety reasons (ventilation of lead fumes and fire prevention just in case). The 8 individual concrete blocks that create the 2 support towers for the tabletop weigh 28.6 lb each, and are each 7.5” high by 15.5” long and 7.5” wide. The 1.5” thick by 24” x 30” concrete tabletop (actually a modular sidewalk slab from Home Depot) weighs 102 lb. So, the entire structure weighs 331 lb, so it is not going to move while I work on it or accidentally bump it. But since it is not mortared, it can be disassembled and removed in the future quite easily. There is a layer of concrete caulk between the tabletop and the 2 tower supports to ensure that there is NO “rocking” between the tabletop and the supports due to concrete surface imperfections or imperfect leveling. This workstation is also obviously pretty weather resistant, even in our harsh Canadian winter weather. The location was carefully chosen. It is not visible by neighbours, or from inside the house, it gets outdoor ventilation even if I choose to not use a fan, and if I accidentally create any tall flames during fluxing with sawdust and bees wax, they can safely go upward without encountering anything that they could burn. The gravel ground cover is obviously not going to catch fire if I ever have a hot lead spill. The workbench is well within range of a 12 gauge extension cord that plugs into a choice of 120 volt / 2400 watt outlets inside the garage, so I have 2400 watts of electrical power available, and 2400 MORE watts if I ever need them, as the garage as 2 separate 120 volt outlet circuits. The entire cost of the 8 concrete blocks, the concrete tabletop, and the concrete caulk came to about $75 Canadian, which beat the cost of ANY suitable commercially available work bench I could find anywhere. I’ve tried to minimize the chances of any safety or damage issues while keeping the cost reasonable, and making the work station "unobtrusive", and I think I succeeded! I'm working now on assembling all the required tools and techniques. THAT's a much more time consuming and expensive project!
  13. Sounds like you and your entire family are very focused on competitive success. God bless you in your efforts.
  14. I'm pretty sure NO real cowboy ever wore the type of belt buckle being discussed here, even on a holster rig or shotgun belt. That kind of belt buckle is fine in three environments: - B Western - An awards dinner or event - Modern rodeo but just looks both silly and pretentious at a SASS match as part of the costume worn by anyone other than a B Western competitor. Yeah, it's just my opinion, and I certainly don't advocate we have a "Costume Police", because a key idea in SASS is enjoyment, and Lord knows SASS members are very individualistic and wary of any rules. But I have to laugh whenever I see someone strutting around with one (especially a huge and very shiny one), except in modern rodeo, where it IS part of the costuming, as are fringed chaps even though there is no cactus around to warrant them. (See current SportsNet TV coverage of The Calgary Stampede to appreciate its prevalence there).
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