Folks at work gave me a gift certificate for Sportsman's Warehouse on my last day...finally took it in my pocket the other day to do some shopping.
I've been wanting another .45 Colt revolver for awhile, and haven't been able to replace the S&W Model 25-5 that I let go of years ago. Haven't been a real big fan of the Rugers, but I asked to see a blue 4 5/8" Blackhawk that they had on the rack. Ruger's quality and fit/finish seem to have improved a bunch since the last time I looked at them, this one is SLICK! The gift certificate and some cash went across the table, and I pick it up in a couple weeks when the first retirement check comes in.
I'd like to start casting for this one, I'd like to have a light semi wadcutter bullet, and a 'heavy', at least 250, but would prefer something between 270-300 gr. to play with hard cast loads. Anyone have any preferences for molds/manufacturers? I'm using an old bottom pour Lyman 20# furnace with mold guide. Still looking for a good luber/sizer. Any recommendations on molds, or should I just look for a good source of 'production' bullets?
My general purpose 45 bullet is the Lyman 452424 @ 255 grains, basically the old "Keith" style cast with wheel weights or Lyman #2. It's a dandy. I've shot some Lyman 45468's (175 grain) cast by a friend, but wasn't too impressed. His casting job was only fair, so that may have been the bigger problem. I've got RCBS molds in 357 and 429, and they're fully equal to the Lymans. I've got a bunch of Lee molds for my muzzleloaders too, but even though they are cheaper, I don't think they would hold up to the volume of casting I do for pistols.
I haven't cast any of the new 45 heavies because my use for them is so limited. I just buy commercial hard cast for those, mostly because linotype is so hard to get up here.
I've used an RCBS Lubrisizer for 25 years and it's still going strong. Ten years ago I picked up a second one at a garage sale for less than half price, just in case, but have never even set it up. That Lyman furnace is a dandy.
Congratulations on the retirement, BTW! I've been at it for nine years now, but still feel like I need more practice. Hook up with other fogies in your area for lessons!
All but two of my molds are either Lyman or RCBS. No problems with either. I have two Lee molds. The first is for a gas check in 30 cal. that I have used and cast thousands from with good results. The second is a gas check in 50 cal. The first bullets cast came out ouyt of round by about four thousandths of and inch. Called and sent mold and bullets back. Got I believe the same mold back and because it still cast four thousands out of round. Called and sent bullets and mold back a second time and now have one that id only about two thousands out of round. Never got any letter,explanation or other correspondence from Lee what so ever. Just got a mold back in the mail.
Thats my two cents, think in the future I shall shy away from Lee molds.
For The Ruger .45 Long Colt
Check your chamber throats, they'll likely need opening to .4525
Lead Bullet Technology (LBT) has the latest and best info on casting the finest bullets.....water dropped wheel weights
335gn LFNs@1200fps is an upper working limit tho some prefer the 410gners...
A friend just pointed me to this site. I've only glanced at it, but it doesn't look like a hangout for chest pounders and ego flappers. Instead it looks like a bunch of folks who know what they are doing, enjoy doing it, and are willing to help anyone with problems. Bullet casting is pretty old technology, so there aren't a lot of surprises. But there sure are a lot of hard ways for every easy way to do something. That's where experience comes in, and these folks seem to have it to spare.
That is a great site. I have been casting for a few years, and I spend a lot of time at Cast Boolits and another called Beartooth Bullets. Both are frequented by some very experienced casters. They all seem to be willing to share their expertise freely.
The owner of Beartooth also sells some very fine cast boolits.
Thanks a ton!
By the way, I finally picked the Ruger up, and had loaded 250 gr. Noslers on top of 20 gr. of 2400, and another hundred rounds of 255 gr. lead bullets I had over 8 gr. of Universal Clays (I was fresh out of Unique).
I set some plastic pop bottles up that I'd filled with water on a sandhill, and paced back about fifty yards...first round out the barrel with the lead bullet load exploded the bottle. I then proceeded to empty it and popped three more out of the six rounds...I was a happy camper!
I loaded up with the Noslers, and it shot close enough to the same point that no sight adjustment was needed, BUT, with the factory grips, I had a dandy flinch going before I hit the fourth round! Think I'll save those for later.....clouds blew over and started dumping sleet on me, so I bundled up and went back to the house, but I LIKE this revolver! Mebbe I should've held out for the same gun in stainless.
If I get a good day sometime soon, I'll head to the range and see what it'll do over the bag at a known range. Looking forward to playing with this one!
That's great shooting at 50, in fact much better than I can usually manage with the 4 5/8" BH in ANY caliber.
I still have a flattop 4 5/8" in 357, fitted with the "custom" grips that were on it when I got it 35 years ago. Basically the same shape as the originals, but extending down below the grip frame another half an inch for bigger hands, and with narrow, shallow finger grooves routed 3/16" deep or so in just the right places. Not really enough to keep wet hands from slipping on a cold day, but dandy for getting your hand situated in the same spot time after time.
If you see anything similar you might give them a try, especially the way you're already shooting!