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Old 03-14-2017, 04:44 PM
sjs sjs is offline
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Following the advice of members on the gunsmith forum, I bought .0002 minus plug gage pins for my 629-6 and they arrived today. The 0.428 pin fits all 6 cylinder throats and the 0.429 pin does not. I have not slugged the barrel and hope to avoid that, but the 0.428 pin will not fit in the bore.

I take it this means my throats are somewhere between 0.4278 and 0.429 and my bore somewhat less, though I do not know what the groove would measure.

I have only fired Berry's 240 gr. plated bullets and some factory loads, and both are .429 diameter bullets. The accuracy with both has been outstanding.

I want to order hard cast bullets now and I expect both .429 and .430 diameter bullets will work but I don't want to order more than one kind at this time. Would you go with the .429 or a bigger size?

The Brinell ratings from the different companies seem to run from about 18 to 22. I have never loaded hard cast bullets before but these seem pretty hard. I will be trying for loads between 1,200 to 1,300 fps. Any advice on the Brinell rating I should look for?

Ultimately, I hope to get a good load for 240 grain hard cast for hogs. At least as important as a good hunting load is a load that does not lead my barrel. I truly hate cleaning the lead out of a bore.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:58 PM
tomf52 tomf52 is offline
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Hard cast in itself is not the answer. Correct bullet size and powder charge is.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:12 PM
Hang-Fire Hank Hang-Fire Hank is offline
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SJS: You're on the right track by measuring the cylinder throats. You should fire bullets that are 1/1,000ths over the throats, so .429 is a good choice. As tomf52 stated, bullet hardness is less important than size.

I've shot velocities over 1,100 fps with soft bullets (20-to-1) using 1,000th over groove with excellent long range results.

If you want to be exact, slug your barrel for the groove diameter & at least make sure the bullet is over that dimension.

Good Luck, Hank M.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:16 PM
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It's not the " bore " diameter that is critical in a barrel , it's the " groove " diameter , the larger measurement . The hardness of the cast bullet is not really that important , unless shooting swaged . Too hard and too small is a problem . I shoot cast bullets , hardness around 11-13 for all my revolvers , including full magnum loads .
When cleaning a leaded barrel , just wrap a piece of " chore boy " around an old bore brush . It will be shiny clean in about 2-3 minutes , or less . DON'T use other brand as most are steel plated in copper . Chore Boy is "pure " copper scouring pad . It won't harm your barrel . It's available at most Ace Hdwe store , Walmart etc . Your cylinder throats are probably smaller than the groove diameter of your barrel and will need to be opened up some . The cylinder throats will down size your lead bullets , causing a leading problem . Your cast bullets must push through the cylinder throats with just finger pressure to insure they won't be down sized . Don't shoot cast then decide to " blow out " the lead with plated / jacketed bullets . You usually end up just " ironing " the lead in the grooves . Making it much harder to clean the lead out of the barrel later .

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Old 03-14-2017, 06:26 PM
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I would go with the .430 and see what kind of results you get on target. I think you'll be fine. I would also check on the amount of lead in the bore during clean up. You should be fine, but if you need to drop down to .429 you can always do that.
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Old 03-14-2017, 07:50 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is offline
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I have 29s that shoot best with .431" bullets and 24's that prefer .432". If a bullet can be pushed through the cylinder throat with just slight force, it should be perfect. No need to slug a bore; that measurement is very secondary to chamber throats.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:06 PM
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I've never slugged a barrel in my life and been shooting cast lead for decades from 38 to the 500. I just don't have a problem with leading.

Last edited by bluetopper; 03-14-2017 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 03-14-2017, 08:06 PM
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If you have been happy with the .429 Berry's then you should be fine with .429 cast. I don't think you would have any problems with the .430s either if it came down to that.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:15 PM
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Well , I've been shooting cast longer than I can remember and I have slugged many a barrel . That slug tells me many things . It gives me what I need to know to turn average shooters into tack drivers .
I cast and size my 44 bullets .4315 , my 45Colts get .454 . To each his own what works for him .
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:33 AM
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Make sure that all the cylinder throats are of the same size. Since you mention using pin guages on the cylinder throats I would suggest that you also should slug your barrel and find out the groove diameter. Have fun. Frank
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Old 03-15-2017, 04:42 AM
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As has already been mentioned your throats are on the tight side which increases the likelyhood of leading.

It's a balancing act, between the bullet's diameter & hardness, and the throat's & bore/groove diameter, to avoid leading.

To correct what you said, your throats are somewhere in between .4278" and .4288".

44 bores usually run ~.4165-.4170" which is why your .428" pin doesn't fit. Sounds like you only bought a few pin gages, not the whole set?

If you're going to try cast lead I suggest you go with flat base bullets. Most caster's make bevel base bullets as they're easier to cast (& then release from the mold). The one's that make flat base bullets usually charge more for them because they're more work. The flat bases seal better than beveled bases which helps reduce the gas cutting that leads to leading.

If you "truly hate cleaning the lead out" I suggest you try the HT-coated bullets first & possibly avoid some grief. Otherwise stick to plated or jacketed.

.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:14 AM
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250 grain gas check bullets will work. .429 or .430. I use them in my Ruger Red Hawk--and Marlin lever. My 29 has .432 throats and jacketed bullets do better. I wish my 29-2 had throats your size.

Last edited by 4barrel; 03-15-2017 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:19 AM
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Plated or jacketed I'd run .429" bullets. Cast .430"
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:30 AM
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I'd go with the .429. If you go larger the throats will just swage them down anyway. All my S&W revolvers have an odd number of lands and grooves so it's hard to measure a bore slug unless you have the proper jig. Dardas Bullets will mic them for you if you send it to them.

Try the .429's and if you get barrel leading then you might want to rent a reamer and open up the throats. My favorite way to remove leading is to get a brass jagged tip and cut a patch from a lead remover cloth. Or a Lewis Lead Remover. Or the aforementioned brush with Chore Girl wrapped around it. They all work.
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Old 03-15-2017, 09:33 AM
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Buy bullets. Load bullets. Shoot bullets. The gun will tell you which ones it prefers.

Gonna fish or cut bait?
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:38 PM
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It will do you no good to load a 0.430" bullet & then push it thru a 0.428" cyl throat. Size does matter with lead bullets for best results. It isn't always as simple as buy bullets, load & shoot. This works fine for jacketed & mostly plated, but lead want an over size fit.
Try the 0.429" bullets, if you get leading, then they are likely too small for your groove dia. The leading will appear early in the bbl. The only solution then is open the cyl throats or keep shooting plated. Slightly larger throats are better than slightly smaller. Harder bullets won't help, sometimes softer will but that is another problem.
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Old 03-15-2017, 02:01 PM
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I would say .427" is too small for a .44 Magnum throat. I have 3, .44 Magnum revolvers and all, including my 629, have throats of .431" (perhaps a .0005 difference). I size all my bullets to .431" and they shoot quite well through all 3, .429" groove diameter barrels...

I believe shooting lead bullets without knowing your gun's critical dimensions is just a WAG that will, on occasion, produce passable results...

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Old 03-15-2017, 03:57 PM
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I very much appreciate all of these comments and they give rise to another question. Why is this not a problem with jacketed bullets?
Other than leading I mean; I know why leading is not a problem with jacketed, but why are there not more accuracy problems if there is such lack of uniformity in industry specs on throats and grooves?

Perhaps it is because I have no cast bullet experience and I would understand better after working with them.
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Old 03-15-2017, 06:05 PM
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SJS , if you really want to learn about shooting cast in a revolver I recommend you buy this little soft bound booklet , " Jacketed Performance with Cast Bullets " . Go to the website ," LBT Molds " . The book is full of good info about shooting cast , problem areas you could encounter and how to remedy them . If I remember correctly it cost $15 , well worth buying . I consider it " the bible " for shooting cast in pistols and rifles .
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Old 03-16-2017, 01:29 AM
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A lead bullet needs more grip in the rifling for stability, they tend to skid. The harder jacketed bullet will take the rifling more easily. Then there is the leading issue.
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:04 AM
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Since your cylinder throat's are undersized may I suggest that you have them reamed out at or near your bore size?. This would give you greater accuracy and you'd be using bullets that would match that of your pistols bore diameter. Frank
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Old 03-16-2017, 05:02 AM
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Cylinder throats on my Magnum Hunter are .430". Cast bullets l was shooting were .429". I started sizing them to .431". My target scores
Increased 20%. Proper sizing matters in bullets. The 429s were rattling
down the cylinder because they were too small. They hit the forcing cone
Off center just a bit..This affects accuracy.. 431s passed thru the cylinder perfectly aligned with the bore, hitting the target strait and true.. Hard cast bullets don't upset and fit the bore as well as swaged or jacketed ones do.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:25 AM
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I have a ruger ssbh in 45colt. Its been pretty accurate with a bit of leading in the first 1.5" of bbl. the cyl throats were a tight 0.4505" as measured with pin gages. After opening them to 0.452", accuracy was almost twice as good, easily doing sub 2" @ 25yds offhand. Leading is pretty much gone. This is pushing a pretty soft 280gr lswc @ 1100fps. Yes size matters.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:30 AM
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Rule of thumb........002 over grove size
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Old 03-16-2017, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shooter6br View Post
Rule of thumb........002 over grove size
ROT is actually 0.001" minimum. That generally gives really good results with most alloys. Nothing wrong with 0.002", if it fits. In some chambers in some brass, this isn't possible.
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