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Old 01-08-2020, 12:42 PM
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Default Model 629 cast bullet diameter?

I am about to make a move on a 629, which I will not have in hand until the purchase is complete. However, I am looking to purchase reloading and casting equipment in advance. I have my molds (Lyman 429630 and 429421) and top punches, just need the H&I lubri-sizer dies. I realize that every barrel and cylinder can be unique. Can those of you that have current production 629s (within the past 5 years or so of manufacture) share either your throat diameter, or which cast bullet diameter tends to shoot better in your 629, either a 0.429 or 0.430?

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:39 PM
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I wouldn't go with anything less than .430 for a cast lead bullet. And if yours is an early 629 you will be getting that might have oversized charge holes, a .431 or .432 diameter isn't out of the question. Now if it's a 629-3 or later, .430 should do just fine. My 629-3 Classic pin gauges at .4295-.430 on all 6 chambers of the cylinder. The guns of the last 5 years or so should be much the same as my -3 Classic, BTW.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:17 PM
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430 should work fine in late production 44s. Worked fine in a 629-5 and 2 different Model 69s.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:27 PM
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To know for sure, you should measure the cylinder throats, but I understand you want to be ready when the gun arrives. I have 5, 44 Magnums and my revolvers all take .431"-.432". I would start with a .432" sizing die as a lead bullet a bit larger than the throats won't hurt/bother anything, they will just be swaged down the throat size (my revolvers run .432"-.4325").

My first 44 Magnum was a 626 I bought in '88 and I have fired a bunch of 429421s through it Love that gun...
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:47 PM
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Nobody is going to like this, but I had a 629 Mountain Gun that had a groove diameter of .435! This was by slugging and, yes, I have the proper tools to mic. a 5 groove slug!!!
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:48 PM
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Slugging bore & measuring cylinder throats are first steps in cast bullet use . Without these measurements you're peeing in the wind .
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbum101 View Post
Slugging bore & measuring cylinder throats are first steps in cast bullet use . Without these measurements you're peeing in the wind .
I used to do that. But.....
Modern Smiths are boringly (pun) true to SAAMI specs. I didn't bother to measure my last purchase because I knew it was extremely likely to be just like the others - 430 (a couple of tenths under if you want to get picky) throat and 429 in the grooves.
Again, with a recent 66 I didn't bother with measuring, just ordered 358 and no signs that wasn't the right choice.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:00 PM
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I'm assuming you meant to say 429360 mold. Not trying to discourage you, but I've never had much luck with that boolit getting real good accuracy. Tried slow to fast. I hope your results are better. I've found the round flat nose designs to shoot the best. Followed closely by the Keith 429421.

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Old 01-09-2020, 12:42 AM
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Measure the cyl throats, that will tell you a lot. I wouldnt even consider a bullet smaller than 0.430", 0.431" would be better.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shocker View Post
I used to do that. But.....
Modern Smiths are boringly (pun) true to SAAMI specs. I didn't bother to measure my last purchase because I knew it was extremely likely to be just like the others - 430 (a couple of tenths under if you want to get picky) throat and 429 in the grooves.
Again, with a recent 66 I didn't bother with measuring, just ordered 358 and no signs that wasn't the right choice.
With cyl throats, 0.003" smaller than bore dia with lead bullets is a disaster, not just being picky.
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:21 AM
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The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook #4 shows " all bullets sized to .429" dia. " which I thought odd untill I saw the test gun was a Universal Receiver not a real revolver . For a revolver I would start at .430 , which is .001" over factory jacketed bullet dia. and if I were placing the order would get a .431 H&I die while I was at it .
The reason being Lyman H&I dies may say .430 on the die but , depending on a few factors , you bullets may come out a little larger , a little smaller and sometimes , occasionally , right on the money .

A tale of Lyman .357 Die and .358 Dies ...
The .357 die sizes bullets to .3575 ... a little over
The .358 die sizes bullets to .3579 ... a little under

The difference is only .0004 between the two . Not really enough difference to matter in actual shooting test .

Oder your H&I dies then measure your sized bullets and see what you actually are shooting . I never measured the .357 sized bullets until after buying the .358 dies ... and found no difference in accuracy .
Gary
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Old 01-09-2020, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boatbum101 View Post
Slugging bore & measuring cylinder throats are first steps in cast bullet use . Without these measurements you're peeing in the wind .
When I was casting, I'd slug the bore as a starting point. From there I'd experiment with a few different sizes to obtain the best accuracy. But I had ton of sizing dies lying around.
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Old 01-10-2020, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrrifleman View Post
Can those of you that have current production 629s (within the past 5 years or so of manufacture) share either your throat diameter, or which cast bullet diameter tends to shoot better in your 629, either a 0.429 or 0.430?
Throats run right at .429" so start with .430" for your cast bullets.

.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
With cyl throats, 0.003" smaller than bore dia with lead bullets is a disaster, not just being picky.
"Tenths" is machinists slang for ten thousandth. To be precise, 4298, so for the vast majority of us who only have 0.001" micrometers, 430.
Even 429 would probably work fine. I mean the bullet would swage to the bore anyway because the lands are a constriction.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook #4 shows " all bullets sized to .429" dia. " which I thought odd untill I saw the test gun was a Universal Receiver not a real revolver . For a revolver I would start at .430 , which is .001" over factory jacketed bullet dia. and if I were placing the order would get a .431 H&I die while I was at it .
The reason being Lyman H&I dies may say .430 on the die but , depending on a few factors , you bullets may come out a little larger , a little smaller and sometimes , occasionally , right on the money .

A tale of Lyman .357 Die and .358 Dies ...
The .357 die sizes bullets to .3575 ... a little over
The .358 die sizes bullets to .3579 ... a little under

The difference is only .0004 between the two . Not really enough difference to matter in actual shooting test .

Oder your H&I dies then measure your sized bullets and see what you actually are shooting . I never measured the .357 sized bullets until after buying the .358 dies ... and found no difference in accuracy .
Gary
I have noted similar results. Another factor worth mentioning is the differences to be expected with various lead alloys used for casting bullets.

My RCBS lubri-sizer with .357" sizing die produces soft bullets in the ~.3575" range, but harder alloys will "spring back" to mic at ~.3584". These measurements apply to bullets from the same mold sized in the same sizer die.

Similar results for .44 bullets in a .429" sizer die (soft ~4295, hard ~.432), and .45 bullets in a .452"sizer die (soft ~.4515, hard ~.4522).

All of the above listed bullets shoot very well. Different casting alloys for different uses (caliber, velocity, intended uses).

For perspective, my "soft bullet" alloy is typically 50% salvaged range lead and 50% wheel weights (estimated BHN ~12); my "harder" alloy is typically 50% wheel weights and 50% linotype metal (estimated BHN ~17-18).

Needless to say, every die is different, every mold is different, every firearm is different, and every bullet casting alloy will behave differently.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shocker View Post
I used to do that. But.....
Modern Smiths are boringly (pun) true to SAAMI specs. I didn't bother to measure my last purchase because I knew it was extremely likely to be just like the others - 430 (a couple of tenths under if you want to get picky) throat and 429 in the grooves.
Again, with a recent 66 I didn't bother with measuring, just ordered 358 and no signs that wasn't the right choice.
Even if a manufacturer has a reputation for being ultra consistent with the critical dimensions, I still measure cylinder throats and slug barrels. I measure cylinder throats to make sure there are no OOPS! and all are the same size. I slug barrels to make sure the groove diameter is smaller than the throat diameters and to check for constrictions. Besides, I like to know my guns even if I shoot jacketed bullets...
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shocker View Post
"Tenths" is machinists slang for ten thousandth. To be precise, 4298, so for the vast majority of us who only have 0.001" micrometers, 430.
Even 429 would probably work fine. I mean the bullet would swage to the bore anyway because the lands are a constriction.
That is just it, the bullet wont likely bump up to seal the bore if it is swaged down by the cyl throat. You get gas blow by, leading & generally poor accuracy. I have a RBHss in 45colt. It had tight 0.4505" throats. It shot ok but always leaded, regardless of the bullet alloy or lube. I honed them all to0.4515" & run 0.452" bullets. Leading went away & accuracy improved about 100%. I admit to NOT slugging my barrels, just shoot slightly over size bullets. I have too many guns in the same caliber to be making ammo for one specific gun.

Last edited by fredj338; 01-20-2020 at 03:51 PM.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:57 PM
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That is jkust it, the bullet wont likely bump up to seal the bore if it is swaged down by the cyl throat. You get gas blow by, leading & generally poor accuracy. I have a RBHss in 45colt.
Bingo, Ruger. To quote Bob Palermo of Penn Bullets...

"Ruger makes great guns and I own several myself but tight tolerances were never their strong point"
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:43 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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I have 3 44s and have standardized at .430.Works fine in all of them.
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Old 01-20-2020, 11:02 AM
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I almost always shoot cast . Of all the Blackhawks I've had , only the 41 mags had correct size throats . Every other caliber they had to be opened up as they were undersize . Most also had tight spots that had to be firelapped out . Not to mention triggers that'd pull a truck out a mud hole . Do that & you have a robust dependable hunting revolver that'll shoot loads that'd eat a S&W / Colt to death in short order . Now for defensive or target use give me a S&W or a Colt .
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Old 01-20-2020, 04:42 PM
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People keep referring to the “ bore “ size . That measurement is pretty much worthless . What you want is the “ groove “ diameter . It’s the largest of the 2 . I will tell you this , I cast and load for 2 smith 44’s . I size my cast bullets .431 . Boatbum101 lightly touched on what is usually required to shoot cast bullets effectively . Regards Paul
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Old 01-22-2020, 05:21 PM
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Chamber throat diameter is the critical dimension. Measure those. Properly-sized bullets should go through the throats with a little bit of pressure.

Throats need to be a bit larger than groove diameter. Groove diameter is hard to measure on S&Ws due to the odd # of grooves, but you can check fit by slugging the barrel. The resulting slug should slip easily through the chamber throats.

IDK about the 629, but Smiths in general tend to have very tight throats.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:40 AM
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I had a Henry Big Boy in 44 magnum/44 Special for awhile. Got a box of HSM Cowboy loads and believe it or not about one out of three rounds at 15 yards actually key holed. Pertiest silhouette of the bullet I've ever seen. Speer swaged .430 240 grain swc's were better, but the best accuracy was with Oregon Trail .431" laser cast 240 grain swc's. Both the .430 and the .431 240 grain swc's shoot just fine in my Ruger new model BH in 44 Special. Therefore I don't think you can go wrong with at least a .430 240 grain swc cast bullet.
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Old 01-28-2020, 11:58 AM
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I got so frustrated with my 4" 629 that I traded it in on Super Redhawk (long story, not worth telling).

I can't say what worked in magnum lead loads, I can say that .429" Summers projectiles lead like crazy.

Missouri Hi-Tek .430 #3 Cowboy in special loads were a-ok, never leaded one bit.
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Old 01-28-2020, 12:13 PM
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I love when people with experience chime in with what models had a spot of trouble with the throats and what model they started hitting on the head. Because of this forum I kinda knew before I got my 625-2 it might have a tight throat or two and it did!
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