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Old 11-30-2021, 03:11 PM
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Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet?  
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Default Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet?

I plan to acquire a Model 25-5 or newer in the near future. I assume this will have the .451 barrel, and I was wondering which bullet I should work with?

My primary interest is target shooting using "reasonable" loads. I am not interested in comparing the Model 25 experience with my Model 29!

Right now, I cast 230 grain Lee bullets for my 1911 ACP using a 2-cavity mold. I have since started to use the 6 cavity TL Lee molds for my other caliber castings - what a time saver! I would most likely buy the 6-cavity TL452-xxx mold for the bullet I select for the Model 25-X, perhaps to include a new 230 6 hole mold if that's the best bullet.

What kind of advice can I get from this group?

Thanks in advance.

Jack

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Old 11-30-2021, 03:31 PM
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While 25-5s can be very pretty they generally have over-large chamber mouths. I suggest buying a 25-7 or 25-9 which have proper chamber mouth dimensions so you can shoot lead.
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Old 11-30-2021, 03:46 PM
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Not sure about the bore diameter, but my 25-5 has overlarge chamber throats, and prefers .454 soft cast bullets.
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Old 11-30-2021, 03:53 PM
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In the early 80's I had both a 4" and a 6" 25-5. They liked soft lead 225 SWC/HP/HB best. Since I can't get that ammo any more, I load up 220 gr. RNFP made with soft lead, sized .452". This is in the 750-800 fps velocity. I use this for everything but big game! Since I have 22 pounds of WW231 I use 6.7 grains with WLP primer.

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Old 11-30-2021, 03:59 PM
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Lyman #454424, 255-260 grs. cast of wheelweight or even slightly softer alloy and 8.5 grs. Unique is a very popular and accurate load. With the large chamber throats of the original guns, .454" is a minimum bullet diameter.

I use an old Lyman mould that casts around .456" or so. I put the bullets through a sizer/lubricator using a .459" bullet size die so they only get lubed and not sized at all.
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Old 11-30-2021, 08:55 PM
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@oldvette
I'm not sure if you know buy your post, I'm fairly sure the M25-5 is chambered in 45 Colt, not 45 ACP.
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Old 11-30-2021, 09:41 PM
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Sorry for the confusion.

I realize I could use the 230 bullet in the long colt round. I was just wondering what others use on the 25 Long Colt chambering; also a valid excuse for me to upgrade to a 6-cavity mold.

From what I have read, my options are most likely 200, 250 and 255 Keith bullets. Mt gut feel is I should go with the 200, but I wanted to know what others think before I spend the $60 for a mold.

Jack
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Old 11-30-2021, 09:46 PM
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I have a 25-9 that I shoot cast lead bullets in I use a 250 grain cast lead bullet on top of 5.6 grains of Bullseye. I use this loading as it is what was designed for my Colt M1909 U.S.Army. The War Department wanted a 250 grain at 725 FPS for the 1909 This loading works well in the 25-9 and the 1909 Also does not beat up either revolver, being especially careful of the 1909 as it is 112 years old.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:29 PM
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My 25-5 shot "buckshot" patterns with .451" and 452" bullets. I started casting .454" dia. bullets for it and now it shoots good groups.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:45 PM
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Default Compressed load?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJ View Post
I have a 25-9 that I shoot cast lead bullets in I use a 250 grain cast lead bullet on top of 56 grains of Bullseye. I use this loading as it is what was designed for my Colt M1909 U.S.Army. The War Department wanted a 250 grain at 725 FPS for the 1909 This loading works well in the 25-9 and the 1909 Also does not beat up either revolver, being especially careful of the 1909 as it is 112 years old.
Seems a little hot.
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Old 11-30-2021, 10:50 PM
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Seems a little hot.
Missed the period 5.6 grains.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:38 PM
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Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet?  
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Try to find a non pinned 25-5. Most reports say they have the correct throats. The pinned versions seem to have the larger spec throats.
25-7 or 25-9 also have the smaller throats.
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Old 11-30-2021, 11:53 PM
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I have 2 cast bullet designs that I use in the 45 Colt . I have an original H&G 501 , Elmer Keiths swc design for the 45 colt . It weights 255 grs . My other is the LEE 452-255gr RNFP . It casts a bit larger in diameter . I size both .454 and have no problems w/accuracy or leading my barrels . My Smith 25-5 shoots accurately with either bullet . My 3 favorite loads are 8.0grs of Ramshot Zip , 9.0 grs of WSF , 7.0 grs of 700X with either cast bullet . I don't try to " magnumize " the 45 colt . A 255 gr cast bullet @ about 900 fps will do all I need for a " walking around " load in the desert and for protection against 2 / 4 legged miscretes . Regards Paul
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:25 AM
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The Lyman 452423 (Keith semi-wadcutter) at 235-245 grains, depending upon alloy, is superb in any 25 or 625 using either ACP or Auto Rim cases. You can get an honest 925-950 fps with Longshot. You'll have to find used because it's been out of print quite a while.

Keith designed it for 1917 revolvers.

The story of Elmer Keith and his SWC’s. To review -- it’s 1929, The Great War ended a decade ago, the '20s have been roaring for some time, flappers, big bands and jazz have taken the country by storm, the stock market is about to crash, prohibition is in effect and organized crime has moved in to supply the thirsty US of A with libations. The transition has been made from black powder, and the shooting public now has some understanding (and trust) for the new smokeless powders. But magnum handgun cartridges (and magnum pressure levels) are still unknown to the American handgunner. This is the Golden Age of the .45 ACP -- from the newly refined Colt 1911-A1 and the S&W 1917 revolver, to the Thompson sub-machine gun, the .45 ACP was definitely basking in the center stage spotlight. Military surplus ammo and components were widely available, as were revolvers, semi-autos and fully automatic firearms with which to fire it. The importance of this market was not lost on Elmer Keith. He was so pleased with how well his 429421 had worked out in the .44 Special that he applied those same design concepts to the .45 ACP.

Elmer Keith designed the Ideal 452423 for the .45 Auto and it’s thick-headed younger brother the .45 Auto Rim. The result was the Lyman/Ideal 452423, a 238 grain Keith SWC that started off with 3 equal width driving bands, a “square-cut” grease groove, a beveled crimp groove (for use in the revolvers), a short nose (to keep OAL length down so that loaded rounds worked in the magazine guns), and a big, fat meplat (.340”, or 75% of bullet diameter) to maximize their effectiveness in the hunting fields.

The excellent performance of the 452423 in the .45 ACP was, in large part, overshadowed by the subsequent release of the .357 Magnum with its unprecedented velocities and kinetic energy figures, but that doesn’t change the fact that Keith’s first SWC in .45 caliber was, and is, both deadly and accurate. Standard loads for this bullet worked in the 800-900 fps range, and Keith worked up some +P loads that delivered 1100 fps from large frame revolvers. These old guns are best limited today to loads generating 900 fps or less (newer guns, with better steels and heat treatment, work just fine with Keith’s +P loads). Chapter 12 - The Keith Semiwadcutter (SWC) Cast Bullet Guide for Handgunners - Glen E. Fryxell

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Old 12-01-2021, 12:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasbeen1945 View Post
Try to find a non pinned 25-5. Most reports say they have the correct throats. The pinned versions seem to have the larger spec throats.
25-7 or 25-9 also have the smaller throats.
Interesting. So, apparently I should find a 6-1/2" model 25-5 or higher?

Jack
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Old 12-01-2021, 09:53 AM
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For 45 Colt , general purpose use , let me suggest :

Lee 452 - 200 - RF : this would be for lighter loads , targets , tin cans and just all around range use with lighter loads .

Lee 452 - 252 - SWC : this is the classic weight and SWC design , good for heavier loads , hunting and in general something with a bit more whoop to it .

Let me also suggest buying each in a 2 cavity design , shooting them both and then deciding which you shoot most ... then buy a 6 cavity .
You can always sell the 2 cavity or keep it for back up or loaner or gift to a new bullet caster .

I tend to shoot a lot more 200 grain bullets , targets and tin cans aren't that tough .
No matter what ... you need a bullet with a "Crimp Groove" in 45 Colt ( True the case is long ...but the correct name is 45 Colt ... not Long Colt )
Gary
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Old 12-01-2021, 10:40 AM
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Hi Gary,

I had been buying the corresponding Lee sizer when I purchased a 6-cavity, but I still have my Lyman 450 sizer with many dies, including the .452 which I use for my 230 ACP bullets.

I do like the Alox shake-and-go lubrication convenience, however, versus the Lyman lube system. I upgraded to the 148 TL 6-cavity mold when I picked up my Mod 52 automatic.

I still use the 450 for gas check apps on my .357 and .44 mag bullet sizing. I don't think that 252 bullet is the Lee TL design, while the 200 is a TL. Isn't the 252 the Keith style? That's what I use for my 38's and 44's.

For $58, I might just buy both molds - seems like both bullets are worth shooting.

Jack
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldvette View Post
Interesting. So, apparently I should find a 6-1/2" model 25-5 or higher?

Jack
Barrel length is not a factor. Weather the barrel is pinned or not on the 25-5. They changed the specs on the throats with the non pinned model. The non pinned has smaller throats.
All 25-7 or 25-9 have small throats.
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:16 AM
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I had the impression the 6" barrel was pinned but the 6-1/2 inch was the newer design with the smaller throat.

What about the 25-15 model?

Jack

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Old 12-01-2021, 11:31 AM
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I tend to use copper plated 230 gr. in my 25-15. It is just easy because they can be used for my ACP guns. Bob

I currently have .452 230 gr coated lead projectiles also.

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Old 12-01-2021, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
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I tend to use copper plated 230 gr. in my 25-15. It is just easy because they can be used for my ACP guns. Bob
Do you cast those?
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Old 12-01-2021, 11:42 AM
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Big fan of the RCBS 45-270SAA in .45 Colt. If I want a lighter bullet, I use the Lyman 452423.

Don
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Old 12-01-2021, 12:30 PM
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I have two loads that I use in 25-5s. I have 83/8” & 6” non pinned and 6” pinned.
Cast at 20:1 lead / Tin, that is pretty soft.
(1) 250 / 255 gr RnFp, original type bullet, 9.0 grains Unique. V 875 FPS
(2) 237gr Lyman Button Nose WC, 12.0gr Win 630, V 750fps. (Win 630 is obsolete but I got a lot of it, cheap )
All sized to 454”. Size will depend on individual gun.
I’ve tried several Kieth Style bullets, including RCBS 270gr. For all around use in my opinion the old original type RNFP bullet is hard to beat. I don’t like to shoot hot and heavy loads in DA revolvers. I would shoot nothing larger than a deer.
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Old 12-02-2021, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldvette View Post
I plan to acquire a Model 25-5 or newer in the near future. I assume this will have the .451 barrel, and I was wondering which bullet I should work with?

My primary interest is target shooting using "reasonable" loads. I am not interested in comparing the Model 25 experience with my Model 29!

Right now, I cast 230 grain Lee bullets for my 1911 ACP using a 2-cavity mold. I have since started to use the 6 cavity TL Lee molds for my other caliber castings - what a time saver! I would most likely buy the 6-cavity TL452-xxx mold for the bullet I select for the Model 25-X, perhaps to include a new 230 6 hole mold if that's the best bullet.

What kind of advice can I get from this group?

Thanks in advance.

Jack

Jack,

Define “Target shooting”? Are you talking tin cans and paper plates? Or are you talking competitive Bullseye competitions? It makes a huge difference.

Others have commented on the large throats some of the Model 25-5s had. Since you plan to cast your own, that really does not matter. Choose an appropriate mold and size for your throats. (An appropriate mold might not be from Lee as they do not readily cut molds to the diameter you specify.)

If you are a hunter or paper plate shooter, I would suggest a 255-260 grain bullet and the charge of Unique mentioned above. I used the Lee 255 SWC bullet and Unique to harvest quite a few white tailed deer when I was hunting.

If a lighter bullet is preferred, the Lyman 452423, or copy of it, is another good one. My mold drops them at .454 and 235 grains. These work great in my 45 ACP revolvers but I have not tried them in my Model 25-5.

Feeling nostalgic, the 260 grain RNFP is a good one and offered by many mold makers.

I can not comment on the light weight bullets, I have not used them.

Check out the offerings from Accurate, NOE, Mihec and other semi custom makers. They are perfection and not that much more in cost.

Kevin
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:56 AM
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I carry a .451 copper jacket bullet in my pocket at gun shows. If it falls through the throat I pass on the pistol.
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:58 AM
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The two Lee bullet moulds I was referring to in my post(post #16) :
Lee 452-200-RF ( #90234 / 90697)
Lee 452-252-SWC ( #90356 / no 6-cavity)
Are both conventional lubricated bullets with a crimping groove and not tumble lube design .
I'm not a big fan of tumble lubrication designed bullets ...

The custom moulds are really nice , I'm partial to NOE moulds , I'm a tightwad and hate to spend money but the NOE moulds are worth every penny... treat yourself to a nice NOE 4 cavity .
I like 3 cavity NOE's because at 72 my hand strength isn't great but the 4 cavity is a good value .
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Old 12-02-2021, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StrawHat View Post
Jack,

Define “Target shooting”? Are you talking tin cans and paper plates? Or are you talking competitive Bullseye competitions? It makes a huge difference.
I certainly am learning about lots of accumulated knowledge from this thread. I am glad I asked for the experiences of others before making my decisions and potentially jumping the gun (pun intended).

I am most interested in paper bullseye shooting using an NRA-type scoring target. I guess that would point to competition shooting, rather than plinking. I zero all my adjustable sight guns at the 6-o'clock position as best I can from rest, then off-hand. I adjust the aim points accordingly for the non-adjustable models such as the Model 10. I particularly enjoy shooting my Model 52 using the 2.7 Bullseye load under the Lee 148 TL wadcutter.

I would most likely select the same diameter bullet(s) available from one of the recognized commercial dealers such as Berry and Missouri. I will probably purchase a Lee mold(s) in 200, 250 or 255 grains to match that specification, rather than worrying about one of the "loose" Model 25's performing best using .454 or > diameters requiring lots of workup time. My gun club is an 80-mile round trip to make new reloads for workup testing. My initial workups would most likely use "pet" loads obtained from this forum as a startiing point.

I was not aware of the diameter differential until I started to get responses to my query. I've also learned the more classic pinned 6" Model 25's go for perhaps double the asking/selling prices using GB as a reference versus the 6-1/2" models - strange, but I am sure there is a collectable-related reasoning behind this - perhaps the attention to finish? None of my weapons are safe queens - I like to shoot 'em all!

I primarily prefer and seek out S&W firearms in new or near-new condition for my collection, but I do have some Rugers and Colts. To date, no 45 LC's in my collection. Selecting the 452 diameter bullet(s) would allow standardization with flexibility to use all ammunition - reloaded and factory ammo - in other (future) 45 LC pistols possibly from different manufacturers.

I decided it was best to settle the ammo reloading questions simultaneously while searching for the needed 550 dies, brass and best powder selections (another story, I am learning) in and during this time of limited availabilty and order waiting time for just about everything related to our hobby.

By the way, Powder Valley just received a 45 LC brass shipment after waiting since March from Starline - I was lucky and ordered 200 rounds last night. I had been checking twice daily for 4 weeks before making the unexpected hit. Fortunately, I have a stash of CCI LPP's obtained during the Clinton years' shortages, along with several lbs. of Unique. All I need are the bullets and caliber conversion kit to get moving, not including the Model 25.

I appreciate all the reponses from forum members. If there is anything else pertinent to my acquisition I should know about - firearm or reloading related, please pass it along for everyone's benefit. This certainly is an efficient way to "go to school" before making a significant purchase while using the best, and most complete information available to us.

Jack

Last edited by oldvette; 12-02-2021 at 10:16 AM.
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  #28  
Old 12-02-2021, 10:51 AM
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bananaman bananaman is offline
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Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet?  
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Do you cast those?
No, got them at a gun shop in Ohio. 1 of the owners makes and sells them.
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Old 12-02-2021, 09:29 PM
StrawHat StrawHat is offline
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I carry a .451 copper jacket bullet in my pocket at gun shows. If it falls through the throat I pass on the pistol.
That’s too bad. You are missing out on a lot of good revolvers.

Kevin
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Old 12-03-2021, 12:44 PM
USSR USSR is offline
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I carry a .451 copper jacket bullet in my pocket at gun shows. If it falls through the throat I pass on the pistol.
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That’s too bad. You are missing out on a lot of good revolvers.

Kevin
Yep, that's for sure!

Don
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Old 12-03-2021, 01:33 PM
rockquarry rockquarry is online now
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I carry a .451 copper jacket bullet in my pocket at gun shows. If it falls through the throat I pass on the pistol.
I've tried this though don't remember the outcome, but I would guess a .451" jacketed or cast bullet would fall through some, maybe many .45 ACP/ Auto Rim chamber throats and all .45 Colt chamber throats. I use .452" cast bullets because they are more accurate than .451" cast in .45 ACP/ Auto Rim and a minimum of .454" in .45 Colt.

Jacketed bullet are pretty forgiving of bullet diameter and I suspect .451" jacketed should work well in revolver chamber throats like they do in semi-autos, but I seldom shoot jacketed bullets in any handgun and can't confirm this.

Last edited by rockquarry; 12-03-2021 at 06:30 PM.
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  #32  
Old 12-03-2021, 02:00 PM
STORMINORMAN STORMINORMAN is offline
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Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet?  
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Well, I've had excellent results in both 45acp (revolvers and semi-automatic pistols) & 45 Colt with the MBC 200gr IPD #4 HiTech bullets. Can be loaded from mild to WILD...

CHEERS!
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Old 12-03-2021, 11:45 PM
Beemer-mark Beemer-mark is offline
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I had a beautiful 25-5 once upon a time. The size of the throats were all over the map, one being .456 or .457. Best groups I could get were by casting a .454 Keith bullet with 20:1 lead to tin. 25 yard groups at least stayed on the target. Sold it in disgust.
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Old 12-04-2021, 05:28 AM
Liberty9 Liberty9 is offline
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Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet?  
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Get 25-7, they have a proper chamber .
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Old 12-10-2021, 10:56 AM
shil shil is offline
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The older 25s can be a challenge! My 25-2 has large throats. With the right bullet, it can shoot better than I can hold. I've had luck with .454s with a LONG bearing surface. I was also pleasantly surprised by some coated round nose .452 230s a local caster offers. The profile of the bullets was more blunt than one normally sees, with a longer shank.
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Old 12-11-2021, 12:46 PM
boatbum101 boatbum101 is online now
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Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet? Need Advice - Model 25 - which 45LC cast bullet?  
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Model 25's & pre 25's have been known for oversize throats in both LC & ACP versions . Cast bullets size to throats . Factory swaged lead w/ conical base used to be a cheap effective solution at std of original BP performance 255gr @ 900fps . Original gov't specs had to be able to kill a horse @ 100yds IIRC . Plenty for everyday walkaround use . The Keith bullet @ 1000 is about as much as I want , IMHO get a Ruger if you want more out the old gal .
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Old 12-11-2021, 03:16 PM
mikronis98 mikronis98 is offline
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When I bought my 25-5 I was unaware of the poor chamber throats. There were a few at
.456/.457.
I sent it to S&W which replaced the out of spec cylinder. Unfortunately they charged me $200.00 instead of being good for their poor cylinder quality. fwiw

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
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