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  #1  
Old 04-23-2013, 4:27 PM
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Talking First 45Colt - safe, but not so accurate (update)

I have prepped a lot of brass, but finally made 12 cartridges. 200gr lead (Redline), Trailboss 5.9-6.0 gr (per Hornady and Lee ).

I shot the rounds today in a Beretta(Uberti) Stampede. All were consistant and quite a bit less stout than (NIB) Black Hills.

I shot a few Black Hills (BH), a few of my reloads.

Accuracy was horrid on my reloads (shooting low) - azimuth was okay. I was hitting 2-3" center at 7 meters with BH, and missing paper in some cases with my reloads. I was nervous.. slightly.

Caveats.
1. Fixed sites on Stampede. (I read where most are calibrated to 255 gr bullets).
2. Loading 1 bullet in the gun at a time on reloads (I doubt this had an effect).
3. Reloads = 200gr, stock BH - 255gr
4. The stock BH had a lot of black blowback on the shells. Reloads had almost none.
5. I KNOW the recipe was correct and accurate - I was weighing each shell before and after powder. And using a volume dipper just to get in the ballpark. I also lined up all 12 before crimp/bullet to make sure volume 'looked' about the same.
6. I'll see if I had much leading (I cleaned the gun completely before shooting).
7. I'm not ruling out nervousness, but that's why I was shooting BH and then reload and repeating..
8. Bullets mic'ed out exactly to .452" as expected, and sizing was spot on for all rounds.
9. Brass was 1ce fired BH that I bought in bulk and really is very consistant in weight...

Basically - the reloads were about 6" low and I was compensating which was stupid... I should have gotten a bigger target - aimed at centermass and let the grouping take shape.

THINGS TO TRY: (FREE SUGGESTIONS WELCOME)
1. I'm going to make 12 with 255gr bullets and see if that was the problem (Trail Boss)
2. Make 12 with Titegroup and 200gr, and 12 with Titegroup and 255gr.
3. Does crimping affect accuracy? I had a tighter crimp than stock BH.

Any other suggestions?

Like I said, the reloads were solid and consistant, but kinda like comparing a 38 to 357 when compared to stock BH.

Oh well, it was fun and I'm in one piece and it's a lot easier than I had it in my mind (if that makes sense). And yes, I was scared as heck on the first shot. I even loaded just one round in case it BLEW UP!

Is it always like this? Tweaking ? Or primarily the 200gr vs 255gr aimpoint? (I read that in a 'Cowboy Reloading' book I bought just for fun)

.

Last edited by orangeusa; 05-03-2013 at 1:29 PM..
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Old 04-23-2013, 4:43 PM
Hallx7 Hallx7 is offline
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You can also increase your Trailboss load with the 200 gr and see if your accuracy improves. 6gr is the low end and its what I use when I just want to shoot and don't care about my accuracy. But out of my vaquero I definitely am not shooting 6" low.
Definitely try the Titegroup at various levels but also increase the Trail Boss (within the limits) and try that.
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Old 04-23-2013, 4:44 PM
Hallx7 Hallx7 is offline
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And yes.... The tweaking is part of the fun and you will always be doing it
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Old 04-23-2013, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallx7 View Post
You can also increase your Trailboss load with the 200 gr and see if your accuracy improves. 6gr is the low end and its what I use when I just want to shoot and don't care about my accuracy. But out of my vaquero I definitely am not shooting 6" low.
Definitely try the Titegroup at various levels but also increase the Trail Boss (within the limits) and try that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallx7 View Post
And yes.... The tweaking is part of the fun and you will always be doing it
lolz !!!!

I'm slightly mad at myself for shooting Kentucky Windage style. I have NO idea what the variance is. The Trail Boss limit (supposedly is 6.5 gr - I have to go home and re-read my loading books.

GOSH THIS IS AS FUN AS SHOOTING!! SERIOUSTALK!!

Pm'ing you for details..

.
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Old 04-23-2013, 4:59 PM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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The 255gr should help. Your POI will change with bullet weight. Well actually, you POI will change with everything (i.e. bullet, charge weight, etc. etc. )
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Old 04-23-2013, 5:04 PM
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Unfortunately, I have a LOT of 200gr, and 100 rounds of 255.

The 255 is hand cast from a dude on GunBroker, the 200gr seems much better quality from Redline.

I'll make a couple of batches tonight/clearly mark them, relax a bit and shoot tomorrow.

.
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Old 04-23-2013, 5:10 PM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeusa View Post
Unfortunately, I have a LOT of 200gr, and 100 rounds of 255.

The 255 is hand cast from a dude on GunBroker, the 200gr seems much better quality from Redline.

I'll make a couple of batches tonight/clearly mark them, relax a bit and shoot tomorrow.

.
Maybe up the charge weight a little. Try and get the recoil similar, that may help some.
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Old 04-23-2013, 5:12 PM
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Lee says 6.5gr is max load. That's not the way it felt... I DO have to check for leading, but I seriously doubt that's my problem...

It may be simple as nerves on my first time out with 'homey' reloads. BTW - this is my most accurate gun - Ruger P90, Berettas galore, 586/686, and others... And most fun.

Thanks for input!

.
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  #9  
Old 04-23-2013, 6:03 PM
Hallx7 Hallx7 is offline
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Bill is right. Everything is going to change your POI. By changing your load up you should be able to use the 200 gr and find an extremely accurate load.
From my experience you won't get your best accuracy with the Trail Boss but it is a fun round to shoot.
When you're testing your loads shoot from bench rest and aim at a fixed point. This will allow you to see better what the load is actually doing for you. Then when you're all over the place off hand you know it's the Indian and not the arrow
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Old 04-23-2013, 6:21 PM
Capt.Dunsel Capt.Dunsel is offline
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What is the diameter of the bullets your using?
There are alot of 45 LC guns that prefer the Prewar .454 bullets,
you might want to try .451 , .452 and .454 diameters.Will affect accuracy.

Which dies you using ? Some size cases to tighter tolerances for newer guns , some size to older gun specs , check chamber and throat, and slug the bore to make sure.

Try a different powder/load to bring your loads up to 850 to 920 fps , I found that Unique fit the bill in mine. Getting your POA/POI with closer to older velocity and bullet weight , old 45 LC were BP w/255 RN.Lots of 45 LC guns are adjusted for that POI especially fixed sight.

Crimp will effect velocity with this old bird , roll crimp , will help.

Have fun , people laughed at me when I got my first in 45 LC ( Colt Trooper), until they saw it was really accurate with the loads it liked ( exactly at original loadings). They all told me it was a dead cartridge , now make them feel bad with my TC loaded to 44 mag power levels .

And what brass you using ? older ballon head or new manufacture ?
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Last edited by Capt.Dunsel; 04-23-2013 at 6:25 PM..
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  #11  
Old 04-23-2013, 6:30 PM
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deleted...

Last edited by Bigtls1; 04-23-2013 at 6:34 PM..
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2013, 8:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt.Dunsel View Post
What is the diameter of the bullets your using?
There are alot of 45 LC guns that prefer the Prewar .454 bullets,
you might want to try .451 , .452 and .454 diameters.Will affect accuracy.

Which dies you using ? Some size cases to tighter tolerances for newer guns , some size to older gun specs , check chamber and throat, and slug the bore to make sure.

Try a different powder/load to bring your loads up to 850 to 920 fps , I found that Unique fit the bill in mine. Getting your POA/POI with closer to older velocity and bullet weight , old 45 LC were BP w/255 RN.Lots of 45 LC guns are adjusted for that POI especially fixed sight.

Crimp will effect velocity with this old bird , roll crimp , will help.

Have fun , people laughed at me when I got my first in 45 LC ( Colt Trooper), until they saw it was really accurate with the loads it liked ( exactly at original loadings). They all told me it was a dead cartridge , now make them feel bad with my TC loaded to 44 mag power levels .

And what brass you using ? older ballon head or new manufacture ?
I'm good - new gun (2 years old) 0.451" barrel, 0.452" bullets, Lee dies designed for newer (i.e. post 1940's from what I read) 45Colt. CONFIDENCE, powder and Crimping (I believe - and in that order) are my issues...

I know I'm good since I measured the stock Black Hills (BH) and the reloads were dead on with NIB boolits....

Brass is once shot (and it looks like they are to me) - Black Hills.

I'm a deadeye with Black Hills over the counter ammo (or at least for ME..).

I think the guys are on to something with the Trail Boss - I checked other sources and 6 grains is really not that much.

So - tonight, I'm making various 200gr/255gr cartridges with Trail Boss and TiteGroup.. I'm sure one or two will be a hit.

.
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2013, 9:51 PM
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I have shot Cowboy Action matches for ten years. I switched to Trail-boss when it came out. I load 6.6 gr for 205 and 255 Bear creek Moly coated cast bullets. Have shot tens of thousands of them. No worries hitting steel at 50 yards with my 73 Colts. Same load works great in Win 73 rifle. Keep up the reloading. 45 Colt is a great cartridge. When you hit you grove you will be glad you kept at it.
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2013, 10:10 PM
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Thanks for the input. I noticed that I was wrong - Lee had a milder load than than the Hornady manual for the same load.

But I think I need to go to the IMR mothership (same as Hodgdon/Winchester) and get their info for 200/255gr and TrailBoss/TiteGroup.

Looks like I'll be shooting on Thursday... not tomorrow.

.
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  #15  
Old 05-03-2013, 1:48 PM
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Cool Update 03-May-2013 - 45Colt testing

Finally did 4 loads - 6 rounds each. All shot well.

1. 200gr LRNFP, Trailboss soft load (from IMR website)
2. 200gr LRNFP, Trailboss max load (from IMR website)
3. 255gr LRNFP, Trailboss soft load (from IMR website)
4. 255gr LRNFP, Trailboss max load (from IMR website)

Results :
1. Not completely conclusive - my vision had a bigger variance than these loads.

2. Load #2 shot a quarter sized hole !

3. Loads #1 and #3 - soft loads seemed to have more variance than the max loads.

4. My first 'POA/POI' was probably just nerves. The 200gr this time seemed to be a bit low - 1-2" but I'll shoot like 50 more - after I get bench rest shooting down a little more.

Lessons learned :

1. I suck at bench shooting.

2. Use a large target with a crosshair. ( I have to re-do the tests )
I'll probably tape a crosshair target on a mansized outline target.

3. Recoil of 200gr vs 255gr was the big difference that I was noting on reloads vs. stock Black Hills.

4. Don't prime before resizing! (noob mistake - I did like 500 rounds this way ).

5. Ask questions of smart guys, read a couple manuals, ask more questions of the smart guys.. repeat as necessary.

6. The Lee scale was a lot easier to use and faster than electronic. I never got consistant enough with 'dippers' esp with donut sized Trail Boss.

7. Also, I made a shell holder (drilled a block of wood) so I could place 25 rounds vertical after dropping powder just as a 'visual check' before seating bullet and crimping.

8. Probably the hardest thing for me was getting the bullet seat/crimper set. Dark Mod showed me in a few minutes, but having a bullet puller and using an inert round to dialiin the crimp.

9. Shooting at an indoor range and tryign to bench with all these RO's nervously looking at you makes one nervous. One time, I was using the bench and was on my knees shooting. lolz... They didn't like that...

I dunno. There is a great feeling to making your own rounds, but you knew that. I didn't.

Saga is not over, but I don't think I'll even play with TiteGroup... YMMV

Thanks to Dark Mod, Bronco, Hallx7, Bill Steele and many others for their assistance and patience.

I made it sound a lot harder than it really is.

.
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Old 05-03-2013, 2:16 PM
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Glad to see the tuning is paying off. I'm think about loading up a few with Titegroup. I'll let you know how they are.
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Old 05-03-2013, 2:44 PM
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Congrats Orange! Sounds like it's going well...
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Old 05-03-2013, 2:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeusa View Post
ITHINGS TO TRY: (FREE SUGGESTIONS WELCOME)
1. I'm going to make 12 with 255gr bullets and see if that was the problem (Trail Boss)
2. Make 12 with Titegroup and 200gr, and 12 with Titegroup and 255gr.
3. Does crimping affect accuracy? I had a tighter crimp than stock BH.

Any other suggestions?
.
Suggestion that noone else has already given you? (I like alot of the suggestions)

1. as an aside, take the bullet and put it in the cylinder throat. Hold up to the light. There *should* be NO light that is seen around the bullet, but don't let that stop you unless you see a massive crescent. Informational only. There will probably be a small crescent of light visible. That's OK, though not perfect.

2. Real suggestion, stop crimping so hard. Go light. Actually, start with NO crimp. Just crimp enough to take the bell out of the case. Try that for awhile. If you ever lock up the cylinder with a pulled bullet (with trailboss I seriously doubt), add a light crimp and go from there.

I find trailboss can't really expand a case well. I'd hate to see your crimp sizing the bullet on firing and having a loose one wobble down the barrel. Won't affect safety, but it can make you miss paper at 7 yards! Or make bullets go through the target sideways. Surefire evidence to suggest this would be if you see terrible leading. I don't mean antimony wash in the barrel, I mean chunks of lead hanging around after a few dozen rounds.

Anyways, probably not it. But for me it's critical and it works for shooting groups at 100 yards via 45 cal revolver. You asked for free suggestions, that's mine.

Last edited by Whiterabbit; 05-03-2013 at 2:49 PM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 2:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeusa View Post
7. Also, I made a shell holder (drilled a block of wood) so I could place 25 rounds vertical after dropping powder just as a 'visual check' before seating bullet and crimping.
.
Dividers for 10mm (I don't know why 10mm) and for cartridges like 480 Ruger or 475 linebaugh make GREAT reloading blocks. They are hard to find (especially now that my buddy doesnt shoot 10mm anymore) so I hoard them. They fit the 45 colt case perfectly.
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Old 05-03-2013, 3:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
Suggestion that noone else has already given you? (I like alot of the suggestions)

1. as an aside, take the bullet and put it in the cylinder throat. Hold up to the light. There *should* be NO light that is seen around the bullet, but don't let that stop you unless you see a massive crescent. Informational only. There will probably be a small crescent of light visible. That's OK, though not perfect.

2. Real suggestion, stop crimping so hard. Go light. Actually, start with NO crimp. Just crimp enough to take the bell out of the case. Try that for awhile. If you ever lock up the cylinder with a pulled bullet (with trailboss I seriously doubt), add a light crimp and go from there.

I find trailboss can't really expand a case well. I'd hate to see your crimp sizing the bullet on firing and having a loose one wobble down the barrel. Won't affect safety, but it can make you miss paper at 7 yards! Or make bullets go through the target sideways. Surefire evidence to suggest this would be if you see terrible leading. I don't mean antimony wash in the barrel, I mean chunks of lead hanging around after a few dozen rounds.

Anyways, probably not it. But for me it's critical and it works for shooting groups at 100 yards via 45 cal revolver. You asked for free suggestions, that's mine.
I DID notice that stock ammo does bulge the case a small amount at the base of the shell. There's a pretty decent picture in Lee's book.

These TrailBoss loads didn't do that at all, which I did find weird.

Also, my first loads - I crimped the crap out of and that's PROBABLY the reason for this thread..

I crimped these 4 sets less - made them match the crimp on Winchester or Black Hills...

I wonder if that's why the max loads seemed to have better groups..

.
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Old 05-03-2013, 3:48 PM
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So, I cast lead and shoot 45 cal in a revolver. I play with everything, whether "it works" or "it doesnt work". Mostly because people on sites like calguns have no idea what they are talking about. So I pay attention, I try it, and I know who the bull****ters are and who's been there.

So long story short, I was casting very soft lead, and loading it using trailboss, and was experimenting with big crimp. Doesnt take long to get a few cases that slip right out of the cylinder, fired, with the crimp still on the brass!

Definitely can undersize your base. I guarantee it's game over after that.

Case tension IMO is always more valuable than crimp. IMO (and there are key conditions on this) crimp isn't required at all IF your case tension is good and the load has the right things (low recoil, lots of bullet in case, stiff bullet material, it's a combo of these).

Anyways, that's why I suggest no crimp. Even a light taper crimp. I have serious doubts that trailboss loads will recoil enough to cause bullet jump with no crimp on the other 5 rounds in the cylinder. And if they do jump its no harm no foul. Just unlock your cylinder and start crimping lightly. But really, I'd be surprised if your rounds jump crimp.

Someone suggested trying .454 size bullets. I suggest heeding that advice. More specifically, taking a caliper to your cylinder throat and ordering accordingly. My cylinder throats are .4525. That's the magic size. If your gun is .454, I'd buy and load .454's.

If you get no resistance when seating, then fixing your expander plug so you get good case tension. Your rounds will start looking like barbie with a bulge at the base and a bulge around the bullet and a slim waist. I doubt you'll need to do that.

But you get the idea. I'll bet dollars to donuts if you take some of your accurate rounds now, pull the stem on your seater and crimp the crap out of them (but not buckle the case!) accuracy will go south.
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Old 05-03-2013, 4:02 PM
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@whiterabbit - The gun is 2-3 years old - Beretta/Uberti Stampede - so I'm sure they can make accurate .451 barrel... And I did mic the bullets - they are .452 or slightly larger (with lube) ... Thats why I haven't slugged the barrel, even though every book says to.. with the caveat that 'old Colts are .453-454'.

You still suggest .454 bullets? <serious question>
And should I slug the barrel?

Your crimping idea is interesting.

That said - I'm not in love with TrailBoss at this point. It's hard to measure and I'd love to find a powder that'll work for 45Colt and 44Mag - yes the ultimate dream. Win231/HP38?

Last edited by orangeusa; 05-03-2013 at 4:05 PM..
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Old 05-03-2013, 5:08 PM
Bill Steele Bill Steele is offline
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I am in the Trailboss hater camp, although in my case it is closer to dislike than hate; in any case, I gave away my last bottle of Trailboss a long time ago.

I use W231/HP-38 as my favorite target load powder for .44RM. It should work fine for 45LC as well.

Unique might also fill the bill but like Trailboss (for different reasons of course), Unique has been restricted to shotshell loading on my bench. It meters crappy, is too peaky around the knee of the pressure curve and even with the new cleaner burning formula, way too dirty for me to shoot in handgun calibers. Like Trailboss, I tried to banish it all togther but Unique does so many shotshell loads well, I couldn't.
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Last edited by Bill Steele; 05-03-2013 at 5:10 PM..
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:01 PM
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I'm another 231/HP38 fan for .45 Colt. I've had really good accuracy with 250gr .452 moly bullets in both my Blackhawks single action and Marlin rifle.
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Old 05-05-2013, 1:11 PM
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Thanks - that's what I wanted to hear (about W231/HP38).

Now if I could only FIND some!

.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:52 PM
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Regarding bullet size, for lead cast bullets...
Mike Venturino's books:
Remove grease from bullet.
Try to push it through the cylinder with a pencil.
If it falls through bullet too narrow.
It it pushes through fairly easy, just right.
If it pushes through with lots of force, too wide.

http://www.cascity.com/forumhall/ind...c,42595.0.html

On my Blackhawk .45LC,
as cast .457 are push through the cylinder with lots of force.
.454 is perfect.
.451-the bullets just fall through the cylinder.

.454 gives best accuracy.

One of the cheapest, fastest, sizers that does not deform the bullet because it pushes from the base (no top punch necessary):

http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...words/lee+size
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Old 05-06-2013, 8:43 AM
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the lee sizers are great. I use them to size cast bullets.

Whatever my throats are, I just buy the next size down (assuming they don't MAKE my size) and hone it out with some wet sandpaper and oil. Takes a long time, and very much worth it.
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Old 05-06-2013, 8:50 AM
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I wish Lee made .375 (which is 36 caliber cap and ball conical). I have 100's of those.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:44 AM
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I have had good luck with trailboss, titegroup, and lil gun using home cast 200 gr. swc and 300gr. gcfn shot from my ruger srh .454.

What kind of die are you using to crimp? When i first started reloading for .454/.45 colt i was putting too much crimp using the lee factory crimp die and it was squishing the lead under the brass. It made the base of the bullet way undersized and led to crappy groups and leading in the barrel.

If your not loading heavy kicking loads like ruger only loads you really don't need much crimp. Try no crimp at all. I bet it will help.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiterabbit View Post
So, I cast lead and shoot 45 cal in a revolver. I play with everything, whether "it works" or "it doesnt work". Mostly because people on sites like calguns have no idea what they are talking about. So I pay attention, I try it, and I know who the bull****ters are and who's been there.

So long story short, I was casting very soft lead, and loading it using trailboss, and was experimenting with big crimp. Doesnt take long to get a few cases that slip right out of the cylinder, fired, with the crimp still on the brass!

Definitely can undersize your base. I guarantee it's game over after that.

Case tension IMO is always more valuable than crimp. IMO (and there are key conditions on this) crimp isn't required at all IF your case tension is good and the load has the right things (low recoil, lots of bullet in case, stiff bullet material, it's a combo of these).

Anyways, that's why I suggest no crimp. Even a light taper crimp. I have serious doubts that trailboss loads will recoil enough to cause bullet jump with no crimp on the other 5 rounds in the cylinder. And if they do jump its no harm no foul. Just unlock your cylinder and start crimping lightly. But really, I'd be surprised if your rounds jump crimp.

Someone suggested trying .454 size bullets. I suggest heeding that advice. More specifically, taking a caliper to your cylinder throat and ordering accordingly. My cylinder throats are .4525. That's the magic size. If your gun is .454, I'd buy and load .454's.

If you get no resistance when seating, then fixing your expander plug so you get good case tension. Your rounds will start looking like barbie with a bulge at the base and a bulge around the bullet and a slim waist. I doubt you'll need to do that.

But you get the idea. I'll bet dollars to donuts if you take some of your accurate rounds now, pull the stem on your seater and crimp the crap out of them (but not buckle the case!) accuracy will go south.
I just read your post right after I posted above. I agree with you 100% about the crimp.
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  #31  
Old 05-06-2013, 3:36 PM
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orangeusa orangeusa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Annex138 View Post
I have had good luck with trailboss, titegroup, and lil gun using home cast 200 gr. swc and 300gr. gcfn shot from my ruger srh .454.

What kind of die are you using to crimp? When i first started reloading for .454/.45 colt i was putting too much crimp using the lee factory crimp die and it was squishing the lead under the brass. It made the base of the bullet way undersized and led to crappy groups and leading in the barrel.

If your not loading heavy kicking loads like ruger only loads you really don't need much crimp. Try no crimp at all. I bet it will help.
I'm using the crimp built into the Lee Bullet Seater. I don't have the Factory crimp die. But the Bullet Seater crimp can be adjusted from almost nothing to mongo crimp.

.
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  #32  
Old 05-07-2013, 3:19 PM
RAMCHARGER RAMCHARGER is offline
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Originally Posted by orangeusa View Post
Thanks - that's what I wanted to hear (about W231/HP38).

Now if I could only FIND some!

.
W231 or HP38?
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  #33  
Old 05-07-2013, 3:52 PM
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I say, step one. Shoot from a bench (or as consistent as you can) to check for grouping, then go from there.
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