Pedersoli/Dixie Replica Bullet Moulds


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mec
February 22, 2005, 02:29 PM
These are sold mainly as filler items for cased revolvers. They are copies of one common type of period mould and the bullets look the same as some seen in photographs of original cased guns. Both Dixie and Pedersoli are real up front that the bullets and balls cast from these are not match quality. Nevertheless, the moulds are quality items and can turn out a meager supply of projectiles if you wear a good pair of heat resistent gloves while casting. A recurrent difficulty is keeping the sprue plate down to get the bases flat.

I have had pretty good luck shooting the 60 grain .31 bullets- possibly because it's hard to shoot the pocket pistols well enough to appreciate the accuracy deficit. When I tried the .36 bullets in a Pietta Navy, results were as generally predicted in the literature- not very accurate. A good bit less accurate than the Lee conicals in available calibers and a whole lot less accurate than ball.

My 61 Uberti Navy has good chamber alignment and a loading ram that fits the noses of these bullets pretty well. I cast the bullets of wheelweights (this has worked out very well for me since Gatofeo told me it was alright) and loaded them over 15 pyrodex. I sat on the ground with the shoulder stocked Navy and shot over the chronograph at a 50 Yard target.
http://www.gunpix.com/gallery/Muzzleloaders_and_Blackpowder/36bullet50.jpg
At this point, I began to get pretty excited. A six-inch group centered and just a bit low seem to be giving the lie to the conventional wisdom about these moulds/bullets. Then I shot a couple of rested groups at 50 feet and punctured that balloon. I got at least one flier per 6 round target with one diverging from the main group by six inches. I saved the better target:
http://www.gunpix.com/gallery/Muzzleloaders_and_Blackpowder/36bullet.jpg

So, compared to round ball, this bullet{which could not have a worse design for a front loader) is pretty inaccurate. Nevertheless,I suspect the casual pistol shooting yahoo of the 19th century would not notice the difference.

The balls thrown from this mould were well formed and a bit larger than the .375" available from the major sources. I shot a couple of cylinders into a 25 yard target-Standing off-hand and found them to be perfectly fine. I gestimate an NRA slow fire score in the low to mid 90s had I been using a standard center.
p://www.gunpix.com/gallery/Muzzleloaders_and_Blackpowder/36bullet50.jpg

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mainmech48
February 23, 2005, 02:28 PM
Interesting post. Thanks for the time and effort.

My own curiosity didn't merit quite so much effort to satisfy. I bought pre-cast bullets of the original designs for both my Colt and Remington .44 replicas from Dixie rather than fire-up to cast my own.

Pretty much the same sort of results, and much the same conclusion. While they did offer some definite advantages in kinetic energy, it was almost impossible to get consistently comparable accuracy to round balls. Part of it might have been attributable to the mediocre quality and the off-center sprue, but it was more a factor of not being able to get them to seat concentrically, IMO.

I had some fun using them to make paper cartridges. I pared-off the sprue so I could seat the wad flush with the base and charged them with about 23 gr. of FFF. Cigarette papers were used for the 'case'. Great fun for plinking, especially one-on-one with a 'duelling tree' where fast reloads are a factor!

mec
February 23, 2005, 03:01 PM
done the same thing with cigarette papers and papers treated with stump remover - pretty much pure potassium nitrate.

Thanks for the feedback on your bullet experiences. It appears that what we've been reading about them is pretty much the straigh truth. I've used some of the Lee Conicals in .44. they look like some of the bullets you see in old cased Colts and have a rounded nose that fits the ram pretty well. General accuracy in my Uberti Colt .44s is better than the replica bullets but fairly ordinary compared to ball. the best group I have gotten with them came with a Remington replica but Ball was still better.

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