Conicals for Blackpowder revolvers?


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TheWall
January 11, 2011, 05:50 PM
I am thinking of trying conicals in some of my blackpowder revolvers, specifically...

my Pietta 1858 Remmie (.44 caliber)

my Pietta 1851 Colt Navy (.36 caliber).

Both are steel frame.

Any recommendations on size/brand?

Thanks!

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robhof
January 11, 2011, 06:59 PM
I tried the Lee; conical and REAL bullets in my ROA, the Lee ROA conicals cast out at .456 and the REALs cast at 454. I shimmed the molds with aluminum foil and got large enough to work, but the REAL's length limits powder, usually 20gr, and you can't get over 35gr with the conicals. I found accuracy with both to be not as good as the round balls. Veral Smith of LBT makes a custom mold for a special conical that will produce ball accuracy with the wt of a conical. For my purposes I'll stick to RB's for best accuracy and the Lee conicals for hunting. I'm sure others will chime in with the .36. I've tried the .31 conicals produced in the mold that came with my Colt clone and found the same results as far as accuracy goes.

Curator
January 11, 2011, 08:20 PM
Two problems with conicals in cap & Ball revolvers are: chamber diameter/depth limiting powder volume and when chambers are under groove diameter, limiting velocity and accuracy too. The other issue issue is conical length and rifling twist rate. Many replicas have a round ball twist of 1 in 30 or 1 in 50" which will not stabalize a conical that is longer than a round ball at velocities of 1000 fps and under. Add the difficulty of seating the conicals straight, not slightly crooked and accuracy suffers even more. The very best answer is a custom mould from LBT that has a rebated "heel" that is chamber diameter and a larger diameter to seal the chamber when seated. The length is a bit more than a round ball and it has a large lube groove to help keep powder fouling soft. Ol' Veral of LBT knows his business. His moulds make the bullet that will give you what you are looking form right from the beginning.

arcticap
January 12, 2011, 12:30 AM
The Buffalo Bullet round nose pistol bullets from Dixie have received excellent reviews and come in 3 sizes; .36, .44 & .45.
But they're rather expensive.

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_99_311_313&products_id=3630&osCsid=eaa283f4e8cf3c2f99cc6f58b919deab

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_99_311_313&products_id=3631&osCsid=eaa283f4e8cf3c2f99cc6f58b919deab

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_99_311_313&products_id=3629&osCsid=eaa283f4e8cf3c2f99cc6f58b919deab

It appears that the Buffalo bullets come closer to ball accuracy than any others I have tried...

Hellgate
January 12, 2011, 01:08 AM
I have shot the LEE 36 & 44 conicals in my Remingtons & Colts. The 44 cal 200gr conical shoot VERY accurately in my Hartford model 1860 Army made by ASM but they will not fit under the rammer of the Pietta Colt 44s. If you look at an original 1860 Army you will see there is much more space for the conicals which were extensively used in the paper cartridges of the day. My Colt Navy has no problem shooting the 130gr conical. All the remingtons easily load the conicals. All guns shoot them higher than the round ball. The 44 conicals are nice "thumpers".

Donny
January 12, 2011, 09:07 AM
I vote for the Lee conicals. I had rotten luck with the buffalo bullets.

Don

PapaG
January 12, 2011, 10:10 AM
In my Ruger Old Army I have used two conicals...one is the Lee round nosed heeled bullet designed for that gun. Works o.k. as long as you put a wax wad under the bullet (or felt). Other one is Lyman 450229, an old, old hollow based design originally put out for the Remington '58 revolver and replicas. It is a swc, only about 160 grains and shoots out of any 44/45 I've tried it in...great groups, pretty fast, and cuts a clean hole. Probably not available from Lyman any more but I found mine at a gun show.

Noz
January 12, 2011, 10:18 AM
Dick Dastardly produces a conical specifically for the ROA plus several others that will work.

Tommygunn
January 12, 2011, 10:43 AM
In my experience the Pietta revolvers have a concave shape milled out from the end of the bullet ram. This tends to mash or cant conical bullets.
Most (but not all) Ubertis have a conical shape milled into the nose of the rammer, which better matches the shape of conical bullets so they don't mash or cant, and they are held fairly straight.
This has been what affected my choice of bullets for BP revolvers in the past.
YMMV.

OYE
January 12, 2011, 12:54 PM
If you are casting your own, I've had good luck with the 200 grain Lee conicals in Pietta
1858s in 44 caliber. Don't know about store bought.

45-70 Ranger
January 12, 2011, 01:46 PM
The upside is that you can lube the conicals like a standard bullet as in cartridge loading. The downside...usually a little less accuracy will be the result. I use the Lee .375 conical in a cutdown '51 Colt slipgun and it does fine. But the barrel is 5" and there is no loading lever or front sight. This is a slipgun and thus is not a target pistol. I've not use the Lee in my .44 Rem. The Lee for the ROA was ok when I had one. I now use that mould to make my .45-70 lites with a little paper patching....But the Lee moulds are cheap and you can buy one or two for the price of meal with your wife in town...go have fun!

Wade

In short, for pure target work, stick with the RB. For fun, heck, try the conicals out. I made several paper cartridges using them in my .36 and it was fun.

TheWall
January 13, 2011, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the response, gentlemen. I see that Buffalo Bullets is no longer in business. Is there any place I can buy Buffalo Bullets or Lee bullets that have been casted?

I just don't have the time to cast my own and would like to try conicals in my blackpowder revolvers.

Thanks again for all the great advice and guidance.

arcticap
January 13, 2011, 05:40 PM
Someone posted that they're available directly from Buffalo Bullets:

Buffalo Bullet Co. is alive and well @ 12637 Los Nietos Rd. Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 phone 800-423-8069 or 562-944-0322. I just bought some .32 Ball-ets from them no problem.

TheWall
January 13, 2011, 05:56 PM
Someone posted that they're available directly from Buffalo Bullets:
I tried both numbers and both have been disconnected! Doh!

arcticap
January 13, 2011, 06:23 PM
That's too bad. Maybe there's old stock to be found or something else similar.
Thanks for the update. :)

72coupe
February 5, 2011, 07:42 PM
This post inspired me to slug the cylinders on my Remington and my Dragoon.

The Remington cylinder slugged 0.4485 and the barrel slugged 0.448 with very shallow grooves.

The Uberti 3rd Model Dragoon cylinder slugged 0.452 and the barrel slugged 0.452 although it is very hard to measure as it has a 7 groove barrel.

Voodoochile
February 5, 2011, 09:10 PM
What I had to do with my Pietta Remington New Model Army was ream the chambers to accomodate the grove diameter of my barrel.

Originally the Barrel on my revolver was .4495 but the chambers were all .4460 - .4465.
Now after I reamed the chambers to .4510 my lil cannon "as my wife calls her" has very respectable accuracy with Lee .456 220gr. Conicals, now granted it's no tack driver especially in my hands but the work I did improved it concidderably.

Also to help in setting the projectile straight I cleaned up & polished the loading window a little so that I can seat the bottom band outside of the rammer & then rotate the cylinder to ram the conical home.

Hellgate
February 5, 2011, 09:57 PM
I have one cylinder reamed to .450 and the other at factory spec (.448) on a pair of 44 "navies' and I can tell a slight difference in recoil. The reamed gun having a little bit more kick as the ball swages down. I haven't done accuracy tests though to see if there's a difference. S'posed to be.

Voodoochile
February 5, 2011, 10:46 PM
Hellgate;
My lil NMA does buck some, my normal load is 28gr. FFF Goex with a .456 220gr. conical & a Remington #11, her average 5 shot velocity was clocked once at 718FPS but that was probably her best & she's more than likely be just below 700FPS, I just know that I'm confident that this is about as potent as a .45 Schofield load.

mainmech48
February 9, 2011, 11:23 AM
Dixie Gun Works used to (may still; it's been a while since I looked) sell cast conicals in the same designs used for the original factory paper cartridges from both Colt and Remington. The ones I used looked as if they'd been cast in the original tong-style molds, as there was a pronounced sprue on the bases. If those weren't removed, accuracy was pretty dismal. Even when they were groups weren't nearly as tight as they are with RB's or the late, lamented Buffalo swaged ball-ettes.

In my repos of either model in .44 it was very tough to get them seated concentrically in the chambers with any consistency, although the noses did fit the respective rammers pretty well.

Haven't tried the Lee conicals, as my casting equipment has been in "mothballs" for a spell.

45-70 Ranger
February 9, 2011, 05:03 PM
I have a Lee .450 conical mould that was to have been delivered today, but the weenie post office person dropped the mail in the box, but left me a note that the box was too big and could not fit it in the mailbox out front. My house is 60 yds. from the road and both of my cars were in plain sight! They coulda honked and I'd run out to get the box. I'm iced in here in my little house and can't go to the post office to get my box. My car is just not that trustworthy!

However.....WHEN I get my mould and cast up some rounds, I'll have more to report...
With my .36 Remington I was able to get some decent groups and my cut down slipgun is no target shooter to be sure, but the slugs do hit with authority. Dropped a coyote one evening as it blitzed past me in the woods behind my house. Wo both took each other by surprise! Was about a 20 ft. shot and I just pointed and thumbed the hammer. It made a nice wound channel though. But like a hot .38 would. I liked it. Don't think the 'yote was too thrilled though....Oh well.......

Good luck with the pointy projectiles!
Wade

45-70 Ranger
February 13, 2011, 06:39 AM
Sat. the mail carrier delivered my mould. Later I cast up about 100 to get started. My neighbor across the street just got himself a Handi Rifle in .45-70 so I've been busy getting him lined up with it as he's not too familar with that caliber. The mould is a two cavity and I learned my lesson with that style some time ago. The mould for the .375 and the .456 are both early Lee moulds in single cavity. The .450 mould did work well and the rounds came out perfect with crisp lube grooves and sharp bases. Now if they shoot as good as they look:scrutiny:

However, I'll be shooting with my neighbor today, either his range or mine, and I'll take my Remingtion with me to test the .44 conicals out with it. I'm really interested to see just how this bullet will fair in my '58 with moderate loads. Will be fun either way I think. I'll have a range report as soon as I get done cleaning my weapons:rolleyes:

Wade

Twogun1975
February 13, 2011, 03:57 PM
When I bought my 1858 Remington it came with a partial box of 44 cal. conicals from Taurus. The body is about 1/4 inch long and has a hollow base. The nose looks like it was cut off a round ball with a little sealing ring around it at the base of the nose. Should have the new nipples this week and can try to shoot it next Saturday. They slide in the cylinder nice and easy up to the ring but have't tried to seat them as with no nipples I can't shoot them back out.Twogun

45-70 Ranger
February 13, 2011, 08:03 PM
My neighbor and I were on his range today. We trade out. Mine one week, his the next. That keeps the wives semi happy:cuss:

After punching out some paper at 100 with the 45-70's, I sauntered down to about 12.5 yds. and opened up with the '58 loaded with 24 gr. of 777 and the Lee 200 RN's. At that range they printed real well. Dropped another cylinder in and went back to 25. From there the Lee's were about 1.75" higher than with RB's (expected) but the group was tight. I was shooting from a seated poosition with a tree at my back and my knees drawn up to sort of clamp my arms in between. A trick my dear old dad taught me.

The group was just over 2.5" and almost centered, about 1" high. That ain't bad for me. Another load was fired at 50 yds. and there I was not so hot:banghead: I was trying too hard by that time and got all cramped up and just didn't do well. My neighbor shot it from that range, but he's not a C&B type guy. He didn't do worth a hoot!

I went and sat down. Slugged down a Dr. Pepper. Had a smoke. Reloaded, and went back to 50. I was determined. I put 5 out of 6 on paper with a low group about 10" across. I was dropping a bit, but I was trying for a group to see where I was at. A second loading with 28 gr. 777 faired much better. The group was just under the bull and spread out about 7.5" to almost 8". I can live with that.

So, can one shoot conicals in a '58 Pietta and get it on paper? Well....ahhh...
SURE:) Does it group as good as RB's? Almost;) Was it worth the wait and the 20 bucks for the mould? Heck yeah:p Now I have a mould that cast 200 gr. perfect .450 dia. slugs that I can also double wrap as a paper patch light bullet for my 45-70:D It's a win win situation for me!!

Wade

arcticap
June 12, 2011, 09:15 PM
Thanks for the response, gentlemen. I see that Buffalo Bullets is no longer in business. Is there any place I can buy Buffalo Bullets or Lee bullets that have been casted?

I just don't have the time to cast my own and would like to try conicals in my blackpowder revolvers.

Thanks again for all the great advice and guidance.

All sizes of the Buffalo Revolver Bullets are now in stock at Cabela's!!!!

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Shooting/Black-Powder/Sabots-Bullets|/pc/104792580/c/104701680/sc/104547780/Buffalo-Bullet-Conical-Black-Powder-Revolver-Bullets/1222794.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fshooting-black-powder-sabots-bullets%2F_%2FN-1100204%2FNs-CATEGORY_SEQ_104547780%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BMMcat104792580%253Bcat104701680

Kaeto
June 13, 2011, 04:36 AM
All of these molds are made by Dixie Gun Works.

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_101_283&products_id=7960

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_101_283&products_id=7954

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_101_283&products_id=7959

StrawHat
June 13, 2011, 07:06 AM
I have bullet molds (Lee) for both the 44 and 36 C&B revolvers. Both cast HP bullets and I use pure lead. From what I have found, I went back to shooting roundball. The round ball is more accurate for me and hits harder in both calibers. My testing is not real scientific as no two animals are the same but those hit with the roundball went down faster than those hit with the HP conical. If I want to use conical bullets and black powder, I use a BPC rifle or pistol.

ElvinWarrior
June 13, 2011, 08:52 AM
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rio nueces
June 13, 2011, 09:30 AM
"Other one is Lyman 450229, an old, old hollow based design originally put out for the Remington '58 revolver and replicas. It is a swc, only about 160 grains and shoots out of any 44/45 I've tried it in...great groups, pretty fast, and cuts a clean hole. Probably not available from Lyman any more but I found mine at a gun show." -PapaG




PapaG, I've got one of those molds on the way. 450229. Found it by asking around.
I want to try those hollowbase conicals in my Pietta 1858 Rem.
Probably lube w/ beeswax.
Many percussion revolvers have smaller diameter cylinder chambers than barrel groove diameters.
With all due respect to those of you who prefer to ream chambers, I'm of the mind that hollow base bullets will give good results w/ less effort.

http://pascalp2.free.fr/images/lyman/450229/lyman_450229_P1000405_cut_800.jpg

http://pascalp2.free.fr/images/lyman/450229/lyman_450229_P1000411_cut_480.jpg

http://pascalp2.free.fr/images/lyman/450229/lyman_450229_P1000409_cut_480.jpg

Buffalo bullets are great, but at around 25 cents each I have to pass.

arcticap
September 19, 2011, 03:02 AM
The Buffalo Bullet Company is back in business.
An employee recently posted about working there and how to contact them:

Buffalo Bullet is back in buisness contact your local gun shops for details Ron Dahlitz has moved his company to Los Angeles Ca phone number is 323-585-5058 ext 223 thanks

Busyhands94
September 19, 2011, 11:04 AM
i keep meaning to try those buffalo bullets out. so far i have found Lee conical bullets to work fabulously, no problems whatsoever. i was having trouble seating them so here is the solution i came up with (i don't know if I'm the first to come up with this) hope this helps!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu1mB_CusPg&feature=channel_video_title

Levi

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