I have a very good condition S&W and need some advice for reloading. Have shot the revolver with hard lead bullets, 230gr.,using a full moon clips. I have been getting some leading in the first inch or so of the bore. Can someone recommend a load and a bullet that might work good in this revolver? Thanks
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February 5, 2013, 04:55 PM
Leading in the first inch is probably caused by the bullets being a bit undersized for the bore, but also can be caused or made worse by too hard a bullet and/or too LIGHT a powder charge.
As long as you're using .452" bullets, as most cast .45 slugs are, that's the best you can do there without looking for some specialty or custom run. (Some folks might have a source for that?)
But the first thing to try would be running a heavier charge and see if the leading goes away. Obviously don't exceed the posted charges in the loading manuals, but a firm charge will help the bullet obdurate and seal the bore faster, keeping the hot gasses from blasting past the base of the bullet and melting lead off onto the bore.
February 5, 2013, 05:07 PM
My M1917 is a pre WW2 war pistiol. Because it is a prewar pistol, it needs large bullets to avoid leading. I tried 452” lead bullets and they leaded. The only 454 diameters lead bullets I could find were 250 grain. Leading is a lot less with the bigger bullets.
Incidentally, I tried 6.0 grs Unique, and 6.5 grains Unique with 250 lead. In this lightweight pistol I found the recoil excessive, especially with the 6.5 grain load. I absolutely do not recommend these loads though you will find that Elmer Keith used them. They are too heavy for these pistols. I believe WW1 era S&W’s had unheated frames and cylinders so you need to keep your loads light
Because I shoot 45 AR loads in this M1917 and a converted MkVI Webley, I now use a load of 255 LSWC and 3.5 grains Bullseye. This is a very mild load, shoots well, and does not stretch the top strap of the Webley.
M1917 S&W Brazilian Export 5" Barrel
250 LRN (.454) 4.5 grs Bullseye thrown, R-P AR cases, CCI300 primers
20-Jan-02 T = 44°F
Ave Vel = 754
Std Dev = 10
ES = 39.5
Mild recoil, aimpt 5 OC, accurate
February 5, 2013, 10:22 PM
You should try slugging both your cylinder and barrel. Then compare what the results are, if it is under sizing just one of the bullets then no amount of bumping up will solve your problem. This will not be a problem when shooting jacketed bullets however. Make sure to slug ALL the cylinders separately and check each of them for size. Use tape to keep track of the first cylinder. If the throats are undersized then they can easily be opened up to fit the barrel size correctly to end your leading problems.