Last week when i went up to the range there was a bag of conicals waiting for me some guy who reloads and collects brass at my range heard ive been shooting my black powder revolvers up there, casted me about 80 conicals.
So friday he was up there and i thanked him for the conicals and i asked him what size they were he said .450. He said its the same bullet he shoots in the reloads he shoots out of his hipoint 45ACP carbine. :confused:
These looked to me like C&B conicals because of the point just seems so round i thought auto loaders use more of a pointed bullet and copper coated.
So now im wondering about bullets for reloading cartridges? Could we use those? They were a little loose fitting in one of my guns but the other i shot them in they seem to fit tight. I actually thought they were .451
The weird part was the kick, i could feel the difference in the kick shooting the heavier bullet. I was thinking it would be cool to try a jacketed copper bullet or a hollow point or something different. Cartridge guns have alot of different bullets im sure something else would work we could just buy?
Im not talking for every day target shooting just a once in a while bullet
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October 26, 2013, 01:56 PM
I've seen and responded to questions like yours since the 1970s.
1. The lead inside jacketed bullets is generally very soft or pure lead. If you melt the cores out of the fired jacket, the lead is almost always suitable for black powder use.
Copper jackets that fully enclose the bullet won't allow the molten lead to flow out. Somehow, you need to create an opening in the copper jacket for the lead to leave. Years ago I learned that a hard smack with a hammer on the fired bullet (projectile) will generally create a fissure or two in the copper jacket.
Hold the bullet with cheap needle-nosed pliers, on a hard iron or steel suface, while smacking with a hammer.
2. Bullets designed for cartridges are not very suitable for cap and ball revolvers. Bullets designed specifically for cap and ball revolvers have a "stepped-in" section on the base, that slips into the chamber. This is called a heel.
Cartridge bullets lack this heel; the base band is the same diameter as the rest of the bullet, as seen in your photos.
Without a heel to help start the bullet into the cap and ball revolver's chamber, it's very difficult to get the bullet seated straight. It wants to cock to one side or the other during seating.
The heel keeps the bullet pointed up and straight, so it may be seated straight with the rammer.
I do not recommend the use cartridge projectiles in cap and ball revolvers, for other reasons:
3. Cast lead bullets for cartridge guns are generally of harder alloy than is desired in black powder guns. Black powder and its substitutes requires very soft bullets, of pure lead or nearly so.
Most cast bullets for cartridge guns will be much harder, and with black powder this harder bullets causes leading in the bore.
Also, black powder requires a proper lubricant: moist, not made with petroleum products (an exception is very pure paraffin), and made of natural oils or greases. This keeps black powder (and its subsitutes) fouling soft.
Modern bullet lubricants used in smokeless powder guns are dry, hard and primarily made of petroleum greases or oils.
When used with black powder or its substitutes, petroleum-based lubricants typically create a hard, tarry fouling that clogs the rifling grooves, retards the movement of parts, and is harder to remove.
4. Every once in a while, someone postulates using jacketed bullets in cap and ball revolvers. Don't do it. I posted a reply to the "jacketed bullets in cap and ball sixguns?" in The High Road on Sept. 3, 2006.
Here is my response of seven years ago:
Find the 8th edition of Handloader's Digest (1978) for detailed answers to your questions.
On page 46 is an article by John Lachuk entitled, "Caplock Revolvers and Jacketed Bullets."
Here's the gist:
1. A Ruger Old Army, Hawes Remington 1858 reproduction and a reproduction Colt Walker, made by Navy Arms, were used.
2. A .451 inch fluted reamer was used to open the Walker and Remington chambers, so they would accept a .451 or .452 inch jacketed bullet.
3. The chambers of the Ruger Old Army measured .450 inch, so Lachuk polished the chambers to .451 inch.
4. Without reaming the chambers to a larger size, the jacketed bullet could not be seated --- so don't try to seat a jacketed bullet without this modification!
5. Bullets used were the Hornady 185 gr. hollow point, Sierra 180 gr. hollow core, Speer 200 gr. hollow point, Speer 200 gr. swaged lead bullet and Lyman 137 gr. cast lead ball.
5. Both FFFG and FFFFG black powder were used. as was Pyrodex (a recently introduced propellant back then).
6. Lachuk used FFFFG black powder but I don't advise it. This finely grained powder has shown, time and again, a propensity for jumping pressures. Couple that propensity with the harder, friction-creating jacketed bullet and you may blow a chamber.
7. Lachuk also used a small priming charge of Bullseye smokeless powder, in the chamber, next to the nipple. Again, a very dangerous thing to do. Black powder revolvers, no matter what their year of manufacture, are not designed for the pressures of smokeless powder. It's a matter of their design, not metallurgy. Anyone who uses smokeless powder in a cap and ball revolver is a damned fool.
8. Velocities: I know you're all slobbering and chomping at the bit to hear about velocities, so here goes
RUGER OLD ARMY
The 185 gr. jacketed bullet delivered 938 to 1,069 fps, depending on the load.
The 200 gr. Speer hollow poing ranged from 878 to 1004, depending on the load.
The 200 gr. swaged lead semiwadcutter delivered 840 to 960 fps, depending on the load.
The Lyman 137 gr. lead ball delivered 942 to 1,089 fps, depending on load.
The 185 gr. Hornady hollow point delivered 904 fps.
The 185 gr. Sierra delivered 994 fps.
The 200 gr. Speer hollow point delivered 909 fps.
The 200 gr. Speer lead semiwadcutter delivered 841 fps.
The Lyman 137 gr. lead ball delivered 990 fps.
Navy Arms Colt Walker
The 185 gr. Hornady hollow point delivered 1,100 fps.
The 185 gr. Sierra delivered 1,167 fps.
The 200 gr. Speer hollow point delivered 1,075 fps.
The 200 gr. Speer lead semiwadcutter delivered 984 fps.
The Lyman 137 gr. lead ball delivered 1,172 fps.
9. The cylinders of each revolver had to be loaded on an arbor press. It was not easy to seat the very hard copper jacketed bullets or, in the case of the Walker and Remington, there was too little space to get the bullet under the revolver's rammer.
This makes the project very specialized and certainly not much good for field use.
10. Lyman cap and ball grease was squeezed over the jacketed bullets after loading.
11. A Ransom Rest was used for the revolver; grip adapters not being made for the Walker or Remington. Accuracy testing was confined to the Ruger; Lachuk didn't say what kind of accuracy he got with the Remington or Walker.
12. At 50 yards, jacekted bullets were consistently more accurate than lead balls. Ruger 10-shot groups ran 4 inches, center to center, for the Hornady, Sierra and Speer bullets.
The best 50 yard group was with Sierra Jacketed Hollow Cavity bullets, at 2-3/4 inches.
At 25 yards, jacketed bullets and round balls both clustered 10 shots around 2 to 3 inches.
While it was an interesting experiment, doing so would require some alterations to the revolver and specialized equipment (arbor press and .451 inch fluted reamer with lathe or drill press). I don't think it's the kind of thing the typical cap and ball shooter would find easy or appealing.
And it should be noted that jacketed bullets create far more friction than lead. This friction can dramatically increase pressures.
I wouldn't want to risk any of my revolvers, or my flesh, for a project of dubious value.
Lead balls or conical bullets work fine, whether for plinking or hunting. I can't see much advantage to using jacketed bullets in a cap and ball revolver, when you consider all the prep work that must be done, and the danger of higher pressures that accompany the practice.
Today, I would add:
a. Trying to seat a jacketed bullet in an unaltered cap and ball sixguns could bend or break your rammer. You'd also find it very difficult, if not impossible, to start the bullet straight into the chamber, for lack of a heel on it (See Response 2 above).
b. Conversion cylinders are available for some models of cap and ball sixguns. I don't believe I'd try jacketed bullets in ammunition assembled for these converted guns.
Jacketed bullets create far more friction in the bore than their lead counterparts. They require a certain velocity to NOT get stuck in the bore, because of this friction. To reach that velocity requires a certain pressure level -- a level that may strain or damage your gun.
If I wanted to use jacketed bullets in my conversion cylinder, I'd contact the manufacturer of the cylinder, and the firearm involved.
These are the folks with modern labs for measuring pressures and velocities.
I suspect that a lot of rammers have been damaged, and guns blown beyond repair, with experiments by the Slackjaw crowd using jacketed bullets. The question comes up frequently.
Use the lead balls and heeled conical bullets in your cap and ball revolver as God and Sam Colt intended. If you want to shoot jacketed bullets, buy a modern firearm.
October 26, 2013, 08:33 PM
So these bullets i have are not for shooting in a cap & ball revolver?
They were a little tricky to get in specially in the colt but i have a hard time with just a ball in those pistols. The remington not so bad.
I did grease the rings with bore butter but i was shocked at the groups i got from them. These were by far the best bullets ive shot so far. :confused:
This is the only reason im even giving it a thought.
The first time i ever shot anything other then a round ball from these pistols.
Now its only 15 yards and im using a rest but still ive yet to shoot any better then this with a ball. 6 shots
October 26, 2013, 11:19 PM
Looks to me like that gun likes those conicals, and if it were me I'ld just keep on going with them.
Not much to be gained by shooting jacketed bullets with blackpowder so why bother becomes the question.
October 27, 2013, 12:54 AM
Well i didnt know the jackets were hard to load, i figured since these conicals were .450 or he said they were closer to .451 i havnt measured them. How hard could a .450 be to push into a chamber that ive been using .451-.454 and .457 in?
I didnt think about the jacketed being harder to ram in then just a regular conical though.
The only thing im really wanting is a conical simmilar to these but more consistant in weight. I dont know how consistant these are i figured something by hornaday or something else would be more closely matched?
I guess for now ill just stick with these.
October 27, 2013, 01:24 AM
Lee makes a .450 conical mold for Remington BP revolvers 450-200-1R [or did] and a .456 ''stepped'' conical for the Ruger Old Army.
October 27, 2013, 01:27 AM
The .450 Lee mold says ''designed for .44 Remington-use pure lead'' right on the box. That being said, they make great fodder for my .45 ACP Ballester Molinas...
October 27, 2013, 03:49 PM
If you get that kind of accuracy from those bullets made for smokeless powder, keep using them. But your experience isn't typical.
Since the 1970s, I have tried using a variety of lead .45 ACP bullets in my .44-caliber cap and ball sixguns. I also tried the Lyman 37583 bullet, an old design made for light loads in the .38/55 rifle, and sometimes suggested for .36-caliber cap and ball sixguns.
Without the heel, I had difficulties getting cartridge bullets started straight. Accuracy suffered.
Some designs couldn't be used because they were too long to fit under the rammer; a problem most often encountered with the 1851 Navy in the unauthentic .44 caliber.
Your groups are good, but 15 yards isn't much of an accuracy workout. I shoot bullets and balls at 25 yards minimum, and often out to 50 yards.
The best indicator of overall accuracy is shooting a bullet at long range, rifle or pistol, because any inaccuracies are magnified at long range.
I developed ball loads for my .50-caliber CVA Mountain Rifle at 100 yards. I figure that will be the maximum range I'd ever chance taking a deer. Some loads are tight with that rifle at 50 yards, then all over the map at 100.
Other loads are consistently accurate out to 100 yards. These are the loads I use.
You wondered why a .450 or .451 jacketed bullet will be hard to seat in a cap and ball revolver.
Well, that's because you're thinking like a cartridge shooter.
You have to remember that cap and ball sixguns employ projectiles that are larger than the chamber. When seated, the lead ball or bullet is swaged down to the diameter of the chamber.
An oversized projectile resists the entry of moisture into the powder, and ensures the projectile (ball or bullet) is tight in the chamber to resist movement during recoil.
You may use .451 balls in .44 cap and ball revolvers because their chambers measure around .448 inch, or smaller. I use .454 or .457 inch balls because it simplifies things for me: some of my .44s work fine with .451" balls, others need .454 inch for a tight seal. I keep one size on hand, but I'm not averse to buying .457 balls if they're on sale.
There is no harm in using .454 balls in revolvers that take .451 balls. Very little extra pressure is required to seat the ball. You get a slightly thicker ring of lead after seating.
In my .36 revolvers, I use .380" balls. It works in all my revolvers without a problem, even those for whom .375" balls are recommended.
After all, the ball is swaged down to the size of the chamber, whatever size ball you use.
So when you don't understand why a .450 jacketed bullet shouldn't work in a cap and ball sixgun, you're forgetting that such revolvers have chambers smaller than the projectile they use.
You'd be trying to ram a .450 or .451 copper jacketed bullet into a .446 to .448 chamber. Copper, being far harder and less malleable than lead, would offer a LOT of resistance. You may bend or break your rammer.
I use .36 and .44 Lee conical bullets. In my .44s, I use the .450" diameter bullet. It's the most accurate conical bullet I've used. The least accurate conical I've used is the Buffalo Bullet. It's pricey too, usually around $20 for 50.
The .450 Lee conical bullet is not offered commercially, as far as I know. You have to cast your own. You may find them on Gunbroker.com or Fleabay, offered by home casters.
These must be cast of pure or very soft lead, and you need a soft, non-petroleum lubricant. The Bore Butter you use is good.
Lee also makes a .457 version of its .44 conical, for use in the Ruger Old Army. The Ruger has chambers slightly larger than other .44s, because its barrel is about .451 inch, the same as used in the Blackhawk cartridge gun.
I've never found the Lee .375" conical to be particularly accurate in .36 cap and ball sixguns. I've also used the (long discontinued) .380" Lee conical in my .36s. Both deliver groups of 4 to 6" at 25 yards from a benchrest. Ho-hum.
The Lee .450 conical will go into about a 2 to 2-1/2 circle at 25 yards in my Uberti-made 1858 Remington with iron sights, from a benchrest.
26.4 grs. Goex FFFG (measured by flask)
200 gr. Lee .450 conical
Remington No. 11 cap, pinched into an elliptical shape to stay on the nipple.
Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant used on the bullet (1 part canning paraffin, 1 part mutton tallow, 1/2 part beeswax -- all measurements by weight, not volume).
No felt wad used between conical and powder.
No lubricant placed over the bullet (its grease rings have ample, if they are filled).
I don't understand why you have problems with round balls. They're the easiest projectile of all to use, since a ball is self-centering in the chamber mouth.
I most often shoot balls because they're readily available (I prefer Speer over Hornady), accurate and easy to load.
I also use a 1/8" thick hard felt wad, made of 100% wool, lubricated with Gatofeo No. 1 Lubricant. This is thumbed into the chamber mouth after the powder is poured in, then seated firmly on the powder with the rammer.
After all chambers are charged, and have a lubricated felt wad seated in them, I seat the .454 or .457 ball.
I seat the wad and ball separately, so I get a better feel for how much pressure I'm applying. I try to be consistent with my seating, whether a wad or ball. Also, should you forget to add powder to a chamber (and you will), it's much easier to remove a wad than a ball.
All the above said, never abandon what works safely. The conical bullets you use are accurate, so I wouldn't abandon them -- but in my own experience the accuracy you get is not typical. Seating a conical bullet without a heel can be a real pain. In fact, using conical bullets is more of a pain than using balls, in my experience.
Out to 50 or 60 yards, the plain lead ball can be accurate enough. I tinker with conicals on occasion, but always return to balls.
Enjoy that cap and ball sixgun. It's a fascinating hobby that I've pursued since about 1970. I'm still learning.
October 27, 2013, 10:23 PM
if you look closely at the .450's in the OP'S post, you'll see that they were molded in a mold just like mine, the Lee .450 conical mold made for Remington BP revolvers [450-200-1R], which has a slightly smaller base than the rest of the bullet.
October 27, 2013, 10:58 PM
Gatofeo has spoken.
There's nothing I can add, except that I always defer to his advice.
October 27, 2013, 11:14 PM
I never really shoot any handguns over 15 yards i dont see the need to stretch it. I cant even see that far out anyway ide be aiming at a blur.
These targets are only 8" with a 2" bull i thought that is what the blackpowder shooters shoot at 15 yards?
The 20" bull i dont have access to any of those to shoot at for 25 yards wich is what i thought they use with a 3-1/2" bull. Those i might be able to see a little better then these.
These bullets must be for black powder but the guys at the gun range thought they looked like 45 cal bullets.
After measuring them, they must be black powder conicals. They only fit nice in one gun that i have the Remington Shooter. The chambers on this cylinder appear to be swagged or something. They almost drop right in then the second ring they get tight and as i ram them in they seem to get tighter the deeper they get.
My chambers measure .450-.451 on this gun.
They just drop right in up to the top ring then they start to fit tight.
They almost seem to be made for this gun, the opening it perfect.
I could ring the bottom with beeswax (to prevent chainfires) then the top ring i could use borebutter. Or just use wax or cisco or just bore butter on both.
I believe i used just borebutter on that group above in both rings.
October 27, 2013, 11:22 PM
I know, I make those myself. See post #9 above for mold specs ''if you look closely at the .450's in the OP'S post, you'll see that they were molded in a mold just like mine, the Lee .450 conical mold made for Remington BP revolvers [450-200-1R], which has a slightly smaller base than the rest of the bullet...'' and they DO say they are for remington black powder revolvers right on the box. the catch is I have had this mold for around twenty years, and I'm not sure if it is being made anymore. I'd buddy up to that guy at the range.
October 27, 2013, 11:29 PM
Cool, how is the accuracy for you? I read your post but it didnt make sence then now it does. I had to do the measuring myself for it to sink in i guess.
How much was your mold? where did you get it? Ide like to have one to make myself some.
October 27, 2013, 11:34 PM
There is a bunch of them on e-bay for about $25-$35
Search the number you posted LEE Conical 2 Cavity Mold * 44 Remington * 450-200-1R NEW! # 90382
Is that what you have #90382?
So its a 200 grain bullet, .450 size and what the 1R mean? 1 Ring?
October 28, 2013, 12:19 AM
YES! That's exactly the one....I have the box in my hand right now...I assumed the R in the part number stood for Remington.
October 28, 2013, 10:13 AM
It sounds to me like the guy who cast the bullets for you knows a whole lot more than you thought. He knew you would be shooting BP so cast the appropriate size bullet.
That's a good guy to know.
October 28, 2013, 02:48 PM
Well i thought they were BP bullets just because of the way they look, the point looks so round it had an old cowboy point. I dont reload and i havnt looked into it much but now that i have looked that point looks alot like most 45ACP bullets. It just looks different when its not pressed into a cartridge.
Whe he said its the same bullet he loads in the 45ACP rounds hes shooting in his hipoint that when i questioned how it fits and shoots in both guns. Then the guys at the range even said they looked like cartridge bullets to them also i got all confused.
So he has an old black powder mold and it just so happens this bullet fits into his 45ACP loads and is working but its really an older LEE mold for black powder bullets.
Maybe they shoot so good in this remington because its the shooter model with the progressive twist barrel? Maybe that helps the conical a little more? or because there is more surface area on the conical then the ball to help its twist? Ive only shot 12 of them so far and i was pretty happy with the results the first outing.
October 28, 2013, 03:38 PM
Hey OP, is that 9mm brass filled with lead and loaded in .38 spl cases in you pic? I've never seen anything like that before, and I've been around this stuff for a while! :)
October 28, 2013, 04:06 PM
Im not sure i left them at the range but im thinking he said 40S&W in a 44 special and a 44 mag case.
One is a special and one is a mag
The shell filled with lead was the dud that caught my attention sticking out of his muzzle.
When i showed the range manager he said he has heard of guys reloading .22LR in a .223 and shooting the spent .22 shells.
October 28, 2013, 05:28 PM
Thanks for the answer, :) , I think I'll just stick to plain old lead bullets anyway!
October 28, 2013, 05:53 PM
Corbin made a press set up that took .22LR cases, ironed out the rim and turned them into .223 jackets. One could also use .22Magnum Jackets and this is where some of the earliest super long and heavy (for the caliber) Very Low Drag Bullets came from. .22 Magnum could be used to make jackets for 6mm/.243.
After one made the jackets one cut lead wire to specific length/weight inserted them into the formed jacket, swaged the jacket into shape and position and formed the tip. Biggest issue with them is velocities must be kept lower than with store bought jacketed bullets.
The rolls of dead soft wire would appeal to us BP shooters other than that my post belongs someplace else.
I still wish someone made a home swage like the briefly available Seneca Run set for making BP balls with.......
November 1, 2013, 12:37 AM
Just received my new 450-200 mold today. time to try it out! Thanks for the advice.
November 1, 2013, 03:52 AM
you won't be sorry!
November 1, 2013, 01:54 PM
I noticed the kick increased a little because of the slightly heavier bullet.
November 3, 2013, 01:23 AM
yeah, that'll happen. I thought the heavier bullet would hit lower, but the opposite seems to be the case [at 25 yards, anyway] probably due to the increase in back pressure from the heavier bullet.
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