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Which size cast bullet for S&W 25 in .45 LC?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TooManyToys, Jan 17, 2013.

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  1. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    What would be the best Dia. cast lead bullet for a Smith & Wesson Mod. 25-5 in .45 LC ?
    Cylinders measured .457 and slugging the bore with a soft lead bullet measured .452.

    Would .454 dia. be better than .452 for accuracy & prevent leading?
    Mainly looking at 250gn -260gn Kieth style SWC's
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  2. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  3. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    That isn't exactly the question or answer I was looking for.
    Using a caliper may not be giving the most accurate inside ida. measurment of the cylinder bore of .457 at the face.
    In any case, I don't think returning a 30+ year old gun is an option at this point, but why would you say to return it? Is there a know Mfg. issue with Mod. 25's of this vintage.
     
  4. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Yes, 30 years ago, it was a common problem. At one time, quality control was very poor at S&W. At the time, S&W would replace the cylinder at "No Charge" if returned to the factory.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  5. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    I would try the .454s, won't hurt a thing.
     
  6. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    From the link you provided, it looks like .457 is within spec at the cylinder face. ( ..452 + .0075) just on the high side.

    But with that said,.. I am still interested in hearing from people on the original question posted.

    Would .454 cast lead bullets be a better choice than .452 with a .452 bore?
     
  7. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    That's a shame the cylinder throats are so grossly oversized. I owned a 25-5 back in the '90's but never bothered measuring anything. It shot fine with the commercial cast 255 gr. SWC's (.452") I had at the time.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd try some of these. They have something of a hollow base and being that they're soft lead, should slug up to the cylinder throats.

    35W
     
  8. K-Rod

    K-Rod Member

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    Common practice with cast is you want a bullet that's .001-.002 over. If you slug your bore & it measures .452, your best choice for a CAST bullet would be .454. Leading is caused by a few things when shooting cast. Velocity, BHN/hardness of bullet, lube & diameter of the bullet. Too high of a velocity will "Torch" the base causing eading. Too soft of an alloy or lead will cause leading as it goes down the bore. Not enough lube or a lube that burns off too fast will cause leading because its the "Cushion". An under sized bullet is easier to torch the base & will actually bounce down the bore. All of these factor into accuracy.

    I'd go with a bullet that is sized to .454, BHN of at least 16, a deep enough lube groove to hold a good amount of 50/50(beeswax & Alox) lube & keep your velocity around 1000fps. If you cast your own go with a Lyman 454424. It's a 255gr Keith bullet that was specifically designed for the 45colt. I cast & shoot this bullet out of my 6in model 25 with great results.
     
  9. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I would think so. You want to be a thousandth or two larger. Just buy a small amount and test them out to be sure.
     
  10. USSR

    USSR Member

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    TooManyToys,

    You won't get an accurate measurement of your cylinder throats without using a set of pin/ball guages. My S&W 25-5's throats measure .4545", and I size my bullets to .455". So, yes, I would recommend you shoot .454" bullets in it.

    Don
     
  11. evan price

    evan price Member

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    454" will work fine.
     
  12. 918v

    918v Member

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    No matter what you use, it will lead. You need a new cylinder or a fancy hollow base bullet mold and dies to go along with it.
     
  13. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Not if he gets an accurate measurement of his throats and uses an appropriate size lead bullet.

    Don
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    454", and soft bullets.
    BNH 12 stands a good chanch of slugging up to fit over-size throats.

    BNH 16 doesn't.

    rc
     
  15. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    There is no reason not to try a .454" bullet. An adjustment in expander diameter may be needed. The RCBS cowboy dies use a larger one for lead. The seating die is something to watch also. If the bell is removed to soon, lead will be shaved from the oversize cast bullets.
     
  16. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Purchase some .457 dia round balls for a cap and ball revolver. Push them thru your cylinder mouths and get a set of micrometers then measure the ball diameter. Verniers can be as much as .003-.004 off when measuring inside diameters. You can use the remaining balls in your revolver with light charge of fast burning powder like 231
     
  17. 918v

    918v Member

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    At 65000 PSI.
     
  18. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  19. K-Rod

    K-Rod Member

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    454", and soft bullets. BNH 12 stands a good chanch of slugging up to fit over-size throats.

    BNH 16 doesn't.

    rc

    He wants to shoot .452 or .454. He said the throat measures at .457 so it doesn't matter what the BHN is. If he shoots bullets sized .458-.459 to accommodate a throat size of .457, he's way too big for his bore!! He asked what size to accommodate his bore which measures .452 & to try and prevent leading. A bullet sized to .454 with a BHN of 16 will not cause near as much leading as a .454 bullet with a BHN of 12.
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I had a S&W M25-5 and it shot poorly with 0.452 cast bullets. I remember leading and big groups at 25 yards. Perhaps 4 to 6 inch groups. I tried commercial 0.454" lead bullets and that reduced the groups to 4 inches or so, but it still was not a stellar shooter.

    So I got rid of it. Traded it and boot for this Model 1988 M25-7. This was the first production year that S&W started using 0.452" chamber throats in their 45LC revolvers; it is a fine and accurate pistol.

    ReducedM25-7BesideBoxDSCN2031.jpg

    reducedFactoryTargetM25-7DSCN2044.jpg
     
  21. USSR

    USSR Member

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    You're overlooking that he did not use pin/ball gauges, so his measurements are likely not correct. I'm shooting .455" bullets without problems.

    Don
     
  22. K-Rod

    K-Rod Member

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    Slugging the throats & bore with soft lead & then measuring the slug has been used for many many many years with great results. Lyman #2 was & still to some, is the universal alloy for casting which has a BHN of 15. He may not be getting an exact measurement like pin/ball gauges would give but its close enough & using bullets .001-.002 over will make up for the difference. Your getting good results with .455 bullets because your a hair over an exact measurement using pin/ball gauges.

    Slugging with soft lead, measuring with calipers & sizing .001-.002 is good enough. You don't have to re-invent the wheel using fancy, expensive gadgets. I stand by my original comment. Bullets .001-.002 over, BHN of 16 & velocity around 1000fps is gonna get the job done. I've done too much testing with 12 different calibers, 28 different style bullets, 7 different pistols & countless fired rounds to think otherwise.
     
  23. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I never noticed him saying he was going to load .45 Colt 250gn -260 gn bullets to 1,000 FPS.

    Did I miss that part of his posts somehow??

    If he is loading standard pressure .45 Colt, BNH 16 is too hard.

    Thats my story, and I'm sticking too it.

    Until he comes back and says he is loading +P loads.

    rc
     
  24. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Of course all of you are gonna do as you want.
    Were it me?
    I wouldn't use BHN 16, that just seems way too hard.

    I like Missouri Bullet Company's Cowboy #4 (12 BHN)
    In my Uberti 1873 it gives me GREAT accuracy & almost zero leading.
     
  25. CraigC
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    CraigC Member

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    Has nothing to do with quality control and everything to do with ambiguous dimensions for a 140yr old cartridge.


    More BS from 918v. Oversized chamber mouths are not a guarantee of leading or poor accuracy. Not ideal but not damning. Or maybe I imagined my Colt New Frontier .45Colt with .457" mouths shooting into 1"@25yds with .452's and no leading. Bottom line, you'll have to try it and see. It may shoot well with .452's and not lead the bore. It may need .454's or bigger. There are A LOT of .45's out there with oversized mouths and most of them shoot well with standard sized cast bullets.
     
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