Yes, the Keith design is still quite popular. The problem is over the years the true design has been quite bastardized. The true Keith had a wide forward driving band and I believe the nose didn't taper as much as some designs do today. Contrary to popular belief, the front driving band does not control wound channel diameter. The meplat (nose) diameter and velocity does.
LBT designs have wide meplats to take advantage of this fact. They are also designed to hang as much lead outside the case as possible affording more powder room in the case.
The Keith is a great game killer in it's own right and you won't go wrong with it. However, the LBT designs are constructed to solely achieve as big a wound diameter and as great a penetration on game as possible. Think of them as the "high performance bassboats" of bullets.
Take a tour around this site and check out all the info here, there is a ton of it.
Yes, we do still offer the true Keith bullet... and it does have three equal width driving bands and a square lube groove, just like Elmer originally designed it! They were, and still are great bullets in the .44 Magnum! They still kill game like they did 40 years ago.
My preferences however are for the wide meplat LBT style bullets with their radiused lube grooves and gentle ogive going to full bullet diameter from the wide meplat. They are very forgiving during load development, are more effiecient than the older Keith design, and superbly accurate in nearly all guns.
But, then again, it's personal choice... I very seriously doubt that most critters harvested with the .44 magnum would notice the difference in bullets anyhow!
I shoot the Keith bullet in my 4-inch 629 .44. I used to shoot 22.0gr of 2400 with this bullet but after Alliant took over I have cut it back to 21.0gr. It shoots superb and makes a great all-around bullet. I shoot it as a tribute to the man himself! Glad to have Marshall making this grand bullet for those of us who don't cast.........YET!
Yes, I think the Keith-style is still the overwhelming favorite of cast bullet shooters everywhere. Not that the LBT-style is anything less than terrific as a game getter, it's just that Elmer's design had a 50 year headstart!
I don't cast as much as I used to, but still break out the furnace each Fall to make up a bunch of them in Lyman moulds in .44 and .45 calibers.
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