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Does any have a load for lapping Ruger New Model Blackhawk in 44mag?

The Beartooth Tech. manual calls for a very low power load (airgun vel.) But offers no load data.

All I'm looking for here is a powder and charge weight to use with the Beartooth 44cal lapping bullets.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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It will vary by gun, but start at about 2.5 gr. of Bullseye, or similar powder like Red Dot. Seat the bullets backwards, flush with the case mouth, to take up as much air space as possible.

You will probably stick one or two in the bore. If a lot of them stick, up the powder charge a bit, if they are going so fast that they lead the barrel, reduce it.

For the first few I'd try the load above, if it seems like they are really zinging out of the barrel, reduce a little. As you lap it will take a little less powder. You should actually be able to see the bullets fly downrange when you get the charge right.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Wheelgunner,

I've used 2.5gr and 3.0gr. of Red Dot without sticking any slugs in the barrel, but as Mike points out, each revolver is a little different.

Which brings us to the point that I'm sure you've already picked up on, make sure your shooting at something that will allow you to recognize when the slug doesn't make all the way down the barrel. I always shoot in to a sand bank that makes it obvious that everything worked correctly. Obviously the last thing you want to do is find a stuck slug by shooting another one right behind it....even with light loads.

Dan
 

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Hey there everybody!

This past year I firelapped my stainless 44 mag Ruger SBH following Marshall's tech book to the letter and I got good results.

I decided to buy some Hodgdon's TITEGROUP powder because they advertise consistent burning, regardless of the powder position, and I figure that's a critical factor with really light loads.

I chronographed all of the 190 shots fired (Hey, it didn't cost anything extra. Besides, if the chrony number changes each time you shoot, you can be pretty sure the bullet left the barrel.)
I pretested 6 different loads ranging from 2.5 grains to 4.0 grains. The 4.0 gave 620fps and the 2.5 grains gave 385 fps. Nothing stuck.

I decided to go with 3.3 grains. None ever misfired or stuck in the barrel. Because the lapping bullets were not all precisely the same, and I didn't crimp them, there was a wide speed range. Some were as slow as 490 and others as high as 550. Mostly they were about 520 or 530.

OTHER: The proper seating depth is to seat the bullets deep enough so that none of the bullet surface with lapping compound on it is exposed to the light of day. Tnat minimizes your chance of scratching your cylinder walls when you insert the cartridge. After seating I wiped every cartridge clean with a nice soft cotton cloth.

My lapping bullets were so oversize that I had to put a tiny bell on the case mouths so they wouldn't shave off the lapping compound when seating them. After seating I put just enough crimp on so the case would fit into the cylinder holes.

Now that it is done, the cylinder throats and barrel sure are shiny. This project took a REALLY L-O-O-O-O-N-G TIME, but I'm glad I did it. Impatient people need not apply for the job of firelapper.

The only thing not shined up was the cylinder holes the cases lie in. So I took a fired brass case, got a drill bit the size of the primer pocket and drilled a hole that size. Then I bought a 1-1/2 inch stainless steel machine screw (8-32 I think) and a lock nut and bolted that screw through the primer hole with the threads and nut on the outside of the case. I put it in a cheap, slowturning battery powered drill, put some of the lapping compound on the outside of that brass 44 case, and ran it in and out of the cylinder holes, holding the drill in one hand and the cylinder in the other. I kept my eye on the second hand of a clock and ran the drill the same amount of time in each of the six cylinder holes, stopping every now and then to add a bit more lapping compound. I think I ran it about 2 minutes in each hole, but the time will vary for every drill and person.
Now those cylinder holes are so slick the cases just about fall out before I turn the cylinder upside down! :)

Have fun.
Greenhorn Dave
Melbourne, Fl (the Space Coast - where we shoot really large objects really long distances)
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Dave,

That's the first chrono data I've seen on lapping loads! Many thanks, it's very interesting.

As you no doubt noticed, sometimes you can see the bullets fly downrange at those speeds. Could you see all of them, if not about how fast do they have to be going before you can't see them anymore?

No real reason for this, just curious what you found.
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Greenhorn Dave,

Don't know if the "Greenhorn" applies to anyone that can handle a firelapping projuct like you did, excellent technique and report. I also found that I needed to bell the mouth and add a slight crimp. My belling (may have been excessive) required straightening before the cartridge would fit in the chamber.

While you had the patience to do it correctly, I didn't. Figured if a little elbow grease worked for impregnating the bullets, a lot of elbow grease would do it quicker. Well, it did, but I ended up with impregnated bullets that were .002/.003 undersize....obviously not a succesful way to fire lap.

Looking forward to your next project/data.

Dan
 

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Mike G -

I read about seeing the bullets go downrange and was looking forward to seeing that. I looked for a few rounds, but I never saw one. Probably has something to do with my eyesight and bifocals. After that I spent most of my time making sure my gun sights were pointed at the target through the middle of the Chrony 'shooting window' and not at the LED readout on the chronograph.

About chronographs: I bought the Chrony F-1 that sells for less than $100 and it is a great instrument. Years ago I had one that had a small 'shooting window' and I was always nervous about blowing it to smithereens, but the new F-1 has a really big shooting window so I would have to sneeze real big at the same time the hammer fell to take out my Chrony.

If anybody doesn't want to spent $100 to buy one, chip in with 3 or 4 buddies who aren't totally careless. After all, it's not used like your car -- they mostly sit on the shelf waiting to be used. And having one can be VERY educational !!!!!!!

One more interesting thing I can't wait to try: I have bifocal glasses for near reading and far seeing. I also have a mid-range pair of eyeglasses just for computer use. They focus at the same length as the end of my extended arm. I happened to be wearing those at the computer the other day when I picked up a revolver to dry fire (a computer boredom break) and pointed it at the neighbor's mailbox (after checking three times that the cylinder was empty). THAT WAS THE BEST SIGHT PICTURE I HAVE SEEN IN YEARS !!! The mailbox picture wasn't too bad, and the sights were astoundingly sharp. Just the way the experts say it should be. I am going to use my computer glasses next time I am at the range, and if it works I will get my next glasses with, trifocals -- the center cut focused at the length of mid-way down the barrel when I'm in my usual shooting stance.

Short question. Long answer. :)
Greenhorn Dave
 
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