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Discussion Starter #1
I want to cast round balls to shoot in my 357,44 or 45LC. I have no idea what load to use or which caliber shoots them best. I intend to use them for plinking and busting the occasional squirrel. I could really use some help on this one, it sounds like a lot of fun, if I could get some info to save me a lot of time experimenting I would be grateful. Thanks Much
 

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When I was working up multi-ball loads for my .44 mag and .44 spcl, I used loading data for lead bullets of the near equal weight. Results were miserable, spread was completely unreliable, sometime giving a single ragged hole, other time spreading out way too far. For single ball loading, I tried using loading data for the lightest lead bullet I could find. Leading seems to be problem even when they were lubed and accuracy was never any good. I suspect it is sort of like the muzzle loader shooting round balls. They require a really slow twist of around 1:60 for best results, and the rifling in handguns is just a touch faster than that. When I tried to shoot RB in ML in twists faster than 1:48 I have had no luck in the accuracy department. I may be wrong, but from what I saw while dickering with RB in the 44s accuracy is pitiful at best, and any squirrel being shot at with any of my loads was perfectly safe unless they were sitting on the end of the barrel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks BigBore, I have found out that getting them to work is a pain. The concept of a quiet load that doesnt travel far is had to give up.
I can't believe Hickok became so famous shooting that little 36 caliber ball in his Navy Colts.:confused:
 

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hey redhawk
j taffin has good light plinking and hunting loads for light cast bullets in all three cal you are looking for, probably a lot more accurate than a round ball would be. several years ago I recall an article,I believe in american handgunner, that put together a 3 ball load in a 357 case using a light 158g powder charge and 3 36cal balls. the load was designed to be used as a self defense home load that would not shoot thru walls and endanger neighbors. I do not think the load was accurate past a few yards although I do know of one person in kansas who uses this load to kill turkeys off his tractor while discing his grain fields (not a legal means of hunting). He shoots it from a worn out blackhawk and is only accurate to about 10 yds if that.
 

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BigBoar,
I had the same trouble with the muzzle loading rifles. I could not get a 1/48 to shoot a patched ball. Had to go to a conical.
In this case you are asking the round ball to stabilize, without a patch, in a barrel that is too short, too tight a twist and with an air gap. I don't think it will happen.
There are a lot of "squib" loads in the literature.
I have shot 6 gr of Unique for a very mild low speed load in the .44 mag.
With the low speed loads you must always be aware of whether the bullet actually exits the barrel. A friend gave me some "low level" reloads to try. The first round locked the cylinder because the bullet was only halfway into the forcing cone. I gave him the rest of them back.
 

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I don't know about the round balls in the cartridges, but I do know my quick twist inline will shoot patched balls quite well if the velocity is backed off. You 'd likely be better off to look at some of the extreme lightwieght wadcutter moulds that are available from ballisticast if you want to spend the cake to persue this idea. They have them in all the calibers you mentioned I think. You could buy one mould with all of them in it, but it would be a pricey mould. These are projectiles that I believe where intended to shoot 2 or 3 to the cartridge, I seem to remember reading an article with these quite a few years ago. These have lube grooves in them, so the leading problem associated with shooting an unlubed, or innefectivley lubed ball that does not neccesarily fit your bore may be reduced or negated altogether. If you hunt around, you may be able to find other mould mfg's who have some of these available, as the solution I suggested would cost you about two bills for a three cavity mould with one of each caliber in it. I would suggest using a charge of bulleye or 231 or No2 that is listed for a light cast bullet and working your way down for something like this. You might be better seved by using wax bullets like the old time trick shooters used, depending on how far away those squirrels are. Cheaper than the mould would be a 22 revolver, like a Taurus, shooting CB caps or 22 shorts. I've shot a couple of these and I suspect the accuracy would be on par with, or superior to, the loads put together with the expensive moulds and a bunch of load development.
 
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