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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sitting on the fence. For cowboy shooting, and general lead slinging.
I shot a pretty good group with Keith sytle 429421 bullets, from my Vaquero, which i cast from wheelweights at 245 gr.
Has anybody made a comparison of accuracy between RNFP cowboy 240s and the Keith design?
I will buy bullets, cause the mold I have is undersize for my bore.
They both feed fine in my marlin, so that's not a concern.
Humpty
 

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Humpty,
I have found that in a good revolver with properly sized chamber throats, in relation to bore size, and a properly cut forcing cone, that it makes little difference what type of bullet you use if the revolver is timed properly so that the cylinder lines up with the barrel as closely as possible. In some revolvers, where all the above is not to be had, the RNFP bullets can shoot better in my experience. The Keith is a better hunting design and the holes are easy to see on the target. I have not played around with any pistol caliber rounds in a lever gun, with the exception of an old 92 in 25-20, so I can't offer you any help there. The most important thing I have found shooting cast bullets in ANY type of weapon, is the bullet to bore size and appropriate alloy for the velocity you intend to shoot your lead bullets at.

You may be able to experiment with alloy or casting temp in order to make your existing mould usable, if that is something you're interested in.
 

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Humpty, you don't say if you hunt or shoot CAS with your piece.
For CAS the round nose design is a must for trouble free reloading of a pistol. In CAS rifle the Keith square edge sometimes gets shaved and can result in a jam.
I started CAS with Keith designs but now use Lyman 'cowboy' styles exclusively. Remember CAS is not about extreme accuracy but flawless reliability of feed.
I still use many Keith designs for other target shoots.
 

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I've been pondering the same question

I shoot 45 Colt in various S&Ws and a Rossie model 92. I've got several 4 cavity molds in this caliber, throwing SWCs. I've been curious about finding a 4 cavity mold, each, for a 250 grain and a 300 grain round nose, flat point bullet.
My current 300 grain bullet is a gas checked SWC.
Jim
 

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Hi, Jim:
Lyman makes the 452664 250 gr. cowboy flatnose in a 4 holer, p/n 2670664. I like the .38 358665 FN in my M28.

Bye
Jack
 

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I have a new Lyman 4 cavity for the 45, it's the cowboy design. Be forewarned that it is a bevel base style if you use a base first sizer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
All my guns are .44 mag. I was kinda looking for one that does everything well, cas or ram slamming. Don't hunt.
I have 2 Vaqeros and a Marlin for cas, and a OM SBH for regular shootin. Will buy .432 bullits whichever design i get. Mebee I should get some of each. I made a dozen dummys with the Keith and they feed fine in the marlin. Don;t know if It will cycle hundreds of rounds without problems, though. Maybe i'll cast a bunch and take both kinds to my next match, to make sure I won't have rifle problems.

Humpty
 

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I have had excellent results with the Lyman 429421 that you mention. If it works well in your guns, it would be my first choice because it has worked well for me. Have you slugged your barrel? .432 isn't out of norm, but it could cause chambering problems if you have a weapon with a tight chamber. I wouldn't worry about it much, but it's a possibility with thick brass in a tight chamber. It's all about what works well in your guns.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All four guns slug .431. Chamber mouths are big enough to shoot .432, in fact i\I have used Mid Kansas RNFP Cowboy bullets in .432, in the past.
Humpty
 

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It's good to see you have uniformity in your weapons. It makes it a lot easier to load one bullet in one case with one powder. I wish I could say the same. Like I said in the last post, if it works, use it and don't look back. We sometimes get too tied up in trying to find perfection, or close to it, and keep looking for something more or better. Your shooting will improve a lot more on the range than at the loading bench. Shoot straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I came to the realization that I had not slugged the SBH. It is .430 with .432 throats. Nolo problemo.
All cowboy matches have been shot with .431 Laser-cast 200 RNFP, except the first one, which I used .432 Mid Kansas 200.
I did not like the MK cowboy lube, too messy. They are the only place I've found .432 bullets, and are a little less expensive than laser-cast, here. It might be about the same if I lived further from the factory.
I will order the standard bullet, next time, BHN 16 instead of 11, hopefully a harder, less messy lube. I'm going up to 240 SWC, since both Vaqueros shoot low, and I've found the keith 245, I cast, to group well. It is more appropriate in the SBH I think for hotter loads. I don't expect to go more than about 11-12 gr Unique, so BHN16 should be fine.
Humpty
 

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I have a Marlin 1894C in .357 and a Ruger revolver. Both date from 1984, so the Marlin is Microgroove and doesn't like cast bullets loaded to .357 Magnum velocities, but it does very well with 158-gr. lead at subsonic velocities, and handles certain heavier plainbased bullets of 175-180 grs. having a long bearing surface to about 1400 f.p.s. I haven't tried gaschecked lead bullets in it because if a plainbased lead bullet doesn't do the job I go right to jackets and keep a supply of factory bulk Remington 158-gr. JHPs for the revolver and JSPs for the rifle.

I don't shoot CASS. Both of my guns are used for plinking, varmint, small game and turkey hunting. The .38 Special is almost ideal as a "woods loafing" round. It doesn't shoot quite as flat as a .32-20, but the brass is more common and it has more energy. It is also highly accurate, effective on varmints and edibles, and very cheap to shoot.

I use the Saeco #358 158-gr. FN Cowboy bullet cast of wheelweights for just about everything. My loads split the difference between standard velocity factory LRN and +P. I have found best results for shooting steel targets at 100 and 200 yards using loads which give 800 +/- 30 f.p.s. in the revolver and 970 +/- 30 f.p.s. in the 18" Marlin. Heavier loads don't group as well for me.

Charges I use are either 3.7 grs. of Bullseye, 4.2 grs. of W-W231, 4.6 grs. of SR-7625 or 4.8 grs. of PB in .38 Special cases with the Federal 200 primer.

Bullets are cast uniformly frosted and allowed to air cool. I don't quench because I don't want any additional hardening. My bullet lubricant is Lee Liquid Alox. I tumble bullets all over to a light golden color and this is all that is needed. I assemble my loads with the unsized bullets, and then run every cartridge through the Lee Factory Crimp die. This has a built-in carbide sizer which full-length sizes the entire round. This sizes the bullet only as much as needed for reliable function, completely eliminating "fat" rounds which chamber hard in the revolver. Bullet deformation is reduced because sizing of the bullet is done in compression by the die sizing the case, rather than in shear. This makes assembling large quantities of loads fast, easy and consistent.

I feel that it's important to trim all cases initially with the Lee trimmer. I use this in a drill press and can do 1000 cases an hour. The first time around using new brass I also uniform flash holes and primer pockets using the same tools I do with my benchrst rifle cases. This only needs to be done once and pays great dividends in accuracy. Mixed headstamp, trimmed and prepped brass makes more accurate loads than new, bulk unprepped brass of the same headstamp.

I expect "good" loads to produce 12-shot groups of 2" or less at 25 yards in the revolver and about the same at 50 yards with iron sights in the rifle. I have no trouble keeping almost all rounds in fast offhand shooting with the revolver at 50 yards on the www.MGMtargets.com 6" automatic setting Colt Speed Plate, or with the Marlin at 100 yards, or a hanging 12" gong at 200 yards with the rifle.

I feel that it makes more sense to use one basic load and learn it's trajectory, rather than to have a bunch of different ones and not know how they shoot at unknown ranges.

I don't view the .357 lever gun as a deer rifle, but if reduced to that, I would use factory 158-gr. jacketed loads or equivalent handloads and would feel confident within 100 yards.
 

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Hi Ed, welcome to the forums. I think you will like it here. Lots of good discussions and no flaming!
 

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Thanks, I'll stick around as long as I keep having fun and think I can do some good. I also hang around at loadyourown.com
 
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