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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, hope you folks can help . I have an earily run of the above gun in 44 mag. As near as I can measure after sluging the bore and throats I found the following measurements; bore .428 and throats .432 to 4325. I've triel .431 cast bullets in bevel base and plain base from hardness 16 to 22. They all lead badly in the first couple inches of barrel.Any suggestions? I may sell this or have Dave Clements convert it to 45 colt. Thank you for any information you can pass along.
Hawks
 

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Hawks,

The problem you are having with leading could be that the bullets are too hard or that you aren't pushing them hard enough.

You didn't say if you are casting or are buying commercial bullets. Commercial bullets frequently cause leading problems due to skimping on lube quality and tin content in the alloy. Both of these are done for the sake of cost and profit. No allusion to Beartooth is intended, thay are one of the truly high-quality commercial cast bullets.

Another reason for your problem could be frame choke in the barrel which sizes the bullets smaller than the rest of the bore. WWhen the bullet gets out of the choke gasses blow by causing fusion of the surface of the bullet. If the pressure/hardness relationship is correct then the bullet should slug up after passing the choke. There are numerous posts on this subject.

The early Mountain Guns, and by now supposedly all centerfire guns by S&W, have barrels which are rifled by EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining). They apparently had some difficulty controlling dimensions as your somewhat tight bore demonstrates. I have a .44M which has a groove measurement of .435". It wouldn't stop leading until the throats were reamed to .4375 (7/16"). By then the chambers are so tight that you don't have to size fired brass before reloading, just bell it. The expansion allowed is within the elastic limits of the brass.

If you are casting your own bullets. try some at about 12 Brinnell and see if that doesnt help. LBT, Beartooth or Saeco Green lubes will probably help too.
 

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Hawk,
Just a couple of additional thoughts in addition to alk8944' exellent post.

I have a Ruger 44 mag with similiar cylinder throats. It shot fine but leaded badly will all the practice lead bullets I bought until I bought some that were .432 instead of .430 or .431. Problem instantly solved. The guns shoots great even with the smaller bullets but the .432 bullets eliminate the leading problem. I got them from Mid Kansas since they are among the very few economy bullet makers that offer different diameters up to .432.

Another cheap solution is to develop some good loads, even if it is leading. If they shoot great (sometimes they do) all you need to do use a good lead scrubber at the end of a shoot.

You can firelapp the gun (get the Beartooth manual for details) and that may help. In most of my handguns it helped. In the case of the Ruger mentioned above, it did not but bigger bullets provided the cure.

Before you sell the gun or get David to rechamber it, you could cut your losses and shoot gas checked bullets like the Beartooth. It hurts to even think it but you could shoot jacketed bullets.

I prefer the cheap solutions first and, if they fail, go on to the more expensive ones. Hope this is of some help.

Bill M
 

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That's a seriously undersized bore. I'd consider lapping it, if nothing else it will ease the transition from the cylinder to the barrel. Did you notice the slug getting real tight at the frame? Did you push a slug halfway into the muzzle then pull it out and check the diameter at the muzzle?

All the guns I have lapped have had serious reductions in lead fouling, some dramatically so.

Frankly, lead fouling isn't the problem some people make it out to be. Shoot a cylinderful of jacketed bullets before you head home from the range.... problem solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks

Thank you all!! I will try some .432 from Mid Kansas. It did feel as if there was some constriction in the barrel near the frame so I'll also fire lap. Really want this weapon to work out, it's just so handy for woods bumming. Once again thank you!!

Hawks
 
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