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Old November 29, 2011, 09:20 PM   #1
Hardcase
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.45ACP bullets in .44 revolvers

I just had one of those dull flashes of brilliance that comes along every so often and I thought that I'd run it by you guys.

I cast a .452" lead round nose bullet for my 1911s and as I was looking at one, I couldn't help but think that it sure looked like it would fit in a .44 1860 or 1858. I could cast a few up with stick-on wheel weights. The mold that I have is for tumble-lube bullets, so it has a bunch of ridges instead of a grease groove. The bullets are nominally 230 grains.

What do you think? Obviously I'd need to load with a press - they won't clear the ram.
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Old November 29, 2011, 09:38 PM   #2
zullo74
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Try it. No harm can be done. Expect more recoil and a higher POI.
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Old November 29, 2011, 09:41 PM   #3
Lee McNelly
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429 vs 452

dont like difference
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Old November 29, 2011, 09:44 PM   #4
Hawg
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I think the trick will be getting them started straight.
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Old November 29, 2011, 09:49 PM   #5
zullo74
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Lee,

.44 C&B revolvers use a .452 bore. You are thinking of .44 Special or .44 Magnum.
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Old November 29, 2011, 10:38 PM   #6
wittzo
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I mostly use them in .45 Colt and .45 ACP, but they'll work in cap and ball revolvers. Most people say that roundball is more accurate, though.

You'll probably have to use a cylinder loader.
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Old November 30, 2011, 07:52 AM   #7
darkgael
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Size

I have seen load data for .44s C&B guns that spec bullets from .451" to .454". I suspect, though, that this may be more trouble than it is worth. Round balls tend to be more accurate in my guns.
You'd need to cast them in pure lead or 1-20, 1-30. WW alloy will make for harder loading, I imagine.
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Last edited by darkgael; November 30, 2011 at 07:58 AM.
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Old November 30, 2011, 09:35 AM   #8
Noz
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The harder bullets can be, and probably should be, loaded "off the gun". I would definitely use a lubed wad under or grease over the bullet to help prevent a chain fire. The harder alloy will not swage down to a perfect seal in the chambers as would a dead soft round ball.
and, outside of this being an academic exercise, there is no real value in it. The bullets will hit harder at the expense of some accuracy.
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Old November 30, 2011, 10:18 AM   #9
Hardcase
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FWIW, the stick-on wheel weights are pretty close to pure lead. They're what I cast round balls with. I'll make up a bunch of .452s with them and give it a go and let you guys know what happens.

I don't think that I'll have a problem starting them straight because there's just a touch of a "shelf" at the base of the bullet caused by the lube ridges.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate this weekend!
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Old December 1, 2011, 09:29 PM   #10
Gatofeo
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This question comes up all the time, in a variety of message boards.
Short answer:

Bullets designed for cap and ball revolvers have heel, a shank on the base of the bullet smaller than the chamber. This slips into the chamber and helps to align the bullet straight before ramming.
Modern bullets don't have heels. It's difficult to ram them straight.

Modern bullets are usually much harder alloy than is recommended in cap and ball revolvers.

Modern bullets use lubricants inappropriate to black powder and its substitutes. You need a moist lube, not containing petroleum oils or greases, to keep the fouling soft.

As has been pointed out, there is nothing to be gained. If you MUST use a conical bullet, use one of pure lead or nearly so, employing a heel, and the proper lubricant.

I tried .45 ACP lead bullets in the early 1970s; the lead roundnose made by Speer. It was an exercise in aggravation and poor accuracy.
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