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Old September 13, 2012, 06:29 PM   #6
Mike / Tx
Senior Member
Join Date: April 8, 2000
Posts: 1,900
Thanks for the kudo's, I appreciate it. I however could have taken years to come up with what I did had it not been for the previous ground work laid out by so many others ahead of me. It has been with their sharing of knowledge and effort, that I worked through this as quick as I did. I DO owe them the thanks.

The base alloy I used is a 1/3/96 and after blending in a bit more pure lead and tin, I brought it to a 1.5/1.5/97. While that might not be a huge change, it made a dramatic change in the malleability. I went from finding bits and pieces within the first inch and having the base shank penetrate to within an inch of the bottom and sometimes beyond, to stopping within 8" of impact, and retaining all but around 10grs of the starting weight. I do not however think that this particular alloy will be as well suited to the higher velocity of the 41 and 44, and the jury is still out on the 454. If it will hang in there with the 44 up to around 1350 or so, I might give the 45-270-SAA a try in the 454. I mean worst case I have to get out the Chore Boy and do a bit of scrubbing. Best case I will have one heck of a hog slapper, for sure. Even if the HP don't quite cut it, I can still use the 300gr RFGC and get expansion from the already big flat nose on it.

As for the molds yes those were all from MP, The left one is the 452 45 270 SAA, the middle and right are the 452 640 with SM and LG pins. I also have one in a 41-258, and a 432-256, which are supposed to be as close to Keith's SWC dimensions as anyone can find. I can say this for certain, they shoot VERY well. The latter will be what I work on next with the next batch of alloy.

GP100, you absolutely right about the harder not always being better. This rang through most of what I have read over the past year and a half of research. The overwhelming theme has been fit is king and lube is queen, and everything else fall in line.

There are SO many variables in which one could use any number of different alloys to accomplish the same goal. The thing is if you cannot keep things somewhat consistent your never going to duplicate the same results. A slightly harder alloy might not expand, or might lead where you didn't have it before, or any number of things.

I have, since I began this, tried to keep somewhat decent notes on what I pour up. They might look like hogwash to someone else but to me they make perfect sense. When I make up a batch of alloy, I usually pour up at least a half dozen bullets, usually the Lee 452 255 as it has a nice size to it and I have a 2 cavity mold which works well with my ladle. These go into a snack baggie, with the date, temp poured, and the alloy used. I also do the same when I pour up a batch of bullets. This lets me take the sample at any given time after and check the hardness, without having to waste a perfectly good bullet. Having several samples lets me check at any interval I might want to as long as thee is still a flat spot left on them. To date I haven't run out of samples before shooting up the bullets or alloy used to pour them.

As for lubes, well I try and keep it simple. I use the 45/45/10 almost exclusively. I do however have enough raw materials to blend up several other great lubes once I get into my rifles. I also have a decent supply of Carnuba Red from LAR's as well as a good supply of Speed Green. While I haven't used any of it yet except a bit of the CR, I have been assured by plenty of folks that I will not need anything else, if I cannot get the bullets out the barrel with any one of these, I might as well forget about that particular barrel shooting lead.

My passion however is for my revolves. I hunt with them, I carry one of them on my hip while in the country almost everywhere I go on the property. You just never know when a hog will wander out into the open and provide an opportunity to test your skills, or add to the freezer. I REALLY hate to stop what I am doing right in the middle to skin and quarter one, but I will if I have to.
Mike / TX
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