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Old April 19, 2013, 09:40 AM   #1
LAH
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44 Special

Classic bullet for a classic cartridge. 9 BHN & will shortly have LBT Blue.

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Old April 19, 2013, 10:31 AM   #2
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Nice!
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Old April 19, 2013, 10:44 AM   #3
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Nice Keith bullets. Keith type bullets are indeed classic. However, the features that determine what Keith Type bullets do not stand-up to scrutiny. For instance, the crimp groove is too deep and encourages hand loaders to over-crimp and shorten the life of their brass. Look at the crimps on .44 Magnum factory loads and you will see that, despite close to maximum, they are not all that heavy.

Also consider the excessively deep and wide lube grove of a Keith Bullet. Keith oft times mentioned that his lube groove was intended to insure that there was enough lubricant to do the job. However, firing near-maximum .44 Magnum, cast bullets into snow, and recovering them when the snow melts demonstrates that almost all the the bullet lube is still in the groove; it was not consumed in the firing.

Also consider the shape of the lube groove. Elmer stated that the shape, flat bottom and flat sides, ensured that the lube would stay in the lube groove. Which begs the question: "What evidence did he have that the round-bottom lube grooves were loosing their lube during firing? Did he find lube that was blown out of the cylinder gap? If he did, he never mentioned it. If he did not find lube blown from the cylinder gap, the lube had no means of exit when in the barrel, and would not matter if it came out of the groove after firing. It seems Elmer "fixed" a nonexistent problem. Therefore, the overly large lube groove on a Keith bullet is unneeded, and wastes lube.

Lastly, the sharp shoulder, despite what Elmer claimed, does not, "...cut a full-caliber hole...", in game animals. The sharp shoulder does not touch the flesh due to the flat meplate of the bullet. The wide meplate of the bullet nose is what makes Elmer's bullets good performers on game...despite his other "improvements".

Last edited by dahermit; April 19, 2013 at 10:56 AM.
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Old April 19, 2013, 12:56 PM   #4
LAH
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Points well made but having fired untold thousands of these I've never had a problem with short case life. Guess I was lucky not to over crimp. Of course I've never tried to push the case mouth completely into the groove at the bottom of the front band. Will a crimp die do this?

I do know a solid stick of 1X4 lube will only last for 785 of these bullets. And you would think the rotation of the bullet would throw the lube out of the groove but every bullet I've personally fired though all my sixguns regardless of style the lube has remained in the groove, at least the ones I've picked up.

For game I could never tell what cut the hole but like you I assume the meplat. I do think the front band cuts paper best I can tell.

I have one question though since you're well versed in these bullets: What are the features that determine a Keith bullet?
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Old April 19, 2013, 01:07 PM   #5
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Even more classic is the 210gr Anderton bullet from the beginning of the last century. I believe it was designed for the .44 Russian over BP, but probably was used in the .44 spec. shortly after. Anderton, a professional shooter set a world's record using this bullet. The original Ideal mold designation was 429215. I'm guessing the mold was dropped when BP went out style and Ray Thompson picked up the designation for his lighter .44 mold.

I carry Elmer's bullet (mine casts to 260 grs.) over a buncha 2400 when camping in bear country, but the lighter Anderton bullet is great for casual shooting, accurate, low recoil etc. I carry it in my 396 @ 700 to 800 fps, my flat top and M-21 classic both shoot it well.

On the left is the Anderton bullet I used in a .44spec SAA because it cast to .434 and helped keep the gus cutting down. The one on the right is a 429478 made in the 90s

I guess it's too late to make a long story short.



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Old April 19, 2013, 04:41 PM   #6
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Good lookin' stuff there.
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Old April 19, 2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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Nice lookin' lead!
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Old April 19, 2013, 07:22 PM   #8
dahermit
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Quote:
...What are the features that determine a Keith bullet?...
Aside from the sharp shoulder, the large crimp groove, the shape size and shape of the lube groove, I remember Elmer (in his writings), insisted that each of the bands on the bullet be equal in width. As I remember, he was not happy with early Lyman molds because they were not faithful in that respect to his design. Also, a Keith bullet had a very large radius for the nose (with that flat nose), that assured a very heavy bullet compared to the caliber. It is noteworthy that the early Lyman 49421 .44 molds, although sold as "Keith-type bullets had a round lube groove. They changed that to the "trapezoid", shaped groove at about the time that RCBS got into the bullet mold business...which was the best thing to happen to we bullet casters. Lyman molds were just about the "only game in town" (we never heard of Hensley and Gibbs), back then. Then RCBS began producing better molds (bigger blocks, better finished blocks, thicker sprue plates, at a lower price), than Lyman and Lyman had to improve their product.
If anyone else can remember something about the original bullets as designed by Elmer Keith that I have overlooked, please share it with us.
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Old April 20, 2013, 05:31 AM   #9
Mike / Tx
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Unfortunately like many things, I feel I was born many years too late for what I enjoy most in life.

I DO however have an acquaintance who was around back in the day and was fortunate to have known several of the "icons" of the day, including both P.O. and Mr.Keith. I havn't really picked his knowledge on it as it sometimes gets a bit long winded, but I will get him over sometime soon and give it a go.

As for as my experience with them, well all I know is what I have read. I DO know that there has been considerable discussions on another board on it, and a lot of research was put into getting some of the MP designed molds to as close as possible to the proper spec for the said designs. Like I said I don't know that much one way or the other but I can say that the bullets I have cast from the MP molds I have with these designs are superbly accurate in ever caliber I have.

I also had a couple of the similar Lyman type molds, and using the same alloy
and charge weights, they didn't shoot quite as accurately. Does that mean they were sub par, not in the least, as there are thousands of folks getting stellar results from theirs.

I can also put in that before I got into casting my own a couple of years ago, I was looking hard at the SWC designs that were being poured by Dry Creek, as they seemed to have as close to what had been reported to be the Keith dimensions and such as any I had found. They had also been written to be a very accurate and well made product. I believe it as you can plainly see above, and in several other examples, these weren't poured up by no freshman for sure.
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Old April 20, 2013, 08:40 AM   #10
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Here's one of those 44 MP bullets Mike/Tx speaks of. You guys did a fine job designing this. They wanted three equal length bands of equal diameter. They said it would be 258 grains from wheel weights. They wanted .432 diameter. All this was accomplished.





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Old April 20, 2013, 02:50 PM   #11
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Elmer must be doing cartwheels of joy in his grave. Nice bullets.
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Old April 20, 2013, 07:43 PM   #12
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Thank you Sir.
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