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Old August 27, 2012, 11:26 PM   #1
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44 special and hard cast bullets

i just purchased a 624 s&w revolver. i have 500 hard-cast bullets i used in my 629. it seems i remember reading that a hard cast bullet can actually cause some leading when used in a low pressure round like the 44 special. something about the gasses blowing around the bullet instead of expanding the base and sealing. its a beautiful old revolver and i dont want to end up scrapping a lot of lead out of it. any thoughts? thanks
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Old August 28, 2012, 07:19 AM   #2
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Too hard a bullet can cause leading but I think the only way to find out is to try it. I've used commercial cast bullets* in 44 special and while there is a tiny bit of leading it's not a big deal to clean up.

*"hard cast" is on of those marketing terms that's far from carved in stone. Many companies use the term because their customers think they want hard bullets, but they are still fairly soft.
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Old August 28, 2012, 09:09 AM   #3
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Bullet fit is as important as alloy hardness, maybe more important.

Make sure that you don't have a bore constriction at the frame (common), and that your cylinder throats are about 0.001" large diameter than your (not restricted) groove diameter, and can proably shoot bullets bullets with a wide range of hardnesses without leading.

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Old August 28, 2012, 09:51 AM   #4
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Search the board on bore slugging to see how to find constrictions and throat sizes.

A bullet being "too hard" is neutralized by having the bullet sized large enough and having constrictions lapped out. The only instance in which a soft bullet is better is when pressure had to bump it up to seal the bore either because it started out on the small side or because it was narrowed by a constriction. If you don't have those two problems, the hard bullet won't lead more. Indeed, if your bore is smooth, you may find you can shoot them with no lube at all and still get no leading.
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Old August 28, 2012, 10:04 AM   #5
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Take one of the bullets and see how hard it is to push thru the chamber (throat) If its difficult to push thru you're probably okee pokee.
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Old August 28, 2012, 11:15 AM   #6
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Thank you for your input, much appreciated!
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