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light bullet for 44

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:36 pm
by mtngun
From Bass Ackwards about a bullet he nicknamed "Katie":
You might not remember, but I did a 225 grain 44 caliber bullet with only a
GC groove for lube. I think I have shot it enough that I can say that short
bullets don't fly well at longer ranges. And .... short bullets don't like
faster powders. That first one wasn't new to me, but the second is.

Well here is a pick of that bullet in my Smith at 50 yards. This is now
the 5th gun that this has worked in. And I found a good test load for
anything from 200 - 250 grain bullets. 16.5 grains of 2400. Oh that group
is 1.46". Not bad for open sights huh? That was the best one. My average
is 2 1/4".

Re: light bullet for 44

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:03 pm
by badbanker

I've been reading lots of interesting information here - because I don't know much about casting - an am wondering if the following probably work for a plinking bullet for a .44 mag at 44 special velocities:

250 grn weight, plain base, .10 front band, .250 nose length, 75% meplat ?

I'm looking to cast a bullet that would be reasonably good on paper at less than magnum velocity (therefore easy to practice with), but would still be very ugly to be on the receiving end of. I'd appreciate any thoughts or adjustments. Dave.

Re: light bullet for 44

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:50 pm
by mtngun
In short, I don't think your gun will be crazy about it, and this is coming from someone who spent a lot of time and money looking for something similar.

If you must try a light bullet, then go with a smaller meplat, like 60%. Short blunt bullets don't tend to shoot well.

Just my guess, and as always, every gun is different.

Re: light bullet for 44

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:53 pm
by badbanker
Thank you for your thoughts, but this leads to more questions:

1. How do you resist referring to some of us dingbats as "young grasshopper" (or something a lot less polite)?

2. How does a 148 grain wadcutter (.38 special) manage to work? Am I thinking in much shorter range to target than you, or does this concept not work well in larger calibers, or, or, or ?

Thanks for all your help. Dave.

Re: light bullet for 44

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 7:16 pm
by mtngun
Your question is not dumb.

Most of us would like to shoot lighter cast bullets. It would save lead and reduce recoil. Realistically, 99% of our shooting is plinking, and we don't need an elephant load for plinking.

I think I have tried light cast bullets in all of my guns at one time or another. I can recall only one success story -- a 120 grain Lyman spitzer in the 308 winchester. And only with one particular powder and charge. It was a finicky bullet.

I spent a lot of time trying to get Veral's 230 grain ogival wadcutter to shoot in a S&W 44 -- I was on the same mission as you, looking for less recoil yet still punch a big hole in something -- but the short, blunt bullet would wobble and shoot patterns with any powder or velocity and at any range.

Your proposed 250 grain 75% meplat is not that short or that blunt, so you might get away with it. Still, I think it would be easier to get decent accuracy with a smaller meplat, similar to the Bass Ackwards 225 grainer.

The question about the 38 wadcutters is a fair one. I've never shot a 38 wadcutter, so I can't say much about them. I've heard they destabilize past 50 yards, though.

I think most 38 special revolvers have a pretty fast twist, 1-14" or something like that. That might help stabilize the short, blunt bullets.

There are two problems with light bullets. One, they don't have much bearing length, and cast bullets need bearing length. Two, the blunt, short bullets have the aerodynamics of a flying ashtray. They want to tumble. They rarely actually tumble, but the holes in the paper will be oval instead of round, suggesting they are not stabilizing well.

I'm not your boss, and I'm not going to tell you what to do, but you asked for advice, Sorry it wasn't what you wanted to hear.

I've never actually tried this......, but if I were to resume my quest for a light but accurate revolver bullet, I'd start with the Keith platform, except with a very short nose and modest meplat. The Keith shoulder might provide some killing power despite the small meplat. The bullet has decent bearing length. This is just armchair theory, so don't take it to the bank.

Re: light bullet for 44

Posted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:33 pm
by badbanker
Thanks for your advice. Think I will opt for a heavier bullet rather than give up meplat or stability. The recoil is still a lot easier to manage than a snub nosed .38.

She who must be obeyed (and is laughing over my shoulder) says we should have funds saved up in a few weeks to order a mold. Thanks. Dave.

Re: light bullet for 44

Posted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:36 pm
by Angelrose1
A light load I've always considered suitable for deer to 100 yards is a 240g cast bullet with Unique. 2 inch groups at 1400 fps in my rifle at well under the max Alliant load. Effective and virtually no recoil to me and a real fun shooter.