Thursday, February 23, 2017


Bullets = Commercially made mass production projectiles .

Boolits = Hand cast, home made , custom sized projectiles for hand loading ammunition .
A while back I picked up an old single shot Harrington and Richardson Model 58 Handyrifle in 44 Magnum . Upon doing some research I learn it has the less than optimal Marlin 1 in 38 micro-grove rifling that is known to be over bore beyond the normal .429/.430 thousands . From what I read due to the slow rifling they seem to perform best with projectiles under 250 grain .
When I slugged the barrel with a soft lead weight and measured it we show .431 thousands
Before I bothered to do that I had ordered a Lee 429-200 RF mold . . . that is , four hundred and twenty nine thousands diameter , two hundred grain , round nose , flat point mold .
Looks like this . So after doing some digging I knew it might drop under size pills for my rifle and some additional fiddling might be needed to make them work . Either powder coating them or honing out the mold with some valve dressing compound might be in order .
 So I fired up the hot plate and the casting pot and figured I might as well find out what it does .
Needed some extra heat to get things going in the cold garage . Yes, I was next to the window and had a fan extracting the fumes .
Poured and sprue cut off
After some initial fumbling I got in to a rhythm .
An hour of work gets me a nice pile of decent looking 44 mag pills .
Half a cashew tub full .
They measure out between .430 thousands . . . .
. . . . and .428 thousands . . .  hmmmmm
They weigh out from 206.7 grains . . .
 . . . . to 209 grains as cast with my wheel weight lead mix .
I pushed a couple down the barrel with a dowel, and though a bit undersized according to the micrometer, they appear to be engaging the rifling well . So they might work just like that without resizing . Still have to see how they do for accuracy . If they don't work I might get a sizing die and size them all to .429 thousands and try my hand at powder-coating them to gain a couple thousands of an inch .
Alternatively I could hog out the mold using one of these boolits with some valve grinding compound and a screw in the base chucked in a drill .

02/24/17 Addendum: 
Referencing crimp question by Harry
 The Lyman cast bullet handbook does call for a heavy crimp on 44 mag for the reasons I mentioned in the comments.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fricking mess . . .

I don't understand those that say they love winter. I think that's rather like the faithful wife who loves her husband despite the fact he beats her.
Last week we had bare patches of grass in the back yard. Then we got about ten inches of snow last Tuesday and another foot on Thursday. Saturday we spent three and a half  hours digging out of Friday night's twelve inches. Sunday morning was overcast and more snow expected. Made a quick dash up to Freeport and by the time we made it back home it started spitting snow again.
By two pm it was looking like this
By four pm there was enough our neighbor Tim across the street got plowed out.
And the town public works dept was knocking back the tops of the snow banks
By ten pm there was about ten inches on my grilling pad
It is gonna be a big one
Coming down in buckets
And more forecast for Wednesday
Eight am on Monday looking out the bathroom window. Must be sixteen inches on the grill pad.
Birds were desperate for food
Truck is buried
Had to dig ourselves out the back door. It was about three feet deep when I started.
Took ten minutes just to make it out to the garage
Yardstick on the cement grilling pad
Fifteen inches.
Three hours later I got the back . . .
 . . . and driveway cleared out,
 Annie dug out the truck and I took another hour and half to clear the roof
Will need a couple more hours of work before I am ready to get beat again on Wednesday