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Discussion Starter #1
Mr. Smith,

Do you still offer the Ball Bullet mould, and if so, how do I go about getting the dimensions you need for it?

Do you recommend pure lead or ww for this bullet?

Thanks,
 

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Yes I still offer this bullet in any caliber. The dimensions I need are cylinder throat diameter only, but you should be sure barrel groove diameter is a bit smaller, same as with any revolver. Also, I recommend polishing the cylinder throats a bit and making sure the mouth of the holes are slightly rounded so lead is sized a bit when bullets are seated, rather than shaved. Air cooled WW works great and is probably best if you want to soup the gun up a bit as I describe below. Pure lead will let them seat a bit easier if using straight black. I had no luck at all getting ignition with black powder substitute.

I cut the lower drive band for a slightly loose fit and the forward band a couple thousandths oversize. The forward band will have the same position as the bearing of a roundball would have. For those who don't know about my BB (ball bullet). It is the same height as a round ball and is a round ball from center of it's height up, with a smal to medium flat, as desired by the customer, but is a standard bullet from center down, with one grease groove and a lower bearing band.. This as viewed setting on a table. Weight is somewhat heavier than a round ball of coarse, velocity from a black powder revolver will be about the same as a ball, accuracy and impact much greater. When I loaded them in a Ruger, which has about the same strengh as their 44 magnums, I mixed about 2 parts unique with one part FFF black, to get a whole lot more snap out of it. Highest power was obtained with 2 grains FFF as an igniter and the rest of the space filled with Unique.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What would you say the weight of the ball bullet would be on average, 160g to 170g? Right now I have the Lee mould that weights in at around 220g. It casts about .610 in length. I don't like the mould and am looking for a good happy medium between the heavy 220g and a round ball for short range whitetails. It was, however, the only thing that was available at the time.

I am really interested in this ball bullet and am wondering if there is perhaps a universal size for the OA as I would like to cast for my friends OA as well as my own. Hopefully our throats are very close in dimension. If not, he may be on his own. You also mention a flat on the nose?

When you say that you mixed 2p of Unique to 1p of FFFg, did you actually mix it into a dry solution or just layered the cylinder with FFFg first then Unique? This is getting interesting. I have had my cylinders bored deeper to accept a larger charge already, so I may steer clear of the smokeless hot rodding.

Once again, thanks,

Mike
 

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I've forgotten the weights now, as I haven't cut these molds for some time, but length is the same as diameter with all calibers. ( I make them for 30 caliber up to 50 caliber, for rifle and revolver use.)

I'm going to guess weight will be not less than 10% more, or more than 20% more than a round ball.

The flat, I can't eliminate with my cutting method which is lathe boring, but it can be down to about 1/8 inch which is hardly noticeable, and of no effect on performance, or it can be as large as the customer wants. The benefits of a large flat, or meplat, is it allows more powder space, because the BB is seated out farther, whereas a BB reduces powder space a bit compared to a round ball. Of coarse the second and greatest benefit of a good sized flat is killing impact.

I mixed the powder together dry. Just shook them up a little in the powder horn. This for ease of loading. Once mixed it is nearly invisible in the black and would probably require a magnifying glass to be seen for most people, so be sure it doesn't get mixed up with all black powder. For the max loads with mostly Unique I used just enough black to get ignition, the rest Unique. Velocity was 1100 fps in from the Ruger, which is far from a high pressure load, yet too much for many weak black powder revolvers. I'm guessing pressure was well below most standard velocity 38 special loads, and the report was not loud at all. Just slightly more than with FFF.
 
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