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Discussion Starter #1
I am shopping for a mould for a .45LC Ruger Bisley. I have tried the 335wlngc bullets from Cast Performance and they are the best shooting bullets of any I've tried, jacketed or cast.

I'm trying to decide what weight and style of bullet to purchase a mould for.

I want to get something with a .450" nose length, to take advantage of powder space and help with accuracy, as your book recommends. I assume that at some point, as bullet weight goes down, you run out of enought bullet length to make a .450" nose. The nose on the Cast Perf bullets is much shorter than this.

I know that I don't want anything heavier than 340gr and nothing lighter than 280gr, and I want it gas-checked, but that's not narrowing it down much....

The primary use would be for whitetails, but it would need to work OK if pressed into service for pursuing elk or large bears.

I am currently shooting the store-bought Cast Performance 335gr bullet at around 1150fps, and very happy with it. The recoil is about all I care to experience, unless there is a special occassion. I could definitely do with less recoil for most uses and I'm strongly considering going lighter than 335gr for this reason if terminal effect and accuracy won't suffer very much.

Accuracy is primary, and killing power to 150yds is also important, but enough stability for busting rocks beyond that distance is a consideration.

I would probably shoot this bullet around 1000fps most often for practice, and concoct another full charge load for more serious undertakings.

What bullet do you recommend?

If nose length is .450" on a WLN and a WFN, what is the difference in bullet design? They both have the bore minus .090" meplat, right?

Thanks in advance for any help in this matter.
 

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Yes, both have the same meplat size.

The WLN is a power bullet, which maximizes powder space, but you aren't interested in max power, which is around 1450 fps with the 330 gr. Also the WLN needs 300 grains or more to get enough bearing for optimum accuracy. For these reasons, and the fact that you want to keep recoil, I recommend either a 280 or 300 gr WFN with .4 nose, which will give less jump to the rifling than the WLN with .450 nose, more bearing surface, and far more power potential than you want. It will kill best with 1200 to 1300 fps, so a bit lighter weight will hold recoil to your expectations, while delivering massive game killing punch out to at least 200 yards. The 280 gr is plenty adequate for elk and large bears if you crank it up to 1450 fps, but if quite certain of running into big bears, go for the 300 gr.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just to make sure I understand what you are saying, the difference between the WLN and the WFN is basically the nose length? Which effects bearing length due to the ogive length from the nose to the crimp groove? Or am I mistaken?

Can a 300gr bullet be made that has both the .450" nose for max powder capacity, and the greater bearing length from a shorter ogive that tapers to full-size ahead of the crimp groove?

My throats have been reamed to .4525, so a bullet with a forward driving band that large will physically fit in the gun.

I would like to have the extra powder capacity available, even if I do not use it 90% of the time.

It sounds to me like I want the 300gr. I might even go for the 325 if it gives a better bearing length and accuracy potential, as recoil can be reduced by putting in less powder. Unless going to 325gr will make the bullet less stable in the Ruger rifling twist??

Thank you for your help Veral!
 

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Exactly, the WLN ogive is much longer, and a different curve, and the ogive length is the only factor which effects bearing length. The crimp groove goes where ever the customer specifies, and can be out in the ogive even if desired, but normally is set at .450 or .500. So for max powder room select the nose length with you gun will handle, which is the answer to your second question.

A 320 or a bit heavier WLN will be more accurate than the 300 gr, will shoot well with somewhat reduced loads, but not with pl inking loads, and will give a power potential that no other bullet on earth can match. I think my catalog lists 320 and some heavier weights, but ask for whatever you want and I'll try to hit that weight.
I've shot up to 400 grains but velocity bogs down too much if weight is over 350 gr, even with the stoutest loads.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again Veral, and happy Thanksgiving to you today.

I've got it narrowed down more from your last answers.

I will either choose a 300gr WFN or about a 325gr WLN profile, both with a .450" nose length.

My questions now are these:

If I get a 300gr WFN with the .450" nose length, will there be enough bullet still in the case for a straight take-off and room for enough lube grooves?

Will a 325gr WLN work OK at 1000fps? Where does "plinking" velocity stop and "somewhat reduced" velocity start?

Which bullet would be more likely to stay stable at longer ranges (and lower velocities), say 300yds+ for rock busting? Or is it close enough to be a toss up?

Which would have more bearing length?

It seems like 1450 is about the "top" velocity to expect with both designs in a standard large framed Ruger .45? Of course I guess to some degree every gun has it's own answer to that question.
 

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First, understand that the WFN should not have a nose length over .4, and especially with this weight and smaller. With this bullet, 1450 fps will be easy to get with H110 or 296 powder, but that will be far below maximum potential, or maximum safe pressure. In other words, this bullet will confine the powder better with the loads you'll be using, causing a better ignition and burn. This will be your best bullet if you want to shoot it with reduced velocities and especially if you want those loads to be accurate at long ranges, like 200 yards to as far as you can hit.

The WLN with .450 nose will probably have a slightly shorter bearing length than the above, but I'm not dead sure, as I'd have to look at the cut charts to be sure. However, velocity potential will be about the same, even with the heavier weight, because of maximized powder space. This bullet will definately shoot accurately at velocities down to 1000 fps, or even 800 fps, but only at shorter ranges, with instability occuring at increasinly shorter range as velocities are lowered. I don't recommend this bullet unless you want to shoot the 1000 fps loads only at close ranges, which could be as little as 50 yards but accuracy will probably hold up very well out to 100-150 yards. The variable will be how well your revolver is aligned, and set up dimensionally, if the barrel is lapped, etc. This bullet is designed for maximum power possible, and should really be ordered only if the primary desire is heavy loads.

For FA 454 use, the WLN with .4 nose and a weight of 340 gr. (more if desired) is perhaps the optimum heavy smasher.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the help!

I am leaning really strongly toward the 300gr WFNGC with .400" nose now. That is a viable choice, isn't it?

What is the reason that a 300gr or lighter WFN with a .450" nose is a poor choice? Is it just the poor powder confinement or are there other reasons?

Is a 325gr or heavier WFN with a .450" nose a viable choice to minimize jump to the rifling? Would it have an accuracy edge on the 300gr WFN?

Regarding stability with the WFN, WLN, and LFN in the standard Ruger rifling twist, is the bullet length and weight more important than nose design? IE, if given a weight range of 300gr to 340gr, and choice of nose design, which bullet would be most stable at lower velocity/longer range? I realize long range will require a trip through the transonic range when compared to simply starting at low velocity. Would that change the answer? I ask, because it seems like the obvious answer would be 300gr WFN, but then that would lead you to think that a full wadcutter would be even better, and (I think) I know better than that.
 

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My advise is to get the 300 WFN with .4 nose. A longer nose doesn't allow enough lubricant or case neck grip. If you read what I wrote previously, I don't like to ever make the WFN with .450 nose, and the reason is because it has such a heavy driving band outside the case that chambering gets tricky if the bullets aren't sized fully.

In other words, the 45 caliber WFN with .4 nose is good in weights up to at least 350 gr, as the colt brass has a lot of powder room, and the 454 cannot use a longer nose length with any bullet. A 325 gr would have a slight accuracy edge over a 300 but must be shot at near full power to get optimum stability, whereas the 300 can will shoot accurately with much lighter and pleasant to shoot loads.

The WLN should not be selected in weights lower than 325 gr, in 45 caliber, or it won't have enough bearing for best accuracy. It can have a .45 nose for Rugers, but only .4 for 454

The most accurate long range bullet would be an LFN in 340 gr, with weight down to 300 gr being close in accuracy, but you don't want high power loads for your long range plinking. Stay with the 300 WFN. It is stable like a trout in water. Don't ever even think about transonic range with LBT revolver bullets. If you have the gun set up per my specifications and bullets properly fitted, they will shoot super accurate out to extreme range.

Full wadcutters are accurate only to about 50 yards and cannot be shot at supersonic speeds with accuracy, this due to poor flight form of the bullet..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks a ton for your wisdom and patience in answering my questions. I'm on my 5th trip through your book right now, and every time I learn something I didn't catch the last time through.

After Christmas is paid for, you will be getting an order from me for a 300gr WFN mould, .400" nose length, .452" dia.

I did find a post in this forum where you mention cutting a very short gas-check shank to increase the odds that a gas-checked style bullet could shoot well without the check. I will ask for the mould to be cut that way, unless you advise against it.
 

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Since heavy loads won't be your cup o' tea, a short check shank is a good option, as the reason for a long check shank is to carry and spit out any leading scraped from the bore with heavy loads.
I'll throw you one more option, which may appeal to you or others even more. Add $10 to the mold price and I'll cut one cavity with plain base, one with gas check, or if ordering a 4 cavity I'll put any combination of each desired. i.e. 1-3, 2-2, etc. for the same price. (The charge is for changing the pattern set up which is once for each type.)

I'm offering the option because a plain base will certainly out shoot the bullets with check shank and no check, though leaving the checks off on a bullet with short shank will give good results without a doubt. My point being, if you KNOW you'd like to shoot some plain base, get the mold cut to make you really happy. When shooting the plain base bullets, if some bore leading is encountered, run a few gas checked bullets through and the bore will be cleaned perfectly, with an almost undetectable difference in POI between the two styles when using light to moderate load. If the pb bullets are shot with full house pressure loads, the gc bullets will leave the bore at a higher velocity and give a lower point of impact which will be very noticeable at longer ranges IF LBT lube is used. This can reverse with many and probably most other bullet lubricants, and if it does, it is due to much higher pressure, and even dangeriously high, with the plain base than the gc, where as LBT lubricants give only slightly higher pressure with plainbase loads than with gc..
 

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Veral, I recently discovered your post to this question about WLN vs WFN for the .45 Colt. Thanks so much for posting your insights into this topic. Your answer is the holy grail for those of us who want to carry mild .45 loads for protection against bear, cougars, & wolves. I chose the .300 WFN .452 based on Ross Seyfried's April, 1998 article in Guns & Ammo. He uses 23 gr. of H110 - I use 20.5 gr. as 21 gr. begins to sting a little. Since then, I have wondered about switching to the 325 gr. LFN .452 as loaded by Buffalo Bore. Your article convinced me I made the correct choice. I'll be ordering a mould from you soon.
 

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You stated that it began to sting a little as you increased the powder charge. That means you sure don't want more weight, and in fact would probably do better with a bit less weight, so you can get the speed up for a more deadly killing punch.

Also. a smaller meplat, which the LFN has, if they are indeed using a bullet of my design, is counter productive.

A 280 gr WFN trotting along at 1200 fps (muzzle with both 44 and 45 cal) will knock any North American game down and ready for skinning almost instantly, almost every time, with a decent through the chest hit. And the bullet will still have enough steem to be very deadly when it exits. In other words you don't need to get hurt with recoil to get a deadly load, and in fact will be most deadly with your revolver when the load is easy enough on you that you can shoot with precisionl
 

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Thanks a bunch for your advice about this, Veral. I ordered a 300 gr. mould before I read your response, so I will consider ordering a 280 grain to see what I can do with the velocity in my Rugers.
 
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