View Full Version : New bullet design for Ruger Old Army

Dick Dastardly
09-21-2005, 02:06 AM
I've designed a very successful new bullet for the Ruger Old Army. The mold is made by LEE Precision of Hartford, WI. The bullet name is DD/ROA.

Basically it is the fine LEE conical with a true Big Lube(tm) lube grove and a small lube retainer ring 1/8" above the rebated base. The base is .452 and just fits inside the ROA chamber mouth. The lube/sized bullet sits in the chamber and rests on the small lube retainer ring for absolutely square seating. I lube/size my DD/ROA Big Lube(tm) bullets to .454 and they give me a nice tight interference fit without shaving any metal. This allows me to use casting metal up to, and including, wheel weight hardness.

The bullets are very accurate. Fouling problems are basically eliminated and this design is now running full twelve stage SASS main matches without need for cleaning to maintain accuracy or function.

My email address is rrhody@spwl.net.


09-21-2005, 09:36 AM
I have an old Lyman mould for casting a hollow base conical bullet and Lyman stated it as being for the Remington Army cap n ball revolver. I shoot it out of my Ruger New Army and there isn't any bullet in the world that is going to beat it. It's one of the most accurate handguns that I've ever shot including alot of match auto's and high grade double action centerfires. It does everything you claim your bullet does, seats tight without shaving, has lube grooves (I don't even cover the cylinder mouth with lube like advised), keeps the barrel pretty clean, can cast it out of any alloy and it works, and it's deadly accurate. So nothing new there you got.


09-21-2005, 11:01 AM
Can pictures of both boolits be posted? I'd like to see examples of each. I have an ROA that has not been out of the safe for a while.



09-21-2005, 12:55 PM
Here's mine:



Dick Dastardly
09-21-2005, 01:33 PM
I'd love to post a photo of the DD/ROA bullet, but the insert image dohickey doesn't work. It asks about a java script and I have a .jpg image to insert. So, till I can figure out how to show the image, I won't be able to show it.

The bullet has been winning matches at Cowboy Action shoots all around the globe. Some of the matches Texas State Champion Frontiersman
New Mexico State Champion Frontiersman
Utah Black Powder State Champion Frontiersman
Utah Wars State Champion Frontiersman
Second Place High Plains Regional Frontiersman
And first place in a handful of annual matches in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, for this year.

I invite Starmetal to post his winnings from his bullet design.


09-21-2005, 11:41 PM
I just did a search on the listed shoots. Frontiersman turns out to be an either anindividual winner in the shoots, or a class. Nothing about how many shooters were involved, and darn little match info available. So, that proves zip to me about the bullet. It says there is a guy who knows how to shoot, and may be able to win with paper patched elk turds, for all I know.

09-21-2005, 11:54 PM
I don't have a fouling problem with my Ruger even with round balls. Now when using blackpowder the hammer starts to jam in it's recess, but that has nothing to do with the bullet. For you're information I've shot RCBS 255 gr SWC's for the 45 Long Colt, too many various cast bullets for the 45acp to mention, birdshot, jacketed 230 gr RN for the 45 acp, and the bullet I mentioned with the hollow base out of my the more then one Ruger Old Armies I have had, which very good results.

If your bullets are winning matches globally, why you trying to peddle them here?

I don't shoot competition so that doesn't mean squat to me. If I did who knows how well I'd do? There are alot of better shooters that don't compete in competition you know.

I may shoot some paper groups at 25 yards and post them.


09-22-2005, 01:10 AM
............Boy, you guys are tough :D I'd like to see a picture also, and maybe hear a bit about development issues and stuff. Just out of pure curiosity as I don't own any percussion handguns.

E-mail sent about posting photo's here. Hope to see'um. Maybe some targets too?


Dick Dastardly
09-22-2005, 09:03 AM
Ok Pards, (we SASS shooters call each other that in a friendly way)

This should bring up my drawing of the DD/ROA 45-220. Actual weight is closer to 210 grains when cast with WW metal.

The rebated base measures .452 and just slides inside the chamber mouth down to the shoulder. The shoulder, barely there after lube/sizing to .454, forms the dam for the lube as well as giving a slight shoulder to seat the bullet on nice and square to the world.

Since the bullet then fits with a nice tight interference fit with a captive lube seal, there's never any need to use anything else for lube or to seal the chambers from cross fire. The bullet loads darn near as fast at the loading table as do cartridge revolvers. Just dump in powder and seat the bullet. Repeat five times, yes five cuz we only load five for CAS, and yer ready to cap.

I found some capped tubes that hold five lube/sized bullets ready to load. When going to the loading table we take one of these for each ROA. Quick, easy, fast, accurate.

When shooting this design, guns NEVER foul out and accuracy with the SECOND shot and the LAST shot of the day are the same cuz all the fouling stays soft and blows out leaving only the fouling from the last shot fired. Ruger makes a fine gun and this bullet makes it a LOT easier to shoot and maintain.

Here goes, hope the attachment dohicky works.


09-22-2005, 09:30 AM

What was the mold number for that bullet? Looks like it would be a dandy in a lot of applications.



Dick Dastardly
09-22-2005, 09:42 AM
This is a custom design and won't be a stock item. That's because of the huge Big Lube(tm) lube grove. Pat, at LEE, says these are very difficult to make.

I order them in batches of 25 and sell from my own invintory. They are six cavity models and standard LEE six cavity molds will fit.

Anybody interested can email me. I won't trash this wire by trying to run a commercial.




09-22-2005, 11:40 AM

Interesting bullet. In some parts of the country blackpowder is getting hard to buy. I'm in one of those areas. The dealers that did sell it quit. So just about everyone that shot BP switched to Pryodex. With that said my Ruger being fired with Pyrodex hardly fouls to speack of. The bore is especially clean. As far as accuracy both BP and Pyrodex shoot the same out of my Rugers. Which would I rather use? BP...heck the mess, smell, and smoke is the fun and alure to using it. One thing tho about Pyrodex pardner, it's alot more corrosive then BP in my opinion and it also will flame cut the top strap and hammer nose. Alot of BP shooters I know said the same things. I haven't tried Triple 7 out of the Ruger yet, even tho it's not made for it.

Your bullet is interesting. Wonder why it's harder to cut the mould for them? Have you recovered fired bullets and examined them? Do they compress since there is a large lube groove. That bullet I mentioned and put a picture of in here has two small lube grooves as you could see, but they are apparently plenty enough to keep the gun from fouling. By the way I lube them with Javelina. I just go ahead and size and lube them with my luber/sizer to .452 and they load very easily. Being hollow based they expand out to seal and do fit the cylinder pretty snug. I can understand loading some single actions with just five shots for safely, but why the ROA? It has a safety notch between each cylinder.


Dick Dastardly
09-22-2005, 01:54 PM
Howdy StarMetal,

The five loaded and hammer down on an empty chamber is a SASS rule made because of all the Colts used. Rugers are absolutely safe with all six loaded, but the extra bullet would confuse stage writing and the ROs. Also, loading all six puts the Colt shooters at a disadvantage.

All the Big Lube(tm) bullets are custom orders only. No one but LEE will cut them for reasons I've not been able to learn. Pat says that the huge lube grove designs are hard to lathe bore. He says that they break a lot of tools cutting Big Lube designs.

I've recovered bullets and they do expand nicely. Rifling is clearly and sharply defined. With a full charge of BP I'm getting just over 900 fps. That darn near puts the ROA in "Magnum" class. I get great accuracy from it.

The real kicker for me is the ease of cleanup. I like Ballistol. Mixed 1:7 with water it makes a white colloidal suspension we call "Moosemilk". I spray it from a spritz bottle shooting some down the bore and over any sooty areas of the frame. I drop the cylinder into a plastic bottle submerging it in Moosemilk and leave it for last. I pull a bore snake thru the barrel and wipe down the gun and then brush out the cylinder, wipe it down and wipe the chambers with clean patches. Last, I like to blow out the chambers and nipples with compressed air. Cleaning takes under five minutes per gun and I've never had any rust problems.

I have a Kirst Konverter cylinder for the ROA and it is very accurate. With it, I shoot 45 Colt ammo loaded with 38 grains of BP under a PRS bullet. The PRS is a true Big Lube(tm) design that weighs in at 250 grains. I cast mine from WW metal and they shoot great out of the ROA.

For those that have not shot Cowboy Action matches, you need to know that we shoot a LOT. A typical stage will have ten pistol, ten rifle and four shotgun rounds. On a club level monthly match there will typically be five or more stages. We don't have time to mess around with fouled out guns. Shooting is fast and furious. Regardless, safety is ALWAYS first. For more information look here. . . . http://sassnet.com/forums/

I'm trying to touch all the bases here. Please keep the questions comming.



09-22-2005, 02:21 PM

Those moulds are aluminum right? You know, if you've been following our forum regularly especially the special order moulds, that LEE got some new machinery to chop out the six cavities. I'm wondering if they cut other single or double cavities on them also, you might inquire. Buckshot, willbird, jetwrench, HTRN, and others who are machinist might tell you why LEE said that is hard to cut.


09-22-2005, 02:22 PM
DD, since you are a pro phototaker how about putting some action pics on your website??? sundog

09-22-2005, 03:40 PM
Dick, an interesting design. A picture is worth a thousand words. Have you ever recovered any of the bullets from a soft landing, to see if there is any sideways base distortion? What seems to be maximum accurate range?

Dick Dastardly
09-22-2005, 04:33 PM
Ok, here's my Dastardly self blazin' away with my lil Browning 92 44Magnum loaded up with 35 grains of FFFg under a 200 grain Mav Dutchman Big Lube(tm) bullet. Like all Big Lube(tm) bullets, this is another very accurate projectile that runs forever without need to clean to maintain accuracy or function.

BTW, the Bowler hat is period correct. My persona is that of a Dastardly lowdown Riverboat Gambler from the 1880s. I never was good at sittin' rite down on a horse. Besides, Cowboys work is hard, dusty, dirty and low paying besides, the hours are brutal.

Yes I have recovered some bullets from the ROA. Don't know where I put 'em, probly back in the meltin' pot, so I'll recover some more and take some photos to show.



09-22-2005, 04:44 PM
Dick, please explain to me in detail what makes a Big Lube(tm) projectile. I want to make sure that I don't infringe on any registered terminology by displaying Big Lube boolits of my own design. ... felix

09-22-2005, 05:35 PM
............I'll bet the reason these cavities are so hard to bore is because of that big lube groove. If you look at the design negatively (as the cut cavity and not the cast boolit) as the boring tool sees it, the lube groove is quite a diameter restriction.

Without a doubt the nose forming is done with one tool. To cut that nose form the tool has to be advanced into the cavity (longways) and then retracted (perpendicular to the axis) to cut. The shank of the tool (behind the nose form part) cannot be very large around or when the nose cutting part (spoon) is retracted to cut, the shank would hit the bottom of the lube groove.

Breakage then because of the relatively large cutting area of the spoon, and the small shank behind it become an issue. If the cavity were cherry cut, there would be no breakage issues. I have an NEI mould for a 58 caliber target bullet of VERY similar construction, except it has a truncated cone nose profile. It was cherry cut.


Dick Dastardly
09-22-2005, 06:59 PM
Howdy Felix,

The designers of the original "Big Lube" bullets did each of their designs independently and without knowledge of each other. Only after they introduced designs that met their mission of accuracy, function and cleanup did they become known to the Cowboy Action shooting venue.

We usually did "group purchases" much like you see here. It's a clumsy and slow way to get the molds you want. What I did was get a trademark from the state of Wisconsin that covers the Big Lube designs. Then, I contacted all the designers and requested they become board members for the Big Lube(tm) bullet designs. The Big Lube(tm) is only permitted on bullets that meet the very strict requirements of the board of the board of directors.

There are now seven Big Lube(tm) designs under the trademark. Each has been proven to meet the requirements stated above. Several more are under development now, and several are scheduled for development in the near future.

It must be stated that Big Lube(tm) designs were developed out of necessity for Cowboy Action shooting. The fact that they perform very well in the sporting field merely acknowledges the qualities of their designs.

For a more in depth look at these fine cast bullet designs you may want to read the last issue of the Big Lube Bullitin. Simply send me your snail mail address and request the last issue of the bullitin and I'll send one your way. My email address is posted above.

I will continue to try to answer any questions as they are posted.


09-22-2005, 10:45 PM
DD, are ya suppossin' yer gonna git rich off this? sundog

09-23-2005, 12:16 AM
The number on my Lyman mould is 450229


Dick Dastardly
09-23-2005, 01:42 PM
Naah, not rich, just famous :razz:


09-23-2005, 02:56 PM

Thanks. Good looking boolit!


James Wisner
09-23-2005, 03:12 PM
Dick Dastardly.

Your bullet shape is an interestering modifcation of the OLD Lyman Ideal mold # 452484.

For you who do not know that bullet, it is.
A 45 caliber.
230 gr. aprox.
Semi pointed round nose.
A single lube groove, (mid size round shape)
A rebated heel, ( for a gas cup)
Flat base.

Also a LARGE SINGLE LUBE GROOVE is hardly a new idea.
Check out Ideal mouls 457130, and 429239
Not to mention the most famous one of all 429421, thanks to Elmer Kieth.

There are very few new designs regarding bullets.
Just read some of the old Ideal and Lyman reloading manuals.

Jim Wisner
Custom Metasmith

Dick Dastardly
09-23-2005, 05:35 PM
Actually, it's a modification of the original LEE conical. The LEE conical had two skimpy lube groves. I simply modified it to one large lube grove. I doubt that it's coincidental that large lube groves have been tried before. For CAS shooting, they just didn't go far enough. The ROA hauls 2.5 grains of my Pearl lube. That's close to five times as much as the nearest competitor.

This bullet was NOT intended for hunting or target shooting. It's a CAS bullet. The fact that it has many other applications just proves the soundness of the design.

If any of those posting, or reading this post would care to see the DD/ROA in action, I'll be shooting Mississippi Fandango at Holmen the second weekend in October. It's a great yearly enjoyable shoot. Bring your safety glasses, earplugs and some western duds. Spectators enter for free. Here's the URL for Fandango http://wwwbunch.homestead.com/home.html

For those interested in items and prices, here's a URL that will help you. Send me an email at rrhody@spwl.net if it gives you any problems please.


Enjoy the smoke and may your grin be sooty.


09-23-2005, 07:03 PM

My picture disappeared because I was reaching the limit of my attachments so I deleted files. From now on I'll post pics from my picture posting website and they will remain hopefully forever.


08-24-2014, 07:09 PM
Har. I stumbled onto this old post by chance today. The original boollit of that series was my design, the 45 Colt PRS boolit. Another fellow, following my posts on the SASS site submitted his design for the 44-40 (Mav Dutchman). The machine operator at Lee, Doug Bouchman, was unable to produce Mav's original design, but suggested to Mav that they simply downsize my design; thus the Mav is a downsized clone of the PRS. Also following the posts back then was a shooter with a slick .357 mag concept. His sorbeit is Snakebite. His design allowed use of a common 38SPCL case to arrive at a COL matching factory 357Mag ammo, thus cycling issues in some popular 357 mag rifles were averted. Snakebite incorporated my lube canyon concept into his boolit and Mr. Boochman had no problems cutting those. More recently, some of our members here have made other semi-clones of the PRS to get the black powder non foul-out benefits and greater long range accuracy. Jack Christian and John Boy can tell that part of the story.

Wow, all of that seens so long ago.


08-24-2014, 07:17 PM
Love the snakebite for my Rossi 92 - makes an excellent silhouette boolit with both Black and Smokeless.
I've also been using the Big Lube ROA mould, I don't shoot my ROA very much, but it shoots great with that mould once I put a higher front sight on the gun...

Good Cheer
08-24-2014, 09:00 PM
Thanks for resurrecting the thread.

John Allen
08-24-2014, 09:23 PM
Dick, do you stock the tower of power and will it work with everything? The reason I ask is I have many different cap and balls and would love to get one to make my life easier.