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Thread: Let's talk about Taurus Thunderbolt

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Let's talk about Taurus Thunderbolt

    OK, I simply couldn't resist! My local gun shop has had a Taurus Thunderbolt in 45LC with a beautiful case colored receiver and terrible brown "painted" wood. It's been there for three years! But I always wanted a Colt Lightning but knew I might never be able to afford one, so a clone it is!

    I took it to the range and the accuracy is amazing.......That's good!

    But the action is stiff as a new wife!

    I was loading some cast LEE 452-255RF bullets. These round nose / flat tip bullets don't feed to well. What are folks using in these rifles for bullets.

    A couple of times I had a bullet make its way past the cartridge stop in the magazine and end up under the elevator, jamming up the whole works. This won't be good if the Indians are charging!

    Is anyone using the Cowboy45 Special brass in their Thunderbolt? A few dummy rounds seem to function fine, but it's been raining and I've not been able to try them.

    Any other hints you can add.....But please don't tell me to use it for a tomato stake! I like it!

    Stock Picture (not mine)
    Roy B
    Massachusetts

    www.rvbprecision.com

  2. #2
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    had one and it wouldnt feed anything well. After pulling my hair out with it for over a year i traded it off. Its to bad as it would have been a cool gun. Wish i could give you a better report but it is what it is.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Moonie's Avatar
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    I'd try a TC or RN style, if it won't feed either of those...

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    lbaize3's Avatar
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    I have two

    of the Thunderbolts. I love them. They are accurate and slicker than greased owl droppings. Every friend that I have let shoot them have had accidental discharges when they pumped the action without moving their finger away from the trigger.

    The main problem I have had is that the 45 colt case does not expand enough to prevent gas and carbon fouling from getting back into the action. I was taking the stock off and using that spray can of gun cleaner and liberally cleaning the carbon out of the action. After the degreaser/cleaner dried, I would spray graphite into the action to keep it slick.

    Most of my dirt in the action problem was solved when I went to a load of 7.5 grains of Universal Clays pushing a 255grain lead RNFP boolit. The load generates enough pressure to expand the heavy cases and keep the crud out of the action.

    And you need to pump your action rather briskly to get good feeding.....

    Enjoy your Thunderbolt. They are fine rifles....
    Dysfunctional Disturbed Disabled Debonair Navy Veteran
    Swift Boats, Vietnam, 1967-1968.

    "You are never too old to learn something stupid."

  5. #5
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    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
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    Roy: paint remover will take off that ugly finish. I noted the same thing when I first saw the gun. I have not seen one that looked any better.

    I would love to have one if they made it in .44 Special. As I have .44 everything.

    I believe USFA was building one too with nice wood and made in the USA and everything, but they started at $1500 and went strait up from there. $2000 would get you a pretty nice gun. but again no .44 Spec, just .38-40 and .44-40.

    I guess the action is not all that strong. But I would think that RNFP's loaded to about 900-1000fps should be the right load for your gun. The gun almost had to be designed to run RNFP's originally.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Reviving older post....

    Had some range time with my 45LC Thunderbolt........With RN Lee cast bullets it feeds great. No issues.

    But...Huge amounts of blowback. Good think I'm wearing glasses! I'm shooting 7g of Green Dot under a 255 LEE Tumble Lube cast. This is my load in everything 45LC

    Sure wish this rifle was 38- 40.........If I could find a replacement barrel I'd convert it. The 38-40 (like the 44-40) has real thin brass that seals the chamber up great.

    I might have to try some Universal Clays to see if this helps. I also see that Trail Boss has a very sharp pressure curve. This might work.

    BTW, Accuracy is outstanding with this rifle. And it is extremely fast in CAS shooting.
    Roy B
    Massachusetts

    www.rvbprecision.com

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Sorry I kinda brought you folks into the middle of this rebarrel...........

    Let's review...

    I bought this rifle about a year ago for CAS. It is currently in 45LC.......Terrible blow-by with this cartridge. In fact, at CAS velocities and pressures, it is unusable!

    My favorite cartridge is the 38-40....so a rebarrel is in order.

    I got the rifle apart and my Green Mountain octagon barrel has arrived.

    But I'd never cut Metric threads on my lathe so I needed to turn a "Practice Tenon".........It was very easy! I converted my lathe to DC drive a few years ago and being able to increase or decrease RPM with the simple turn of a knob is fantastic. Nice and slow cutting the thread, and peddle to the metal to get the carrage back to take another pass...Nice!

    The test tenon came out great:




    Here is what the factory barrel looked like:

    The threads are actually tapered......Nasty work!

    And here we are with the receiver installed:


    I rented a piloted reamer with various pilots and that will be here Tuesday so the project will wait until next week to finish

    Stay Tuned!
    Roy B
    Massachusetts

    www.rvbprecision.com

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    BTW...More pictures of this project here:

    http://public.fotki.com/Rbertalotto/...htning-taurus/
    Roy B
    Massachusetts

    www.rvbprecision.com

  9. #9
    Boolit Master swamp's Avatar
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    The one I wanted was the 357 stainless model. Taurus never got it out. I have the fold out pinup from the catalog on the wall.

    Always like the Colt Lightning.
    swamp

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Hooker53's Avatar
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    rbertalotto, how did this project turn out? This is what I call, tailoring a gun into Your gun. Ha.

    Roy
    Hooker53

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub

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    I know this is an old post but I too would love to hear how the 38-40 conversion turned out!

    larrupin

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Hooker53's Avatar
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    I found one on a site a few days ago and shot My usual question to feel the seller out. How fast he gets back. How much the seller writes and all that. You can learn a lot about a person sometimes by his pinmanship. I asked the question twice and received no answer either time. It had a great price. To me, that's a no sell every time. I still would like to have one in 45 Long Colt. which is what this one was. I know they have a feed problem sometimes but think I can work through that.

    Roy
    Hooker53
    Last edited by Hooker53; 03-19-2017 at 08:58 PM. Reason: Words

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



    shoot-n-lead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hooker53 View Post
    I found one on a site a few days ago and shot My usual question to feel the seller out. How fast he gets back. How much the seller writes and all that. You can learn a lot about a person sometimes by his pinmanship. I asked the question twice and received no answer either time. It had a great price. To me, that's a no sell every time. I still would like to have one in 45 Long Colt. which is what this one was. I know they have a feed problem sometimes but think I can work through that.

    Roy
    Hooker53
    How do you tell about penmanship, through email...I have never seen email that was handwritten, it has always been typed.
    “The everyday man who holsters a handgun for come-what-may eventualities cannot improve on a .44 Special revolver.” Skeeter Skelton

    "Well, if he told his wife the gun only cost $139.00...that's not really a lie--a necessary untruth maybe, but not a lie."

    In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check