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Thread: "Real" Keith Bullets

  1. #441
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eutectic45 View Post
    Lyman cut the width of the front band on 429421 to satisfy complaints from ignorant reloders. Elmer was correct they spoiled it.
    The 2 Lyman 429421 4c molds I had were tapered with the front band a smaller diameter.

    The MP and Arsenal #503 clones have the front band just in the throats of my Anaconda, my S&W 629 throats are too far forward for that and still crimp in the groove.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  2. #442
    Boolit Master


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    I have a 1970grs 2cav Lyman #358429, a 1960's made 4cav & a 1950's made #425439HP.
    All are slightly different.
    But they all shoot Extremly well in whatever revolver I put them in. I've never had a cylinder that wouldn't accept any of them. In either .38spl or .357mag.

    Shot the Lyman #429421 for 50+ years. Have only a 2cav now, from 1970's. Has a full diameter front band, all three bands are the same width/depth. It does have a rounded grease groove. Still still shoots great in any gun I put it in.

    Have a RCBS from the 1980's.

    Hard to believe RCBS calls this bullet a Keith Type. Front band is narrow. All 3 bands are different widths.
    It casts good looking bullets, but they are not as accurate as the Lyman.

    The LYMAN #452424 is too long to fit in COLT SAA cylinder. When LYMAN changed this bullet from .454dia to a .452dia they lengthened the nose to maintain the weight.
    Who knows why, the #452424 fits in every other revolver I tried it in. Except COLT SAA & their clones.

    I switched to the Auto Rim Bullet #452423. Shorter nose, still weighs 240grs.

    I just bought a N.O.E. version of this bullet, a 5cav mold. It has square grease grooves. I will put some of these though a Lube-Sizer, as well as PC'ing some.
    The NEW N.O.E. #453-247-SWC casts some perfectly beautiful bullets.
    Looking forward to trying another "Keith mold".
    I guess I'll always shoot Keith Bullets. Regardless of who made the mold or when. Rounded or square grease grooves. Both shoot great.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  3. #443
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    Rounded or square grease grooves. Both shoot great.
    My findings also.
    Joshua 1:9

  4. #444
    Not sure if this is “real” but this is from an earlier IDEAL non-vent line 429421. It has a very deep & wide crimp groove
    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #445
    Boolit Buddy nhyrum's Avatar
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    From my understanding, true "Keith" designs, or the ones he liked best, had the wide (not always full .100) front driving band, square grease groves, and a 65-70% diameter meplat. I, personally, don't care about the driving band exact diameter, just the meplat diameter and grease groves that hold enough grease.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  6. #446
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    Regarding grease grooves in handgun cartridges. I am beginning to think the agonizing over round/square/depth/volume is pretty pointless. One of the surprises I've had with shooting ballistic gel is that you get a snapshot of a bullet post-muzzle without it being destroyed. It's remarkable to me how LITTLE of the lube ever departs the groove. On wide, flat, deep grooves like Keith favored perhaps 80% or MORE of the lube remains in the groove (basically wasted). On shallower grooves it seems to me a greater percentage departs the groove, perhaps 50%. Lee tends to use very shallow grooves even on their traditional designs like the 358-158-SWCGC and these bullets still have a lot of lube in the groove after leaving the muzzle. People who get into grease wads and whatnot in handguns are probably wasting their time (and lube).

    The important thing is that enough of the lube leaves the groove, and the more important thing is that the lube works well. The qualities of the lubricant seem more important than the lube groove to me. Perhaps with the lubricants Keith used (which were probably less sophisticated that what we have today) it was more important to have plenty of excess volume. I have done my testing mainly with Carnuba blue mainly (but I have also used Lithium-Moly-Beeswax and Synthetic Teflon grease-Beeswax and Felix Lube). I found that the it was pretty much true across the board, though it is hard to tell with the Felix and Teflon lubes as they are a dull white color. The black Lithi-Moly-Bee and Carnuba blue really stand out.

    One thing that seems to be true is that you can have TOO small of a grease groove (though I've never encountered one), but not really too big unless things get really excessive. So I see why people favor big grooves.

    Fit, alloy, lube type, and the qualities of the handgun seem to have more to do with it.

  7. #447
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    Quote Originally Posted by curioushooter View Post
    Regarding grease grooves in handgun cartridges. I am beginning to think the agonizing over round/square/depth/volume is pretty pointless. One of the surprises I've had with shooting ballistic gel is that you get a snapshot of a bullet post-muzzle without it being destroyed. It's remarkable to me how LITTLE of the lube ever departs the groove. On wide, flat, deep grooves like Keith favored perhaps 80% or MORE of the lube remains in the groove (basically wasted). On shallower grooves it seems to me a greater percentage departs the groove, perhaps 50%. Lee tends to use very shallow grooves even on their traditional designs like the 358-158-SWCGC and these bullets still have a lot of lube in the groove after leaving the muzzle. People who get into grease wads and whatnot in handguns are probably wasting their time (and lube).

    The important thing is that enough of the lube leaves the groove, and the more important thing is that the lube works well. The qualities of the lubricant seem more important than the lube groove to me. Perhaps with the lubricants Keith used (which were probably less sophisticated that what we have today) it was more important to have plenty of excess volume. I have done my testing mainly with Carnuba blue mainly (but I have also used Lithium-Moly-Beeswax and Synthetic Teflon grease-Beeswax and Felix Lube). I found that the it was pretty much true across the board, though it is hard to tell with the Felix and Teflon lubes as they are a dull white color. The black Lithi-Moly-Bee and Carnuba blue really stand out.

    One thing that seems to be true is that you can have TOO small of a grease groove (though I've never encountered one), but not really too big unless things get really excessive. So I see why people favor big grooves.

    Fit, alloy, lube type, and the qualities of the handgun seem to have more to do with it.
    There are more factors to lube than meets the eye. My mind spins when I try and read some of the more technical aspects of it. While I have recovered many bullets with lube in the groove, I've also recovered many without. I believe it is important for a lube to eject off of a bullet, or you will have an imbalance. Most pistol shooters couldn't care less, bullseye shooters are aware, and of course most research has been done with rifles.

    You mention Canaruba Blue. I've found both blue and red to be nearly identical. They stick like crazy to a bullet. Many people love this effect, but is it the best for shooting? Every 45 acp bullet I've recovered that has been lubed with CR or CB has lube in the groove. By comparison, many rifle bullets will fully eject the same lube.

    Alloy certainly plays a part as well. Lube pumping is a method of lube getting to the barrel. I've done a fair amount of testing with 327 federal, and with mid range loads and hard bullets, you can often find CR still on the bullet, yet something like TAC1 will leave nothing. If you move to full power loads, every bullet I ever recovered was bone dry. Moving even farther, shooting full power with 20:1 alloy, not only will the lube be gone, the grease grooves will be mostly collapsed.

    I'll post a picture below. It serves double duty as you had asked about solid expansion, or lack there of in the past. On the left is an Accurate 31-148CG cast of 20:1, and lubed with CR. Middle is the exact same bullet, fired at a velocity of 1220 fps into water jugs. Right is a different bullet, an Accurate 31-120K cast of 20:1, and fired at 1500 fps into water jugs.

    All were solids. Notice on the middle bullet you can't even tell there was ever a crimp groove! Now this is on the strong side, but lets not forget Keith was shooting similar power loads with the only slightly harder alloy of 16:1. Amazingly that middle bullet as a HP is currently my most accurate bullet in the 327. I hope this helps.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #448
    Boolit Master S.B.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curioushooter View Post
    Regarding grease grooves in handgun cartridges. I am beginning to think the agonizing over round/square/depth/volume is pretty pointless. One of the surprises I've had with shooting ballistic gel is that you get a snapshot of a bullet post-muzzle without it being destroyed. It's remarkable to me how LITTLE of the lube ever departs the groove. On wide, flat, deep grooves like Keith favored perhaps 80% or MORE of the lube remains in the groove (basically wasted). On shallower grooves it seems to me a greater percentage departs the groove, perhaps 50%. Lee tends to use very shallow grooves even on their traditional designs like the 358-158-SWCGC and these bullets still have a lot of lube in the groove after leaving the muzzle. People who get into grease wads and whatnot in handguns are probably wasting their time (and lube).

    The important thing is that enough of the lube leaves the groove, and the more important thing is that the lube works well. The qualities of the lubricant seem more important than the lube groove to me. Perhaps with the lubricants Keith used (which were probably less sophisticated that what we have today) it was more important to have plenty of excess volume. I have done my testing mainly with Carnuba blue mainly (but I have also used Lithium-Moly-Beeswax and Synthetic Teflon grease-Beeswax and Felix Lube). I found that the it was pretty much true across the board, though it is hard to tell with the Felix and Teflon lubes as they are a dull white color. The black Lithi-Moly-Bee and Carnuba blue really stand out.

    One thing that seems to be true is that you can have TOO small of a grease groove (though I've never encountered one), but not really too big unless things get really excessive. So I see why people favor big grooves.

    Fit, alloy, lube type, and the qualities of the handgun seem to have more to do with it.
    Perhaps it would help if you'd display some proof of your findings in pictures, please? Or, are you speaking hypothetically?
    Steve
    "The Original Point and Click Interface was a Smith & Wesson."
    Life member NRA, USPSA, ISRA
    Life member AF&AM 294

  9. #449
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    I am beginning to think the agonizing over round/square/depth/volume is pretty pointless.
    I'll say this, I find no difference between round & square lube grooves in my shooting. This is concerning the sixgun bullets I use. All the rest I'll leave to others.
    Joshua 1:9

  10. #450
    Boolit Master curioushooter's Avatar
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    By comparison, many rifle bullets will fully eject the same lube.
    Yes! I suspect that the usual 1:10 twist rate on 30 caliber rifles (what most people are talking about when talking cast bullets in rifles) flings off lube. The more leisurely twists and velocities of larger bore handguns results in lower RPMs and less "flinging." I have noticed that more lube leaves my bullets when fired from a 357 carbine than a handgun. These have the same twist (1:16) and the rifle is about 500 FPS faster with the same load. I suspect this is because of more lube being deposited. I always use GC in rifles, too.

    Lube weighs very little so I doubt it has much effect on everyday handgun accuracy. I suspect rifles are another story.

    I do like Carnuba blue better than the other lubes I've tried: Fryxel Moly-Bee (even buying the exact same brand Sta-Lube and weighing very carefully the grease and the beeswax), Felix Lube, and my own homemade lube made from synthetic teflon grease and beeswax. I find it no stickier than those lubes. In fact, Felix Lube may be more sticky.

    Perhaps it would help if you'd display some proof of your findings in pictures, please?
    I took a whole lot of pictures of stuff and posted some of it here already. Look up "real gel tests." I never bothered to take close ups of the lube grooves, as it wasn't a priority. I stopped bringing my camera out when I do gel testing a while ago after it got splashed. Also, too much stuff.
    Last edited by curioushooter; 02-15-2020 at 01:04 PM.

  11. #451
    Boolit Master

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    Regarding Keith and his obsession with deep square lube grooves. Remember he was using beef tallow and beeswax when he started designing bullets and his bullets were lube starved. That is, besides his left over worries about powder fouling. Modern lubes are much stickier and more lubricating. That is why people only lube one groove on their target wad cutters. This is just my opinion..........................


    Warhawk, Thanx for posting that AR Keith Last Word article. It has been a while since I read it and I had forgotten how much insight into his younger mind was in it. His #5 was new and so was his SWC bullet and he was hoping to get a better powder than #80 and maybe even get the .44spl up to 1,100fps.
    Last edited by ddixie884; 03-15-2020 at 10:48 PM.
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    dgilbert07 at windstream dot net

  12. #452
    Boolit Bub
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    Northern Valley Machine Co. in East Grand Forks MN had all or most of the drawings from H&G . I contacted them and had them make H&G 503 , Elmers 44 245 gr swc and H&G 258 , his design for the 41 magnum . After Elmer had severed relations with Lyman , he went to H&G to produce the real Keith designs . They are both iron 2 cav molds and made very well . They were somewhat expensive but I felt I finally had the " real Keiths " . Regards, Paul

  13. #453
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy4evr View Post
    Northern Valley Machine Co. in East Grand Forks MN had all or most of the drawings from H&G . I contacted them and had them make H&G 503 , Elmers 44 245 gr swc and H&G 258 , his design for the 41 magnum . After Elmer had severed relations with Lyman , he went to H&G to produce the real Keith designs . They are both iron 2 cav molds and made very well . They were somewhat expensive but I felt I finally had the " real Keiths " . Regards, Paul
    I agree. Elmer Keith says it in his own words in Sixguns. He had H&G remake his true to design bullets. They are the #43 (38 cal), #258 (41 cal), #503 (44 cal), and #501 (45 cal). They may not be exactly what the originals were, but they were the only designs designed and approved by him as of the 1960's and later.

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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