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Thread: "Real" Keith Bullets

  1. #81
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Jeffs long range experiments with handguns and his results as to what bullets work and what dont would be a gold mine of info for the people on this fourm if you could persuade him to post it pal. Sure would save alot of people alot of money on **** molds and bullet designs.

    No you wouldn't Lloyd. Because people don't study the laws of flight and physics. What is never told is what the designer was trying to achieve when he designed a particular bullet. Long range was not always the goal. Sometimes accuracy isn't either. With rifles we learn to look at BC. Somehow that isn't supposed to apply to handguns. When it comes to handguns, we look at a bullet as a bullet.

    What most people don't do is to analyze WHY something isn't working. Is the cause from everything up until the projectile is launched? That is correctable by us through load or sometimes design. If alignment is an issue or over sized throats, then an olgival can solve problems. The wider a meplat is the less the angle on the olgive and thus the stronger the design is to impact to correct alignment. Maybe you get better fit too. Or is the problem because of stabilization once the projectile has left the launcher that only BC can cure?

    That can be very hard to diagnose. It involves targeting at various ranges that only the long range will give you. How long is long? To maybe a blind guy that's 50 yards. And that's why you get so many .... different opinions. And as soon as you or I call one design .... ****, along will come someone that will say it is the only thing that has worked for them. Why? Because it solved their particular problem. And that's all that guy cares about.

    Trust me, if long range like with rifles was the only thing handguners had to deal with, bullet design would be FAR different.

  2. #82
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    Bass i guess my thoughts on handgun bullets are a little differnt then the average guy. For about 90 percent of the handgun shooter and the used for a handgun shooting cast bullets about any flat nosed bullet of midrange for the caliber weight will do the job and shoot accurately enough to hit a deer at 50 yards. Were only talking about the need to shoot 3 inch 25 yards groups and most guns will do that with any load. But the other 10 percent of the handgunners have to have a little more. I want a handgun that can take an animal out to 100 yards and just about each and every one of my handguns are used to shoot rocks and dirt clods out to 500 yards and more. When your pushing out past a 100 yards bullet stabilty as you know really comes into to play. Jeff has done some pretty extensive testing on various bullets using all kinds of loads alloys ect and even has bullets filmed in flight. He knows all the tricks and what works and what doesnt in bullet weights and velocitys. His work is some eye opening stuff as anyone thats seen it will attest. There are some bullets that just wont fly no matter what you do with them and some of them are bullets that you think would and some of them are very popular molds that even i have bought. To me with my thoughts on handguning and what i do with a handgun i have way to much load developement to do as it is and time spent on the bench is wasted shooting time to me. I dont want to waste the time working up a load for a bullet that shoots 2 inch at 50 yards if it isnt going to fly no matter what i do at long range. I just cant see it when i can do the same with a bullet i know that will fly. I want a load for a gun that does it all. Shoots accurately hits an animal hard and flys long range. I hear all the time that wfns are the ticket for hunting. Ive shot enough animals at under a 100 yards with wfns lfns and swc out of handguns of various calibers to say its bunk and if hit in the exact same spot with the same gun at the same velocity ive yet to see an animal that didnt die from any of them. So why deal with an inferior bullet design that is lacking in one aspect of what i need a handgun to do. Same thing with dealing with a bullet design of any kind that is lacking in some aspect. It isnt just wfns that im picking on here. Ive seen a couple rare ones that shot and ive seen some swcs that didnt. Im more of a swc fan that any other bullet. Maybe its the old school in me but i make no excuses for it. I have to say though and maybe frank can jump in here and correct me but I yet to see an lfn that didnt accomplish about everything i need in a handgun bullet. The only small exception to that is theres just guns that dont like a certain bullet and wont shoot it no matter what you do.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  3. #83
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    Jeff's the one who said our 45-320-K [BC#938] wasn't accurate at long range so we sent him some 45-355-K which he said would make round holes to 1300 yards. The BC#938 uses a rather large base band [left picture] and is for all pratical purposes a BC#1101 with added weight at the base but the 45-355-K has equal width and diameter driving bands [right picture].
    Last edited by LAH; 10-28-2010 at 05:52 PM.

  4. #84
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    I dont know if many of you realize it or not but Frank is the owner of mt baldy bullets and is one of the biggest casters of true keith bullets still in business. Lynn produced some fine ones too but unfortunately for the guys who dont cast there own doesnt anymore. Frank and Jeff have proably done more long range testing of keith bullets (along with just about every ohter design) then there rest of us shooters in the US have combined. Youd do real well to pay attention to what he has to say about what makes a cast handgun bullet work.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Youd do real well to pay attention to what he has to say about what makes a cast handgun bullet work.
    Well said.......Creeker

  6. #86
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    500 Linebaugh at 300 yards

    Tom stopped by yesterday with some results, went to our Cody range to sight a 223 for his wife and of course had his 500 with. Built by Dustin, 4.5 inch stainless Bisley grip frame(ouch). He sat down and tried the 300 yard man target. It is kinda small, I need to go and measure it. Fist two shoys were low and the next three were hits. The bullet was our 450 grain Keith and am not sure the powder charge. Probably WC 820. I did not use Tom's last name since I have not asked his permission. By the way he sold all handguns except for his 1911 and the 500.
    Maybe an lfn will do this but a lot of **** will not so why shoot it? And if a bullet will not stable in thin air what will it do in game?

  7. #87
    Boolit Master LAH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank505 View Post
    And if a bullet will not stable in thin air what will it do in game?
    Nice touch Frank.

  8. #88
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    What I find is that no matter how expert you are, whether you film things or not, the very same guns will show different results with different loads using the same bullet designs. What's my proof? We have been shooting lead for over 400 years. If one design was clearly superior, it would be hard to find another design on the market. Unless everyone that came before us were a bunch of dummies.

    Look, I have no intention of insulting anyone. I have no idea who these gentleman are or what their actual beliefs are. I personally believe that you must shoot a lot of long range with everything, especially rifle, to fully understand as rifle removes handgun variables and shows you the .... "truth" of long range bullet flight. And if you can shoot high velocity rifle with cast, (2500 - 3500 fps) which I myself have done once or twice, even better. You learn how velocity affects BC which is all we are really talking here if we limit the discussion to long range flight.

    If you stick strictly to testing handgun you lose perspective. Why? Because as I said load sensitivity can change everything, and you need to UNDERSTAND what you are seeing.

    Look at Elmer's 44 classic, often acknowledged as a fine long range design. Shoot it with 7 grains of Green Dot and it will just cut holes out to about 50 yards in most guns. Try that load out at 100 yards and 7 out of 10 guns won't hold an 8X11 sheet of paper.

    How do I know for sure? I own or have immediate access to 10 different 44s and that is the actual result. Except for one 357, all I shoot is 44. SO ..... is the "long range" failure the fault of bullet design, gun, or load? Now guess what? Use the same load and change the hardness of those bullets and now maybe 5 out of 10 would not hold an 8X11 sheet of paper at 100. Quite a percentage improvement, but it drops again out @ 200 yards.

    So handguns are MUCH more load dependent than a rifle. How do you get to understand that difference? You have to shoot both long range handgun and rifle to know. In the end, sometimes you STILL guess wrong. At least I do.

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    Yes, but what I want to know is what Bassackward John looks like in real life.

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  10. #90
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    Yeah, I'd bet his cat would whoop your cat! Well, maybe we will never find out. They just got hauling off about 50 folks to jail up the road for participating in cock-fighting....hold on, now, the chicken kind. Dang, that house on TV was a hotel for some really fancy chickens I did not know existed. ... felix
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  11. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bass Ackward View Post
    In the end, sometimes you STILL guess wrong. At least I do.
    Bought that T-Shirt myself...........more than once. HEE HEE.

  12. #92
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    yup bass your right to a point. Some guns wont shoot any bullets well and some will shoot a certain bullet much better then another design. But for the most part when we shoot hadguns at long range we are using fairly stout loads usually in the 1200 fps range as weve found that light loads usually dont cut it. Im no ballistic expert myself but i would imagine that it has to do with stability. One thing is about certain though. If you find a bullet design that goes crazy at 2-300 yards out of a sixgun its going to do the same out of any sixgun and no ammount of load develpement is going to change it enough to make it into a working bullet design. You might make it go crazy a few yards sooner or a few yards farther but it aint never going to make 500 yards shot at any speed from any gun. Now if a guy could stick that bullet in a rifle and shoot it 2500 fps it might change everything but thats not what were talking about. Im refering to velocitys that can be obtained in a normal sixgun.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bass Ackward View Post
    What I find is that no matter how expert you are, whether you film things or not, the very same guns will show different results with different loads using the same bullet designs. What's my proof? We have been shooting lead for over 400 years. If one design was clearly superior, it would be hard to find another design on the market. Unless everyone that came before us were a bunch of dummies.

    Look, I have no intention of insulting anyone. I have no idea who these gentleman are or what their actual beliefs are. I personally believe that you must shoot a lot of long range with everything, especially rifle, to fully understand as rifle removes handgun variables and shows you the .... "truth" of long range bullet flight. And if you can shoot high velocity rifle with cast, (2500 - 3500 fps) which I myself have done once or twice, even better. You learn how velocity affects BC which is all we are really talking here if we limit the discussion to long range flight.

    If you stick strictly to testing handgun you lose perspective. Why? Because as I said load sensitivity can change everything, and you need to UNDERSTAND what you are seeing.

    Look at Elmer's 44 classic, often acknowledged as a fine long range design. Shoot it with 7 grains of Green Dot and it will just cut holes out to about 50 yards in most guns. Try that load out at 100 yards and 7 out of 10 guns won't hold an 8X11 sheet of paper.

    How do I know for sure? I own or have immediate access to 10 different 44s and that is the actual result. Except for one 357, all I shoot is 44. SO ..... is the "long range" failure the fault of bullet design, gun, or load? Now guess what? Use the same load and change the hardness of those bullets and now maybe 5 out of 10 would not hold an 8X11 sheet of paper at 100. Quite a percentage improvement, but it drops again out @ 200 yards.

    So handguns are MUCH more load dependent than a rifle. How do you get to understand that difference? You have to shoot both long range handgun and rifle to know. In the end, sometimes you STILL guess wrong. At least I do.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    Now if a guy could stick that bullet in a rifle and shoot it 2500 fps it might change everything but thats not what were talking about. Im refering to velocitys that can be obtained in a normal sixgun.

    Lloyd,

    I am no expert. But what the rifle teaches you is that it's not the velocity, but the pressure.

    No matter how hard a cast bullet is, it's still going to obturate. Obturation can move to deformation causing the bullet to lose balance. An outtat balance bullet reacts to air more the wider the meplat is.

    35,000 from Bullseye creates a different looking bullet than 35,000 from 2400. But 35,000 isn't needed from 2400 for 1,200 fps like it maybe from Bullseye. And here is the key. 2400 creates a different looking (center of balance) bullet from 296. And that difference is do to all the mechanicals AND barrel length of that specific gun. The longer the barrel, the lower the pressure at the muzzle and the less there is to wobble a slightly deformed bullet. If the base is outta square, the effect is similar to a bad crown. The less pressure, the less wobble (instability) effect. Once the bullet wobbles enough to slow below the rate of stabilization from a certain twist rate at " X " range, it destabilizes. That's why wadcutter shooters use a 10 twist to extend wadcutter flight. There are two ways to eat up twist rate. Extending bullet length or weight and increasing meplat size. Both are equally effective.

    Let me use an example. Say you have two guns and are filling the throats. But on one gun the throat is say .002 over bore while the other is a straight shot. The bullet that is required to size down and deform to the rifling is going to slow ever so slightly during this process. The base of that bullet is going to fill that cone and be screaming, get me the hell out of here as it continues forward! Any molding defect will show up sooner.

    The other bullet is already ahead of that point just having to engrave and maintaining dimensional integrity and balance. Chances are it's base remains closer to square. (why you tend to see harder bullets as more accurate) Or why worn guns tend to do better at longer range if dimensions are way off. Or why taylor throating can smooth this transition? Tayloring makes little accuracy difference up close, but often offers significant long range advantages. And why Elmer recommended bore sizing up to .001 over. Most people never realize these looking only at short range results.

    Both bullets end up with close to the same velocity, but the bullets may now be altered which will change BC and center of balance and flight characteristics. In a rifle, you can slow acceleration and use barrel length to use a lower pressure more favorable to balance and thus long range shooting. This is particularly taught by high velocity cast shooting.

    Bottom line is that one gun may require a stronger body design or a harder bullet or a softer launch. So what is a raunchy or **** design to one gun is music to the other. It's not what the bullet looks like coming from the mold but what it looks like coming from the muzzle. And it will still fly differently from both guns magnified by distance.

    It's the bullet's pressure reaction and effect on bullet balance that long range rifle teaches. Not the velocity advantage. Now can you appreciate the long range accuracy advantage of a line bored and dimensionally close or rifle like, Freedom Arms huh?
    Last edited by Bass Ackward; 06-03-2007 at 09:45 AM.

  14. #94
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    Sounds pretty expert to me, BA. ... felix
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  15. #95
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    definately some good points in that post and I thank you for posting it.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  16. #96
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    BA - Good post and I generally agree, but I do have a couple questions:
    1. Why, then do modern experts recommend sizing to the throat dimension of the cylinder (and bore diameter be ****ed - although if the bore is larger than the throats, they admit you are pretty much out of luck on ever getting accuracy). Basically, if you've got a 44 with .434" throats and .428" bore, you should size to .434" and the accuracy will be better than if you size to .429"... (I'm guessing what you are going to say is that you really need to find a revolver dimensioned like a Freedom Arms, where this is all understood and compensated for, and the revolver in my example, even though it will shoot better with .434" bullets, will still not shoot as well as it would if the throat and bore dimensions matched up more precisely..... right???)

    2. How do you explain a gun that just shoots well with everything? I have a Marlin 1894SS in 44 Magnum, and with Blazer factory ammo shooting jacketed bullets, it was hitting a 2" circle at 85 yrds (with the factory iron sights, in the cold Winter), and I just took it out on Memorial Day and was shooting empty shotgun shells (12 & 20 ga.) at 30 yrds with 44 Special handloads using a 210gr RNFP I casted last Winter, again with the iron sights... This rifle just SHOOTS, and the accuracy has been verified by four different shooters being able to shoot it that well, and with three or four different loads, including factory, handloads, cast and jacketed bullets. (I know I'm fortunate to own such a rifle, but my question is, why does it shoot everything I feed it so well, when you outline so many things that can make accuracy go wrong... I know I didn't put any effort into accuracy/consistency when casting those 210gr RNFPs, because I was casting for speed as the bullets were planned to be used in CAS [not a lot of accuracy required] and I needed them done for a couple seasons in one casting session.)



    As far as the original topic of Keith bullets is concerned (and I know that the GBs have already gone, so it's a little after the cow is out of the barn to throw in my $.02 now...):

    I always thought that the driving bands should be equal width and not narrow, plain bases are mandatory, square lube grooves that are "big enough to carry enough lube" (whatever that means), and a SWC nose.

    Personally, I think the drawings of Lyman SWC noses that look like they slightly taper back in at the beginning of the first driving band are the sexiest-looking SWC noses, but I haven't seen any that actually cast like that. (I also imagine that if a mould were actually cut like that, this feature would cause bullets to stick in the moulds.)

    I recall that Keith suffered much consternation that the front driving band was shortened as well as the SWC nose length, due to the bullets not fitting in cylinders (especially the 45 Colt, but I believe there is a shortened Keith for the 38/357).

    I think the driving band width issue would depend on the caliber. As the bullets get wider for larger bores, they would get longer in length to maintain the width-to-length ratio. This, in turn, would demand wider driving bands that maintain the proper length of bullet to driving band width ratio. Hence, driving bands on a 44 Keith bullet would be wider than the driving bands on a 358" Keith bullet, and so-on and so-forth...

    In addition to the issue of alloy and obturation that have been brought up about Keith (using 1:16 tin:lead alloy), it's also wise to remember that he designed his first bullets for the 38 SPECIAL (not the 357 Mag) and the S&W Outdoorsman, and the 44 SPECIAL (not the Magnum) in the Colt SAA and S&W Triple Lock. We (and actually it started long before most of us were into reloading and casting) are now applying his bullets to guns with longer chambers in same-length cylinders, which means the throats are shorter. That complicates things because we have problems getting a full-length Keith nose to work with longer brass in the same-length cylinders...

    Combining it all together, it would seem that perfect would be a 44 Special Freedom Arms, so that we have a long enough cylinder throat and properly dimensioned and aligned chambers and barrel. At that point, I don't think we'd have to worry a whole lot about a WW+1% (or 2%) tin alloy being too hard to obturate properly at moderate pistol pressure levels...

    In my opinion (and I'm not claiming to be the brightest bulb in the pack).

  17. #97
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    MMA10MM,

    1. Most of the handguns and rifles I own in 44 caliber were purchased from someone else and most of the bores were highly leaded. Why do you think they were up for sale? If those people understood everything talked about on this board, they could have diagnosed the problem and would still be shooting them.

    Why do modern experts recommend filling the throat? I haven't read Lyman for awhile, but I remember reading their position was that more than .002 over bore was counter productive. Do I have loads that support that position? Yes. Do I have loads that make that look like BS? Yes. Is that still Lyman's position? Obviously, because their molds would throw bigger bullets than they do. (You can always size down) What size bullets do other mold manufacturers throw for 44 caliber? I would say other companies don't think much about .... sizing over bore either. So what modern experts are you referring too?

    2. No one has all the answers. No one has the same standards either. Don't misunderstand this, but I know guys that wouldn't accept 2" at 100 yards as an acceptable standard. We have them here too. 44 rifles tend to present far less problems than handguns because of the mechanicals. Unless you want to shoot heavier bullets or go on out with them too. Then the 38 twist can get you.

    But a good definition for an accurate gun is one that everyone can shoot as well as you claim what ever that claim is. One handgun I owned once couldn't be shot by anyone, but slap that baby in a ransom and it just cut holes. What good is that? I didn't have any mechanical friends to sell it to. So it was redone.

    Accurate with lead can be misleading too. Every bullet lives in a controlled world until it leaves the muzzle. Then BAD things can happen. The wider the nose and the worse the center of balance, the more effect air has. And this is the advantage to semi wadcutters, especially at longer ranges, they can go to sleep sooner if destabilized by load. I had a load, that with a big enough target, was a 6" performer at 200 yards. Not bad with open sights huh? At 25 yards that load had trouble holding 3" and the holes weren't round. I will bet that 80% of longer range shooters believe that their guns / loads shoot in one hole at 25 yards. Maybe they do, maybe they don't.

    Develop AND TEST your loads for the range you want to shoot.

    We, to include myself, recommend stuff here every day to get a majority of shooters to be successful shooting lead. It's basically kept very basic and you don't hear accuracy standards thrown around much, so the information is designed more for fun and expansion of the sport. I get criticized from folks all the time for being .... anal in my testing. OK, I can live with that. My mom has said a lot worse.

    The coarse and the Professor becomes a lot more intense if you want to do better or to go on out.

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bass Ackward View Post
    MMA10MM,

    I had a load, that with a big enough target, was a 6" performer at 200 yards. Not bad with open sights huh? At 25 yards that load had trouble holding 3" and the holes weren't round.
    That seems a little far fetched to me.

  19. #99
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    Bass has brought up a very very good point here. What is an accurate load? I get asked all the time to recomend a load for a certain handgun that will be accurate. Its a question thats impossible to answer as especially in a handgun there are just to many variables. Bullet design,alloyand quality of the casting all play a big role as do powder and primer crimp strenght and many other small variables which anyone of can change everything. Another thing a revolver guy is deal with is the fact that he doesnt have one gun he has 6 differnt ones in the same package and if your shooting 6 shot groups and one isnt right no matter what you do you wont get good groups. Now to bullet design, what this post is about. Some guys again will ask me what is an accurate load and i have to ask for what? Are you looking for inch 25 yards groups or groups at a 100 yards or the ability to hit rocks at 600 yards. Because if you want to hit rocks with your gun for the most part thats where your load development belongs not at the bench at 25 as just as bass said ive seen just to many times where a load at 25 yards that shot an inch fell on its face at a 100 or long range and ive also just like him seen where a load that shot 2-3 inch at 25 outshot anything out at 600. I used to be real anal about loading for handguns and sit on the bench for days looking for that majic one inch group and wouldnt give up till i found it. Problem is sometimes i didnt like my results. the load wasnt good for what i wanted to do with it. LIke say a wad cutter or even a wfn happened to shoot one inch but the gun was going to be used for long range shooting so i basically wasted alot of time. I just buy to many new guns anymore to deal with taking every gun and working up 3 different loads for differnt situations and ajusting sights every time. Its fine for someone that has only one or two handguns but its not for me. When i get a new gun i assign it a purpose and that purpose is what the load developement is keyed toward. I dont get all radical trying to really fine tune a load once i find a good one. I honestly feel a guy is better off shooting his gun and honeing his skills and getting used to that particular gun then you are trying to make a gun that shoots 4 inch 100 yard groups do 2 inch. Dont get me wrong ive learned alot on the bench i still believe its a great thing for a beginning handgunner to spend alot of time at. It is about the best way possible to learn proper trigger control. You can dry fire a big bore till your blue in the face but when your out shooting and shoot the second round out of a 500 linebaugh all the dry firing in the world isnt going to keep you from flinching. Firing on the bench gives you time to think about proper trigger control and the fact that the gun is going to go off and bellow but isnt going to physicaly hurt you when it does
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  20. #100
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    >>>I honestly feel a guy is better off shooting his gun and honing his skills and getting used to that particular gun then you are trying to make a gun that shoots 4 inch 100 yard groups do 2 inch.<<<

    AMEN!!

    Dale53

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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