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Thread: CVA Hunter in 44 Magnum

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

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    I've been toying with the idea of a .44 mag. "Whisper" using a 400 gr. +/- boolit seated out but need a fast twist to stabilize that heavy a boolit. I think 1:20" would do it. The boolit would need to be either a nose/bore rider or the throat lengthened to accept the long boolit but it should work well I think. Dr. Richard gun designed a heavy subsonic boolit for .45 Colt/.45/70 that I would like to try in a scaled down version for this.

    In the end if it worked the gun would be usable with standard .44 mag. ammunition as well but would be like shooting .22 shorts in a .22 L.R. chamber. The boolit seated out would allow max powder capacity for supersonic loading with heavy boolits too.

    Just a thought. I like heavy and slow.

    Longbow

  2. #22
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    I got some of the Lee’s cast up, checked, and baking their coat in the oven. I’ll hopefully get to play with them tomorrow.

    I had to try the 240’s I was loading in 44 spec in the 44 mag cases. I loaded them with 22 grains of 4227. Shot nice, lots tighter than yesterday, but I know why 4227 is not recommended with lighter boolits. Lots of granulars left in the barrel.

    I wonder if the 450 bushmaster would be good for a suppressed round?

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    I've been toying with the idea of a .44 mag. "Whisper" using a 400 gr. +/- boolit seated out but need a fast twist to stabilize that heavy a boolit. I think 1:20" would do it. The boolit would need to be either a nose/bore rider or the throat lengthened to accept the long boolit but it should work well I think. Dr. Richard gun designed a heavy subsonic boolit for .45 Colt/.45/70 that I would like to try in a scaled down version for this.

    In the end if it worked the gun would be usable with standard .44 mag. ammunition as well but would be like shooting .22 shorts in a .22 L.R. chamber. The boolit seated out would allow max powder capacity for supersonic loading with heavy boolits too.

    Just a thought. I like heavy and slow.

    Longbow
    I did something similar with a 45/410 barrel using fireformed .444 brass. I was trying to get accuracy from the long chamber. Twist wasn't fast enough to stabilize a resized 405 grn 45-70 boolit like I wanted, they keyholed bad @ 25 yds but it shot 230 grn colt boolits good.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Did some shooting yesterday. My plan, as stated before, is to shoot the Lee 310's from this gun only(unless it just won't shoot them in the end). I had 50 I cast up, hand picked through, gas checked, and powder coated. I got IMR 4227 to work with this go around.

    I really poured through all the information I could find with using the Lee 310 and 4227. There is a lot of differences in loads using this weight of boolit. The Lyman cast manual shows a max charge of 19.2 if I remember right, and is the only published data for the Lee boolit. Hodgdon lists a 325gr BTB with a max load of 21gr 4227.

    So I started at 19gr, and just fired one to see how it was and what the pressure sign might be. There was zero pressure indication, so I stepped up half a grain. Still no pressure indication so I decided to get the chrony out and see how things were flying. 19.5gr was around 1300fps. So I started stepping up bit by bit. I ended up well above any published data without any pressure indication *except* that you could see the webbing stretch right above the case head. Kind of like a sizing ring mark, or the tell tale case head seperation line. Best I can tell is that its just the way my chamber is cut?

    I do not believe the brass is seperating, there is no indication from the inside that it is. I am going to measure how long it is compared to the others tonight. They were all brand new brass, Starline. Those loads were pushing the boolit 1500fps. Definitely compressing the powder charge. I wish there was a way I could measure the pressure to be honest. Lyman says that at their max load with 4227 and the Lee boolit was running ~38,000 cup if my memory serves me right. I will double check on that again tonight.

    Whats dumbfounded me is if thats the case, then there is no telling what the load I was shooting would be at - but there was no apparent pressure signs noted except that one(maybe?). No sticky extraction, no flattened primers, no cratered primers. I stopped at 22grains of IMR 4227. I just do not see how I could be exceeding pressures without signs, but at the same time how could I not based on the fact Lyman was getting near top pressures with almost 3 grains lower?

    One thing that cut my testing short is I made my boolits WAY too soft. I really need to get a hardness tester. After about 20 grains I started getting a ring of lead melted on the case mouth. No leading in the barrel, but the initial blast was cutting the lead before it got into the barrel. Very interesting. What really was the tell tale sign was that I sized my boolits to .430", but after seating them they would expand to .432"-.433", and sometimes more. Just the pressure it was taking to seat the boolit was enough to squash it down and enlarge it.

    Needless to say, accuracy was non existant. So I loaded up the rest of them with a light Unique load and plan to just use them to fireform the rest of my brass. I'll mix up a harder alloy and start the testing again. I was trying to go for a really soft alloy thinking I would not be pushing them that hard, plus the gas check, but in the end it does seem that I am pushing them pretty hard.

    I also think I will go ahead and get some 110 or 296 to work with. I really want to hit that 1500 fps mark, but I do not feel comfortable being over all the loading data there is by that much with the 4227 - even if there is no pressure signs. I have read numerous places that it is "impossible" to put enough 4227 in a 44 mag case to overpressure it - is this true?

  5. #25
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    Have you slugged the bore?

    SAAMI spec for rifle is 0.431" groove diameter where for handgun it is 0.429" groove diameter. Makes no sense to me but that is what SAAMI calls up.

    Generally it seems that .44 mag rifles tend to like "fat" boolits. My Marlin likes 0.433" minimum and will chamber 0.435" and shoot them fine. Anything under 0.431" leads badly.

    While I like IMR4227, you may be better off with H110 for higher velocity. I can't say whether you cannot put enough 4227 in a case to cause over pressure but I wouldn't assume that. There may also be some "better" powders nowadays as well. I am a little behind on some of the newer offerings.

    If you are exceeding acceptable pressures for your gun you should be seeing flattened primers... in my experience anyway. That and/or sticky extraction are things you should look for.

    Longbow

  6. #26
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    http://ranchdogoutdoors.com/ is where I got some info for my 300g from NOE. When you give the first round a squeeze you'll realize why they have a recoil pad on a 44 mag.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Have you slugged the bore?

    SAAMI spec for rifle is 0.431" groove diameter where for handgun it is 0.429" groove diameter. Makes no sense to me but that is what SAAMI calls up.

    Generally it seems that .44 mag rifles tend to like "fat" boolits. My Marlin likes 0.433" minimum and will chamber 0.435" and shoot them fine. Anything under 0.431" leads badly.

    While I like IMR4227, you may be better off with H110 for higher velocity. I can't say whether you cannot put enough 4227 in a case to cause over pressure but I wouldn't assume that. There may also be some "better" powders nowadays as well. I am a little behind on some of the newer offerings.

    If you are exceeding acceptable pressures for your gun you should be seeing flattened primers... in my experience anyway. That and/or sticky extraction are things you should look for.

    Longbow
    Mine slugs in at .429" groove, and ~.420" for the lands. I triple checked this. The lands are harder to measure, but the groove measurement is within .0005" I am sure. It's nice to have that tight of a bore I guess, even with those super soft boolits I never got any leading down the barrel I suppose because it was so tight.

    Thanks for the reassurance that I should have some signs of pressure if I was indeed going over them. I thought about it last night, I think that the actual pressure/velocity would be higher with harder boolits. I think on ignition the pressure was so great with the higher loads that it blew past the boolit before it moved down the barrel, releasing some pressure, then the boolit sealed the bore and therefore no leading? Here is a picture of one of the cases.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am going to pour some new boolits tonight, should have them ready to test this weekend.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #28
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfustyle View Post
    http://ranchdogoutdoors.com/ is where I got some info for my 300g from NOE. When you give the first round a squeeze you'll realize why they have a recoil pad on a 44 mag.
    Thanks for the link. I had completely forgot about ranchdog's testing. I had used his data before when working up loads for my 30-30.

  9. #29
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    I had a similar experience many years ago with my .45-70 converted Siamese Mauser using a Hornady load of IMR4227 under a Lyman 457125. This load was particularly HOT! though it was out of the book. Being a frugal kinda guy I looked for economical powders and this load of IMR4227 was the lightest powder charge to achieve the same sort of velocities as IMR4320... not quite as high but awfully close.

    The first time I pulled the trigger the gun kind of magically appeared about 6" behind where my shoulder had been, of course taking body parts with it. The recoil was a nasty sharp jab that really, really hurt! I guess no surprise with a powder that fast under a heavy boolit.

    While they shot okay and I had no barrel leading, there was melted lead around the case mouths. I had never seen that before and not since. I have to suspect that the powder was so fast that there was gas cutting at the boolit base as it left the cartridge but then the boolit sealed the bore.

    In any case, very similar situation to yours so I suspect the fast powder is the culprit even if you aren't over pressure.

    Something else to look for too is if you can recover any boolits more or less intact, check the lube grooves for collapse. I have had ACWW Lyman 429421's collapse at the large single lube groove using book loads and no pressure signs. Again, I suspect the powder burn rate was too fast so short sharp acceleration curve and yielding alloy.

    I'm sure there are others here that have more experience and maybe better explanations but that's my take from what I have seen.

    Longbow

  10. #30
    Could you use a cardboard wad?

  11. #31
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    We have been working with the CVA all this week no real issues ! But it's the big brother to your .44! We started with that BRUT Factory round and it's not what
    we wanted or needed ! I ordered the Lee 310GC mold and playing with the powder! we came up with A1680 and cut the load back from the starting point and it's
    doing very well! Nice chamber !!!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  12. #32
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagnerwerks View Post
    Could you use a cardboard wad?
    On that short of a cartridge you really don't need a wad with smokeless ......If it's a hot load a gas check is what you may want to use !!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  13. #33
    Good point. Lol. I'm a newbie but I'm sitting in front of 44 mag gas checks as I typed that. Doh!

  14. #34
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wagnerwerks View Post
    Good point. Lol. I'm a newbie but I'm sitting in front of 44 mag gas checks as I typed that. Doh!
    Its funny how thoughts and words all come out!!! I saw a guy shoot a hot load over a dry grass and started a fire with his cardboard wad !! But Live and Learn!!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  15. #35
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlDeuce View Post
    We have been working with the CVA all this week no real issues ! But it's the big brother to your .44! We started with that BRUT Factory round and it's not what
    we wanted or needed ! I ordered the Lee 310GC mold and playing with the powder! we came up with A1680 and cut the load back from the starting point and it's
    doing very well! Nice chamber !!!! Ol Deuce
    I got to play some yesterday myself. I think I’m on my way to figuring it out. Usually I have more time to do things at a more rapid pace, but I’ve been busy with other things. I have to say that the gun is way more fun to shoot than I had imagined. I’m sure the 444 is even more.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    I had a similar experience many years ago with my .45-70 converted Siamese Mauser using a Hornady load of IMR4227 under a Lyman 457125. This load was particularly HOT! though it was out of the book. Being a frugal kinda guy I looked for economical powders and this load of IMR4227 was the lightest powder charge to achieve the same sort of velocities as IMR4320... not quite as high but awfully close.

    The first time I pulled the trigger the gun kind of magically appeared about 6" behind where my shoulder had been, of course taking body parts with it. The recoil was a nasty sharp jab that really, really hurt! I guess no surprise with a powder that fast under a heavy boolit.

    While they shot okay and I had no barrel leading, there was melted lead around the case mouths. I had never seen that before and not since. I have to suspect that the powder was so fast that there was gas cutting at the boolit base as it left the cartridge but then the boolit sealed the bore.

    In any case, very similar situation to yours so I suspect the fast powder is the culprit even if you aren't over pressure.

    Something else to look for too is if you can recover any boolits more or less intact, check the lube grooves for collapse. I have had ACWW Lyman 429421's collapse at the large single lube groove using book loads and no pressure signs. Again, I suspect the powder burn rate was too fast so short sharp acceleration curve and yielding alloy.

    I'm sure there are others here that have more experience and maybe better explanations but that's my take from what I have seen.

    Longbow
    Thanks for sharing your experience with this kind of thing. I got some W296 and played some with the harder boolits yesterday. The powder is gonna be much better than the 4227, but I’m wondering if I might have to go even harder with my boolits. I really need to get a hardness tester.

    The “ring of lead” showed back up once I got to 21 grains. I will hopefully get to play a little more today. It’s brutally cold outside right now. I’ll have more info/data to post tomorrow. It will be easier to type once I get on a PC instead on my phone.

  17. #37
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    I'll add a bit more detail to my .45-70 experience. The melted lead came with the rather hot load (but a book load) of IMR4227 under heavy boolits in my Siamese Mauser. Changing powder to IMR4320 solved that but in the long barrel at max. book loads I was getting intermittent leading in the last 2" of the barrel. I don't recall if that was with the Lyman 457125 (500 gr.) or 457124 (385 gr.). I had both moulds (both are PB moulds) and two .45-70's ~ the Siamese Mauser and a Marlin 1895.

    Initially I was loading hotter for the Siamese Mauser (I sort of liked recoil in those days) but later just used the Marlin loads as they were more than I needed anyway.

    Anyway, with some loads I got occasional leading in the last 2" of the Mauser barrel. In those days I wasn't educated enough to think whether it might be gas cutting or running out of lube. I decided to try using .410 fiber wads over the powder. That solved the leading problem so I have to think it was a gas cutting problem. Regardless, it worked.

    I was not chronographing loads so I don't know how much effect the wad had on pressure or velocity but there were no flattened primers or any indications of high pressure.

    A thin polyethylene wad, cardboard wad or even wax wad might have worked for me and might help your loads.

    Rereading, I guess I missed this... you were using the Lee 310 gr. boolit powder coated and gas checked? And still got lead melting? I was thinking you weren't using a gas check. If you were using a gas check, and powder coating and still got lead melting then gas cutting must be occurring as the boolit leaves the cartridge. Recovered boolits should tell you a story. If the base band is bare of powder coating and shows rippley surface then that could explain it.

    Are you expanding the case mouth? If not you might be getting some shaving going on that might take the powder coating and maybe some lead off.

    You could also be experiencing tight necks sizing too soft an alloy. I found that since my Lee Enfield .303 needs a 0.315" boolit and my RCBS sizing die thinks it is sizing to nominal spec for 0.312" boolit the tight necks were sizing down the boolits. I went to a Lee Collet die and mandrel to size necks to suit the 0.315" boolits to solve that problem.

    Pull a boolit then mic it to see if boolits are being shaved or sized at seating.

    Just kinda thinking out load here... and rambling a bit.

    Longbow

  18. #38
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    Rereading, I guess I missed this... you were using the Lee 310 gr. boolit powder coated and gas checked? And still got lead melting? I was thinking you weren't using a gas check. If you were using a gas check, and powder coating and still got lead melting then gas cutting must be occurring as the boolit leaves the cartridge. Recovered boolits should tell you a story. If the base band is bare of powder coating and shows rippley surface then that could explain it.

    Are you expanding the case mouth? If not you might be getting some shaving going on that might take the powder coating and maybe some lead off.

    You could also be experiencing tight necks sizing too soft an alloy. I found that since my Lee Enfield .303 needs a 0.315" boolit and my RCBS sizing die thinks it is sizing to nominal spec for 0.312" boolit the tight necks were sizing down the boolits. I went to a Lee Collet die and mandrel to size necks to suit the 0.315" boolits to solve that problem.

    Pull a boolit then mic it to see if boolits are being shaved or sized at seating.

    Just kinda thinking out load here... and rambling a bit.

    Longbow
    Yes, powder coated and gas checked. I am definetely expanding the necks, and crimping in a different step. The lead on the case mouth is for sure from gas cutting.

    I'll try pulling a boolit to see what it measures at, it may very well be getting squeezed down. I had thought about it before, but wouldnt the boolit still be tight in the case and the leading be in the barrel not the rim of the case mouth? It seems to me(may be wrong) that the boolit base should seal the case until it gets out of it, and then any gas cutting would be present just ahead of the the case mouth in the leade. Maybe it is blowing back onto the case mouth?

    On that note, I did finally see some leading in the bore that I cleaned out yesterday.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Just to update this experience, the first scope(fixed power Simmons) I put on broke - the ocular lens came completely loose. The second scope(3x9x50 Simmons) I put on kept moving in the rings. It was one I had lying around so I figured I would use it. But after my first experience I decided I could not trust it and the fact it was moving did not help anything. On top of that, I was getting very sparadic groups. So the only other scope I had lying around was a "44 Mag" Simmons, but the adjustable objective end sits right on the barrel and I just do not like when a scope does that. Besides, a 4x12x44 AO on a 44 Mag rifle just doesnt make much sense.

    So, needless to say, I have been testing ammo with defective equipment. I am going to get a scope on order so that will take care of the equipment side. I have never had a scope really fail on me before. I would not consider the recoil on this gun to be that much either. Regardless, I am going to get a 2x7x35 Burris to put on it.

    As far as the testing goes, I think once I get my scope issue fixed I am real close to having "the load".

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The picture may be a little confusing, but I will try to help it be understood. I started(after doing prior testing over the chrony) with the 21gr load. You can see it grouping down low. I then moved the crosshairs to match it and tried the 20gr(#1) load. I thought "Eureka!" when I first saw it. So I promptly go and make a few more. I shoot one over the chrony just to see what its doing, 1500fps, then go to the target and shoot the other two. You can see them listed as 20gr#2. They were completely off from where they were before.

    I figure it must be a fluke, so I try it one more time. They are marked as #3, and hit even lower(one is kinda cut out due to another shot). It was at this time I saw that my scope was moving in the rings. I know its not the scopes fault for moving, but I had the rings torqued correctly with a torque driver, and I figure if the recoil is enough to move the scope itself, then it is enough to do some dammage to a 'cheaply' made scope. *as a side note, I do find that the less expensive scopes have their place for rifles, but in this case its just not the right fit. I bet if I was shooting lighter boolits it would not be as bad.

    So I swap out scopes, and try again, and you can see where I was hitting - I did not mark them. However, I still think the scope is not doing well, and I absolutely do not like it on this gun, so I am going to quit till the new one comes in.

    At this point I think I am real close. That 20gr load shows promise, and I bet that if I had a harder alloy I would even be able to push it better. I am going to try and capture some of my boolits just to see what might be going on.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    More updates. I figured I would show a picture of the fixed power Simmons I put on it originally. I really like the idea of fixed power, but I think the coming 2x7x35 will do just great.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I decided to go ahead and try something last night with the few clean pieces of brass I had left, which was to not use the FCD I had been using, and instead crimp/seat in the same step. I usually do not do that because it can be tricky with lead, but the place I am crimping, and using a roll crimp, does lend itself to this proceedure. The upside is that it does not get touched by the carbide ring in the FCD, potentially sizing the boolit down.

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    This is what the boolit looks like after I pulled it(which took a massive amount of force with one of those whacker pullers!).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So that works, and sure enough, my boolit came out the same size it went into the case - .430". What this did for me is help rule out any downsizing of the boolit, and the potential for it to cause that gas cutting that was happening at the case mouth. After I loaded up 4 of them I took them out to shoot. The target below shows the results, plus the last 4 cases I had left that I went ahead and loaded up. Load is as follows, for all 8 rounds;

    20.5gr W296
    WLP Primer
    1.717" OAL

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As you can see, after the first two shots I once again had one of those big grins on my face. Then that third shot wiped it all away. Then after the fourth shot I knew what was happening. So I took the rifle back to the shop to verify. Sure enough - scope slipping once again.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Its hard to get a good picture of it, but you can see the little bit of movement happening. I went ahead and shot the other 4 rounds just to see what they would be like, and as you can see, I do not know of anything else that would cause such sporadic hits. Needless to say, I have some 'mechanical' work ahead of me. I think the boolit/load is gonna be a fantastic shooter once I get my sights held tight. It does not seem to me to have that much recoil, but I guess there is enough to be causing these issues. I tried the ole duct tape trick also, but as you can see it did not help in this case.

    My scope will be in tomorrow. Tonight I am going to bed the sight base to the barrel. I do not know if there is any play there, but I am going to eliminate the possibility. I would lap the rings, but they are the one piece durrasight ones. I like one piece rings, so I do not want to swap them out. The durrasight rings have grooves in them(I'll get pictures of my process), so I think they would be an ideal canidate for the silicon/liquid tape process. It in essence does the same thing that lapping does - I believe - unless someone has actual experience that says otherwise?

    The other thing I am going to do is mix/cast up some harder boolits. I noticed a very small amount of lead on the mouth of a few cases I fired last night. I still think my mix is too soft for what I am doing. Casting up some harder boolits is the only thing I can think of.

    Hey, at least I am having fun. I know I am just going to have double the fun once I get everything finished and just get to shoot the gun having a good idea of where its gonna hit.

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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