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Thread: What are cowboy action bullets??

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy catkiller45's Avatar
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    What are cowboy action bullets??

    While looking for some cast bullets for hunting since I don't cast
    I keep coming across cowboy bullets..Are these made for target
    only or can they be for hunting as well..I almost made an order
    but wasn't sure what I was going to get..Thanks
    keep on rolling along.no matter what happens just keep rolling

  2. #2
    Boolit Bub
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    Milder loads for target shooting out of cowboy style guns. SASS stuff

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    They are round nose flat point profile like the original WCF bullets for safe tube magazine use. They excell for hunting at original ballistics or beyond somewhat.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy catkiller45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texas by God View Post
    They are round nose flat point profile like the original WCF bullets for safe tube magazine use. They excell for hunting at original ballistics or beyond somewhat.
    can you please explain what your saying..what are original ballistics...?
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  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Cowboy action bullets are intended to be used at low velocity for SASS type competitions. Cost tends to be a factor so alloy can vary. Most will be soft so you may have leading issues at hunting velocities.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Powder coat them, then there’ll be no problem running them 1500 fps.
    Make sure you get the lube off them first, though.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I didn't mention bullet hardness. Don't use the soft lead ones but the shape is good for hunting. By original ballistics I meant factory blackpowder level loads in the .32-20, 38-40 & 44-40.

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    Boolit Man frogleg's Avatar
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    I use them in 45Colt at original pressures 14,000 psi in my Cowboy Revolvers and 1873 Rifle they seemed to work fine in the 1880's
    A Boy in a Old Man's Body. I Shoulda Been a Cowboy

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    A .45Colt loaded with 36grs of Black Powder under a 255gr FN is not a light load.
    Neither is a 200gr FP over 36grs of Black Powder in a .44WCF case.

    The (new) Solid head cases only allow 36grs of 3F Black Powder, unless you wanna trickle 38grs through a 3 foot long drop tube.
    Cast of 20/1 alloy, there is no leading.

    Most SASS shooters seem to shoot these days are one of the reasons I gave it up after 20+yrs.

    If you hafta Buy cast lead, then a bullet with a wide meplat is what you want for hunting.

    The N.O.E. 432-247-RF is what I cast for a Friends .44Mag Cowboy Shooting loads. It has a pretty wide Meplat too.
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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Traditional black powder era bullets were flat nosed and soft lead. Typical black powder designs are ogival nosed with meplat at least 1/2 of the bullet diameter and more commonly in modern bullets 0.6 to 0.7 of bullet diameter. The .32-20, .38-40 and .44-40 are excellent examples. The .38 Special and .44 Special loaded with bullets of these parameters perform well. Factory bullets of the pre-1900 era were usually either 1:75, 1:50, 1:40 or 1:30 tin-lead normally 6-10 BHN, depending upon manufacturer and whether cartridges were loaded with black powder, semi-smokeless or smokeless.

    Keith in his book Sixgun Cartridges and Loads (1935) recommended 1:20 or 1:16 for his heavy .44 Special loads and later in the .44 Magnum. He did not feel that harder bullets were either necessary or desired. I use 1:30 tin-lead from Roto Metals for all of my loads in .38 Special +P, .357 Mag. , .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .44-40 and .45 Colt.

    I use plainbased bullets exclusively and do not exceed 1080 +/- 30 fps in 5" revolvers and keep rifle velocities within 1350 +/- 30 fps. with the exact same loads. The deer cannot tell that you didn't kill them with a "magnum" load. Higher velocities aid flatter trajectory to make longer range hits easier, but to not improve penetration. Hard bullets do not expand. Soft bullets do, especially when bones are struck. Full charge loads with soft alloy in the .44-40 kill better than factory loads in the .30-30 at woods ranges.

    Accurate 43-206H is modern sort of "Keith" style SWC designed especially for the .44-40. Cast 1:30, sized .430 with 6 grains of Bullseye, fired in original Colt Frontier Six Shooter made in 1906, it shoots to the sights and gets 947 fps from its 5-1/2 barrel, despite black powder tolerances having a huge 0.012" barrel-cylinder gap. This gun killed truckloads of game over the years for its previous owner. It is still doing daily duty on our farm in West Virginia. The short nose with short ogival radius behind the meplat, with correctly positioned crimp groove of 43-206H enables it to feed smoothly in smokeless loads for the Winchester 1893, Spanish El Tigre and Winchester 1873 also, unlike most longer-nosed Keith types.

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 09-22-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Usually the cowboy action bullets are cast softer than there usual hard cast pistole bullets. Missouri bullets I thank have regular hard cast and cowboy bullets. There hard cast I thank are usually 18 or 19 on hardness and the cowboy bullets are around 12 I thank. Look them up they have the info on there site. The softer bullets will be fine for hunting but the Missouri cowboy bullets are actually still a little hard for a regular hunting load. Regular load are normal pistole speeds of around 1,100 FPS or slower. The high pressure magnum like 357 or 44 might be a little hot for the softer bullet past 1,200 FPS . You just have to try it in your gun to find out.
    Last edited by Jniedbalski; 09-21-2019 at 10:02 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks outpost 75 that is a good Wright up on what a cowboy action bullet should be .

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy catkiller45's Avatar
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    Ok maybe this sounds stupid..My revolver is a Taurus mod 44 so I can use magnums if I decide to..Anyway if the cowboy bullets will be a good hunting bullet,say for deer,how about if I coated hem with that stuff Lee makes..ALLOX or what ever you call it..Just curious is all..Thanks...John
    keep on rolling along.no matter what happens just keep rolling

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Hi John -- A Taurus 44! A friend of mine had one, and it was a well made and accurate revolver. About the Lee lube, I think you're referring to their Tumble Lube system? You squirt some in something like an old cottage cheese or margarine container, then dump in the bullets and stir them around until they are coated. Pour them out onto a newspaper and let the coating dry for a day or two (maybe less, if it's hot weather), then load them. This system works very well, and given standard velocity loads you'll almost never experience any bore leading. The bullets themselves are kind of ugly after being coated, but they shoot well.

    Just on the off chance that you're referring to the Lee Alox Lube that used to come in a stick form, that had to be melted into a small pan. Then you stood the bullets upright in the liquid (tricky if doing a lot of them at one time, as they like to tip over and knock some more down with them!) up to the top of the top lube groove. When the liquid cooled you cut the bullets out of the lube kind of like cutting out biscuits. One used a tube that closely fit the diameter of the bullet, or sometimes a cartridge case the next size up with the ends cut off, and pushed it down over the bullet. Then the next, and the next, and after 3 or 4 the first one will come out the top of the tube into the palm of your hand. They look almost like they went through a sizer/lube machine. But Lee discontinued the lube in this form lots of years ago, and you're unlikely to run across any unless you find it at some sort of yard sale or gun show. If you do, buy it, as it still works just fine.

    Or, is this something else again?

    DG

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Typically, CAS bullets will be light weight offerings to keep recoil down as competitive shooters want as little recoil as possible.

    If I was going to hunt with cast bullets, I would heed the advice of Outpost75.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy catkiller45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    Hi John -- A Taurus 44! A friend of mine had one, and it was a well made and accurate revolver. About the Lee lube, I think you're referring to their Tumble Lube system? You squirt some in something like an old cottage cheese or margarine container, then dump in the bullets and stir them around until they are coated. Pour them out onto a newspaper and let the coating dry for a day or two (maybe less, if it's hot weather), then load them. This system works very well, and given standard velocity loads you'll almost never experience any bore leading. The bullets themselves are kind of ugly after being coated, but they shoot well.

    Just on the off chance that you're referring to the Lee Alox Lube that used to come in a stick form, that had to be melted into a small pan. Then you stood the bullets upright in the liquid (tricky if doing a lot of them at one time, as they like to tip over and knock some more down with them!) up to the top of the top lube groove. When the liquid cooled you cut the bullets out of the lube kind of like cutting out biscuits. One used a tube that closely fit the diameter of the bullet, or sometimes a cartridge case the next size up with the ends cut off, and pushed it down over the bullet. Then the next, and the next, and after 3 or 4 the first one will come out the top of the tube into the palm of your hand. They look almost like they went through a sizer/lube machine. But Lee discontinued the lube in this form lots of years ago, and you're unlikely to run across any unless you find it at some sort of yard sale or gun show. If you do, buy it, as it still works just fine.

    Or, is this something else again?

    DG
    yeah your right that is the stuff I was referring to..I have used it befor when I was casting my own bullets..Just wondered if it would work on those bullets..Thanks for your reply..John The tumble lube just to clarifi
    keep on rolling along.no matter what happens just keep rolling

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catkiller45 View Post
    Ok maybe this sounds stupid..My revolver is a Taurus mod 44 so I can use magnums if I decide to..Anyway if the cowboy bullets will be a good hunting bullet,say for deer,how about if I coated hem with that stuff Lee makes..ALLOX or what ever you call it..Just curious is all..Thanks...John
    The Lee Liquid Alox does fine for soft bullets in medium-velocity smokeless loads approximating original black powder velocity. No need to fill conventional lube grooves or to use special tumble lube bullets with micro lube bands. Use just enough lube to turn the bullets a uniform brassy color. A 2 oz. bottle of LLA will bulk lube 100 pounds of bullets!

    I load 3.5 grains of Bullseye in the .455 Mk2, 4 grains in the .45 Auto Rim, 5 grains in the .44 Special and .45 Schofield, 6 grains in the .44-40, 6.5 grains in the .45 Colt and 7 grains in .44 Magnum brass with standard-weight bullets for the caliber cast 1:30 tin-lead.
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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