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Thread: how much force to push cast bullet through cylinder throats???

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy usmc0811's Avatar
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    how much force to push cast bullet through cylinder throats???

    I have known that having a good fitting bullet matters. However I just learned how to check if you have the correct size bullet in a revolver by placing the cast bullet in the throat end of the cylinder and see if you can push it through. And if you can do it with a little force then you are probably good to go as it is roughly .001-.002" bigger than the throat of the cylinder and that's what you want.
    Well I went and grabbed my Ruger SP101 and some bullets I casted and gave it a go. The bullets I used were tumble lubed and resized. When placing them in the throat of the cylinder it took some force for me to get them to go through. I really don't know how much force but it took some. I pushed them through with the back side of a ball point pen. How much force should I be using to know its not to tight? I didn't need to use a mallet or anything just a good grip on the pen and applied good pressure till it pope through. I even tried it with the ones I powdercoated and it felt the same as the tumbled lubed ones. I dont know the exact size of the bullets or the resizing die I used as my micrometer and die are at a buddys house right now.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Do they feel the same in all chamber throats? If so, they should shoot well with no leading. Try them.

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    I am shooting .454" in my .45 colt, and my boolits feel the same way. Dont have to use a hammer but i have to use a dowel and thump it as hard as the palm of my hand can stand. I've always wondered if the were too tight. I have reamed the cylinder to .4525. Anyway, i am glad you asked this question cause inquiring minds (mine) need to know.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    my 44 revolver I made my sizer larger until it was a friction fit push though with a pencil and everything worked fine, so sounds like your good already. plus sometimes boolits grow with age anyway

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    I am shooting .454" in my .45 colt, and my boolits feel the same way. Dont have to use a hammer but i have to use a dowel and thump it as hard as the palm of my hand can stand. I've always wondered if the were too tight.
    That's too much resistance. I would use .452" bullets with throats as you described.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    I have a Taurus model 441 .44 special that has .432 dia chambers. I was getting
    a small amount of leading with .430 dia cast. I ordered a NOE .432 mold, and the
    leading went away. It's true..... size does matter.
    Denny

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    I am shooting .454" in my .45 colt, and my boolits feel the same way. Dont have to use a hammer but i have to use a dowel and thump it as hard as the palm of my hand can stand. I've always wondered if the were too tight. I have reamed the cylinder to .4525. Anyway, i am glad you asked this question cause inquiring minds (mine) need to know.

    Bruce
    My cylinders are reamed to 0.4525" as well and I run 0.454" cast bullets with no issues. You should be fine.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I recently had my cylinder throats honed to .4525" by Doug Guy so that I could use .452" bullets without sizing down the bullets. Why on earth would I use .454" bullets?

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    You can use larger bullets if the front driving band is short. I do not believe it to be ideal, but it can work. Some worry about sizing down to the .0005", not me. Bullets should fit in a revolver with a "light drag". That can mean different things to different people. They should not fall through by gravity. If I had to put a number on it, I would say once started, you should need about a half pound to push it though. You should be able to push a bullet through with a toothpick.

    The generally stated size is .0005" smaller than your cylinder throat.

    Here is how I do it. I use pin gauges to measure. For example my 44 magnum, a .431" slips in no problem on all cylinders, while a .432" doesn't even start. I know that my throats are between .431" and .432", both with a -.0002" tolerance on the gauge. I size bullets to .431" for that gun, and they slip right in the throats, but don't fall through on their own. I don't see any reason to get more complicated than this. It works for me.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy usmc0811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tatume View Post
    Do they feel the same in all chamber throats? If so, they should shoot well with no leading. Try them.
    A few felt tighter but they were my powder coated ones.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy usmc0811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    i am glad you asked this question cause inquiring minds (mine) need to know.

    Bruce
    No problem Bruce, thanks for your reply. There is sooo much out there to learn when it comes to reloading and casting I have been at it several years now and just recently have been helping a friend get into it. He ask's questions all the time and I realized how little I know lol and have to look these things up to help him and I out. I guess it is a never ending learning process. We wil be casting for his .44 Mag. soon and I want to be sure we make the right decisions when choosing our casting alloy and bullet mold,as well as powder to make some awesome BOOLITS.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy usmc0811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leadhead View Post
    I have a Taurus model 441 .44 special that has .432 dia chambers. I was getting
    a small amount of leading with .430 dia cast. I ordered a NOE .432 mold, and the
    leading went away. It's true..... size does matter.
    Denny
    Thats what she said lol....

    So first you had bullets to small then went a little bigger to match the bore dia. and now you are good to go, Cool. Glad you got it figured out. It can be a trial and error thing from what im understanding. Some guns like slightly bigger, some same size, some soft lead ,some hard lead and so on and so on........ Could be a little frustrating for sure as all you want to do is make bullets and go shoot them. But I guess that is also the reason we do this hobbie, is to tinker so to speak, use our hands, minds and sometimes blood sweat and tears to figure it all out. And in the end we get the satisfaction and pride of making great shooting bullets that we made not bought at a walmart. Thanks for the reply Denny

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy usmc0811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    I am shooting .454" in my .45 colt, and my boolits feel the same way. Dont have to use a hammer but i have to use a dowel and thump it as hard as the palm of my hand can stand. I've always wondered if the were too tight. I have reamed the cylinder to .4525. Anyway, i am glad you asked this question cause inquiring minds (mine) need to know.

    Bruce
    Quote Originally Posted by nawagner View Post
    My cylinders are reamed to 0.4525" as well and I run 0.454" cast bullets with no issues. You should be fine.
    Now that's only one aspect of the equation though right? You also need to find the "sweet spot" with proper powder, lube, and bullet alloy to go along with your well fitting bullets.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc0811 View Post
    So first you had bullets too small then went a little bigger to match the bore dia. and now you are good to go, Cool.
    No. Bullets should match the chamber throat diameter and be ever so slightly smaller than throat diameter. The chamber throat diameter should be larger than the groove diameter, which is in turn larger than the bore diameter. Throat > Bullet > Groove > Bore.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy usmc0811's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmc0811 View Post
    So first you had bullets to small then went a little bigger to match the bore dia. and now you are good to go, Cool.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tatume View Post
    No. Bullets should match the chamber throat diameter and be ever so slightly smaller than throat diameter. The chamber throat diameter should be larger than the groove diameter, which is in turn larger than the bore diameter. Throat > Bullet > Groove > Bore.
    Sorry I was trying to say Cylinder throat dia.
    Now is chamber throat and cylinder throat the same thing?
    Im also a little confused when you say "Bullets should match the chamber throat diameter" and then go into saying this "ever so slightly smaller than throat diameter" What one is it same or smaller?? or were you talking about two different things?

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master

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    "Push through", "drop through", "tap through" and "hammer through" are not measurements, and can mean way different things to different people. If you want to know, measure. You can slug a cylinder just like you slug a barrel or you can use pin/plug gauges or expanding ball gauges. I have slugged about 3/4 of my revolver cylinders and used pin gauges on most of the rest and one I had an expanding ball gauge to use. Then I size the bullets to the same diameter. In my reloading log I note the measurements for each gun I measure, in case I ferget...

    But if you don't care to find out the throat diameter just drop a bullet through the cylinder, if it falls through freely, it's too small. If it won't enter the cylinder, it's too big. Anything in between will be swaged down by the throats when fired...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I wouldn't worry about "chamber" throat diameter, assuming that's what is the space between where the case ends and the holes at the far end of the cylinder.. If you tried to match chamber throat diameter when shooting .38 Special out of a .357 Mag that mean you should be sizing bullets to something like .379"...

  18. #18
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Remember this: if your cylinder throats (aka chamber throats) are, for example .430 and you boolit is .432, you are sending a .430 boolit down the barrel. nawagner, if you are getting accuracy without any leading you probably have a .451 or .452 barrel. The smaller cylinder throats are actually sizing the boolit to .452 but congrats for no issues, just shoot and enjoy. Your boolits should be a "light" slip fit, OR you can buy a few pin guages for cheap and KNOW exactly what the throats measure. As many, here, are prolly tired of hearing me advocate for the use of pin (or sometimes called plug guages), they solved a lot of accuracy and leading problems for me. Those, and a 1" micrometer to measure slugging the barrel, have been a huge help. Can I guarantee that your barrel wont lead and be rifle accurate? No, but it is a leg up on the starting process for sure.
    Last edited by murf205; 04-01-2020 at 11:56 AM.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
    I wouldn't worry about "chamber" throat diameter, assuming that's what is the space between where the case ends and the holes at the far end of the cylinder.. If you tried to match chamber throat diameter when shooting .38 Special out of a .357 Mag that mean you should be sizing bullets to something like .379"...
    What??? Don't you realize that the only thing dimensionally different about a .38 Special and a .357 Magnum is the length of the case?

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  20. #20
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
    I wouldn't worry about "chamber" throat diameter, assuming that's what is the space between where the case ends and the holes at the far end of the cylinder.. If you tried to match chamber throat diameter when shooting .38 Special out of a .357 Mag that mean you should be sizing bullets to something like .379"...
    reddog81are you thinking that .38 special caliber is .38 in diameter? They both shoot .357-.358 boolits.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it. NONE of us are as smart as ALL of us!

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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