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Thread: Conicals in 44 revolvers?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Conicals in 44 revolvers?

    I am happy shooting round ball and at the moment these are just target and fun shooting guns. Since I am casting projectiles anyway it occurs to me to wonder: do conicals get you more accuracy in a 44 revolver? Heavier weight and better shape clearly gets you more power, but the paper won't notice.
    When you care enough to send the very best, send an ounce of lead.

  2. #2
    Moderator & CBPAO


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    Opinions vary. Some do quite well with them, but my experience has been that they are difficult to load nice and straight into the cylinder chambers and are not as accurate. Nothing that can be done in haste in the field.

    DG

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I always found round balls better in every way. More accurate and very easy to load. If you ever want to try it out get some. At least you don’t have a mold you will never use

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I have found that my 2 revolvers shoot equally well with a ball or a bullet. The ROA has been fed about 8 different bullets whereas my NMA only 2 bullets. The group sizes stay the same. Both have a 1:16” twist. I believe it’s the twist rate (slower meant purely for a ball) that accounts for most of the differences we read about, though I’ve never tried mouse fart target loads since I’m a hunter I need a certain level of power (I feel .44 Spl levels are minimum ~300 ft/lbs with a bullet) so I began testing with 25 grns of energetic powder and looked for what was more accurate. Using 3F Olde Eynsford the charge for my NMA weighs 33 grns and for my ROA it weighs 38 grns. It’s quite likely I could increase the accuracy were I to try 15-20 grns and maybe a ball would prove more accurate. My shooting is also offhand. Maybe with a rest I’d see a bit more.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
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    I canít say anything about accuracy as Iíve only ever used round balls in my cap and ball revolvers but paper cartridges loaded with conical bullets were available during the civil war. Iíve watched some of Mike Belliveauís ďDuelist1954Ē videos on YouTube and he seems quite happy with them. At least one company is producing the molds for the civil war style conicals.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    You have to remember that reproduction black powder revolvers do not have the same rifling and twist rate/style as originals. I have heard it said that modern reproductions are optimized for round ball. I don't know if that is true or not. So reproductions may not shoot the same with historically-correct bullets.

    Eras Gone Bullet Molds produces a line of historical bullet molds that very closely copy originals.

    I had good accuracy with the Kerr .44 bullet.

    Steve

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    winelover's Avatar
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    Both are accurate enough for minute of deer. Arkansas requires conicals, for deer hunting, with a black powder revolver. So conicals is what I load in my ROA.

    Winelover

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    A friend swears by .452 wadcutters meant for 45 auto's for his ROA. They are a very tight fit, but will start straight with a bit of care. And stay where you seat them. He will consistently score 810+-10 on an NRA 900 match, so I believe in his opinions.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Buffalo Bullets use to market a store bought (ballet) for B/P pistol use. Can't say whether or not a mold maker ever made a similar matching mold for the marketplace.
    Back in the early 80s a work mate of mine shot Ballets in his ROA. Can't recall if the fellow liked the little revolver leads. i.e. Buffalo Ballets. Only thing I do recall? I was interested in purchasing his ROA _but didn't.
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



    Tar Heel's Avatar
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    While I shoot both for fun, I ring the 10" plate at 100 yards with round balls. For whatever reason(s), they seem more accurate for me.

    https://youtu.be/9PG6sXiBYuI

  11. #11
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    Round ball it is.
    When you care enough to send the very best, send an ounce of lead.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Hellgate's Avatar
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    My 1860 Colt Army "Hartford Model" likes the LEE 200gr conical. It takes a little jiggling to get it to seat but they are every bit as accurate as the balls and are great "thumpers". My Remington 44s have no problem shooting them either but I have not checked their accuracy.
    Hellgate in Orygun
    With 16+revolvers, I've been called the Imelda Marcos of cap&ball.
    If you do not subscribe to a newspaper you are uninformed. If you do subscribe to a newspaper you are misinformed. Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
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    If you already have a conical mould, I guess they would be worth trying for curiosityís sake. Buying a mould, in hopes that the conical it casts will outshoot a round ball, would be an expenditure better applied to powder, caps and lead.

    The only advantage Iíve found to a conical is that they can be pre-lubed. You donít need wads under them or grease over them like round balls. But Iíve always found the accuracy and velocity of conicals inferior.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy archeryrob's Avatar
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    I have not tried it, because I don't have the mold for it. but I bet a gas checked .452 bullet would drop in the seat well. my 452 bullets are flat based for the conversion cylinder. I thought the flat base could tilt seating but haven't tried it.

    EDIT maybe on an Uberti. I just checked my piettas and the side of the gate hits the bullet turning the cylinder and ram sits too low for a 200 grain flat base bullet to rotate into the loading gate, without changing.
    Last edited by archeryrob; 04-15-2021 at 03:02 PM.

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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