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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Powder Room - CAS reloading (Moderator: Professor Marvel)  |  Topic: Using Lee Conicals bullets in Paper Cartridges 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Using Lee Conicals bullets in Paper Cartridges  (Read 507 times)
Black River Smith
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« on: December 04, 2017, 10:24:11 pm »

Some questions about these BP conicals.

I want to use the same bullet straight and make into paper cartridges.  I do not have a working brass mold for the 44 like I have for the 0.36.  I do have a limited quantity of cast bullets when the mold was working.  But, I am not paying $50+ for something that I once bought for $20 that was back then, called an inferior bullet quality.

So, using in a Pietta 44 cal 1860 with chambers measuring 0.444 to 0.446.  See info I have found and questions below and advise, please.  Just do not want to buy two molds just to find out what works best.

Most info states the use of Lee 450-200 mold for this type of firearm but most info states the use of a 0.454 ball for this firearm.  How does the Lee work sealing the chambers when it is advertised at only 450 diameter?  Also, I read that this bullet has three different diameters -- heel, first band and then bullet that is finally at 0.454.  What is correct?

Why not buy the Lee 456-220 mold then just size the bullet to 0.454 and start from there loading or making paper cartridges.

Thanks for sharing your learned experience.  I am still reading through the 6 pages of my search topic results (at the time of posting these question) for an answers to what to use for the Pietta 44 conical.  In the posting 'How to ruin a Pietta' I had stated that I altered my revolver to work with conicals.


Black River Smith
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learn from the past, or be doomed to repeat it

« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 02:55:03 am »

My Good BRS -

I have a stock Pietta 1860 and stock Pietta 1858's ( ie unmodified chambers) as well as the Lee 450-200
This is a great excuse for me to stop wasting time on things like roof repair, window fixing, replacing the Reverse Osmosis drinking water filters and such nonsense, and get myself out to the first ring of hell garage workshop and cast up some conicals to measure and shove down the cylinders and report on what happens.

Ooooohhh and I can double my fun by loading them with APP/BlackMZ stuff I have been desperate to try!

It may be a day or two before I can claw my way back to the surface get back from the shop and report on loading them.
then it good could (damn you autocorrect!) be into the new year before I get a chance to fire them off  Cry

After enough coffee, I remembered WAY BACK WHEN that the Lee 200 gr mold was all I used with 3F Goex on my very first
Remington I got from Dixie back in .... 1971 I think it was importedby Navy Arms. (It was the cheapest non-kit remington they had).
I still remember the small, correct but uncomfortable gripframe.

Somehow I had seen "cut down" Colts and etc in the movies and ~ 1977 I cut the barrel back to 5" .  When I moved to the Chicago area in 1979, all BP guns were still unregulated, so That Remington was what I had and shot until I got my Illinois FOID.

My point is that I loaded it with as much 3F Goex as I could get in it and the Lee 200 gr conical loaded driven into the chamber "off the revolver" until it was flush.  With normal amounts of powder The pure Lead  Lee conical seated fine with the ram. They also shot just fine, better than I could hold at the time. Easily kept all of them on a coke can at 20 paces.

But I am quite certain others will chime with their thoughts & results in the meantime.

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Black River Smith
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 05:51:49 pm »

After reading and re-reading Mike Beliveaus' article on 'Conical Bullets' in the new 'Guns of the Old West' magazine, I have decided to use an old Dixie scissors mold.  The bullet from the mold has characteristics inbetween the brass Colt mold and the Johnston and Dow bullets.

The diameter is only 0.449 to 0.454; a weight of only 183 grains and an OAL of 0.560 to 0.565.  The only issue with the molded bullet is the heel.  It is very short but has a smaller diameter of 0.415 to 0.420.  Which means it may not be the easiest thing to line-up or start straight.   But we will see.

PS -- These bullets do fit in and under the Pietta 1858 rammer.  So that makes it better than the J&D bullet for use.

Black River Smith
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