Cast bullet lube question

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Hawkmoon
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Cast bullet lube question

Postby Hawkmoon » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:08 am

I saw this thread viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2783 and before I saw it I had already studied the several discussions on other forums to which it refers. I have a special problem and I'm trying to figure out how to approach it.

If any of you are familiar with the old Richards-Mason cartridge conversions for Colt revolvers prior to the 1873 SAA, you might be aware that Colt didn't chamber those for .45 Colt. They chambered them for what they then called .44 Colt -- which was a different animal from the .44 Special and .44 Magnum cartridges of today. Modern .44 Special uses a bullet with a diameter of .430 inches -- obviously, too small for shooting in the old .44 caliber black powder guns, which as percussion firearms fired a .454 lead ball.

The .44 Colt (Original) used a case that's sort of a shortened version of .44 Special, and a heeled bullet that had a .430" heel, to fit inside the case, but the bullet head measured about .452" to .454". The bullets are external lubed -- they look pretty much like the photo below, but the base (the part below the lower groove) is reduced in diameter, the lower groove is the crimp groove, and the upper groove is the lube groove.

Image

I'm setting up to load some .44 Colt Original for a conversion revolver. My issue is how to lube the bullets. I'd like to use Lee Liquid Alox (possibly/probably cut with some mineral spirits), but if I pan or tumble lube I'll be loading up the heel of the bullet with the lube compound, and I don't think that's a good idea. I'm considering two options, both of which call for lubing after loading.

Option 1: Dip each bullet head into the Alox, up to the brass case, then set aside nose down to dry. This will probably result in some globs of Alox at or near the nose, which may affect accuracy (although a ratty conversion six-gun isn't expected to be a world-class target pistol anyway).

Option 2: Thinking about using a Q-Tip to apply a ring of Alox around the exposed base of the bullet, from the brass to slightly above the lube groove. Then set aside to dry.

I'm new to loading and shooting cast bullets, so I would appreciate any thoughts those of who who have gone before me might have to offer.

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