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Resolving the Revolver Size Questions
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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MacD
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:23 am    Post subject: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

I have never owned a revolver so am completely new to the characteristics of same. Now that I do own a 1875 Remington Army/Outlaw in 45 Colt and 45 ACP I am rapidly becoming overwhelmed by issues of cylinder, throat and bore sizes. Jacketed bullets versus hard cast lead just adds to the confusion. Here is what I have discovered so far about my revolver.

The bore is .451 or at least it is at the muzzle. The throat I have no idea. A jacketed truncated cone or round nose copper plated 45 auto bullet measuring .452 will fall through both the 45 ACP and 45 Colt cylinder. I don't have any Colt brass but the 45 ACP sized case fits snugly in the 45 ACP cylinder, sliding in with no resistance. A clean fired case from a semi-auto pistol will go into the cylinder with a bit of resistance but can be easily ejected with the rod.

Now the question. Should I stick with the .452 bullet for both the 45 ACP and 45 Colt? I have ordered the Lee TL-.452-230-2R mold which is listed for both calibers as well as the same size sizing kit. I can custom order a .453 or .454 mold for the Colt but is this necessary? Now I have read everything I can find on the subject but the opinions differ widely. I know the best thing is to just try it out and I will but I was hoping one of you fellow powder junkies would have some insights.

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fnuser
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Just for clarification "BORE" usually refers to land dimension before rifling, But from your context I am gathering you mean "GROOVE"?

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:10 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Whenever I acquire a revolver, first thing I do is slug the bore. You are looking for groove (bore) size, not rifling size. Once you have determined the size of the bore, you can than size your bullets or order them knowing the right size.

When 2 different sizes of bullet diameter are offered, the general rule is
smaller size for jacketed and larger size for cast or plated. For example
.358 for cast or plated, .357 for jacketed.

Cylinder bore size should also be measured.

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fnuser
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

omni, rifling is the groove, not the land. we don't add land, we cut rifling. Therefore, bore refers to the land dimension. First you bore a barrel, then you rifle it.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:35 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy somehow I got it bas ackwards.... Very Happy

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MacD
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Fuser is correct but it is a common reversal that comes up in conversation and is probably a crossover from smooth bore days. Of course hammered barrels are bored to groove dimension and then hammered down to create lands Razz LOL But, okay I give in.

When I slugged the barrel at the muzzle, the width across the negative image of the grooves was .451. I have before me two bullets, both measure .452 at their widest diameter, one a copper plated RNFP and the other a TC metal jacket with exposed lead base. The cylinder chamber for the 45 ACP is .482+ based upon a snug fitting fired case I used as a gauge. If there is a forcing cone at the cylinder end of the barrel it is very short and only slightly bigger than the groove diameter. The .452 bullets jam in the cone with most of the bullet exposed. I have no way of measuring this unless I take a putty impression. I have read that molds often throw a slightly larger bullet diameter than their nominal size. It is possible that this will give me bullets after tumble lubing 2-3 thousand above groove diameter. Sooooooooooo after much thought, which at my age hurts my poor head, I will do some experimentation and see if my set-up for shooting gongs and such is satisfactory. I haven't decide on a drop, high carry or cross draw kit for my Marshal Dillon act. In reality I will probably look more like Festus :-)

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:22 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Not going into the bore/land/groove measurements...it has already been well explained.

First thing I always did was slug my barrel...not just the muzzle or breech end, but the entire length. This also gave me the opportunity to identify any discrepancies in diameter on a second hand gun. When casting, I always cast the larger size and then sized them back to the groove diameter of the barrel. I used, and still do, a RCBS Lubesizer, with my own formula of lube, for this.

With the chamber/cylinder in a revolver, I didn't take a lot of notice of the inner diameter, so long as a fired case would chamber without "rattling" around and would extract easily (I don't believe that a cylinder gets much in the way of wear or expansion when fired). I did however have the front of the cylinder faced off square and the crane adjusted to have a 3 thou cylinder gap. This tight cylinder gap would help reduce flame cutting to the top strap.

The forcing cone is the equivalent of the throat on a rifle and I had my forcing cone cut to an 11 degree angle using the Brownells 11° CHAMFER CUTTER. This actually improved accuracy.

www.brownells.com/.asp...FER-CUTTER

Some guys I know also chamfered the back edge of the chambers to facilitate quick loading using a speed loader. I never bothered with that mod.

If you find there is any difference between the size of the fired cases of .45 Colt and .45 ACP, then I am not sure what you could do to overcome that problem. However, if there is any difference at all, it would likely only be in new or full length sized cases. Fired cases should all expand to fill the chamber.

One other thing I did after every shoot was ensure that I cleaned any crud out of the cylinder from where the front of the case sits. I found that shooting cast rounds, I would get a small buildup of lead etc. Some guys only used .38 Spec cases in their revolvers and found that eventually they could not chamber a .357 Mag round because of this eventual scarring in the cylinder. This isn't a problem you are likely to encounter because you have separate cylinders for each round, but still, it is something I would do regularly.

Cheers, Vince

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Grumulkin
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:01 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

I feel truely inadequate. I've never slugged ANY of the various 40 or 50 or more barrels I've had at one time or another.

Regarding the .451 or .452 bullet diameter in the 45 ACP, 45 Colt, 454 Casull, 460 S&W Magnum, etc.; you can use either bullet diameter.
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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:36 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Measure your cylinder throats (the part that the bullet projects into, not the chamber). These should be .001 - .002" larger than your bore diameter. That is the ideal bullet size for your particular revolver. The forcing cone (11 degrees is highly recommended here, by the way) starts the swagging process to ensure a perfect fit in your bore. Example: My .44's all have bores that measure .4295 - .430". All cylinder throats have been opened to .431" and that is the size lead bullets I use. My .45 Colt Ruger has a bore of .451" and throats that average .452". Since my molds throw lead bullets right from the mold that are .452", I merely lubricate and shoot them. Colt revolvers (particularly older models) have a reputation for some having widely different dimensions (I have often heard of .45 Colt bores of .451" and throats up to .456"...and even the reverse) and it takes quite a bit of ingenuity to shoot lead bullets through them without excessive leading. You can get away with slightly smaller jacketed bullets because they will "bump up" slightly and their jackets help the rifling grip the bullet. Lead, at least in theory, should bump up also, but usually not enough to hold the rifling well and can lead severely (especially with softer alloys and high velocity).

Either way, it is always best to use bullets as close to throat dimensions as possible to help align them in the chamber as well. Notice that most factory rounds will rattle in the cylinder when the gun is shaken. This means that the bullet itself will be slightly off-center right from the start merely as a result of gravity! Throat-fitting bullets alleviate this to a degree.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice all. I took it out today and put 50 rounds of American Eagle 230 RN 45 ACP through it. The gun shoots well and when I could hold it well enough to get a good sight picture with my old eyes I could put rounds within a 2 inch square @ 10 yards. Trouble was I was having a b00tch of a time getting and holding that picture with the grooved frame front blade combination. Add the fact that for some Freudian reason I got the 7 1/2 inch barrel and after holding it out at arms length with a locked elbow it started to wave like I was conducting an orchestra. I have to wait to try it in 45 Colt since no ammo locally. I gotta say though it felt good to cock a real six shooter and watch the holes appear even 6 inches from where I thought I was aiming.

Any suggestions on making the sights easier to see? I have already started doing arm curls with my next full beer while drinking the current one. Those are slow curls so I don't get any escaping nectar when I pop the cap.

Vince I am thinking a cone job might be a future consideration. Thanks for the link.

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

If this helps....on a couple pistols I have super-glued a colored piece of paper on the blade. Try different colors to see what works for you. If you find what works well then cover the paper with more super-glue and it'll hold up very well, actually I've never had one come off, but you can use a sharp blade to remove it. White works very well on the rear sight of my Ruger single six, I just put a small sliver of paper on the center line, then used bright green on the front blade. I've also used it on my AR-15 it holds up very well.

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Ominivision1
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

MacD wrote:
Vince I am thinking a cone job might be a future consideration. Thanks for the link.

Just a thought, but I would definitely hold off on changing cone size or angle of the guns throat until you have tried quite a few different recipes. There is too many variables to take a gamble on throat size, changing so fast with a new gun.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

try and find some glow powder. mix it with clear nail varnish and coat the front bead with it. super cool in low light and better still if you boost it with a torch.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 1:16 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Shooting during daylight hours I used a smoke pot to blacken the sites. I loved that little smoke pot...a small piece of calcium carbide a couple of drops of water and bingo...acetylene. Don't think there is anything blacker than acetylene soot...but you can buy Site Black in spray cans that works as well.

I tried colouring the foresight and the two best colours I found were white or red, but neither was as good a the jet black, non reflective surface of the smoke pot soot, and it is easy to clean off as well.

Cheers, Vince

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MacD
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Re: Resolving the Revolver Size Questions Reply with quote

Thanks for the options. I will try with the easiest, soot, and start working forward. Perhaps a trip to get my eyes rechecked might also help.

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