Replica Civil War revolver bullets

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by jdn262, Jul 16, 2019.

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  1. Jul 16, 2019 #1

    jdn262

    jdn262

    jdn262

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    I came across an interesting website called Eras Gone that offers civil war replica bullet molds. Only way to purchase the mold is to register on an ebay clone website called Bonanza. Bullet molds for .31, .36 and .44 cal are sold, as well as, other civil war revolver and rifle molds. The price is $65.00 each (free shipping) for any size bullet mold. A little steep in price for me. Interestingly, Lee Precision makes these molds for Eras Gone but does not sell them directly. Has anyone cast any of these bullets and shot them in an Italian BP revolver or a ROA? Only comment I have is I'm wondering if the bullet rammer on a revolver would deform the sharp point of the bullet when loading. I would be interested in your comments. The websites for the bullet molds and purchasing information are:

    http://erasgonebullets.webstarts.com/johnston_and_dow__44_caliber.html
    https://www.bonanza.com/booths/Eras_Gone_Bullets
     
  2. Jul 16, 2019 #2

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

    Carbon 6

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    The owner of Eras Gone is a member here.
     
  3. Jul 16, 2019 #3

    Heelerau

    Heelerau

    Heelerau

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    A mate got me a mould for my London Colt, made a few paper cartridges up, found them not to shoot as accurately as my normal round ball. But, I have not done a lot of shooting with them as yet to give them a really decent go to be completely fair. The moulds are well made and cast well.
     
  4. Jul 17, 2019 #4

    Eutycus

    Eutycus

    Eutycus

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    Excuse me I don' have my glasses with me, are these 44 caliber 451 or 454 dia? Would it really matter?
     
  5. Jul 17, 2019 #5

    Gun Tramp

    Gun Tramp

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    I tried for quite a long time to get bullets from a Colt second generation .44 mould to work in a third generation 1860. They would not. Struggle as I might, I could not hit the broadside of the barn I was standing in. The slight heel just started into the chamber and the body diameter was correct and shaved the perfect ring. The shortening of the nose was not excessive and was uniform. Good, right? Almost as an afterthought, I tried round balls and was rewarded with exceptional accuracy. I think the rate of twist was too slow for the longer projectile...
     
  6. Jul 17, 2019 #6

    Eutycus

    Eutycus

    Eutycus

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    Okay I read the part of the .451 just above the ogive. But what of the .460 band? Why so wide? Wouldn't that be a little difficult on the "under the barrel rammer". It seems you could wind up with deformed bullets if you used a press for loading the cylinders of brass framed revolver. Even with soft pure lead it seems it would take some "oomph" to load. .460 is a bit much wouldn`t you think? Not to mention the added thickness of the paper. But I've never used conicals so I really can't say, I'm just thinking out loud.
     
  7. Jul 18, 2019 #7

    smoothshooter

    smoothshooter

    smoothshooter

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    The traditional conical bullets in all the original molds and copies thereof that I have seen do not have long enough parallel sides for the bearing surfaces to consistently seat straight in the chamber.
    Bad design from the get-go.
     
  8. Jul 18, 2019 #8

    Tom A Hawk

    Tom A Hawk

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    Respectfully, I must disagree. I've had good success with the Eras Gone conicals. The rebated heel allows for straight seating and easy loading. They are easier to start than Lee conicals and shoot accurately from my Remington 1858, Colt 1860 and Dragoon. As this recovered bullet shows there is plenty of bearing surface area to grip the rifling. My only complaint is that due to their longer length I have to reduce the powder charge in order to seat them. Also, because the Remington's rammer has a spherical, round ball radiused cavity, seating pressure changes their points to a round nose. The Colt rammers have a conical cavity to match the bullet profile.
    upload_2019-7-18_8-30-6.png
     
  9. Jul 19, 2019 #9

    Gun Tramp

    Gun Tramp

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    This is the .44 Colt mould I mentioned a few posts back, likely 1980's-ish. Not sure what "43" indicates and "44H" appears elsewhere. A beautiful piece of work far superior to the later Signature Series (third generation) junk. I cast perhaps fifty bullets and used lubed wonder wads under the bullet with no lube over the bullet. No leading and after a cylinderful, a film of lube could be seen and felt on the revolver and the cylinder still rotated smoothly. Perfect, to my taste, but as stated earlier, accuracy stunk. Still, a great experiment and I wouldn't have been satisfied until trying it. Using this mould replicates holding mould blocks in one's gloved hand while casting and I leave it to your imagination how that feels by the time the mould is up to temp and dropping well-filled bullets! 002.JPG 005.JPG
     
  10. Jul 21, 2019 #10

    nkbj

    nkbj

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    The biggest hurdles are often having the bullet exit the barrel with the base square with the muzzle and to not have undersized bullets for your barrel. There's various ways to tinker yourself into success, just depending on what your chambers and barrel dimensions are.
     
  11. Jul 30, 2019 #11

    MSW

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    Hi, Tom

    I recently acquired a Colt 1860 Army repro with a 5 1/2 inch barrel. Loading .451 roundball was not a problem with the shorter ramming lever, but I wonder if I would need the extra leverage to shave off the ring on a .460. The reduction in powder charge is made necessary by the long rebated section, which is used to glue the paper cartridge on the back of the bullet. I am given to understand that this is how most folks used the gun, and that loose powder and ball was quite unusual.

    Your thoughts?
     
  12. Jul 30, 2019 #12

    Tom A Hawk

    Tom A Hawk

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    When lubed with SPG, they load easily in my Uberti and I shoot .454 round balls. Not sure what the chamber diameter of your Pietta might be. For Military use I agree that paper cartridges were the norm. However, based on the prevalence of period revolver powder flasks perhaps cartridges were less common in the civilian market.
     
  13. Jul 31, 2019 #13

    Enfieldguy

    Enfieldguy

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    Combustible cartridges were very popular on the civilian market. It's my understanding they were still being produced up into the 1890's. It's far more convenient to travel with a few packets of combustible rounds in your pocket then a flask and pouch of loose RB. Many cartridge packets even had caps included. The cartridges were pre-lubed too. Reloading time was also faster. The factory combustibles were more consistent shot to shot so there was no guess work as to where the revolver would shoot to due to possible variances of the powder charge. Millions of cartridges were manufactured for war use right up to the war's end and beyond the widespread use of metallic cartridges. Surplus barons like Bannerman purchased surplus stores of CW cartridges and re-marketed them on the civilian market. I've been constructing combustible revolver cartridges for a bit over 40 years. I even package them in 6-round chipboard packets(with 7 caps) with period wrapping that fit perfectly into a military belt box. I have a custom belt pouch that carries 6 packets (36 rounds) and is perfect for a casual day in the woods. Except for a backup capper in my pocket, everything related to the revolver is on the belt.
     
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  14. Jul 31, 2019 #14

    sawyer04

    sawyer04

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    I have the conical mold .451 and it looks cool to load them, but I do not necessarily like them. I shoot the ball with more accuracy. I load.44, 30 grains, homemade lubed wad and bullet. If I think it is going to be extended load time I bore butter the cylinder. The conical is a tight fit but can be done with diligence.
     
  15. Jul 31, 2019 #15

    MSW

    MSW

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    So, your Eras Gone mold is .451? I thought they were larger. If that's the case, I gotta get one!
     
  16. Jul 31, 2019 #16

    sawyer04

    sawyer04

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    My cylinders measure close to 45 caliber even though it is sold as 44. The conical seats good because of the lead bands on bullet. The ball just shaves a lead ring as bullet is seated. The 454 ball being used and this is possible because of the minor edge the cylinder shaves off as loaded. My round mold measures a little less than 453. Though it was sold as a 454.
     
  17. Jul 31, 2019 #17

    nkbj

    nkbj

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    [​IMG]

    Just for an example, these bullets are the RCBS mold #45-225-CAV; pretty close to the original Walker bullets in weight and length.
    The back ends are sized down before loading to slip into the chambers and they swage on the front band.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  18. Jul 31, 2019 #18

    Eras Gone

    Eras Gone

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    This is Mark Hubbs with Eras Gone Bullet Molds. Just a clarification. The Johnston & Dow .44 is .460 at the drive band. However, the band is very thin and takes very little effort to press it into the chamber, but it still provides a good gas seal. The diameter just above the grease groove is .451. If you use soft lead as per the original bullet, it loads with no trouble. Although the original bullet was part of a combustable cartridge, most folks load them with loose powder. Thanks, I hope this helps.
     
  19. Jul 31, 2019 #19

    Blogman

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    Glad to meet ya Mark.
     
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  20. Aug 1, 2019 #20

    MSW

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    Hi, Mark!

    Thanks for getting back to me. I will put in an order for one of your molds as soon as my finances recover - my employer had cash flow problems, and just made up their side of the 401(k), so I had to plonk down a bunch of cash to make the match happen … darn, I keep squandering my ready cash on stupid and unnecessary junk like mortgage payments and student loans and groceries … gotta get back to the important stuff … powder, ball, gun accessories...
     
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