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Fort Reno Kid

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  1. Howdy Pard I too have a 1st Generation Colt SAA and it’s a prized possession. Shoots better than I do. Checked my stash for empties but, in a fit of energy during the chicom lockdown, I loaded ‘em all. Will reaffirm guidance from other Pards to consider 44-40 brass, which is usually in better supply. Lube it and run it thru a 38-40 full-length sizing die and … Ta Dah! … you have perfectly suitable brass for your pistol. Won’t have the right head stamp but shouldn’t be a concern. A lot of my 38-40 ammo, acquired here and there over multiple decades, has 44-40 head stamps. Two final thots: 1. Keep posting WTB’s and you’ll likely get some offers 2. Haunt the gun shows. Seems as if there’re always some guy(s) with odds and ends of brass to sell. Best of luck gettin’ that old shootin’ iron back in the game. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  2. And a hearty shoutout and thanks to John Boy and Garrison Joe. John Boy. I’m an aficionado of the Cast Boolits web site and have perused the calculator you recommended as well as the excellent material provided on that site by The Los Angeles Silhouette Club. Perhaps it’s the result of my being placed in the slow-learner classes at school but I haven’t yet located a formula that combines range lead with super-rich monotype. Got to keep at it. Garrison Joe. Excellent info and much appreciated, particularly the formula to approximate wheel weight alloy (oh how I miss the former availability of wheel weights) which will fit the vast majority of my reloading needs. To both of you I’ll offer the disclaimer (confession?) that I haven’t tested the range lead. I’m pretty convinced that it’s high lead content and low/minimal tin and antimony for reasons that follow. The lead comes from a pistol range. It has a high berm, perhaps 20’ high. Rounds fired hit level ground, slid up the berm, and drop to the ground behind the berm where the rifle club and silhouette club maintain their storage sheds. Ground is covered with spent bullets. The lead bullets are predominantly 38 wadcutters and 45 semi-wadcutters. Those tend to be soft lead with minimal hardening agents (tin and antimony). Sadly, most bullets are 9mm and 45ACP FMJ’s. Sadly? It’s a #$@%* to melt those down and separate out the jackets. Hard for me to believe there is much hardening agents in that lead. Lead is cheap; tin and antimony are costly. Therefore my thought (theory) that the combination of soft bullets and lead from jacketed bullets is maximum lead and minimum tin/antimony. I suspect, albeit without a solid formula, that 2-to-3 parts range lead to 1 part monotype would result in a super-hard bullet-casting alloy. Whew! Didn’t mean to get up on the soap box. Again, many thanks to your good selves for helpful information and good perspectives and for taking the time to respond. Appreciate your efforts and thoughtfulness. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  3. Howdy Pards Hoping some of the more advanced bullet casters can assist. Background: For a good part of my life lead wheel weights were in abundant supply and often free for the asking. No more. Now there’re increasingly steel, zinc, or plastic and tire dealers sell them to recyclers. I am fortunate to have ready access to range lead (let’s call it 98-99% lead and 1-2% tin). Recently I bought a good quantity of monotype (72% lead, 19% antimony, 9% tin) Two question on creating bullet-casting alloys: (1) What would be the blending proportions of range lead and monotype to achieve an alloy with the approximate Brinell hardness of Linotype? (2) What would be the blending proportions of range lead and monotype to achieve an alloy with the approximate Brinell hardness of wheel weights.
  4. Howdy Pards Rereading the responses and noted the question about differentiating lead wheel weights from zinc (and steel and plastic as well). On rare occasions when I get a supply of wheel weights I employ an ultra high-tech method to ferret out the non-lead ones. I put on sturdy gloves and get a 10-penny finishing nail or an old box-cutter knife (hence the gloves). I get each ww and scrape the nail or knife across it. If it’s lead, there’ll be a deep scratch revealing shiny metal. If zinc, steel, or plastic: the sharp instrument will “skitter” across the ww, often with an unpleasant sound. Very effective for me and BTH out of dropping them indiscriminately into the melting pot and watching the bad actors rise to the top and perhaps contaminate the otherwise good lead in the pot. In melting range lead I have on rare occasions had a “mystery” bullet rise to the top and float on the molten lead but it’s never contaminated the rest of the melt. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  5. Howdy Pard As my 45 Colt brass developed rim splits, I saved ‘em. After a good period of time and many CAS and Silhouette matches, I had a good amount of them. Then … off to a shootin’ buddy with a lathe. In less than half an hour they’d all been cut to 45 Cowboy. I reload them using 45 ACP dies with the 45 Colt shell holder. I use 45 Cowboy in two percussion revolvers with Howell conversion cylinders. The short Cowboy brass gives much better ignition with light loads than full-size 45 Colt brass. Side note: the same process works for trimming 44 Mag to 44 Special and for 44 Special to 44 Russian. With current ammo and component shortages, these techniques are useful. Happy Trails and Adios Fort Reno Kid
  6. Howdy Pards Many thanks for the posts. Gave me plenty of insight. Talked with shootin’ buddy and we settled on 7 and 1/2 cents per primer ($75 for the mixed brick, half Winchester and half Wolf). He paid lots less for them but that was many yrs back … and before the current administration. Hmmm ….if’n I’d thot about buying ‘em during the Trump era, price would prob be more like 4 or 5 cents per primer. Anyway, it’s done. He’s glad to get yankee $ for primers for which he has no further use and I’m glad to be back in the reloading action. Have a mess of 9mm and 9 Makarov brass that is long overdue for reloading. Glad now that I’ve got the components to do it. All’s well that ends well. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  7. Howdy Pard I’m fortunate to at least a sufficient supply of 38 S&W. Bot it pre-Obama era. Thanks to your good info I now know of an alternative source should my stuff run out. Adios Fort Reno Kid .
  8. Howdy Pard For future reference, consider saving 45 Colt brass (yes, I call it Long Colt) with small rim splits. I did over a period of time and took the stash to a buddy with a lathe. In less than an hour we’d trimmed ‘em to 45 Schofield length. Have gotten good service from them. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  9. Howdy Pards I’m in contact with a shootin’ buddy who has a small stash of small pistol primers. Due to age and med issues, he’s pretty much out of the reloading activity and is willing to sell. Think they’re of Wolf and Winchester manufacture. We’re buddies. I don’t want to be unfair to him nor him to me. We’re looking for a price that will be fair to both of us. I haven’t seen any offered, even at gun shows, in over a yr or so. Would appreciate pricing input from those who have recently bot or sold small pistol primers or have knowledge of such transactions. Many thanks and Adios Fort Reno Kid
  10. Howdy Pards Reminded me of a match yrs ago. A buddy brot his 1892 Marlin in 32 Short Colt. It was a genuine period rifle from the closing days of the Old West. One stage had poppers 40-50 yds out. The 44 and 45 rifles went BOOM followed by a CLANG. The Marlin? It went pop followed by a ping. It was shorely a purty thang … as is that beautiful piece offered by the gunsmith, sass#3. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  11. Howdy Pards Interesting to see the feedback. Cheyenne Ranger: I too remember 3 cent first class stamps … at least I think I remember … back in the dim mist of days of yore. Dusty Devil Dale: regret that my post seemed to be whining. The intent was to highlight the delimma faced by the USPS. Truly they provide a very essential service. We get Christmas cards from friends/relatives in England and Australia. When I convert the cost of their stamps into US$ … WOW! … an “H” of a lot more than we pay. Colorado Coffin Maker: Agree with you. See comment above. Grass Range: How do you rate getting a cute postal clerk? My luck seems to be to get balding, middle-age guys. But, in fairness, the USPS front-line workers are unfailingly courteous and helpful. With hopes the USPS will not only survive but continue to provide their essential services. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  12. Another bump for a worthy Pard. Hard to believe more of this ammo hasn’t been sold. There are a number of hard-to-find calibers and prices seem reasonable. adios Fort Reno Kid
  13. Concur with Woodfox and others. I held on to 45 Colt brass … alright, I usually refer to it as Long Colt … with minor splits until I had a decent size batch of it. Then, on to visit a shooting buddy with a lathe. Faster than you can say “Judge Roy Bean” we had it trimmed to 45 Special length. The trimmed brass prob doesn’t last as long as new stuff from Starline but has given me good service. I use the short brass for light loads for use in two percussion revolvers with Howell conversion cylinders. Howell advises using loads not to exceed Cowboy” strength. I take it a notch lower with light loads that still have plenty of punch to take down the poppers. The short brass surely seems to give better ignition with light loads than the full-length brass. Adios Fort Reno Kid Side note. If you shoot 44 mag/44 Special, those cases with small splits can be trimmed to 44 Russian or even 44 mag to 44 Special. In these days of ammo and component shortages, these are steps worth considering.
  14. Wow! A dream gun. If’n I wasn’t a circa 1942 and in similar situation as Prairie Dawg, I’d surely give that iron a serious consideration. Is it my imagination that my beloved Uberti 1860 Henry Rifle gets heavier each time I take it to a match? For those of you thinking hard about this rifle, consider that 45-60 is a very friendly candidate for reloading. Prairie Dawg is offering properly headstamped brass. Should you use it up, it’s a simple matter to trim 45-70 brass to the correct length. To the best of my knowledge, standard 45-70 reloading dies will work satisfactorily. Adios Fort Reno Kid
  15. Howdy Pards Wow! Lots of different ways to tackle the issue and all offering good perspectives. My thots on the issue? I’m fortunate that the range I use has plenty of bullet scrap available. I try to get to matches early and scrounge a few lbs before the match starts and the range goes hot. Between bullet lube and dirt … well, pretty dirty stuff. I put a few lbs in a large plastic jar, add a little liquid soap, and pour on boiling water. After it’s cooled I give it a good shake, drain the dirty water, and wash, rinse, repeat once or twice more. Then pour out the scrap to dry. I do flux ( I appreciate the comment about mixing oil and sawdust for fluxing!) and find that there is much less crud rising to the top for skimming off. Then pour into ingot mould. Then, flux once more when ingots are melted for bullet casting. In days of yore I used to apply this method for cleaning used wheel weights which tended to be incredibly dirty and greasy. Remember when wheel weights were abundant and made of lead alloy? Sadly, no more. Adios Fort Reno Kid
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