Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Round balls


doc roy l. pain

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 80
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I need some .457 for ruger old army’s. My point was I could buy .38 bullets for anywhere between $60-$75 per thousand from just about any bullet maker. If you look anywhere for Speer or Hornady round balls, they run anywhere from $10-$15 per hundred. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, doc roy l. pain said:

I need some .457 for ruger old army’s. My point was I could buy .38 bullets for anywhere between $60-$75 per thousand from just about any bullet maker. If you look anywhere for Speer or Hornady round balls, they run anywhere from $10-$15 per hundred. 

Supply and demand comes to mind. Also, I believe both Hornady and Speer swages their balls verses casting them. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Whats interesting about ROA's and 457 balls. I shoot cartridge conversions using 45 cowboy brass and a 452 bullet. So now I buy/cast 454 balls for my ROA's, 1851 Navies and my 1858 Remington's.

Does it still shave off a ring when you seat the 454 balls in the ROA

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Ethan Cord said:

Supply and demand comes to mind. Also, I believe both Hornady and Speer swages their balls verses casting them. 

So what’s the advantage of swaged balls vs cast 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, doc roy l. pain said:

I need some .457 for ruger old army’s. My point was I could buy .38 bullets for anywhere between $60-$75 per thousand from just about any bullet maker. If you look anywhere for Speer or Hornady round balls, they run anywhere from $10-$15 per hundred. 

Springfield Slim, is a little cheaper than that:

 

http://www.whyteleatherworks.com/BigLube.html

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, doc roy l. pain said:

So what’s the advantage of swaged balls vs cast 

I don't know if there is any at the distances we shoot, or at any distance for that matter. I do know that the swaged balls do not seem to have a location where the sprue was cut off on a cast ball. 

 

I have used swaged and cast balls with equal results at the seven yard targets that have become the norm for SASS pistol shots. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, doc roy l. pain said:

So what’s the advantage of swaged balls vs cast 


Cast balls have a flat spot where the sprue was cut.  I put the flat spot down to prevent a gap between the ball and chamber wall, which could allow a chain fire.  Most folks think you get better accuracy if the flat spot is up. Could be, doubt it would be measurable at CAS distance.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the mistake of buying round ball from a bullet maker, who cast the ball from the same alloy as his bullets.  (Didn't realize that when I ordered them.)

Trying to get them seated was a nightmare.  Even bent a loading tower arm.  Soft lead .457 is so much easier to work with.  I ordered Speer when they were $11.  I see they're up to $15/100 now.  Yikes!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would not buy anything from a caster who failed to realize that C&B balls need to be dead soft (pure) lead.  What a rookie mistake for a caster.

 

Swaged balls are in theory more accurate than cast since they will not have any casting cavities.  For revolver loads,,  it hardly matters.  Casting is harder to automate, so the big companies swage them on automatic header machines.  Or by rolling between grooved rotating plates.

 

Good luck, GJ

Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, J-BAR #18287 said:


Cast balls have a flat spot where the sprue was cut.  I put the flat spot down to prevent a gap between the ball and chamber wall, which could allow a chain fire.  Most folks think you get better accuracy if the flat spot is up. Could be, doubt it would be measurable at CAS distance.  

 

Years ago, writer Sam Fadala did tests showing significant accuracy issues when the sprue was towards the powder, as opposed to facing up towards the muzzle.

That's why rifle shooters put the sprue up.

 

 

  33 minutes ago, doc roy l. pain said:

So what’s the advantage of swaged balls vs cast 

FWIW: I have won many long range pistol matches with my Buntline ROAs using swaged bullets

 

As was pointed out, at CAS pistol distances, it does not seem to matter where the sprue is. 

But, I frequently shoot Josey Wales, and, for shooting at the rifle targets, I make sure the sprue is up.

And, for long range matches, I use swaged balls.

 

By the way, at CAS pistol distances, 454 round balls in ROAs are plenty accurate.

Just my experience

--Dawg 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, McCandless said:

I made the mistake of buying round ball from a bullet maker, who cast the ball from the same alloy as his bullets.  (Didn't realize that when I ordered them.)

Trying to get them seated was a nightmare.  Even bent a loading tower arm.  Soft lead .457 is so much easier to work with.  I ordered Speer when they were $11.  I see they're up to $15/100 now.  Yikes!

Like you, I found a deal on gunbroker in the early fall where I got a thousand Speer balls to my door for $10 per hundred. Since then, I’ve been looking for more deals. Was just curious as to why the cost was so much more than cast bullets. Hornady,s are much more expensive than Speer 

Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

 

That's why rifle shooters put the sprue up.

 


That’s fine.  On a cold morning when you have 76 year old arthritic fingers, and non- prescription shooting glasses making close work a bit blurry, it’s easy to put the flat sprue cut on the cylinder face and just slide that sucker into the chamber.  That way I know where the flat spot is.

 

 I promise, when go deer hunting with my Hawken, I use a swaged ball.  
 

;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Good timing.  I do most all my casting in the winter and in the process of stocking up on round balls for my 44.  As I posted elsewhere, I melted down some odd bullets I thought were pure lead and cast into round balls.  I stopped at about a hundred because I "felt" like they were too hard.  I have a Lee 6 cavity molds from Track of the Wolf and the link of sprues were stiffer than expected.   I did a comparison test with spring loaded center punch and it showed how much harder the balls were than my old batch.

 

735242276_OddBulletsintoballsJan2021.jpg.39006af72a2827a2cf3b27722661f4b3.jpg

 

New balls on right. 

 

I loaded one cylinder yesterday and about had to put all my 200 lb weight the lever of my 1860 to seat two of them.  The other four took only a little less effort.  I'm putting the hard balls back into regular bullet metal scrap. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same question. I just picked up  100 Hornady .454 round balls yesterday and was shocked at the price. I haven’t purchased any in many years. I can buy 45 caliber bullets a lot cheaper even today. I will be looking for a cheaper on line source for the round balls.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I cast round balls for my ROA's and made the mistake of using lead that I would use for my regular bullets. Fortunately I did not cast many. It was brutal trying to seat the bullet Lesson learned. I have a Lee 2 cavity mold and then bought a 6 cavity mold from Track of the Wolf I now need one for my .36 cal pistols. It was painful buying a box of 100 for $15.00. I also have a separate casting pot for rounds balls and one for the lubed bullets.

 

Hochbauer

Link to post
Share on other sites

I too made the mistake of buying lead balls from a very large bullet producer many years ago that turned out to be a hard alloy.  After some fur flew and heated words were spoken right here on this Wire, he refused to admit anything, even as more pards joined in and backed up the complaint.  I do not beleive it was even a year later that said producer closed his doors.  I still have most of those 44 round balls sitting in a box BUT if time do get to hard I will say that the TOWER Of Power is more than capable of loading those hard balls in a pinch.  OH, Mr Whyte does sell an excellent product and is a great gentleman to do business with!  

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

A bit, but it also compresses the ball, squeezes, it tight in the chamber. I also use a wonder wad under the ball. No chain fires after 10 years.

 

But what if you have to use them before 10 years???

 

:D:D:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Doc, I do not have a good answer as to why round ball is so expensive. Everything for cap and ball is kind of that way (caps cost compared to primers). Next time you get this way e mail me and let me know and I will bring you some .454 and you can see if they will work for you. That may give you an option to purchase whichever you run across.

Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, Crazy Cryder said:

Doc, I do not have a good answer as to why round ball is so expensive. Everything for cap and ball is kind of that way (caps cost compared to primers). Next time you get this way e mail me and let me know and I will bring you some .454 and you can see if they will work for you. That may give you an option to purchase whichever you run across.

Appreciate it. I’m sure we’ll cross paths as the weather warms up

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why I like my .36 1851s so much...   But, yes, in comparison, the swaged round balls are priced higher.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

doc's deal of 1000 balls for 100.00 seems reasonable to me, but most guys don't buy 1000 balls, which is probably why Hornady and Speer sell them in 100 ball boxes, last I checked. How many people shoot balls compared to bullets? Volume makes a difference.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/9/2021 at 7:58 PM, doc roy l. pain said:

Why is it that round balls seem to cost so much more than cast bullets. Are they that much harder to make?

Without trying to sound like I'm flippant... I "think" it's that they're pure lead.  Zinc and tin to the standard "bullet" alloys are less costly.  When you compare them to jacketed bullets, they're much less expensive... plus the market is smaller, more exclusive...  ergo, more expensive.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

BUT COME ON GUYS, doesnt it count when they are also helping me out???  Should the new political environment hurt us on the price/availability of lead very fast?

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Griff said:

Without trying to sound like I'm flippant... I "think" it's that they're pure lead.  Zinc and tin to the standard "bullet" alloys are less costly.  When you compare them to jacketed bullets, they're much less expensive... plus the market is smaller, more exclusive...  ergo, more expensive.

 

 

Your probably right Griff. I have no idea what the cost of pure lead is right now, nor the availability. Also, what % of the overall mix is lead used when making bullets. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, doc roy l. pain said:

Your probably right Griff. I have no idea what the cost of pure lead is right now, nor the availability. Also, what % of the overall mix is lead used when making bullets. 

Actually, lead is between 92-96% of the various alloys.  So, amount of savings with the less expensive ingredients is minor.  I think it is in the machinery and marketing departments where the price variation exists.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.