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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 18 2018 at 7:20pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Just took possession of a lovely new model Ruger Blackhawk in 357 Magnum, with a shiny 6.5 inch barrel. I picked it up for what I thought was a reasonable price in a private sale. I happen to know the only owner and know it was only ever fired at the factory (I think they still do that sort of thing). Anyway, I have no idea how old it is, but the last time I saw it was 1997 or so - So it's at least that old

I think I would like to use this as my test bed for getting into casting.

Bottom line: New (for me) Old New Model Ruger in 357. Unfired!

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M700
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Posted: December 18 2018 at 8:42pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Well, that's pretty doggone cool!
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Slick
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Posted: December 18 2018 at 8:59pm | IP Logged Quote Slick

KinleyWater wrote:
I think I would like to use this as my test bed for getting into casting.

Bottom line: New (for me) Old New Model Ruger in 357. Unfired!


Sounds like a good score and a good platform for testing cast - congrats!

I just got into casting a couple years ago and started w/12ga slugs as I wasn't super-confident at getting the alloy mixture right for proper hardness.

Now I'm hearing people say that powder-coating cast bullets helps prevent barrel-leading, so I guess I'm going to have to try dropping some slugs for handguns next..

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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 19 2018 at 6:38am | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Thanks both.

Powder coating? Interesting. Casting will be a new adventure for me, and means getting a load of new toys, er... equipment, to learn how to work with.



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Tom W.
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Posted: December 19 2018 at 11:00am | IP Logged Quote Tom W.

Now you went and done it... Soon you'll be scrounging
wheelweights and cussing a lot due to the overabundance of
zinc.

Of course, you could send a bunch of kids with
wheel weight hammers into the local Walmart parking
lot......

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RT58
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Posted: December 19 2018 at 12:34pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

Most wheel weights now are made with zinc. I've seen older books talking about using zinc to make bullets but they will mess up your pot.
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Desert Eagle41
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Posted: December 19 2018 at 12:41pm | IP Logged Quote Desert Eagle41

I sure don't want to mess up my pot as I like to smoke it just the way it is!!!! Craig

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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 19 2018 at 12:57pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Yes, my understanding is that melting zinc will cause corrosion of a steel pot. I suppose that there must be pots which will work, as there are zinc wheel weights which are cast.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: December 19 2018 at 1:41pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

That Ruger can be a nice cast shooting revolver. I shot thousands of rounds of cast through my old model Blackhawk 6 1/2" .357. It loved cast, but the cylinder throats were large enough and uniform. Ruger does not do as good a job of finishing their handguns as they used to. A revolver can do fairly well with jacketed bullets if it has tight cylinder throats, but not with cast. You would be well ahead to make certain that the cylinder throats are reamed just just slightly larger than the grooves of the bore and all sized uniform in order to make it a great cast shooting revolver.

Below is some really great reading about casting and shooting of cast.

What it takes to shoot cast well


Lots and lots of good articles written by the experts.



Must read Articles


Revolver shooting of cast


Edited by Ham Gunner on December 19 2018 at 1:46pm


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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 19 2018 at 2:27pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Ham, that's good encouragement. Good info on the throats as well. What do you use to measure them, calipers, ID mic, pin gauge?

I'll read up on those references, too. Thanks for those.

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 20 2018 at 7:22am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

The Ruger Blackhawk, is a good choice to use for load development, they are very durable, the only other gun that comes close to the strength is the Redhawk, .357.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: December 20 2018 at 7:27pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

An ID micrometer would certainly be the best way to measure, but just a half dozen simple soft round balls slightly larger than the throats can be pushed through with a wooden dowel and measured with an outside measuring micrometer as well.

If you can find a soft cast bullet or round ball that is sized at least .358 you could likely tell if the throats are close enough if it drops through the throats with little effort. I would imagine that if a piece of soft alloy .3585 would pass through with only a little help, it would be perfect.

You can likely feel whether or not some of the throats are tighter than others. If so, those will certainly cause bullets shot out of them to enlarge the group at the minimum and perhaps cause leading problems as well.

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: December 20 2018 at 7:47pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

This old thread has some good info. Was a good discussion.

Reaming Throats

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 21 2018 at 5:51am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

Brownells does a pretty good business selling throat reamers for Ruger revolvers.
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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 21 2018 at 2:24pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Ham,

Thanks again for the articles. I think I will try and use some 000 buck as my slug. I can mark each chamber with Dykem so I know what slug goes with which throat.

As for reaming - I will need to get my shop set up first. Then I will look at reaming. I may buy a blank of steel and drill and ream it for practice. Anyone have thoughts about what steel might approximate the hardness of the Ruger stainless?

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: December 21 2018 at 4:33pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Not sure about the hardness. I know that the stainless seems to be a bit harder to ream than chrome moly in my experience. I have reamed both. I reamed a Colt Anaconda .44 mag. and it had the tightest throats of about six revolvers that I reamed. A continuous and generous amount of reaming oil makes that job easy, however.

A throat reamer only requires a simple T-handle to allow it to be turned by hand. Gravity pulls the reamer through the throat so one only needs to rotate the reamer and let it go through the throat by it's own weight. No pressure needed nor wanted.

The reamer is aligned to start in the throat from the mouth end of the cylinder by special bushings that come with the reamer. Each throat is fit with which ever bushing will just barely fit into it. The reamer then self centers as it cuts through the throat via a slow and continuous clockwise only twist of the T-handle, adding oil along the way to make it cut smoothly and to carry the small cuttings on out and away from the reamer. Do not reverse the rotation or it could dull the reamer.

Some very, very fine honing polishing material of your choosing to polish up the throat is all that is needed to finish up the job by making the throats mirror smooth if you want. I use jewelers rouge on a bore mop chucked into my drill. For blued cylinders, a good De-greasing and then heat it up until it is almost too hot to hold in your hand and apply cold blue to the throats will finish up the job.


Very simple and can even be done at the kitchen table, etc. All that is needed is something to catch the dripping oil and cuttings.

Oh, and that Anaconda was a terrible revolver to clean after only shooting one cylinder full of cast bullets prior to reaming. After reaming it shot great and leading was virtually a non issue.

Edited by Ham Gunner on December 21 2018 at 5:01pm


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KinleyWater
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Posted: December 21 2018 at 5:10pm | IP Logged Quote KinleyWater

Ah, a hand reamer. I was thinking I would need to dial in on the ID and ream using a mill or press. Your method is much simpler. Of course, the last time I reamed something, it was on a 42 inch engine lathe...

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