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Discussion Starter #1
Here are three similar but different .429" SWCs:


The one on the right is RCBS 44-250KT. With WW alloy, this one drops at ~265gr. I'm told that this is the closest modern .44 cal. mould to Elmer's original design - and this is the best bullet I've ever found for any of the .44 Specials or Magnums I've had. A lot of this bullet seats out well ahead of the case - giving lower chamber pressures than one that seats deeper.

The one on the left is Lyman 429421 and drops bullets at ~240gr. If you look closely, you will note that it is slightly shorter than the RCBS version, and has a narrower front driving band than the RCBS version. The only reason I still keep this mould is because it is a 4-banger and can really churn out a pile of bullets in a short time.

The center bullet is a SWC, but was designed by Ray Thompson, a forest ranger and casts at about ~250gr. Thompson's answer to leading problems was to stick a gas check on it. Skeeter Skelton was a proponent of the Thompson design, and so was I until the price of gas checks became so high, I no longer consider this bullet worthy of my thrifty Scots heritage. This is a great bullet for a .44 Magnum rifle - if it will cycle and chamber reliably in your gun.

xtm
 

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In your opinion, who is the best supplier of Keith style bullets for any given caliber?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you are asking about bullet moulds for casting your own, then RCBS, IMO.

If you are asking about a commercial casting outfit who is selling cast bullets, then it is Leadhead Bullets, Inc., St. John Kansas. As far as I know, they are the only folks claiming to be selling bullets of true Elmer Keith design. They look like true E.K. bullets in the photos.

http://www.proshootpro.com/

I would like to be proven wrong about this, but every other SWC I've found for sale out there has a short nose and that blasted bevel base. No true E.K.-designed SWC bullet has a bevel base.

xtm
 

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We have a Fellow Forum Member, Jesse Clark, who's in the Cast Bullet Business..... Jesse calls himself "nkjnut". His website lists Keith Bullets and while I've never used any of his slugs, I hear nothing but good about his wares on the other board I frequent.

Before I bought bullets from a stranger, I'd drop old Jesse a line.... might be worth it.

http://tennesseevalleybullets.com/aboutus.html

Drew
 

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Jessie is known as "Bulletman" on this forum.

I second Drew's recommendation. I have used his bullets in 38/357 caliber and am waiting on an order of 41 mag bullets now. Jessie makes a great product for a very reasonable price. He gets the hardness just right. I have seen no leading from his bullets, even when pushed hard in .357 mag loads. Jessie's web site that Drew linked is basic but all the info is there. If you are really wanting a good experience, give Jess a call. His number is on the website. You will have a great conversation with a friendly feller who is very knowledgeable about guns and reloading.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
When I started going down the list of his bullets, all I saw were BB designs :roll: - until I got down to the bottom where he lists his specialty bullets. There, he lists a 250gr."Keith" in .44! Maybe he has more calibers in the works.

I love to be proven wrong in cases like this! :)

Another big plus about Jesse's bullets is that they are not cast of "rock hard" alloy, as he puts it. Also, he will change the alloys to suit you if you order >2000 bullets.

xtm
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One of my buddies who lurks on this forum brought me one of the Leadhead brand 168gr .357 "Keith" SWCs. It stands on the right - next to Lyman/Ideal 358477. Both are SWCs and both have flat, plain bases, but neither one of them is a true Elmer Keith design. The nose portions are both shorter than E.K.'s design and both will fit in the cylinder of a M-27 or M-28 when crimped in the proper groove when seated in a .357 Mag. case! Also note the rounded lube groove on the left one. E.K. argued with Lyman about that until he was blue in the face - insisting that his mould should have a square-bottom lube groove.


He also brought me a 240gr .44 SWC with bevel base that is often mistakenly called a "Keith" SWC. This was cast from one of the Magma Engineering-designed moulds by Meister or Lasercast and stands on the Left - next to the other three .44 SWCs shown before. Note the exaggerated bevel base that is rebated almost as much as the Ray Thompson GC SWC.


xtm
 
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