Cast Bullets For Non-Casters

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Rim Rock Bullets

By John Taffin

My initial reloading efforts were not the most fruitful. This was in 1956–1957 and I had both a Ruger .357 Magnum 45/8″ Flat-Top Blackhawk and one of the very early released new 2nd Generation Colt .45 71/2″ Single Action Armies. My reloading “press” was the Lyman #310 Tong Tool with dies for both .357 and .45 Colt. There was no way to full-length resize brass with this set up so I had separate sizing dies for which I hammered the cases in and then tapped them out with the wooden dowel. The word was slooooooow.

Over the too-many rapidly passing decades since those early days, I’ve accumulated more than 300 bullet molds, most of which are double- and four-cavity versions. I also have two 20-pound bottom pour melting pots and sizing/lubricating dies and machines of all sizes and types. It’s a far cry from the way I started out.

However, even with all my equipment there are times when I don’t have the time, or more likely, the energy to come up with the bullets I need for a project. Or perhaps, you’re one of those reloaders who does not have casting equipment and is reluctant to make the considerable investment to get started in a reasonable way.

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Gas Check SWC Rim Rock Bullets in .38, .44, and .45; .44 and .45 wadcutters.
They make non-gas check bullets too. Right: Rim Rock Bullets’ .38 hollowpoint
gas check loaded in .38 Special and .357 Magnum brass.

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Quality & Accuracy

I’ve been testing a variety of Rim Rock Bullets in .357 Magnum, .44 Special, .45 Colt and .44 Magnum, using some of my standard loads — and receiving excellent results.

In the .45 Colt one of my favorite loads has long been 20.0 grains of #4227 under a Keith bullet. With the Rim Rock 255SWC-GC this load shoots into 3/4″ at 20 yards in a Ruger 71/2″ New Model Blackhawk; that is literally a one-hole group. Two different loads were tried with the .44 Hollow Point version of this bullet, both of which gave groups of 1″ using my custom Ruger New Model Flat-Top .44 Special with a 101/2″ barrel by Gary Reeder. Using 15.5 grains of #2400, this is an excellent hunting load clocking out at just over 1,200 fps.

The same excellent results were obtained with the .357 Magnum 158-grain Hollow Point Gas Check in a Ruger New Model Flat-Top Blackhawk with a 10″ barrel. Whether I used #2400 or #4227 the results were the same with 15 grains of the latter clocking out at 1,235 fps and 14 grains of the former adding 150 fps to the muzzle velocity. Both groups measured right at 1″. Rim Rock Bullets provide an excellent product and are recommended highly.

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Targets shot with Rim Rock’s bullets in .44 Magnum and .45
Colt Rugers show their consistent accuracy.

Help Is Here

There’s now help for both of us from Rim Rock Bullets. It’s now possible for non-bullet casters to access custom cast bullets of virtually any type, size and hardness from Rim Rock.

There are several important attributes coming together to make a quality cast bullet. One is the design itself, another is the alloy used and the sizing diameter is especially important, often critical. Rim Rock Bullets uses proven designs such as Keith and LBT for their cast bullets, orders their virgin lead in 60-pound bars and 60,000 pounds at a time. This lead is then mixed with tin and antimony to the proper hardness. Large batches help to provide excellent consistency.

They also run one bullet type per week to ensure consistency. By running four machines with one bullet type for 10 days they create in excess of one million bullets. This just about guarantees the bullet you’re looking for will be in stock. They also provide the proper hardness for the use the bullet will be put to. For example, Keith bullets have a BHN of 15.

Rim Rock Bullets basically offers five styles of bullets. Currently they catalog 26 bullets for Cowboy Action Shooting, 23 Gas Check bullets, 54 Premium Hard Cast, 43 Standard Hard Cast and 10 SPG lubed bullets for black powder shooting. New designs are constantly being added. Two of the newest are 440 WFN (Wide Flat Nose) LBT designs for the .475 Linebaugh/.480 Ruger and the .500 Linebaugh. Custom sizing is available. For example .500 S&W bullets can be had in diameters of .500″, .501″ and .502″. For rifle shooters one of the most exasperating cartridges is the .38-55 as there is so much variation in the throat and groove diameters. Rim Rock addresses this offering sizes from .377″ to .382″.

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