Improving the Keith Bullet

Keith’s #454424 was an excellent bullet, however it has been improved by Dave Scovill and is offered by RCBS as #45-270SAA. This is definitely my favorite bullet for use in .45 Colt sixguns. It follows Keith’s original idea of three equally sized driving bands. This bullet runs around 280-285 grains when cast, while at the same time having a slightly shorter nose than the original Keith design so it will fit in all Colt cylinders.

When loaded in the Colt Single Action at around 900 fps it’s a powerful everyday working load. This same bullet can be loaded to much higher velocity in Ruger’s single action and double action sixguns. RCBS also offers an excellent bullet of standard weight with their #45-255KT. This standard weight Keith bullet does not have the problems associated with the original Keith bullet.

With the coming of Ruger’s Blackhawk chambered in .45 Colt in the early 1970’s we finally had a sixgun able to tap the potential of the .45 Colt. We were soon shooting 300-gr. bullets at 1,200 fps from a 71/2" Ruger. We had to size down 300-gr. .45–70 bullets in several stages, going from around 0.460" to 0.452" to get that weight. It did not take long for manufacturers to offer heavier bullets, and two of the best came from NEI. Both of these are plain base Keith-style bullets and their numbers are #310.451 and #325.454, with the first three digits giving the approximate bullet weight. These can be driven to a full 1,200 fps in the Ruger Blackhawk.