Keith Rules

My standard choice for loading the .44 Special is what’s normally known as the Keith bullet. There are many bullet designs bearing the name Keith, but a semi-wadcutter design does not make it a “Keith” bullet. Elmer laid down specific specifications for a bullet bearing his name: three equally sized full caliber driving bands, a deep crimping groove between the middle and top bands, a large grease groove between the middle and bottom bands and a flat bottom with no bevel.

Since I cast my own, I have a choice of H&G #503, Lyman #429421, NEI #260.429 and the RCBS #44-250KT bullets. Using wheel weight alloy, they weigh approximately 255–260 grains. I recently read the .44 Special cast bullet is standardized at 0.430". This is definitely not the case if you’re looking for accuracy. I have .44 Specials whose chamber throats are as tight as 0.427" and as large as 0.433", and I just took possession of a Spanish copy of the old S&W Triple-Lock with 0.437" throats. Trying to make a 0.430" bullet work for all of these would be an exercise in futility.