-Above picture Lyman 454424 , 452423 , 452389 Note nose profile and meplat of first two
After having the Ruger Blackhawk out to the range a few times since its been getting warmer and warmer and trying the 252gr lee mold, 454424 lyman 255gr and the 185gr 452389 mold as well as already cast 200gr SWC's and 230gr RN I've come to some conclusions.
The lee 252gr Mold has too much body/shank and not enough ogive/nose. It therefore does not stabilize enough from what I can tell in the tests I have run. it seems to just tumble out of the barrel which ends up as poor results and keyholes on paper. I'm not sure what is causing this but my guess as stated before is the nose to body proportion.
The 200gr SWC's offer a nice plinker load and the 230gr RN is a nice bullet as well. The king of the crop so far is the 454424 Keith style 255gr mold with its generous meplat and sensible size of driving bands lube grooves and ogive. It is accurate with 2400 powder but non of the Unique loads I loaded and tried seemed to work all that well. The slower 2400 powder worked just fine and gave a good performance. Though further testing will be done until a all around load is settled on I imagine it will resemble a load right out of Sharpes book ("The complete Guide to handloading" of which I now own several copies). Black powder loads are a thought though but will be given no serious place outside of the accuracy testing and general range work. My goal is a accurate load that will have stopping power suitable for anything in North America...yes I may be guilty as being another person trying to magnumize the 45 Long colt but I think its a not so much of a question as can it be magnumized as a challenge.
Shot loads are something I plan on working on as well. Though #12 shot is ideal for any handgun or revolver shot load...I have access to only the shot I have from breaking down range pickup shotshells that were discarded (So anything between #6's and #8's I'm guessing). A 45 gas check will be used as the top wad and if I can get away with it a cardboard wad will be used as the lower. Although my concern is the fit of the lower wad keeping powder from working by. Perhaps a 45 wad punch should be invested in as I would use it for wads for the sharps as well as for punching out wads for this beast.
I am not the greatest shot with this Ruger BH yet. My natural point of aim and hands are so used to S&W grips and balance that this is a whole new horse I have to learn. It really seems to like the heavier bullets though I have not been able to go any heavier than the keith 255. A lighter Keith style 454423 mold has shown up at my door and bullets have been cast, lubed and sized. I need to get some serious target work done to compare the lighter bullet to the heavier Keith although I'm thinking the heavier bullet will outperform this slightly lighter brother. But only burned powder and punched paper will be able to tell.
So far I've been going over just caliber and bullet follow ups. The gun itself seems to be getting better with time. Grips are still going on and off of it until I find something that really feels natural to my hands. The sights are ok and what little midrange shooting I did with it last range trip I was happy with the results. 4 out of 6 shots hit the clay pigeons I was aiming at at just under 50 yards.