General Rules on How to Select a Pistol Bullet
No one can tell you which bullet your particular gun will like, not even us. You’ll have to try some different ones and experiment. But to get you started in the right direction, here are some general rules on how to select a pistol bullet:Gas-checked bullet designs can be shot faster than the plain-based designs because the gas-check protects the base and helps prevent leading.
- LFN – The long nose profile is ballistically better for shooting long range (over 100 yds) – excellent hunting bullet.
- WFN – These make a large wound channel, but are not a good long range bullet (less than 100 yds) – makes an excellent hunting bullet.
- Keith style v. SWC – Every mould maker has a different definition of what a Keith style bullet means. In Keith’s time, the only other bullet types were Wadcutter (WC) and round-nose (RN), both of which he felt were inferior hunting bullet designs. Bullets identified as SWC on the price list are that mould makers expression of a Keith style bullet.
- SPG Black Powder Lube is available for most pistol bullets. If not an option when ordering, please put a comment in the note section of the order. If we feel the selected bullet will not carry enough black powder lube, we’ll let you know. The final decision is yours to make.
- Air cooled and HT are better alloys for hunting because high antimony alloys like linotype tend to be brittle and shatter when they hit hard bone. Air cooled and HT both act the same in game but velocities they can be shot without leading vary; air cooled (which is usually a plain-based design), up to 1000 fps; HT plain based up to 1200 fps and HT gas-checked up to 1600 fps. Linotype pistol bullets can be shot faster than HT. Plain based linotype bullets should handle up to 1600-1700 fps. Gas-checked linotype bullets can be shot up to 2300 fps, perhaps a little more. These are all estimates, however, as many factors influence top velocity load performance.
- If cartridge OAL is a concern, then use the nose to crimp lengths posted with each bullet below + your case length to determine if the cartridge OAL will fit your application.
- The critical dimension in a revolver to match with a cast bullet is the cylinder throats. A bullet that snugly fits the cylinder throats shoots best. You get a better gas seal and better accuracy with a bullet sized to the cylinder throat dimensions in revolvers.
- Loading data – We don’t provide loading data but a favorite source of reliable and accurate load data for us is LoadData, an online site administered by Wolf Publishing Group for a nominal fee. We also recommend the Lyman, Lee and Accurate Arms manuals and well as numerous powder websites. Another book we use and recommend on learning more about shooting cast bullets is Veral Smith’s “Jacketed Performance With Cast Bullets”.
- More information can be found by reading our FAQ, Bullet Notes, and About Moulds… pages.