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Not too many years ago, if a sixgunner wanted premium bullets he had to cast his own. Back then, very little was available commercially, and the bullets that were offered weren't always of the best quality. Much has changed, and a veritable super market of bullets now exists. The bullets fall into two categories: Bevel-based with hard lube, which handles about 90 percent of sixgunning chores quite well and is the standard for cowbc1y shooters and plinkers as well as being useful for some hunting applications; and premium-cast, which is primarily used in special applications, usually hunting.

The bevel-based, hard-lubed bullets are the common type which can be readily purchased just about anywhere that reloading components are sold. True premium quality hard-cast bullets -- in designs that are idealized for their intended applications and not just for easy mechanized casting -- are something else, and are not always easy to find. Let me share with I you two of my favorite sources for this latter type.

BRP Cast Bullets

After Roger Barnes of Colorado Springs retired from teaching in the 1980s, he decided to go into something simple. Bullet casting From the very beginning, he ensured that BRP offered only top-quality premium bullets, with his wife as the quality engineer. After his wire passed away, he decided to sell the business. My first concern was that it would end up in the hands of someone who shared Roger's enthusiasm for quality.

The business went to Jay Sanders in Tulsa, Okla. I was quite amused as Roger Barnes introduced Jay to us writer types at the 2000 SHOT Show. Without any collusion on our part, we all immediately jumped him, making it plain how important it was for him to maintain Roger's level of quality. Although Jay was probably punch drunk by the end of the show, he certainly got the message and has followed through.

I have been testing several samples of the "new" bullets out of Oklahoma and can testify without reservation that they measure up to BRP's standards. In .44 Magnum, both the 255-grain SWC gas check and the 290-grain SWC gas check -- loaded over one of my favorite standard .44 Magnum loadings of 10.0 grains of Unique -- shoot superbly from my Ruger Super Blackhawk. The 255-grain bullet does 1,230 fps, the 290-grain version goes out at 1,165, and both put five shots into 7/8 inch at 25 yards with my eyes and iron sights. It hardly ever gets any better than this!

In .45 caliber, one of my all-time favorite bullets is BRP's 305-grain FNGC (flat-nosed gas check). Loaded in Starline .45 Colt brass over 18.5 grains of Accurate Arms AA No. 9 and ignited by CCI #350 Magnum Pistol primers, the muzzle velocity from a 7 1/2-inch Ruger Redhawk is 1,290 fps and a most gratifying 25-yard group of 3/4 inch. Now I definitely know it doesn't get any better than this!

BRP bullets are cast of linotype and offered in nearly 40 variations for everything from .32 Magnum up through the .357 -- all the standard big bores, as well as the .50 AE and the .475 and .500 Linebaugh chamberings.

Cast Performance Bullet Co.

Kelly and Renae Brost head up this premium-quality bullet company, which emphasizes hunting with heavyweight LBT-style bullets. Both of the Brosts are hunters, and they routinely test their bullets in the field -- Renae just took a big bull-bison this winter with a handload using Cast Performance bullets.

CPBC offers a complete line of the LBT-style bullets, which feature most of their weight in the nose. This accomplishes two things: More powder capacity is made available in the cartridge case, and the forward weight increases penetration. Not only is there a wide range of LBT bullets to choose from, CPBC also offers sensible-starting reloading data for each bullet's many applications. For example, when you purchase .45 caliber bullets, the loading data covers Colt Single Action, Ruger and Freedom Arms sixguns. LBT bullets come in both plain-based and gas-checked versions, as well as LFN (Long Flat Nose) and WFN (Wide Flat Nose) configurations. The LFN is usually the most accurate of the two designs at long range, while the WFN offers greater shocking power. (See sidebar for a complete rundown of CPBC bullets and sample test results.)

Having shot too many BRP and CPBC Bullets to count, and also having shot sixguns side-by-side with Jay Sanders, and Kelly and Renae Brost, I can highly recommend their bullets and testify to the fact that these are all straight shooters in more ways than one!


.41 Caliber: 250,255 and 265 grain with plain-based or gas-checked versions

.44 Caliber: 255 grain, as well as heavyweights in 275,320 and 325 grain

.45 Caliber: 265 to 325, 335, 360, and even 370 and 395 grain

.475 Linebaugh: and 425 grain

.500 Linebaugh: 410 grain

.357 Magnum: 160, 180 and 187 grain LBT gas check-desion that is the penetration champion in this chambering.

Cast Performance Bullet Co. Is cutting mold blocks right now for the new .480 Ruger, and I would expect these bullets to be in the 350- to 400-grain range.

Some sample test results from the use of CPBC heavyweight bullets in the .45 Colt give a good picture of both their accuracy and power potential.

Using Ruger's 7 1/2 inch Redhawk .45 Colt, Starline brass, Winchester's WW296 powder and CCI #350 Magnum Pistol primers, the following results were achieved. All four loads are right at one inch for fire shots at 25 yards.

CPDC 265 LDTOC: 26.0 grains, 1,465 fps

CPDC 325 LOTOC: 21.0 grains, 1,235 fps

CPBC 335 LOTOC: 21.0 grains, 1,275 fps

CPBC 360 LOTOC: 19.5 grains, 1,180 fps
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Publication:Guns Magazine
Date:Nov 1, 2001
Next Article:The Return Of The SIXTEEN.

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