Handloader|February 2021
Brian Pearce

Q: A friend recommended that I try cast bullets from RCBS mould No. 45-250-FN to obtain better accuracy in my USFA PreWar model .45 Colt. He gave me a few handfuls of unsized bullets to try. However, when I went to load them, I noticed that their weight was actually 264 grains instead of the indicated 250 grains. Should I reduce my normal 6.0-grain charge of Alliant Red Dot powder? If so, by how much?

Also, in looking at this bullet design, I am not sure where to apply the crimp. It appears that it has two grease grooves and no crimp groove. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Incidentally, I read Handloader from cover to cover every issue. I thoroughly enjoy your articles as well as those by John Barsness and Mike Venturino. Please keep up the great work. New Castle, PA

A: You raise a good question, as the RCBS mould No. 45-250-FN has no crimp groove. Yes, you are correct, both of the grooves are grease grooves. The designers of this mould clearly wanted it to be crimped over the front driving band in a similar fashion as Lyman’s classic mould No. 454190, which results in an overall cartridge length that is within The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute (SAAMI) specifications of 1.600 inches. However, I suggest only placing bullet lube in the lower grease groove and use the upper grease groove as a crimp groove. Although this method results in an overall cartridge length of around 1.640 inches, your USFA Pre-War revolver, as well as Colt SAAs and copies, will easily accommodate cartridges of this length. Furthermore, putting the front driving band into the chamber throats almost always results in better accuracy, and with the bullet seated out, powder capacity is increased so there is really no need to reduce your 6.0-grain charge of Red Dot powder.


Q: On a recent visit to a favorite gun shop in Tucson, Arizona, I found a Winchester Model 94AE XTR produced in the 1980s and chambered in 7-30 Waters. Not wanting to pass up a good Model 94 and wanting to remember Mr. Waters, I bought it. Would you be able to offer some 7-30 loads as well as a brief history of the cartridge? This is my first 7mm rifle. T.R.H., Willcox, AZ

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