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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sometimes it better to look @ older bullet designs to use in modern firearms settings. Allot of modern bullets are designed to be used in a specific firearm/caliber. They can be used in more than 1 type/style of firearm but their use is limited.

The old cramer #5 is one of those designs that will work in most 45cal firearms. They made different variations of the #5 series for the different 45cal firearms & suffixes such as 5a, 5b, 5c, etc.

This is a 5f cramer bullet.



It's a 173gr hollow base swc that is .4545 as cast & are sized down to .452 in the picture. The .454 size & the hb makes this an excellent bullet for any of the 45acp/45lc firearms. Some of the older 45lc firearms had oversized bores as did the 1917 s&w service rovelvers & the micro-grooved marlin 1895 bbl's.

This bullet is designed to fit/seal any oversized bores along with being able to be used in any tube fed, revolver, semi-auto with bores from .451 to .456 in dia.

Pretty good for an 80+ year old design.
 

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I had an opportunity to pick one of these molds up at a gun show a few years ago. I passed on it, as I felt it was a little overpriced. 20 minutes later I changed my mind and decided that I would drop the extra few bucks and get it anyway. I went back to the table, but it was gone. I still kick myself when I see one of these bullets that someone else has cast. You didn't by chance buy this at the Will Rogers show about 6 years ago did you? Is that MY mold? (LOL, nice pills, I'm jealous)
 

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Although that is a hollowbase design, not all hollowbases were intended to allow the bullet base to expand. Notice the really thick skirt at the base, your hollowbase design is intended to simply lighten the bullet while maintaining its length, probably for reliability. Some hollowbase bullets have tapered skirts, intended to expand and fill the bore upon firing, 38 wadcutters come to mind. I stumbled onto this area of bullet design while researching Elmer Keiths 429422 hollowbase design. He wrote that his hollowbase was intended to lighten the bullet to 230 gr while retaining it's length for balance and stability, and that the heavy skirt was designed to resist expansion in the bore. This all took place back in the 1920s, and is just now resurfacing today. Old bullet designs are really neat, and I buy the old molds whenever possible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
LOL, no This isn't the same mold.

anachronism your close, the 429422 had a hb version for the reasons you stated. Here's mine with a solid pin in it right now.



The h&g 5f on the other hand was specifically designed for the 1917 45acp revolver. Those revolvers had huge variances in their bbl diameters & the one's mfg'd outside the country were even worse. So h&g designed a bullet that would work in wide range of bbl diameters.

Something to think about:
The original 45acp round was designed to be 14,000psi. The army bumped it up to 17,000psi after the 1917 revolvers came out to help seal the bores.
 

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My 429422 mold is like yours, the early style. I never did have a flat base pin made to fit mine, but will probably do so this coming year so I can do a "nostalgia" deer hunt with the original Keith design. I couldn't find a pic of an H&G 5F, but most of the resources left to us don't show the very early molds. The 200 gr 38 S&W bullet isn't shown anymore, but H&G produced hundreds of them for the British government in the years prior to Americas entry in WWII. It's good to see somebody else into the old designs too. Here's a pic of my 429422. I had it stripped of the pin, screws, and sprue plate so I could supply clear pics of it to a guy who's allegedly writing a book about Lyman, and he wanted to see the markings really clearly.
 

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We really should sit back and pay a moment of respect to some of those old bullet designers. They didn't have computers, wind tunnels, no understanding of supersonic aerodynamics, no high speed photography nor many of our modern research tools. They worked with their intuition and native design genius that built on a solid understanding of basic ballistics and the work of the men who went before them.

For hundreds of years it was the patched, cast round ball-until the Frenchman Monet who gave us the expanding skirt and the basis of the modern conical bullet...

Those turn of the century mould designs probably can't be beat.
 

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The older I get, the smarter Elmer Keith gets.

I swear, I believed that the 429422 was intended as a low velocity target bullet. I went to research my molds history, and lo and behold, Keith intended it to be used as a high velocity 44 Spl bullet, all the hollow base was supposed to do is lighten the bullet, and slightly increase case volume. This explains why so many guys who showed data for low velocity loads complained about accuracy, and the guys who hot rodded it really got good results. I have a lot of research time checking and double checking everything before I was ready to make this seemingly outlandish claim.

And Keith wasn't the only genius of the era. I really dig the old molds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It's hard to find anything about the old cramer molds. A pic of the top of the mold.



The hb pins.



Seeing how your a keith fan, another version of the 429421.



The hp version of the keith bullet is allot more common. They made 2 different sized hp pins for these molds .146 & a .140. This mold has the larger .146 pin.
 

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Older .45acp molds....

One of the mainstays of older mold designs has been the 200 grain H&G#68 SWC mold, which is widely copied and used to this day.....it remains in existence because it has the ability to produce very accurate bullets....
 

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The H&G 68 design is sheer genius. George Hensley essentially designed this bullet by studying the 230 gr military ball cartridge as it fed into a 1911. He identified the critical dimensions as far as length and profile went, and removed weight from the areas that didn't affect feeding. He squared the nose a bit, and ended up with a semi-wadcutter that feeds like military ball. Here's my current favorite 45 bullet design. LBTs 230 gr LFN. It also feeds in everything I've tried it in.
 
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