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in BPCR Silhouette anyway and in my old age I prefer soft shooting handguns instead of magnums. Fast traveling handgun bullets usually do benefit from gas checks.

Now let's look at sizes — bullet sizes. I say, "Go big." That means I would rather have a bullet .003" over a firearm's barrel's groove diameter than even .0005" smaller. That said, for my BPCR Silhouette bullets I am happy with bullets .001" larger. That means if the barrel measures .408", a .409" bullet makes me happy and with .458" barrels then .459" bullets are fine. An old gunwriter myth goes, "The best sizing of cast rifle bullets is no sizing." I used to buy into that and ran my .409" .40 caliber slugs in a .410" die. It applied lube but didn't touch the bullets. Using that bullet sizing method in a Lone Star .40-65 rolling block I once won the Montana State BPCR Silhouette championship. Then I started sizing my bullets so they were perfectly round. With those sized .45 caliber bullets I won the 2008 Arizona Scoped State BPCR Silhouette championship. Go figure.

Revolvers can be a different story. There we also have the factor of cylinder chamber mouths along with barrel diameter. The Colt SAA in .45 caliber is a special offender in that its barrels are uniformly .451" and its cylinder chamber mouths since about 1956 have been .455" and sometimes bigger. There I compromise; sizing my rather soft 1-20 bullets to .454". Pistols for 9mm Parabellum can also present problems. Nominal bullet size for them is .355" yet I've never seen a 9mm shoot even the hardest cast bullets worth a hoot if they are sized .355". Many will do OK with .356" bullets. All my military 9mms (Browning Hi Power, Luger, P38) accept cartridges loaded with .357" cast bullets and shoot them as good as I can hold.

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