Makuta Muzzleloading Bullets' R.E.A.L. Conicals
Mike Makuta of Mt. Olive, Illinois, likes to cast pure lead bullets. His specialty is the well-known Lee Precision REAL conical, the familiar self-cleaning driving band conical that engraves when you load it, as “REAL” stands for Rifling Engraved At Loading. Mike casts them to about 330 grains in .50 caliber, with all bullets in a 20-pack weighing within one half grain of each other. They are beautifully made and also economical at $7.85 for twenty bullets.
The REAL conical has been around for some time finding favor with sidelocks more than anything else. In my experience, they do the best if you don't push them excessively hard. As they are fairly short, stubby bullets they generally do well with 1:48 rate of twist barrels: T/C barrels in particular. With the driving bands, they are forgiving in the good sense when it comes to the wide variations found in muzzleloader barrel diameters. The ideal hunting load for this type of projectile has generally been about 90 grains by volume of Pyrodex P, FFFg organic blackpowder, or velocity equivalent. For target shooting, 60 grains FFFg is more like it. Some folks use felt wads beneath their REAL's, but I'll just characterize that as personal preference.
Mike is not adverse to doing custom work, either, so for that you'll want to contact Makuta Muzzleloading bullets directly. You can give him a ring at 618-635-9118.
Copyright 2010 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.