I spent some time playing with different loads and I tried out some cast balls. There is no comparison between the groups with the swaged round balls and the cast round balls. I found it quite difficult to get the flat spot where the sprue cut at top dead center of the chamber. The sprue cut quite often ended up a bit off center and consequently the accuracy suffered. The loads consisted of a measure of black powder with a prelubed felt wad (Wonderwads) a few grains of cornmeal and a .454 swaged or cast round ball. At 15 yards I was getting groups about 2" across with the swaged balls and about 4-5" across with the cast balls.
I finally broke the pistol down and removed the cylinder and used a short starter to load the cast balls into the cylinder and I did find that the accuracy improved somewhat (down to about 3"). So overall, when accuracy matters I still be reaching for the swaged balls. I think that if I continue using the the cast round balls I'll eventually invest in something like the cylinder loading stand pictured in Figure 1. The lack of accuracy with my fumble fingered loading would eventually turn my reproduction 1860 into a safe queen and I have no interest in owning a gun that I seldom use. Guns are meant to be used not just admired. Used safely and in safe conditions but used nonetheless.
|Figure 1, A Cylinder Loading Stand from www.biglube.com|