View Full Version : Best .45 LC moulds?

05-30-2005, 02:34 AM
I've got an order in for a Ruger New Vaquero. Shot a buddy's and just fell in love with the smaller framed gun. They seem to be making the 7.5" bbls. right now, so don't know when my 4 5/8 incher will arrive. Already have dies, brass and some Hornady 200 gr. LSWC's and 250 gr. RNFP's, but want a mould. Had a .45 LC Ruger 4 5/8" about 15 years ago, and it wouldn't shoot for spit. Probably the small cylinder throat problem, but didn't know then, so traded it off. My buddy's gun is shooting 6 into as little as 1" at 25, depending on loads. I had a Saeco "250 gr." SWC mould that actually cast using WW's at 276 gr., and it was a good mould, but naturally sold it too.

Have looked at the Lees in 200 RF, 250 RF and 255 SWC. Already have the Lee 190 SWC and 230 TC, and a Lyman 452460 and will try them, but really want a 250 and a 200. How does the 200 RF shoot for you guys, compared to the 250 and 255's?

Have also looked hard at the RCBS 270 Kieth style SWC. Would probably have to drive it pretty hard, for that mid-size frame, to get POI near the 200's and 230's. My buddy's gun is shooting the 200 LRNFP's and 230 JHP's pretty darn close at 50 yds., no more than 2" apart, vertically, using 9.5 gr. Unique with both bullets. Vel. in his gun is 1050 with the 200's and 1020 with the 230's. I think the 230 JHP's will work better than the 250 jacketed slugs for our smaller southern whitetails. They're designed for .45 ACP and should expand well on them at 1000-1100 fps.

I presently plan to work up a 200 gr. load and a 230 gr. load for most of my shooting, but I think a hotter 250 gr. lead bullet load with big flat point would be useful. Some old load books I have indicate that I may be able to get enough velocity from Blue Dot and maybe some other powders with the 250's to get the POI close enough to be useful for me on deer or pigs.

Anyone have any experience with the 200 gr. Lee RNFP's, and if so, how did they perform. Same for the Lee 250 and 255 gr. RNFP and SWC, and the RCBS 270 gr. Keith type bullet. Any experience with any others would also be appreciated. Will stick with the softer recoiling 200 gr. loads for most of my shooting, with the 230's and 250's being reserved for more "special" applications, but DO want those loads when they appear called for.

Thanks for any advice and experience you can offer. Have little experience with the .45 LC, and that's been some years ago. BTW, will often be shooting small stuff with these loads, so accuracy will be my primary criterion in bullet selection. No substitute for putting them right where they need to be. Thanks.

05-30-2005, 07:17 AM
I think the best bullet ever made for the 45 Colt will be the 452423 boolit we are getting in the group buy. By some freakish occurance the Honcho will send the most accurate one of the batch of highly accurate ones to the 43543 zip code.



David R
05-30-2005, 08:02 AM
I shoot the 452424 255 grain exclusivly sized to 452 to match my chamber mouths. It will run 4 to 6 inches at 100 yards, doesn't lead. I do not hunt any more, just shoot paper and steel targets. I tried 200 grain boolits but like the 255 much better. I use 9 grains of unique for 900 fps give or take. Nice shooting load, and you don't forget its a 45.

05-30-2005, 08:31 AM
Blackwater, if you want to stick with 230 grain boolits buy the RCBS 45-230 CM and you will be happy. It is one of the best all-around 45 boolits I have ever used. Tony

05-30-2005, 11:24 AM
I bought a RCBS 255 gr SWC double cavity mould back in the 70's. All I have to say is that I'll give any of you fellows a run for your money with any revolver using my Smith 25 using that bullet over 9.0 grs of Unique........it shoots that good....and not just out of the Smith. For a tradition Keith type SWC, you can't go wrong with this bullet.


05-30-2005, 12:38 PM
I have the Lee 250 gr. and it shoots good, but I have to agree with everyone here. ALL are great boolits and the .45 is not picky as long as the throats are the right size. Take your pick and make smoke!

05-30-2005, 01:25 PM
Blackwater, I bought my first 45 LC in 1973 when I was 16, fell in love with it and never looked back. My all time favorite load is 8 to 9 gr. of Unique w/the Lyman 454190. This load has always produced excellent accuracy in all of my 45's, and is pleasant to shoot. I also use an LBT 320 gr. LFN. When I was younger, I'd run it around 1300 to 1400 fps w/healthy doses of H110.(these were hunting loads, mind you) 4 to 5 in.groups @ 100 yds if I did my part. I still like this bullet, but load it over 9 gr. unigue now. Much easier on the wrist, and will sail through any critter foolish enough to get in the way. I still stoke it with the heavy loads in bear country, though. I've also got a Lyman 452424 LM (anyone know what LM means?). I've never been able to get this bullet to shoot in any of my guns no mater what load I tried, but I must be jinxed, because every one else I know who uses it gets great results.
Regards, Rick

05-30-2005, 01:37 PM
My own experience suggests that I pour the molten lead into my palm and form the bullet with my fingers prior to using any Lee mold.
OK, that said I have the RCBS 255 swc grain two cavity and it works wonderfully, but slow.
I have the Lyman 255 swc grain in a double and in the four cavity. Both produce great bullets, of course the four cavity is my choice.
I have two Saeco 255 swc four cavity molds, which is what I use all the time, because I can really turn out bunchs of very nice bullets.
And last but not least I have a NEI 255 swc in a four cavity, also does very well.
I load all of 45 Colt ammo with 8.5 to 9.5 grains of Unique using any of these bullets with equal results in my S&W 25s, 625, Colt Anaconda and Ruger Blackhawk. All of these have worked well with the bullets sized .454 lubed with Microlube and now LBT Blue.
The 45 Colt cartridge is pretty democratic in it's tastes.

05-30-2005, 02:44 PM
I shoot the 45 Colt quite a bit. If I were going to have just one mold, it would be the RCBS 45-270 SAA. If you want to have just one mold for the 45 Colt, 45 ACP and 45 Auto Rim, 452423 is the mold of choice.

Don't take the Ruger tight cylinder throat issue lightly. If they are less than .452 open them up to .4525 - .453 before you fire your first shot with cast bullets. WWW.cylindersmith will do it for a reasonable price as will Stillwell Tool and Die (www.sizingdie.com)

MT Gianni
05-30-2005, 03:10 PM
I have a Lee 355 RF and a LY 454424. Throat size is .4525 in a dual cylinder blackhawk. The Ly outshoots the lee by 2 1/2" at 25 yards and gets worse at 50. I would get a keith type mold and not waste time on the RF if it were me. Gianni.

05-30-2005, 03:12 PM
So many choices here. You have to decide the weight you want and take it from there.

In the heavies, I like the RCBS 45-325-FN. Lymans 457191 or even the 457122HP aren't bad when downsized over a charge of LIl Gun.

In the 250 grain range I'm partial to the 454190 or the HP version and these get most of my attention in the .45 Colt. Then there's the 452490 that's pretty close to a Keith if you remove the GC shank. Same with the 454485 and even the 452400 is a good shooter.

The 452424's not bad but for accuracy, but the 454190 or 452490 will beat it. Makes a really nice, wide meplat hunting bullet though.

Then, you get down into the lightweights and the 45-230-CM is king here, followed by the 452423.

The 200s and lighter I normally reserve for the .45 ACP but they'll do all right in the .45 Colt. Just depends on what you need./beagle

05-30-2005, 10:01 PM
Beagle, right on, so many choices. The Lee 452-200-RF is a dandy with about 9.0/Unique. I'll second the 454190. Also need to try another Lee - 454-255-RF which also works good in my Colt 1917 in 45 AR. So many choices. Just like goin' to the candy shop.... And I'm just agettin' started. Been casting and loading for more than 30 years and just recently started playing with 45 Colt. I reamed the cylinder and it's shooting much better. sundog

06-03-2005, 01:29 AM
Thanks for the replys, fellows. Looks like it's going to be hard to miss here, doesn't it? My buddy loaded up 10 gr. of Unique in his 4 5/8" New Vaquero, and got 1100 fps. - plenty for what we're likely to want or need to do with these guns. I'm still waiting on the gun, though. Looks like they're only making the 7.5" barrels right now. My buddy has a Lyman Shorty ramp on his with the 1/16" white bead, and I think it very likely I'll do the same with mine. That being the case, I'm thinking of getting a 7.5" barrel and cutting it to 4 5/8". That way, I won't have the slot for the front sight to deal with when I drill and tap it. Sure makes a slick sighting arrangement, and as I've gotten older, my eyes seem to be getting kinda' picky about what sights I can see and shoot best with under field conditions.

I don't get here but maybe once or twice a week, but I sure appreciate all the comments and experience here. Mostly, will be shooting small game and varmints with this gun, and maybe some frogs at the river for a nice supper. Generally, I want one load as a light but versatile number with the 200's. Conserves lead, you know, and they've done quite well in many guns I've known through the years, notably one an old gunsmith from my youth shot so much. It was the first large caliber centerfire revolver I ever shot. Maybe sentiment has something to do with it too. He was one FINE man!

My buddy's gun shoots to dead on the top of his bead at 50 yds. Driving it faster lowers POI, so the 230 with 10 gr. Unique shoots to the same POI as the 200 with 9.5 gr. at 1050 fps. Not a bad combo.

However, I think you guys may have just corrupted me into getting a 250 grainer. I may have to drive those pretty fast to get them to within 3" of the 200/230's, but .... I've done a lot worse.

I really think I'm going to love this gun. Short, not too heavy, packs well. It should BE there when and where I need to shoot something, I think. With that white bead front, I may even be able to HIT it, too! :wink:

Looks like I'm going to wind up trying a lot of moulds before it's over with, though.

One last question: has anyone used the Saeco 250 gr. (appx. - I disremember listed wt. right now) RNFP's? Looks to have a larger meplat than the Lyman 452190, but pictures in catalogs aren't always reliable. The Lyman is so famous for its performance that it'd be awfully hard not to go with that one, and the RNFP's sure do feed into those cylinders nicely, don't they?

Again, thanks for all the advice. Just wish you wouldn't make me spend so dang much MONEY! :wink:

06-03-2005, 09:34 PM
I shoot the 452424 255 grain exclusivly sized to 452 to match my chamber mouths. It will run 4 to 6 inches at 100 yards, doesn't lead. I do not hunt any more, just shoot paper and steel targets. I tried 200 grain boolits but like the 255 much better. I use 9 grains of unique for 900 fps give or take. Nice shooting load, and you don't forget its a 45.

My bullet as well. For plinking, I use 8.0 of Unique. For an all around trail and carry load, I use 9.0. Both are excellent loads.

06-03-2005, 11:28 PM
You ordered a Ruger. Good. My Blackhawk convertible shoots everything from 155 gr. to 335 gr. well. I have used a dozen different powders, but any recipe utilizing Unique will shoot very accurately with a little load adjustment.