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Thread: Need 45 Colt load data for rifle, Cast or Jacketed

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 44 WCF's Avatar
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    Need 45 Colt load data for rifle, Cast or Jacketed

    We have been shooting mostly shorter range steel targets and I was using Laser Cast 250 RNFP with ok results for steel plates etc at closer range and on paper out to 50 yards. But last weekend tried chickens at 100 on out to 200 yds. My popcorn loads couldnt' cut it. Put on a scope and bench shooting at 100 confirmed the lighter loads, while fun to shoot are not very consistent in this rifle. Anyone have favorite load for the 45 Colt in a rifle.
    Any help in reducing load testing ((Cost))) would be appreciated.

    This is my first venture with the 45 Colt, all previous has been with 44-40.

    Thanks
    44 WCF
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    I like the 45 Colt cartridge, but the gun chambers are far too oversized for my tastes. This means hot loads should not be used, because of excessive case stretching back towards the rim. This won't hurt anything when the case was maximized for that particular gun, and then resizing only the boolit holding portion for that gun. But typically there are several guns in the house making it difficult to come up with only one single hot load for them all that can tolerate such a hot load. ... felix
    felix

  3. #3
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    Felix

    Maybe the gentleman needs alittle more then "Colt" loads. I don't think he needs the "pedal to the metal" loads. I've shot some very very hot loads out of my Trapper, which does have any oversize chamber. Nothing as far as brass let go. I didn't chrono the really hot ones as I didn't have my chrono then. Let me say this, take an average rock, sandstone, about the size of a catalope...I shot a few of these size rocks with my RCBS 255 SWC over an unpostable load of 4227. The results was the rock powdered as though shot by a jacketed 30-06!!! The brass swelled do to the oversized chamber, but dropped right out of the chamber. The web visually didn't swell. The primer although flat didn't have the troweled solder look.

    So to the fellow that want's hotter loads, but not magnum loads..go for it. The old Speer #9 manual has a section for TC and Ruger Blackhawks in 45LC that are hotter loads then the standard Colt loadings. In my opinion they aren't much hotter then the Colt loads. I have some published loads for the 45 LC that are loaded in three levels, that is for the old Colt SA's, the Smith 25, and then the TC's and Rugers. If you want them send me a pm with your email and I'll get them out to you.

    Joe

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    My 1894 CB shot 8.0 gr Unique and a 255 gr RNFP very well at 100 yards. About 2" and plenty of knock down power. moodyholler
    WTB single shots.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master C A Plater's Avatar
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    I've been using a lot of Blue Dot in my Ruger Bisley .45. With a 270 grain Keith style I've put as much as 15.0 grains which is near the limit of my shooting comfort range. No excess pressure signs although I prefer 14.0 grains for comfort. I get better accuracy in the Ruger with 300grain WFN and best accuracy is about 13.5-14.0 grains of BD. I use regular large pistol primers.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Scrounger's Avatar
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    Joe, in the .44 Magnum, 26 to 28 grains of AA1680 with 240 grain bullets, gave me very good accuracy, respectable velocity (not as much as WW296), and low pressure. I've wanted to get a Marlin in .45 Colt and try the AA1680 in it. I'd start at 28 grains and work up; I suspect 30 to 32 grains would be all you could get in the case, and pressure would still probably be low.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    CAP, 15 grains BD is the load I typically load with the 250s in the 45 Colt. For the lever guns only, and not for light cowboy pistols. 13 grains 4756 gives about the same case expansion in the lever gun, giving lower velocity. It seems to me the answer is a case full or very slightly less of 4227 or 680 for the lever guns. Both powders I don't have, but Sundog has. Worth a try the next time I am up there with his powder and chrono. ... felix
    felix

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    My 45 Colt stuff is "handgun only" for a Ruger Bisley Blackhawk, so I can't help you much.

    It occurs to me that in a carbine this caliber gets some real steam up and running--why didn't Winchester, Marlin or someone else chamber lever carbines for this caliber like they did for the 32-20, 38-40, and 44-40? My guess is that Colt adapted the WCF rounds to their revolvers--but Winchester was unwilling or unable to adapt the Colt round for some reason. Maybe a design patent or something like that......?

    If someone has the 4-1-1, I'd sure like to hear it.
    "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."--Winston Churchill

  9. #9
    Boolit Master McLintock's Avatar
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    A good load I've been shooting in my Mod 92 with custom 26" barrel for about four years now is 6.0 gr of Titegroup with a 250 grain lead bullet. Use it for long range side matches in Cowboy Action Shooting and I'm definitely the limiting factor. Economical to shoot and since Titegroup is position insensitive you don't have to worry about the small charge in the big case. I regularly shoot it in matches at 90 to 100 yards and have shot it out to 180 yards at some. Some go up to 6.2 or 3 for a rifle load but the 6.0 seems to shoot best in my rifle.
    McLintock

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Clark's Avatar
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    I have a Win 94 in 45 Colt that kicks so hard with 250 gr 24 gr H110, that I had to get a recoil pad.
    1540 fps in the 16.25" rifle barrel.
    1220 fps in the 6" Uberti Cattleman 1873 Colt clone.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Deputy Al
    there are two diffrent cases for the 45 colt the origanal of 1873 and the 45 colt model of 1909 . the origanals dont have the wide rims that the model of 1909 has, they were too narrow for the extractor of leverguns to work with .

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Has anyone tried Lil' Gun powder in the .45 LC in a rifle yet? I've seen some loads, but so far, all for handguns. Seems like the slower powder might (?) keep "pushing" longer in the longer barrels.

  13. #13
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    45 colt load data for rifles.

    I have a win 94 trapper in 45LC I've hunted with for several years. I use 255 gr rnfp's or 310 wfngc's cast from LEE moulds and tumble lubed with liquid ALOX.
    My main loads are 6.5 grains of RED Dot under either bullet for a medium power load, or 18.5 grains of 2400 under either bullet for a load with TONS of punch.
    My rifle really likes the heavier bullet over 2400. I've shot 2-2 1/2" groups at 100 yards with it from the bench. I swapped out the factory rear sight for a receiver mounted peep. This gives me the same sight radius as a full sized 94.
    I've shot 2 or 3 THOUSAND of these hot loads in my rifle with no negative effects. I do load heavier than that, but won't share those loads.
    There's some rockpiles out where I shoot that are about 200 yards out and with this rifle hits are pretty easy once you dope the holdover.
    I prefer the 310's for hunting as they have a very wide flat nose that really smashes game. Performance with them has been superior to any other bullet I've tried in this gun.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master w30wcf's Avatar
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    Deputy Al,

    As The Nyack Kid indicated, the original .45 Colt rims were pretty narrow. That was because there was no extractor groove cut into the balloon head cases. I have run a test with these early cases loaded with 40 grs. of b.p. in my .45 Colt Marlin Cowboy and had no failure to extract in close to a 50 round test. None the less, the possibility for a malfunction is increased with the very narrow rim.

    I think that the main reason Winchester did not chamber their '73 for the .45 Colt is that they would not chamber their rifle for any cartridge other than their own design.

    w30wcf
    aka w44wcf
    aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
    aka John Kort
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master w30wcf's Avatar
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    44 WCF,

    I have used my pet loads .... 8/231 or 8.5/Universal under a .454" diameter 250 gr. cast bullet with good success on the 300 meter (327 yards) NRA steel javelina. From the bench using a lyman tang sight on my .45 Marlin Cowboy rifle, I have been able to hit 8 in a row without a miss. This target is 9" high x 22" long. Pretty thin on elevation, not bad for windage.

    These loads are around 1,200 f.p.s. and for long range shooting, I put the powder to the back of the case for best consistancy by raising the muzzle before closing the lever completely.

    If I want to go faster with the 250 gr. bullet, my powder of choice is H4227E.
    A capacity load (26 grs.) gives over 1,700 f.p.s. at 30,000 p.s.i. with very good accuracy. (WARNING!! DO NOT USE THIS LOAD IN RIFLES WITH TOGGLE LINK ACTIONS! / 66's, '73's etc.)

    For years I have neck sized my .45 Colt brass to about 1/16" below where the base of the bullet rests. That way the back of the case stays expanded to fit my rifle's individual chamber. Cases chamber and extract with ease.

    Have fun,
    w30wcf
    Last edited by w30wcf; 10-09-2005 at 11:22 AM.
    aka w44wcf
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
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    Thanks, w30wcf, I'll load up next time with 26 grains 4227 for a longer range load. ... felix
    felix

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    44WCF,
    my marlin really seems to like 2400, i use 21.5gr of 2400 with 270gr keith bullet for my hunting load, shot a deer last year with it and the results were impressive, for general purpose load i use use 14.5 gr 2400 with the 270 or 9gr unique with 255gr SWC. The most accurate jacketed load was 250gr jhp with 17.5gr of 2400. the first load is pretty warm but shows no pressure signs in my rifle. i have thought about trying reloader 7 with the 270gr bullet, Paco Kelley wrote about using it in a article i read and he claimed good results.
    JW

  18. #18
    Boolit Master w30wcf's Avatar
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    Felix,
    Hope it works as well for you as it has for me.

    jwhite,
    Welcome to the forum. I like 2400 also but I prefer the 26 / H4227E because it is a capacity load and thus has given more consistant chronograph readings.

    I have tried a capacity load of RL7 in the .45 Colt and although it shot well, velocity with a 250 gr. bullet was in the 1,300 f.p.s. range. Perhaps Paco's lot was faster burning than the newer lot that I have.

    w30wcf
    aka w44wcf
    aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
    aka John Kort
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  19. #19
    Boolit Man
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    255 nei with 20 gr 4227 either brand with a mag primer.

  20. #20
    Black Powder 100%
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    44WCF, The posting by W30WCF hit it dead on the head. 8 grs of Unique will also give you a good plinking and play round. And as has been posted the 45 Colt rifle never came about for two reasons, the ballon head case design, and a meeting between Colt and Winchester on who would build what. There is a little trick that failed to be posted about the 45 Colt round. You can anneal the necks of the cases and you will not have the blow back of a straight walled case. The 45 Colt round loaded in a correct manner will out perform the 44 magnum.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check