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Thread: 45 Colt Packin Pistol Help!

  1. #1
    Boolit Master makicjf's Avatar
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    45 Colt Packin Pistol Help!

    'm a bit stumped and have reasoned myself to an impasse in my mind. I need ( ok, want) a packable double action 45 colt capable of ruger level loads to pair with my Rossi 92 in 45 colt ( awesome truck, all purpose rifle, btw). I'm not a huge fan of the Ruger DA trigger, but finding a stainless Smith in 45 colt might be challenging. Though John Linebaugh states a Smith will tolerate Ruger loads, he says to use them sparingly. I know myself well enough to know that no revolver or load or I like will be shot "sparingly"... so I think I've nixed the Smith... Maybe...

    A Redhawk in 45 colt with the Bowen extra length pin, a dressed hammer to allow for full impact seems like the ticket... but the last one (I'll call it the learning curve "Hawk) took me so long to get working I came to hate it. Once it worked I sold it at a substantial loss. This was a foolish act, but it was a 2 year trek to get it to pop primers... It will also take a Ruger night sight and a pair of presentation grips without much trouble. I'll assume the throats will need reamed to .4525 while at TK for moonclipping. The moonclips are for 45 colt, as I learned the hard way 45 acp accuracy is questionable at best in a long cylinder. My 625 can eat all the 45 acp I want or need to send down range.

    ( I actually thought about a Ranger conversion of a marlin to a 45 acp lever gun paired with the 625, instead of finding a 45 colt DA, but I simply could not use a 2K lever gun as a field/packing rifle)

    My 454 7 1/2 inch is great as a dedicated hand held rifle, but is far to long to pack daily. It also has the worst DA trigger of all time. The cylinder binds at the outset, then breaks fee into a decent, but long pull. My 100 year old 1917 has a better trigger. I am sending the big SRH off to have the trigger fixed, but I'm concerned a Toklat model would have the same unshootable DA trigger. I have the same concern with a 454 Alaskan. I'm also not sure I would want a snubby. Elmer carried a 4 inch for good reason, it strikes the right balance of speed, power and accuracy for a packin pistol.

    All of the above non sequitur rambling are to ask a simple question:

    What would be the best 45 Colt Ruger level capable DA revolver ( all will need work, I know) A 45 Colt 4 inch Smith, A 45 Colt 4.2 inch Redhawk ( I think this is my Huckleberry), a 454 SRH Toklat, or a 454 Alaskan?

    Jason

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    vzerone's Avatar
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    If you are talking about the S&W Model 25 in 45 Colt out of the three you mentioned, then I can tell you that it will not handle Ruger level loads. It might if you had it re-cylindered to a 5 shot.

    Two revolvers you didn't mention are the Colt 45 Anaconda and the Taurus 45 Colt Raging Bull. I believe both out of print.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master historicfirearms's Avatar
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    My Toklat has a bad DA trigger. My 4" 44 Redhawk has a great DA trigger. Maybe your Redhawk was a fluke, try another one in a gunshop before you buy.
    I was a dog on a short chain
    and now there’s no chain.
    Jim Harrison 1937 -2016

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy wildcatter's Avatar
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    The Super Redhawk trigger can be as good as any trigger on the market, same with the GP-100. The problem I think you would have with the Super Redhawk Toklat, and Alaska would be your best shot fer a good trigger on a ruger, but their 454 size. the Redhawk is fine if double action trigger pull is what you are going to be using. It is capable of a pretty nice double action pull, but will never have the capability to equal the larger Super Redhawks single action pull.

    In my experience with the Super Redhawk is the throats will not need reaming, but on both I had they were around .454" I had to buy a couple new molds and and a new sizer to get'm drilling nails but they were tack drivers and both had beautiful triggers when I got done with the standard mainspring, and a lightened return spring.

    Here is your perfect answer, a converted Super Redhawk 44 mag Alaskan, he will rebore to 45 cal and chamber in colt or casual on this fine conversion. Or if you really want it and money is no option, 5 shot 45 colt or,, and,, 454 cylinders can be made
    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.bowenclassicarms.com/cata...nversions.html

    Dang I would love this gun.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master makicjf's Avatar
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    My 454 SRH has .454+ throats as well. The SRH are physically large and I am actually more interested in a smooth ( and reliable) double action trigger. The link you posted, is that made from a GP 100 44 special?
    Jason

  6. #6
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    If it were me, amd I know it’s not, I’d forget the DA and try to find a full size Ruger SA with the aluminum grip frame. Shortest factory barrel I know of is 4 3/4”, but you could have it shortened.

    There’s a reason they’re called Ruger loads, after all.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
    If it were me, amd I know it’s not, I’d forget the DA and try to find a full size Ruger SA with the aluminum grip frame. Shortest factory barrel I know of is 4 3/4”, but you could have it shortened.

    There’s a reason they’re called Ruger loads, after all.
    This or you need to forget Ruger only loads. I am not sure how many moose there are in Tx that you need full penetration on.
    DW did make a 45 Colt, I have seen one but I have never seen one for sale.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  8. #8
    Boolit Master makicjf's Avatar
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    Hard to beat a Blackhawk with reamed throats and a locking base pin!
    Jason

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy wildcatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makicjf View Post
    My 454 SRH has .454+ throats as well. The SRH are physically large and I am actually more interested in a smooth ( and reliable) double action trigger. The link you posted, is that made from a GP 100 44 special?
    Jason
    No that is a SUPER REDHAWK Alaskan in 44 magnum, he will only do the 44 because of the ease of removing the barrel over the 480 and 454 Alaskan. The Alaskan is the only frame he can do this on because it has no scope cutouts in the top strap. It is then shaver and the nose removed, you get am Ultimate Redhawk if you will, the look and size of the overly strong Redhawk and the grip frame and trigger of the Super. he will do a rebore of the 6 shot cylinder and use your choice of barrel options, you provide or what he stocks your choice. Or for eveb more money he will do a new 5 shot cylinder. It is my dream double action revolver, and mine would be a punched out 44 cylinder fluted with blackpowder champher. All the info is in the link.
    Quote Originally Posted by makicjf View Post
    Hard to beat a Blackhawk with reamed throats and a locking base pin!
    Jason
    Yes very hard, and my preferred caliber and action, but that don't scratch the mans double action itch,, I have plenty of single actions from 4 5/8 to 7 1/2, so on my short bucket list of gonna haves,, is that Ultimate GP45 on the modified Super Redhawk frame, and as you say, it will have it's work cut out just keeping up with the Blackhawks!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Just to make sure you understand, and you may already know this ... but the regular "Redhawk" is different inside than a "Super Redhawk" ... different action, different springs, different grips ... and sights too ...

    Actions can be smoothed up, then lightened if you desire ...

    I had a SRH Alaskan in 44 mag ... it seemed very unbalanced to me, and lots of muzzle blast too!
    Shawn


    John 3: 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  11. #11
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    You've got 2 options for Double Action IMHO. A Smith model 25 or 625 in 45 Colt which are capable of "Level 2" loads which is enough really for most encounters needed.

    A RedHawk in 45 Colt for true Ruger level loads.

    If you want a smith 25 get a 25-3 (IIRC) or later as the throats are more consistent instead of being oversized. I foolishly got rid of a 25 Mountain Gun. I "thought" I needed a RedHawk and while I still like the RedHawk, wish I still had the 25 Mountain Gun.
    Last edited by osteodoc08; 12-08-2017 at 11:50 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master






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    buy a 454 Alaskan and shoot 45 colts out of it. If you want to use real ruger level loads its that or a 4 inch redhawk.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Smale View Post
    buy a 454 Alaskan and shoot 45 colts out of it. If you want to use real ruger level loads its that or a 4 inch redhawk.
    So Lloyd, what velocity did you get out of your 2.5" Alaskan?

  14. #14
    Boolit Master






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    I shot 300 grain rcbs swcgc's out of mine. If my memory is correct I was shooting them at about 1200fps using 27 grains of 110. Funny thing is that Alaskan was much easier shooting then my FA 454 at the same level. It definitely made some noise though. It was a kind of cool gun. I had it cut for moon clips and it could shoot 454s or 45 colts with or without clips and using smith 25 clips could also shoot 45acps. I got talked out of it by a lineman from a different shop in our company.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    The thing with Ruger DA triggers is to break them in. All I do is the per-instructions disassembly, flush with brake cleaner, lube with a silly amount of oil, dry fire A BUNCH of reps, re-flush and re-lube more sensibly. If there's any obvious burrs, you can knock them down at some point in that process, but that part of the equation has been more of a cosmetic/OCD thing for me than anything else. End result has been a couple of GP-100's and Redhawks that aren't ashamed they aren't Pythons.

    I run the new 4.2" .45 Colt/ACP round butt Redhawk in a De Santis Thumb Break Scabbard and it is a very comfy arrangement. You probably aren't going to find as good options for comfy carry for the chunkier Super frame.

    FYI, the Colt/ACP combo version came with .451" throats, no doubt for the folks who want to run a lot of hardball. I'm not really planning to mess with it, as the gun is good for milk jugs at 100 yards if I do my part, and only hints at leading with my 1050 fps BLL tumble-lubed load. I would imagine that the .45 Colt-only version is probably .452", but it's worth asking around.

    On the topic of "Ruger Level" loads, you'll probably want to compare the new round butt version of the Colt/ACP version to the older square butt version they put on the Colt-only model. It might make a difference in the feel for you.
    WWJMBD?

    Buried in molds until covered with mold.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Groo's Avatar
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    Groo here
    This may sound strange but look at the Taurus Raging Bull.
    The frame is an S&W N frame but It is 5 shot in 454.
    This will shoot any level 45 colt +p loading you want.
    Also , I believe Taurus spends some more tine on the action over their "standard " guns.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master makicjf's Avatar
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    Thanks to all! I think I'm going to give the 45 colt only Redhawk another try. The biggest issue I had with the last one was light strikes. Bowen did not yet have the extended pin for the new style. Once I installed that, the light strikes with 45 colt went away. My hope is with a long pin from the start, I can stay with the factory spring.
    Thanks Again!
    Jason

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    you'll probably want to compare the new round butt version of the Colt/ACP version to the older square butt version they put on the Colt-only model. It might make a difference in the feel for you.
    What that WILL make a difference in, is how the gun points when you aren't using sights. For a defensive carry gun, I consider this test MANDATORY.

    Stand looking straight ahead, using the shooting hand extend the hand holding the gun out fully to the side at shoulder level. Straighten the arm, grip the gun like you normally would, then turn your head and look to see where the sights are aligned to. If they are correct on elevation, then that grip frame and grip angle fits your hand, meaning that if you had to extend your forearm in darkness and fire, the shot would go to where your forearm is pointed.

    If the front sight is high, that gun doesn't fit your hand or your grip, and you would have to learn to compensate for this fact should you have to use that sidearm defensively. I cannot carry a Glock because the front sight points up into the treetops when I do this simple test. A Commander 1911 with arched mainspring housing won't "point" for me, however the flat mainspring housing allows sights to be near perfectly aligned when I turn my head and look. S&W round butt J frame with backstrap exposed, same thing near perfect alignment.
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  19. #19
    Boolit Master makicjf's Avatar
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    More thoughts,
    On paper, the Redhawk seems ideal, but I was so disappointed with the last one (sheared the hammer hook 3 times, had to run with the Bowen Red spring, weld length to the transfer bar, dress the hammer and wait for the new extra length pin) that I'm honestly fearful of buying another one. I sunk the price of the revolver into making it work. I'd have been better off to save my lunch money and just send it to Bowen... I've also really come to appreciate the big Hogue Tamers on my rugers and the X frame grips on my Smiths. The extra pull length really helps, plus the recoil absorption. I don't know of a Tamer type for the square butt Redhawk, though a Presentation grip worked well on the last one. I, also, like the continuity of grip feel between platforms, so that's a consideration.

    I've never actually shot an Alaskan, but a guy is bringing his 5 inch Toklat to our USPSA match this Sunday, and that should help inform me on that platform. I should lay hands on an Alaskan before I make a decision.

    I've come to realize my current daily carry/packing pistol is pretty close to lower 48 ( specifically Texas) perfect. A 4 inch 625 JM, .4525 throats, X frame grips, smooth but not lightened DA, nice single action pull, night sight on the front, mernickle PS6DA holster that fits and retains well, good moonclip holders that protect the clips and does not allow them to bounce out, even from horseback, and a lee 255 RF (260 from ww) with a big .360 meplat doing 900 fps from the muzzle.Some people don't like the moonclips in the field, but I love them. Over the years I've collected atleast 500 of the Revolver Supply 45 acp clips, I think I bent 1 when I stepped on it.Accuracy is good, 2 inches =/- depending on the day from 25 yards and at SD ranges lights out double taps ( or thumps with a 260 flat nose). The only "issue" is I don't have a 45 acp carbine I can pair it with... So I have to load 45 colt for the 92 and 45 acp for the Smith... it would be nice to just load one.... That way I could use the 45 colt brass for Hammer of Thor loads in my 454 SRH and Rossi 92 and use the essentially free 45 acp brass for every day shooting, packing and varmint/predator control...

    Way off track, but does anyone know if any of the Thompson replica's are reliable and rugged? I could go the plastic route for a 45 ACP carbine, but the idea of a Thompson makes me happy!

    I apologize for the stream of consciousness epistle!

    Jason

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    9.3X62AL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by makicjf View Post
    Hard to beat a Blackhawk with reamed throats and a locking base pin!
    Jason
    I know that a D/A wheelgun was what the O/P had in mind, but the Ruger BH x 4-5/8" in 45 Colt packs a hell of a good punch in a very portable sidearm that--HEY--dotes upon Ruger loads just like the Rossi 92.
    I don't paint bullets. I like Black Rifle Coffee. Sacred cows are always fair game. California is to the United States what Syria is to Russia and North Korea is to China/South Korea/Japan--a Hermit Kingdom detached from the real world and led by delusional maniacs, an economic and social basket case sustained by "foreign" aid so as to not lose military bases.

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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