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Thread: 45 Colt Bullseye Loads

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jul 2018

    45 Colt Bullseye Loads

    Figured Id ask the Masters of Lead Bullet loading! Im about to acquire a S&W 25-5,
    4bbl, .452/.453 micd throats. Guys giving some 250gr SWCs with it, when used up I plan on buying some 225gr WCs. I have 8-10 lbs of Bullseye and thats what Im using, yes I know Unique is the best powder for 45Colt. Do any of you guys regulary load Bullseye for 45 Colt? Recipes? I have an OLD Lyman manual from the 50s, so I have some Bullseye Data from that. Thanks Guys.

  2. #2

    ShooterAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Flagstaff, AZ
    6 to 6-1/2 grains of Bullseye with a 225-250 gr cast boolit will usually shoot very well. I use the same data in 44 Magnum as well for target loads.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Nueces's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Texas Hill Country
    It has oft been reported herein that the original and long time factory smokeless load for the 45 Colt was 6.5/Bullseye.

    My first smokeless load, using the factory Remington lead bullet, was 8.0/Unique, based on advice from the original Lyman Handbook of Cast Bullets. So, I got to experience what folks meant by calling Unique "Flaming Dirt." Fine accuracy and the gun, hands and holster would be coated in greasy soot.

    My cowboy load is 5.0/Clay Dot, but I will load Bullseye instead of Unique for carryin' loads.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    over the hill, out in the woods and far away
    Thank Larry Gibson for this pressure tested data. I settled on 7.2 grains of Bullseye metered with the RCBS Little Dandy Rotor #13 for all of my .45 Colt loads with any bullet from 230-290 grains in my Rugers and have been very well pleased:

    Attachment 223256Attachment 223257Attachment 223258[ATTACH]
    Attachment 223265Attachment 223266Attachment 223267
    Attachment 223260Attachment 223261Attachment 223262

    Full descriptive narrative and Larry's comments on these loads at the following links: Ruger Loads Standard Pressure Loads

    Cherry picking the most useful comments:

    A three of Ed’s bullets (45-240H1, 45-262H & 45-290H) were all tested in “standard” level 45 Colt loads intended for the Colt and clones SAAs consisting of 6 gr Alliant Bullseye. Cases were Starline with Winchester WLP primers being used. The SAAMI MAP for the 45 Colt, in deference to the older and “weaker” design of the older revolvers, is 14,000 psi (transducer/strain).

    Test results:

    45 Colt w/45-240H1; Very good load giving excellent internally uniform ballistics with a MAP of 12,900 psi (M43) and a velocity of 930 fps out of the 10” Contender barrel this load should prove to be an excellent one in revolvers giving velocities in the 800 fps range. Accuracy was excellent and I was still plagued by glare on the front sight with this load as the 2 low shots were called low. On the next three tests the sun had shifted enough I was able to shade the front sight. Accuracy noticeably improved with more uniform groups.

    45 Colt w/45-262H: Excellent load for sure this one is. The internal measurements were very good giving a Velocity ES of 18 fps with an SD of only 7 fps for 10 shots is very good. The psi measurements were just as good with the time/pressure traces being very smooth. Accuracy was also very good. At 914 fps I would expect this should give 800 +/- fps in revolvers. The MAP was 13,600 psi again making it quite safe for use in “older” guns.

    45 Colt 45-290H:

    The 1st thing that strikes me about this longer, heavier bullet is that at the so far tested lower velocities stability may be an issue in the 16” twist test barrels. I called the lower shot but that flyer at 9 o’clock came out of nowhere. Given the excellent internals this load had the accuracy should have been better if stability was not an issue.

    The MAP at 14,600 psi(M43) on this one is slightly over the SAAMI MAP for the 45 Colt. I wouldn’t worry about it with any revolver made for smokeless powder loads though. The “classic” 45 Colt load of the 454190 RNFP over 8.5 gr Unique used for many years in such “older” revolvers gave a MAP of 18,000 psi(M43). I would suspect this load to give 750 +/- fps in revolvers.

    Ed also sent along a request to test his 45 Colt “Ruger “level loads consisting of 7.5 gr Bullseye under the 45-240H1, 45-262H and 7 gr under the 45-290H cast bullets. None of the three loads generated a MAP higher than the “classic” 45 Colt load of 8,5 gr Unique under a 250 gr 454190 RNFP cast bullet. That “classic” load is shot by most everyone in Colt SAAs (Gen 2+) and the clones of today. I have shot thousands of that load myself with the 454190 and the 45-255-KT through my Uberti clone SAAs without a single hitch.

    45 Colt Ruger Level w/45-240H1; Excellent uniform internal and external ballistics with the 7.5 gr Bullseye load. Note the M35P velocity measurements were within 1 – 2 fps of the M43s velocity measurement for the entire ten shot test. The ES (24/25 fps) and SD (7/8 fps) of the velocity measurements is excellent. The MAP is 16,500 psi(M43) with excellent ES and SD measurements also. Accuracy is about the best I can do anymore with iron sights. Velocity in a revolver should be 900 – 950 fps +/-. Overall an excellent load.

    45 Colt Ruger Level w/45-262H; Once again we see excellent internal and external ballistics with the 7.5 gr Bullseye load under this bullet. A velocity ES for both the M35P and the M43 of 16/15 fps and an SD of 5 fps for both is superb, especially for a ten shot test. The MAP at 17,700 psi(M43) also has superb ES and SD psi’s. The accuracy is also about as good as it gets with me. I called the low shot low and also the high shot but did not really call it. None the less it’s excellent. Revolver velocity again should be around 900 fps +/-.

    45 Colt Ruger Level w/45-290H; Very interesting here as we see the longer, heavier 45-290H bullet over 7 gr Bullseye come into its own as velocity increases which perhaps has improved the stability(?). Looking at both the velocity (M35P and the M43) and psi measurements for each shot we see they are very uniform for the 1st 8 shots. Then for whatever reason the bottom fell out on the last 2 shots. Both the velocity and psi for both shots was low. Those two shots also are the low two hits in that otherwise excellent group. While the MAP is listed at 17,400 psi(M43) it includes the 2 low shots. If we look at the first 8 shots the MAP is actually closer to 18,200 psi(M43).
    Last edited by Outpost75; 07-06-2018 at 12:26 PM.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Thanks guys!

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Deep South Texas
    Bullseye is a great powder for the 45 Colt.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

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