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Thread: Commercial full power 45 Colt BP ammo

  1. #1

    Commercial full power 45 Colt BP ammo

    Hey guys,
    Do you know of any commercially available BP ammo, that is full power and not reduced "cowboy" loads. I want to try full power BP loads in my 45 Colt single actions, to decide if that's the route I want to go with my reloading. Could save me some time and money in the long run.

    Blacky

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacky Montana View Post
    Hey guys,
    Do you know of any commercially available BP ammo, that is full power and not reduced "cowboy" loads. I want to try full power BP loads in my 45 Colt single actions, to decide if that's the route I want to go with my reloading. Could save me some time and money in the long run.

    Blacky
    Buy some OE 3F and shoot ,save time and money Ed

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    Buffalo Arms probably has it. GF

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    If you are going to load your own you will need something to compress the BP. For the 44-40 I found a used die to set the boolit, the insert was exactly the size to fit into the case, I filled it with glue and filed the result flat - works perfectly to compress the powder.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  5. #5
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    Be careful what you wish for. The original 45 Colt load consisted of a 255 grain boolit loaded over 40 grains ... 40 grains ... of good fine sporting Black Powder.

    Now-a-days you can load 40 grains Ol E 2 or 3 Fg Black Powder under a 255 grain Lee boolit greased up with a good Black Powder lube. Spark it with a good large pistol primer ... mag primers are not required.

    Before spending a bunch ... load a few of these and shoot em in a revolver in good shape. They are going to come to life my friend. I would be willing to bet that you will desire to load em down to 30 or so grains after that.

    Side note here ... my Colt SAA was very accurate with the original loads. It will group into 1 raged hole off the bench at 15 yds. But ... the recoil is magnum like ... this is prolly the why of the good ol US military down loading the old Colt load so as to be tolerable for the troops to shoot.

    They are fun though. Nothing like 40 grains of compressed Black to impress with the beltchin of copious smoke screen and authority to impress even a veteran magnum shooter.

    Some perspective ... the 38-55 loads of 40 to 46 grains ol E bumping a 250 grain boolit down range. These have killed just about any head of game on the American continent.
    Last edited by bigted; 11-12-2018 at 09:32 PM.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    I agree. I load 44-40 with BP. 200gr Big Lube boolit. Out of a 7.5" barrel that bullet is traveling 750fps being pushed with 37gr Goex FFG and is traveling 1300fps out of my 20" Uberti short rifle. No slouches, these original loads.
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master
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    A comparison revolver load:
    200 gr LRNFP UNIV CLAYS STARLINE WLP/REM 8.8**** 8.8 MAX Velocity 1067 MAXIMUM
    255 gr LRNFP 40 FFg Powder - 770fps
    And unless you heavily compress the 40gr of powder in the case like a brick, the seated bullet depth will exceed the maximum 1.60 COAL
    Regards
    John

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Johnboy, wonder what the 200 grain will fly speedwise with the heavy compressed 40 grains of Ol E 3Fg powder or 40 grains of Swiss 3Fg. Bet it would go wizzin along pretty close to your Clays load.

    Maybe not but the black powder recoil seems different then any smokeless load i have fired.

    To say nothing of the tremendous BOOM report ... kinda like thunder or dynamite going off.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Ted, I can't give the stat's of a 45 Colt with a 200gr bullet with FFFg or Olde E because I only shoot & chronographed 250 gr bullets. Maybe a tad faster than 770 but 40grs is 40grs regardless of the powder grades. For comparison, a 44-40 - 200gr bullet with 39gr's of FFFg only clocks at 820 fps.

    So I believe the OP is wishing & hoping there is a magic 45 Colt BP revolver load that clocks over 1000 fps and I don't believe it is going to happen
    Last edited by John Boy; 11-14-2018 at 11:51 PM.
    Regards
    John

  10. #10
    All I was wanting was a BP load that wasn't a cowboy load at 650 fps or so. That's the reason I used the term "full power". Wanted to try some good powered loads before in investing the cash in components. The only BP loads I have fired from my Vaqueros were Black Dawg factory loads, and I was not impressed. I do however realize they were just cowboy loads. Dirty and weak.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I've wanted to try Black Powder in my Ruger Bisley .45 Colt lately for some reason. Wanted to see what the performance ceiling was.
    Was thinking 3F Swiss, 350's, Starline, 270SAA, SPG, drop tube, compressed, etc. in an attempt to see how much could be milked out of the old girl with Holy Black.
    If somewhere under 800fps is it, I'll just stick with 9.0 grn. of H-Universal for 1000fps..........

  12. #12
    I just checked the Goex page. Says their 230 gr 45 colt BP load is 850 fps. I don't believe mine were that fast. I also tried using then in my 1873 Winchester 45 Colt, and they fouled the action so bad in just a few shots that it would not cycle easily, and the shot group was nothing short if SAD. It's NOT my rifle. With smokeless it will print clover leafs. It's also a tack driver with Gold Dot or Silvertip HP's. I've taken my last 6 deer with my Winchester, and all were one shot drops. But it wouldn't shoot Black Dawge BP worth a dang. This is why I didnt pursue BP any further. Although my 45-70 does great with BP.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    While you may not find actual "full power" BP loads if your loading 45 colts already there isn't that much extra cost to loading black. The dies will work fine, the primers you have also should work, Bullets a good cast bullet on the softer side lubed with spg. Prime some cases and find a charge that fills the case to where the base of the bullet sits when seated. Add a wad cut from playing cards and seat bullet. This is the starting point. work up in 1 grain increments from here adding powder and compression. A dully bullet can be made undersized dia to compress with the seating die. When the right compression for the powder is found fouling cleans up a lot and standard deviation extreme spreads go way down.

    Specialty tools you can make easily to ease the loading:

    1) the above mentioned bullet Make it around .440 dia and same length shape as the bullet your loading Material can be wood plastic aluminum or brass. Make it small dia so it slides in and out of sized case easily.
    2) a powder dipper to measure the charges out to start with A simple one is a piece of range brass. A you want the case to be long enough to dip the charge. A 45 acp case may give what you need, or a cut down 308 case. Solder a wire handle to it and then cut to length to set charge. Start out long and press some card board discs in to start (1/4" or so) at beginning load and weigh up to best load. Then remove discs and cut to length for the final load.
    3) a wad punch is also handy a leather or arch punch 7/16 dia can be opened up with a dowel and sand paper to cut a snug fitting wad in your cases.

    If Goex is all you can get then by all means use it. I have been getting great accuracy in my rifles with Olde Ensforde and Swiss is very good.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacky Montana View Post
    I just checked the Goex page. Says their 230 gr 45 colt BP load is 850 fps. I don't believe mine were that fast. I also tried using then in my 1873 Winchester 45 Colt, and they fouled the action so bad in just a few shots that it would not cycle easily, and the shot group was nothing short if SAD. It's NOT my rifle. With smokeless it will print clover leafs. It's also a tack driver with Gold Dot or Silvertip HP's. I've taken my last 6 deer with my Winchester, and all were one shot drops. But it wouldn't shoot Black Dawge BP worth a dang. This is why I didnt pursue BP any further. Although my 45-70 does great with BP.
    couple of things
    Barrel length makes big heap difference to velocity with black powder in a pistol
    45 fouling in a rifle is standard - annealing cases makes big heap difference to that
    soft boolits and plenty lube for the rifle too.

  15. #15
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    I am with John Boy. Do not think you will get anywhere close to 1000 fps with black powder.

    The reason for jamming up a 73 can be straight forward ... causes include but not limited to ;

    ... insufficient lube
    ... low powder charge
    ... hard cases
    ... huge chamber
    ... head space trouble

    The 45 Colt is a fun cartridge, however it is kinda fickle on what makes it run well. The almost complete straight side walls will blow bp soot around them almost universally. The cases need to be soft from annealing but this will not stop the soot blowby completely. Makes a mess almost all the time ... this is why the old cartridges for rifles by Winchester worked so good. The 32-20, 38-40, and 44-40 were and are bottleneck cases and very thin to boot. Hardly any blowby happens with these as they seal the chamber so well.

    45 Colt ??? Just gonna be messy and more so in a rifle ... super fun tho.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post

    The 45 Colt is a fun cartridge, however it is kinda fickle on what makes it run well. The almost complete straight side walls will blow bp soot around them almost universally. The cases need to be soft from annealing but this will not stop the soot blowby completely. Makes a mess almost all the time ... this is why the old cartridges for rifles by Winchester worked so good. The 32-20, 38-40, and 44-40 were and are bottleneck cases and very thin to boot. Hardly any blowby happens with these as they seal the chamber so well.

    45 Colt ??? Just gonna be messy and more so in a rifle ... super fun tho.
    I fixed that. Anneal cases well, only size the part of the case that holds the bullet. Use big enough bullets. (My Marlin will take .457" no prob) and make a expander button no less than .001" smaller than the bullet you use. No blowback, everything stays clean, and super good accuracy. As long as the factory is going to make oversized chambers, you have to tailor the ammo to fit.
    "Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est."

  17. #17
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    Find a copy of the Oct./Nov. Handloader magazine. Mike Venturino did a work up on
    loading the 45 Colt and 45 S&W cartridges with black powder.
    With 255 grain bullets and GOEX FFFG he could get 35 grains in the case,
    velocity was 973 out of a 7 1/2 inch barrel.

    He found that much of the recoil was due to the burning mass of the black powder.
    Those Colt single actions can kick.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blacky Montana View Post
    Hey guys,
    Do you know of any commercially available BP ammo, that is full power and not reduced "cowboy" loads. I want to try full power BP loads in my 45 Colt single actions, to decide if that's the route I want to go with my reloading. Could save me some time and money in the long run.

    Blacky
    Here’s a link to a fun YouTube video, shows a 7.5” Colt 45 SAA shooting a 255 gr bullet with 40 grs of Goex 3fg BP through a chronograph set up a 10 feet from the muzzle. One of the 5 shots did make 1005 fps the other 4 shots were all around 995 fps.

    https://youtu.be/5mTfeF4yhc8

    My Ruger New Vaquero 5.5” barrel chrono’s 817 fps on a warm summer day with 35 grs of standard Goex 2fg under a 260 gr Lee 255 .452” RNFP.

    Goex premium powder “Old Eynsford” brand 2fg would make more MV and 3fg would be faster still.

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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