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Thread: Lyman 358429 38 Special High Velocity with Unique

  1. #61
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    A bit off topic, I did a lot with the .45 Colt. In any of the heavy frame guns, such as the big frame Blackhawk, Redhawk, Super Redhawk and some of the other .45 Colt guns that are now of print, you can easily surpass the performance of the .44 magnum and do it with less pressure. Here is a link to an article by John Linebaugh, probably the best authority on the topic.

    https://www.johnlinebaughcustomsixguns.com/writings

  2. #62
    Boolit Buddy curioushooter's Avatar
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    I really don't get it. I have a friend OBSESSED with trying to get 45 Colt to become 44 Magnum. He has his Blackhawk and his Brazilian clone Win 92. So it is fine for him. But why not just get a 44 Magnum? That way when someone (maybe after you DIE) takes that 45 Colt and slips it into their weak Italian repro it doesn't blow up. That way you are assured the brass is up to the job. That way you are sure that the rifle can take that pressure. Marlins in particular have thin chamber walls at the threads to begin with (even in 44). Running a 45 at 44 pressure is NOT a good idea.

    44 Magnum is a great cartridge primarily because once you go beyond it you are going into crazy territory in terms of recoil and design. I've fired 375 Winchester, 454 Casull, and 500 Magnum handguns. 44 Mag is the tipping point for me. There is reason why Keith started with 44 Special and NOT 45 Colt when he created the big bore magnum. I find 44 full house loads unpleasant even in heavy normal handguns (like the Blackhawk I used to own). What I really needed to do instead of ditching the 44 was just load it more moderately, but I was loading 44 primarily for my Marlin. So the whole two gun thing didn't work. If I loaded it to make good use of that long barrel, it was unbearable in the Blackhawk. If I loaded it to be bearable in the Blackhawk it was too slow/low SD to shoot flat penetrate to 150 yards. The ONLY deer I ever wounded and lost was to a 44 Magnum with a too-light bullet at too long of range.

  3. #63
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    The SAMMI pressure limit for the .45Colt is 14,000# the primary reason for that is there are still some black powder 1873 Colts and other guns of that ilk, that are safe at those pressures.

    The old heavy frame Rugers, the Blackhawl and the "first generation" Vaqueros were safe and strong enough to withstand loads well up into the 30,000 range. There used to be lad data for those loadings with the appropriate caveats attached.

    When Ruger went to their new Vaquero, which are built on the .357 magnum frame, that data was dropped from the newer manuals. A point here is that both the Flattop .45 ( a short run) and the Vaquero on the same frame are/were offered in a convertible model with a .45ACP cylinder. Those guns are rated to use .45ACP +P ammunition. (SAMMI pressure 21,000) the Colt loads can approach those pressures safely and realize a significant improvement over standard pressure loadings.

    There are numerous articles about improving on the .45 Colt, appropriate load data and laboratory tested pressure ratings. We got into hand loading so we did not have to shoot factory loaded ammunition, there would be no magnum calibre fire arms with out those folks who pushed the established boundaries.

    I do not advocate "hot rodding" any calibre, and the old standard .45Colt loadings are in actuality not far below the .44 magnum in field performance. The original 1873 black powder load of 40 gr. of powder produced 1000+ fps with a 255 grn bullet in a 7.5" 1873 Colt.

    Some of us can only afford one hand gun, so knowing it's capabilities and having some "just in case" ammunition is quite practical.

    I started loading for the .45 Colt back in 1975, old age is catching up with me and shooting those 350 gr., loads is not as much fun as it used to be. These days I tend to shoot more .38s and 9mms than the heavy stuff. I still have some of the heavy loads for the .45Colt and the next time I run into a rampaging Cape Buffalo in the wilds of Oregon I am ready..

  4. #64
    Boolit Man



    tucumcari_kid's Avatar
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    A lot of people comment on "what's going to happen if someone puts your overloaded cartridges in their prewar gun?" i use +p cases for my 38-44 loads so the I can keep track, but that's just because I have a dozen other 38s. But no one should be putting strange reloads in their guns and expecting anything besides disaster. If I buy or otherwise find reloads, I break them down for components. But I don't think I need to restrain my loads on the odd chance that someone is going to find them and use them. I have been on the range 2 or 3 times and have had other people's pistols come apart near me, or next to. THAT is an issue. If you're loading hot, make sure you're clear. It's fine if you blow your gun up, just don't hurt your neighbor. I think there is room and a place for caution, but other people shooting strange rounds is a danger in itself. I don't think I need to worry about that, but others' situations may require different precautions.
    -Mike

  5. #65
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    Mike

    Paco Kelly has an interesting story, he had been using some pretty heavy loads in a 1873 Colt, clone is the term these days. It was one of the Ubertis chambered in .45 Colt. He had some loads that produced 1200 fps, with a 250-255 gr. bullet. He had the loads tested and they were in the 20K range, quite safe in that gun which was also rated for +P .45ACP. Back in the early days of the 454 Casull the ammunition was made up in .45Colt brass. I am sure you can see where I am going with this story. Paco managed to get one of the .454 loads into his Colt copy, it blew the cylinder and removed the top strap. Not being deterred, he got a new cylinder and welded a new top strap in place and continued using the gun for several years.

    Bad things can happen, and it is also possible to be struck by lightening.. Take care..John

  6. #66
    Boolit Buddy John Van Gelder's Avatar
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    Back in the days when I lived in the East, and there were lots of wood chucks to shoot at, I grew up on a dairy farm and one of my collateral functions was wood chuck control, lots of history hunting "chucks".. Early on I discovered that relatively pedestrian .38 spl. SWC loads were not very effective, but a good .38 wadcutter was. Woodchucks can be a little hard to anchor.

    Not having a wadcutter mold at the time, I would put a gas check in the 358156 mold at the point of the top driving band, this produced about a 105 gr. WC, made up out of soft lead, with a gas check, and a generous helping of Unique, these loads were very effective on wood chucks.

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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