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Thread: How many grains do you put in your 45 Colt cases?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    How many grains do you put in your 45 Colt cases?

    How many grains do you load?

    Do you add any wads or filler? If so what?

    What is your opinion of the recoil of the load?

    How is accuracy?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    In modern, solid-head .45 Colt cases I load 35 grains of Goex 3Fg which results in about 1/8" compression with Accurate 45-259EB. Velocity and recoil like old factory loads.

    http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_...45-259EB-D.png

    Cast bullets with 1:30 tin-lead from Roto Metals.

    Lube with 50-50 Goya Manteca and beeswax, aka "Confederate Army Lube."

    3" carbine groups at 50 yards with open sights off sandbags if I do my part.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    8.5 grains of Unique. 9 grains caused the cases to swell too much and they were difficult to eject. I am not a recoil junkie, but 8.5 grains is acceptable to me.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
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    A Lee 2.2 cc dipper will give you right around 35 grains of 3f. I place a milk carton wad over the powder and seat Lee’s 255 grain RNFP over it. Recoil is stout, to say the least, but accuracy is better than I can hold. Even a 1.9 cc dipper’s worth let’s you know you pulled the trigger on something no to stand in front of

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    ? Pistol ?? Rifle ?? Both ? Does it matter ?
    The reason I am asking is my only 45 Colt is S&W 25-5, the only suitable powder I currently have is Universal, not sure if my powder rotor or position sensitivity is the problem but recoil/report is all over the place. No I don't like it.
    CCI primers, 280g jacketed, 7.5g Universal. Store-bought are way stouter, but based on published data, I don't dare go any higher. I added no filler or wads and have no plans on pursuing this powder any longer. When I first got it I had no plans to use BP in it, but now consider that an option. Still trying to read everything I can to decide what powder to go to next.
    Good Judgment comes from Experience, Experience comes from Bad Judgment !

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Here is pressure data from Larry Gibson for .45 Colt smokeless loads:

    45 Colt w/Accurate 45-240H1, (actual bullet weight 252 grains) 6 grains Alliant Bullseye; 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.

    The 45 Colt Starline cases used in first test were once fired and had not been trimmed. How important is trimming is an often asked question. How much does seating depth affect the psi is another. This next test is the exact same load as the above with the exception the cases were trimmed .006 back to the Lyman “trim to Length” of 1.275”. Conducting one test of each is by no means conclusive as a test of at least 5 strings each would be needed for any conclusive answer to those two questions. Comparing the two tests here we see the trimmed case test gave pretty much the same accuracy, a lower velocity, a slightly better ES and SD of velocity, a slightly higher MAP with a greater psi ES and SD as the same load with the untrimmed cases. Hardly enough difference if any to draw any conclusion.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Here is pressure data from Larry Gibson for .45 Colt smokeless loads:

    45 Colt w/Accurate 45-240H1, (actual bullet weight 252 grains) 6 grains Alliant Bullseye; 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.

    The 45 Colt Starline cases used in first test were once fired and had not been trimmed. How important is trimming is an often asked question. How much does seating depth affect the psi is another. This next test is the exact same load as the above with the exception the cases were trimmed .006 back to the Lyman “trim to Length” of 1.275”. Conducting one test of each is by no means conclusive as a test of at least 5 strings each would be needed for any conclusive answer to those two questions. Comparing the two tests here we see the trimmed case test gave pretty much the same accuracy, a lower velocity, a slightly better ES and SD of velocity, a slightly higher MAP with a greater psi ES and SD as the same load with the untrimmed cases. Hardly enough difference if any to draw any conclusion.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    45 Colt w/Accurate 45-262H, (actual bullet weight 269 grs.) 6 grains Alliant Bullseye: 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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Pressure-tested data for "Ruger level loads" can be found at the link:

    https://castbulletassoc.org/forum/th...r-level-loads/
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    3 grains of Vv N105 and 30 grains of Swiss "1 for a prime duplex.
    That load will shoot all day and demand but a few patches for cleaning at the end of the day.

  9. #9
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    I've gone up to 9gr of Unique under a 255gr. No need for it though. 8gr should be enough to get it done
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    Smokeless;
    Favorite Lyman #454190 WLL BAC lube sized .452 for Modern Guns. First Gen Colt; .455dia. white Label Lube's BAC is my go to Lube for the Lube-Sizer, their 45-45-10 for when I tumble-lube N.O.E bulletts for a Friend.
    Powder for both 7.0grs - 8.5grs Unique, depends on what recoil level I feel like having. Plinking; 9.0grs, like the Bigger boom.
    Cowboy;
    Unique - 7.0grs, just for faster recovery.
    Or for My STD Cowboy Shooting; a combo load of 5.0grs of Clays over a Lee #452-225-TC, a better choice for Rifle & Revolver. And My Right hand Vaquero (old) will hit a Tennis ball 6 out of 6 at 25yrds.

    Black Powder;
    Lyman #454190 Lube-sized .455 and lubed with T/C Bore Butter. 32grs 3F under an Ox-Yoke Wonder Wad with a dab of T/C Bore Butter Lube on top, seating the bullet will slightly compress the BP.
    Plenty Smoke, Plenty Boom, Plenty Recoil.
    Lots of Fun.

    Target;
    N.O.E #453-247-SWC over 6.0grs of TiteGroup.
    2 1/2" 25yd group out of any Colt, S&W, spaghetti Clone. Marlin 1894CB Rifle or Carbine, as well as Uberti '73 or '66 Rifle or Carbine. Although it doesn't feed too well in any Rifle/Carbine.
    And 3" in a one Rossi carbine.

    Have PC'ed a bunch of all three Bullets and the Lee #452-255-RF. Just haven't loaded any yet.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

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  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    This is the black powder section, not the smokeless...?

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stopsign32v View Post
    This is the black powder section, not the smokeless...?
    Sorry, just trying to help the OP out. You can shoot black powder cartridges with appropriate smokeless powder loadings, and I was trying to provide some lab tested data which is more appropriate than most you get in current load manuals, for the older revolvers.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stopsign32v View Post
    How many grains do you load?

    Do you add any wads or filler? If so what?

    What is your opinion of the recoil of the load?

    How is accuracy?
    I have been loading 35 grains of GOEX 2fg with a LEE 452-255 RF bullet cast with Rotometals 20:1
    No wads uses. Bullet lubed with homemade Emmerts Improved lube. I use CCI 350 magnum primers to help reduce the extreme spread. BP lights up easy, but thats not why I choose the magnum primer. Recoil with this loading is very real, firing one handed my Ruger New Vaquero rises up quit a bit and twists my hand CCW a bit. Noise and smoke will make anyone nearby stop and stare. Use a compression plug in the expander die body to compress the powder. Don’t use the bullet to compress 35 plus grains of powder.
    Try to pick a day with the wind at your back or at least 90* to firing line.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I have loaded 40 grains under the Lee 255 grain boolit. This boolit is lite on lube groove depth. But sure pop's over 40 grains.

    My Accurate molds # 454260 shoots great with the 40 grain load. ... but ... cant seat n crimp in the same opetation. Matter of fact the 40 grains really needs to compressed with a compression die to depth BEFORE seating the boolit.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun2kute View Post
    ? Pistol ?? Rifle ?? Both ? Does it matter ?
    The reason I am asking is my only 45 Colt is S&W 25-5, the only suitable powder I currently have is Universal, not sure if my powder rotor or position sensitivity is the problem but recoil/report is all over the place. No I don't like it.
    CCI primers, 280g jacketed, 7.5g Universal. Store-bought are way stouter, but based on published data, I don't dare go any higher. I added no filler or wads and have no plans on pursuing this powder any longer. When I first got it I had no plans to use BP in it, but now consider that an option. Still trying to read everything I can to decide what powder to go to next.
    Measure your Cylinder's Bores and Barrel's Groove-to-Groove, see if the Bullets you are using are of suitable diameter...they may be too small.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    I have loaded 40 grains under the Lee 255 grain boolit. This boolit is lite on lube groove depth. But sure pop's over 40 grains.

    My Accurate molds # 454260 shoots great with the 40 grain load. ... but ... cant seat n crimp in the same opetation. Matter of fact the 40 grains really needs to compressed with a compression die to depth BEFORE seating the boolit.
    I bet it does!

    Lol...

    Ohhh, I run in to the same things myself using the modern Brass with original BP Loadings...I end up both compressing fairly stoutly and or also having the Bullet/Boolit hang out a little farther as well.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I use the Lee 255 RNFP and pan lube the boolits in 50/50 beeswax and olive oil and get plenty of lube for any length revolver barrel. They might not have enough for a rifle barrel, but I don't recall there being a problem in my Rossi 20" carbine. I have the 210 grain .45 Big Lube mold and all the recovered boolits seemed to have most of the lube still in the groove. If you think about it, how's it going to get out of that deep lube groove anyway? Probably just a waste of good lube. GF

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Fox View Post
    I use the Lee 255 RNFP and pan lube the boolits in 50/50 beeswax and olive oil and get plenty of lube for any length revolver barrel. They might not have enough for a rifle barrel, but I don't recall there being a problem in my Rossi 20" carbine. I have the 210 grain .45 Big Lube mold and all the recovered boolits seemed to have most of the lube still in the groove. If you think about it, how's it going to get out of that deep lube groove anyway? Probably just a waste of good lube. GF
    The olive oil-beeswax works fine in rifles. You may need to adjust the amount of olive oil to get the consistency you want, but with bullets having a large lube groove and adequate lube capacity, you can run 100 rounds of black powder with no foul-out, no blow tubing in a 24-inch barrel. I use 1:4 olive oil-beeswax for mid-Atlantic hot summer weather and 50-50 equal parts by liquid volume for below freezing down to -10 degs. F winter hunting conditions.
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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
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