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Thread: slower powders in the Win 73 clones for 45 Colt

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Jan 2008
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    slower powders in the Win 73 clones for 45 Colt

    My Cimarron Win 73 repro is not doing well with the 200 gr lead slug, averaging 3 in or more at 50 yds and poor to miserable at 100. Could be at my old age, maybe I just can't shoot any more, but have had good look with a 66 repro in 44 WCF. I have read some folks are using slower powders and would like to hear from any of you that have had good luck with them. One U tube shooter mentioned 30 grains of 3031 behind a 250 lead slug but I would not consider trying that in my gun unless someone else had tried it. I try to make all my mistakes on the safe side..................If any of you have any experience with this give me some ideas to try. Thanks in advance as always for the good help I so often get on this forum. Would the heavier 250 gr cast be a better deal? Hope you all stay away from the virus. But we all wash our hands a lot playing with lead don't we ?...........................

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Try 20gr of IMR4227 behind the 250gr cast bullet.

    Don
    NRA Certified Metallic Cartridge Reloading Instructor

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    In the .45 Colt Cowboy rifles and revolvers I have had MUCH better accuracy going the other way and using the fast-burning pistol and shotgun powders, loading about 6.5 grains of Bullseye, TiteGroup, 700-X, Red Dot, 452AA, WST with 250-260-grain traditional, ogival, flatnosed bullets cast of SOFT alloy, such as 1 to 30 or 1 to 40 tin-lead from Roto Metals. Pre-WW2 WRA Lubaloy 255-grain loads chronograph 855 fps from my 1920 Colt New Service with 5-1/2" barrel, 880 fps from my 1905 Colt SA, and 920 fps from my Ruger NMBH, so I benchmark my handloads for 880 +/-30 fps and adjust the charge as necessary.

    Larry Gibson pressure tested the Bullseye loads and we know that they are safe.

    Slower powders such as Unique did now give me acceptable ballistic uniformity or accuracy at pressure levels which I felt comfortable with in my antique Colt revolvers. I also do not care for the larger particle size of Unique and the way it does not meter well in the Star and Dillon machines.

    Using the lighter 200-245 grain bullets increase the charge ONE FULL GRAIN. None of these loads exceed SAAMI MAP and are safe for pre-WW2 Colts and clones as well as the repop Italian 1873s.

    In the shorter Starline .45 Schofield brass REDUCE the charge one full grain. In the Starline .455 Mk.II for use in sturdy revolvers like the Colt New Service reduce TWO full grains, in the top-break MkIV through MkVI Webleys reduce THREE grains!
    Last edited by Outpost75; 03-16-2020 at 08:02 PM.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy kaiser's Avatar
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    I have used IMR4227 in a 1873 revolver and rifle and like the way it shoots and fills the case compared to Unique or Universal. I also use SR4759 in the rifle, but it isn’t as accurate in the pistol. I have not read of, or know of anyone who has used IMR3031 and would expect that it might not burn efficiently in short barreled guns.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Cast_outlaw's Avatar
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    Well Iím not sure if this counts as slow p, but In my 92winchester (new in 2018) I found reloader 7 is quite good,with my lee c429-240 SWC. Iím not as good, but the load is nice and, accurate. that is in 44wcf.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    Outpost75 offers some good advice. While I don't have a '73 - in other rifles I have found what he states to be very true. In a 45, I have tried 200 grain and have ended up going back to the 255 gr RNFP as for me, it shot better. Lots of different powders out there to try and just be on the safe side of the loads to see how they work in your particular rifle. I'm a plinker and even in 30/30, 8 X 57 and 357 rifles, I have tried BE, 700X, Unique, Green Dot and Red Dot - attempting to get good results for 25, 50 and 100 yards (I was limited to 100 yards) - using my cast out of range lead and lubed in paste wax and alox. Mind you, I wasn't looking for any "hot loads", just comfortable mild loads that worked well. On all of my particular rifles in those calibers, I always ended up back at Red Dot as it worked best for my rifles. In my 45 Colt 7 1/2 Cattleman, I worked with the same powders - still ended up back at Red Dot and the 255 grain RNFP but that's in pistol, not rifle. I don't push my loads hard and have never had an issue with leading. If I was using them as a hunting load - that would be a different story but for the shooting I do, I'm happy if I can get decent results out to 100 yards - and that depends on me and my eyesight as I'm "older". For what I do the faster powders fit the bill out of my rifles.

    If you don't have some of the powders mentioned and don't want to buy a pound (at the price of powder being what it is) - maybe you can find another reloader who does have them and "borrow" enough to load up some sample rounds and see how they workin your particular rifle?

    I'm getting ready to do the whole thing again with a new lever .357 rifle. I have been thinking about trying some slower powders as well what I have had luck with in the faster powders - I have a feeling that i will be ending up with the faster powders again but we'll see so it will be an adventure. Take a look at a Lyman Cast Bullt Handbook and see their recommendations on some of the faster powders - start low and see if any of them shoot better. I wouldn't give up on the lighter 200 grain boolit either - I have talked with several who swear by it in their '66 and '73s - all goes back to the particular rifle and what it likes.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold plowboysghost's Avatar
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    I ran the same 2 loads in all my Italian six shooters and my Uberti '73 Winchester..... the Lee .452-255 RF, sized to .452, Lee Alox tumbled, over 8.2-gr of Universal, and the same bullet lubed with SPG over 40-gr of 3F Goex.

    That Universal load has been good to me, and that Uberti rifle loved it.

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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