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Thread: Your Favorite 45 Colt Load

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    2ndAmendmentNut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironcowboy View Post
    Does anyone have any good BP loads? I tried loading 35grns as someone suggested, but they left no room for the bullet...
    I use Lee dippers to measure the powder out by volume.

    Remember no plastic funnels, measures, etc, with BP unless it has been specifically approved for BP use.

  2. #22
    Boolit Bub ironcowboy's Avatar
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    Ok. Yea i'm not going to blow my self up. I was talking about black powder. Any recommendations what i should use to measure black powder? And anyone know of a good load? The measurer i use in my flint lock does not go down below 50grns...

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    A 45 ACP case will yield about 25 grains of black powder. Try some empty cases. Fill them then pour onto your scale.
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  4. #24
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironcowboy View Post
    Ok. Yea i'm not going to blow my self up. I was talking about black powder. Any recommendations what i should use to measure black powder? And anyone know of a good load? The measurer i use in my flint lock does not go down below 50grns...
    The Lee dippers are what I use. Yes, they are plastic, but they have been rated safe for BP, even Lee says this. I have one of those Saturn brass and aluminum funnels for getting the powder into the case. As far as load data, it is a no-brainer just compress the load lightly and use a soft cast boolit with BP lube.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master dougader's Avatar
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    For lighter, plinking loads: 6.5 grains WW231 and a 250 grain rnfp bullet.

    Medium: 255 gr swc over 14 grains Blue Dot

    Heavy: 335 grain WLNGC bullet over 22.0 grains WW296/H110 for 1200 fps.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy
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    9 grains Unique, Lyman 454190 boolit.

  7. #27
    Boolit Mold
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    Cool

    Since I have only used my 45 LC for shooting steel targets, I use 5.7 grains of trail Boss and 200 grains RNFP. Crono's out at about 721 FPS. For longer range (Rifle) I have cranked it out to 7.2 grains of Trail Boss. Tack driver at 150 yards and paper targets.

  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    8, 9, or 10 gr Universal under a 250, 280, or 300 gr lead anything.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    Lyman 454424 with either 9.0 grn. Universal (1000fps) or 21 grn. 2400 (1225fps).
    Now if I can just kill a dad-gum deer with either load......

  10. #30
    Banned Bullshop Junior's Avatar
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    What ever shoots under 2" at 50 yards...........
    Mostly Hot loads.

  11. #31
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    ironcowboy;
    The proper load for Black Powder is a "case full" (a case full being enough to compress 1/16" when seating the bullet). It is extremely important to use a good black powder lube. I use the Lyman 452644 RF bullet cast 30/1 lead/tin and sized .452" in my Ruger Bisley Vaquero and BlackHawk. The actual amount will depend on the capacity of the case that you are using.

    Use 2F if you prefer somewhat lighter recoil and somewhat less velocity. Use 3F if you want maximum performance. Swiss powder is considerably more powerful than Goex but also exhibits more recoil. Swiss 3F will give you close to 1000 fps in a long barreled .45 Colt revolver.

    I use Federal LP primers with excellent results.

    My most used smokeless load is 8.5 grs of Unique behind either the Lyman 452664 OR the Lyman 454424 cast of WW's+2% tin and sized .452". This is about the velocity of a factory load with a much better shaped bullet.

    Dale53

  12. #32
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    452 RNFP lubed with SPG, 20/1 alloy over 28 grains 3F (I use a filled .45 ACP case) top the BP once in the 45 Colt case with cream of wheat up to the top of the case . Seat the bullet - the seating action will compress the COW nicely (and also the BP of course), giving a perfect round, with a roll crimp. The COW lets me produce a reduced load, keep the case full (no air space), and the COW also acts like a wad to protect the bullet base.

    Works perfeclty, nice easy recoil in an SAA, accurate. Works really well in a Henry also.

  13. #33
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    ckskirmisher;
    That looks like a good prescription for Cowboy use. Have you tried the Cowboy Special cases? I have a few hundred of those but haven't yet tried them with black powder. They should give about the same results as you have with the .45 Colt case without using a filler (which will greatly increase production if a progressive press is used).

    My shooting buddy has been running accuracy tests with smokeless using a Ruger SS Bisley .45 Colt/.45 ACP convertible. These revolvers (three of us who shoot locally have one) are turning out to be VERY versatile platforms.

    Using target loads with the .45 Cowboy Special (using 185 gr SWC) he gets "X" ring accuracy. Using 255 gr bullets, in the .45 Colt case, he gets "X" ring accuracy, and using the .45 ACP cylinder using 185 gr bullets at target velocity (4.0 grs of Bullseye) he also gets "X" ring accuracy. Ronnie Rooster is a 2650 shooter, so his results are to be believed.

    Our next test (I will run this if we get a warm day) will be to use the .45 Cowboy Special case full of black powder and a 200 gr Big Lube bullet to see how it shoots at 25 yards. Using the .45 Colt case and a full case of Black powder I get excellent accuracy at both 25 and 50 yards with the Lyman 452644. However, the recoil is relatively heavy, at nearly 1000 fps.

    It should be a bit more fun to use the shorter cases and a lighter bullet if the Big Lube bullet will give decent accuracy. The Cowboy shooters accuracy requirements are quite a bit "looser" than mine, in general, so I will just have to see for myself (their targets are bigger and closer - so their needs are different). I am looking forward to the little experiment.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale53 View Post
    ckskirmisher;
    That looks like a good prescription for Cowboy use. Have you tried the Cowboy Special cases? I have a few hundred of those but haven't yet tried them with black powder. They should give about the same results as you have with the .45 Colt case without using a filler (which will greatly increase production if a progressive press is used).

    My shooting buddy has been running accuracy tests with smokeless using a Ruger SS Bisley .45 Colt/.45 ACP convertible. These revolvers (three of us who shoot locally have one) are turning out to be VERY versatile platforms.

    Using target loads with the .45 Cowboy Special (using 185 gr SWC) he gets "X" ring accuracy. Using 255 gr bullets, in the .45 Colt case, he gets "X" ring accuracy, and using the .45 ACP cylinder using 185 gr bullets at target velocity (4.0 grs of Bullseye) he also gets "X" ring accuracy. Ronnie Rooster is a 2650 shooter, so his results are to be believed.

    Our next test (I will run this if we get a warm day) will be to use the .45 Cowboy Special case full of black powder and a 200 gr Big Lube bullet to see how it shoots at 25 yards. Using the .45 Colt case and a full case of Black powder I get excellent accuracy at both 25 and 50 yards with the Lyman 452644. However, the recoil is relatively heavy, at nearly 1000 fps.

    It should be a bit more fun to use the shorter cases and a lighter bullet if the Big Lube bullet will give decent accuracy. The Cowboy shooters accuracy requirements are quite a bit "looser" than mine, in general, so I will just have to see for myself (their targets are bigger and closer - so their needs are different). I am looking forward to the little experiment.

    FWIW
    Dale53

    Dale53 -
    Have heard of the 45 colt special, but from what I have read, in a revolver like an SAA, the distance for the jump from the bullet to the forcing cone is too far, and the throat diameter of the cylinder where the new cartridge OAL would put the bullet is too big - thus a loose fitting bullet in the chamber that most likely will not be centered routinely going into the forcing cone - and (again from only what I have read), the accuracy is lousy. Maybe a different story in a rifle - I haven't found anything about using it in that application, other than available carriers for toggle link rifles to use this new ammo.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master 1874Sharps's Avatar
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    Iron Cowboy,

    Much good information in the above posts. If you are looking for a CAS oriented BP load, might I suggest the 230 grain RCBS RFN Cowboy mold boolit loaded in a 45 Schofield (45 S&W) case? This boolit has a generous grease groove for BP lube and gives a little less recoil than a standard 250 grain boolit. Because the powder column height is not all that tall, I do not bother settling the powder by drop tube, but I do choose a scoop type measure that fills the case and gives about 1/16 inch compression upon boolit seating. Shooting a Schofield round in the 45 Colt does mean that there is a bit more freebore, but at 25 yards or less it seems to have no ill effect on accuracy that I can tell. It is rather fun to make your own scoop for a given cartridge and load out of iron coat hanger wire and range brass. Just pop out the primer, cut the brass down to the desired volume and solder in the wire in the primer pocket and you have a scoop of exactly the volume you want.

    Loading and shooting the old cartridges of the West is quite fun and it is sort of a nostalgic connection to our roots as well. It has become exclusively what I shoot in CAS now. Yes, it is true the clean up is a little more time consuming and an imperative after shooting BP, but it can be looked at as part of the fun as well!

  16. #36
    Boolit Grand Master



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    cwskirmisher;
    The .45 Cowboy Special shoots VERY well. See the report above. "X" ring on standard NRA targets is NOT inaccurate.

    We have yet to try them with black powder but with smokeless they shoot VERY well.

    FWIW
    Dale53

  17. #37
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    Depends on how far away you are when you shoot into that X ring. At 25 yards, I'd call that accurate. At 25 feet, I'm not impressed, sorry.

  18. #38
    Boolit Grand Master



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    When I use the "X" ring for a "case in point" I mean at the standard distances for the respective target. These were shot at both 25 yards and 50 feet on the standard targets for the distance. It is now too cold to shoot much outdoors so I thought that as long as the standard targets were used that could represent something important.

    I perhaps should have been more clear in my comments. I DID mention that we don't shoot at Cowboy matches.

    To me, it's not "X" ring unless you are at the proper distance.

    Further trials at fifty and 100 yards will come when the weather moderates.

    YMMV
    Dale53

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

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    I see that Unique seems to be popular among 45 Colt shooters. Does anybody use Herco in their 45 Colts?

  20. #40
    Boolit Buddy Greg in Malad's Avatar
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    7.0 gr of alliant E3- 230gr Lee RN TL.
    950 fps in a 5 1/2" blackhawk
    Its my favorite load because I found an 8lb can of E3 at a super deal.

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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