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Thread: Uberti/USFA single action 45's top end?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Uberti/USFA single action 45's top end?

    I've read several articles where cylinder diameters on USFA & Uberti single actions have been mentioned to be approximately 20-thou thicker diameter than an original Colt. Basically the same difference bigger in a 45, as what the difference used to be between - 44special & 45colt in a genuine original Colt.

    So, is anyone aware of any literature that's been done on how much extra pressure that difference gives as an advantage to the Uberti's or USFA (45's) that have the larger 1.67 diamter cylinder vs the strict-strict sammi standards biblically necessary to stick to in a Colt?

    Clearly, it isn't enough to turn to Ruger 45colt/or ACP data for, but evidently must equate to some above average load improvements vs say just a 250gr bullet @900 anymore. What are some of you guys shooting through your Uberti's & USFA 45's for field use/or "fractionally above average" type loads? Has Brian Pearce or anyone similar possibly broke this down before?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Perhaps the manufacturers did that so they couldn’t pass as originals!
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
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    .020 ... Think about that .

    Are the cylinders .020 larger diameter or do they have a wall thickness .020 more then a colt ?
    An .020 larger diameter only makes the wall thickness .010 more .

    But then you'd have to be a bit foolish to think that .020 is enough to make enough of a difference to matter and try to push things beyond what the nearly 150 year old design is capable of . even with modern metallurgy

    For the record I'd hazard a guess that the reason for the slightly bigger cylinder is to try and improve the safety margin of the weakest point .. The bolt stop notches

  4. #4
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    Are the walls between chambers any thicker than the old Colt cylinder? I think Uberti did their 45 cylinders to be safe with 45ACP+P pressures (23,000psi) in case their guns were loaded with +P ammo.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throats honed? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Click this link to send me a PM->>> http://castboolits.gunloads.com/priv...=newpm&u=29606 Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    Are the walls between chambers any thicker than the old Colt cylinder? I think Uberti did their 45 cylinders to be safe with 45ACP+P pressures (23,000psi) in case their guns were loaded with +P ammo.
    I'd bet Doug is correct.

    Consider the SAAMI MAP for the 45 Colt (14,000 psi) is based on BP loads and the SAs made for BP loads. The Uberti and USFA SAs are made of modern steels and better heat treating. Almost all recommended loads using Unique and the 250 - 260 gr cast bullets in the 45 Colt exceed the SAAMI MAP. My own loads for use in both my Uberti SAs and M73 exceed the 45 Colt SAAMI MAP. The Uberti 45 ACP cylinder also has been used with +P 45 ACP loads (SAAMI +P MAP is 23,000 psi). My standard 45 ACP load [230 TC bullet over 5 gr Bullseye runs a measured 19,000 psi +/-] nd my standard 45 Colt load [same Lee 230 TC bullet over 7 gr Bullseye or 7.2 gr 700X runs a measured 16,500 - 17,000 psi]. The "standard load" of 8.5 gr Unique under the Lyman 454193 (250 gr) runs right at 18,000 psi.
    Larry Gibson

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  6. #6
    Boolit Man
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    I would presume the 45acp +P pressures would be about the safest numbers to go by, as you guys are pointing out. I haven't got a cylinder handy to measure chamber walls vs a Colt at the moment though, aside from the outside diameter measurment that gets regurgitated fairly regularly in other reads.

    Larry, you always have informative posts on these subjects.. I appreciate your input here regarding those measured load comparisons. Have you ever run pressures on cast 230-250gr 45acp/or auto-rim loads like many guys post on, in the 900-1000fps range (or higher) that actually do approach 23,000psi?? I see 6.5-7.5gr Unique mentioned alot in auto-rim brass, what do loads like that shoot on your pressure rig?

    For my own curiosity I filled an acp case with 7.0 unique just to see what it looks like vs. the seating depth room still to spare, and man o man she's about touching the bottom of the bullet ... does a load like that actually shoot under 23,000psi, nearly at full available case capacity underneath a 230-250gr bullet in those short little cases??

    And to smithnframe, maybe so. But I'd sooner say for additional chamber wall insurance, as the grand majority of cracked, bulged and damaged cylinders in Colts have come from the 45/44-40/38-40 chamberings which use the same chamber size beneath their bolt-cuts. A person would think an extra 10-thou thickness to each would alleviate the recurrence of catastrophe's on such a fine margin like the Colt has.

  7. #7
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    The SAAMI for standard 45 ACP is 21,000 so as pointed out that should be safe. I have a pair of USFA's with both cylinders but I don't remember the 45 ACP is rated +P or not.
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 04-04-2021 at 03:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    My loads are similar to Larry's, but using 7.2 grains of Bullseye metered with the RCBS Little Dandy rotor #13 with either Accurate 45-246H or 45-264H in the Colts and Ubertis and the 295-grain Accurate 45-290H with the same charge in the Rugers and a Rossi carbine. Larry previously pressure tested these for me and pressures with the heavier bullets are about in the same range as the .45 ACP.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 04-04-2021 at 10:52 PM.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    When I want a magnum pistol I just buy a magnum pistol.
    I have a .45 Colt Uberti Cattleman and a .357 magnum Uberti Cattleman.
    I also have a brace of .44 magnum Ruger Vaqueros.
    I rarely shoot magnum rounds out of any of the magnum revolvers, but then sometimes I like to.
    I never try to push the envelope with the .45 Colt Uberti.
    This is just what I do, please don't take it as an affront to anything as it is not.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Brian Pearce has a coupla late mfg USFA SAAs chambered in .44 Magnum and still in the white. He says they are safe with current factory .44 Magnun ammo but like the first .44 Mag on a mid-frame Ruger that Bill gave Elmer He doesn't think they will survive the little blue pill. This is not Gospel but I read it in a "Handloader".
    JMHO-YMMV
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master bedbugbilly's Avatar
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    elmacgyver0 - interesting question and interesting answers - but I am similar to you. I don't have 44mag but do have a Uberti Cattlemam 45 Colt and a Uberti Bisley 357. While I have loaded and shot some mid-range 357 in the Bisley, I have never found the need to push the limit of either revolver as they shoot well with my mid-range loads (using Unique, Red Dot, Green Dot or BE (BE in the Bisley). Most of my shooting is out to 50 yards and I get good performance and accuracy out of both revolvers and even with my poor eyesight, I can hit paper, cans, steel, etc. The critters I have taken with both revolvers (woodchucks, coons, possums, etc.) never knew if the cast boolit was flying at 500 fps or 800 fps. Like you . . . I am not being critical nor intend it to be that way - everybody has their own thing. If, however, I wanted to shoot hotter loads, I would seek out a handgun that was designed for it, such as one of the Ruger that take the Ruger only loads - rather than pushing a revolver to the intended limit or beyond. I do the same with my .36 and .44 cap and ball revolvers I shoot with Howell cylinders - they recommend keeping them under 850 fps and I have loads that shoot well, are accurate and will do what is needed fhat are under that limit.

    Once again, my comment are not meant to be critical as I think the OP asks a good questions and the answers sure provide some very interesting info. Thanks.

  12. #12
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    ranchman.........

    "Larry, you always have informative posts on these subjects.. I appreciate your input here regarding those measured load comparisons. Have you ever run pressures on cast 230-250gr 45acp/or auto-rim loads like many guys post on, in the 900-1000fps range (or higher) that actually do approach 23,000psi?? I see 6.5-7.5gr Unique mentioned alot in auto-rim brass, what do loads like that shoot on your pressure rig? "

    I have indeed tested Keith's "classic" 45 AR load using 6.5 gr Alliant Unique under the RCBS 45-255-KT [260 gr cast of COWWs +2 % tin]. The psi ran 21,600 for the 10 shot test.

    "For my own curiosity I filled an acp case with 7.0 unique just to see what it looks like vs. the seating depth room still to spare, and man o man she's about touching the bottom of the bullet ... does a load like that actually shoot under 23,000psi, nearly at full available case capacity underneath a 230-250gr bullet in those short little cases?? "

    I have pushed heavier test loads with Unique and a couple other powders using the Keith bullet and a GC'd Lyman 442490 [245 gr GC SWC] in my Contender test barrel for potential use in my M98 Rhineland 45 ACP conversion. With the M98 the psi level was immaterial as that action would handle anything put into a 45 ACP case. I won't mention the loads here as they are way and above what is reasonable for either a 45 ACP or 45 AR cartridge in the revolvers they are most used in. I had a Unique load with the 452490 bullet that is slightly above what you suggest. I shot a lot of those through my M1917/25 over the years without problems before i pressure tested that load.....I don't shoot them in the M1917/25 any more nor equivalent loads in the Uberti SAs.......if that answers the question? The Keith load, either the AR load in 45 ACP cases or the Classic 8.5 gr load in 45 Colt cases does fine in those revolvers.

    If I want more romp and stomp I use one of my 41 or 44 Magnum handguns. I know others don't have 41s or 44s and want to get all the romp and stomp out of their Uberti SAs they can. The "classic" Keith loads will get you that .....safely......
    Larry Gibson

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  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    I tend to agree with the reach for 41's & 44's when "big business" loads are on the menu, exactly the same as most here have also said. And I certainly don't mean to come across as desiring Ruger-level handloads through these Uberti/USFA size guns, if that's what is being assumed. I merely am curious where they fall in terms of top for their categories based on their build specs as has been discussed so far, in difference to the original Colts. I think the posts so far have been pretty good in that regard, probably on the right track.

    Larry. I have a 1958 Lyman handbook of Cast bullets manual that states Keiths auto rim load was 7.5grains Unique. Not 6.5 ... was the 6.5 in your post a typo, supposed to have been 7.5, or was it actually 6.5 that measured out 21,600? I'd like to be sure of it is why I ask. I am aiming to start some load work with one of these 45's we're discussing right now, and the auto-rim cases for a load in that relm is one I'd like to peg down. This particular time, through a gun with a 1.67" cylinder will be the first "45" I've actually had the chance to work with ... I've only so far ever been a 41 & 44 man, (albeit 41's & 44's very-very heavily, and extensively) so 45 now is testing totally new waters. I look for bare-minimum 900/950fps & 240/250gr bullets in my guns to accomplish what I need, and that's what alot of this discussion is aiming at.

    I'm sure those reading who have looked and continue to look for such data would also appreciate the verification on bits of this.

    Here's a picture off that Lyman handbook showing Keiths quoted auto-rim info*
    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Was having some work done on two of my USFA guns a year or so before the factory closed... They invited me right in and turned me over to one of the long time gunsmiths whose father used to assemble SAAs for Colt...

    They showed me a prototype Shooting Master and said they had made one up in .44 Magnum and sent it out for testing to an experienced .44 Guy...it came back loose and they had no plans on making any SMs in .44 Magnum...and that gun was built heavier than a SAA. The cylinder never blew but the .44 full loads would just beat the gun loose.

    They had planned to make the gun in ".41 Short Magnum" aka .41 Special at the insistence of several big time CAS competitors. I wanted to order one right then and there but they said they would not take the order till they got the barrel stock in...and they closed up before that happened. When I had a .357 Shooting Master converted into .41 Special by David Clements he said he would chamber it either way, Special or Magnum as he believed it would take the pressure...I opted for Special just to have something "special" and also that was going to be the factory caliber.

    I've pushed the envelope a lot in the past...now I look for more of a balance of speed/accuracy/shootability in the package I am loading for...

    Bob

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    Boolit Master smkummer's Avatar
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    Colt did make its budget Cowboy Single action with a larger cylinder than its SAA but what I read it was for a deeper cylinder lead in notch for continuous cowboy action use. Don’t know if the metal between the chambers increased though. I think it’s also important to know that factory chambered 45 acp cylinders have more steel in the cylinders because of the short chambered 45 acp chamber.
    I have been firing 9 grains unique and Lyman’s 454190 sized to .454 for many years in my 3rd. generation colts with accurate good results.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    The late USFA, Later Uberti, and late mid-frame Rugers should be strong enough for .45acp +P since they have an extra .010" in the notches if the steel is good enough.........
    Last edited by ddixie884; 04-11-2021 at 02:40 PM.
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    Boolit Master Dan Cash's Avatar
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    250 grain bullet at 875 more or less. A .45 S&W load is more pleasant for every day shooting and will also tamp down those hombres at the local cantina.
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranchman View Post
    I tend to agree with the reach for 41's & 44's when "big business" loads are on the menu, exactly the same as most here have also said. And I certainly don't mean to come across as desiring Ruger-level handloads through these Uberti/USFA size guns, if that's what is being assumed. I merely am curious where they fall in terms of top for their categories based on their build specs as has been discussed so far, in difference to the original Colts. I think the posts so far have been pretty good in that regard, probably on the right track.

    Larry. I have a 1958 Lyman handbook of Cast bullets manual that states Keiths auto rim load was 7.5grains Unique. Not 6.5 ... was the 6.5 in your post a typo, supposed to have been 7.5, or was it actually 6.5 that measured out 21,600? I'd like to be sure of it is why I ask. I am aiming to start some load work with one of these 45's we're discussing right now, and the auto-rim cases for a load in that relm is one I'd like to peg down. This particular time, through a gun with a 1.67" cylinder will be the first "45" I've actually had the chance to work with ... I've only so far ever been a 41 & 44 man, (albeit 41's & 44's very-very heavily, and extensively) so 45 now is testing totally new waters. I look for bare-minimum 900/950fps & 240/250gr bullets in my guns to accomplish what I need, and that's what alot of this discussion is aiming at.

    I'm sure those reading who have looked and continue to look for such data would also appreciate the verification on bits of this.

    Here's a picture off that Lyman handbook showing Keiths quoted auto-rim info*
    Click image for larger version. 

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    First of all let's keep in mind until 20 -30 years ago a lot of load development was done w/o benefit of actual pressure measurement, not even with the CUP method, by most of the manual publishers.

    It was, indeed, 6.5 gr Unique under the RCBS Keith bullet that ran 21, 600 psi. In regards the 45 AR many old published loads were with balloon head cases. My old Speer #7 manual lists 8 gr as a max load under the 255 gr cast bullet in balloon head cases. It also lists 8 gr Unique under a 240 gr cast in solid head cases. Both of those loads are no longer listed in Speer manuals, and haven't been for some time, because they are actually measuring pressures now. Those loads develop a lot of pressure, well into the low end of "magnum" psi range.

    Back in the late '60s and '70s I did a lot of shooting with several M1917s (Colt and S&W) and a couple M25s. I worked up to those load with Unique and found them quite warm to say the least. I settled on the 245 GC'd 452490 over 7.5 gr Unique in R-P solid head cases which ran 950 fps out of the 5 1/2" M1917s and ran 1000+ fps out of the M25 S&Ws. If I had a new S&W 45 AR or a M25 I would use that load again but would not use it in any older M1917 S&W or Colt. The psi runs into the range of a couple factory 44 Magnum loads I have tested.

    For a heavy hunting 45 AR load the 6.5 gr Unique load under the RCBS Keith bullet runs 850 fps +/- out of my M1917/25 and that, which equals "standard" 45 Colt performance, is quite good enough for me. Truth be known I seldom shoot either the Keith bullet or the 452490 bullet in the 45 AR anymore but mostly just shoot my regular practice 45 ACP loads of 5 gr Bullseye under 195 - 230 gr cast bullets. As I previously mentioned if i want more romp and stomp I use the 41 or 44 magnum. But, if you have a newer S&W 45 AR revolver and want to push the envelope up into the 27-28,000 psi range I would suggest using only solid head cases and ensure any data used was developed with solid head cases. An excellent reference for some high performance 45 AR loads was published in the Sept/October edition of the American Handloader. Article is by John Taffin and is titled; "Taffin Tests the 45 Auto Rim".
    Larry Gibson

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  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I have measured frame and cylinder hardness on several older Colt, Webley and S&W WW1-era revolvers. Until 1918 or so none of the frames or cylinders were heat treated and they won't register at all on the Rockwell C scale, typical hardness being Rb80-90, the same as a black powder frame Colt prior to 1900. Even the so-called heat treated ones are no great shakes by modern industrial standards, being typically Rc20-24, vs. Rc32 min. for a new Ruger.

    While your old gun will not "blow up" with the heavy loads, it WILL shoot loose and not last if abused. Setting back a barrel, refitting to set a reasonable gap after correcting cylinder end-shake and retiming an old Colt or S&W these days runs $300 plus parts, if you can find them. Good luck finding a gunsmith today who was actually factory trained to work on Colt DAs and is still taking work.

    My advice is to keep those .45 Auto Rim loads light, under 14,000 psi, using about 3.5-4.0 grains of Bullseye, TiteGroup, WST or 452AA (650~700 fps) with 245-265 grain lead bullets if you want to enjoy the gun for a long time.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 04-24-2021 at 03:48 PM.
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