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Thread: 45 Colt loads, lots of soot

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    45 Colt loads, lots of soot

    Shot my brand new flat top.
    Loads were 200gr .452 SNS poly coated cast on top of 6.6 and 7.0 of HP-38. New Winchester brass.
    The cases were almost completely black.
    I have shot these loads in a couple of Uberti 1873's and never noticed this
    Ideas?
    Can my chambers be really bad oversized?
    Not the throats but chambers.
    The throats are under sized at .449
    Last edited by hylander; 11-22-2022 at 03:07 PM.
    Failure is not an Option

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Do a chamber cast and find out ? Creo Safe I believe it is called, get at Brownells.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master smkummer's Avatar
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    Possibly a couple of things. 7.1 grains with a 255 grain bullet is the Winchester factory loading. So your under max. but not that much. Almost all modern dies undersize 45 colt for .451-452 bullets, so the brass has a bit more expansion to do to seal. So most likely what your seeing is gas blow by as the case tries to seal. When I generally shot 45 colt out of only 1 handgun, I only partially sized the straight wall case and the black soot went away. You can also use a faster powder like red dot, bullseye or 700X ( what I use for reduced cowboy loads).
    I can’t imagine a 45 colt cylinder throat at .449, that sounds like a poor quality control. That would be the first thing I would correct.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    Nature of the beast, .45colt with light loads won’t seal the chamber very well. Guys shooting blackpowder will use guns chambered in .44-40 brass as its thin walls seal the chamber. It’s possible to carefully resize .44-40 to .45colt and then you get a good seal but the brass is fragile and easily wrecked during reloading. I use Clays, Clay Dot and Red Dot and have just a little amount of sooting.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLAHUT View Post
    Do a chamber cast and find out ? Creo Safe I believe it is called, get at Brownells.
    Cerro Safe...and yes, can buy from Brownell's.

    You could also use gage pins to get close - if you have access to a set in that general range.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Baltimoreed's Avatar
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    I would be more concerned with the throats being undersized. Swaging a .451-.452 bullet down to .449 to rattle down the barrel is not conducive to good accuracy. I remember there were a bunch of .44 Rugers that had bad throats.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Castaway's Avatar
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    Your load is relatively light. You can do two things. Go up a bit in powder and/or anneal your brass

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the replies.
    Bullets are sized .452 and can not be forced into any chamber.
    Just did a thorough cleaning and polished the chambers and throats.
    No pin gauges, I used calipers and then verified that with a Micrometer.
    Throats measured .449 and chambers .4825
    Wonder if the Win brass might be a bit hard. I have always used Starline before.
    Also the Win brass had to be sized before I could use it, a bullet would just drop right in it.
    The Cylinder will be going to Doug before I shoot it again.
    Failure is not an Option

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by smkummer View Post
    Possibly a couple of things. 7.1 grains with a 255 grain bullet is the Winchester factory loading. So your under max. but not that much. Almost all modern dies undersize 45 colt for .451-452 bullets, so the brass has a bit more expansion to do to seal. So most likely what your seeing is gas blow by as the case tries to seal. When I generally shot 45 colt out of only 1 handgun, I only partially sized the straight wall case and the black soot went away. You can also use a faster powder like red dot, bullseye or 700X ( what I use for reduced cowboy loads).
    I canít imagine a 45 colt cylinder throat at .449, that sounds like a poor quality control. That would be the first thing I would correct.
    Try tightgroup.

  10. #10
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    Anneal the necks so low pressure loads can seal the chamber.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubshaft View Post
    Anneal the necks so low pressure loads can seal the chamber.
    To lazy
    Failure is not an Option

  12. #12
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    A cousin asked me to load some 45 Colt rounds for him. I already had the dies, and figured I'd use fairly light loads of HP-38 for powder. That's when I learned about that great big old 45 Colt case, which after all was designed for black powder. It was a light load and when I fired them in my 10" TC Contender I was getting very, very odd results. Down in the 400-500 fps range. It was position sensitive. Only got decent results when I tilted the barrel up before I fired. It just was not completely detonating. I switched over to a standard load of Trail Boss and that solved the problem.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy gc45's Avatar
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    Pin gauges are best for what your trying to measure.

  14. #14
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    The measurements shown in the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook, 4th edition show the cartridge body to measure .480" so the chambers are not out of spec. It might be helpful to slug the barrel a few times to verify the groove diameter so Doug can enlarge the throat to match the groove. As long as you are going to send the cylinder, you might as well send a couple of slugs so he can verify exactly what you need as a minimum.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Modern .45 Colt dies size the cases excessively to provide sufficient bullet pull to hold .451-.452 jacketed bullets. This results in cartridges being about 0.005" smaller than chamber diameter and low pressure loads are inadequate to provide a good gas seal in the larger chambers. Most modern users prefer to have cylinder throats uniformed to .452, but doing so generally requires using fast-burning powders in charges which slightly exceed SAAMI MAP, to produce an effective gas seal for clean brass. I use 7.5 grains of Bullseye with 260-grain, .452 bullets in my Rugers and .454 in my Colt New Service, Ubertis and Piettas.

    The expander plug should be not more than 0.002" smaller than bullet diameter. I prefer older steel RCBS dies, rather than carbide, as they size the brass less.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy Texas Gun's Avatar
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    my guss is it is all do to the .449 open that up and it will stop blowing gas back down the chamber

  17. #17
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    I used an old set of Lyman steel dies from the 1960's to load .45Colt to make up Black Powder loads for Cowboy Shooting. I shot these loads in a pair of OM Vaqueros using .454dia cast and pan lubed #454190 unsized bullets. Cases were blackened due to the BP.

    I believe Winchester new .45Colt brass is still made the same way it was. Designed for .454 soft lead factory bullets. It does need to be sized for .452dia bullets.
    As Outpost75 says, Carbide sizers are a poor choice.
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  18. #18
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    Contact member DougGuy and have him open your chamber throats to .4525". Also check for thread choke where the barrel screws into the cylinder frame. Your chambers are a tad large, but not terribly so. You may want to increase the pressure of your loads a bit to reduce the soot.
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  19. #19
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    Have the throats honed first. Then work on a load. Your flattop is safe to 23,000psi so no problem about having to stay with standard pressure 45 Colt loads.
    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? 480 Ruger or 475 Linebaugh cylinder that needs the "step" reamed to 6į 30min chamfer? Click here to send me a PM You can also find me on Facebook Click Here.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Had an old BH throats were .451-.4545 . 2 leaded 3 cleaned up and one generated disproportionately high recoil .

    I see you have contacted Doug Guy that or fixing the .449 throats myself would be the first step before I were to worry about a .4825 chamber . I have a carbine that's .496 body with a .484 mouth I just keep the brass separated by HS . All 7 chambers handle .454 fine .

    I didn't have any trouble with Win brass , even with the carbide dies , smoking cases with 8-9.5 gr of Unique until I was over 16 cycles . It took me to 20 to figure it out . I annealed the cases then and will probably have to again soon although changing to "neck" sizing then to steel dies helped stretch that out I'm over 40 cycles gross on that brass . I lost 5 and cracked one up the side .
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