Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default .45 Colt, powder choices

    I'm "thinking" of purchasing a single action revolver in .45 Colt. This won't be a Blackhawk, or Super Blackhawk (*cough*this time*cough*), so I won't be able to load the super stout loads. The gun I have in mind is a New Vaquero. With the price of .45colt as high as it is, it'll eat reloads almost exclusively.

    I'm looking into various powders, and bullet weights. I'd like to send 250gr lead at or around 900ft/s. Most loads will probably be more towards 750 to 850 ft/s, if I can manage those sorts of load with any accuracy.

    I reload .45acp using Bullseye, but have already crossed that powder off my list of possibilities as I think it burns to fast for the big case. The Nosler reloading manual I have lists w231, Herco, and Bluedot amongst others. These loads are all listed in the 600-800ft/s range. Trail boss looks promising, as it's supposed to meter well, and not be position sensitive.

    So, anyone here have any first hand experience reloading 45colt in "cowboy" loads? What powders do you use? What bullet weights? Anything I should avoid?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    Would some info also, Reloading for my dad's Judge.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    I have the Speer #13 manual and for the 250gr LSWC and for what you want it to do IMR 4227 starts off with 17 grains for 775 fps and goes up to 19 grains for 904 fps. I would think this powder will fill the case more and lessen the ability to double charge. I also like the specs on the Trail Boss powder. My brother inlaw uses it for the 44 mag and is very happy with it.

    Mike Mc

  4. #4
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    Here are some loads I use in my .45

    7.4 grs 231, 200gr LRN
    6.8 grs Unique, 200 gr LRN
    8.1 grs Universal Clays, 200 gr LRN
    6.9 grs Universal Clays, 200 gr LRN

    The LRN is a typical cowboy style bullet. All seem to shot pretty good but I'm still experimenting. Mine come out of a SS NMBH (new model Blackhawk) witj a 4 5/8 barrel. Allvery easy to shoot.
    Ron
    USAF Ret E-8
    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    Herco 8.5 grains 910 fps with 250 gr.cast bullet

    Unique 8 grains 850 fps with 250 gr. cast bullet

    Check powder manufactures web sites for load data.Free for the printing!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    I also like the specs on the Trail Boss powder.

    Mike Mc
    Yeah, wasn't Trail Boss designed specifically as a "bulky" powder so as to take up as much case space as possible when loading light loads?
    Tony
    412.310.7838
    http://www.fireinstitute.org

    "... there's trained and untrained" (Denzel Washington -- Man on Fire)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyF View Post
    Yeah, wasn't Trail Boss designed specifically as a "bulky" powder so as to take up as much case space as possible when loading light loads?
    That is my understanding. From what I've read on other forums, it is donut shaped flakes, big and fluffy, to take up more room in cases originally designed for black powder.

    I've browsed every powder manufacturer's website for data that I can find. Out of all the options, I think I'm going to start reloading 45 colt with Trail Boss. If I decide to load slightly hotter loads, still under 1000 ft/s, I'll research another powder.

    BTW, for those that don't know, yes, you can print reloading data from the manufacturers.

    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/Index.htm

  8. #8
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    You'll find that Alliant's Unique powder to be a great powder for use in the .45 Colt.

    I've tried them All !!

    4227 and 2400 are far too slow burning and leave a lot of unburnt granules in
    the barrel.

    I've eliminated Leading by use of a 1/16" Low Density Polyethylene Wad
    as a gas check under Lead Alloy bullets.

    Regards,

    Joisey Steve

  9. #9
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    After all sorts of experimentation I standardized on the Hornady 255g LFN (swaged bullet)

    http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=613348

    pushed by 8.0g of Unique, Winchester Large Pistol primer, COL = 1.54" makes a great standard pressure load. Comfortable to shoot in both my Ruger Blackhawk and Beretta Stampede, accurate, and almost no leading after a 100 round range session.

    It is a relatively (~10BN) soft bullet which is perfect for standard pressure .45 Colt loads.

    Fitch

  10. #10
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    Default Re: .45 Colt, powder choices

    This is my load with trail boss in colt 45
    250 gr lead RNFP bullet
    COL 1.600
    CCI 300
    Trail boss 5.5 gr
    Average velocity 656 fps
    At 25 yards accuracy is pretty good, loads a little anemic, virtually no smoke.
    If you like smoke , I load American pioneer, 27 gr of FFFG.(250 gr lead bullet)
    It is fun to shoot with all that smoke in the air….
    Best

    Dan


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