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John Van Gelder
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Posted: May 23 2018 at 8:54am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

The .44 thread seems to have gotten a lot of .45 comments.

Back in 1873 when Colt introduced the Model "P". It was probably the most powerful hand gun in the world. There are folks that will argue that the Walker Colt, with a full charge of BP held that distinction until 1935 when the .357 Magnum was introduced.

That is not accurate, if you look at the original .45 Colt loading, which was a 40 grains of BP and the 255 grn. bullet. That load produced over 1000 fps. The original loading was not well accepted by the Army, considering that the troopers were accustomed to shooting a percussion revolver that fired a 140 gr. ball at between 800-900 fps on average. The early .45 loading represented considerably more recoil.

The initial loading was reduced, probably incorporating some sort of filler, down to the 8-900 fps range. Using those specifications then the Walker had the edge.

Modern guns utilizing the same frame size as the .44 Magnum are safe at 80% of the pressure of the original .44 magnums (40K), or about 30,000 psi.

You can safely achieve better velocity with a heavier larger diameter bullet.

A good article on that is here..   Heavy .45 Colt loads

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M700
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Posted: May 23 2018 at 12:04pm | IP Logged Quote M700

I've loaded the 45 Colt fairly heavy in the 4 5/8" Ruger Blackhawk.

It gets to be a real handful with the stout loads!

Usually, with the 45 Colt, I keep it pretty mild with lead bullets and Unique powder, but there's no doubt that the old cartridge can stand up and roar!

Regards, Guy
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Tom W.
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Posted: May 23 2018 at 12:18pm | IP Logged Quote Tom W.

I had a convertible Ruger Blackhawk. I loaded up a bunch
of "Ruger only" loads, as well as .45 acp loads for the
other cylinder. I never got a good load from that thing
until I started using the RCBS 270 SAA mold. Those bullets
were very accurate...

Bear in mind, not all of my loads were "Ruger only". But I
never was satisfied with the accuracy...

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John Van Gelder
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Posted: May 23 2018 at 12:33pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

If you duplicate the original load for the Colt, there is not much in N. America it will not work on.

Here is and excerpt from an article by John Linebaugh

I have personally taken about 10 antelope and 1 mule deer with a .45 Colt. My wife has taken around 6 antelope and 5 mule deer with her .45 Colt. She uses a 4 3/4" Seville and the handload is a 260 Keith cast at 900 fps. This load will shoot lengthwise of antelope and mule deer at 100 yards. In my estimation it kills as well as the .270, 30-06 class rifles if the shots are placed properly. If I were hunting heavier game Iíd step up the velocity to 1200 fps and in extreme circumstances, (elk, hogs, bear) go to the 310 gr cast slug. This load, 310 at 1200 will go through elk like so much air. These loads can be managed by anyone who is serious about handgunning big game. My wife is 5' 1" and goes about 100 lbs with her gun on. She likes the power the .45 gives her with a minimum of recoil and blast. She has hunted with me for 15 years now and is a very serious handgun shooter. I think the .45 Colt has a lot to do with this as it gives her big bore power without big bore recoil and blast. My sons also shoot the .45 Colt a lot and I had the pleasure to watch my oldest son, age 14 take a nice mule deer buck this year with a 5 1/2" Colt SAA at about 90 yards range. The load, 260 Keith at 900 fps. Its plain, no bells or whistles, but it works every time.
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REM1875
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Posted: May 23 2018 at 1:45pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Found a cylinder in the back room gun shop they weren't
sure what it was and for the second time I tried to fit a
second cylinder to our old Ruger 45 and this time it
worked much better (last cylinder was hit and miss -
literally) .....so now I got my 45 ACP and I like it !!!

I saw the info on Ruger only 45 ACP but I think the risk
for a mistake is too high for me .......

I am debating if first cylinder is worth a 460 Roland
conversion......???
I might see if 45 AR would work better......
(never use a dremel to fit a cylinder)

Edited by REM1875 on May 23 2018 at 1:47pm
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M700
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Posted: May 23 2018 at 2:35pm | IP Logged Quote M700

My son has one of those convertible 45 Rugers.

He keeps the 45 ACP cylinder in it most of the time 'cause he knows I usually have a small mountain of that stuff on hand and he can just grab a box whenever he wants.

We don't handload 45 Colt very often. Maybe once a year we'll do a couple of boxes. Use it in his Blackhawk, and in my old Colt New Service revolver.

Guy
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: May 23 2018 at 4:33pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

A fairly common failing with Ruger revolvers is tight throats. One needs to slug each chamber to determine if that is a problem with their gun. Brownells does a fairly brisk business in reaming tools. The process is pretty easy, and once done the Blackhawk .45 Colt will really shoot.

With a convertible, that has not had the Colt cylinder throats checked/reamed if necessary, you will find that the accuracy with the ACP cylinder is considerably better.

You can without having to do any conversions..if you have an ACP cylinder, shoot .460 Rowland loads in your Blackhawk.. The caveat here is it has to be one of the heavy (.44 mag.) frame guns. The flat top .45s are built on the .357 magnum frame, and the cylinder walls are considerably thinner. The latest iteration of the .460 Rowland uses a longer case, but originally they were based on the standard .45ACP case.

Here is a link to an article about doing that.

Heavy .45ACP Blackhawk loads

In reality if you are not on a regular basis wandering around in grizzly country, the ACP cylinder will do what ever you need to do with a handgun, and do it more efficiently, using less powder.

Several years ago I did some pretty extensive testing with the .45ACP cylinder, I posted those results back then.

One of those loads that comes to mind used the old standard Keith .45 Auto Rim bullet. In my alloy those weigh in at 248 grains, and over 8 gr, of Unique they are, according to my chronograph, at between 1169 and 1204 fps.

The recovered bullets from a dry sand embankment, had expanded to an aver age .75". This was with a pretty soft alloy.

I have taken mule deer with that bullet in my .45 Auto at around 900 fps, and they will shoot completely through a mule deer.      
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Buffalogun
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Posted: May 24 2018 at 11:44am | IP Logged Quote Buffalogun


The original .45 Colt BP load with a 255 gr. cast bullet pretty much laid down the foundation for handgun power.

I've read the Army spec'd the load had to give complete penetration on a horse, at normal horse fighting ranges. Never saw an official yardage as to what that meant.

The purpose was so the trooper could at least cause a massive "wreck", even if the bad guy wasn't hit by gunfire. Often the rider would be killed or seriously wounded in said "wreck". Either way, the trooper would likely have the upper hand in that match.

The high-velocity crowd usually completely overlooks the performances of big, heavy, slow moving projectiles and their terminal effect.

I load my .44 and .45 handgun loads to around 1,000 fps. and they usually shoot accurately and are comfortable to shoot. However, I will load to the max if I feel the situation calls for such loads.(that usually means bears or big hogs are present)

10 grs. of Unique works quite well in the .44 Remags and 8.5 grs. is pretty nice in the Ruger Flattop .44 Spcl.

When I get time I plan to try some "Longshot".


Mikc

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REM1875
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Posted: May 24 2018 at 1:24pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Thanks John
I reread those again.....good stuff.....
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joed
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Posted: May 24 2018 at 1:29pm | IP Logged Quote joed

One of the most accurate revolvers I ever owned was a model 25-5
with 6" barrel that I bought off someone from the S&W site.

No one wanted it because the original owner sent it out and had the
forcing cone cut and throats reamed.

It was a very accurate revolver but I realized it didn't really do
anything that I couldn't do with the .44 Mag.    

My second .45 Colt was a 625 MG with 4" barrel. It was a shotgun
and I quickly sold it.

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STCM(SW)
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Posted: May 24 2018 at 6:53pm | IP Logged Quote STCM(SW)

Mine is a M28-2 converted to .45 Colt and a .45 ACP cylinder fitted.
Haven't shot in many years now but use to take it as a back up when hunting in PA.


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M700
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Posted: May 24 2018 at 9:02pm | IP Logged Quote M700

Good stuff guys.

Since I got my first 44 magnum thirty-some years ago, I've decided that I didn't need to hot-rod the 45 Colt too much. Maybe a little... Just for fun, or for my son to carry when he's in bear country.

I do like both the 45 ACP and the 45 Colt though. Mostly I shoot a mess of 45 ACP through my 1911's. Nice, seeing those big ol' holes appear in the target, and I carried a 45 ACP 1911 my entire law enforcement career. Good gun.

Guy
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REM1875
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Posted: May 24 2018 at 11:30pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

Master Chief
I ain't gonna say you have a lot of nice weapons ....but
let me know when you open the museum and I will gladly pay
admission......
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: May 25 2018 at 7:15am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

A load that I have found to be accurate and quite effective, uses the RCBS SAA270 bullet, that bullet weighs 292 grains in my alloy, I load it over 10 grains of Unique, it produces just over 1000 fps in my 5.5" Redhawk

That load produces almost the same number on the Taylor scale as the standard .44 mag loading.
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: May 25 2018 at 7:27pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

My two favorite .45 Colt loads that I shoot in my New Service 5 1/2" are both decently potent loads, but not in the heavy "Ruger Only" category. Both using CCI-300 primers, they are the Lyman 454424 255gr. pushed by 8.8 gr. Unique for 915 fps. and RCBS 270 SAA 280gr. pushed by 16.4 gr. Lil'Gun for 935 fps. Not a trace of leading.

Lil'Gun with the heavier bullet shows lower pressure in it's accuracy range compared to other slow pistol powders such as 2400 or even the slightly slower burning Win. 296. Both of the later two powders needed more pressure to burn efficiently enough to achieve decent accuracy.

Both of my bullets are sized .455 for the older New Service, which has a .454 bore. This New Service was one of Colt's last, made in 1939.

Edited by Ham Gunner on May 25 2018 at 7:42pm


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John Van Gelder
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Posted: May 26 2018 at 5:52am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

When I carry my Redhawk .45 I usually have a couple of speed loaders with me, the standard colt bullet is a good choice for speed loaders. I do not have that bullet, but my Lee RNFP bullet (262 gr, in my alloy) "feeds" nicely out of speed loaders. My best result is with 9 gr. of Unique, that load is in the 15K range.

The above load works well in by Uberti .45s Once you "find" a load for a fixed sight gun that is as good as it gets. The sights on that gun are regulated for a 250-260 grn. bullet at 800-900 fps. I have tried lighter bullets but they print appreciable below point of aim.

With the right load that gun is one of the most accurate guns I own.

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Dave T
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Posted: May 26 2018 at 7:48am | IP Logged Quote Dave T

Back in the early 1990s, when I was playing the Cowboy Action game, I
owned 1st Generation Colts with 7.5", 5.5", and 4.75" barrels. I came across
100 NOS balloon head cases at a gun show and used them to duplicated
the original 45 Colt load with 40g of FFg behind a 255g RNFP cast of the
original alloy, 1-20 tin-lead.

Chronograph results were interesting. In the 7-1/2" SAA it averaged 914 fps.
In the 5-1/2" SAA it averaged 885 fps. In the 4-3/4" SAA the average for 5
shots was 864 fps.

Not long after the SAA's adoption the military reduced the original load to a
250g bullet over 30 grains of BP so the troops could handle the recoil
better. After the supply debacle of buying some S&W Schofields which
were chambered for a different 45 cartridge (and wouldn't chamber the
standard issue 45 Colt cartridge) they eventually settled on a government
version of the 45 S&W which had a 230g bullet over 28g of BP. That
became the issue round for most of the SAAs remaining service life.

The original 40g loading was also reduced by the commercial ammo makers
and loads were available with 30g, 35g and 38g. In the late 1880s Rem-
UMC listed the original 40g 45 Colt load as still available.

I found that 35g of FFFg in modern, sold head cases duplicated the
performance of the 40g FFg load, and shot that for remaining years I
participated in CAS. No, I never won any matches, but I had a better idea of
what the Old West was really like than all those guys shooting buffer-fly
phart loads ever did.
(smile)

Dave

Edited by Dave T on May 26 2018 at 7:54am


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John Van Gelder
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Posted: May 26 2018 at 12:53pm | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

There was a video on You Tube, can't remember who it was by. They chronographed some 40 gr. BP loads through a 7.5" Colt SAA and they were getting just over 1000fps. As I recall they used "Elephant" brand powder, which I have heard tends to be a little "hotter"..!
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Dave T
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Posted: May 26 2018 at 2:33pm | IP Logged Quote Dave T

John,

Back when I did that testing canister GOEX was the only powder available in
my area (Southern Arizona).

Dave

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REM1875
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Posted: May 26 2018 at 2:40pm | IP Logged Quote REM1875

I have a hollow base 230 gr mold which was reportedly what
the Army used for a time.
Many say no but I think it was made for use in the 45
S&W and also used in the 45 (LC) weapons at some time...

Works well when sized in the 45ACP too.......

Edited by REM1875 on May 26 2018 at 2:41pm
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