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RT58
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Posted: December 03 2018 at 9:13am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Wikipedia is unique in that they list references for their information. The trouble is that most of the references aren't all that reliable.

I'm still looking for information on the .45's.

Evan Whilden was working with Olin to develop the .41AE as an up-grade to the UZI, which was sold by Action Arms, to make it more "powerful". They then offered conversions for several 9mm pistols which included a barrel, recoil spring and magazine. There were no problems with the UZI as there was ample room for a larger diameter cartridge, but that wasn't the same for the pistols that weren't sheet metal stampings. Tolerances are tighter in them and feeding that fat little cartridge through them can raise issues. The idea is a good one but there were too many "experts" that said there was no need for such a cartridge, the 9mm and .45 ACP were enough. Without their approval there wasn't enough interest to keep the cartridge alive and ammunition became harder and harder to find. I have one of the Action Arms conversions for a Browning Hi-Power that I found in a gun stores bargain bin for a very low price, but the cartridge is better suited in a larger gun and so I built one on a 1911 frame. It was a nice idea though.

This is based on my own experience during the time.

I did pick up a virus checking one of Wikipedia's references and have to run a security scan. Ah, the internet.

Edited by RT58 on December 03 2018 at 9:15am
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John P.
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Posted: December 03 2018 at 4:30pm | IP Logged Quote John P.

John Van Gelder wrote:
Did we really need a .44 Magnum, or just
heavier frames and cylinders for the .45 Colt. A lot of folks jumped off
the .44 Magnum bus when Ruger started offering their Blackhawk in .45
Colt. A bigger heavier bullet at nearly the same velocity with less
pressure.


If the Ruger Blackhawk had been around when Elmer Keith started
working with his heavy loads, we likely would have had the .45
Magnum instead of the .44 Magnum. Even in the original BP load, the
.45 Colt is a remarkable cartridge especially for something that was
developed circa 1873.

If there had been a heavy framed/cylinder .45 Colt revolver then, I
wonder if the .44 Special would have been long gone by now.
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RT58
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Posted: December 03 2018 at 4:43pm | IP Logged Quote RT58

Elmer didn't have a Blackhawk, but he could have easily gotten a Colt New Service model and 1909 Colt .45 ammunition. I'm sure whatever he used he would have blown it up.

I wonder if S&W donated a lot of products to Mr. Keith in exchange for the "free" advertising.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 04 2018 at 8:02am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

I have often theorized that Mr. Keith blew up that gun, and from his book he states he was using black powder, because he had an air space in that particular cartridge.

The .41 AE was just introduced at the wrong time, the .40 and the 10mm are pretty popular, but are still behind in the sales of 9mm and .45ACP. When Ruger offered their American, the only calibers it comes in are 9mm and .45ACP.

A side note on the 10mm apparently some of the "special" units of the FBI are still carrying the 10.

For a short period of time the Canadian military had as a side arm a gun that was based on the highpower, just scaled up, it was chambered in a cartridge that was essentially the .45 Super, I do not think that it ever went into service, just a bit too much recoil for the average shooter.

Back to .44s my absolute favorite .44 that is not a special is my 1858 Remington. A good accurate shooter, and no pesky cases to fuss with.   
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RT58
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Posted: December 04 2018 at 11:56am | IP Logged Quote RT58

Personally the reason I jumped on the .41AE bandwagon was I was hoping it would lead to more .41 caliber bullets suitable to lower velocities. It, and the 10mm/.40S&W are the result of the caliber wars and the idea to "walk the fence", and there really isn't all that much difference between them...

...Except for recoil sensitive shooters and those wanting the highest capacity mags they can get. The decision by the FBI to go back to the 9mm may have an impact on the future of the .40S&W as many agencies mirror the FBI's firearms and training. They need to understand that the "new technology" that makes the 9mms so much better now applies to every other caliber too, so don't run out and waste taxpayer money on new guns and ammo.

I like the 1858 Remingtons too. I gave one to my younger brother when he graduated from college. Several years later he gave it back to me, saying he'd never shot it and probably never would since he knew nothing about them. The next time I saw him, I handed it to him all loaded and ready to go. His first two shots went into the same hole... He took it with him when he left.

I may have found something on the .45 Colt being reduced to 28 grains of powder issue. In a book by A.L.A. Himmelwright titled "The Pistol and Revolver", published by J.J. Little Co. in 1908, the author is discussing various calibers of ammunition and mentions the ".45 Colt Army". He mentions it is too powerful and makes everyone flinch when they shoot it, until it is reduced to 28 grains of powder...

The same author later wrote a book titled "Shooting the Pistol and Revolver" published by The Macmillan Co., and others, in several different printings, but with much of the same info as the earlier book. He still referred to the .45 Colt as the ".45 Colt Army", and still states it makes everyone flinch, but dropped the part about the powder charge being reduced to 28 grs. and instead mentions it is much easier to shoot with the 5 gr. charge of Bullseye smokeless powder. He was obviously confused by the different .45 Colt loads available and if someone read the first book and not the later ones, they could easily be confused too.

These books are available on-line as free downloads.

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John P.
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Posted: December 04 2018 at 6:08pm | IP Logged Quote John P.

RT58 wrote:
Elmer didn't have a Blackhawk, but he could have
easily gotten a Colt New Service model and 1909 Colt .45 ammunition.
I'm sure whatever he used he would have blown it up.

I wonder if S&W donated a lot of products to Mr. Keith in exchange for
the "free" advertising.


Good point! Mr. Keith seemed to have S&Wís ear. In some of his
writings, he seemed to find the large frame S&W revolvers superior for
his heavy .44 Special. I donít know too much about the Colt New
Service, but judging by its size and the cartridges it was chamber for,
the Colt New Service likely would have handled those heavy .44
Special loads too.
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John P.
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Posted: December 04 2018 at 6:17pm | IP Logged Quote John P.

RT58:

Wasnít the reduced load .45 Colt Army cartridge a shorter case than
the .45 Colt? Supposedly these cartridges were meant to be used in
both the SAA and Schofield revolvers.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 05 2018 at 7:51am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

There is mention of a .45 Government, not sure if that was a reduced .45 Colt load, or the Schofield round or something else.

A lifelong friend of mine shots a lot of BP .45 loads in his Blackhawk, those full power loads are quite impressive.

From Keith's book the gun in question was an 1873 colt, and when the case blew up it took the loading gate off. Back then I believe he was using balloon head cases, which are pretty thin in the web. The bullets were a 300 gr. from an old Belding & Mull mold, most likely a light bullet for the .45-70.

The best shot I made with my 1858 Remington, the actual model designation was "New Army".. I shot a jack rabbit at 55 of my paces. Those guns will shoot with any modern revolver, you have to use max loads and lube that keeps the fouling from building up in the barrel.

I found an article several years ago, about a fellow who used an 1858 Remington to take a pretty good sized black bear.

I had a Remington in .36 it was not as effective in wood chucks as the .44. "All that extra stopping Power"..!
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RT58
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Posted: December 05 2018 at 11:19am | IP Logged Quote RT58

John P. wrote:
RT58:

Wasnít the reduced load .45 Colt Army cartridge a shorter case than
the .45 Colt? Supposedly these cartridges were meant to be used in
both the SAA and Schofield revolvers.


John P., Yes, they were. They were the same length as the S&W Schofield round and were loaded with 28grs. black powder and a 230gr. bullet, identical to the Schofield. I'm not sure but they might have had a smaller rim to better fit the Colt.

John Van Gelder had mentioned earlier that the standard Colt .45 cartridge had been reduced to the same load, but I haven't found any evidence of that, other than the Wikipedia page he linked to, which I don't think is reliable. Of the older books I've read the Colt .45 load had varied from 40gr.s to .35grs, but I haven't found anything that low. According to Julian Hatchers book "The Textbook of The Pistol and Revolver" the Army had adopted the Colt New Service revolver in 1909. They were chambered in .45 Colt using the "standard" load, and they differed only in the rim which was larger than the original Colt load. I found a digital copy of the military manual for the 1909 model and plan on reading it later.
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RT58
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Posted: December 05 2018 at 11:28am | IP Logged Quote RT58

John Van Gelder wrote:
...The best shot I made with my 1858 Remington, the actual model designation was "New Army".. I shot a jack rabbit at 55 of my paces. Those guns will shoot with any modern revolver, you have to use max loads and lube that keeps the fouling from building up in the barrel...


John, I used to own a couple C&B revolvers and really liked shooting them. I did use Pyrodex though. They were cheap to shoot, easy to load and way more accurate than I'd ever thought. In the older gun books I've read many authors have stated how much more accurate black powder was than smokeless, which sounds interesting, but smokeless powder has come a long way since then. I'm still interested though.
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John Van Gelder
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Posted: December 06 2018 at 5:45am | IP Logged Quote John Van Gelder

A number of years ago, a couple of friends and I bought up a batch of Goex, cartridge powder, 2.5F at a really good price.

I had a Ruger "Old Army", that I shot the Lee 200 grn. round nose heeled bullet, those loaded nicely in the cylinder and shot very well. I never got around to getting one of those bullets for the Remington, the Old Army and the mold went to a friend of mine.

The Ruger was a great shooter, but I just liked shooting the Remington more.

Everyone I know who shoots BP guns, all agree that their accuracy is better with BP than with the substitutes.

An old friend of mine from Alaska had a reproduction Sharps rifle in .45-70, he preferred black powder to smokeless in that gun.

A nice feature of the Remington is that it is pretty quick and easy to do a cylinder change unlike the Colt.

Brings to mind the Clint Eastwood movie, he had a couple of Remingtons and a belt full of extra loaded cylinders.

Many years ago, I even tried loading some BP in the .45ACP, as I recall it did not work out well.   
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