Pet 45 Colt Cowboy loads


January 13, 2003, 09:32 PM
I have been using Clays for my cowboy loads in my 45 LC. The smoke was ok at first but its starting to bug me. Is Universal any better? Less smoke and smudge.

These are true cowboy loads for a SAA type pistol, not a Ruger.
Have any of you used Universal in 9mm or 45 ACP?

Thanks in advance and take care.

250 or 255 gr lead bullets

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January 13, 2003, 09:41 PM
I just purchased some Win 231, 200 gr bullets, and cci and winchester primers.

I would be interested in loads for the above, on the light side, for a blackhawk.

It will be my first time reloading, if UPS can ever deliver the equipment.

G. Glock
January 14, 2003, 06:04 AM
Neither of you probably wants to hear about my favorite pet load of real cowboy powder, so I won't get into black powder.

Back about five years ago when I first tried CAS, I used Win. 231, which I used for many, many years for .45 ACP. It works great, I think, except that whenever I tried light bullets (200 gr.) with a fairly light load, I'd get erratic performance. I'm not taking about accuracy, rather a variation in power.

This kept me from shooting 200 gr bullets because the same charge with a 250 gr. bullet is a good, solid load, not just for cowboy shooting, and it's extrememly consistent with the heavier bullets. It's obviously something about the extra space in the case. Most rounds would be fine, but then I'd get one occasionally that was almost a squib.

I never got this with 250 gr. bullets. I still use this load with my Marlin Cowboy in .45 Colt. I don't shoot the Marlin anymore matches and decided not to shoot BP in it.

For all my CAS, though, I use only BP cartridges in my Colts, my Uberti 1873, and my Rossi shotgun. Much more fun and easier on my guns - no leading whatsoever and Ballistol brings them back to new condition in just a few minutes.

January 14, 2003, 07:53 AM
Thanks G. Glock,

After years of shooting BP in revolvers and a couple of Hawkens I finally decided to give it up due to the cleaning. Now I could never bring myself to put BP in one of my new guns.
On the consistancy issue I had a hard time getting 230 LRN to shoot with any powder in my cowboy gun. The same bullets is a winner in my ACPs. I settled on the 255s because they are so accurate and consistant in my pistol. The twist rate in both types of barrels is supposed to be the same.
I would really like to get a 92 level gun but the cost seems unrealistically high my by area for what they are. I'm still looking however.
Thanks again.

January 14, 2003, 11:18 AM
You might try tite-group, which is supposed to be less sensitive to powder location than 231 and some of the others are. Prolly why you are getting such a variation in your loads. You can also try elevating the muzzle before each shot to get the powder up close to the flash hole to reduce your deviation.

Desert Dog
January 14, 2003, 01:55 PM
255 gr. bullet, 8.5 grains of Unique...

The classic...


January 15, 2003, 08:03 PM
7.5 gns hp-38 under a Magnus 200 gn lrnfp. Finished off with a hard Lee factory crimp. This load has been very accurate and consistent in many Ruger 45 LC's, with the tight throats, however the front site usually needs filed down. Bout 880 fps from 4 5/8 barrel.

January 16, 2003, 03:36 AM
I use Unique with a 250 grain bullet. Great load.

January 16, 2003, 09:09 AM
Another vote for Unique, 8 grains with a 255 cast from a Lee mold.

January 16, 2003, 12:07 PM
I've had consistently good luck with 5.5 gr Win 231 behind a 250 grain RNFP - no erratic performance or detonation irregularities, and no inconsistent shot placement. Definitely mild recoil, too. When I started CAS, I used 7.0 gr, a moderate load, and I worked my way down, loading 100 or so with 0.5 gr less at a time, and finally settled on 5.5 gr.

Some in our club go as low as 5.0 gr. I'm nervous about leaving a pill in the tube, so I stick with 5.5. To me, it's not worth the extra hundred or so extra loads I could get out of a can of powder.

Used a similar amount of Bullseye, too. It worked fine, but IMO it's a dirtier burning powder.

Guess I'm a Win 231 fan - I use it in every handgun caliber that I reload. Keeps the powder shelf simple.

Just my $.02.

Paul "Fitz" Jones
January 16, 2003, 12:55 PM
I have had good luck in my SASS shooting with my 230 gr. 45acp RN bullets whose noses fed well in my cylinders and magazines. I have experimented with dozens of powders and have settled on WW231 for all of my pistol calibers. I used 5.7 grains for 750fps as reccommended in my Hornaday manual.

Deadeye John

January 18, 2003, 02:08 AM
I've recently found that 7.5 gr of HP38/Win231 under a 270 gr Keith is the most accurate load for my 5.5" Bisley. Velocity averaged 858 fps last time I ran them over the Chrony.

It should be fine in a SAA, but might be heavier than you want for SASS.

January 19, 2003, 04:03 PM
Is the consensus that I need to save my W231 for the 255 grn bullet and purchase H-38 for the 500 rounds of 200 grns I just purchased?

January 19, 2003, 04:23 PM
HP38 and Win231 are the same stuff, use whichever you have on hand and is cheaper at the shop.

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