Just loaded my first batch of .45 Colt!


January 8, 2005, 07:17 PM
I just finished loading up my first batch of rounds ever. Very exciting, can't wait to try them out tomorrow.

I used a 300 gr. LSWC (supplied by my friend)
Unique Powder
CCI Large Pistol primers
Winchester Brass

I loaded 3 groups:
8.5 gr. Unique
9.0 gr. Unique
9.5 gr. Unique

I only had 2 setbacks while loading. I tried to prime a case twice...I figured out that you couldn't stop applying pressure on the Lee Auto Prime once you started. The second thing was that I seated my first bullet a little too deep...like all the way into the case!!! Oh well...all the rest of the cartridges came out great.

I took my time and weighed every charge. It was a little tedious but I felt better doing it.

I'll post results tomorrow.

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January 8, 2005, 10:40 PM
Hope you are feeding those to a Ruger, they are pretty stout loads.

January 8, 2005, 10:45 PM
Yes, they are most certainly being fed to a Ruger. Ruger Blackhawk, 5.5" barrel to be exact. I have fed it some pretty stout loads in the past.

January 8, 2005, 11:41 PM
hang on tight!! I figure that Ruger will be going just about straaight up on recoil.what fun!!! have a great time.!

January 9, 2005, 06:22 PM
Shooting went well (other than being chilly ~30 F and standing in about 4 inches of snow). I still have 10 fingers and 2 eyes.

Started with the 8.5 gr and ended with the 9.5 gr. Recoil wasn't too bad, with 9.5 gr just shy of being unpleasant to shoot for the whole day. Gun wasn't going straight up but it certainly let you know that something was going on. Acurracy was best with the 9.5 gr. load, but I was shooting offhand so that is a factor.

All rounds extracted normally, primers looked okay, head stamps looked okay, cases looked okay. Nothing seemed abnormally loud. The basepin didn't even go flying off or anything, no rounds jumped crimp. I have to say that I am very happy :)

Now I am just waiting for my Laser Cast bullets to arrive. Next shooting date is 10 days away (gonna cut work for a day).

January 10, 2005, 12:22 PM
I wanted to load some Meister cast 300 grain swc bullets in .45 Colt but fear the pressure curve is going to be too great to shoot in my older 2nd model S&W revolvers.

Anyone ever load these 300 grain bullets at a safe level that can be fired in older S&W revolvers. I know they can be loaded below 900 fps velocity but what is the pressure for such loads.

Shouldn't we be concerned about pressure instead of velocity?

Poster said he didn't notice any brass looking bad after his shooting, but his shooting was in a modern steel firearm like Ruger.


January 10, 2005, 01:42 PM
I certainly would never shoot the loads that I tried in anything except my Ruger Blackhawk. I cannot verify that they are safe loads except in my gun and neither I nor The High Road accept responsibility for anything that happens. The recoil was pretty stiff, not awful but you knew you were shooting something more than a cowboy load.

I have seen standard pressure loads using 300 gr. bullets for the .45 colt. I don't have the data with me now though. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

January 10, 2005, 11:11 PM
44 and 45, I would start at 5.5 grains of Unique in special cases. I have shot down to 6 grains in magnum cases and they were VERY soft.

January 11, 2005, 09:51 AM
HsSmith, what do you mean by special cases? This is about .45 Colt caliber isn't it.

Though I did once load up some .44 special cases with Meister 300 grain .44 bullets and shot them in my Anaconda.

Is your recomendation of Unique for the .44 special.


January 11, 2005, 09:20 PM
Jim, sorry about that. I totally lost my train of thought!!!!! I was thinking 44 when I was typing.

Back to 45 Colt. I have shot 6.5 grains of Unique in 45 Colt with 300's, very soft shooting and good accuracy. I would shoot them in anything chambered in 45 Colt, including first gen SAA.

January 11, 2005, 11:23 PM
HsSmith, 6.5 grains of unique is way under some of the other loads mentioned here, maybe I give them a try...just hope the old 2nd model S&W don't turn into a handgrenade.

How would you rate that load for penetration, did you ever shoot any through some piles of old books or boards.


January 12, 2005, 08:51 AM
44and45, I have not shot the load that HSMITH has recommended but I would guess that you would not recover a bullet from game unless you hit some bone.

I have shot some cowboy squib level loads (250 gr. 750 fps) and it went through the 5 boards that I had been shooting at.

January 12, 2005, 09:29 AM
Jim, I have not tested for penetration.

I was looking for a low pressure load, and I found it with this load. Sooted up the cases pretty badly, but shot nicely.

January 12, 2005, 10:07 AM
Wedge, you loads sound more than OK for the Ruger, but my old 2nd models are WW-1 issue -- have to be careful with them.

The reason I asked about penetration was thinking of them in terms of a defense load, 300 grain bullet ought to slow someone down in a car on a drive-by plinking spree.

HSmith, hate sooty cases, would a hollow base and wad with a good crimp help deter that.


January 12, 2005, 10:26 AM
Car doors are very weak. Even .22 LR makes it through at least half the door, and will go through the whole door if you get lucky. Every .45 cal I have shot at a car door went through (.45 ACP, .45 Colt and .454 Casull). The ACP and Colt were nothing special and pretty low power (WWB for the ACP and Winchester Cowboy for the Colt). We were shooting at a 1975 Suburban door. I bet that HSMITH's load would be fine in your S&W...not sure how to make it less sooty...my Ruger load brass was definitely dirty when I was finished shooting.

January 12, 2005, 01:52 PM
Shouldn't we be concerned about pressure instead of velocity?

Yes, but pressure is very hard to most of us to test, so velocity is a useful proxy, even though they don't exactly correlate. (You probably knew that.)

Poster said he didn't notice any brass looking bad after his shooting, but his shooting was in a modern steel firearm like Ruger.

I wouldn't rely on seeing the same signs of high pressure in straight-walled pistol rounds that we are accustomed to seeing in bottleneck rifle rounds.

While we're talking about pressure, wouldn't you really like to see all the manuals list pressure, and wouldn't it be nice if it was all either psi or cup, but not some of both...

January 12, 2005, 02:31 PM
Rummaging through my reloading desk drawer I found this letter from an email friend. In it he relates some shooting results from some 300 grain .45 Colt swaged bullets that were bumped up from .44 caliber.

These bullets were also swaged with a HB and HP, though HB would have been enough for the Meister hard cast blue lubed bullets.

Firearm was a S&W 25-5 with six inch barrel.

Bullet was swaged Meister 300 HB/HP.

8.4 grains of Unique

Velocity was 891 fps on average.

ES was 6 and SD only 2. (That in itself is pretty amazing)

What shooter claimed was a problem was the fact that accuracy was good it shot 10 inches high even with his sights cranked down flush.

Sounds like it would be an excellent 100 yard round to me.

Though I feel these loads are too warm for my old guns, the more modern 25-5 Smith seemed to handle them just fine.


January 12, 2005, 06:59 PM
Jim, I don't think you will get away from sooty cases with the 300 grain bullets in the old guns. You have to keep pressure down and that in itself is what causes the sooty cases, not enough pressure to seal the cases in the cylinder. Bring pressure up enough to seal the cases off and you are back at the problem you were trying to avoid.

BTW, I find the ES and SD your friend noted entirely believable, I have found Unique to be one of the most consistent powders available at lower pressures.

January 13, 2005, 09:43 PM
Jim, found some data in one of my manuals for 300 grain jacketed bullets in 45 Colt that maintains safe pressures for all smokeless guns, Unique starts at 6.0 and tops at 6.8 grains. 6.5 with a lead bullet should be very soft shooting and low pressure. I just wanted to let you know that I found printed data confirming our suspicions.

January 14, 2005, 12:26 AM
Sounds good, 6.5 to maybe 6.8 grains of Unique would be a reasonable load for these old guns of mine.

Is recoil a noticeable factor because of the heavier bullet weight.

I have Taurus Tracker four inch barrel in .45 Colt, what do you think of shooting some in it. A short barrel like this one might hender the powder being consumed properly.

The Tracker models are made in .357 and .44 magnum, but the .45 Colt caliber really has thin cylinder walls thickness.

Taurus specs say don't exceed 900 fps.


January 14, 2005, 08:23 AM
Jim, I think they shoot softer with 300's at about 800 than they do with 250's at 950. More of a push than a rap to your hand. POI goes up quite a bit as you slow the 300's down, might be a problem on a fixed sight gun at extended ranges.

Unique will burn just fine in the short tube of your Taurus, I would be surprised if you even had muzzle flash using 300 grain bullets. I would shoot them in it without worry, but if you wanted you can back it down to about 6 grains.

January 14, 2005, 09:32 AM
Thanks all, for a very informative thread on the .45 Colt loading of the 300 grain lead bullet.


Dave R
January 14, 2005, 11:40 AM
Acurracy was best with the 9.5 gr. load

I love it when accuracy and velocity coincide.

Let us know how those Laser-Cast bullets perform, too. I've found them very accurate in my 9mm loads.

January 14, 2005, 01:15 PM
No problem, just got the laser-cast yesterday...gonna load them up tomorrow. Gonna shoot them next week. I'll let you know how they work.

Vern Humphrey
January 14, 2005, 09:39 PM
Just for info, the Hodgdon Manual (Edition 26) lists .45 Colt loads "For Ruger Only." The recommended starting load with the 300 grain bullet is 9.5 grains of Unique (your top load) and the max load at 10.5 grains. Pressure is given as 24,400 CUP and 29,200 CUP, respectively.

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