45 colt vs 454 casull


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Action_Can_Do
September 14, 2006, 12:19 AM
Hello everyone. I was wondering just what is the point of buying a 45 colt? From what I've heard, a 454 loaded with 45 colt rounds will be more accurate due to the size of the chambers. Also, with the Super Redhawk Alaskan available, size is no longer an issue. Is there a reason to buy a 45 colt? I've been wanting to buy a blackhawk 45 colt, but logic seems to say I would be better off buying a 454 BFR and loading it with 45 colts.

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Onmilo
September 14, 2006, 12:34 AM
Because a .454 chambered gun is larger and heavier than a gun chambered for .45 Colt.
Because the .454 Casull cartridge case is slightly longer than a .45 Colt case there is a greater bullet jump before the bullet from a .45 Colt round enters the forcing cone of a .454 chambered revolver and this usually translates to larger groups on paper, not smaller.
Because the majority of Casull guns are five chambered, not six, you lose one round of firepower if you elect to use .45 Colt rounds in a Casull.

I agree there may be a market for a fixed sight, six chambered, short barrel Bulldog type revolver chambered in .45 Colt.
Try finding an ejectorless 3" Colt SAA on the used gun market that isn't priced stupid expensive.

The Lone Haranguer
September 14, 2006, 01:48 AM
Hello everyone. I was wondering just what is the point of buying a 45 colt?
If you don't want or need the extra power of the Casull. If you never plan to shoot the heavy loads out of it, there is little point (IMO) in the much larger and heavier revolver.
From what I've heard, a 454 loaded with 45 colt rounds will be more accurate due to the size of the chambers.
Not necessarily. In fact it is less likely, but individual guns will vary.
Also, with the Super Redhawk Alaskan available, size is no longer an issue.
I've seen those, and they're still pretty big and heavy. ;)

roscoe
September 14, 2006, 02:21 AM
The .45 Blackhawk is actually pretty light - lighter than my CZ75. And the .45 Colt comes in some serious hoss loads - up to 335 grains at 1350 fps. Just don't put those loads in anything other than a Ruger.

JNewell
September 14, 2006, 08:59 AM
Just don't put those loads in anything other than a Ruger

Now that the new Vaqs are out, we have to say a full-sized Ruger and not a new Vaquero! :uhoh:

bakert
September 14, 2006, 02:27 PM
My understanding is the New Vaquero is what it says. There is no such thing as an Old Vaquero unless you're speaking of it's age alone. Just a Vaquero. Ruger sure caused some misunderstandings with their nomenclature and a few shooters with the New Vaqueros have found to their dismay it aint for for the heaviest loads. The Vaqueros that use the Blackhawk frame work just fine with heavy loads though.

Action_Can_Do
September 14, 2006, 07:29 PM
My understanding of modern 45 colts is that they are horribly inaccurate without a little work due to old SAAMI specs. 454 casulls do not suffer from this problem and will fire 45 colt ammo with greater accuracy than guns built for the 45 colt! I don't hesitate to fire 44 specials through my 44 mags. I already own a very accurate Raging Bull 454. If my understanding is correct, I already own a more accurate 45 colt in my raging bull than I could get out of any blackhawk.:confused:

Father Knows Best
September 14, 2006, 07:42 PM
My understanding of modern 45 colts is that they are horribly inaccurate without a little work due to old SAAMI specs. 454 casulls do not suffer from this problem and will fire 45 colt ammo with greater accuracy than guns built for the 45 colt!

I have no idea what the source of your "understanding" is, but that seems like hogwash to me. Yes, the .45 Colt is a very old round. It can sometimes have accuracy issues, but these tend to be largely attributable to using position-sensitive nitro propellants in a large capacity case. The .454 Casull is really nothing more than a stretched .45 Colt. There's nothing about the SAAMI specs or the way the guns are made that makes one chambered for .454 Casull inherently more accurate than one chambered for .45 Colt. As other have pointed out, it tends to be the other way around. You tend to lose accuracy, not gain it, when you shoot a cartridge shorter than what the chamber is cut for.

Modern .45 Colt revolvers are plenty accurate, so long as you know how to load properly (the same is true of .454, of course). Personally, I'd go with .45 Colt. As other pointed out, it can be a wickedly stout cartridge if you load it up -- plenty strong for my taste. I've fired a .454 before, and don't plan to ever do so again. :cuss:

bakert
September 14, 2006, 11:25 PM
For some ideas of the power of the .45 Colt in different guns, visit John Linbaughs site
http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12

John C
September 15, 2006, 12:52 AM
Father Knows Best;

My understanding of the .45 colt chamber vs. the .454 chamber is that the colt chambers are actually tapered per US Army specs from 1873. This allowed easier insertion and extraction of cases in fouled chambers and for dimensional differences from indifferently manufactured ammo. This legacy lives on in the SAMMI specs for .45 colt chambers.

.454 chamber are completely straight, as is appropriate for a straight-walled case.

So .45 colt rounds "float" a little bit at the case head, while .454 chambers are tight. There was a fascinating article in Handloader Magazine about a year ago addressing this issue. The author had some data to support the idea that .454 chambered guns are inherently more accurate than .45 colt chambered guns. This had nothing to do with the cartridges, just the sloppiness of the specs.

Also, historically .45 colt pistols have had extremely loose chamber mouths, often from .454 to .458. .454 chamber mouths are almost uniformly .452.

I'm a big fan of .45 colt, owning three pistols in this caliber. However, I am serious considering having new cylinders made for them in the tighter .454 chamber spec, although still in .45 colt cartridge length.

-John

Father Knows Best
September 15, 2006, 09:48 AM
Interesting, John C. I missed that article, and hadn't heard about the "taper." I will look at my chamber reamer sources and see what their specs are for .45 Colt and .454 reamers.

I have been cowboy shooting for about five years now, and I've had the opportunity to measure the throats of a lot of .45 Colt revolvers. When I first started, it was not uncommon to find undersize or oversize throats, especially on Rugers. Undersize was more common that oversize, actually, though the worst were guns that have variances even within the same cylinder. This has been a well-known problem among cowboy shooters for years. It appears to be the result of worn tooling and poor quality control in manufacturing more than anything else.

When I'm shopping for a new revolver these days, I take along a few slugs of known size (.451 .452 and .453 for .45 Colt) and use the "drop-through" test to measure throat size. In the last two years, every new single action .45 Colt revolver I've looked at had throats of .4525 +/-.0005.

Onmilo
September 15, 2006, 10:49 AM
I believe the last handguns to use taper reamed chambers in caliber .45 Colt were the Smith and Wesson 25-5 series and some of the early Italian single action copies.
The Italian copies were just that, copies, and the Italians used old original guns for dimensioning.
As they gained more knowledge and insight from shooters they too tightened things up.
Colt stopped that practice long ago and newer single actions and S&Ws 25-6 and up all feature tight chambers and bore dimensions of .451-.452.

I had a Model 25-7 Smith, that I never should have sold, and I now own a 625Mountain gun and neither of these ever exhibited any negative accuracy issues, quite the contrary.
These two revolvers have proven to be the most accurate handguns I have ever owned in caliber .45 Colt.

MCgunner
September 15, 2006, 10:52 AM
I did get my Ruger .45 Colt used, so someone might have "set it up", but all I know is I can shoot either my 300 grain Hornady XTP handload at near 1200 fps or my 255 grain Lee flat point cast load at 900 fps out of it and it'll shoot 1" groups at 25 yards. I don't understand how it could get any better'n that out of a revolver. :rolleyes: I LOVE that thing for outdoor carry. It's about 40 ounces on the hip, slightly lighter if it were blued due to the aluminum grip frame on the blued guns, but I like stainless. It's powerful as a .44 mag for stopping a toothy critter or hunting, and it's one of the most accurate handguns I own. I even went to the expense of engraving it and putting stag grips on it because I wanted to personalize it and knew I'd never sell it. Even got my initials engraved on the bottom of the grip.:D

I don't understand the appeal of the Ruger Alaskan, frankly, a snub nosed gun in a bigger frame than a S&W N frame????? I don't know how you're going to get much out of a 2.5 inch or whatever they have barrel. Seems to me, with a magnum revolver round, life begins at 4" and goes up from there if you're going to take advantage of that slow powder and that's to say nothing of the sight radius issues with a short barrel.

Personally, my 4 5/8" Blackhawk does it for me. I don't need no stinkin' .454. I might want one if I lived in Alaska, but I think I'd get it in the Freedom Arms, not a DA. I prefer single actions and the FA revolvers are works of art as well as superbly built revolvers and strong to the max. They're also built a little less porky than a big frame DA.

Anyway, they invented the .357 magnum. Did the .38 special die???? They invented the .44 magnum, did the .44 special die???? Nope.

bakert
September 15, 2006, 11:09 AM
Quote.
"Personally, my 4 5/8" Blackhawk does it for me."
+1 MCgunner. That short barreled .45 Blackhawk is probably my most shot gun right now. My blued one aint as pretty as yours but it's all I need for most things. With the lighter weight aluminum grip frame though it can be a hand full with the tooth jarring loads.

cmidkiff
September 15, 2006, 12:53 PM
The same argument could be made against .38 special in favor of a .357 magnum, or .44 special to .44 magnum.

For that matter, why buy a .454 casul when you could buy a .460 smith, and shoot .460 magnum, .454 casul, and .45 long colt!

I don't see .38 special chambered firearms going away any time soon, do you? Must be that some people (including myself) prefer them to the .357 magnum chambered ones, for some reason or another.

Choice is good :)

MCgunner
September 15, 2006, 01:02 PM
Yeah, the .38/.357 thing has a direct corollary here. I mean, pocket sized .357s are available, but I donít really wanna shoot one. In addition, its snub barrel KILLS that vaunted .357 power, just adds flash/bang, so whatís the point?

But, with the .45 Colt vs. 454 thing, they cannot build a .454 as light or small as a good .45 Colt. There are snubby titanium pocket sized .357s, not that I want one, but they are available. The snub nose on an Alaskan in .454 or a pocket .357 is not desirable to me.

.38 Special
September 15, 2006, 02:35 PM
My old Ruger Bisley was one of the more accurate revolvers I have had. And the max loads drive a 325 grain bullet more than 1200 FPS, which ought to do for anything short of dangerous game.

Guess I'm just not a fan of the Casull. If I wanted/needed that much power I would by a five shot Bisley from Bowen and have, IMO, a better gun than the Freedom Arms for about the same money.

ARTiger
September 15, 2006, 07:18 PM
Try a S&W Mountain Gun in .45 LC, then come tell us how inaccurate the round is. (If you can't get 6 into one hole at 25 yards from a rest, suggest a shooting skills refresher.)

highlander 5
September 15, 2006, 07:50 PM
454's are built to much tighter tolerences than 45 colt.
I have 2 Ruger Bisleys had to have the chamber mouths opened up to .453 but the chambers well my fired brass comes out looking like a pilsner glass wider at the top narrow at the bottom.
As far as power 325 gr bullet at 1300 fps+ is as much recoil as I wish to subject myself to,if the 454 is anything like a contender in 45/70 you can have my share of the recoil

roscoe
September 15, 2006, 08:00 PM
I have never noticed any change in my brass when firing the heavy DoubleTap loads from my .45 Blackhawk. I will take a closer look next time. The gun is pleny accurate, however.

Crosshair
September 16, 2006, 02:26 AM
There is no such thing as an Old Vaquero unless you're speaking of it's age alone.
People on the internet, myself included, have come to calling the newer Vaquero guns as the "new" model. The "older" blackhawk frame guns, like mine, that can take the heavy 45 Colt loads have become known as the "old" model. Stuff like that just starts up. Guy at the range had an older blackhawk. I asked him, "Is that a 3-screw?" and everyone knew what I was asking, though it was never officialy called the 3 screw model. Wierd, yes. Makes sence, not all the time.

10-Ring
September 16, 2006, 02:33 AM
The 454's I've been able to shoot are alot of fun and kinda nice to mix in some 45 LC's to just get more trigger time in.

bakert
September 16, 2006, 08:57 PM
Doouble post erased

bakert
September 16, 2006, 09:00 PM
Quote:
There is no such thing as an Old Vaquero unless you're speaking of it's age alone.
People on the internet, myself included, have come to calling the newer Vaquero guns as the "new" model. The "older" blackhawk frame guns, like mine, that can take the heavy 45 Colt loads have become known as the "old" model. Stuff like that just starts up. Guy at the range had an older blackhawk. I asked him, "Is that a 3-screw?"

Three Screw Old Model Blackhawks and Super Blackhawks are in a class by themselves. Wish I could find a decent one at a price I could afford.:p

Father Knows Best
September 17, 2006, 12:50 PM
I guess I learned something new. A little check with tool makers confirmed that standard .45 Colt chamber reamers are typically made a little looser at the neck than .454 reamers. For example, Clymer Tool makes both its .45 Colt and .454 reamers .4810 at the base of the chamber (for a revolver cylinder, of course, which excludes the rim). On the .45 Colt reamer, however, the neck is .4800, whereas on the .454 reamer the neck is .4775. So while they are the same size at the base, the .45 Colt chamber tapers just .001 from base to neck while the .454 chamber tapers .0035.

Of course, nothing prevents you or anyone else from having custom reamers made up in whatever size you want. If you or any custom gun maker wants a .45 Colt reamer that will provide tighter chambers, it is easy to do. I've had custom .44 special and .44-40 reamers made for me to (by Manson Precision, to dimensions I provided), and it's not expensive. The fact that "stock" reamers leave larger chambers for .45 Colt, however, does tend to suggest that factory production guns in .45 Colt are also likely to have larger chambers.

Learn something new every day....

John C
September 17, 2006, 04:55 PM
Father Knows Best;

Yeah, that article in Handloader was really good. The author developed a 270 grain .45 colt mold that RCBS markets specifically to address the typical issues of .45 colt chambers. I've been thinking of getting one, all the reviews of it say it's excellent.

One of the problems I have in my .45 colt pistols (2 bisley vaqueros in 5.5 inches, blued; and a 7.5 inch stainless redhawk) is that while each cylinder has uniform mouths (thank God!), they all differ from one another. Short of having them all reamed out to .456, which I consider to be too big, I've thought of getting the RCBS hollow base 255 grain .45 colt bullet. The hollow base is designed to slug up in sloppily chambered pistols and still provide good accuracy. Apparently, .45 colt ammo prior to 1940 was pretty much all hollowbase for this reason, like the .41 long colt ammo.

The issue is, of course, one of money. Those hollow base molds aren't cheap!

-John

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