455 Eley and Hogden 777


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floridaboy
September 20, 2007, 04:53 PM
I have an old Colt New Service chambered in .455 Eley. I've been using 4.5 grs. of Unique with good results, but would like to use something that is really easy on this old timer. I bought some 777 fffg today, but wonder if anyone here has a good load for it using 255 gr lead bullets. I do not have a powder measure, so info using weight instead of volume would be appreciated.

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TN Shooter
September 20, 2007, 05:19 PM
IMHO, I think the 4.5 Unique load would be plenty easy on this old girl.

Sunray
September 20, 2007, 05:23 PM
Using BP won't be any easier than a light target load of smokeless. It will significantly increase your maintenance requirements too.
The Colt New Service was never issued with BP loads anyway. The Brits, along with the rest of the world, had stopped using BP long before the New Service came along.

floridaboy
September 20, 2007, 05:40 PM
Sorry if I wasn't very clear. I am hoping to get a good load for Hodgdon's Triple 7. It's easy to clean up, and is supposed to generate lower pressures than smokeless. Maybe I'm being to easy on my old gun, but it was made in 1914 and I would like to keep her firing for another 100 years.

Jim Watson
September 20, 2007, 05:52 PM
Agree with TN Shooter, even an early New Service should handle light to moderate smokeless loads.

Disagree with Sunray, when the New Service came out in 1898, Colt advertised it for black powder ammunition.

I shot some 777 in .44 Special and .44-40. It shot well, but heated the gun up fast, and left it sooty. The light fouling cleaned up with tap water as advertised; then dry and oil.

Load 777 to fill the case to the base of the bullet, no airspace, but not compressed as you would with real black powder. However many grains that takes, that is your load.
Hodgdon says: "Testing has shown that Triple Seven will perform best when the bullet just touches the powder. Allow no airspace between the base of the bullet and the powder."

They also warn against using it for loads they have not tested. Whee!


A 1914 New Service is really a pretty modern gun, as such things go. The US military used the 1909 New Service .45 with smokeless ammunition while the automatic pistol trials leading up to the 1911 were going on. I don't think you will be doing it a favor by loading 777. Ken Waters' Pet Loads for the .455 Colt - Eley in the .88" Mk I case START at 5.5 gr Unique and a 250 gr Remington hollowbase with velocity in the low 600s. Even if you are using Fiocchi Mk II brass in the .76" length, I doubt you are pushing the gun. But, as Jeff Cooper said, you will do as you think best.

Sunray
September 20, 2007, 06:04 PM
Hodgdon's Triple 7 is a black powder substitute. The .445 Eley/Webley(it's called both) in a Colt New Service never used BP. Your Unique load will be fine. Although, it's near max. Mind you, I'm not seeing any loads for a 255 grain bullet.
You can expect your great, great, great, great, great-grand children(there's 5 generations in 100 years, I think) to be able to shoot it. Assuming the Brady bunch doesn't get their way and the kids aren't too busy with their phasers. Mind you, one of 'em will likely sell it for his retirement in 50 years or so.

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