lots of unburned powder


May 4, 2008, 03:40 PM
I've been looking for some mild loads to run through my Vaquero in 45 LC. I set some 185 XTPs over 9 grains of Universal with Winchester LP primers. When fired, the cases came out the same size as the factory 250 "cowboy" loads. They also "feel" right when fired. I did not have a Chrony to check velocity. I did mix a cylinder with factory loads and reloads. I couldn't tell the difference when fired.
The problem I've got is lots of unburned powder. When I extracted the cases, I could turn 'em over and tap out 6 or 8 partially burned grains of powder.
When I launched one through my Encore in 460 S&W, it left all kinds of garbage in the barrel. I guess the excessive jump to the lands allowed pressures to drop low enough for a partial powder burn.

Is Universal one of those powders that really wants to be tightly packed into the case?

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May 5, 2008, 10:47 AM
i had that problem but on 45acp. universal kinda sucks. loading hotter and using more crimp worked for me. change powder.

Mal H
May 5, 2008, 10:57 AM
I have also had that same problem when loading light Universal loads. As primlantah said, if you want to stick with Universal, you have to load a bit hotter and heavy crimp might help.

Try W231 or Bullseye for your light loads, they might work better. However, I think you're going to get sooty loads from those two powders (and most others), so you have to decide what you want to clean out of your revolver when you're done.

May 5, 2008, 11:23 AM
I switched to Red Dot, works very well in all my pistols.

May 5, 2008, 12:10 PM
Red Dot is very clean in the .45 Colt at any reasonable velocity. It does get touchy as pressure/velocity goes up. It is pretty fast.

700X is another to try. It burns clean at low pressures as well and seems a little less touchy than Red Dot when pressures get up there.

Trail Boss is the choice of many Cowboy shooters with lead bullets. It burns very clean and is very bulky, filling up the big cases better than most anything else.

Universal cleans up great at high pressure, but is pretty dirty at low pressures.

May 5, 2008, 01:15 PM
I had the same issue with AA#9 in 45C. I used loads that are listed (not at the top of the range), but it is too slow of a powder for what I wanted to do.

May 5, 2008, 01:28 PM
I use Promo for my workhorse .45 Colt loads, but I load them kind of hot.

Try American Select powder. It is about like Green Dot except it is very clean burning. If I recall correctly Alliant's web site has CAS (light) load data using American Select. I loaded some pipsqueak .38 Special target loads using American Select with copper-plated bullets and the gun looked *unfired* after shooting a box of 'em.

May 5, 2008, 01:40 PM
I use 5.8 grains of Trail Boss under a 255 grain RNFP from Mike at http://www.mastercastbullets.com/ and it makes a clean light acurate load from both my Blackhawk and my 1892 lever gun.

The Bushmaster
May 5, 2008, 02:00 PM
Where's five and six on that target or did you quit while you were ahead? Not bad if 25 yards or better and free or off hand...:D

May 5, 2008, 02:24 PM
It was 20 yards but those were my very first .45 Colt reloads and that was the first time out with my new Blackhawk.
Im not a great shot to begin with.
I only loaded 4, first two were snap caps.
I think about the first shot to much and flinch, after I get going Im fine.
So I usually start off with a few snap caps and/or a .22
Ive been trying to shoot more often to fix this and it seems to help.
Its like popping a baloon in front of your face and trying not to blink, Its my natural reaction.

May 6, 2008, 01:13 AM
For the 45 Colt W231/HP-38 are good powder choices. They are fairly clean too compared to some of the other popular powders. If you're looking for a really clean powder for the 45 Colt give Clays a try. It's extremely clean and will give you all the velocity W231 will. Clays works well in the .38 Special, .45 Auto and .45 Colt. (Just be careful not to double charge in the Colt case)

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