.45 Colt problem ?


September 9, 2008, 08:38 AM
Searching for a mild, accurate target load for my Ruger Blackhawk, I tried 6.5 Gr of VihtaVuori N 320 behind a 250gr Rainier TC plated bullet.

Ejected shells were very sooty, which is something I got used to in this caliber. All my .45 Colt loads cause this .
Accuracy was not so great, either. But those aren't the problem:
The primers seem to have backed out a trifle. Does that mean I'm nearing or exceeding MAX loads ?

Another question concerning .45 Colt : in both my guns (the aforementioned Ruger & a Uberti Peacemaker clone), the fired shells show an outward bulge just forward of the cartridge web (is that the right term for the part just above the rim ?).
Are the chambers on both guns oversized ? If so, will full-length resizing not create extra stress on the brass & make it brittle (work-harden it as it were) ?
Would it be possible/feasable/recommended to neck-size only ?

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 Colt problem ?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
September 9, 2008, 09:37 AM
Your could be near maximum on the power charge, drop down to 5.6 gr of N320, use a magnum primer to clear up the soot with the 250 gr bullet. See if the lighter powder charge makes a difference, if primers are still backing out, increase the powder charge till they no longer back out. the fired shells show an outward bulge just forward of the cartridge web(yes, correct term) This would be normal if using a carbide die or from high pressure or both, the web area will look smaller. The 45 Colt has a very small taper to the case. I would not worry about overworking the brass. Yes, you could try neck sizing if your using a carbide sizing die. Size just to below the base of the bullet. In most cases this will NOT work, but worth a try.

September 9, 2008, 09:58 AM
http://www.lapua.com/fileadmin/user_upload/esitteet/VihtavuoriInternationalReloguide2008.pdf i made some changes in the above post. If you look at the gunhill bullet data on this link page, the bullet can make a big difference as to your maximum loads.

September 9, 2008, 09:59 AM
I believe you and anyway, that load didn't fulfill my expectancies, so I'll stop using it.
Thanks for the info, tips & advice !

But just to show I'm not reckless, I tried this load only AFTER I found ( on "Handloads.Com")
recommended charges of 6.8 Gr (starting load) to 7.5 Gr (max. load) of VV N 320 behind a 250 Gr bullet.
I reckoned that by starting even lower (- 0.3 Gr), I wouldn't take any unnecessary chances.

Oh well, back to the old loading bench !

Thanks again.

September 9, 2008, 10:10 AM
I would play it safe and follow these 2 NEW guide lines currently set by Berry's and Rainier's for all plated bullets. How do I load Berry's Preferred Plated Bullets?
Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads. We, at Rainier Ballistics, recommend using lead bullet load data when loading our bullets. There is no need for adjustment when using lead bullet load data. Our bullets are jacketed using an electroplating process and are softer than traditionally jacketed bullets; hence the recommendation to use lead bullet load data. If you only have access to traditionally jacketed load data, we recommend reducing maximum charge by 10%. A roll or taper crimp may be used with our bullets; do not over crimp

September 9, 2008, 10:14 AM
chriske, did you see that i changed my post above. Your load might be to light of a powder charge. See the gunhill bullet data. Start low , work up.

September 9, 2008, 10:19 AM
What brand of brass are you using? If it's Starline, you might want to try something a little thinner like RP or Winchester to give it a chance to seal the chambers. (I use Starline for my +P loads and Winchester for my black powder loads for this reason.)

I'm not familiar with VV's N320 powder, but Red Dot works really well in .45 Colt.

September 9, 2008, 11:07 AM
i think its tooo tooo light of a load. Not too familiar with that powder myself but trail boss is a lot clearner powder 6 grains is really goo with 45 Colts

September 9, 2008, 11:33 AM
Bump it up! Bump it up! Bump it up!

Hornady #6 lists 7.2 grains starting (600 FPS) and 8.3 max (800 FPS) with a 250 XTP.

You aren't getting enough pressure to expand the case.

Or hardly get the bullet out of the barrel!


September 10, 2008, 03:01 AM
I'm not sure from your question if you are looking into another powder or not. The two best powders for the .45 Colt are W231 and Unique IMO. Both will produce accurate rounds in a wide range of velocities.

Depending upon what powders you have on hand HS-6 isn't too bad either. Some people even like Trail Boss because it fills the case much more than the others but I haven't tried it yet so I can't recommend it.

BTW, plated bullets have a reputation of not being accurate. I don't find that to be true if you load them correctly but I have seen some guns that just don't like plated bullets. I would suggest trying a 250/255gr LSWC bullet of good quality before you decide the powder you're using is to blame for the inaccuracy.

September 10, 2008, 08:39 AM
I really have to thank all of you for all your help.

Someone elsewhere on THR provided a link to some very intresting articles on the .45 Colt by John Linebaugh. Even though his high-powered loads aren't really "my thing", I learned a lot from them.

As for bullets & powder : bear in mind that what may be common to you in the US of A may be very hard to find or prohibitively expensive over here in Belgium. Our choice of handloading components is fairly limited, & we have to "make do" with what we can find (such as VV powders or Rainier plated bullets, for instance).

Specifically about VV N320 : one of my most accurate .45 Colt loads consit of a 200 gr. cast SWC & 8.5 Gr of that powder. (No idea about velocity or pressure, BTW)

My most accurate ever was 7.5 Gr W-231 behind a Speer swaged 250 Gr LSWC, back in the good old days when those components were still available.

Anyway, the quest for the perfect load is fun as well.

September 10, 2008, 05:57 PM
Sorry I didn't realize you were in Belgium. I really should look a at the "location" information under names once and a while.

Here in the USA VihtaVuori Powders (http://www.vihtavuori-lapua.com/vihtavuori.php) are distributed by Lapua so they are available to us along with information and data on their powders. When checking the site I found VV N320 is a faster powder than W231 and much faster than Unique. From what I read VV N330 might be a better choice since it falls right between W231 and Unique with a similar burn rate as PB and AA#5. You might get better results with VV N330 than N320.

VihtaVuori's current Reloading Guide (http://www.lapua.com/fileadmin/user_upload/esitteet/VihtavuoriInternationalReloguideJuly2008.pdf) has data for N330 for the .45 Colt and .45 Colt Cowboy Action load data.

With a slower powder you might get exactly what you're looking for and it might not bulge the cases as much. As for the soot, many powders will leave some soot when not loaded to or close to the Max charge.

Hope this information helps.....

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 Colt problem ?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!