45LC Black powder question


Desert Scorpion
July 20, 2009, 08:42 PM
Hi, I have a question here, I have an 1873 colt SAA made in 1880's era, I was told that the old model made pre 1940's can only take Black Powder loads.:eek: I am not sure but I thought all 45LC bullets for sale now by blackhills, winchester, etc... are made with blackpowder. Is there a 45LC round out there that takes regular smokeless powder if so which one does so I can stray away from it. I dont want that.

My main question is I just purchased winchesters 45LC 250gr Lead Flat Nose bullets for my SAA. The box does not indicate if it is smokeless or black powder, nor does it indicate the amount of grains in the bullets.:scrutiny: Can someone tell me if this Win 45LC round is built to old specs with old style powder and grains, or is it some kind of competition round.

The box says Winchester Cowboy Action Loads 45c colt 250gr Lead Flat Nose. Thats all any help, I want the bullets that blow the old smoke out the barrel.;)

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Jim K
July 20, 2009, 08:55 PM
The old guns should be fired only with ammo held to the same pressures as black powder loads. AFAIK, all factory .45 Colt loads and certainly all "cowboy" loads are held to black powder pressures even if they are loaded with smokeless powder and should be safe with that First Generation revolver.

Note: If you reload, stick to the book loads for old Colts, and avoid using anyone else's reloads. Owners of heavy Rugers and some other modern guns load .45 Colt to almost .44 Magnum pressures; those loads will take the old iron Colt apart.


Desert Scorpion
July 20, 2009, 09:26 PM
So there are 45LC rounds with modern smokeless powder:uhoh:, how do you tell which ones are smokeless and which ones are black Powder, Mine are 45LC but only say on the box 45colt is that the same thing:confused:

Desert Scorpion
July 20, 2009, 09:28 PM
Here is the link of the ammo I purchased

July 20, 2009, 09:32 PM
If it is a 1880's era Colt 1873 then it would have the single screw cylinder pin retention & was ofcorse during the still Black Powder era & if I was you, I would avoid using any smokeless loaded rounds in that firearm.

If you have had it checked out to be safe to shoot by a competent gun smith & they have ok'd it for any smokeless loads then I would only use black powder loads & the recomended smokeless loads that the gun smith suggested, because even though many manufacturers load .45 Colt loadings to SAMMI specks they may still be a tad bit hot for that old girl there.

Goex sells a line of black powder loaded ammunition for these older & more modern made replicas of older firearms.

July 20, 2009, 10:32 PM
just be wise and use bp velocity ammo. avoid high pressure loads as the steel in a first generation cylinder is not going to withstand much of that, and if you overloaded it by a hair, you got a grenade. And in theory if the powder decides to detonate at one time, that pressure spikewould make it blow.
Ideally youd keep it loaded to the original saami levels. smartest would be to load it to 45 sw instead of 45 colt government or 45 long colt.

Desert Scorpion
July 20, 2009, 10:41 PM
What are the original cowboy loads used back consist of in grains and weight and what comany will come closer to the original.

I am not really planning on shooting the old 1873 more of a collector now, I am going for a Uberti 1873, but want to shoot the original type loads, not cowboy action shooting target loads, does someone know the best round for original loads. I want the punch, kick and the smoke.

July 20, 2009, 10:48 PM
great basin cartridge makes black powder loads for you gun. Take that baby to a smith before you run those winchesters through it. Those are modern loads not BP rated loads.

July 20, 2009, 11:19 PM
Smokeless powder is the default for manufactured ammo. The box will have some mention if it's loaded with black powder.
The 250gr lead flat nose on the box is the bullet weight.
45 colt and 45 Long Colt are the same thing.

Original loads were 40gr BP and a 250gr bullet. Or thereabouts. Modern brass only fits 37-38gr of BP, so if you're handloading go that route.
I enjoy shooting .45 Colt BP loads, but I do tire of the mess sometimes so I keep Trail Boss on hand for some easy shooting smokeless loads.

July 23, 2009, 12:22 PM
Trailboss rocks for progressive loading. Shoots pretty good to.

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