what can be achieved with the 45 Colt..


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PT1911
December 4, 2009, 03:03 AM
So, I will be getting into reloading soon enough... I currently expect to reload 38/357, 45 acp, and 44 mag, but I am also playing with the idea of acquireing a 45 colt lever gun. So I am curious as to what you are capable of getting out of this round on both ends of the spectrum. I know the "cowboy" loads are plinking and just all round fun, but what can one safely get out of this cartridge for serious hunting duty?

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ArchAngelCD
December 4, 2009, 03:08 AM
In a heavy revolver like the original Ruger Vaquero and Blackhawk you can load .45 Colt ammo right up to .44 Magnum levels. Most lever guns aren't built to take that kind of pressure though. With lever guns i would stick to using a 250/255gr bullet that will do ~1,000 fps from a revolver. Of course you will get more velocity from the longer barrel Carbine.

PT1911
December 4, 2009, 11:30 AM
any other imput guys/gals?

PT1911
December 4, 2009, 04:52 PM
doesnt anyone use a 45 colt for hunting duty or reload for it in a long gun?

Gryffydd
December 4, 2009, 04:59 PM
45 Colt has never been a terribly popular lever gun cartridge. Even in its heyday as a revolver cartridge it wasn't popular in lever guns. Supposedly this is because of its microscopic rim diameter.

That said, most people agree that the '92 and 1894 variant lever guns can handle anything your typical Ruger can. If you're really worried about it, get a Puma '92 in .454 Casull and shoot .45 Colt in it. As to what it's capable of, take a look at Hodgdon's load data and compare it to their data for the .44 Magnum. At 250gr bullets and up the .45 Colt can match or exceed the .44 magnum for the most part.

Floppy_D
December 4, 2009, 05:46 PM
any other imput guys/gals?

John Linebaugh on the 45 Colt (http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/dissolving_the_myth.htm)

A 45LC levergun is on my wish list, and has been for quite a while. For now, I load for a Ruger New Model Blackhawk. On the light end, 200g LSWCs at probably 750 or 800 fps are real kittens to shoot. I haven't shot anything heavier than a 255 Keith type, because I haven't really needed to. 45 Colt is one of my favorites to reload for; big components are easier to work with. :)

Bula
December 4, 2009, 06:46 PM
RCBS 45-270-SAA under a full load of 2400 will make almost 1200 fps in a 5.5 in Blackhawk, and about 1400-1500 in a 20" Marlin. Mine drop at just under 285 grains from the mold, and they do shoot well. These things penetrate like all get out.

For general use, lighter duty, the Lee 255 RNFP over 9g of Unique. Both loads will take game easily at pistol ranges, I'd stay at 100 or less yards with the 1894.

SlamFire1
December 4, 2009, 07:14 PM
45 Colt has never been a terribly popular lever gun cartridge. Even in its heyday as a revolver cartridge it wasn't popular in lever guns. Supposedly this is because of its microscopic rim diameter.

I have one balloon head case. There is less rim on that case than the the solid head.

If you want to turn the 45 LC into a magnum, why not just get a 454 Casull?

Personally, I like the 45 LC as is. A big bore round moving at moderate velocity.

My M25-7 in 45 LC.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Smith%20and%20Wesson%20Pistols/ReducedM25-7rightsideDSCN2028.jpg

millertyme
December 4, 2009, 07:18 PM
If you already have a 44 Mag, why not just get a lever gun that will shoot a 44 Mag and the other big-bore variants (.444, etc)?

Gryffydd
December 4, 2009, 07:24 PM
Personally, I like the 45 LC as is. A big bore round moving at moderate velocity.
I agree. 335gr@1200fps is both big and moderate in the velocity department. And it has a surprisingly pleasant recoil.

Bula
December 4, 2009, 07:32 PM
335gr@1200fps ...surprisingly pleasant recoil

You Sir, are a brave, brave man. I tip my hat.

Gryffydd
December 4, 2009, 07:44 PM
Shooting it out of my 5.5" Bisley Blackhawk it really isn't that bad, but it's a heavy gun with a great grip design. It's a bit...flinch inducing, but it's not in the least painful or uncomfortable.

SharpsDressedMan
December 4, 2009, 11:43 PM
I would think the Marlin 1894 lever gun would be as strong for .45 Colt "hot" load pressures as any .44 Mag, as that gun is chambered for both. I think the limitations on the .45 Colt arise from cases that aren't as strong as, say, .44 Magnum cases, and the chambers might be oversized a bit, and allow for more stretching when fired, wearing out the brass sooner. This is also true for many Ruger .45 Colt revolvers.

Gryffydd
December 4, 2009, 11:50 PM
I think the limitations on the .45 Colt arise from cases that aren't as strong as, say, .44 Magnum cases
Not true when using any quality modern .45 Colt brass.

and the chambers might be oversized a bit, and allow for more stretching when fired, wearing out the brass sooner.
This is a genuine problem, particularly with Ruger .45 Colt revolvers, as you said.

The link to Linebaugh's site posted earlier by Floppy D has an excellent section on .45 Colt brass.
The cartridge case in any firearm is simply a gasket to seal the hot gases away from the shooter and the firearm. Yes, it's critical that this component be of best quality and design. But overall the firearm itself contains the pressure. The reason the .45 Colt case bulges is the chambers in NEARLY ALL modern .45 Colt chambered arms are grossly oversize.

PT1911
December 5, 2009, 02:47 AM
as to why not just get a lever in 44mag rather than the 45colt.... well.. what is the fun in that?

Actually, I have other plans for a carbine in 44mag and just have a thing for the idea of the puma stainless 92 in 45colt. Dont ask me why. I guess there is just something classic about the cartridge to me but I have no interest in it in a handgun. guess I will just have to deal with it... Sad... I know.

Uncle Chan
December 5, 2009, 04:08 PM
I compete and hunt with my 45LC Vaqs and Win 92. For hunting, I load them max.

PT1911
December 5, 2009, 06:00 PM
uncle chan.... rifle max load or ruger/tc max load?

what sort of velocity/bullet weights are you getting?

as you can all see, I am way new to the idea of reloading... when looking in the hornady reloading manual, it shows max load for the 45 colt rifle to be getting a 255 grain cast bullet to 1100 fps...nothing to sneeze at but not the 14-1500 fps through other/stronger guns...

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