.45 colt Black powder loading


March 18, 2010, 05:48 PM
Just needed to check in for some help......I've always loaded .452 RNFP 250 grain in my cases with homemade BP.
A friend just bought a box of 500 .454 RNFP 250 grain...I'm not sure whether I can use these or if I need to return them....
Also wanted to get some tips on making bird shot loads if anyone has them...I think I want to load up a bunch just for fun , maybe use up that bag of buckshot I have too..... thanks.

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 colt Black powder loading" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 18, 2010, 06:13 PM
I use 30 gr. of 2f measured by volume,not weight.leave no air space in the case.

March 18, 2010, 06:18 PM
If you buy a bag of .44/.45 Wonder Wads the instructions are printed on the inside [back] of the label.They are meant for loading the chambers of a BP revolver but work equally well for cartridge.

March 18, 2010, 06:43 PM
.454 is a pretty normal size for lead .45 cal bullets. The Goex manual says 40 grains of 2F BP for a 255 grain bullet.

For birdshot loads, get some of these and follow the directions.


March 18, 2010, 08:16 PM
If they are for a revolver you need a bullet dia. that fits the cylinder chamber. It should fit as tight as it can without haveing to push to much to get it to slide through. I only have colt revolvers and they are all .454 dia. chambers. A lot of the other replicas use smaller dia. most are now .452. Measuring your chamber mouth will tell you what bullet dia. you need.

If the bullet is to large the loaded bullet won't slide into the chamber easily. And too small causes more leading in barrel for hot gasses move around the bullet in chamber when firing melting some of the lead from the back of bullet.

March 18, 2010, 09:59 PM
what I said in last post is for lead bullets. I have never used jacketed bullets with black powder. I don't know if it is done or not. someone else would have to comment on that. But jacketed bullets need to be only a thousands bigger then the groove dia. of youre barrel. And most barrels are .451 in colt 45. If they are jacketed bullets .454 would be to big. There again you would have to measure the groove dia of the barrel to know for sure.

March 18, 2010, 11:04 PM
According to the 49th edition of the Lyman Reloading Handbook:

"The grooves of the Pre-World War II revolvers normally measure .454 in diameter. Later production revolvers and lever action rifles are built with .451 diameter grooves."

So the questions are what era are your firearms or more importantly what is the groove diameter. Personally, I would return those bullets and get yourself some .452's just like you are used to doing unless you can verify you need .454.

Interestingly enough, the 45 Colt wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.45_Colt) specifies .454 and has no mention of .452. However, the 454 Casull wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.454_Casull), which is based on the 45 Colt cartridge, specifies .452. Further, the 460 S&W Magnum wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.460_S%26W_Magnum), which is based on the 454 Casull cartridge, also specifies .452. IHMO, the wiki pages have some discrepancies that need to be addressed.

March 18, 2010, 11:52 PM
All modern .45 pistol cartridge caliber guns should have about a .451" groove to groove diameter. Jacketed bullets should be .451" to .452". Lead bullets are generally anywhere from .452" to .454". .454" lead bullets are perfectly safe to fire in any .45 caliber pistol, provided that you use a published load and everything (and as long as it doesn't have polygonal rifling, I guess).

.454" lead bullets are specifically intended to be used in standard .451" .45 bores, anyway.

March 18, 2010, 11:53 PM
I just got back in from my shop after using a tubing cutter to cut a off the shelf Winchester 45 Colt cowboy load in half. Then split the case over the bullet with a thin cutoff wheel and carfully unwrapped the brass from the bullet. measured the bullet dia. and it was .454".

I do know lead bullets have to fit the cylinder mouth no matter what the groove dia. of the barrel is. If the cyl. mouth is .454 or .455 then use the .454 lead bullet.
The bullet will swage to fit the barrel making a nice gas tight fit.

March 19, 2010, 12:35 AM
thanks, it looks like they'll work, maybe even be more accurate with less fouling...

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 colt Black powder loading" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!