.45 colt loads


August 23, 2010, 12:36 PM
I am looking for a few .45colt loads. I have been loading a few with Unique at 8.1gr and oal at 1.600

What I have is 255gr FP Cowboy lead,
and 200gr RNFP. I have Titegroup, Bullseye, W231, Acc #5, MIR 4227, and H110.

I can find some loads for the 255gr, if I take that load lets say WIn 231@6.7 and divide by the 255gr gives me 0.026275 X 200gr = 5.254 + 12% = 5.9gr.
Would this be ok to do with most powders?

Or am i not looking at this in the right way.

Thanks RC

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August 23, 2010, 12:53 PM
Yes, you are not looking at it the right way.
Or the safe way.

You cannot interpolate powder charges for different bullet designs or weights with math.

If you want tested .45 Colt/W-231 load data, go to the source.
Hodgdon website lists data for 160, 180, 200, 215, 230, and 250 grain cast bullets.

The Lyman #49 reloading manual also is an invaluable source for cast bullet load data.
Get sum!


August 23, 2010, 01:13 PM
Thanks, That is why I asked. The numbers were working out to good from the 255gr down to the 200gr. I thought I be on to something here. I was getting my starting loads from the Lee Manual.

Thanks RC

Jesse Heywood
August 23, 2010, 03:42 PM
Most of the powders you listed are Hodgdon, IMR & Winchester. Load data for them can be found at http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

Bullseye is found at www.alliantpowder.com

Accurate Arms is www.accuratepowder.com

Loads provided by the powder manufacturers are rarely in error. These sites are where I go to verify the loads I find elsewhere. Most have the data in a PDF file, which you can save to your computer. Some also will send you a gratis loading guide by mail.

Of the powders you listed, you should have good results from all except the 4227 and H-110. These are slow burning and a case filled with powder. The H-110 cannot be downloaded. And they both deliver a whallop, not what most cowboy shooters are looking for.

August 23, 2010, 05:17 PM
Think Unique powder for your 45 Colt loadings.

Red Cent
August 24, 2010, 03:06 PM

August 24, 2010, 03:15 PM
Trail Boss for me.

August 24, 2010, 05:22 PM
FirinFlatTop, at least you're thinking about it. The problem is that you only have one data point and can neither interpolate nor extrapolate from one data point ... you need more information. There is definitely a place for interpolation (and to some extent extrapolation) in reloading, and reloaders have been using interpolation safely for decades.

For example, you mentioned W231 and lead bullets. If you look at .45 Colt data on www.hodgdon.com you'll find the following data for cast lead bullets and W231 powder:

160gr, 6.5gr to 9.0gr
250gr, 5.8gr to 7.1gr

If you use linear interpolation based on the data above (graphically or numerically), you will get the following load estimates for the bullet weights shown below:

180gr, 6.4gr to 8.6gr
200gr, 6.2gr to 8.2gr
215gr, 6.1gr to 7.9gr
230gr, 6.0gr to 7.5gr

As is turns out, Hodgdon lists load data for those bullet weights anyway:

180gr, 6.0gr to 8.2gr
200gr, 5.9gr to 8.0gr
215gr, 5.9gr to 7.8gr
230gr, 5.8gr to 7.3gr

So you would have no problem using the estimated starting loads since they're only marginally above Hodgdon's starting loads. But how about the estimated maximum loads? Well, consider load data for the .45 Colt, W231 and lead bullets from the Speer No.11 manual. Loads are listed for 200gr and 250gr bullets.

200gr, 7.3gr to 8.3gr
250gr, 7.1gr to 7.6gr

The 200gr and 250gr loads are 0.3gr and 0.5gr over the respective max loads listed by Hodgdon. Graphically, it's clear that the max loads estimated from linear interpolation are more conservative than Sierra's load data (in this case). So what does all this mean? Basically it means that there is a place for linear interpolation in reloading and I would have no concerns at all using linear interpolation to find a load range for any lead bullet between 160gr and 250gr using W231, particularly if I were following good reloading practices i.e. starting at the min estimated load for any bullet of interest. I would even consider extrapolating for a bullet a few grains either side of 160gr or 250gr.


August 24, 2010, 05:29 PM
Still & all, I think it should be discouraged on a reloading forum haunted by new reloaders trying to learn how to pick out safe powder charges.

Like I said in post #2, the info he requested is available right on Hodgdons web site free for the looking.

Besides, some of us are mathematically challenged.
I for instance, would probably blow myself up the first time I tried it.


August 24, 2010, 05:50 PM
Still & all, I think it should be discouraged on a reloading forum haunted by new reloaders trying to learn how to pick out safe powder charges.

Like I said in post #2, the info he requested is available right on Hodgdons web site free for the looking.

I agree 100% that published loads from reputable sources are the BEST way for any reloader to proceed and particulary novice reloaders.


August 24, 2010, 06:40 PM
Trail Boss for me too...:)

August 24, 2010, 07:03 PM
As a Novice Re-Loader myself, I also advocate prudence, and triple checking everything, and appealing to recognised Published Loading Tables, making sure the Bullet kind and Weight one has, do in fact co-respond to the one represented in the Loading Table, not only for weight, but for Kind, and for where the Crimp occurs.

It really is more fun that way, and the Peace of Mind is nice to have also.

Arkansas Paul
August 24, 2010, 11:41 PM
It's never a good idea, especially for the inexperienced (which I am as well) to try loads that aren't published. Like RC said, the data is free for the taking. Any powder manufactorers list load data on their websites. Use it.

August 25, 2010, 04:31 AM
I use mostly W231 for my 45 Colt ammo. (and most other handgun calibers too) I have also used HS-6, TrailBoss, Unique and Universal. (all worked well)

If you're a Unique fan try Universal instead. It meters better and it's cleaner while delivering almost identical performance.

evan price
August 25, 2010, 05:37 AM
Berry's plated 250-grain bullet

6.0 grains Titegroup

Fired in a Taurus Judge to good accuracy and average recoil.

August 25, 2010, 07:15 AM
All I was asking is, was it possible. Not that I was doing it. I am to new to the reloading to try anything such as this. But when I get into something I wan to know it all.

This is why I asked the question, I was sure someone on here with more reloading experience could shed some light on the matter. My math worked out on one powder load, this is why I asked. Not trying to confuse anyone, as like I said I am new to reloading also.

Thanks RC

Jesse Heywood
August 25, 2010, 09:33 PM
Flat Top - This gang of misfits always seem like they're waiting for someone to beat up on. But they do mean well and have your best interest in mind. After all, a good reloader puts the hyphen in anal-retentive. That's just how we are! :)

August 25, 2010, 11:53 PM
Yep I like trail boss with all my Cowboy Action loads and a vote for it with other loads that need not be top end. It is a real forgiving propellant.:cool:

August 28, 2010, 10:09 PM
I think it would be difficult to improve on your Unique load with the 255 gr. I have a Flat Top in 44 Special and I heard they may bring one out in 45 Colt. Ill have to have that one too. Its best to stick with the loads in the manuals. I have a bunch of them and will get more. Always good reading.

Red Cent
August 30, 2010, 02:13 PM
American Select. 4.2 grs under that 200 will get ya about 600fps (cowboy load). Then you start..................

Captain Moroni
September 21, 2010, 11:57 PM
Since someone gave me 5 lbs of the stuff, I use IMR 700X for lots of things, including my smokeless cowboy loads. The Lee manual lists a 6.3 grain load for 250 grain lead bullets at 815 fps. That's what I feed my .45 Colts (.44 1858 Remington-conversion, 1873 EMF New Dakota, Taurus Gaucho, Ruger Vaquero, '92 Puma...). Works great...

September 22, 2010, 06:55 AM
When it comes to powder charges (for .45 Colt or anything else) I'm never comfortable while online discussing anything but the published data from the powder manufacturers. Sure, there are all kinds of people out there who go outside the box, but they (are presumed to) have the experience to interpolate, etc. Not good online, where I don't know who I'm giving out information to.

I've used TG and 231 in .45 Colt, but prefer Hodgdon's Universal, the Unique for the 21st century......

September 22, 2010, 04:45 PM
I experienced some peculiar results with Titegroup and 200 grain lead cast bullets in my 45 Colt Blackhawk.

I loaded three sets of cases with Winchester Standard/Rifle Primers, and 7.5 Grains of Titegroup (with my Lee Dipper 0.7 ml). With new Remington brass I shot 1.25" groups with 200 grain Cast Lead FN, 255 grain Cast Lead FN, and 270 grain Keith SWC bullets. The best groups were under 1" using the 200 grain bullets. Please note that these loads exceed the standard 45 Colt pressures. These are considered "+P" for the Blackhawk.

I tried the same experiment with older, rather work-hardened brass and the 200 grain bullets opened up to 5" groups at 25 yards. I repeated the test with relatively new brass but still has 4" groups with the 200 grain bullets. My newer 250 grain Lead FN bullets shot well (about 1.75") and the 270 grain Keith loads delivered the same 1.25" performance as before.

My 200 grain bullets could be the problem. They were "budget" bullets that may have casting flaws. Or it could be that they are being over-spun in my 1/6" twist barrel.

Otherwise, I have no idea why the 200 grain loads are not working. I will continue to use 1.6 ml (Lee Dipper 1.6) of Trail Boss for my light stuff. This has not failed yet.

Hondo 60
September 23, 2010, 06:26 PM
Besides, some of us are mathematically challenged.
I for instance, would probably blow myself up the first time I tried it.

rcmodel is correct. I too, would have a small explosion. (much bigger than the expected one when pulling the trigger) :(

I bought a 45 Colt about 2-3 weeks ago & am developing loads trying Universal, Titegroup, & AA5.

So far I think I like Titegroup the best. Which is great cuz that's what I use for my 38 spls & 357 mags. Nice low kick, but it does scorch the cases.

September 23, 2010, 07:15 PM
I have worked up quite a few loads, AA#5, Titegroup, Unique, all for regular shooting. For the hunting loads I have used IMR 4227 and H110. Unique has been the best shooter of the first group with 200gr and 255gr both shot better than any of the others.

Now for the heavy loads, the H110 was a beast, huge muzzle flash and quite a bit of recoil. Had to re grip after each round, so was not happy with that. On to the IMR 4227, loaded about mid range for a blackhawk and recoil no problem, almost no muzzle flash, and cases were clean not even hot. Had this load pushing a Hornady XTP 250gr HP. Was on an indoor range so could only get to 25yds, 6 shots in a softball size area. I can't do any better than that with the light loads.

All in all, am happy with what I have come up with. Bet i could light a fire with them H110 loads. Caught me by surprise, was not ready for the flash and the kick. If I shot at a deer with that load and missed, he might never stop running....


September 23, 2010, 11:26 PM
I have been loading a few with Unique at 8.1gr and oal at 1.600

You're already using what's arguably the best powder for .45 Colt. Are you having a problem with it that's making you think of changing?

If you are about out of Unique and want to try a different powder, Hodgdon Universal is a good one to look at for the .45 Colt. Trail Boss is good, but not good enough for me to pay pound prices for a 9oz can. Since you mentioned cowboy, I'll assume you're not trying for the "Ruger Only" hot loadings.

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