Enamored with .45 Colt


January 24, 2003, 03:18 PM
Since purchasing my S&W 25-5, I've been quite enamored with the .45 Colt round. Sure, it's expensive, and most of it is more anemic than I'd prefer (for the Cowboy shooters), and no factory makes the defense load I'd prefer (255-260grn JHP @ 950 FPS), but it's a great old cartridge.

The 25-5 is really nice. Trigger and mechanism are as smooth as you could want. I might have it refinished...I know this may sound blasphemous, but I don't like blueing on a field gun, I really don't.

In any case, it's not strong enough to REALLY take advantage of the .45 Colt round. It can't handle the hot stuff.

For that, I need a Ruger Redhawk. 5.5" Stainless, of course. I'll want to replace the grips; I've handled Redhawks before and the grips just don't agree with me. Ruger puts EXCELLENT factory grips on the GP100 and Super Redhawk (they take the same grips, even, I think). Why don't they put one like that on the Redhawk? Who knows.

Anyway, that'll give me two full sized field guns. I want a snubby. Taurus makes a really cool 5-shot .45 Colt snubby, which is on my list. To my knowledge, that's the only one.

I wouldn't mind a 4" full sized gun. Nobody makes one anymore. I suppose I could have my 25-5 shortened, but I don't know if I'd have the heart.

I think a big-bore .45 Colt snubby would be interesting. Maybe, take a Redhawk or something, shorten the barrel to 3", and then shorten the grip frame if possible. I've seen N-frame snubbies before, I just never thought I'd want one.

Anybody else really like this old cartridge?

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January 24, 2003, 03:37 PM
My first .45 Colt was a 4 5/8" SAA Colt that I bought new in 1957. I returned it to the shop because the base pin kept jumping out on recoil. (IDIOT!!) Later, I owned a couple of Blackhawks, and really began to appreciate the cartridge when I started loading it. It, and the .44 Spec., are my favorite shooting rounds. I carry a .45 Colt MG or a 624 very often, and use the CorBon PD loads. Hotter, flashier "super" cartridges abound, but nothing quite compares to these two for shooting enjoyment across the full shooting spectrum.

J Miller
January 24, 2003, 05:13 PM
My very first center fire revolver was an Iver Johnson Cattleman SA, .45 Colt. (Uberti Colt clone) That was many summers ago. Since then I have rarely been without at least one. Now I have four. A 4" 25-5 that I have had twenty years this year, an OM Ruger BH. A Winchester and a Rossi lever gun.
I prefer Keith bullets in my SD loads, but Silvertips will do most anything I need.
I have been looking at the Redhawks, I think they would be a great revolver to own. And maybe a new Colt clone.
One can never have too many .45 colts.

I don't believe the original .45 Colt load is anemic at all. By any standards it is a man stopper. Altho the conical bullet can be bettered by a Keith bullet, I wouldn't fear for myself if it were all I had to use.

January 24, 2003, 05:32 PM
Shortening the grip frame of the Ruger Redhawk will require some welding, and changes to the 'rocker arm' that houses the one lone spring for the hammer and trigger.

What Ruger should do is take the Ruger SuperRedhawk, and have a 4 inch barrel put into that. Sure, it would look very strange with 1.5 inches of barrel followed by 2.5 inches of frame/barrel thread area, but it sure would be a beefy revolver.

I've been reading a little bit more about big bore revolvers, 475Linebaugh, and the new 50S&WMagnum... those look like MONSTERS! At least, the 50S&WMagnum is still small compared to the 500 Linebaugh Long (Maximum)... not by much, but its still smaller.

Carry a few of these around and you will have Popeye arms in no time. :D

January 24, 2003, 05:54 PM
Well, that's the thing. Nobody makes good old-fashioned .45 Colt defense loads. They're either light bullets (like Cor-Bon's 200 grainer) or they're really slow (Winchester Silvertips are 225grns @ 800fps....same as non +P .45 Auto, 'cept five grains lighter). I believe true old-school manstopper loads were 255grns @ 900+ feet per second.

Nobody's making that, I dont' think. MOst of the plinking stuff is really lightly loaded CAS ammo, where you get like a 250 grain bullet at 750 feet per second, and stuff like that.

January 24, 2003, 06:12 PM
I'm still working on a supply of Bull X 255 gr. SWC I bought in bulk a few years ago. Most go over 7.2 gr. of 231 (a tenth over Winchesters' max.) and are extremely accurate, with some punch. I also load a 185 gr. HP over 11.3 gr. of Unique - 1100 fps and 497 fp. This from a manual, and still below their max., for SAAs and clones. This is my "house load"...in case I am attacked by a house :uhoh:

January 24, 2003, 06:16 PM
Just for kicks, I emailed Buffalo Bore Ammunition (http://www.buffalobore.com/) about making a .45 Colt defense load that's 255-260 grains in the 900 to 950fps range. They're not afraid to make .45 Colt loadings that'll blow up an Uberti clone, so they seem to be the company that'd do it. Such a load would be safe in S&W 25s and such, as well as all Rugers.

I doubt they'll make such a load just on my email, but it never hurts to ask.

If anybody else is interested, drop 'em a line (info@buffalobore.com). Can't hurt!

January 24, 2003, 06:30 PM
Possible, possible....Tim loaded a stock for Mike Fletcher, a stocking dealer in Tulsa, in a 255 gr. .44 Special. Excellent, but pricey:


.45 Colt, to a group who have already ponied up, might be workable, but I don't think the demand will ever see a steady stock.

January 24, 2003, 06:33 PM
Buffalo Bore now has that load offered on their website. Maybe it's in steady production, then?

January 24, 2003, 06:44 PM
Must be - If Mike got a good enough reception, and the gang at Sixgunner.com jumped on it, it may have become a standard.

Both cartridges have fallen by the wayside several times in the past. Currently, the CAS shooters are keeping them in production (even though we comment on the "wimpy" loads) and all but the PD loads are left to handloaders. If I was still able to hunt, I'd load my own hunting loads. As it is, I buy PD and load all my range ammo. Even though the cartridges are popular enough to support reloading component manufacture and sales, the reloading activity cuts down on variety in commercial ammo production. Catch 22.

January 24, 2003, 06:47 PM
I'm probably strange, I guess. Most of the .45 Colt fans I've talked to are a good deal older than me. I'm 21 years old, you know.

I just like things that are "different". I didn't get a .357 or a .44, I got a .45 Colt. Just like when I wanted a .45 Auto I didn't get a 1911 or a Glock or a Sig, I got a CZ-97B.

Hopefully, I'm not the only one out there. With luck we can keep .45 Colt alive and kicking for ANOTHER 130 years, eh? :)

January 24, 2003, 06:58 PM
One of the reasons I enjoy these forums is watching younger guys pick up an appreciation for the things us "Ingrained Old Farts" cherish. No firearm or cartridge will survive over time unless it has merit - still, some very good guns and loads have just "gone away" for lack of interest - old ones, and some more recent. If I can invest (or infect :uhoh: ) someone with my favorites, maybe I've left something good behind

Jim March
January 24, 2003, 08:25 PM
I don't think there's anything wrong with a 200grain JHP at 950 - 1,100fps range for defense. You have to have enough speed going to get reliable expansion, and that's not easy to do with a 250grainer and still not blow up a Uberti or something.

Pro-Load's version uses a 230grain Gold Dot projectile (clearly meant for a 45ACP) pulling 900 from a 7" tube, probably about 825 from a 5". Sounds OK.

January 24, 2003, 10:06 PM
And these guys ROCK. Check this out:


Yes there is a good chance. We are working on a 255gr. at 1000FPS that will operate at the old black powder pressures so it will be safe in even SAA cheap clones. This is made possible with new powder technology. Don't ask when it will be ready. I have no idea.



January 25, 2003, 07:56 AM
got a coupla hundred 45 LC's loaded up

255 Keith over 11.0 AA5. WLP's. Ruger ONLY loads, but on the lower end of their scale and just over the generic 45. About 1,000 fps. This was my deer load. Easy to shoot and accurate.

Oh..... they're about $4.00 per 50

January 25, 2003, 08:02 AM
An older Hornady manual has a load of 21.6 gr. of W296 under their 250 gr. JHP for 1000 fps. They tested it in a Colt SAA but said it was not a "steady diet" load. I'd rather shoot twice than loosen up my MG, so this new Buffalo Bore may just be the ticket.

January 25, 2003, 08:11 AM
thats almost the exact load I use as my general purpose..
CCI 300 >>>AA#5 11.2 Gr...and a 255 swc.
This load has proven very acurate in my Ruger BH, and my winnie Trapper....My hunting load is 250XTP backed by 11.9 gr Unique.
45 colt round is a grat general purpose round...shot, buck, and ball, 185 up to 325 grn bullets...easy tp handload/taylor your rounds from snakes and small gameup to deer/black bear.
everytrhing you need if you hunt in the eastern US.

January 25, 2003, 12:11 PM
I did research on the M25. Experienced shooters told me that the gun would be able to handle "warm" loads (250grn @ 950fps) or so without trouble, and I believe them.

If the gun, is in fact, unable to do so, then I'll have to put it up as a display item and not shoot it much. I like it too much to ever part with it, but if S&W guns are so frail as to be unable to handle even moderately poweful loads like that, then it's not really terribly useful to me.

January 25, 2003, 01:49 PM
I've read Linebaughs' comments on .45 Colt, in the 25, and while he is far more knowledgeable than I, his maximums are beyond those I've set for myself. He has the advantage of being a superior gunsmith, with more guns available - I have the one 625, and there are no more in sight, at least for the near future.
As for the cases, the old balloon heads were heat/pressre formed from a brass cup. The rims were actually two thickness of folded brass, and already stressed just in formation. The modern .45 Colt case is as strong as the .44 Mag, in every respect, and in a strong revolver it will take as much as the Mag. In a Smith, it is a good, high-longevity reloaders' case. Rim size has never been a factor in my Smiths. I have never had the extractor star override a rim, except when the gun was held muzzle-down when the empties were ejected. That's backwards.

January 25, 2003, 08:24 PM
Well yeah, that's what I was talking about.

The hunting stuff is Ruger/TC only. I know this.

But what's wrong with hollowpoints? They have .45ACP hollow point rounds that supposedly expand at 800-950fps velocities.

January 26, 2003, 01:18 AM
Georgia Arms manufactures a 45 Colt 260JHP at 850fps from a 4.75 Blackhawk barrel. If you get 50fps /extra inch of barrel think 5.5 Redhawk of 6" Taurus (think hard :)

January 26, 2003, 11:22 AM
I just got my first 45 colt,a S&W 625-6 mountain gun and just love it,very accurate with my handload of 8.4gr unique with a 250gr LSWC.I carry silvertips in it for now but i'am looking for the new speer 240gr gold dot at 900fps.

January 26, 2003, 01:17 PM
Just another reason I like big-bore guns.


January 26, 2003, 02:29 PM
But mostly I recommend the Winchester 225g Silvertip or the Cor-Bon 200g JHP.

For some I suggest the Georgia Arms 260g.

I (now) refuse to use 45 ACP bullets in my 45 Colt loads due to 'recoil-jump'.

Speer discontinued (at least as a component) the 200g "Flying Ashtray"; this bullet already had a cannelure.
Modern plated or bonded bullets don't respond well to adding an aftermarket cannelure.

Although I got this 155g LSWC load.............and this 255g...........and this 325g...........weird, huh..............

Ask me what I carry in my 45 :cool:

J Miller
January 26, 2003, 04:01 PM
Ask me what I carry in my 45
OK, so what do you carry in your .45 Colt??? :D

January 26, 2003, 05:08 PM
Doesn't matter; big powerful hole.

(I like my 255g LSWC, or my 200g JHP.)

January 26, 2003, 05:33 PM
My shooter is a S&W 2nd Model MkII Canadian government property stamps 1916 manufacture. It was originally chamberd for the .455, but was 'modified' to chamber the .45Colt. It has a 6 1/2" barrel and is extrimely accurate with Remington factory ammo.;) I recently sent in a very nice 20 round target to a C&R pistol postol match = 20 rounds at 12.5yds.
Modesty forbids a quote of the overall score, but there were 7 Xring hits. :p
I have an e-mail off to the Hogdon people about suggested loads for this cartridge using their "Lil Gun" powder as it has a good volume increase for big cases without increased chamber pressures. It's been about 10 days... we shall see.
Lyman used to make a Kieth style HP bullet mould for the LC
wish I could find the mould# in my squirrelnest...uh, reference files:neener:

Porter Rockwell
January 26, 2003, 08:57 PM
Hello all, after reading the Linebaugh articles and watching a couple locals firing Ruger level loads in the new enhanced 625s I jumped in with both feet and have a S&W 625-8 MG and the 625-8 Power Port.
I have been using the Ruger data with H-110 and AA-9 (both slow magnum powders) for over two years now running both 250s and 300s at 1300fps. The MG has about 3500rds throught it and the Power Port has over 5000 rds with no problems.

January 27, 2003, 02:31 AM
The large case was meant to be filled with blackpowder.

A good load is 35gr Goex FFFG and a 250gr bullet.

The results, as published by Mike Venturino in his book, "Shooting Single Action Revolvers", show a 35gr GOEX/250 gr load to produce 970 ft/sec from a 7-1/2" Colt's SAA.

As far as guns, I recommend SA revolvers for the .45 Colt chambering.

Porter Rockwell
January 27, 2003, 04:27 PM
G'mornin to you!
The enhanced Smiths are far stronger than the older models, even the the barrel twist rate has been changed to accomodate faster velocity (1X20 now)
I appreciate your comments and concerns, have you seen the Corbon ammo available for S&Ws?

PS, I am but a human tool, He protects us from the Gentiles!

Porter Rockwell
January 27, 2003, 09:55 PM
I'm sure that somewhere onsite there is a detailed and much better explained explaination than i can write?
The steel is much harder, either through metal formula or hardening. The internal lockwork has been beefed up with a couple added parts, the cylinder bolt lock cuts are longer etc.
I picked up my nick name from a new friend who when helping to unload the truck at the shooting range exclaimed "Porter brought everything except the Vulcan!"
Some old newspaper accounts mention OPRs affinity towards the hicaps of the day as do I.
Utah is a state that many return to after seeing the "grass on the other side"

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