new to reloading 45LC


June 27, 2011, 05:37 PM
I am just getting started in reloading...
I shoot a BFR 45LC/410.
I got the lee loadmaster.
My question is about choose of powder.
I bought three different types: Trail Boss, Blue Dot, and Acc.#5
I also bought three types of bullets: Berry's 185g, Hornaday 300g, Hornady LEVERevolution 225g.

My idea was that i would use the 185g bullets for "fun shooting" and the other two for hunting(whitetail).

From reading my understanding it that the Trail Boss would be a good combo with the 185g bullets for the "fun" shooting.
But what about the other types of powder how do you choose one, just try loading and see what you get? Do you have a fav for hunting?

Any tips would be great. (i'm waiting on the lee Factory Crimp to come in the mail) But I have everything else on the press set up and checked I think it looks good.....BUT i'm new at it so???????:confused:

Thank you very Much for the help,

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June 27, 2011, 05:47 PM
I asked and was told the 255 gr and unique is the age old answer to the 45lc and i ordered some beartooth 325gr for my dinasaur killers I believe i used 2400 in them but i can check for sure. they are a blast and have a blast to go with them it is as fun a gun to shoot as any i have with the unique loads

June 27, 2011, 06:00 PM
You probably will get a prolific amount of suggestions and pet loads for the 45 Colt cartridge. However I would suggest two things to you; first of all check Hodgdon's website for recommended loads at and secondly, but equally important is to acquire one or more good reloading manuals and use their publised loads. I too shoot two 45 Colt pistols but am reluctant to give out my loads...every revolver is different. Good luck to you.

June 27, 2011, 06:05 PM
Here is two pics of what i have made so far.:o

June 27, 2011, 06:10 PM
I have a couple of books and I have hit the powder sites. I have some of their loads. I guess i was just asking.. I just bought three, and so very many more out there how do you come to a desion about what powder to use. Is it just like cars, whatever "color" "brand" you like?

Thank you for help loadedround,I understand about not giving out "load info" but Do you have a fav powder or a hated powder if so why.

June 27, 2011, 08:19 PM
Unique is pertty much my go to powder for the 45LC. trail boss is ok too.
I like 7.0 of Unique in ruger vaqueros. Thats over a 255gr LRNFP.
But, thats just my 2 cents.....good luck and be safe...

June 27, 2011, 09:27 PM
You asked what my favorite powder is for the 46 colt and it is Unique. This powder is considered the old standby for that cartridge and shooters use it unless they want a stiff load for hunting. Let me know if you want to know an excellent brand of hard cast bullets...much cheaper to shoot than you FMJ bullets.

June 28, 2011, 02:09 PM
what length are you guys loading to in the 250 gr LRNFP?

Red Cent
June 28, 2011, 03:30 PM
Loaded round, those Berry's will do fine.


Red Cent
June 28, 2011, 03:32 PM
Petrey, I roll crimp into the crimping groove no matter what bullet.

If you shoot a lever, it might make some difference. Pistol, huh uh.

June 28, 2011, 04:42 PM
Afraid I can't help you with that bullet selection. You should look into some heavy, cast bullets, such as the .45-270 SWC type. Much cheaper to shoot.


Red Cent
June 28, 2011, 05:51 PM

June 28, 2011, 10:01 PM
Amanda welcome to The High Road.
I am using the Missouri bullet cowboy #1 with Trail Boss and they work great. They are 250 grain RNFP .452 dia. I do not have my data close at hand but it is in the lower end of the published data from IMR for that weight bullet. I get no leading with these. I also have loaded there 230 RN used for the 45ACP and they were great also using mid load data. The Trail Boss may not have the sharp snap of the other smokeless propellants but I like the "feel" of those rounds leaving the revolver when using it.:D

Data 5.5 GR Trail boss in my Uberti 6 inch bbl. Max is 5.8 GR.

June 28, 2011, 10:09 PM
"Lasercast" bullets from Oregon Traill are even better.

June 28, 2011, 10:26 PM
I don't know anything about the BFR revolvers and if they tolerate Ruger level loads in 45 Colt. Check with you manufacturer to be sure.

For deer hunting I have used the Hornady 300 XTP hollowpoint. Some will say that that heavyweight bullet is overkill on a whitetail and it is probably true. But the real reason I chose it was for accuracy. It gave me much smaller groups than the lighter bullets. probably due to the longer bearing surface on the heavier bullet. Hodgdon H110 is a great powder for it. See
for load data.

For plinking loads I like the 250-260 weight bullets. Accurate #5, Unique, and universal all work well for me. I stick with the Semiwadcutter or LBT designs in cast bullets. The flat front surface works better than round nose if the load is ever called upon to do double duty as a pest control/defense load.


Claude Clay
June 28, 2011, 10:43 PM
rnfp 250gr
unique: 6.3 easy playing on to 6.6 and 7 for cowboys. 9 is close to older factory loads. not for the New Vaquero.WMMV

June 28, 2011, 10:47 PM
I like these 250 grain hardcast bullets

with either Universal or Unique for mid range loads and H110 for heavy loads.

Lost Sheep
June 28, 2011, 11:01 PM
I am just getting started in reloading...
I shoot a BFR 45LC/410.
I got the lee loadmaster.
My question is about choose of powder.
(edited for brevity)
As I understand it, you pick the bullet you want and the velocity you want, then go through the loading recipes to find a powder that delivers that velocity near the upper end of its load range.

The reasoning (again, as I understand it) is that the powder is at its most efficient (and lowest peak pressure) near the high end of its range. The powder in the case is all burned up by the time the bullet exits the barrel, but has been burning and pressurizing the bullet's journey for the entire time. In that way, you get the most energy delivered to the bullet (maximum driving time at the least pressure).

I'm not explaining it well. Here is how I see it.

If you deliver 40,000 psi to the base of a bullet for .5 milliseconds you get that bullet moving pretty fast. You can get the same bullet moving the same speed if you deliver 20,000 psi for 1.0 milliseconds. But you have to have at least a minimum pressure for any smokeless powder to 1) seal the brass cartridge against the chamber walls and 2) have the powder's combustion rate behave. One is physical. The other is chemical. I don't understand the chemical part very well, so I trust the ballisticians who wrote the loading manuals.

Pick the bullet and velocity you want. Find a powder that delivers. If you want to slow down, find a faster powder that will get you up to proper pressure during the shorter burn time. For speeding up, a slower powder gives a proper pressure for a longer time period (thus higher ultimate velocity).

By the way, Hogdon's told me that "Trail Boss does not like jacketed bullets.", but they never answered my question of how TB expresses that dislike.

Good luck.

Lost Sheep

June 30, 2011, 01:48 AM
Trail Boss expresses it's "dislike" for jacketed bullets by leaving them stuck in the bore...

Jacketed bullets have a much higher engraving force upon being shoved into the rifling. It then has a significantly higher coefficient of friction than lubricated lead bullets. The short fast energy pulse of Trail Boss will cause higher chamber pressures with jacketed bullets and may not shove the bullet out the end of the barrel of a revolver due to the pressure loss at the cylinder/barrel gap.

This dosen't apply with bottle-necked rifle cartridges and jacketed bullets. With the larger quantity of powder and tighter gas-seal of the closed breach, Hodgdon has began listing rifle-jacketed bullet loads. Recently, a writer related some loads in Handloader magazine.

June 30, 2011, 06:48 PM
In jacketed bullets my favorite is the 250gr Hornady XTP. I also like shooting 200gr LSWC from Missouri Bullet Co (search this site), they make good plinking bullets and I don't doubt they would work for hunting. I also like 255gr LSWC cast bullets, and loaded to 950 fps they will pass completely through a deer.

When I first started loading .45 Colt, I bought a pound of Unique because of all the recommendations. Well, I hate it and can't wait until it's gone.

June 30, 2011, 11:49 PM
I have used W231/HP-38, AA#5, HS-6 and Trail Boss in loading the .45 Colt. I got good results with each although each powder delivered different results with felt recoil.

I use mostly W231 and when I use a heavier bullet or want extra velocity I switch to HS-6. AA#5 also worked very well but I don't buy it much because it is close to other powders I use more of.

Hondo 60
July 1, 2011, 09:34 AM
My most accurate rounds are AA5 (10.5 grains) under a Missouri Bullet Cowboy # 4 (200 grain Round Nose Flat Point) $39.50 for a box of 500

Brad & JoAnne of Missouri Bullet are GREAT people to deal with.
& shipping is usually 2 to 4 days from order to arrival

July 1, 2011, 10:25 AM
That's an interesting mix of powder and bullets. But I see the reasoning behind different bullets and powders for different purposes.

I have 2 of the BFRs. Wonderful revolvers and very stout. I have a .454 Casull and a .480 Ruger, but they should be similar to yours. You can obviously load the light bullets for plinking. For heavy loads, you can actually exceed the Ruger-only loads some sources list. But those are not very pleasant to shoot and you don't need that power for whitetail hunting anyway.

I used Trailboss for a time for my plinking loads, but kind of got tired of it and went to 231 or Universal for light loads with 200 gr bullets.

I have never used the LeverEvolution bullets, but Hornady publishes load data for them Likewise I have never used Blue Dot. But I'm guessing it is the slowest powder you bought and would be good to use with the 300 gr Hornady bullet. I use the XTP Mag version in my .454 loads and it works well. Find some data for that combo that is rated for the Ruger-only pressures, start low and work your way up until you find one that feels good to shoot and is accurate. You'll kill a lot of deer that way.

July 1, 2011, 12:01 PM
Amandakay, I have a .45 Colt/.410 barrel for my Contender pistol. Accuracy was terrible with Colt loads... due to the extra long chamber I guess. I hope your BFR revolver will be accurate with .45 slugs but if you do get poor accuracy results don't assume it's the result of poor handloads.

Good luck

July 2, 2011, 03:33 PM
The FTX bullets for the .45 Colt are worthless, IMO. Have to trim brass short, longer bearing surface means even less powder in the case and a lower velocity as well. All that might be worth it if the bullet lived up to its design goal of an increases BC, but the BC is actually lower than the 250gn XTP and the published velocities are lower as well.

On the whole you get lower bullet weight, lower velocity and worse ballistics and have to ruin brass to get it...I'll pass.

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