45 Colt Powder options


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huntincowboy
June 25, 2012, 04:55 PM
Hey guys, I'm about to run out HP 38 that I use for reloading my Ruger Blackhawk 45 colt. I am looking to get a different powder that I can push my ww cast bullets from the lee 452-255 mold (`260 gr) at about 1000 fps +/- a little. I load full house rounds with h-110, so I know all about the capabilities of the particular round with the particular firearm. Most of the data in my books is for plated bullets. There is plenty of data out there for full on magnum and cowboy type loads, I'm just looking for something in between. I have the lee 2nd edition and the newest lyman cast bullet and reloading manuals, but I haven't seen anything promising. I don't know if the t/c encore loads are safe for the blackhawk (since it doesn't explicitly say ruger in the lyman manual and no pressures are listed) so I haven't even looked at them. I'm also looking for a powder that is relatively clean, as the hp 38 leaves yellow residue all over my gun with a 7.1 gr charge over the same bullet.

I know that's alot in one post, but I think that covers what I'm looking for haha.

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rcmodel
June 25, 2012, 05:14 PM
Unique.

I didn't know there was any other .45 Colt powder? :D

rc

squarles67
June 25, 2012, 05:18 PM
Red Dot has worked well for me in mid range loads. 8g of Red Dot under a 255 LSWC gave me 950 fps from a 4 5/8 bbl Blackhawk, very clean and very accurate

huntincowboy
June 25, 2012, 05:19 PM
Haha! I've been thinking about getting some, as I also hear it is a very versatile powder. Since I am reloading 45 acp, 45 colt, and 357 mag, that is something I can appreciate! Can I get a velocity that is near the old black powder loading with Unique? Does it fill the cases well?

huntincowboy
June 25, 2012, 05:25 PM
That red dot loading sounds about like what I want to achieve. I have a 7 1/2" bbl. I'm also looking for something that fills the case nicely. All I have ever used is hp 38 and h110 so I have no feel for how other powders compare

rcmodel
June 25, 2012, 05:29 PM
With a 250-255 grain cast bullet, 9.0 replicates the orginial BP load pretty close.
I use 8.5 in my Colt SAA and it shoots to the sights perfectly.

Nothing fills a .45 Colt case except 40 grains of BP or whatever the charge is of Trail Boss.
But Unique is fluffy enough you would for sure notice a double-charge if you looked.

rc

zxcvbob
June 25, 2012, 05:31 PM
Red Dot won't "fill the case", but it is fluffy and bulky enough you can eyeball how much is in there -- you're not going to overlook a double charge or a half-charge.

Herco is another good powder -- use about 12 grains with a 250 or 255 cast bullet, but only in a Blackhawk or equivalent.

huntincowboy
June 25, 2012, 05:36 PM
rcmodel that is all I am looking for is to easily notice a double charge. The hp 38 only fills maybe a quarter of the case and I have intentially double charged to look at it and it would be something that you could miss with the hp 38.

squarles67
June 25, 2012, 05:56 PM
10g of Unique with the same bullet gave me 1040 fps in the same Blackhawk but the Red Dot load was more accurate in my pistol

SlamFire1
June 25, 2012, 06:16 PM
Unique is an excellent powder in 45 LC and so is that other 45 powder, Unique.


That about sums it up for the 45 LC.

wankerjake
June 25, 2012, 06:23 PM
Unique.

I didn't know there was any other .45 Colt powder?

It's all I use, too;)

squarles67
June 25, 2012, 06:23 PM
He asked for a clean powder in the original post so I didn't mention Unique aka "flaming dirt":p

huntincowboy
June 25, 2012, 06:31 PM
I guess maybe I should clarify my definition of clean. I don't want to see the yellow flakes that look like unburned powder. If it is dirty as in sooty and black, that's ok with me so long as it is burning completely. I also feel like I have problems with consistency in the hp 38 due to incomplete burning, but I don't have a chrony yet so I can't say for sure. I've heard that Unique has been improved and is now cleaner, but like I said if it's just sooty that's not really a problem for me

rcmodel
June 25, 2012, 08:33 PM
yellow flakes that look like unburned powder.Those are powder "skeletons" left from burning.

Almost any powder is "dirty" if you are not running enough pressure to get it to burn clean.

If you are shooting grease lubed lead bullets?
What possible difference does it make?

The bullet lube makes 90% of the mess anyway.

rc

Kevin Rohrer
June 25, 2012, 09:19 PM
I use Unique for all my pistols, including .45LC.

flhtcuibyhd
June 25, 2012, 09:24 PM
Trail Boss is working well for me. I am only loading up light easy target rounds.

Texan Scott
June 25, 2012, 09:37 PM
flhtcuibyhd ... Trail Boss is working well for me. I am only loading up light easy target rounds.

I'm not reloading yet, but it's looking more and more likely... and relatively light .45 LC is where I'd be starting, if I decide to jump into that pool.

Trail Boss is, from what I've gleaned, a fairly volumous, low energy powder? as in low energy to case volume ratio? is that right? i'm trying to cobble together an idea of burn rates/ powder volumes, etc...

7mmb
June 25, 2012, 09:42 PM
I'm using Universal for midrange loads in 45 Colt. 9.0 grains under a 255 grain plated for about 950 fps out of my 5.5 inch Blackhawk. It's probably a little much for an SAA but that's where the SDs tightened up and it sure is accurate and burns clean. Unique is the standard powder for 45 Colt but Universal meters better and is much, much cleaner.

squarles67
June 25, 2012, 09:59 PM
Lots of people love trailboss but I haven't had that great of luck with it. I tried a few different loads from 4.9g to 6.0g (6g is a case full) and it was VERY inaccurate for me. Velocity ranged from 613 to 721. I was using a relatively soft bullet at 12 brinell hardness but it just didn't work for me.

I was kidding with the flaming dirt remark. Unique works well, I use it in 357 mag also. As RC mentioned the bullet lube from the lead is the source of most of the crud.

Uniquedot
June 25, 2012, 10:24 PM
I have loaded just about everything in the 45 colt that can be used in the round and IMO nothing beats unique. I started with unique years ago and that's right where i ended up.

Uniquedot
June 25, 2012, 10:25 PM
He asked for a clean powder in the original post so I didn't mention Unique aka "flaming dirt"

Unique is a lot cleaner burning now than it used to be.

huntincowboy
June 25, 2012, 11:31 PM
I'm lubing the bullets with lee liquid alox. it seems to be doing pretty well no leading

Arkansas Paul
June 25, 2012, 11:38 PM
I love 2400 with lead bullets, but haven't tried any with my cast boolits yet. I use the same Lee 255 grain mold you mentioned. I just loaded some up with 15 grains, so I'll let you know how it goes. I really don't know why I'm doing it, because the 8.5 grain charge of Unique will likely do a fine job on anything that walks or crawls in Arkansas.

I don't know if the t/c encore loads are safe for the blackhawk (since it doesn't explicitly say ruger in the lyman manual and no pressures are listed) so I haven't even looked at them.

I've shot some downright scary stuff in my Blackhawk for sure. I've shot 26 grains of H110 and a 250 grain Hornady XTP. That load is WAY above SAMMI specs by the way and probably shouldn't be shot even in a Blackhawk. I was picking flakes of rubber out of my palm from the Pachmyer grips. People were turning and looking at me because the sound was so different. It was crazy. I haven't done that in a while. I guess I just decided there was no need to punish my hand or my revolver like that.

USSR
June 25, 2012, 11:40 PM
For loads just above 1,000fps, I am partial to 2400 or 4227. For loads just below 1,000fps, either Unique or HS-6. John Linebaugh's load of 13.0gr of HS-6 is a good one.

Don

huntincowboy
June 26, 2012, 01:06 AM
I've done the 26+ grains h110 and 250 xtps I shot about 200 of them before deciding it wasn't good on the gun so I quit. Never had any pressure signs. Scared me though even though my lee manual had it listed at the safe blackhawk pressures. I can't remember but I think it was around 30000 psi.

Where can I look up the Linebaugh loads at?

ArchAngelCD
June 26, 2012, 01:09 AM
How about these?
W231/HP-38, HS-6, Universal, Trail Boss, AA#5, Herco, Unique, Power Pistol, 2400, Zip, True Blue, Red Dot, Pyrodex P, GOEX, and did I miss something??? :p

huntincowboy
June 26, 2012, 01:22 AM
Haha I don't think so ... The lee bullet I'm using has a crimp groove that puts oal around 1.575 or so. Should I crimp in the groove or use oal of 1.600? I don't have a manual that lists the lee bullet (not even the lee book ha) I've been seating to 1.600 but if there's no need ...

ArchAngelCD
June 26, 2012, 03:45 AM
Haha I don't think so ... The lee bullet I'm using has a crimp groove that puts oal around 1.575 or so. Should I crimp in the groove or use oal of 1.600? I don't have a manual that lists the lee bullet (not even the lee book ha) I've been seating to 1.600 but if there's no need ...
Crimp in the supplied crimp groove. The correct OAL for that bullet is set by the manufacturer.

huntincowboy
June 26, 2012, 06:59 AM
Thanks, I was worried about pressures being higher since oal would be different.

Uniquedot
June 26, 2012, 02:54 PM
Thanks, I was worried about pressures being higher since oal would be different.

What matters is how much bullet is inside the case, not outside. The shorter OAL is due to the bullets very wide flat meplat. It's my favorite 45 colt bullet.

huntincowboy
June 27, 2012, 10:48 AM
Thanks guys, I think I'm going to get some Unique and HS-6 based off of what you guys have said and reading the Linebaugh articles

murf
June 27, 2012, 09:08 PM
if you don't want to use magnum primers (suggested for hs-6), try bludot.

murf

huntincowboy
June 27, 2012, 10:12 PM
Murf, I am using WLP primers in my loads which have worked well for me in other magnum loadings, do you know if they will work well with the hs-6?

USSR
June 27, 2012, 10:29 PM
Murf, I am using WLP primers in my loads which have worked well for me in other magnum loadings, do you know if they will work well with the hs-6?

Not murf, but I use WLP primers with my 13.0gr HS-6 load in .45LC without issues.

Don

huntincowboy
June 27, 2012, 10:35 PM
Thanks Don!

ArchAngelCD
June 28, 2012, 01:08 AM
Thanks guys, I think I'm going to get some Unique and HS-6 based off of what you guys have said and reading the Linebaugh articles
Even though I listed all those powders in my other post I mostly use 2 powders for all my .45 Colt ammo. I have tried Clays, Universal, AA#5 and Trail Boss but my 2 favorite powders are W231 and HS-6. Believe it or not even though I'm a huge W231 fan my HS-6 loads are quickly becoming my current favorite .45 Colt loads...

With a 250gr LRN or 255gr SWC I used to charge between 7.0gr and 7.2gr W231 but my new load is 10.2gr HS-6 under the same bullets. Hodgdon lists a Max charge of 10.5gr but when I got to 10.2gr HS-6 the ammo was so accurate I didn't bother going any higher. (shot from an original 5.5" Ruger Bisley Vaquero)

GooseGestapo
June 28, 2012, 01:09 AM
The "Other" Unique.... Universal.

You'll use about 0.5gr less than with Unique to get same speed. I use 8.2gr for just under 1,000fps from my 4-5/8" BlackHawk.
I arrived at this charge after trying a variety of powders through my WinM94 "Legacy" w/24"bbl
I was having problems with case obturation and when it didn't, a lot of "whiff" of gas blow back around the case and associated fouling.
With the 8.2 of Universal, I don't get that and lacks some of the "soot" of Unique.

Don't get me wrong, I like Unique. Been using it since 1970.... But it takes close to or just above 9.0gr to get same results and it's still a tad dirtier than the Universal...
And I don't get the "sticky" extraction of the same velocity/accuracy with HP38/Win231... Bullseye also gives sticky extraction from the l/a, even though with 20.0gr of #2400, I get over 1,700fps (24"bbl) and still decent accuracy. (Lee 255gr FNGC; w/w metal w/95-5% lead-free solder added and sized 0.452" w/SPG lube) I don't.... go figure...!

Snag
June 28, 2012, 01:29 AM
Great info GooseGestapo, thanks for that. I've been debating on something to try other than Unique and your comments made up my mind.

JustsayMo
June 28, 2012, 08:31 PM
Everything RCmodel and UniqueDot might as well have been etched on the tablets Moses brought back.

A 1,000 fps with a 255 grain bullet over Unique is easy to achieve in a Ruger Blackhawk. It'll do everything you need it to do and then some. Base on my own experience a 250-300 grain 45 caliber bullet going 900 fps will get pert near any job done I can imagine using a revolver for. Ain't nothing going to be any deader or be any more accurate.

There are those that need a big fireball and scarey numbers on the chronograph for some reason beyond my comprehension. It seems to me that those that use the 45 Colt outside for real work eventually come back to the original velocities realizing that it gets it done just fine.

Sport45
June 29, 2012, 06:31 AM
I've burnt a lot of Unique in .45 Colt and many other handgun cartridges. This last go-round I bought Universal because I'd read so much good stuff about it.

Universal shoots the same for me as Unique. But it doesn't meter better than Unique in any of the powder measures I've tried it in, so I really wish now I hadn't troubled with the stuff.

My experience measuring it is with a Lyman 55, a Lee Perfect Powder measure, and a Redding Model 3. I haven't tried it yet with my 550b.

warhwkbb
July 15, 2012, 05:57 PM
Where can I look up the Linebaugh loads at?

http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/dissolving_the_myth.htm

WYOMan
July 15, 2012, 06:35 PM
I'll throw another vote in for AA#5.

Patocazador
July 16, 2012, 12:17 PM
8.5 grs of Unique behind a cast 255 SWC works in all my .45 Colt pistols. I go to 20 grs of 2400 behind a Horn. 250 gr XTP for a hunting load in my 7 1/2" Blackhawk.

41 Mag
July 16, 2012, 09:35 PM
Here are a couple of other links to some loads for you to look through as well,
Handloader 45 270 SAA (http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/PDF/HL%20246partial.pdf)

Taffin Test the 45 Colt (http://www.sixguns.com/tests/tt45lc.htm)

and an oldie but goodie,
MD Smith's - Reloading the 45 Colt Page (http://web.archive.org/web/20051225170938/http://www.reloadammo.com/45cload.htm)

Just be sure to start low and work up, some of these might be a bit touchy.

I also have to throw in with the Lee 255gr RF, I have found that the John Linebaugh's load of 13grs of HS-6 works excellent in my 7.5" Redhawk. Mine come out just about 260grs on the money from the alloy I am using and they hit with authority out to 75-100yds.

I also picked up a MP Molds version of the 45 270 SAA which is in a Cramer style HP and it is also turning into something awesome as well. They drop right at 280grs with the Lg pin and with the different HP pins can run up to 285grs or as low as 275grs. depending on just which one I use. I have found they also work really well with the same load mentioned above.

Hondo 60
July 17, 2012, 12:39 AM
My 45 Colt loads are 11 gr of Accurate #5 under a 200 gr Missouri Bullet Co Cowboy #4.

10.5 gr works too, but leaves those a fore mentioned "yellow flakes".
So I upped the charge to 11 gr & it reduced that by 95%

This charge gives me about 850 fps & no leading in my Uberti 1873 Cattleman NM Brass.

http://www.jbabcock.net/guns/uberti.jpg

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