.44 Mag or .45 Colt. accuracy and reach ONLY


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proven
August 29, 2012, 10:46 PM
for the purposes of accuracy and reach at longer distances, what would you choose? .44 mag or .45 colt? the platform will be a ruger blackhawk (super for the .44). i'll be handloading for both.

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CraigC
August 29, 2012, 10:58 PM
.44's tend to shoot better out of the box. Ruger still can't get the chamber mouths right in their .45's. They also tend to have oversized chambers. The .44 also maintains at least a 100fps advantage across the board with all bullet weights, which means it shoots flatter. Right up to 355-360gr bullets.

proven
August 29, 2012, 11:02 PM
i've read of fixes for the chamber issues on the .45s. does this work, and at what cost? i'm looking at the 5.5 barrel length, so would the extra fps in the .44 matter that much? how much flatter is it, say out to 100-150 yds?

i'm leaning towards the .45 because it's already found in the configuration i want. stainless, 5.5" bbl and bisley grip frame. just wondering what i'd be giving up by passing on the .44 mag.

CraigC
August 29, 2012, 11:21 PM
It's relatively cheap and easy when they're too small, which they tend to be these days. You can send your cylinder to "cylindersmith" if that's the case. It's less than a hundred bucks I believe.

We're not really talking about huge differences here. A hundred feet per second will make a difference of just a few inches at 200yds. So given that most folks are shooting at rocks and coffee cans at that range, it's not really enough to get worked up about.

The configuration may be the deciding factor. Ruger did produce .44Mag's in the same configuration for Acusport several years ago but it was one run. The .45's, on the other hand, have seen at least two or three production runs. We bought Dad one ten years ago and it's a fine shooter but they are few and far between. The only other .44 Bisley configurations are either 7", the new 3" model for Lipsey's or fixed sight Bisley Vaqueros. Or you could build your own like I did but that ain't easy either. Ruger has since discontinued stainless Bisley grip frames (as parts) and those that have them, tend to hold on to them. I have a spare myself. The .45's are much easier to find and if that's what you want, go for it.

http://photos.imageevent.com/newfrontier45/sixgunsii/large/P1010128.JPG

StrawHat
August 30, 2012, 07:53 AM
When John Linebaugh was commissioned to build a revolver specifically to reach 1 MOA or better, he chose the 45 long Colt as the cartridge.

98Redline
August 30, 2012, 11:22 AM
Flip a coin, both cartridges are proven performers.

Regarding the trajectory, it all comes down to the bullet and loading. Speed and BC will determine the trajectory.

I can tell you this much, out of my 7 1/2" Super Blackhawk a 320gr SWC hard cast bullet pushed at 1350fps has a point blank range of about 120 yards. It is about +2.5 at 60 yards and about -2.5 at 120 with a zero at 100.

Get a similar configuration in the .45 colt and you can achieve nearly identical ballistics.

All that said, trying to shoot something with a 4 1/2" revolver at 100+ yards is a serious challenge. I would say a gun like that would be a more effective 50 yard max gun in the hands of most shooters. I am sure the gun itself is plenty accurate but the shorter sight radius on the barrel will put you at a serious disadvantage over longer 7 1/2" barrel guns.

CraigC
August 30, 2012, 11:49 AM
When John Linebaugh was commissioned to build a revolver specifically to reach 1 MOA or better, he chose the 45 long Colt as the cartridge.
You can 'build' an accurate sixgun in any chambering. You just can't go out and buy a highly accurate .45Colt unless it's a Freedom Arms. Even Colt, as improved as their newer SAA's are, still cuts their chambers for .454" bullets.

And John made his name and his living building .45's 'because' they are lacking from the factory, so it was a natural choice.

lloveless
August 30, 2012, 12:15 PM
I have the .44 mag SBH with the 4 5/8 inch barrel. I shoot either a 240 gr lswc/jsp or 300 gr lwfn. Acurracy of the gun is better than me. CraigC I love the grips on your gun!
ll

CraigC
August 30, 2012, 12:19 PM
Thanks! Those are American holly from CLC.

highlander 5
August 30, 2012, 12:39 PM
The last Ruger Redhawk I bought had cylinder throats cut to the right size .452"/4525. As far as chambers go I've hada Ruger Bisley,Blackhawk,Redhawk a Colt Anaconda and fired cases came out looking like a Pilsner glass. I did do some investigating on why the chambers were cut so generously and the Saami specs are the problem. Chambers are .003-.005 bigger than they need to be IIRC. This is a guess on my part buy I figure that since the 45 Colt started life as a black powder cartridge te chamber were cut "large" to allow for easy extraction of the cases when there is a lot of bp residue from extended firings The 2 Ruger SA I had a smith hone out the chamber mouths and I think it was $50 each to have done,mouths are now .453"

CraigC
August 30, 2012, 12:43 PM
Gunsmiths like Linebaugh typically cut .45 chambers at .480". Nearly all factory .45Colt chambers are a lot bigger than that.

flipajig
August 30, 2012, 12:49 PM
Me personly would chose the 44 mag.
Easy to load for you can go from mild to wild. I have a 7 1/2 " SBH and woulnd trade it for any thing. With my hand load and cast Boolit I feel good out to 50 yds with iron sights
With a scope you can stretch it Out some.

murf
August 30, 2012, 03:51 PM
suggest the bisley hunter (only comes in 44mag).

as per craigc, the 45lc guns are still "hit and miss" regarding chamber dimensions.

the bisley grip handles recoil better, the top rib allows for a scope.

murf

critter
August 30, 2012, 04:20 PM
I have had both calibers in Ruger Bisley 7 1/2" models. Accuracy for both was just amazingly super and the effectiveness on game is so close I couldn't tell any difference. I was not, however, shooting big and heavy stuff. Since you reload, I'd say pick your own preference. You can't go wrong.

mavracer
August 30, 2012, 04:32 PM
i'm leaning towards the .45 because it's already found in the configuration i want. stainless, 5.5" bbl and bisley grip frame. just wondering what i'd be giving up by passing on the .44 mag.
Go for the .45 your not giving up anything you'll notice without a ruler. I've found more vairiance from group to group then from gun to gun if you know what I mean.

BCRider
August 30, 2012, 04:33 PM
"Flatter" is definetly a relative term. For an idea of what the bullets do out to 200 there's a handy little external ballistics calculator you can use online at Hornady.com . You just need to find a good idea of the BC of each bullet you're wanting to check. It may mean having to use some other maker's BC for a similar bullet if you can't find the one you want to use.

proven
August 30, 2012, 08:57 PM
craigc, that is one beautiful sixgun! that's pretty much what i have in mind. i figured the 5.5 barrel would suffice for now and i could always cut it down later if i wanted. did some searching around and it seems as though the stainless bisley grip frames may be available directly through ruger if they have them in stock, however they won't sell the hammer or trigger as parts. i guess if i really decided in favor of the .44 i could always get a super blackhawk bisley hunter and have a new barrel installed. not sure how pricy that may be though.

as i understand it the chamber mouths can be reamed as most are undersized. but what about the chambers themselves, what's the issue there?

at any rate thanks for the replies. i compared similar loads from bufflao bore just to get an idea and it seems as though the .45 only gives up just over an inch at 100 yards.

BCRider
August 31, 2012, 03:08 AM
Proven, if the cartridges fit in easily and can be shucked out easy and there's not a huge amount of powder fouling down the outside of the cases then the chambers are fine. But if your gun has any issues with ejecting the empties then it's possible your gun has poory reamed chambers. But that is ONLY if you are having trouble pushing out the empties. If it's all fine then your chambers are fine.

No point in looking for trouble where there ain't none.... :D

CraigC
August 31, 2012, 01:29 PM
The .45Colt is basically guaranteed oversized chambers. The problem is not the cartridge, it's the SAAMI chamber specs. They're way too generous. Like I said, Linebaugh and other custom `smith's cut .45 chambers much tighter than any factory gun*. The larger chambers overwork the cases, cause velocity/pressure loss and can affect accuracy. Which is why the best .45Colt's are rechambered from something else. A tight chambered sixgun might shoot 100fps faster. Of course, this is not so bad that you can't enjoy a Ruger .45. It's bad enough that I have little use for the cartridge. Which is why I own seven .44Mag's, four .44Spl's, two .44Colt's and only four .45Colt's (two or three of which are going on the chopping block). Not when the .44Mag and .45Colt are so close in performance, yet .44's shoot better out of the box and require no gunsmithing. It just ain't worth the trouble. I've got a Bisley Vaquero that has had all the accuracy work possible, working with a factory cylinder and barrel. It shoots okay but does not shoot as well as any of my .44Mag's did out of the box. If I need more than the .44Mag offers, I'll go up to a .475 or .500. Not a .45Colt.

Don't get me wrong, the .45Colt is a wonderful cartridge and even better when chambered in a properly built sixgun. Hell, I spent all day yesterday handloading for and sighting in my newest .45Colt. I'm just not in love with it like many are. I don't buy any of the business that it's better than the .44Mag.

*(Freedom Arms is always the exception when describing pitfalls in mass produced revolvers)

murf
August 31, 2012, 02:51 PM
hey proven,

i thought you were looking for "accuracy and reach" (needs clarification). you also mentioned 100 and 150 yards.

a 7.5" barrel is better for 100 yards (a 10" barrel is even better). the 44mag chambering will be more accurate (see above posts by craigc and myself).

if you want bling, just say so. we do that, too.

murf

bergmen
August 31, 2012, 03:53 PM
The .45Colt is basically guaranteed oversized chambers. The problem is not the cartridge, it's the SAAMI chamber specs. They're way too generous. Like I said, Linebaugh and other custom `smith's cut .45 chambers much tighter than any factory gun*. The larger chambers overwork the cases, cause velocity/pressure loss and can affect accuracy. Which is why the best .45Colt's are rechambered from something else. A tight chambered sixgun might shoot 100fps faster. Of course, this is not so bad that you can't enjoy a Ruger .45. It's bad enough that I have little use for the cartridge. Which is why I own seven .44Mag's, four .44Spl's, two .44Colt's and only four .45Colt's (two or three of which are going on the chopping block). Not when the .44Mag and .45Colt are so close in performance, yet .44's shoot better out of the box and require no gunsmithing. It just ain't worth the trouble. I've got a Bisley Vaquero that has had all the accuracy work possible, working with a factory cylinder and barrel. It shoots okay but does not shoot as well as any of my .44Mag's did out of the box. If I need more than the .44Mag offers, I'll go up to a .475 or .500. Not a .45Colt.

Don't get me wrong, the .45Colt is a wonderful cartridge and even better when chambered in a properly built sixgun. Hell, I spent all day yesterday handloading for and sighting in my newest .45Colt. I'm just not in love with it like many are. I don't buy any of the business that it's better than the .44Mag.

*(Freedom Arms is always the exception when describing pitfalls in mass produced revolvers)

Well, I just discovered something interesting. I measured the chamber and throat diameters on my Ruger Bisley and Freedom Arms Model 83 Premier Grade and here is what I found:

Ruger Bisley:

Chamber: .4835/.4840
Throat: .4510

Freedom Arms Model 83 (.45 Colt cylinder):

Chamber: .4835/.4840
Throat: .4535

I did not expect the FA chambers to be that large.

SAAMI specs call for .4862 chamber diameter so both of my cylinders are much less than that. My problem is my RCBS carbide resizing die overdoes it and results in a .4690 case size after resizing.

I have been meaning to get a custom carbide resizing die from RCBS to a diameter that doesn't work the brass to death, maybe .474/.475 or so.

Dan

proven
August 31, 2012, 04:07 PM
murf, i tend towards the 4 5/8 and the 5.5" barrels not because of bling, but ease of carry. the 7.5 inch barrel just seems like a lot of gun to be hanging from my hip even though i'm sure it would be more accurate and offer better range.

the reaching out and accuracy is for the range. i know i want a ruger bisley in either .44 or .45 with a 4 5/8 or 5.5" barrel and considering that i am having fun exteding my shooting with my handguns to 50 yards and beyond, i figured i'd get input on which caliber is better in those respects.

fastest45ever
August 31, 2012, 05:37 PM
I agree with what Craig has posted.
What I don't get is why most people buy Rugers when BFR's are around.

www.magnumresearch.com/Firearms/Magnum-Research-454-Casull-Revolver-65-inch-Barrel.asp

My next .45 Colt is going to be either Freedom Arms or BFR, depending upon what pops up.

Still, unlike the Single Six I just bought, it appears the Rugers would be easy to open up a little bit on the throats, and it looks like they are cutting the chambers just fine, if they match FA specs.

I would like to know what the specs are on a FA 83 .454 Casull.

Solution might be to use .454 Casull dies to reload with, in a .454 Casull revolver, using 45 Colt brass.

ljnowell
August 31, 2012, 05:39 PM
I personally like the 45 colt. I have a blackhawk with a 7 1/2" barrel. Nice gun, and the throats were right straight out of the box. As far as power, accuracy, etc, I think that its a wash if handloading. The absolute top max power is probably going to go to the 44 unless you want to load really hot. Linebaugh has said that the blackhawk in six shot configuration will not split a cylinder until 60K psi. If you were to push it to say 50Kpsi I believe you would outpower the 44 by a nice amount. I keep my loads to 32k or so, and find that they have enough power to do anything that needs done. Any more needed and I should have used a 454 casull or a 500 mag.

murf
August 31, 2012, 06:12 PM
proven,

understand, i'm partial to the 4.625" barrels myself. they can hit at 100 and 200 yards, but takes more concentration.

i think lipseys is offering a 3.5" stainless super blackhawk. may want to check it out on the ruger website.

bergmen,

the 45 colt chamber is tapered per the saami drawings. .486" at the heel and .480 at the mouth. sizing dies are usually carbide and can only size the whole case to one dimension. i size two thirds of the case on all loads for my 45lc. it works well for me. case comes out of the die looking like a 44-40, sort of.

murf

murf
August 31, 2012, 06:21 PM
bergmen,

one more tidbit, case wall thickness at the mouth runs .012". a .475" die won't work with .451" bullets. they will fall into the case.

check your expander plug diameter (on the belling die). it should be about .003" less than bullet diameter.

murf

skidder
August 31, 2012, 06:40 PM
A 20 year veteran reloader and owner of the 5.5 Redhawk and 5.5 Super Blackhawk (my favorite length for the 44). Never had any problems reloading the 44, and that is why I would recommend it. IMO the 44 is too big to be a belly gun so why go shorter than 4"? That job is best handled by the versatile and resourceful three-fifty-seven.

Red Cent
August 31, 2012, 06:49 PM
http://www.castbullet.com/misc/accrsa.htm

98Redline
August 31, 2012, 07:04 PM
There is no way I would try to ream my throats out using a wooden dowel chucked into a hand held electric drill. It is way too easy to egg out your throats or chambers.

Send the cylinder to Cylindersmith.com and he will properly ream the chambers and throats for $42.

skidder
August 31, 2012, 07:06 PM
Thanks for your 2 cents, Red Cent. That was a good read!

gazpacho
September 1, 2012, 12:13 AM
I have always preferred the blast from 45 colt over 44 mag, without regard to platform, or powder charge, or bullet weight. Because of that, I tend to shoot 45 colt better. That's probably psychosomatic, but it's a fact in my life.

Just something to consider.

freedom475
September 1, 2012, 12:22 AM
My vote is for the 44mag...I have several 45colts including one FA 97...but the 44's just seem to shoot everything I feed them more accurately ...the 45's seem more challenging to find accurate load combinations for.

One consideration.. if you ever find yourself "needing" an extra box of factory shells, the 44 mags are magnums...most 45colt factory rounds will have 1/2 the power.

Many say the 45's bigger case capacity allows it to match the 44's ballistics with 15% less pressure.... True,..but so what, this whole point is kind of silly since the Super Black Hawk 44 is 15% stronger than the 45 Blackhawk, there'by canceling out any advantage the 45colt may have.

I suppose this pressure increase is part of what makes the 44's blast bigger.

I just ran the numbers throught the ballisics program and the 44mag only gains 5" on the 45 at 400yards with a 240gr bullet in each running the same velocity.

RmB
September 1, 2012, 12:22 AM
.45 long colt or .45 acp?

freedom475
September 1, 2012, 01:03 AM
RmB .45 long colt or .45 acp?

uh-oh..here we go..:D:D:banghead::D I am afraid to say it.. Long Colt :neener: No such thing, I know..but it obviously causes confusion.

The 45 "Colt"...the ACP is an "acp"

Sport45
September 1, 2012, 02:02 AM
.45 Colt is descriptive enough.

Colt .45 can lead to some confusion,,, in more ways than one. :)

StrawHat
September 1, 2012, 07:33 AM
.45 long colt or .45 acp?
It depends on what you want to do. With the long Colt cartridge, you can load heavier bullets than in the shorter ACP cartridge. I load the ACP with 260 grain cast bullets but the longer 2785 grain bullets go into the 45 long Colt. Some guys have loaded the 300+ grain bullets into the 45 long Colt but I don't need a bullet that heavy. I guess some guys have loaded the 300 grain into the ACP but I can't imagine it leaves a lot of room for the powder.

CraigC
September 1, 2012, 11:25 AM
.45 Colt is descriptive enough.

Colt .45 can lead to some confusion,,, in more ways than one.
Agreed! Merely ".45 Colt" should be sufficient. No need for "Long" as there never was a "Long" or a "Short" for that matter. The cartridges in question can be easily discerned from their proper names.
.45Colt
.45ACP (.45Auto)
.45S&W (Schofield)
.45Gov't (so obscure you probably never heard of it)

eldon519
September 1, 2012, 11:40 AM
If you think you might ever wind up owning a .454 Casull (a reasonable possibility for someone asking about long-range performance), it may make a little more sense to own the .45 Colt. Otherwise I would get a .44 magnum. I agree that Ruger's .45 Colt products tend to be a little rougher around the edges when compared with their revolvers in other calibers.

skidder
September 1, 2012, 05:28 PM
454 Casull = .45 Long colt....:D

Lost Sheep
September 2, 2012, 07:45 PM
454 Casull = .45 Long colt....:D
I am pretty sure the smiley face indicates that you know better, but text is very easy to read differently than it was intended. Your post could mislead a less knowledgeable reader.

Untrue: "454 Casull = .45 Long colt"

True: "454 Casull = a LONG .45 Long colt"

45 Colt case is 1.285" long (and often referred to as 45 Long Colt)
454 Casull case is 1.381" long

Lost Sheep
edit: skidder, sory about that. I did not mean to be sharp, That was as rounded off as I thought I could make it.

skidder
September 2, 2012, 08:13 PM
You are correct.

That is how I meant it, LOOOONGER than the .45 Colt

I need to be carefull. There might be a few out there who believe what they read on the internet. :D

Lost Sheep-- Thanks for the sharp rebuke. I'm used to it, my wife does it all the time. ;)

Coal Dragger
September 3, 2012, 03:11 AM
bergmen,

Surprised your throats on the FA are that large, the throats on mine are near as I can tell from measuring a slugged ball right around .4525. I am using a set of calipers so it is within +/- .001. They will pass a Cast Performance .452 bullet with firm finger pressure, and .452 jacketed bullets also have to be helped through. Smaller .451 jacketed bullets pass snuggly but freely.

All of them seem to shoot well too.

41 Mag
September 3, 2012, 07:41 AM
Personally I am not as big a BH fan as I once was. I know they are wonderful revolvers but I simply fell head over heels for the RH's. I have them in 41,44, and 45 Colt. They all shoot much better than I can as as far as finding a load, the latest, in 45 Colt has digested everything I have run through it, (lead only at this point) from 200 through 300grs. To be quite honest I haven't found anything yet that it won't shoot pretty darned well.

I find that within normal pressure loads there isn't enough differences between the two, 44, and 45C, to make a hill of beans. To be honest I am finding that I like the 45 more and more simply shooting loads in the 1000 - 1200fps range using weights of around 250grs. Muzzle blast and recoil from either of them in this range is very tolerable, and there are plenty of commercial cast bullets out there as well as plenty of proven molds to pour you own. With the jacketed, well your somewhat at a disadvantage with the Colt as most bullets are made for the 45acp or the 454, so you have very narrow niche to choose from within the Colt's velocity range that will expand properly. Cast however, you have a wide range of not only weights, but styles and hardness as well from the WFN to RN depending on what you thing is. Not to mention being able to size to fit your particular revolver.

I only picked up the Colt due to the fact my grandfather had a Colt Army, and I always like to shoot it as kid, but it was poorly kept and shot plenty of BP loads as such was eroded to the point I will never fire it. It was simply due to sentimental reasons I got mine, and figured I might as well round out my RH collection. In doing so I read up on it before ever buying into which or what type loads I would be shooting. One of the best reads and more convincing to me was Linebaugh's, The .45 Colt - Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Potential (http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/dissolving_the_myth.htm)

In reading through this write up I found that I didn't need to try and load up to the Ruger level loads in order to get good accuracy or productive knock down. In fact I settled on one of his loads using HS-6 and the 260gr RFN as my main go to load and just like he said it shoots wonderful and is very pleasing on the shooter. If I want full throttle power I step up to the 454 and rock and roll.

To be honest I would pick which ever you feel is more your style based upon your typical type of shooting and go for it. Neither are a bad choice.

BSA1
September 3, 2012, 09:16 AM
Another long time reloader and shooter here.

First let me say I am a mere mortal. What that means is when I am testing for accuracy I never know for sure if I am really testing my ability to hold the sights consistently in the exact same spot as the previous round or if I am testing gun or am I testing the load.

Those questions can only be answered by trigger time on the range.

As anyone that reloads the 45 Colt biggest limitation is the strength of the gun it is being used in. We know the COLT SAA is the weakist, followed by RUGERS and then oh my God FREEDOM ARMS.

The next factor to remember about the 45 Colt is it's long history and how much it has evolved. 44 mag. and 45 Colt both use the same high quality solid head brass, same choices of powders and a wide variety of bullets.

When it comes to using REAL gunpowder the 45 Colt has the edge.

There are simply to many variables for me to get excited about 100 fps =/-.

As I said in my intro I am a experienced reloader. As such I tend to honor the original intended use of each round.

The 45 Colt is the legendary magnum of its day and undisputed man stopper.

The 44 magnum...well punk make my day!

bergmen
September 3, 2012, 12:46 PM
bergmen,

Surprised your throats on the FA are that large, the throats on mine are near as I can tell from measuring a slugged ball right around .4525. I am using a set of calipers so it is within +/- .001. They will pass a Cast Performance .452 bullet with firm finger pressure, and .452 jacketed bullets also have to be helped through. Smaller .451 jacketed bullets pass snuggly but freely.

All of them seem to shoot well too.

I was really surprised as well. I haven't taken the .454 cylinder out yet to measure it, I hope to do that today.

I will also measure the .454 and .45 Colt carbide resizing dies to see if there is a difference there (I expect there will be).

I have been reloading for the .45 Colt for about 20 years and there is always something new to learn about this fantastic handgun caliber.

I had a 7 1/2" BH for about 15 years until I discovered a new 7 1/2" Bisley under the glass at the LGS. My son has the BH now (and loves it) and I added the FA model 83 in .454 with a fitted .45 Colt cylinder at the time of order.

I'll post the measurements later today after some farm chores get done...

Dan

SlamFire1
September 3, 2012, 01:00 PM
I shoot most of my 44 Magnum's in a 7.5 inch Super Blackhawk, the 45 LC's are in N frame Smiths.

I do not load extra heavy 45 LC's and I would be cautious about doing so even if I owned a 45 LC Blackhawk because I would be afraid of one finding its way into a N frame. Or a New Service, something I own.

Shooting offhand at a 12" gong target at 100 yards, my hit probability with the 44 Mag is very good and you can tell it hits hard at that range. The 45 LC, a 250 at 850 fps, is running out of gas at that distance.

Now if you could duplicate some of those 40 grain blackpowder loads in balloon head cases in a 45 LC, I read that some are getting 1000 fps, a Colt SAA and a 1000 fps load would be an amazingly light and powerful combination.

bergmen
September 3, 2012, 07:03 PM
Okay, further measurements:

I removed the .454 cylinder from the FA and measured the chambers and throats:

Chamber: .4800/.4805
Throat: .4535

So, smaller chamber diameter for the .454 vs. .45 Colt at .4835/.4840, same throat diameter at .4535 as the .45 Colt.

I also measured my RCBS carbide resizing dies and got these numbers:

.45 Colt: .4670
.454: .4680

So, .001 larger with the .454. My understanding is the expander die for the .454 is .001 smaller than the .45 Colt in order to have increased neck tension. I have not measured them and won't for now since it involves disassembly of dies that are set up right now.

It needs it since I have had some minor bullet walk with the heavy .454 loads (30 grains W296) even though I do a max roll crimp.

I have a custom Lee FCD die for the .45 Colt, I might need to get one for the .454 if I do a lot of shooting with the big loads.

Dan

StrawHat
September 4, 2012, 06:45 AM
...Now if you could duplicate some of those 40 grain blackpowder loads in balloon head cases in a 45 LC, I read that some are getting 1000 fps, a Colt SAA and a 1000 fps load would be an amazingly light and powerful combination...

John Linebaugh gets that with a 4" barreled S&W M25-5. Using a 260 grain cast bullet and 20 grains of 2400 powder. He also achieves that with a different recipe using H110. Unique and Universal are also powders that give ballistics that duplicate teh old black powder loads. And of course, balck powder is still available.

Coal Dragger
September 4, 2012, 04:17 PM
Bergmen,

I would suggest using a neck down crimp, and crimp after you seat bullets. I have never had bullet walk, but I set my dies up according to the instructions in the Speer manual for a heavy heavy neck down crimp. You do of course have to have a bullet with a cannelure of at least .06" to accomplish this or otherwise you will crush the case when you try to crimp it.

bergmen
September 4, 2012, 04:37 PM
Bergmen,

I would suggest using a neck down crimp, and crimp after you seat bullets. I have never had bullet walk, but I set my dies up according to the instructions in the Speer manual for a heavy heavy neck down crimp. You do of course have to have a bullet with a cannelure of at least .06" to accomplish this or otherwise you will crush the case when you try to crimp it.

So far I've just been using the roll crimp that comes with the bullet seating dies (RCBS). I started bullet seating and crimping as seperate operations some time ago when I found that I would shave copper (or lead as the case may be) when doing both at the same time.

All of the bullets I use for high powered loads have a cannelure since they are heavy duty JHP's. I have crushed cases before (both .357 Magnum and .45 Colt) by over-crimping so I closely examine the crimp settings to avoid that these days.

I'm relatively new at maximum .454 loads (less than 100 rounds so far) and I've only seen a few rounds with slight bullet walk (not enough to hang up the cylinder).

Dan

Backpacker33
September 4, 2012, 05:12 PM
I had my own prejudices about these rounds, and most of them turned out to be wrong. Here is one article by John Taffin I think is worth reading.
http://www.sixguns.com/tests/tt45lc.htm

This one by John Linebaugh should irritate some who adhere to their favorite myths: http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/dissolving_the_myth.htm

For those who like to trash the S&W 25-5, here is one you won't want to read:
http://www.handloads.com/articles/default.asp?id=12

I have two 25-5s purchased in the early '70s. A .452 bullet drops right through the chambers without slowing down. However, I'll match either one side by side with any .44 Mag you want, fired off-hand at targets 50 feet away. You won't be able to tell one group from the other. Maybe a bullseye shooter could find a meaningful difference, but I don't do that. "Minute of Critter," at appropriate distances is what I go for. I've carried various guns in .44 Magnum while backpacking for years. Then I saw a blue S&W Mountain Gun in .45 Colt and couldn't resist. I bought it figuring it would be a safe queen, brought out occasionally for the 'OH! Wow!" factor. Then I found the websites noted above, and did some more research, and made loads that equal anything hurled out of a Ruger, S&W or Colt Anaconda. I actually still love and prefer my Anacondas in either .45 Colt or .44 Mag, but I'm getting into geezer years and like lighter stuff that doesn't break the bones in my hands. .45 Colt in smaller iron guns do just fine.
-Backpacker

CraigC
September 4, 2012, 05:21 PM
This one by John Linebaugh should irritate some who adhere to their favorite myths:
That article was written 30yrs ago and some of it is now also myth. The "more power, less pressure" has turned out to be a lot of marketing hype. In the real world, there is very little practical difference between the two cartridges. The .44 maintains a distinct velocity and sectional density advantage, while the .45 is slightly larger in diameter. A wash at best. Certainly not the picture the article paints.

Backpacker33
September 4, 2012, 08:20 PM
I completely agree.

Sport45
September 4, 2012, 10:38 PM
ANY handgun chambered in .44mag will outperform MANY handguns chambered in .45 Colt.

That said, I don't currently own a .44mag and won't be trading away my Redhawk .45 Colt. It's good for upwards of 50,000psi, but the load I like the best and shoot the most is a 260gr SWC over a load of Unique that wouldn't blow up any modern handgun.

.44 Associate
September 5, 2012, 12:03 AM
Within the past two years I bought three Ruger .45 Colts. All have throats right at .452. All shoot about as accurately as my Ruger .44s - which is to say, all of them are about as accurate as I am capable of proving, at least after firelapping.

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