Ultramax cowboy loads?


PDA






burnse
September 10, 2012, 09:43 PM
I'm finally going in to take my long-awaited ccw course this weekend. I plan on going through the shooting proficiency portion with my Charter bulldog (which is to be my primary carry piece for some time). For the sake of going easy on the bulldog, I've been running cowboy loads through it (hundreds of 'em - a bit dirty, but soft and fun). Until now, I have been running 240gr. loads through it, of various make (winchester and magtech, mostly).

I burned through my last 100 today at Gander Mountain Academy, which, despite the store's AWFUL pricing on guns (they still have a dang Hi-Point .40 priced at $449.00!), they do run a nice clean range. Examining my targets, I found that I can keep all but one or two of every fifty rounds in a dinner plate at 20 ft (I can keep things at least twice as good with single action firing). I got to wondering, though, whether a lighter bullet might be better suited to the task of flying out the end of such a short barrel. I'd assume that this is the case, especially considering what looks like a very slow twist rate in the bulldog's barrel.

I'm lucky enough to live about 10 minutes from the Sportsman's Guide HQ and retail store, so it makes sense for me to get something from them to take along to class. Right now, they have the following in a 200gr lead flat nose cowboy load:

Ultramax - advertised at 700 fps with 218 fpe
Magtech - advertised at 761 fps and 308 fpe

I am very familiar with magtech cowboy loads at this point, and find them to be very messy, but I know nothing of Ultramax. I know that they are US made, which I like, and that they should be softer shooting. Beyond that - no clue. I have heard that people had consistency problems with the ultramax factory reloads, but I don't know if/how this affects their cowboy offerings.

So, all of that said, does anyone have anything to say about Ultramax Cowboy loads? Would I be better off with the Magtech?

If you enjoyed reading about "Ultramax cowboy loads?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
HKGuns
September 10, 2012, 09:55 PM
I used them the first time I shot my .44, very light rounds as compared with most anything else I've shot....They all fired accurately and reliably for me. That is all I can tell you about them.

joecil
September 11, 2012, 05:28 AM
I've shot about all of the cowboy loads out there and most are a bit dirtier than regular ammo. Winchester is my favorite of the bunch but Ultramax I had no problems with either. I now make my own so it has been at least a year since I purchased any factory ammo.

burnse
September 11, 2012, 10:54 AM
I plan on loading my own, soon, but I just need the 50 rounds for the immediate short term. When I can, I'm definitely getting some Trail Boss and some lead.

Thanks for the feedback, everybody. If there's more to be given, I'd be glad to hear it.

joecil
September 11, 2012, 01:00 PM
I plan on loading my own, soon, but I just need the 50 rounds for the immediate short term. When I can, I'm definitely getting some Trail Boss and some lead.

I'm with you on the trailboss and even load it in my 45-70 behind 405 gr lead bullets. I like it also behind the 200 gr and 250 gr cast RNFP

burnse
September 11, 2012, 01:20 PM
It's good to hear that about the 45-70. I plan to try running it through my MAS36, behind a ~150 gr lead round nose, just to see how it does. Trying to go easy on the thing, as it will be my only non-.22 rifle for quite some time, and I plan on it being a lifer.

BCRider
September 11, 2012, 02:50 PM
The lower power "cowboy" loads definetly tend to burn more dirty. I suspect it's largely due to the low pressure producing a slower and less than complete burn. The lower chamber pressure also means it's not uncommon to see a lot of soot up the sides of the cases. A sure sign of a light and short duration expansion seal against the chamber walls.

I do shoot a lot of cowboy ammo and I've tried a few different powders looking for one which burns fairly clean and will be cheaper to load. Sadly Trail Boss isn't one of them. My buddy's cowboy loads in .45Colt were sooty and stunk to high heaven. And the cost vs volume issues with TB means that I get far fewer loads per bottle of powder. A lot less than half the number actually given that the bottle is only 9 oz. Yet the bottle costs almost the same as 1 lb of the others.

For now I've settled on Tight Group for all my handgun ammo loading. It burns reasonably clean even in lighter "cowboy" like loadings yet can be used to achieve proper power factors for my other loads used for other styles of competition easily. It meters VERY well through my powder measures too. Something that I didn't find with the bulky "Cherrios" like TB donuts. It seems that the only thing I found with my use of TB is that it dumps a very safe load since it can fill the case completely and still not be in any manner dangerous. But the cost and difficulty I had in metering it through the measure I'm currently stuck with simply steers me away.

I understand that Clays, the straight Clays and not the International or Universal ones, is even cleaner burning. At some point I may buy a pound to try if I can find it. But Clays availability around here seems to be spotty at best.

joecil
September 11, 2012, 04:48 PM
BCRider Trailboss is dirtier than Titegroup however compared to black powder they are spotless.. :) I'm actually looking to get some Universal Clays but just can't find it at this time in my area but have some on order with my local supplier. I've also heard it is very clean as well. Oh and the Trailboss meters extremely well for me with not so much as a wasted flake.

BCRider
September 11, 2012, 05:39 PM
I'm currently stuck using a Lee press as my only press. And it's got one of those Lee Auto Disk measures with the dial a charge upgrade. It simply doesn't work well with the volume needed even with a "double drop" in the bigger .45Colt case situation.

As for the Universal start with a single pound to try it for yourself. A buddy got a single pound, thought it was great and bought an 8lb jug. But there is very much something "off" with the 8lb jug. The colour is a little funky looking and it spits out huge amounts of unburned flakes. They build up in his revolver and suddenly there's a big fireball when it gets set off by the gap side blast. Two of us RO'ing in matches with him while he was shooting that stuff saw it personally. I was one of them! ! ! !

I've tried it in a couple of other cases and it simply won't burn all the flakes at all. In fact it almost seems like a good 15% go unburned. It simply makes a huge mess and eventually flares up in a good "all gun" fireball flash.... :D

The colour it has compared to the original one pound makes me think that there is some issue with the batch we got. It's more of a mix of light grey and light brown sprinkled with dark grey/black sort of "salt and pepper" look instead of the all dark grey of the previous batch.

But given where we got it and where we live there's no real recourse to go back to the store or to the maker and seek any satisfaction. It sucks for this sort of thing living up this way with a border between us.

joecil
September 11, 2012, 06:57 PM
I'm also using a Lee Press with the Lee Auto Disk Powder Measure
system and it works well with most powders even when setup to use double disks. It sounds like you have the old rectangular hopper style which in my opinion aren't very good compared to the new round hoppers that you can turn off. Oh and I'm using a Lee Classic Turret as my main press.

I've also had problems getting Unique also as I want to try a pound of it also. I always by the first batch of any powder in 1 lb jugs. The only one I have more of is Trailboss which I use a lot in my cowboy loads for CAS.

BCRider
September 11, 2012, 10:24 PM
It may be that using stacked discs would do the trick.

I only recently found out that if I cycle the lever quickly that the second charge often doesn't drop as much. Normally I'll do this when dropping two or three measures for testing the weight by averaging out the multiple drops. I found that if I cycled it fast I was getting very odd drop measurements. Then I noticed that it takes a second or two for the powder dropping down into the measure to reflect up to the top of the supply with a "sink hole" like motion. So it's likely that my problem with the TB and having to use a double lever motion was too fast and so the second charge had not fully stopped filling the slide.

It was actually your post about doubling up the discs that made me think back about this issue and the TB powder and put the two issues together. Now that I think I know what the issue was I'll try it again.

All in all though I don't see the TB powder having a big role in my own loading in the future. But then that's why there's so many different powders. We can all find something that works for us.

ZVP
September 12, 2012, 12:50 AM
For quqalifying I would use the light bullet just to keep any thoughts of flinching laid aside.
I shoot Winchester .38 Special cowboy loads in my Vaquero, chosen for their reduced cost per caliber, and the good preformance of the full 158g bullets.
Winchester rates theirs at 250f/p and that is pretty healthy fro a .38! I also shoot these thru my Model 36 as Trail Ammo.
In your large caliber gun even the light bullets are definate manstoppers!
ZVP

Lawdawg45
September 12, 2012, 08:26 AM
I'm finally going in to take my long-awaited ccw course this weekend. I plan on going through the shooting proficiency portion with my Charter bulldog (which is to be my primary carry piece for some time). For the sake of going easy on the bulldog, I've been running cowboy loads through it (hundreds of 'em - a bit dirty, but soft and fun). Until now, I have been running 240gr. loads through it, of various make (winchester and magtech, mostly).

I burned through my last 100 today at Gander Mountain Academy, which, despite the store's AWFUL pricing on guns (they still have a dang Hi-Point .40 priced at $449.00!), they do run a nice clean range. Examining my targets, I found that I can keep all but one or two of every fifty rounds in a dinner plate at 20 ft (I can keep things at least twice as good with single action firing). I got to wondering, though, whether a lighter bullet might be better suited to the task of flying out the end of such a short barrel. I'd assume that this is the case, especially considering what looks like a very slow twist rate in the bulldog's barrel.

I'm lucky enough to live about 10 minutes from the Sportsman's Guide HQ and retail store, so it makes sense for me to get something from them to take along to class. Right now, they have the following in a 200gr lead flat nose cowboy load:

Ultramax - advertised at 700 fps with 218 fpe
Magtech - advertised at 761 fps and 308 fpe

I am very familiar with magtech cowboy loads at this point, and find them to be very messy, but I know nothing of Ultramax. I know that they are US made, which I like, and that they should be softer shooting. Beyond that - no clue. I have heard that people had consistency problems with the ultramax factory reloads, but I don't know if/how this affects their cowboy offerings.

So, all of that said, does anyone have anything to say about Ultramax Cowboy loads? Would I be better off with the Magtech?

I'm not sure if you're inquiring about price, recoil, accuracy, etc, but my bulk ammo purchases for SASS were Ultramax, and the bulk price beat the Winchester Cowboy shelf ammo by about $15 a box. I did notice more recoil with Ultramax, but they burned pretty clean.

LD

burnse
September 14, 2012, 11:20 AM
I did the right thing: just went and bought some. Ran it through. Oh man!! That is so much easier to shoot accurately! From now on, I'm going to stick to the 180-200 gr. range for bullets.

Also, the Ultramax cowboy loads were easily cleaner in the bulldog, and it seemed like the QC was better, as well, than either the Winchester or Magtech. I wish i knew what powder Ultramax used for those loads.

zxcvbob
September 14, 2012, 11:39 AM
I bought a case of Ultramax 125 grain 9mm's about 5 years ago. They fed reliably and they all went "bang". They were also smokey and inaccurate and underpowered. I sold off most of them after I built up a decent supply of my own reloads. (I think I still have a half a box of 'em somewhere)

burnse
September 14, 2012, 02:24 PM
that is too bad. I've heard that much of Ultramax's ammo is quite dirty, and full of inconsistency. The .44 cowboy loads, however, were fantastic.

Also, fantastic signature. Loved Kenny Rogers' Jackass.

If you enjoyed reading about "Ultramax cowboy loads?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!