Henry - Mares Leg - 45LC


November 17, 2012, 07:01 PM
I am trying to determine some loading data for 45LC, the tricky part is the weapon... It is a Henry Mares Leg.

Lever Action, about 14" barrel, I can measure it to be sure. But anyway, I have had ZERO luck. I have some 180 grain, Match Grade, Jacked Hollow Points, that I would like to load. I have had success with loading some 240 Grain JHP's, and would like to see how the 180's perform.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, and God Bless.


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November 17, 2012, 10:42 PM
What is the question (had zero luck with what)? The load data is the same as anything else (modern 45 LC pistol) unless the manual says you can load it hotter (and you probably can). What are you wanting to achieve that you aren't getting with your 240gr loads? Do you want more speed, less flash, is it not feeding properly, ???

Barrel length is irrelevant. Fastest load in a short barrel will be fastest in a long one too.

November 17, 2012, 10:56 PM
What he said.
Is feeding your problem, or is it something else you failed mention?

A standard pressure .45 Cold load is a standard pressure .45 Colt load.

Lever-actions are generally very dependent on cartridge OAL to feed properly.

So a very light 180 grain bullet might be too short to feed properly when crimped in the crimp channulure.

As for +P loads?
I have no idea if the Henry is +P .45 Colt rated, but I seriously doubt it.


November 18, 2012, 12:51 AM
This tells us that the original Mares legs were Win 92 sawed off rifles.
The Henry does not look exactly like a Win 92 nor a Win 94.
I have a Win 94 in 45 Colt and I have only shot handloads in it at ~ 20k psi ~ 22 kpsi in Quickload calculations. It kicks like a mule. A 6 pound rifle sending a 250 gr bullet at 1536 fps, means I need a recoil pad.
The SAAMI registered max average pressure for 45LC is 14 kpsi.

When Nosler lists Ruger loads for the 45LC, 11.3 gr Unique, 1.6" 250 gr JHP, Quickload thinks that Nosler is at 27 kpsi

When Speer lists Ruger load for the 45LC, 10.5 gr Unique, 1.59" , 260 gr JHP
Quickload thinks that Speer is 32 kpsi.
Speer says it is 25 kpsi.

My Ruger Blackhawk has chamber walls:
0.071" ~ .074" to the outside
0.059" ~ .061" between chambers

My guess is that the Marres Leg is going to have a chamber wall much thicker than the Ruger Black hawk. Chamber thickness will probably be the weak spot in revolvers, but the lever action weak spot is probably the long narrow falling block and how the frame holds it.

The Rossi stainless Win 92 is rated for 454 Cassull [ 10,300 pounds thrust].
The Henry Marles leg is also offered in 44 mag.
If the Henry falling block can take the 44 mag thrust [~ 5,200 pounds thrust], then it can probably take the 45 LC at 32 kpsi [~ 5,200 pounds thrust]
So my guess is that the Henry Marles leg is probably going to take the Ruger loads, but the recoil would be obnoxious.

I bought an old 45LC revolver today, and the seller told me specifically that 200 gr XTP 9 gr Unique is the accurate load. That looks like 12 kpsi in Quickload.
I could guess he was going to say Unique. That seems to be a key accuracy powder for wimp loads in the 45LC.

The Unique loads in 45 Colt make small groups.
Heavy bullets make groups higher on the target, as recoil lifts the muzzle.
Lighter bullets make groups lower on the target.

I would just keep trying the wimp loads, if I had a Mare's leg.

November 18, 2012, 09:14 PM
I have the Mares Leg. I am just trying to determine if any loading data exists as a starting point for the 180 Grain Match Grade Hornady JHP's. According to Hornady officiado's, it is supposedly in the latest Hornady Reloading book, I have one, it is not there, the only 180 grain bullets are Cast Lead Wadcutters.

I'm not sure that Lead and JHP's will perform the same.

If I use data for a 200 gr Bullet on a 180 grain actual bullet, there should not be any danger of excess pressure should there?

Or even 240 grain?

Thanks for you help,


November 19, 2012, 12:13 AM
It is best to have multiple manuals. Look for some jacketed load of about the same weight as a starting point. Look at multiple sources, compare overall length and powders used. I think you'll be fine with any standard 45 Colt loading in the Mare's Leg. OAL and bullet shape will be important for feeding.

The power companies have online loading manuals:

November 19, 2012, 12:18 AM
Hodgdon lists load data for the .45 Colt using a 180gr LRN bullet. Did you check the online sources? The post above mine has the links...

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