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45 colt sizing and loads for ruger loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by crimsoncomet, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. crimsoncomet

    crimsoncomet Well-Known Member

    Hey guys. I am loading for a friends blackhawk. The loads wont be much over standard pressure loads. I will be using 2400 and want to keep it around 1000 fps.

    First: Do you all see a problem starting a bit above a standard 45 colt load and working up to a starting ruger load with this powder? I know that some powders, you are not supposed to reduce.

    Next: Should I FL resize or partial resize? My die will not allow me to size just the neck. I have to resize a little over half way due to the de-capping rod. I really dont want to buy a decapping die, I dont own a 45 colt and everything else (460s&w, 357 mag) I FL resize. Will this still benefit case life? The base is visabley larger than the neck and looks quite strange.

    Thanks for the help guys!
  2. noylj

    noylj Well-Known Member

    You need to read a couple of reloading manuals. They will answer your questions. Since you asked, it shows you haven't read.
    I'm sorry, but I always begin at the lowest starting load I can find and work my way up. I have never started at anything above the low starting load.
    I also NEVER load for someone else. I don't know the law, but I won't do it.
    If he or his gun are injured, what are you going to do?
    You always full-length size straight wall cases. There is nothing but your thumb that will get a tight case to chamber.
    To reload for a revolver, you should have the cylinder at hand so you can verify the loads fit.
  3. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    2400 does not lend itself to standard .45 Colt loads. Assuming 250 - 270 grain bullets, just load them with 18 grains which will give you 1,000fps or slightly above, depending upon barrel length.

    Partial resizing may extend case life, but since you don't have a universal decapping die, you are limited in what you can do.

  4. crimsoncomet

    crimsoncomet Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your advice. I have read quite a few loading manuals. I own five. I am just asking for experience.

    It is a custom for some re-loaders who shoot hot revolver loads to partial size, helping to extend brass life.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2011
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I have never tried partial sizing of pistol cases. I have no doubt whatever accuracy advantage gained can not be utilized by my offhand shooting. As far as case life, a 255 at 1000 FPS with a medium to slow powder is not stressing the case badly, but partial sizing couldn't hurt.

    Run an experiment with 5 cases done one way vs 5 done the other and see which shoot better, which last longer, and by how much.

    Curious minds want to know. :)

    I also suspect a bit faster powder than 2400 would work better for a 255 @ 1000 in .45 Colt but cannot say for sure.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  6. squarles67

    squarles67 Well-Known Member

    I've never tried a partial resize on 45 Colt, it can't hurt but I don't know that you would get extended case life. Mine usually split at the case mouth from work hardening due to the roll crimp. Just an assumption though, I'm with Walkalong test it and let us know the results.

    I don't see the need to start way low for a Blackhawk, I don't.

    With the assumption that your using a 255g LSWC I've had good luck with Titegroup and Unique for your goal of 1000 fps.

    8.3g Titegroup - Avg 997, ES 8.17, SD 3.16
    10g Unique - Avg 1040, ES 67.43, SD 25.56

    Shot from a Blackhawk with 4 5/8" bbl
  7. CraigC

    CraigC Well-Known Member

    2400 is a fine powder for standard .45Colt loads. I use Dave Scovill's load of 16.0gr 2400 under a 250-270gr cast bullet quite often in Colt's and replicas and it is quite accurate. This is one grain over pressure but safe for contemporary Colt's, replicas and Rugers.
  8. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Well-Known Member

    I think the 2400 will work well for your stated goal. 1000 fps is not really pushing things in a Ruger in terms of pressure. 2400 is a forgiving powder in that it seems to be pretty predictable as you start out with a reasonable load and slowly work your way up.

    I don't think there would be any benefit at all to partial sizing the cases. As mentioned above, the brass is m ost susceptible to fail at the mouth caused by heavy roll crimps. Awhile back I loaded up some super hot .45 Colt loads to test in my BFR chambered for .454 Casull. It's a 5-shooter and even stronger than the Blackhawk. I can't remember the loads right now, but they were far above what is recommended even for Ruger-only loads. There was absolutely no problems with the cases though. I didn't even split any mouths. Granted, they were new cases to start with, but subsequent loadings had no signs of abuse. I quit making those super-hot loads in the .45 Colt cases. I was afraid I would accidentally put one of them in a Colt and blow it up. But there is no reason to worry about the brass and no reason to avoid FL sizing.
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Your stated goal of 1,000 FPS could be better met with Unique powder.
    I can't recommed a charge because you didn't mention what bullet you might use.

    2400 doesn't burn worth a hoot with low pressure reduced pressure loads, and will leave a lot of unburned powder.

    I would FL size the cases, as not all chambers are the same size on some guns.

  10. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    With a 255gr LSWC I found that I could load down to 15.5gr or so and get reasonably clean burning. I found my best accuracy and clean loading to be around 17.5 or so with a 255gr bullet.
  11. Flatbush Harry

    Flatbush Harry Well-Known Member

    Please note that the Hornady manual has a separate section for .45 Colt for Rugers and T/C Contenders. Both of these firearms allow stouter loads than Colt Model Ps and replicas.

    Having just prepped 200 cases for .45 Colt, I may try some of these loads for my Vaqueros...if the loads work out, I may start carrying one of them when I hunt or fish...right now, I carry a S&W mod. 629 with Federal full house 240gr JHP loads.


    PS-I've always used Unique for .45 Colt...6.3gr is my 800fps CAS load for my Ubertis.
  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    Do you have the old model or new model vaquero?
  13. Flatbush Harry

    Flatbush Harry Well-Known Member

    I have a matched pair of 5.5"and a Bird's head grip in 4", all old style. Strong like bool!!.

  14. crimsoncomet

    crimsoncomet Well-Known Member

    Any of you guys get this from FL sizing? Using a redding 45 colt/454 casull die.

    One side looks like this.

    The other side of the case isnt quite as visable.
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    It is caused nickle or brass galling inside the sizing die.
    Try using a little spritz of case lube.

    May already be some of it stuck inside the die too.
    If so, polish it out with 400 or 600 grit black emery paper on a dowel rod.

  16. crimsoncomet

    crimsoncomet Well-Known Member

    Thanks rc, but the die set is new. No nickel cases have been in it. I may have sized one or two 454 cases. Maybe it is the die? I had already tried lube and that didnt work. I then tried a 454 case and the same thing occured.
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    It's a bad die. It may not do that if you adjust it up a little to size less of the case, but it should not be doing that.

    I do not size .45 Colt brass that far down.
  18. crimsoncomet

    crimsoncomet Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. I will try to get redding on the horn tomorrow.
  19. murf

    murf Well-Known Member

    fwiw, i always partial size about 2/3rd down the case. this helps keep the butt end of the case closer to the 45lc's tapered chamber. i go 2/3rd to get the decapper to work. i run 325gn cast at 1275fps out of my 4 5/8" blackhawk. works great! (this is a top load and should only be used in the blackhawk).

  20. Funshooter45

    Funshooter45 Well-Known Member

    Tapered chamber for .45 Colt? Please elaborate. I thought SAAMI specs for the cartridge was .480" for both the mouth and the base of the case. Is your chamber not straight wall as well?

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