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.45 LC load info wanted

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by dlj, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. dlj

    dlj New Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    I'm new here and new to reloading the .45 LC. I have a new Rossi model 92 and the Uberti sa cattleman with 4 3/4'' barrel. I'm thinking of using dierent loads for each. What weight (jacketed bullet) delivers the most muzzle energy for the model 92 with the 20'' barrel. I am thinking of using Oregon hard cast lead in the Urberti. I have and have used bullseye and 2400 in other loadings, the .45 lc is new to me, any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. daorhgih

    daorhgih member

    Jan 25, 2008
    Oooodles of data here on THR.

    Just don't be in any big hurry to start dropping powders until you have read at least ½ of the posts here. Just "search" for every item you have mentioned, and in a few years, you'll be a pro (LOL) BTW, the authentic name for your ammo does not call it a "long" anything. Just .45C....or .45Colt. DAO
  3. jmstevens2

    jmstevens2 Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    SW Ohio
    Get at least 2 reloading books and read them first. Do not go outside the recipes, there is a lot of space in that case and not enough volume can cause an over pressure. Too much can too. You need to use the right powders.

  4. towboat_er

    towboat_er Member

    Jan 5, 2011
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Senior Member

    Dec 29, 2006

    Your Uberti pistol is built on the Colt SAA frame. As such it is a light framed. Your Rossi lever action will be much stronger and can take loads that are inappropriate for the revolver.

    Decades ago I decided that Unique was the best overall powder in the 45 LC and my favorite load is a 250/255 Lead with 8.5 grains Unique. I like my loads to be about 850 fps in a five inch barrel. I consider 850 fps to be close to a maximum load for light framed SAA frames.

    I only tested bullseye once, as you can see 6.3 grains with a 255 gave an average of 776 fps. That is a respectable velocity for a 45 LC.

    For your rifle, Elmer Keith had a load of 250 grain with 17.5 grains of 2400. I have shot 17.0 and 17.5 grains in my N frame Smiths and I think these are on the hot side for these pistols. It should do very well in your rifle.

    Too bad balloon head cases are not around. The original blackpowder load of 40 grains of FFFG in a balloon head case pushed a 255 at 1000 fps in Colt SAA. This according to people who have duplicated the original loads. Pressures had to be very low, as it is a blackpowder load, and at 1000 fps, you had a very powderful load.

    [SIZE="3"]5" M25-7 			
    255 LRN (.452")  8.5 grain Unique thrown R-P cases WLP (nickle) primers
    26-May-97	T ≈  75-80 ° F		 		
    Ave Vel =869			 	
    Std Dev =10			 	 
    ES  =	31			 	 
    Low  =	858			 	  
    High  =	889				 
    N =	6				
    255 LRN (.452")  6.3 grs Bullseye thrown R-P cases  WLP (nickle) primers
    26-May-97	T ≈  75-80 ° F		 		
    Ave Vel =776			 	
    Std Dev =11			 	 
    ES  =	28			 	 
    Low  =	765			 	  
    High  =	793				 
    N =	6				
    250 Hornaday JHP 17.0 grs 2400 little dandy R21 Fed 150 primers
    1-Feb-90	T ≈  55 ° F		 	
    Ave Vel =845		  
    Std Dev =42		 	 
    ES  =	119		 	 
    Low  =	788		  
    High  =	907		 	
    N =	4

    [SIZE="3"]M625-9 Mountain Gun 4" 	
    255 LSWC (.454") 8.5 grs Unique  thrown, R-P cases, WLP primers	
    18-Mar-07	T = 55 °F				
    Ave Vel =813	 	 	 	
    Std Dev =34	 	 		
    ES  =	145.4	 	 		
    High  =	878.1		 		
    Low  =	732.6		 		
    Number Shots26				
    Extremely accurate empties fell out of cylinder		
    250 Nosler JHP 17.5 grs 2400 thrown, Master cases, Fed150 primers	
    18-Mar-07	T = 55 °F				
    Ave Vel =971	 	 	 	
    Std Dev =25	 	 		
    ES  =	69.47	 	 		
    High  =	1003		 		 
    Low  =	933.5		 		
    Number Shots	11				
    Very accurate heavy uncomfortable recoil[/SIZE]
  6. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    I'd just go modest with a 'medium' speed powder, H Universal, or Unique are fine choices.
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    My advice is to find one good standard pressure load and use it in both guns.

    As Slamfire1 said, the Uberti revolver is not strong enough to handle the hi-pressure loads the Rossi can handle.

    If you load hot for it, it is only a matter of time before some of them get put in the revolver either accidentally or on purpose by you or somebody else!

    BTW: At one time I bought a Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt in order to use "Ruger only" hi-performance loads. But then I kept eye-balling my old Colt SAA's and decided I didn't want to blow one of them up if I or my kids slipped up and loaded the wrong ammo in one of them. I sold the Ruger.
    I now only load a 250 grain Keith SWC over 8.5 grains unique.
    It is perfectly safe in any .45 Colt gun, and will kill anything that walks or crawls in Kansas.
    It is all the power a .45 Colt guy needs.

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  8. phunk

    phunk New Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Another vote for unique. My favorite load is a 200gr rfn with 8.3 gr of unique behind it, for shorter barreled guns. I have tried several other powders in the .45c but unique is my choice for this caliber.
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    IF you can't find happiness with a cast 250-grain SWC and 8.5-9.0 grains of Unique, you probably never will. 870-900 fps respectively in my New Vaqueros with 4.625 barrels. Ruger revolvers tend to "shoot fast" so your Cattleman probably won't quite match those figures.

    For the carbine, the 2400 "Keith" load with a jacketed 250-grain bullet is about as good as it gets, but as with any firearm...the hotter you shoot, the faster the gun breaks. I've used the above mentioned Unique load in my Winchester Trapper with excellent results, and it doesn't beat the rifle up.Velocities run to 1150+ fps in the 16-inch barrel.
  10. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Senior Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    West Tennessee
    You have to decide what you're going to use them for and load accordingly. As to strength, post-war Colt SAA's, USFA replicas and mid-frame Rugers are good to 21-22,000psi but the Italian replicas should be loaded a little lighter. Your Rossi 92 is good to 45,000psi which is even more pressure than a large frame Ruger can handle. That said, there's a lot of good shooting to be done at a more moderate level. The classic 9.0gr of Unique under a 250-260gr cast bullet is about as good as it gets, which will yield you 900fps in sixguns and 1200fps in rifles.

    Forget the jacketed pills.
  11. kludge

    kludge Senior Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    dlj, you didn't mention the intended purpose of the load.

    If for hunting then the 250-260gr lead bullet at 900fps, and as RC said, it's all you'll ever need. In your Rossi a RNFP (round nose flat point) might feed better than a SWC (semi-wadcutter) Usually, the bigger the meplat (the flat nose on the bullet) the better for hunting. For plinking I use a 200gr lead bullet.
  12. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Senior Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Northeast PA, USA
    My favorite .45 Colt load is 7.2gr W231 under a 250/255gr lead bullet. That load shoots great for me. Nothing wrong with using Unique, Universal, AA#5 or HS-6 either.
  13. gilgsn

    gilgsn Member

    Nov 10, 2010
    Sarasota, FL.

    I use 8.0 grains of Unique with bullets from 200gr to 280gr. Namely, Lee 200 and 255 RNFP, and the great RCBS 45-270-SAA.
    The 260grs come out at 875fps in the Pietta SAA with a 4-3/4'' barrel.

    I will stay at 8.0gr of Unique or below to make sure that revolver lasts a long time!

    See: http://gilblog.com/archives/1110/
    The article will be updated as I try new loads, with the 45-270-SAA, and Alliant 2400.
    My plan is to chronograph 15.0, 15.5 and 16gr of 2400 with that bullet.
  14. Trad Archer

    Trad Archer Member

    Dec 5, 2010
    9.8 grains of H-6 and 255 grain SWC works good for me.
  15. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Delaware home of tax free shopping
    Give IMR Hodgdon Trailboss a try if you are looking for target velocity loads with cast lead. Excellent accuracy, no smoke or fouling and it fills the case pretty darn good.
    If you want higher velocity or are using jacketed bullets Tuner is spot on with unique.
  16. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Manitowoc, WI
    I certainly wouldn't create two loads.

    I'd be concerned about accidentally using the stronger load in the Uberti.
    In fact the reason many cowboys used 45 Colt revolvers & long guns is so they only had to have one cartridge for both.

    Please stay safe.
  17. FHBrumb

    FHBrumb New Member

    Dec 14, 2008
    Is there a load at about the 19,000 psi mark? Most I find are well below that, or well above. Jacketed bullets preferred.
  18. Clark

    Clark Senior Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.


    ~ 9 years ago I paid $255 for this early 1970's Iver Johnson imported Uberti Cattleman 45 Colt that is really beat up.
    I normally drive harder bargains than that.
    It is beat up, but I have really enjoyed it.

    Virtually all the rounds I have fired were the same:
    250 gr. XTP, 24 gr. H110, 1.603" heavy crimp into canalure:
    1215 fps 22,000 psi Quickload prediction that matches chronograph.
    That revolver locks up on each chamber as tight as the day it was made.

    It kicks really hard, but no pain because of the well designed grip.
    It does shoot a foot high, and I TIG welded some more front sight material.
  19. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Senior Member

    Sep 6, 2009
    Manitowoc, WI
  20. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Senior Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Clark I like the front site mod.:D
    Another vote for Trail boss for the pistol. I use the max load in mine. I also Have 2 Ruger Vaqueros and use more stout loads in them but mark the cases with a wide red marker to indicate HOT loads.

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