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Chamber Pressure

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Wannie, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Wannie

    Wannie New Member

    I have an Interarms Virginia Dragoon in .45 Colt that has been taking up space in my safe for about 25 years.

    With the 7" barrel and adjustable sights it might just make a dandee whitetail shooter.

    I have seen varying chamber pressures for this piece depending on the original manufacturer and vintage. Can anyone determine by serial number who made this and what the chamber pressure rating may be?

    Thank you all.
  2. waidmann

    waidmann Well-Known Member

    The early ones were made by Hammerelli and I believe so marked. Interarms went in production I believe in Virginia. If your .45 Colt is built anything like my .44 Mag I would use Ruger-level reloading data.
  3. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Well-Known Member

    This is reputedly a large and strong revolver and should be fine for at least up to the starting data for "Ruger Blackhawk-only" loads. If you don't handload, there are companies like Buffalo Bore who make standard and plus-pressure loads with effective bullets. For that matter, other than bullet drop, the standard .45 Colt is no slouch. I want to think it was made by J.P. Sauer & Son (the Sauer half of SIG-Sauer) in Germany.
  4. Wannie

    Wannie New Member

    Thank you gentlemen for your prompt replies.
    Unfortunatly there are no source markings on the frame or barrel.
    Indeed she is a big girl but she sure is pretty.
    Thanks again for your assistance.
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    I had a Virginian Dragoon in .45 Colt a few years ago. Bought it in the late 80s and let it lay around pretty much unused for 20 years. I worked up some pretty intense handloads for it. "Blackhawk Only" class. The revolver never so much as flinched.

    Be advised, though...Even though Ruger is well aware of such ammunition and loading data that has been given the nod for their big revolvers...they're not on board with the practice and if you call them and ask...they'll tell you in a New York minute that they're not.

    As the wise man said: (paraphrased)

    "The pressures required to accelerate a 250-grain bullet to 1200 feet per second in five inches of barrel is more than sufficient to blow your eyeballs through the back of your head."

    Proceed with all due caution.
  6. Wannie

    Wannie New Member

    Any man who has an affinity for 1911s and collies is indeed a man to listen to.
    Looks like I'll start cooking up some Blackhawk loads.
    Thank you sir.
  7. DWFan

    DWFan Well-Known Member

  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Wannie...Start low and work up. The loads were okay in MY revolver. You'll probably find the best accuracy in the middle ground...and those are still plenty thumpy.
  9. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    You're absolutely correct.

    A standard .45 Colt load will shoot completely through any deer who ever lived.

    As for bullet drop, how far can you shoot accurately enough to put all 6 rounds into an 8-inch paper plate? Only when you can do that so far enough out that you have to hold over the plate, do you need higher velocity.
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    To touch on the velocity question.

    While a given bullet at a higher speed increases momentum and energy, the difference between 900 and 1200 fps doesn't mean much at 50 yards...my self-imposed maximum for taking a shot at a deer or bear. More velocity serves mainly to flatten trajectory. If you need more killing power, what you need is more bullet rather than more speed.
  11. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Well-Known Member

    And if you zero any .45 Colt load at 50 yards, you don't need to worry about trajectory out to your self-imposed limit.
  12. Wannie

    Wannie New Member

    Thank you gentlemen.
    Looks like I'm all set.

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