.45 Colt Blackhawk - 1st Range Trip

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Arkansas Paul

Mar 18, 2009
Central Arkansas
Hey all. Went to the range this morning for the first time with my new Blackhawk. Had some good groups and some not so good ones. Here are two of the best ones. I know they're not great by a good shooter's standards, but I have a ways to go shooting pistols. The 6 shot group was from 15 yards. It was a 250 grain Nosler JHP with 7.1 grains of Bullseye. The three shot group is the one I'm kind of proud of. It was twenty-five yards. They were Hornady cast 230 grain bullets with 6 grains of Trail Boss.
I have a ways to go before hunting season rolls around, but I'll be practicing and when November comes I'll be ready.


Nice shootin! Love the gun!

Blackhawk is definitely my next purchase.
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I use AA No 9 powder in my heavy .45 Colt loads for my Blackhawk.

With mine, and others I know who have one, these Blackhawks turn in the best groups when the load's at it's hottest. Enjoy it, it's just a real fun gun to shoot.
Oh, man, congrats, Paul.

Very sweet.

Dang, you guys gonna talk me into one of these yet.

How do you find the recoil so far? (Compared to what?)
You better believe it put a smile on my face.
Take the plunge Nematocyst, you'll not regret it. I'm wondering why I took so long to get one.
The recoil is mild with the Trail Boss, just a little sharper than my .40. With the 7.1 grains of Bullseye and the 250 grain bullet, it was noticably more. I don't have a lot to compare it to, being fairly inexperienced with handguns. I've shot .44 Magnums and it didn't quiet reach that level of recoil. It was a little sharper than a .357 mag I guess. I will say though, that I'll likely get a nice set of Houge grips that will absorb some of the recoil when I start amping up the loads for hunting a bit. The factory grips are fine with the light stuff, but after about twenty rounds with the heavier load, it was starting to get a little uncomfortable. Some leather shooters gloves may help that too.
Like I said, these groups were the best out of about eight. Overall, I was pleased with the accuracy. I've been debating on whether or not to scope it. I don't think I will. There's just something about the single actions that I love and scoping it would change everything. I feel confident that with practice, I'll be accurate enough to about 50 yards to deer hunt with it. I know there will be many rounds fired before I get there, and I'll experiment with different loads, but that's the fun part anyway.
Haven't had this long, but I have a feeling its going to become a favorite.
I got the 4 5/8 45 Colt convertible a while back, just got the .357 little brother with the 6.5" today. Nice shooting. I'm running Red Dot under 250 gr lrnfp for general purpose with the .45. Have also loaded some lighter loads with 200 gr swc and some buffalo loads with 2400 and 4227 and 300-340 gr lead.
Yeah, I'm gonna try the 2400 when I start working up a hunting load. I've heard it's the cat's meow for full throttle loads. I've heard it's a little dirty, but that doesn't matter to me. I'll be cleaning it after each range trip anyway.
I love my 45 colt blackhawk. The first thing I did was get rid of the black grips that came with it. They were very rough and horribly uncomfortable. Blackhawks look best with a nice wood, so I put cocobolo grips on mine.
Yeah, I'm gonna try the 2400 when I start working up a hunting load. I've heard it's the cat's meow for full throttle loads. I've heard it's a little dirty, but that doesn't matter to me. I'll be cleaning it after each range trip anyway.

2400 and lead bullets in hot loads is the perfect match, without doubt. You also dont have the tight loading window you get with h110 or w296.
I did notice that with the H110, that you don't have much of a window. I didn't like that. I generally like to load as close to the middle as I can get.
I used 2400 first, then a guy said to look at 4227. I like it better for the REAL HEAVY loads. The '92 Rossi Puma is a nice companion. I've got a 340 gr Beartooth lfn gas check running at 1,290 fps. WOW. I have not shot them out of the Ruger yet.

Gotta post thees guys again

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Way to go Paul! You're doing good.

I picked up a .357 convertible a few days before you got your .45 and I love it. I like loading for it so much that I tore down my turret setup so I can do it single stage. It lasts longer that way. :rolleyes:

Revolvers are so cool.


All I've got is single stage. We've got two Rockchuckers so we don't have to switch dies around so much. Not being familiar with the round, I measured every charge. It took a while, but that's okay.
We are considering a progressive though. Myself, my dad and brother all shoot .40, so we go through quite a bit.
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I'm thinking about getting a Blackhawk in 45 colt. I was looking to the 4.5" or so inch barrel since I already have a 7.5" 44 mag. I doubt I'd load it to top levels. I may be loading a some 45 colt ammo for a guy, so I may as well get one.
I'm thinking .357 in the 4 5/8" or 5 1/2" next. I like all the Blackhawks except the .30 carbine. That's a useless round IMO. Don't flame me. I said IMO. You're entitled to yours.
It'll be a while before I can buy another though. Several months probably, so I may change my mind before then. Most of the time I say I want something and by the time I have the funds to do it, it's changed two or three times. The .45 was different though. I bought a deer rifle in April '09 and said I was getting a single action Ruger to hunt with next, and it never changed. Went ten months and stayed the same. Maybe this time it will too.
How do you find the recoil so far? (Compared to what?)

I don't have the .45 Blackhawk, but I have a .41 Magnum. The recoil is just different than in a DA revolver. The plow-handles let the gun roll more than the usual DA grips. You get less of the straight-back palm slapping drive and more of a rolling, upward/rearward thrust.

The oddest thing is the trigger/hammer lock time. Dryfiring, you can feel the inertia of the hammer being released when the seer breaks and the impact of the hammer hitting the transfer bar. It's a different feel.

But, it's a fun gun. I'm loading up some plinkers this morning to work on my trigger control today.

I have 117,000 rounds through a Hornady LnL. Factory rebuilt the ram at around 85,000 because the threads holding the shell plate weren't holding.

The powder measure on the LnL is accurate enough for all but the most discerning benchrest shooter with all powders I've used. Not trying to start any Blue/Red debate, just noting that I get 200-300 per hour and caliber changes are done in a few minutes.
Some tips and tricks for your 45 Colt Ruger

I got a 2005 Bisley stainless 5 1/2" Convertible last October. It shoots ok but I feel it can do better. I measured the throats on the cylinder (only came with the 45 ACP...thank god 'cause Ruger won't sell you an ACP cylinder!) and they are .449" for 3 and .448" for the other 3 throats. I measured my friends Bisley from 2000 and his were dead on at .452". And his shoots great! I have read about them being oversized....but not about them being too tight. My cylinder is getting throated to .452"...can't wait for it to get back! I have over a dozen different loads to test! I got my cylinder back from Mr. Clements on Saturday! Best $66 I ever spent! Here is his site: http://www.clementscustomguns.com/miscconversionoptions.html Put that sucker in and on Sunday I tested it out with about 6 different handloads. This is a 45 ACP cylinder...the throats now measure a true .452 on ALL six holes! I shot it on a 10 yd target...only distance we had one set up....ONE RAGGED HOLE! The difference between the loads was not too much...I have to do further testing in a more calm environment..had a guy shooting some full auto 223 next to me! Was hitting coconuts at 60 yds consistently! Oh, I also installed a Belt Mountain base pin in the gun and there is hardly any play in the cylinder. You can see it in the photo. I just have to fit a 45 Colt cylinder, free spin pawl, throat the barrel and recrown it...probably don't need the last two done, but might as well. Polishing the throat will reduce lead build up. The gun shoots jacketed spot on too! Jacketed bullets fall right thru the cylinder and I was wondering how they would shoot....just fine thank you! Gonna stick with lead only....... I changed the grips from the Hogues in the photo, got a set of the Ruger laminated grips, I like them better! You also might want to install a Belt Mountain Base pin..tightens up the cylinder nicely. I also put in the Wolf spring kit with the 40 oz trigger spring and the 19 lb hammer spring. They also have a kit with 3 hammersprings; 17, 18, 19 lb hammer springs. It also contains an extra power base pin latch spring. Polish the spring strut top and bottom before you put in the new spring. You can get all the parts from Midway, they have the best price. A good read on handloads: http://www.customsixguns.com/writings/dissolving_the_myth.htm SSBisley45Colt45ACP.gif
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Powder and power notes....

296 and H110 are great powders but they cause a lot of erosion. AA#9 is a good choice for HOT loads. But the nice thing about the 45 Colt is you don't need to go that hot....it has a lot of killing power from that fat heavy bullet. Unique is a good powder for mid power loads, good power at moderate pressure. I have a friend that uses carbine loads in his 45 Colt Ruger.....I won't go that far, I love my gun too much to beat it up. If you really want to run hot loads, send your gun to a smith to build a custom, tight chambered cylinder for hot.......oversize or 5 shot for higher power levels! Spend and evening and Google 'Ruger 45 Colt' and you will see and learn a lot.
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