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.45 Colt here I come....

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by MacTech, Feb 7, 2010.

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  1. MacTech

    MacTech Member

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    I finally took my first big step towards shooting .45 Colt in my Ruger New Blackhawk convertible...

    I just loaded up a dozen rounds of .45 Colt
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    On the way home from the range this afternoon, I stopped off at the gunshop and picked up a bag of 100 Winchester .45 Colt brass cases, and a pound of IMR Trail Boss powder, got home, broke out my .45 Colt Lee Loader, and worked up a dozen rounds, one batch of 5.5Gr TB under a 200Gr LSWC, another batch of 6.5Gr TB under a 200Gr LSWC

    Next week, assuming the weather cooperates, I'll be touching off my first dozen .45 Colt rounds :)

    There's just something ....right.... about .45 Colt, it just feels right to me, I can see myself shooting a lot more .45 Colt than .45ACP now, big, powerful, slow, hulking rounds, gotta' love 'em, no matter the delivery vehicle...
     
  2. jmortimer

    jmortimer Member

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    .45 Colt - got to love it.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Beautiful grips MacTech.
     
  4. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    Holy crap those are beautiful grips. Who made them, where'd you get them? More details!

    And, a range report would be good, too :D
     
  5. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    A word of warning...

    Single action revolvers in general can become addictive...and Blackhawks in particular.
    When you get your hands on a 4.625 inch model and get a feel for the heft and balance...you might as well go ahead and hit the ol' savings account, 'cause you won't be able to sleep until you make one your own.

    Oh! Yes. It's madness, I tell ya.

    Oh yeah. A suggestion. For .45 Colt...Try a 250-grain cast SWC and 9 grains of Unique. Power aplenty...easy shootin' and wicked accurate.
     
  6. MacTech

    MacTech Member

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    Walkalong and Eightball, thanks for the compliment, I purchased the gun used, and it came with these grips (and the factory Ruger grips as well), I have no idea what kind of wood they are, or who made them, there's no identifying codes on the inside of the grips

    they are great looking pieces of wood though, at times I think they're *too* nice, and I contemplate putting the stock Ruger grips back on when I go out shooting so as not to "mess up" the nice grips, but these grips are much smoother and more palm filling....
     
  7. MagnumDweeb

    MagnumDweeb Member

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    I love Ruger SA revolvers, I love that gun. When I take the .45 LC plung it'll be when I can order a thousand rounds, get the 45 LC/ACP convertible and the Ruger Redhawk .45 LC 5.5". Cause when I do I'll probably hang up all other calibers but .357 magnum and 10mm for SD and blast .45 LC for my target shooting thrills. Again great gun, great buy, enjoy.
     
  8. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    I've been shooting that same model for about 25 years and love it. The 45 Colt is my favorite big bore cartridge.

    1911Tuner is right, that 250 gr. bullet over 9 grs of Unique is accurate with mild recoil. I believe John Taffin favors that load for his Blackhawk as well. (Actually, my bullets are 255 gr cast from wheel weights from a Lee mold, but what's 5 grains among friends.)

    I like the caliber so much I picked up a used new model Vaquero. It's not as strong as the Blackhawk but it has more of that Colt SAA feel and is a pleasure to shoot. It's stainless and I load black powder cartidges for it sometimes. It was cheaper and more convenient than getting a conversion cylinder for the Ruger Old Army cap and ball. About 25 gr of FFFG black powder, a home made lubed felt wad and the same 255 gr bullet. I've only fired that round out to 25 yards but it is sweet and accurate. You have to clean the BP cases. I just use hot soapy water, a nylon bore brush and a hot water rinse. It's a little extra effort but worth it for the fun.

    WARNING!! These single action revolvers are highly addictive. I have ten of them. Being strong willed I can stop any time I want. (Until the next one. That limited run of Blackhawks in 44 special beckons from time to time.)

    Enjoy.

    Jeff
     
  9. AStone

    AStone Member

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    "Hello, my name is Nem, and I think I may be
    developing an addiction to .45 Colt." :uhoh:

    "Hello, Nem."
     
  10. Stainz

    Stainz Member

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    Oh, are you in trouble now! Once upon a time, I bought a .45 BH convertible... to shoot up my .45 ACP cache after my G21's sale 11.5 yr ago. Then, like you, I had to try the .45 Colt cylinder - and some cheap 'Cowboy' loads. Big oops. More .45 Colts to follow - including my first S&W, a new 625MG from my wife. By 11/02, I had >2,700 .45 Colt empty cases in bags under my bench. The guys at the range store conned me... I ordered a Dillon 550B, never having touched a reloading press. Another infectious hobby. All the fault of that BH .45 Colt convertible.

    Stainz
     
  11. Hastings

    Hastings Member

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    45colt is as infectious as H1N1, but much more fun. I shot my first 45colt a few years ago. I decided, almost immediately, that it would be my main cartridge. In the two-three years since, I have gotten rid of all of my magnum cartridge handguns and now stick with 45colt, 45acp, 44spec, 38spec, and 22lr. Once you get a taste of the big, slow moving slug (by slow I mean under 1,100 fps) you kinda loose sight of why the muzzle blast and heavy recoil is necessary. At least I did.
     
  12. dan3

    dan3 Member

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    MacTech - Great photos!! The Ruger .45 colts are fantastic handguns... I currently have a 5 1/2" Bisley Vaquero (blued/casehard) and a couple of stainless 5 1/2" Bisley Blackhawk convertibles. Love 'em -- I'm using 325 gr & 260 gr lead boolits. Plan to try out the .45 acp cylinders soon. The .45 colt cartridge is extremely versatile - can use on Bunnies or Bradley fighting vehicles.
     
  13. bassclef

    bassclef Member

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    if only i had bought a ruger and not a heritage :(
     
  14. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I love my Blackhawk in .45colt

    The nickel cases are Starline brass with a 300gr LTC Missouri Bullet over 18.0gr Alliant 2400 with a Win LPP. The regular brass cases are a 255gr Missouri Bullet SWC(cowboy action, BHN of 12) over 6gr IMR 700x and a CCI LPP. Both loads are incredibly accurate, probably due in large part to the gun.

    012.jpg

    009.jpg
     
  15. AStone

    AStone Member

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    Stainz, is that because those are not present with .45 Colt,
    or that they're there but you are more willing to deal with it?
     
  16. MacTech

    MacTech Member

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    Tonight I loaded up another dozen rounds, the "maximum" loads published on Hornady/Winchester/IMR's load page, 7Gn TB under a 200Gn LSWC

    It looks like the loads on the IMR website are reduced-power "cowboy" loads, as I've read elswhere that the standard load range is 6-7Gn, and that since TB is a low pressure powder, it's difficult to get a double charge in the case, full to the rim, a .45LC case holds 11.5ish Gn of TB, and 30 Gn of W231 (at 5Gn loading, that would be a *sextuple* charge -6X- normal :eek::what: )

    I've color-coded the cartridges, sharpie on the primer, Green - 5.5Gn, Red - 6.5Gn, black - 7.0Gn
     
  17. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Let me apply a caveat to this discussion lest anyone feel like the "Ruger Only" data in the manuals includes the New Vaqueros. It doesn't. While the above data is probably a safe maximum for an original Vaquero or a NM Blackhawk...the New Vaqueros aren't as strong. Those should be limited to SAAMI standard ammunition. You can fudge a little...but not much...and only for those needful moments. Be careful.

    That said...There's a very good reason that the .45 Colt is still hangin' in there after nearly 140 years. It's a great old cartridge, and it promises to be with us for a good many years to come.
     
  18. Guy de Loimbard

    Guy de Loimbard Member

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    You will like the .45 Colt. It can do everything you want it to do, and then some. My favorite load is a 255 SWC over 14.5 AA#7. This is in the "Ruger Only" load section, but only by a smidgen (20,000 CUP according to the Accurate #2 manual). It's accurate and lets you know you are shooting something with a bit more oomph than a cowboy load.
     
  19. MacTech

    MacTech Member

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    One thing I'm really looking forward to is using the Blackhawk as an "Ambassador to the Big Bores" or "Intro To Big Bores" gun for novice shooters...

    I forsee it this way, I go to my range with a newbie (in my mind it's an attractive female who just so happens to find shooting sports enthusiasts irresistible ;) ) and start them off on .22's, a .22 revolver, .22 semiauto pistol, .22 bolt, and .22 semi, once they're comfortable with the .22, I ask them if they want to try a bigger gun....

    When they say "yes", out comes the Blackhawk with the .45LC and ACP cylinders, LC cylinder fitted, their eyes bug out when they see the Blackhawk's 7.5" barrel, and the cavernous holes in the muzzle and the cylinder, then I bring out some ACP and LC loads, I hand them a LC cartridge...

    Their jaw drops, stunned, "Oh I couldn't *possibly* shoot that, it's far too big!"

    "Go on, give it a try, you'll like it, I guarantee it, just one round if you're nervous"
    (the round in question is a "powderpuff" 'Cowboy' .45LC cartridge)

    They load it up, and nervously touch it off....

    ....and end up with a *HUGE* grin on their face
    "Whoa, that was *FUN!*"
    "want to try it again?"
    "Please... :D"

    It'd get them to not judge a cartridge by it's appearance, just because a gun is physically large and imposing in appearance, it doesn't neccesarily mean it has a wrist-breaking recoil, and who knows, they may end up wanting to try some more powerful loads just to see what they're like
     
  20. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

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    Looks like the makin's of another THR club...:p

    The 45 Colt is about as good as it gets. Accurate, plenty of horsepower and fun to shoot. It reloads easily and is very versatile. I shoot everything from 147 grain Round ball load to 320 grain WFN Buck-busters in mine. Hard to beat the original 255 grain 900 fps load though...

    Easy to reload for, not finicky about powders - my favorite is SR4756 as it fills the case nicely, produces good velocity, is accurate and burns pretty clean. The aforementioned Unique load is a classic too.

    [​IMG]
    A cyclinder's worth at 25 yards, two hands, unsupported, Ruger New Vaquero
     
  21. kanook

    kanook Member

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    The first step to recovering is admitting you have a problem, I have a 45 LC problem.
     
  22. 19-3Ben

    19-3Ben Member

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    What about the Redhawk?
     
  23. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Thanks 1911Tuner, I usually put a disclaimer on that kind of load data, I forgot on that one. My aplogies. That is very much near max for the gun. I have actually worked all the way to 19.5gr. Thats he point it gets too hairy. I load all my "Ruger only" loads at the above charge of 18gr. These should be carefully approached though, even in a Blackhawk, just for safety's sake.

    I know the redhawk is more than capable of over SAAMI spec pressures, I am not sure of those. Thats in the neighborhood of 30K.
     
  24. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    I've got a lever action rifle ,a Trapper carbine, A 7 1/2'', 4 1/4'',and two consecutive 5 1/2'' Colt clones, and two 1875 Remmies, ALL in .45 Colt....
    and a pretty much matching .357 collection.
     
  25. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    I long came to the conclusion there is no real need for "Ruger Only" loads. A standard .45 Colt load will do about anything you need to do with a revolver.

    Yes, I do shoot some "Ruger Only" loads, but not that many. And I always gavitate back to standard loads.
     
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