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Advice for Novice: 45 Colt Handgun Powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jimeast, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. jimeast

    jimeast Member

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    I'm new at shooting and reloading. I am range shooting a Ruger NV 45 Colt using a Keith 255g LSWC. I have tried moderate loads with IMR 4227 and HS-6. I'm not really happy with the HS-6 as a moderate load, due to the amount of greasy residue after 100 rounds. The IMR 4227 was less greasy, but left a lot of powder and dust everywhere. I'm considering the W-231 as the next one to try in a mild to moderate load.

    The local Cabelas has a fairly limited powder selection, so, I have been slowly working through the few that I have load data for. Any advice on the 231 would be appreciated. I plan on starting with a load close to the min (just a little higher than minimum) as suggested in several guides I have.
     
  2. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

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    Been loading 231 in 45 Colt for years. You can also use HP38..same powder.. I shoot Keith 255's and lately some custom mold 260 gr HP's. Both 231 and HP38 work fine. Another powder that is awesome is Herco by Alliant. That is, if you can find it. Work up to it, but I use 7 to 7.5 gr. The books say you can go with more, but more powder is honestly not needed. I use the same charge with all of the powders I mentioned.
     
  3. wiiawiwb

    wiiawiwb Member

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    I've had good success with HS-6 with non-moderate loads. I've also had good success with 700-X with moderate loads and it is usually available everywhere.
     
  4. il.bill

    il.bill Member

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    If you can find some, I have really come to like Hogdon's TRAILBOSS for fun shooting 'cowboy loads' using lead bullets in the larger revolver calibers. It is all I have used for reloading under LSWC and LRN in .45 Colt, .44 Magnum, and 41 Magnum for about the last year.

    It just feels good when it goes "pow", and the smoke adds to the SA Revolver shooting ambiance for me. It is quick and easy to charge the cases once you find the correct sized dipper and as a bonus for a beginner (or even a seasoned reloader) a 'double charge' is just about impossible.

    It is not made for full power magnum loads, but for light to moderate lead bullet loading it is tough to beat.
     
  5. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    +1 on Trail Boss.
     
  6. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have shot hundreds, if not thousands of pounds of 250 LRN, LSWC with 8.5 grains Unique. That usually gave me about 850 to 900 fps depending on the conditions. Unique is the quintessential 45 LC powder, having been used with great satisfaction in this cartridge since 1900.

    Back in 1993 I purchased a lot of Unique powder, and most of my data reflects that older version. I did go out and shoot the new stuff and it appears to be faster. I would start with 7.5 grains and work my way up with that stuff.

    I am frustrated with the inconsistency I get with Accurate Arms powders. I developed a load in a SAA with 10.5. grs AA#5 and it shot great and was about 825-850 fps. Well, with a different lot of AA#5, 10.5 grs was faster than I want. I don’t want 875 fps. AA#5 is a ball powder, shoots “cleaner” than Unique, though that does not make the slightest difference on paper or in clean up time.

    I though might be of interest is the Wolf primer data. Looks to be a mild primer.

    My loads are accurate enough to hit my 12 gong target each shot, standing, shooting one handed, at 50 yards. I don’t always hit each shot. I am very happy if I hit 5/6. The distance is within the range limitations of where I shoot.


    The 2400 load is the most powerful I have shot in my 45LC, accurate, powerful, uncomfortable. I don't recommend high doses of it, this would be the most powerful load you could shoot in the New Model Vaquero, and then, not very often.



    Code:
    [SIZE="3"][B]M25-7 Smith and Wesson 5" barrel[/B]
    
    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			
    				
    				
    255 LSWC (.452") 8.0  grs Unique lot 6/21/1993  mixed cases WLP (nickel) 
    23-Sep-07	T = 80 °F			
    				
    Ave Vel =	815.5			
    Std Dev =	28.74			
    ES =	77.48			
    High =	852.6			
    Low =	775.1			
    N =	12			
    				
    				
    250 LSWC (.452") 10.5 grs AA#5 lot 12599 mixed cases WLP (nickel) 
    				
    23-Sep-07	T = 80 °F			
    				
    Ave Vel =			911.8	
    Std Dev =			33.28	
    ES =			160.1	
    High =			949	
    Low =			842.9	
    N =			18	
    				
    				
    				
    				
    250 LSWC (.452") 10.5 grs AA#5 lot 12599 mixed cases Wolf NCLP 
    				
    23-Sep-07	T = 80 °F			
    				
    Ave Vel =	840.9			
    Std Dev =	16.67			
    ES =	47.31			
    High =	865.3			
    Low =	818			
    N =	12			
    
    [ATTACH=full]749841[/ATTACH][/SIZE]


    Code:
    [SIZE="3"][B]M625-9 Mountain Gun 4" Barrel[/B] 
    
    
    
    250 JHP 8.5 grs Unique thrown, W-W cases, WLP primers 
    18-Mar-07 T = 55 °F V, accurate 
    Ave Vel = 830 
    Std Dev = 30 
    ES= 103.5 
    High= 893.4 
    Low= 789.8 
    Number Shots= 12 
    
    
    250 Nosler JHP 17.5 grs 2400 thrown, Master cases, Fed150 primers 
    18-Mar-07 T = 55 °F V, accurate uncomfortable recoil 
    Ave Vel = 971 
    Std Dev = 25 
    ES= 69.47 
    High= 1003 
    Low= 933.5 
    Number Shots= 11 
    
    
    255 LSWC (.452") 8.0 grs Unique thrown, lot 6/21/1993Starline cases, WLP primers 
    25-Mar-07 T = 80 °F accurate 
    Ave Vel = 800 
    Std Dev = 30 
    ES 99.02 
    High 847.2 
    Low 748.1 
    Number Shots 11 
    
    
    250 LRN (.452")   8.0 grs Unique lot 6/21/1993 thrown, R-P cases, WLP primers
    25-Mar 07 T = 80°F accurate 
    Ave Vel = 814 
    Std Dev = 24 
    ES 72.81 
    High 847 
    Low 774.2 
    Number Shots 11 
    
    
    250 LRN (.454")   8.5 grs Unique thrown lot 5471, 4/3/06, R-P cases, WLP primers
    
    25-Mar-07 T = 80 °F accurate 
    Ave Vel = 891 
    Std Dev = 17 
    ES 61.31 
    High 921.1 
    Low 859.8 
    Number Shots 27 
    
    255 LSWC (.452") 8.0 grs Unique lot 6/21/1993 mixed cases WLP (nickel) 
    
    23-Sep-07 T = 82 °F 
    
    Ave Vel = 802.5 
    Std Dev = 31.03 
    ES = 123.5 
    High = 867.2 
    Low = 743.6 
    N = 12 
    
    250 LSWC (.452") 10.5 grs AA#5 lot 12599 mixed cases WLP (nickel) 
    
    23-Sep-07 T = 82 °F 
    
    Ave Vel = 875.1 
    Std Dev = 19.36 
    ES = 62.64 
    High = 905.7 
    Low = 843 
    N = 12 
    
    
    250 LSWC (.452") 10.5 grs AA#5 lot 12599 mixed cases Wolf NCLP 
    
    23-Sep-07 T = 82 °F 
    
    Ave Vel = 826.2 
    Std Dev = 20.14 
    ES = 63.38 
    High = 862.1 
    Low = 798.7 
    N = 12
    
    
    [ATTACH=full]749842[/ATTACH][/SIZE]
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    For a lot of years I used almost nothing but W231 in the .45 Colt, it's a very good choice IMO. There are at least a dozen good powders for the 45 Colt, maybe even more. Along with W231 I have tried Red Dot, Promo, Trail Boss, Unique, Bullseye, 2400, Universal, AA#5, HS-5, HS-6 and probably more I can't recall right now and all did well.

    You will hear to use Unique and that's because it's been around for about as long as the .45 Colt. It's a good choice but meters poorly.

    Trail Boss was made to replicate black powder loads and produces very light recoil ammo.

    Like I said, I used a lot if W231 until I tried HS-6 and now that's all I use but I do load up near the top of the pressure range. For lighter loads it's still W231.

    Just a note on soot, much of the soit is caused by the bullet lube, not the powder.

    Good luck with the 45 Colt.
     
  8. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

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    Hodgdon's Titegroup was made for small powder volumes in large capacity cases. It is very reliable for light to moderate loads in the .45 Colt...a very popular Cowboy Action Shooting powder.
     
  9. pittpa

    pittpa Member

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    I received a stern warning not to underload Trail Boss. That said, Unique worked better than TB in my gun. If you're near me, I have extra TB.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  10. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    If you are looking to load light, I would suggest faster burning powders.

    When a friend wanted to develop cowboy loads for his Henry Big Boy carbine in 45Colt using new Starline brass, I tested Bullseye, Red Dot/Promo, W231/HP-38, Herco using published "cowboy" load data along with 45Colt load data and all powders produced more accurate loads than Herco and we settled on W231/HP-38/Promo.

    Here's G&A reloading article on 45Colt with various powder loads including W231 - http://www.gunsandammo.com/reloading/reloading-the-45-colt/
     
  11. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I had a 45 Colt worked over by the late and famous Bob Munden. His recommended load that my revolver was tuned for utilized Titegroup.
     
  12. Don McDowell

    Don McDowell Member

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    Unique, bludot, and 231 are all the powders a 45 Colt ever needs.
    Except for when you want to see what the cartridge was really meant to do, and then you want 35 gr. of Olde Eynsford 2f.
     
  13. Dframe

    Dframe Member

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    For light "cowboy" plinking loads I can't think of a better powder than Trail Boss. It's not for heavy loads and my understanding is it should not be compressed but for general shooting where you're not trying to shatter windows and set the landscape on fire it's just great.
     
  14. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    One word: Unique
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    W-231, AA #5, Unique, Universal, True Blue. In no particular order.
     
  16. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Member

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    Blue dot has shown promise in my 45
     
  17. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    Here's the data from Brian Pearce's column on 45 Colt original duplication loads:

    Wt. Bullet Powder Manufacturer Powder Charge Velocity (FPS)

    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Alliant Red Dot 6.2 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Alliant Promo 6.4 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP IMR 700-X 6.4 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Alliant Bullseye 6.6 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Hodgdon Titegroup 6.2 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Alliant American Select 6.8 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Winchester AutoComp 9.0 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Accurate AAC-2 6.8 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Ramshot True Blue 8.8 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Hodgdon HS-6 11.5 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Winchester W-231 7.3 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Hodgdon HP-38 7.3 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Accurate AAC-5 10.3 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Hodgdon Universal 8.2 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Ramshot Competition 6.2 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Alliant Unique 8.0 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Alliant Power Pistol 8.1 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP IMR SR-4756 9.5 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Hodgdon CFE Pistol 8.4 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP IMR SR-7625 8.6 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP IMR PB 7.8 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Accurate Nitro 100 6.2 860
    Remarks:
    250 Oregon Trail Laser-Cast RNFP Ramshot Zip 7.2 860
    Remarks:

    Sorry about the poor formatting.

    I've used the Red Dot and 700-X loads ad nauseum and both work great, but we're I limited to one powder it'd be Unique for sure. Regarding Trail Boss keep in mind when you price it that you're only getting 9.oz., so you have to just about double the price.

    35W
     
  18. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    I've always used Unique for light/moderate SWC loads and 2400 for hunting loads in my Ruger Blackhawk.
     
  19. Jesse Heywood

    Jesse Heywood Member

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    I have a list of powders that I have loaded 255 gr. LSWC, which is probably as long as my list of powders that I haven't tried. My three favorites: 4227, 800-X & Autocomp.
     
  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I don't load .45 LC but 700X and W231 have worked for me in .44 Special and .44 WCF.
     
  21. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    As a follow-up to my above posts, like I said, when loading the 45 Colt on the light side I use W231/HP-38. Some shooters when looking for less recoil will load a lighter bullet too in addition to a lighter powder charge. You can, I just choose not to. I like to use a 250gr/255gr lead bullet.

    Depending on which revolver I'm loading, for my full power loads with W231 (not a hot Ruger only load) I charge between 7.0gr and 7.2gr W231 under a 250/255gr lead bullet.

    For lighter loads I have an accurate load using 6.5gr W231 under a 255gr LSWC bullet.

    It's a fun cartridge to load for and it's not that hard to fine can accurate load.
     
  22. jimeast

    jimeast Member

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    W-231 and Colt 45, 255gn LSWC

    As a follow-up. I picked up and tried the W-231. I used 7.2 grains with a 255gn Keith LSWC. Worked very nice and it seems to meter accurately in the Dillon 550b. I'll use this for a while. As an aside, the local Cabelas has had a pretty poor selection, but... When I went in the other day, the powder shelf was full of powders I have never seen in stock. Oh well, so far the W-231 seems like a good go-to range powder
     
  23. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    Some of the greasy residue you see will come from the lead bullet lubricant. That just comes with conventional lubricated cast bullets.
    If it still seems excessive after trying different powders give the newer coated bullets a try.

    Gary
     
  24. sellersm

    sellersm Member

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    Keep in mind that you can use HP-38 in place of the Win231. Same powder, same behavior/purposes.

    +1 to the recommendation of Trail Boss for light/fluff loads that will put a smile on your face!
     
  25. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    I don't W-231 in a large case like the 45 Colt.

    I have found 700X gives excellent results. I have burned many pounds of it in Cowboy Action Shooting.
     
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