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Enamored with .45 Colt

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by Nightcrawler, Jan 24, 2003.

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  1. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Since purchasing my S&W 25-5, I've been quite enamored with the .45 Colt round. Sure, it's expensive, and most of it is more anemic than I'd prefer (for the Cowboy shooters), and no factory makes the defense load I'd prefer (255-260grn JHP @ 950 FPS), but it's a great old cartridge.

    The 25-5 is really nice. Trigger and mechanism are as smooth as you could want. I might have it refinished...I know this may sound blasphemous, but I don't like blueing on a field gun, I really don't.

    In any case, it's not strong enough to REALLY take advantage of the .45 Colt round. It can't handle the hot stuff.

    For that, I need a Ruger Redhawk. 5.5" Stainless, of course. I'll want to replace the grips; I've handled Redhawks before and the grips just don't agree with me. Ruger puts EXCELLENT factory grips on the GP100 and Super Redhawk (they take the same grips, even, I think). Why don't they put one like that on the Redhawk? Who knows.

    Anyway, that'll give me two full sized field guns. I want a snubby. Taurus makes a really cool 5-shot .45 Colt snubby, which is on my list. To my knowledge, that's the only one.

    I wouldn't mind a 4" full sized gun. Nobody makes one anymore. I suppose I could have my 25-5 shortened, but I don't know if I'd have the heart.

    I think a big-bore .45 Colt snubby would be interesting. Maybe, take a Redhawk or something, shorten the barrel to 3", and then shorten the grip frame if possible. I've seen N-frame snubbies before, I just never thought I'd want one.

    Anybody else really like this old cartridge?
     
  2. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    My first .45 Colt was a 4 5/8" SAA Colt that I bought new in 1957. I returned it to the shop because the base pin kept jumping out on recoil. (IDIOT!!) Later, I owned a couple of Blackhawks, and really began to appreciate the cartridge when I started loading it. It, and the .44 Spec., are my favorite shooting rounds. I carry a .45 Colt MG or a 624 very often, and use the CorBon PD loads. Hotter, flashier "super" cartridges abound, but nothing quite compares to these two for shooting enjoyment across the full shooting spectrum.
     
  3. J Miller

    J Miller Member

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    My very first center fire revolver was an Iver Johnson Cattleman SA, .45 Colt. (Uberti Colt clone) That was many summers ago. Since then I have rarely been without at least one. Now I have four. A 4" 25-5 that I have had twenty years this year, an OM Ruger BH. A Winchester and a Rossi lever gun.
    I prefer Keith bullets in my SD loads, but Silvertips will do most anything I need.
    I have been looking at the Redhawks, I think they would be a great revolver to own. And maybe a new Colt clone.
    One can never have too many .45 colts.

    I don't believe the original .45 Colt load is anemic at all. By any standards it is a man stopper. Altho the conical bullet can be bettered by a Keith bullet, I wouldn't fear for myself if it were all I had to use.
     
  4. Frohickey

    Frohickey Member

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    Shortening the grip frame of the Ruger Redhawk will require some welding, and changes to the 'rocker arm' that houses the one lone spring for the hammer and trigger.

    What Ruger should do is take the Ruger SuperRedhawk, and have a 4 inch barrel put into that. Sure, it would look very strange with 1.5 inches of barrel followed by 2.5 inches of frame/barrel thread area, but it sure would be a beefy revolver.

    I've been reading a little bit more about big bore revolvers, 475Linebaugh, and the new 50S&WMagnum... those look like MONSTERS! At least, the 50S&WMagnum is still small compared to the 500 Linebaugh Long (Maximum)... not by much, but its still smaller.

    Carry a few of these around and you will have Popeye arms in no time. :D
     
  5. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Well, that's the thing. Nobody makes good old-fashioned .45 Colt defense loads. They're either light bullets (like Cor-Bon's 200 grainer) or they're really slow (Winchester Silvertips are 225grns @ 800fps....same as non +P .45 Auto, 'cept five grains lighter). I believe true old-school manstopper loads were 255grns @ 900+ feet per second.

    Nobody's making that, I dont' think. MOst of the plinking stuff is really lightly loaded CAS ammo, where you get like a 250 grain bullet at 750 feet per second, and stuff like that.
     
  6. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    I'm still working on a supply of Bull X 255 gr. SWC I bought in bulk a few years ago. Most go over 7.2 gr. of 231 (a tenth over Winchesters' max.) and are extremely accurate, with some punch. I also load a 185 gr. HP over 11.3 gr. of Unique - 1100 fps and 497 fp. This from a manual, and still below their max., for SAAs and clones. This is my "house load"...in case I am attacked by a house :uhoh:
     
  7. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Just for kicks, I emailed Buffalo Bore Ammunition about making a .45 Colt defense load that's 255-260 grains in the 900 to 950fps range. They're not afraid to make .45 Colt loadings that'll blow up an Uberti clone, so they seem to be the company that'd do it. Such a load would be safe in S&W 25s and such, as well as all Rugers.

    I doubt they'll make such a load just on my email, but it never hurts to ask.

    If anybody else is interested, drop 'em a line. Can't hurt!
     
  8. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    Possible, possible....Tim loaded a stock for Mike Fletcher, a stocking dealer in Tulsa, in a 255 gr. .44 Special. Excellent, but pricey:

    http://www.tulsagunroom.com/ammunition/buffalobore.htm

    .45 Colt, to a group who have already ponied up, might be workable, but I don't think the demand will ever see a steady stock.
     
  9. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Buffalo Bore now has that load offered on their website. Maybe it's in steady production, then?
     
  10. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    Must be - If Mike got a good enough reception, and the gang at Sixgunner.com jumped on it, it may have become a standard.

    Both cartridges have fallen by the wayside several times in the past. Currently, the CAS shooters are keeping them in production (even though we comment on the "wimpy" loads) and all but the PD loads are left to handloaders. If I was still able to hunt, I'd load my own hunting loads. As it is, I buy PD and load all my range ammo. Even though the cartridges are popular enough to support reloading component manufacture and sales, the reloading activity cuts down on variety in commercial ammo production. Catch 22.
     
  11. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    I'm probably strange, I guess. Most of the .45 Colt fans I've talked to are a good deal older than me. I'm 21 years old, you know.

    I just like things that are "different". I didn't get a .357 or a .44, I got a .45 Colt. Just like when I wanted a .45 Auto I didn't get a 1911 or a Glock or a Sig, I got a CZ-97B.

    Hopefully, I'm not the only one out there. With luck we can keep .45 Colt alive and kicking for ANOTHER 130 years, eh? :)
     
  12. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    One of the reasons I enjoy these forums is watching younger guys pick up an appreciation for the things us "Ingrained Old Farts" cherish. No firearm or cartridge will survive over time unless it has merit - still, some very good guns and loads have just "gone away" for lack of interest - old ones, and some more recent. If I can invest (or infect :uhoh: ) someone with my favorites, maybe I've left something good behind
     
  13. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    I don't think there's anything wrong with a 200grain JHP at 950 - 1,100fps range for defense. You have to have enough speed going to get reliable expansion, and that's not easy to do with a 250grainer and still not blow up a Uberti or something.

    Pro-Load's version uses a 230grain Gold Dot projectile (clearly meant for a 45ACP) pulling 900 from a 7" tube, probably about 825 from a 5". Sounds OK.
     
  14. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Buffalo Bore emailed me

    And these guys ROCK. Check this out:

    "Michael,

    Yes there is a good chance. We are working on a 255gr. at 1000FPS that will operate at the old black powder pressures so it will be safe in even SAA cheap clones. This is made possible with new powder technology. Don't ask when it will be ready. I have no idea.

    Tim"


    BOOYAH! :D
     
  15. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I got 'em here...

    got a coupla hundred 45 LC's loaded up

    255 Keith over 11.0 AA5. WLP's. Ruger ONLY loads, but on the lower end of their scale and just over the generic 45. About 1,000 fps. This was my deer load. Easy to shoot and accurate.

    Oh..... they're about $4.00 per 50
     
  16. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    An older Hornady manual has a load of 21.6 gr. of W296 under their 250 gr. JHP for 1000 fps. They tested it in a Colt SAA but said it was not a "steady diet" load. I'd rather shoot twice than loosen up my MG, so this new Buffalo Bore may just be the ticket.
     
  17. magyars4

    magyars4 Member

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    45 colt

    redneck2..
    thats almost the exact load I use as my general purpose..
    CCI 300 >>>AA#5 11.2 Gr...and a 255 swc.
    This load has proven very acurate in my Ruger BH, and my winnie Trapper....My hunting load is 250XTP backed by 11.9 gr Unique.
    45 colt round is a grat general purpose round...shot, buck, and ball, 185 up to 325 grn bullets...easy tp handload/taylor your rounds from snakes and small gameup to deer/black bear.
    everytrhing you need if you hunt in the eastern US.
     
  18. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    I did research on the M25. Experienced shooters told me that the gun would be able to handle "warm" loads (250grn @ 950fps) or so without trouble, and I believe them.

    If the gun, is in fact, unable to do so, then I'll have to put it up as a display item and not shoot it much. I like it too much to ever part with it, but if S&W guns are so frail as to be unable to handle even moderately poweful loads like that, then it's not really terribly useful to me.
     
  19. Walosi

    Walosi Member

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    I've read Linebaughs' comments on .45 Colt, in the 25, and while he is far more knowledgeable than I, his maximums are beyond those I've set for myself. He has the advantage of being a superior gunsmith, with more guns available - I have the one 625, and there are no more in sight, at least for the near future.
    As for the cases, the old balloon heads were heat/pressre formed from a brass cup. The rims were actually two thickness of folded brass, and already stressed just in formation. The modern .45 Colt case is as strong as the .44 Mag, in every respect, and in a strong revolver it will take as much as the Mag. In a Smith, it is a good, high-longevity reloaders' case. Rim size has never been a factor in my Smiths. I have never had the extractor star override a rim, except when the gun was held muzzle-down when the empties were ejected. That's backwards.
     
  20. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Well yeah, that's what I was talking about.

    The hunting stuff is Ruger/TC only. I know this.

    But what's wrong with hollowpoints? They have .45ACP hollow point rounds that supposedly expand at 800-950fps velocities.
     
  21. Slow

    Slow Member

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    Georgia Arms manufactures a 45 Colt 260JHP at 850fps from a 4.75 Blackhawk barrel. If you get 50fps /extra inch of barrel think 5.5 Redhawk of 6" Taurus (think hard :)
     
  22. bpisler

    bpisler Member

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    I just got my first 45 colt,a S&W 625-6 mountain gun and just love it,very accurate with my handload of 8.4gr unique with a 250gr LSWC.I carry silvertips in it for now but i'am looking for the new speer 240gr gold dot at 900fps.
     
  23. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Just another reason I like big-bore guns.

    :)
     
  24. WESHOOT2

    WESHOOT2 Member

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    HERE I AM

    But mostly I recommend the Winchester 225g Silvertip or the Cor-Bon 200g JHP.

    For some I suggest the Georgia Arms 260g.

    I (now) refuse to use 45 ACP bullets in my 45 Colt loads due to 'recoil-jump'.

    Speer discontinued (at least as a component) the 200g "Flying Ashtray"; this bullet already had a cannelure.
    Modern plated or bonded bullets don't respond well to adding an aftermarket cannelure.

    Although I got this 155g LSWC load.............and this 255g...........and this 325g...........weird, huh..............

    Ask me what I carry in my 45 :cool:
     
  25. J Miller

    J Miller Member

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    OK, so what do you carry in your .45 Colt??? :D
     
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