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Factory bullets for .45 Colt rifles

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TTv2, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I've made up a list of my preferred bullets for different calibers I load for and most of my calibers have a few or half a dozen, then when I get to .45 I've got about 12 different options for bullets because I have some .45's that can only shoot lead, one that can only shoot plated/jacketed, and then a Ruger Redhawk that able to shoot anything from starting .45 Schofield loads to knocking on .454's backdoor.

    I've got at the top of my list a Rossi or Henry .45 Colt rifle with the intention to shoot ammunition loaded above 14k PSI. As such, my loads that use Berry's bullets would probably exceed the 1250 fps velocity that Berry's says never to exceed (also I can't roll crimp those bullets and I don't like the idea of ammunition in a tubular magazine that isn't roll crimped) and I feel the Speed lead bullets would lead the bore worse than in any of my handguns.

    So, I looked at options and immediately Hornady comes to mind with their XTP and FTX bullets. Couldn't shoot them much due to the price tho. Something cheaper would be the Missouri 255gr that's cast at 18BHN, but IDK if that's hard enough to withstand 1500 fps from a rifle.

    Reloaders who are shooting hot .45 Colt from a rifle, what bullets are you using? I don't want to hear about what you're casting, I don't cast, strictly looking at what factory bullets I should consider buying that can hold up to the pressures and velocities of hot .45 Colt.
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I used to use plated bullets with a taper crimp in .45 Colt, but have switched over to coated lead with a roll crimp. Mine are Missouri Bullet brand, but any good coated 250 gr bullet will do. They will work just fine for midrange or even "Ruger Only" .45 Colt.
     
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  3. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    Agree with Walkalong. MBC has (will again post COVID) a great selection of Hi-Tek coated 45 Colt bullets for about 8 cents per bullet.

    They come out of my Model 92 with 20” barrel at more than 1500 fps.
     
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  4. Frulk

    Frulk Member

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    My local caster has told me he's received feedback that some of his powder coated bullets go 1,900 FPS without seeing signs of leading. 97%Lead/3 Antimony mix. I've ordered 2,000 PC bullets from him I plan to shoot between 1750-1950 FPS once I determine where I find them to be accurate.

    I plan to eventually go the powder coated route for all calibers I shoot in rifles....327/357/44 Mag/45 Colt.
     
  5. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    ^^^^^^^^
    What he said. I do the same with Acme bullets in my Henry.
     
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  6. kelbro

    kelbro Member

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    I've only shot the Hornadys at those speeds. De-leading my 1894 is not on my list of fun things to do. My .45 is mainly used to dispatch those horned garden raiders and the XTPs drops them on the spot so I don't have to track 'em.
     
  7. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I don't cast, either, so I'm at the mercy of what I can find commercially. I have loaded cast bullets for .45 Carbines for about 25 years... and am a big shooter of .41MAG cast bullets in my Marlin 1894. I get higher speeds out of the 20" Marlin barrel, obviously, and really don't have problems with most cast bullets. My standard load is the generic 215grn cast SWC bevel-base bullet over a charge of IMR4227 at 1500fps. I fired 800 of those over a weekend, once, without leading problems. Yes, the bore was dirty... but my accuracy didn't deteriorate going through the weekend. I have gone as high as 1700fps (same bullet over 2400 or W296) just for experimentation purposes, and it all works. I'm lucky, however... the .41MAG is a .410" bullet across the board, it doesn't have the ambiguity of either the .44 or .45 Colt, and the odd bore sizes seen between firearms, so you might have to try different sized bullets before you can get accuracy AND a clean bore... bullet size is paramount.

    I have loaded .45 Colt for my brother's Winchester trapper... same-same, using commercially cast bullets. I don't run them as fast as my .41, of course.
     
  8. Project355

    Project355 Member

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    Almost any plated or jacketed pistol bullet will do. I've just got done loading a decent quantity of Speer Deep Curl type .45 bullets for the Winchester 92. I'd be shootin' em too if my firing pin didn't break.... Those are loaded to "Ruger and T/C Contender Only" pressures, which should result in 1700+ FPS from the '92.

    Issues to wonder about with handgun bullets at "rifle" velocity .... not so much the bullet flying apart from overspin as can happen with some light rifle bullets, but what will the terminal effect be? At some point, lightly constructed bullets will fail to penetrate, and disintegrate on impact instead. Not good for hunting larger animals, perhaps ok for pest critters like raiding raccoons and such. So, without detail of any sort, its only safe to say that if you will be pushing the gas pedal of velocity, use a more heavily constructed bullet. It makes me wonder what lighter weight FMJ bullet would do at say... 2000FPS. I can only imagine that it will behave very differently than it would have at 950FPS.
     
  9. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I've no problem shooting a jacketed bullet, the issue is price. I can swing 15 cents for the 255gr Missouri bullets, but 30 cents for a Hornady or Speer jacketed bullet gets expensive quick and that's for the non magnum bullets, if I use the magnum ones it goes up to near half a buck for a bullet.
     
  10. Wingnutt

    Wingnutt Member

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    I've had good luck with coated bullets from T&B bullets out of Oregon. I've loaded about 400 of his 250gr RNFP so far and have some 300gr TC bullets on the way. Can't beat his pricing, listed prices include tax and shipping so no surprises at checkout. If your wanting to load for high pressure and accuracy, "hunting loads", you cant go wrong with gas checked bullets from Montana Bullet Works. They're pricier but you get what you pay for. My Henry X will shoot cloverleaf's at 50yd with the 335gr WFN-GC
     
  11. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    As long as they are correct size for your bore... yes. Most commercial cast bullets, including Montana as Wingnutt mentioned, are in the 18BHN range... and work fine at higher velocity, even without a gas check. I prefer gas checks at velocity over 1500, but I'm also a cheapskate and don't always spring for the high dollar bullets.
     
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  12. Project355

    Project355 Member

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    I had a good long look at Berry's website.... and their MAX velocity. It confuses me a bit. .458 bullet "for rifle" at close to 2000fps, 44mag up there at 1750fps (by memory), and the lowly 45 Colt at 1250fps. I'm wondering just what the changes in plating are between all those, and how one separates and others don't. They do warn against core separation and poor accuracy if "MAX" is exceeded. It might be worth a call to see what's up. In other words, did they test the 45 Colt in a handgun, but the .44 mag in a rifle (as there are quite a few 44mag rifles around). Or did they just beef up the .44's and .458's and didn't think it was worth doing on the .45Colt (or 45acp for that matter).
     
  13. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I think the speed rating on plated bullets has to do with the thickness of the plating. There are some plated handgun bullets that are rated for higher speeds, and some that arent.
     
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  14. Project355

    Project355 Member

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    I don't have a BHN tester, but just use a little pocket Philips screwdriver or some other handy poker to compare A and B. Happy to report that the Meister Bullets I got for 45acp are every bit as "seat of the pants" tested, as compared to the Missouri Bullets I got for 45Colt, which were supposed to be 18BHN.

    On the other hand, when bullets go heavy by more than a little... I suspect that things are not quite as hard as they are advertised, having more lead and less tin/antimony. The Meister Bullets 170g weighed in darn near 180. Missouri 255g Keith was up around 262ish. Thought maybe it was my Redding, but the Hornady and RCBS came in only a few 1/10ths off at that range.
     
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