Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Handloading the .45 Colt

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Arkansas Paul, Mar 2, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Hey guys. I'm about to start loading for my .45 Colt I just got. The bulk of my experience is with rifle loads. Is there anything I need to know about the .45 Colt?
    I've got new Winchester brass, Trail Boss, and 250 grain Nosler jacketed hollow points. I'll be getting some lead bullets as soon as I can get to the store. It's a ways away, so I'll start with these. I did notice messing around with them the other day that the bullets go in the cases very easy. They're .451 and say .45 Colt on the box. I'm assuming that the seating die will take care of that.
    I've got a pound of H110 but I'm going to crawl before I walk and get used to loading for it before I step up to the full throttle loads. Right now it'll be Trail Boss and target loads.
    I know this is basic stuff for most of ya'll, but I'd appreciate your input and advice. Thanks.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    After sizing, the bullets should not fit in the case by hand at all, period.

    After neck expanding and belling, they should only just start in far enough to center them straight.

    The seating/crimping die will not fix loose neck tension, so you need to sort that out.

    I'm not seeing any Trail Boss data at Hodgdon for jacketed bullets in .45 Colt either.

    A Nosler 250 JHP will have a lot of friction in the bore, so don't mess around with really light loads of Trail Boss intended for lead grease lubed bullets.

    You could shoot your eye out with a stuck bullet!

    rc
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  3. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    It's new brass. I'll run them through the sizing die before I try to load anything. I'm sure that'll fix that. I will make sure everything is lined out before I start doing it. I will also search for load data on jacketed bullets and will not load any if I don't find it.
     
  4. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,193
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    Glad to see you making this step. I followed you picking out your .45 colt all the way through now. Good choices so far. Trailboss probably isnt the best choice with the bullets you are using. You should definately check out Missouri Bullet for some lead bullets in your 45 colt.

    I am currently using the Missouri Bullet 255gr LSWC at a brinnel 12, this is the "Cowboy" bullet for action shooting. I load it over 5.9 gr IMR 700x. I also have used bullseye from time to time for those.

    I think that you should try some Alliant 2400 too. I have experimented with a couple powders now, but I think that 2400 has been my best full throttle powder for .45 colt. ***Warning! The following load data is in excess of SAAMI specs and is dangerous to use in any firearms other than mine, as is proven***. I am using Missouri Bullets 300 LTC or Silhoutte bullet at a BHN of 18. This bullet is loaded in Starline Cases with a Win LPP over 18.5gr of Alliant 2400. This is actually not in excess of some published data for Ruger/Contender loads. Its a hoot to shoot, and will really wake you up, or anyone near you when you let er rip.
     
  5. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    ljnowell, you have been a regular fixture in my quest, and I appreciate your informed input. Too many times you get a lot of people who know absolutely nothing trying to give advice. It's good to have people like you and rcmodel, who know what they're talking about and are willing to help. Thanks a lot.
    I am currently looking at some lead bullets. I just got off Missouri Bullet's website. Will be making an order soon. I will definately try the 2400 as well, as you are not the first I've heard talk good about it.
    Any other advice or recipies would be appreciated.
     
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    268
    I may have missed it but I didn't see what type gun (platform) you bought the 45 Colt in. If it is not a strong Ruger (there are a few others too) don't get the wrong load data with the wrong type gun. To my recollection H110 is for the heavy bullets such as the 300 gr and for the really strong platforms. Sorry if you already know this but I just don't want to see you post you blew the thing up on its maiden voyage.:)
     
  7. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Nomad, it is a Ruger New Model Blackhawk. 7.5"
    No problem. Thanks for the concern.
     
  8. Leaky Waders

    Leaky Waders Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Messages:
    828
    Location:
    Content listed as posted by me may have been edite
    Hi,

    I've only reloaded about 600 45 long colt rounds so far. I've learned alot from these forums and the speer manuals 13 and 14. In the front of the manual there is a section on cowboy action shooting (I'm not a SASS player but am a cowboy at heart). The cowboy section has some good information concerning bullet and gun measurements as well as powder choices.

    For recipes I'm using the speer manuals, hodgdon cowboy action data 5th edition (a free pamphlet from our local gun store), and hodgdon 2009 annual manual (it looks like a magazine and i'm always questing for it because my wife throws it in a pile with other magazines...) as well as data from the hodgdon site.

    I'v recently ordered 3000 bullets from missouri bullet company and another 1000 pieces of starline brass.

    Some internet threads that I found useful:

    http://rugerforum.net/reloading/18174-reloading-45-long-colt.html

    http://www.reloadammo.com/45cload.htm

    http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

    In one of the reloading guides discussing trail boss it states "Trail boss was designed specifically for low velocity lead bullets..."

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,193
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    My favorite
    [​IMG]
     
  10. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,299
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    Yaay to the 45 Colt. I have been doing the same thing for about a year. I started with a set of 45 ACP dies and 230 gr FMJ bullets but now use the proper dies and mostly lead bullets as they are more accurate in my pistol. I will put in my vote for the Trail Boss when using lead bullets. My favorite pastime is shooting at a target with the sun to my back and low in the sky. When the bullet is fired you can see it travel to the target and hit it most times with the slow speed of TB.:D I like the slowness of it and don't need that full house load for the practice I do but do load some in the upper area for hunting rounds. As mentioned above the TB is made for lead bullets so that's what I use it for. Also use it in my 45-70, and that's a hoot let me tell you.:D
     
  11. Nomad

    Nomad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    268
    Glad to hear you have a Ruger. When the time comes to try other powders I have had good success with Unique and 2400. It is an awesome round. Enjoy!
     
  12. Uncle Chan

    Uncle Chan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    326
    [​IMG]

    Great choice. I've loaded 10 of thousands of 45LC. My favorite round. I usually load a 250 or 200 Oregon Trail LRNFP over some Clays or Titegroup.

    These are my babies....
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2010
  13. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Test run on this pic. She's a carbon copy of ljnowell's.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  14. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,193
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    She sure is purty! Always been a sucker for a SA.
     
  15. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    I'm thinking some stag grips would really set her off.
     
  16. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,061
    Location:
    S.E. Minnesota
    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

    16.5 grains of Blue Dot is a good "Ruger" load in .45 Colt with 250 or 255 grain cast bullets. It should be just as good with j-bullets of the same weight. And I don't normally like Blue Dot because I never found a good load for it in .357 Magnum.

    Red Dot and Herco are also good powders for this cartridge -- and Unique, of course.
     
  17. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,193
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of IL
  18. RugerBob

    RugerBob Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    southern maine
    +1 to Unique powder. I have a 7 1/2" BH and 2- 7 1/2" Vaqueros. 1- 5 1/2". I have tried trail boss at 5.2 and lower and was ok for both models. (Vaquero and New model Black Hawk). Grain for grain and dollar for dollar there is no difference. Maybe 50 cents over all. I cast my own 255gr RNFP. Tried others at lower weight, but like 255. Sized brass gives me shavings of lead sized at .452. Belled they just slightly accept. A OK there. I don't over bell as it'll weaken neck. I am sure you now this...and I do not mean to say that you don't. 8 grains Unique is nice for the Blackhawk w/250/255gr. For my Vaqueros to. But I usually use 7.0 Unique for SASS shoots. They work both for rifle and hg for that purpose. Some will say Unique is dirtier. I believe it is, but since I clean after every range trip, whats it matter. Just my 2 cents. Bob
     
  19. RugerBob

    RugerBob Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    southern maine
    Seen some pics. Nice. Thought I would try. Both rugers. BH and Vaquero. 7 1/2"
    [​IMG]
     
  20. CoastiesDad

    CoastiesDad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
    8.0 Unique, Winchester brass and LP primers, Missouri Bullet's Cowboy no 1's, works nicely in my Vaquero (old style).
     
  21. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,193
    Location:
    The Peoples Republic of IL
    RugerBob, thats a nice pair of SA's you have there. Gotta love them.
     
  22. Scrapperz

    Scrapperz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    124
    I use WLP, 6.3 gn of Unique under 255gn .454 Lead in a 460 XVR 8" for plinking and they sure are fun.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2010
  23. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,082
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    8.5 Unique / 250 - 255 grain Keith LSWC is a favorite of mine in Colt SAA's, and Rugers.

    It just about duplicates the orginial black powder load in a 7 1/2" barrel.
    Real close to 1,000 FPS, mild recoil & blast, and enough power to kill anything that poops in the woods in the lower 48 states.

    Never got much into the "Ruger Only" loads, as I have some Colts around that one might take apart if I accidently got one in it.

    rc
     
  24. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    Messages:
    7,388
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
    Thanks guys. I'll be rolling some up tomorrow. And please, don't worry about telling me something I may already know. I've been at this less than a year, so I'm well aware of how much I have left to learn. I appreciate informed advice. If I'm already aware of it, fine, but you never know. A lot of things bear repeating anyway.
     
  25. JustsayMo

    JustsayMo Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    1,446
    Location:
    the Evergreen State
    With new cases I always trim (45 colt Starline cases rarely need it) and chamfer the case mouth. Makes seating cast bullets easier.

    I've not found 45 Colt Rugers and Marlins to be too finicky with powders. For 255 grain bullets Unique is hard to beat. I like SR 4756 too, fills the case nice and gets good velocity even in Colt/Replica load levels.

    For lighter bullets, Bullseye, Red Dot and 231 have performed very well.

    For the heavy bullets 300+, 2400, 4227 and W296 / H110 have performed very well.

    Great cartridge. I shoot everything from 147 grain round balls to 325 grain critter gitters in mine.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page