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Is 45LC in Black Powder Still available?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Texasgrillchef, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Texasgrillchef

    Texasgrillchef Member

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    is 45lc black powder cartridges still being made and available commercially?

    I have a box of 45lc that was bought by my grandfather in the 30's or 40's that are black powder. Obviously for many reasons i have no desire to use those rounds.

    I know i could handload them, but i was just wondering if anyone still made them.

    Any reason why they arent still being made? or is the reason that everyone who wants to use 45lc BP ammo prefers to handload?
     
  2. cheygriz

    cheygriz member

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    I would guess that there is no market for them.

    Those few of us who use them hand load.
     
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  3. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    You know, there is no particular reason to assume they are not shootable. The primers may have dudded out, what was available at the time would have been the chlorate primers, which are corrosive, but not as corrosive as black powder. Blackpowder is chemically very stable and unlike smokeless powder of that era, as long as the charges are kept dry, the loads are as good as they are when the ammunition was reloaded.

    It is probable that the cases are the balloon head type, which is an extremely weak case design.


    standard.jpg

    Solid head on left, balloon head on right

    standard.jpg

    I purchased some vintage used balloon head cases, and on sizing them, the case heads pulled off a number. I used lubrication and my old RCBS 45 LC sizing die. Luckily I used the vintage die because the decapping spindle must have been designed with this problem in mind. The spindle unscrewed from the top and I was able to get a brass punch in the die, place it on the rim of the separated case, and knock the case out. It would have been a real bear in solid top sizing dies. I would have had to hook the case mouth from the bottom. Based on that, I am leery of reloading my balloon head cases as I fear the case head blowing off. I think the risk could be lessened by greasing the case, as this would slide the case to the recoil shield and lessen any side wall stresses that might come from the case gripping the walls. I would not shoot one of these rounds dry, I would lube the case with case lube, vasoline. In fact, I would probably dip the bullet in a grease similar to what I did with this 45/70 case.

    dMuLz79.jpg

    A secondary reason would be to add as much lube to the tube to keep the fouling soft. An excellent BP lube is 50% crisco, 50% beeswax by the way. I used that on my Minie balls.

    Case capacity is greater on the balloon head than the solid head, so the balloon head cases could take 40 grains of BP (I have not verified this with my cases), against 35 grains in the solid head. Which I have verified. Others have chronographed the 40 grain load and it will push a 255 grain bullet close to 1000 fps, which is not chicken feed for a 45 LC. The original Cowboy load was very powerful, and the pressures were low. You can understand why BP Colt SAA's in 45LC were still around to WW2, loaded with BP rounds a BP era Colt SAA would be a powerful weapon. And probably cheap, hard to believe the values now of the things.
     
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  4. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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  5. GooseGestapo

    GooseGestapo Member

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    I believe it was a division of Black Hills Cartridge that sold a line of BP loaded ammo several years ago. a friend of mine bought some a any factory.45Colt ammo was scarce.
    It was loaded in Nickle Starline cases, had a 255gr bullet lubed with SPG lube.
    He gave me all the fired brass...
    I seem to remember something like “Black Dog” cartridge Co, or something like that...

    Found it! MidwayUSA sells Goex brand “Black Dawge” .45colt BP loads.
    Item # 244344
     
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  6. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    I personally prefer to handload them because a) you can't quite be sure what the "factory" is actually doing, and b) it's hardly more expensive than smokeless when you load them yourself, but factory BP loads are god-awful expensive.

    <edit> Black Dawge, like most of these companies/offshoots, is apparently no longer in business. I would guess that Cheygriz is correct in that for the tiny subset of folks who want to shoot BP in handgun cartridges, there is an even smaller subset of folks who don't want to do it for themselves, and that subset of a subset is so small that it won't support any serious business.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  7. Texasgrillchef

    Texasgrillchef Member

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    well thank you for all that info! really cool info to have.

    i dont want to fire them for historical reasons more so then any concern for safety reasons. Knowing my grandfather bought them. Now if someone had given me the box or i had found it at a garage sale that might be different.
     
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  8. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    It's fun loading black powder cartridges
     
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  9. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    Yup. At the gun shows around me I've seen some ancient factory fodder and some of new manufacture. Also some small time loaders selling BP loaded wares.

    Godfather gave me some ancient 45-70 loaded with BP and a full length trapdoor when I first went deer hunting. I didn't know better and thought the rifle exploded when I touched the first one off.

    They're easy peasy to reload with black/777/pyrodex/etc.
    After sizing and priming.
    Just fill to your required level, add filler if needed, place projo and grease if needed, seat bullets, then crimp and you're off to the races.
     
  10. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    I shoot frontier duelist in SASS, so that means loading BP 45 LC and BP shotgun for each match. There is nothing easier to load for than black powder pistol and shotgun (I use Magtech 20 ga brass shells. I also shoot a separate BPCR rifle match with a 45-70 Rolling Block which takes a bit more finesse. Love shooting black powder and sometimes for woods walking I carry a Schofield replica in 45LC and what I facetiously call the the BPM (not to be confused with the actual wildcat of that name for Walker cartridge conversions) which is a 250grs pure lead flat nose over 37 grs 3F Old Eynsford that has chono'd at 1115 fps.
     
  11. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Factory black powder cartridges are no longer made or offered to my knowledge. Years back there were some offerings, but they've disappeared, much like retail stores selling black powder and not substitutes. There seems to be a conceited effort to eliminate all black powder due to "safety" reasons.

    It stinks, but Triple 7 is a fine powder that puts Pyrodex to shame. It is more expensive tho and is the main reason most places near me carry the Pyrodex junk instead of T7.
     
  12. mjsdwash

    mjsdwash Member

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    If i was a manufacturer, I would refuse to if for no other reason than the corrosion problem. The dirtyness is an issue to. You can sell 10,000,000 boxes, but every idiot who complains their gun rusted out, or jammed up will be out screaming to everyone who will listen. While many will opt out, there will always be that time that everything else is sold out, and you buy "that box there". Most of us have seen the rusted out milsurps left over from "that box there".
     
  13. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Buffalo Arms lists a 45C Black powder cartridge. I had bought a box a couple of years back.
     
  14. dickydalton

    dickydalton Member

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    They don't have it today. I have a box I bought a few years back and some of their bullets only.
     
  15. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Rifle, revolver, shotgun, all fun!!! But not for early blowback pistols. Makes for a not much fun day of cleanup.
     
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  16. 792mauser

    792mauser Member

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    The look on my friends face when he pulled the trigger on my Norinco 1911.
    Boom flash smoke. He emptied 4 magazines before any shenanigans cropped up.
    Cleanup was a breeze, with a ultrasonic cleaner and a spray of ballistol.
     
  17. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Yep that's the brand. When I converted this Uberti 1861 Navy to .38 Long Colt about a dozen years ago I ordered up some Black Dawge ammo and it worked great. I'm guessing they used a hollow base lead bullet so it would expand properly into the bore. It was minute of paper plate at 20 yards so I was good with its performance.

    I suppose tighter controls on black powder storage and low demand sealed their fate commercially.

    -oFoPxQR96_E8NN-prF-hcVlNg5gxFL2-L8DySV7zQ2HqZWkP3ieFxJNJjTngZldS_pR_9FVxM4NvPaNyp=w1000-h388-no.jpg
     
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  18. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    As has been mentioned quite a few times so far in the thread (and seemingly ignored), Buffalo Arms offers black powder loaded ammo in most every period correct cartridge. Some of it is relatively cheap, some of it is expensive, but commercial factory black powder ammo is available to order today.
     
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  19. BigBore45

    BigBore45 Member

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    I make them as a commercial ammo manufacturer. Some local cowboy action guys requested me to make them.
     
  20. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    Howdy

    Yes, a friend who does not reload has ordered some Black Powder cartridges from Buffalo Arms. I don't remember off the top of my head what cartridge he ordered. Perhaps 45 Schofield as I believe he has an original S&W Schofield model.

    I load my own 45 Colt, 45 Schofileld, 44-40, 44 Russian, and 38-40 Black Powder ammo for CAS. I also load some 45-70 once a year for a long range event with my Trapdoor.

    What a lot of folks may not realize is it is more expensive to load cartridges with Black Powder than with Smokeless powder.

    I generally put about 35 grains or so of Schuetzen FFg into my 45 Colt and 44-40 rounds. The last time I bought Schuetzen I paid $18.55 per pound. Yes, there are cheaper as well as more expensive Black Powders, but that is what I like. A little math. 7000 grains to a pound. 7000 divided by 35 means I only get 200 rounds per pound. That works out to close to 10 cents per round for my Black Powder loads.

    I have not loaded 45 Colt or 44-40 with Smokeless for a long time, but when I did my standard charge was 7.5 grains of Unique. I have not bought any Smokeless powder for a long time, but it looks like Midway is selling Unique for $22.99 per pound. Even though Unique costs more than Schuetzen FFg, I used to use so much less per cartridge, that the cost of powder per round was only about 2.5 cents per pound if I did my math correctly. The cases cost the same, and so do the primers, but my Big Lube Black Powder bullets are a lot more expensive than smokeless bullets too, Sorry, I don't recall right now how much they cost, but they are more expensive.

    Buffalo Arms is charging $43.79 for a box of fifty 44-40s. $38.29 for a box of 45 Colt.

    Midway seems to be charging around $32 - $35 for a box of fifty 45 Colt cowboy loads.

    If I did not reload, I would certainly be looking to buy Black Powder ammo from Buffalo Arms.
     
  21. whughett

    whughett Member

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    A thought, crazy thought. We know smokeless in front stuffers not a good idea. Can we generate the smoke and flash by adding a few grains of black to a smokeless load. I routinely shoot target velocity loads in all my 45 Colt conversion cylinders, ROA, R&S and the 1860 Army, loaded with Trail Boss but other propellant also. I’m not going to try, but maybe someone has.
     
  22. Driftwood Johnson

    Driftwood Johnson Member

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    What you are asking about used to be called a Duplex Load. A very small amount of Smokeless powder was placed at the bottom of the case, against the primer. Then the cartridge was filled the rest of the way with Black Powder. The idea was the Smokless powder behaved as a 'kicker' and also burned up some of the fouling usually left behind by the Black Powder. This was always very experimental stuff, all the major reloading manuals cautioned against it because there was no good way to measure the pressure produced.

    You are proposing kind of the reverse of a Duplex Load, with a very small amount of Black Powder placed on top of a Smokeless charge.

    I have no idea what would happen. I suspect the Smokeless powder would burn away most of the BP fouling. The smoke created by a Black Powder charge is unburnt solids resulting from the BP charge. I suspect if you tried it you would not see much smoke and flame, as the Smokeless charge would probably burn it all up.

    I certainly do not recommend it.
     
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  23. Texasgrillchef

    Texasgrillchef Member

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    Buffalo Bore has several options of BP cartridges for 45 colt at what I consider reasonable prices. Basically only $3-$5 more then basically the same option in a smokeless load. Which is not a bad option. Thus I ordered several of their BP options.
    I am going to give it a try.

    Personally I am of the opinion that BP is used more for the fun and nostalgia then it is for performance reasons.

    While I do reload all my calibers that I use in smokeless, I’m not going to jump into BP loading just yet.

    thanks for everyone’s input.
     
  24. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    I don't think you mean Buffalo Bore- They are on the opposite end of the spectrum...
     
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  25. Texasgrillchef

    Texasgrillchef Member

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    doh! hello! your right! it was Buffalo arms!
     
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