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Low Recoil loads for 45LC cowboy action shooting

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Mitchmarkl, May 11, 2011.

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  1. Mitchmarkl

    Mitchmarkl Member

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    I have been trying to come up with a low recoil load for cowboy action shooting. I started using 4.6 grns of Clays with a 200 grn rnfp bullet. That's the starting load. I actually tried less powder, and did achieve a little less recoil, but the loads don't burn completely and I get a lot of soot on one side of the brass which probably means that there isn't enough pressure to seal the chamber. I'm using mixed brass, but mostly Starline. I'm thinking about using Trailboss. It seems to be bulkier, and probably will fill the case better. They claim that it is designed for reduced recoil loads.
    The big question is; should I try to buy 180 grain or 160 grain bullets which will have a heavier charge, or a heavier bullet that uses a lighter charge. I'm assuming that the heavier the bullet the more felt recoil. I'm trying to figure out by looking at the reloading specs how bullet speed and chamber pressure affect felt recoil.
    Wow, what a mouth full.
    Anyway, I'm hoping someone out there has already done some work on this and can give me a little guidance.
    Any takers?
     
  2. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    I'd use trailboss and the 200gr bullets.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Most all fixed sight .45 Colts will only shoot to the sights with one bullet weight.
    That is generally a 250-255 grain bullet.

    Very light bullets will not recoil enough to kick the gun up where the sights are looking, so be aware of that.

    Were it me, I would probably try a 230 grain bullet with 5.5 to 6.0 grains of Bullseye and see where it shoots.
    If you are going to shoot a .45 Colt in CAS, you will need to learn to deal with at least a little recoil.

    Sides that, no self respecting cowboy or outlaw would be caught dead with mouse-fart .45 Colts loads in his gun.
    Wait, maybe he would be caught dead with them!!!

    rc
     
  4. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    In SASS, one of the considerations in using light loads is the fact that steel targets are being shot at relatively short ranges, and splatter and ricochet are big factors. It's much better to have a bullet hit the target and end up on the ground below it, that have it zinging back or at odd angles. Light loads are also much easier on expensive steel targets, making replacement necessary at longer intervals.

    Hodgdon has quite a few loads listed under Cowboy Action Data in both their printed and on-line resources. I suggest you go to their website, if you don't have their manual. They list loads for Universal, HP-38, Titegroup, Clays and Trail Boss with that bullet.

    You're also going to get some sooting of the case with any of the lighter loads. The case walls are relatively thick on the .45 Colt case and it takes quite a bit of pressure to get a good seal. More pressure results in more recoil, so my suggestion is to not worry about the sooting. I don't with mine.

    Also, the 200 gr. RNFP is one of the most commonly used in .45 Colt for SASS, with the 180 gr. RNFP probably next in line. The 200 gr. bullet will give good accuracy in both the revolvers and rifles, along with reliable feeding through the lever action rifles.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  5. USSR

    USSR Member

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    I would definately go with a heavier bullet. I'm using 265gr cast bullets, and with 6.0gr of d@mn near any fast powder (BE, Red Dot, etc. - I'm using Solo 1000), recoil will be light and easily manageable. The Starline brass is tough, so you may get more sooted cases with them than with other makes of brass.

    Don
     
  6. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Use an even faster powder?

    You might try a light charge of Bullseye, held against the primer with some filler. It should run the pressure up high enough to seal the chamber, burn completely and then be clean otherwise.

    Lost Sheep.
     
  7. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I don't normaly chime in on these because to takes some work to get it right & some knowing what your doing. Also I haven't loaded that cartridge. I will give you a little info to base your test off from though. The faster the burn the less recoil but pressure climes much faster & in most straight walled cases by the time you see pressure signs you are way past over pressure. Also the heaver the bullet(more barring surface) the faster the pressure rises & less recoil. The tough one is the less volume in the case the faster the pressure rises & less recoil.

    The kick doesn't come from the bullet leaving the gun but the pressure being released behind it. If the pressure is relieved before the bullet gets out of the barrel there is no recoil.
     
  8. Cherokee

    Cherokee Member

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    My SASS load for 10 years for 45 Colt rifle and pistol is 5.3 WST and 230 gr RFN. WST has more bulk than most fast powders but not like TB. I tried TB but did not like it as well.
     
  9. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    So Newton was wrong? Please share since this sounds like Nobel prize stuff.
     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    He must be talking about a military 75mm/90mm/105mm or 106mm Recoilless Rifle.

    The back blast balances the recoil from accelerating the projectile out of the barrel.

    If the gas were released sideways, or any other directing beside straight back, the fierce recoil of the projectile accelerating down the barrel would tear the Recoilless Rifle off it's somewhat flimsy mount!

    Unfortunately, there is no way to make a sporting caliber Recoiless Rifle without blowing your head off with the back blast the first shot.

    rc
     
  11. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    If you don't want to accept it fine. If you want to test it great but I'm not taking the time to argue with you.

    This is getting old.
     
  12. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    How is it getting old? You only posted about it once, and then were asked for an explanation. Please educate those of us who disagree dont just take your ball and go home.
     
  13. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I would be glad to answer questions but helotaxi & rc aren't asking questions instead they just try to discredit what I'm saying without offering anything useful in return.

    This is also the part I'm getting tired of. Not this thread but many threads on this form. I try to give useful info where I know but if I don't know something I don't care to admit it. I know a lot but I can't know everything.

    Anyhow back to your question. Which part doesn't make since to you?
     
  14. john bh

    john bh Member

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    I have a Ruger 45LC Vaquero Bisley. I'm using Unique 6.4. Whats good about the Unique fills the casing pretty good. I started w/ 6.0 and played around with diffrent loads. I felt the recoil pretty soft, and really fun to shoot.
     
  15. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    I suspect recoil is due to the pressure (push) of the gasses in the chamber/barrel against the face of the breech. A heavier bullet (i.e., larger diameter and/or simply weight) produces more recoil because the gasses have longer time to work against the breech face. If you have a larger caliber, there is added area for the gasses to affect.

    Also, there is the action-reaction thing going on. Sit in a chair with caster wheels and throw a golf ball. Little or no rearward movement. Now throw a basketball. You'll roll backward in reaction to the added mass.

    Even if there were zero pressure at the muzzle, you'd still get reaction to the movement of the projectile.

    In any event, less mass (weight) and less speed = less recoil. As noted, a pistol's sight picture is calibrated to a given amount of recoil to compensate for muzzle rise. I'd look in something like the Lyman manual for advice. Since Trailboss was specifically formulated for CAS shooters, that's where I'd start.

    I use mid range loads of Universal Clays with 255's in my Ruger Bisley. They seem pretty tame to me, but I'm not a CAS guy.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  16. john bh

    john bh Member

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    I'm using Miss. 250, take what I say with a grain of salt I,m still new to
    reloading. The people on this sight are just great people,always willing to help.
     
  17. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    "I suspect recoil is due to the pressure (push) of the gasses in the chamber/barrel against the face of the breech."

    Think about this. If you use a fast burn powder the pressure can & will go higher then the slow powder but yet there is less recoil. If you stick a bullet(excluding autos) there is no recoil but you still have pressure on the breach.

    "less speed = less recoil" Yes because there is less pressure.

    " A heavier bullet (i.e., larger diameter" This is true refer back to you golf ball vs basket ball example. This is also why what rc said is ridicules.

    "or simply weight) produces more recoil because the gasses have longer time to work against the breech face" A lot of people believe this but it just isn't true. However if you was trying to make the heaver bullet travel at the same speed It would require much more pressure & should deliver more recoil.
    " Also the heaver the bullet(more barring surface) the faster the pressure rises & less recoil." As I said here A heaver bullet offers more resistance so the pressure builds faster. Powder needs to reach a cretin pressure to burn right so lighter bullets need more of the same powder to burn right. This is also what makes some powders spiky. The more pressure the faster the burn. That's starting to get on another subject though.

    "As noted, a pistol's sight picture is calibrated to a given amount of recoil to compensate for muzzle rise." I have no idea what the truth is here but I can't see recoil affecting bullet path since it has already left the barrel. I would think it would relate more to energy transfer between bullet & resistance to air. The heaver bullet should lose less momentum "a object in motion tends to stays in motion & a object at rest tends to stay at rest".

    Red Neck

    I'm not trying to call you on what your saying. It was just that it was so well written that it help me explain what I was saying. I can work with logical statements.
     
  18. murf

    murf Member

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    felt recoil equals the muzzle velocity of your weapon. which is equal to the bullet mass times the bullet velocity divided by the weapon mass.

    murf
     
  19. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    There is a component of the recoil that is attributable to the jetting of the burnt propellant (ejecta; based on on charge weight and its exit velocity, usually assumed to be about 4000fps, the free expansion speed of most smokeless propellant) but it isn't the primary component and to argue that it's absence would totally eliminate any recoil is absurd. If that were the case then a bow or slingshot would have no recoil. Both most certainly do.

    Running some simple numbers with a recoil calculator will demonstrate the point. Just some basic numbers: 250gn bullet running 800fps from a 2 pound revolver using an 8gn charge has 6.5ft-lbs of free recoil energy. Reducing the theoretical charge weight to 0.001gn (essentially zero ejecta) reduces recoil a whole 0.2ft-lbs. Far from eliminating it entirely. The reduction is a whole 3%.

    Recoil also certainly affects the aiming of a low velocity round. The muzzle starts to climb before the bullet exits the muzzle. It isn't usually much, but it is far from negligible. Shoot a light bullet and a heavy bullet at the same muzzle energy (the lighter bullet will be moving faster and will shoot flatter) and you will notice at closer ranges that the heavier bullet will impact higher because the recoil affects the aim.

    If you're going to take issue with people questioning you when you post information that is clearly false, you're going to have a tough time of things.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  20. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

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    Gee, you mean those four years in Purdue Engineering weren't a waste???:D

    Easy way to think of it. Anything going out the front is going to cause reaction (recoil) in the back. The heavier the firearm, the less felt recoil (stationary object tends to stay stationary).

    Mass of the fire arm, mass of the projectile, and mass of the powder all have an effect.
    Recoil begins before the bullet leaves the barrel, which affects the point of impact. True of both rifles and pistols. Changing loads can change point of impact. The higher the bore is above the line of sight, the more this is typically seen. Single action revolvers with a bore high above the grip may require sight recalibration if loads are changed significantly.

    I wouldn't go there. He's absolutely correct. A Recoiless Rifle, bazooka, etc have low felt recoil because the mass of the propellant moving rearward offsets the mass of the projectile. If you don't believe that, cap off the open back end of the tube and try to hang on.

    If you hang around here for a while, you'll figure out who tries to blow smoke and who doesn't.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Powder weight calculates into felt recoil just like bullet weight and velocity. The larger charge expends more energy. It does so more slowly, but the energy is felt none the less. That is why you can get less recoil with a fast powder for the same bullet weight and velocity as with more of a slower powder, although sometimes it can feel snappier.

    Unfortunately Handloads.com is down, or I would link to their recoil calculator.
     
  22. helotaxi

    helotaxi Member

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    It figures in the same way that bullet weight does: its a product of the mass of the charge and the velocity. Just like the bullet portion of the equation, it relies on Newton's Third Law.

    http://kwk.us/recoil.html That's a link to a recoil calculator.

    Freely expanding burning smokeless propellant expands at roughly 4000fps regardless of the relative burn rate. The burn rate simply explains how quickly the pressure builds (how quickly the solid mass of the powder converts to the gaseous mass of the combustion products; same mass different form) when that expansion is contained. If the pressure builds quickly (fast burning powder) the initial bullet acceleration is higher and F=MA tells us that higher acceleration means higher force. We already explained the source of the higher force, higher pressure, but Newton's Third Law tells us that the force works in both directions, both pushing the bullet down the bore and pushing the firearm back into the shooter. The higher weight of the firearm means that it's acceleration is much slower given an equal force.

    Where the difference between a fast and slow powder comes into play is when you start looking at the plot of pressure over time and figuring the area under the curve. If we could contain unlimited pressure, the fastest powder would be all that we would ever need. You would simply fill the case with fast powder and let'r rip. The pressure would run very high and the large amount of powder would provide a large volume of gas to maintain the pressure at a higher level as the bullet accelerated down the bore providing a larger pressure vessel.

    The problem is that there is a limit on the amount of pressure that the firearm and cartridge can safely contain. This is where slower powders come into play. With a slower powder, the gas volume is somewhat regulated and pressure is kept in check. By having the powder burn more slowly, the total amount of combustion product can be increased but the slower rate of conversion allows the bullet to begin down the bore and the chamber volume to expand keeping the pressure in check. A by product of this is that the pressure curve is more gradual and remains at a higher pressure longer. The result is that when compared to a faster burning powder, for the same peak pressure, the area under the pressure curve is greater. The area under the curve represents the total force imparted on the bullet. Higher total force means higher total acceleration and higher resultant velocity.

    The more gradual ramping up of the pressure with slower powders also explains the differing characterization of the recoil between two cartridges with the exact same bullet and velocity, one using a fast powder and the other a slower powder. The fast powder has a high initial pressure and a greater initial acceleration resulting in a more "snappy" recoil. The slower powder creates more of a "push" than a "snap" because the initial acceleration is slower.

    In general the round with the slower powder will have a larger charge weight. That means an increase in free recoil, but the difference is usually quite small. Perceived recoil is a different story and the more sustained push of the slower powder can make the recoil difference seem like more than it really is. Because we're talking perception, this differs for each person. Firearm design can play a large part in this as well.
     
  23. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    Or, you could all do like I do and load up some different loads, with varying bullet and powder weights, and go to the range.......... When I find the one that feels the best, and prints the best on target, I've got my load.

    This saves all that arguing over fur vs. feathers stuff.......

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
  24. kingmt

    kingmt Member

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    I typed this before church so more post have been added since then:

    "If that were the case then a bow or slingshot would have no recoil. Both most certainly do."

    A bow & a sling shot both kick forward which sounds like it would help prove my point but if you think about it it doesn't because it really doesn't. The kick from the bow is the energy of the string being stopped by the frame of the bow. Newer bows have rubber bumpers to smash & absorb some of that energy before it gets to the frame much like the soft metal in a car smashing to reduce the shock to you. Same thing with a sling shoot.

    As for the calculator I know nothing about it & have other thing to do so I probably won't be studying it any time soon.

    "If you're going to take issue with people questioning you when you post information that is clearly false, you're going to have a tough time of things."
    You didn't question me & it certainly isn't false. Just because you don't understand doesn't make it wrong.

    Red Neck
    "Quote:
    This is also why what rc said is ridicules.(sic)
    I wouldn't go there. He's absolutely correct. A Recoiless Rifle, bazooka, etc have low felt recoil because the mass of the propellant moving rearward offsets the mass of the projectile. If you don't believe that, cap off the open back end of the tube and try to hang on.

    If you hang around here for a while, you'll figure out who tries to blow smoke and who doesn't."

    I'm not saying he is wrong in that manner. I think highly of RCs' post. He is a great contributor to this form & has given me good advice. I stated why his example didn't relate to what I was talking about but it is still correct information.

    I don't know if I want to get into recoiling up because it is a little different subject even tho it is the same transfer of energy. It's not easy to explain them at the same time. Once one is understood the other is easier to explain.

    Think like this:ignition all of the energy is transferred to the bullet minus the very small amount absorbed by chamber flex because the breach wont move. Until the bullet leaves the barrel no force can be applied to the firearm. once the bullet leaves the pressure is still shoving on the bullet & now the firearm is free to be shoved back. It is the force after the bullet has left the barrel. Use the bow example the string is pulled back to the frame driving the arrow forward when the string gets to the end of its travel the arrow keeps traveling but there is no resistance left in the arrow to drive the bow back. That's why it jumps forward.

    As for post #22 I'll have to read it when I get time.
     
  25. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That's what I do too Fred. Low tech all the way. I'll leave all the math calculations to the smart folks. :)
     
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