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Standard Pressure, Heavy .45 Colt Question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Walkalong, May 19, 2020.

  1. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    My buddy John wants some "standard pressure heavy" .45 Colt reloads. Their is a little bit of that type data out there in PDFs, but not a lot, anyone here loading heavy for .45 Colt bullets to standard pressures?

    He gave me a bunch (400) of brass, a handful of 310 Gr lead bullets, a lot of gas checked 320 Gr bullets, and some commercial cast 345 Gr lead bullets.

    The closest data I have seen in PDFs/online data that looks promising is Silhouette & BE-86 with 300 Gr lead bullets.

    Since I have a lot of the 320 gr bullets, it seems logical to start with them. I should be able to work something up with either of the two powders mentioned, but would love to hear what others are doing with that bullet weight (ish) in .45 Colt.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Trail boss is always good for a bullet you don't have load data for, they'll be slow though.
    I see a 13,000 psi loading with accurate 5744 with a 395 grain wlngc, may be the right powder for the job. Good luck, I'll be watching this thread - I'm interested in this too.
    15899352323316803355690513480828.jpg
     
  3. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I think my older Lyman cast manual had some data for heavy bullets. I will go and look it up.
     
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  4. murf

    murf Member

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    handloader magazine shows a 280 grain bullet for the heaviest "standard pressure" 45 colt loading. i'm thinking that "ruger only" pressures are needed to spin the heavy weight bullets fast enough as stability will probably disappear with the heavy bullet/slow velocity loads you are wanting.

    i could not find anything for those big bullets.

    luck,

    murf
     
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  5. rabid wombat

    rabid wombat Member

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    Sorry, the closest I can get are some Ruger loads out of the Fourth edition of Hornady. They do have a 300 gr. load if you are interested.

    I have a Speer book from the late 70’s that was no help. That balance of my books are much more current.

    EDIT: I pulled a reprint of PO Ackley’s book. He only went up to 260 gr.

    Happy to share, I wish I could help more.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  6. horsemen61

    horsemen61 Member

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  7. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Much of it depends on what they are shooting them in. My Lee book goes all the way up to 300grn, as does my Hodgdon book... and I'm looking at Unique, personally; it's a far more forgiving powder than BE-86 or Silhouette. You understand you are looking at velocities in the 600-700fps range, right?

    i'm thinking that "ruger only" pressures are needed to spin the heavy weight bullets fast enough as stability will probably disappear with the heavy bullet/slow velocity loads you are wanting.

    My thoughts exactly. If those were going to be shot out of a suitably rifled carbine barrel... you would probably have better luck, but I don't really know if you will find success out of a pistol at the velocities you are likely to be looking at.
     
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  8. Asbtg

    Asbtg Member

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    That's a heck of a lot of mass to accelerate and out of a pistol it won't have time without dangerous pressures or slow velocities. Out of a T/C? Maybe. Henry lever? Probably. That's into 454 Casull territory.
     
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  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yea, saw that, but it is slow and I wonder if it will burn well in that application, since I have tried it in other similar apps at higher pressure. Years ago I ha a stout .44 Spl load using a cast 240 Gr, but wouldn't shoot many of them figuring they were a bit stout and stopped doing it, plus it left some unburned kernels.

    Might be the cats meow though, I have that on the back burner.
     
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  10. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Would really like to get them over 700, nearer 800, and a bit over that would be good, maybe a hair over standard pressure if needed. He'll be shooting them in a .454, but he said standard pressure, so i want to stay within or very close.
     
  11. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    My question would be, why does John want "heavy, standard pressure loads'', and why does he want you to reload them? Sounds like a scenario where John got a bunch of oddball components and now wants someone else to figure out what to do with them. Why do I guess this? Cause I've been there myself. While throwing a 345gr chunk of lead using standard pressure in a .45 colt is not going to be difficult, odds are, it will be difficult to get it to be accurate. Especially when one cannot load 5 rounds and go to the range and try them(maybe you will do this for John, I dunno). I give you credit for going out of your way for John, but as often as we have been advised about reloading for others, I'd be wary. Not because of safety concerns, but because of the challenge of trying to make him happy with those components. FME.....when published info from various reliable sources, for certain combinations of components is difficult to impossible to find, there's a legitimate reason. I believe this is one of those.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Good points, but yes I will go to the trouble, and he will appreciate whatever I come up with. I too had the thought....why...but am willing to try it.

    I have a 265 Gr LSWC load with True Blue that shoots very well, but is over 14K a little bit. That pressure limit is going to make it more difficult with heavies, no doubt.
     
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  13. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Data published in Lyman’s 3rd edition Pistol and Revolver hand book. This page is from the “ Thompson/Center Contender” Section page 255.

    I certainly agree with buck460xvr however. A word to the wise, so to speak. 13DFC580-54DC-41A4-98D0-0F1706A342C6.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    It seems like once you hit 300grn in the .45 pistol, things... uh, escalate quickly.

    If I were you, I would start with the 310's and Unique, using the starting cast data for the 300's and see how they work. 3 or 4 rounds should tell you. I have some beautiful Montana 270grn gas check bullets, but they are gathering dust on the shelf because I have to push them so hard out of my 5.5" Ruger. Another powder you might consider is IMR4227 or 2400, it might work well enough with those heavy bullets. Being fired in a .454 gives you some insurance against pressure, so it's doable, I just don't know if the end result will be satisfying.
     
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  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh I get it, and appreciate the advise. :)

    That Unique data is very interesting, although it is likely a little over standard pressure.

    Maybe I can talk him into "Tier 2" .45 Colt levels.

    For whatever reason he is into "heavy" bullets lately. He wants me to load some MBC coated 245s in 300 BLK as well. He only had a handful of those.
     
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  16. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    This reminds me of the time early in my reloading experience when I owned a beautiful 7 1/2" Ruger Blackhawk 45 Convertible. I had not yet started loading for the 45 colt cylinder yet, but on the .45ACP side I was experimenting with 230 grain wadcutters and Unique. I was playing with the idea of a light/heavy load.....light powder heavy bullets. At the range I got soured on the whole concept. It was "Pow.....Plunk" "Pow.....Plunk". Geeze I was getting impatient for the bullets.....to arrive at the target! I probably couldn't, but I thought I might be able to watch the bullet in flight! :)

    Lost my interest.....and just when I was set to start playing with the .45 Colt side of things....someone broke into my home and stole two pistols......got one back....the Ruger, I never saw again.......then I bought a safe.....
     
  17. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I have lots and lots of heavy .45 Colt and actual .454 loaded cartridges ready to go for my BFR. I want some standard pressure loads for my Model 25 4".
    John bought loading components worth hundreds of dollars towards the end of his last deployment, but never got around to loading them, and it's been 8 years. John now has a great work opportunity but it will involve a move out of state...so John gave all of the loading components he had (less a couple oddball calibers) to his closest good friend who reloads. That friend offered to help a buddy out, because he's a good guy. Does John "need" a standard-pressure .45 Colt with a heavy bullet? Probably not. But it would be pretty cool. :)

    John also has a small, unused container of Trail Boss if it seems like it would the thing.

    John
     
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  18. styles

    styles Member

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    It isn’t much margin of error, but 4.8-5.2 gr of no 2 will keep to std pressure with 300 gr bullets. You won’t get to 800 FPS.
     
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  19. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    As long as it stabilizes to 30 meters, it's fine.

    If it stabilizes, I would think a 320 grain a little over 700 fps would be perfect.
     
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  20. Antihero

    Antihero Member

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    395 grains?

    Even if it is going slow that could be quite fun, I need to get back into reloading
     
  21. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    2400 isn't a bad place to start, given the criteria. With a heavy for caliber bullet, it might burn better than expected, and it's a pretty forgiving powder. Where to start is the question.

    If it were me, and I had a strong enough gun to test it, I'd try 12gr of 2400 under the 320gr bullet and see how it shoots.
     
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  22. GarrettJ

    GarrettJ Member

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    Dumb question, but what is the bullet diameter? Are they in the .452”-.454” range?

    Because .45 bullets over 300 grains are more commonly found in the .458”-.459” range, and are intended for .45-70 and similar cartridges.

    Just something to check.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  23. Obturation
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    Obturation Contributing Member

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    300+ grains @ 700 fps is still a wrecking ball, not much on earth going to shrug that off.
    I'm trouble with a 45 colt held at 14k psi, I always want just a little more (& more & more). The loads my poor Taurus gaucho digested could have turned my hands and face to hamburger, luckily I got smart before that happened and i survived intact . that's why I like the 454 casull, the hottest loads are more than I care for so it's all good and I'm not limited by pressure (because 65k psi is unpleasant and more than I need). Most of my 454 loads are in the 40k range and a couple loads are more but I don't punch much paper or soup cans with those.
    These heavier bullets can be put to good use in casull brass - the larger case will produce lower pressure and will feel lighter than they really are. But if you've got 45 colt brass, use what you've got. If these loads are destined for @JShirley I'll donate 100 new starline 454 cases for his service here, if interested just tell me where you'd like them sent.
     
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  24. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    .454, IIRC but they might be .452~ it has been over 7 years. I had a member here who was casting, cast them for me.
     
  25. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    That's very kind of you, but I have plenty of very strong .45 Colt and .454 Casull. I want loads I can shoot in my Model 25...and I'll think about Byron, RIP, when I do. The Model 25 is about the only tangible thing I have left of my former best bud.

    John
     
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