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Working up a load - Uberti .45

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Justin9999, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    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.

    I have an early 2000’s Uberti Regulator in .45 Colt with a 4.75” barrel. I am working up a powder charge using 255 grain lead semi wad cutter, Unique powder, Winchester WLP primers, and once fired Starline brass.

    I have never gone through this exercise before, so I will share my observations and hopefully obtain some guidance from those who know better than I (not a high bar).

    Lyman’s 49th reloading handbook gives 6.0 grains of Unique as a suggested starting charge, and 8.5 grains as a max charge. The overall cartridge length (AOL) is specified to be 1.575” and my single stage press is putting the out at 1.5745” +/- 0.0005”.

    I have read questionable sources indicating the Uberti is stronger than the Colt it cloned, and old data allows for 10 grains of Unique. I would like to work up to 10 grains and see what I learn.
     
  2. ssyoumans

    ssyoumans Member

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    I don’t think I would trust those questionable sources. I’ve got a Uberti Cattleman and have loaded mine up with 250gr MBC RNFP and up to 8.0gr of Unique @ 1.585”. That gave me 844 FPS out of my 4.5” barrel.
    I thought the Regulator was a birds head grip Cattlemen with a different hammer.
    If I want more, I load my Super Redhawk.
    Be safe.
     
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  3. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    You said it... 'questionable sources.' What does the manufacturer say?

    Personally, 8.5grn Unique under a 255grn cast is my standard .45 Colt load... this out of a Ruger Vaquero, an old one that can take 'Ruger Only' loads. I just don't go there. Even considering your pistol's better metallurgy, I don't think it's wise to push a Colt clone past SAA levels.

    If you want something that will shoot heavier loads, buy something that will take it. I don't think the Uberti is it.
     
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  4. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    I think Colt and Uberti are built about the same strength.

    I load for enjoyable target rounds for my Uberti.

    I buy buffalo bore rounds that do not exceed spec pressure if I need extra heat.

    If you want to load up for heat, get a Ruger.
     
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  5. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    What I am really after is getting 1,000 fps from and 200 grains or higher with hard lead in the off case I have a second close encounter with black bear in Appalachia.

    Perhaps I need to find a different powder.

    The thing about the buffalo bore is that it uses soft lead, which isn’t optimal for bear.
     
  6. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    The reload manual shows Alliant 2400 providing high velocity for .45 Colt, but doesn’t give the CUP pressure. With a 240 gr JHC bullet & 17.0 gr powder, you get 997 fps.

    Now Alliant’s website shows a 250 gr LSWC using 15.4 gr powder gets 972 fps. Missing pressure data, and missing the max & min powder charge designations. I am willing to bet this 15.4 gr charge is the max.

    Is there a way to determine the pressures generated?

    Is there a way to determine max charge for a 255 gr LSWC?
     
  7. DocRock

    DocRock Member

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    You'll struggle to hit 1,000 fps with a 4.75" barrel and SAAMI max pressure. I have hit 1000 fps with 200 grs Big Lube and heavily compressed 37 grs OE 3Fffg but it's quite stiff and quite a flamethrower and in 7.5" and 8" barrels. I get 1,050 comfortably with 250 grs jacketed bullets in my Ruger Blackhawk 5.5" ,but not at SAAMI 45 Colt pressures.

    Velocity is often overrated. A moderately hard @12 BHN lead 255 SWC at 850 -900 fps is going to make a deep, big hole in anything it hits that's made of tissue: hog, bear, deer etc out to 50 yards.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
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  8. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    It's not just the metallurgy that goes into max loads but the physical thickness of the cylinder wall. My Uberti has thin cylinder walls like the origional SAA. Both my old and new model Vaquero have much thicker cylinder walls even though they are different from each other. When I wanted more oomph from a revolver I went to 44 MMAG. Since then I have purchased more robust designed 45 Colt revolvers from Ruger.. I woul d hate to hear of you blowing it up even though it is a clone.
     
  9. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    That...^^^... even with 200grn bullets.

    I've fooled around with slower powders, IMR4227 for example, which is close in burn rate to 2400, and my 5.5" Ruger... I was not impressed. The barrel just isn't long enough to fully utilize the burn rate of the slower powders, your 4.75" barrel even more so. I would stick with your original plan... 255grn FN bullet over a max charge (8.5grn) Unique, or move along to a different pistol and cartridge. Enjoy the Uberti for what it is, don't try to make it do things it can't.
     
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  10. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    I worked my way up to 8.5 grains of Unique and nothing unusual happened.

    Looking at my brass again today, it seems the 8.5 gr samples expanded more fully into the cylinders based on the reduced powder residue. Is this a common sign to look for? Does this mean anything?

    If this is meaningful, I will repeat this experiment because I have handled the brass so these results may be deceiving.

    8.5 gr on left, 8.4 gr in the middle, 8.3 gr on the right:
    D72C9ECA-59F4-4890-80CC-EDEC684ED887.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  11. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    That is an indication of lower pressures not sealing the brass as much. On the left higher charge weight, more pressure, and better seal. It just makes it harder to clean the brass, if you plan on doing that.
     
  12. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I have the same issue with my .45 Colt Ruger Vaquero... it's not unusual.
     
  13. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    There's a big difference in strength between a Blackhawk in 45 Colt, and a Colt clone. I don't doubt that the steel in modern clones can be quite a bit better than the old Colts, but I wouldn't assume that it's that much better, since it's not required to be. It's considered a clone.

    Personally, I just stay within published parameters for the clones and call it a day.
     
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  14. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    I’ll stay under the 8.5 grains MAX publishes, but I will continue to investigate the soot patterns.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  15. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    I dug a little deeper into the “questionable source”:
    (https://www.coltforum.com/threads/heavy-loads-and-uberti-clones.338586/)

    I found that the logic used to determine max safe loads for Uberti .45 clones is meaningfully errant. However, the claim that the CIP pressure rating of .45 Colt being different from SAAMI is true.

    There are statements that CIP requires proof testing at 30% above max load, so some folks errantly concluded that handloads 30% above max are acceptable - which is dangerous.

    Low cycle fatigue failures can occur if a proof test is repeated many times. Proof testing does not tell you that you are under the fatigue limit of the steel.

    The Uberti manual states:
    “Use ONLY COMMERCIALLY loaded cartridges that have been loaded in accordance with SAAMI-C.I.P. standards.“
    https://www.uberti-usa.com/sites/default/files/originals/product-manuals/single_action.pdf

    CIP pressure rating:
    https://bobp.cip-bobp.org/uploads/tdcc/tab-iv/tabivcal-en-page78.pdf

    SAAMI pressure rating (page 23):
    https://saami.org/wp-content/upload...FP-and-R-Approved-2015-12-14-Posting-Copy.pdf

    CIP proof test marks (I confirmed my pistol was CIP proof tested):
    http://www.nramuseum.org/media/940944/proofmarks.pdf

    So I now know for certain what the maximum pressure is that my pistol can withstand. What I still need to learn, is how I will determine the actual pressures generated. For starters, I found this:
    https://www.shootingsoftware.com/pressure.htm
     
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  16. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Quick Load is another software based calculator that estimates pressure and speed for a given input or theoretical load. Lots on here use it and like it. Presently I only use a chronograph and compare my speed to the load books and don't exceed published data to stay safe.
     
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  17. murf

    murf Member

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    with a reloading manual.

    murf
     
  18. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    My Lyman’s 49th lacks pressure data on many, many loads. Furthermore, Alliant’s website shares significantly higher powder charge for my bullet than the manual... also lacking pressure data.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  19. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    I very briefly looked into QuickLoad, but saw a bunch of warnings against considering it reliable guidance for a safe load. I should give it a try... gotta put Wine on my Linux machine though.
     
  20. Ifishsum

    Ifishsum Member

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    A full case of FFFg black powder would safely get you close, if you're willing to deal with the extra cleaning and BP-compatible bullet lube....
     
  21. murf

    murf Member

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    10.5 grains of unique is max for a 250 grain lswc bullet in the "ruger only" section of the speer manual. the preamble for that cartridge states that all "ruger only" loads listed are all under 25,000 c.u.p..

    it's your gun.

    murf
     
  22. murf

    murf Member

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  23. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    And they are sure fun to shoot.
     
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  24. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Finding out where something isn't, is a means to finding where something is... by eliminating the negatives. 8.5grn Unique/255 cast is the top 'SAA' load, generically. It's safe, and provides reasonable power. 10.5grn Unique approaches mid-level .41MAG power (and pressure) for example. I have fired that load... in my Ruger... and it certainly is NOT 8.5grns. I'm not sure why you are obsessed with pressures, other than wanting validation to push your Uberti past it's limits. Again, if you need more power, for whatever reason, you need to find an alternate firearm.
     
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  25. Justin9999

    Justin9999 Member

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    Not sure why you think I’m obsessed.

    Pressure is what caused stress & failure. I believe truth is a better deterrent to injury than blind faith. So forgive me for seeking the truth about the limits of my tools.
     
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