45 Colt Discussion

Discussions covering the components and techniques of reloading for your handgun.

45 Colt Discussion

Postby Macd » 08 Mar 2018 22

I have been reloading for this calibre for about 6 years or so. I have used N340, w231, Clays and recently Trail Boss. This for a 7 1/2 barrel Uberti clone of an 1875 Remington. I have never been happy with any of my loads. Anyone care to share experience with this calibre in a wheel gun?
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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby cj8281 » 09 Mar 2018 00

What weight and type of bullet have you been using?? A friend of mine recently switched from a 200 grain to a 250 grain SWC. POI is now a lot closer to POA. Using Unique for the 250's.
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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby Ranch Dog » 09 Mar 2018 06

I conceal carried a Taurus 450 for a couple of years. I shot my 290-grain bullet that I designed for a 45 Colt rifle, but it shot it shot that bullet very well with 19.0-grains of Lil'Gun. Velocity wasn't impressive, 535 FPS, but I sure wouldn't have wanted to stand in front of it! I never shot it beyond self defense distances.

450_TLC454290RF_190_LilGun.jpg

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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby Macd » 09 Mar 2018 07

cj8281 wrote:What weight and type of bullet have you been using?? A friend of mine recently switched from a 200 grain to a 250 grain SWC. POI is now a lot closer to POA. Using Unique for the 250's.


Using three different bullets. A Berry's 230 grain RN copper plated, the Lee TL 230-452 2R and I have tried the Hornady 230 FMJFP. I am thinking the classic 250 lead RNFP bullet may be more accurate. There is also a 300 FP or truncated cone one available. What about powders? RD mentioned L'll Gun which I have. I have IMR4227 but the published loads are all for rifles.
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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby RBHarter » 09 Mar 2018 09

I have shot a few 200 gr RN commercial cast in a BlackHawk with a 7.5" barrel . I also shot a few 230 RN plated bullets . They shot ok at PD ranges but moving past 25 yd they were dismal .
I have had my best successes with the 452-252 SWC @262gr , 452-255 RNFP @265gr and the best results were with a 454424 @250 & 256 gr , the NOE version actually shoots even better than the Lyman round groove version . My 1969 lot of Unique is almost gone so your results will be different .
8.0 gave me a very pleasant to shoot 800-875 with the above 4 .
9.5 gave me 1050-1125 fps .

What became important for me was a load that would also run in a 92' carbine .
Owing to the slow 32" twist I had to revert back to the 8.5 Unique load for 890-910 in the BH and below 1100 in the carbine . If not those shot in the carbine would have radical course deviations between 78-82 yd when the bullets dropped below supersonic speeds the RNFP was less affected .
I have a 452-200 RNFP to try but I haven't gotten there yet .

The RCBS 45-200 SWC also isn't really a good choice . I think that the drive bands are too narrow , however I have a recently acquired Hensley and Gibbs #130 that is 15 gr lighter with about 2x the drive bands contact I'm looking forward to trying .

I've worked with a slightly longer version of the 457-340 RNFP from a Mountain Moulds custom 453-350 also ........ I don't think it would be a lot of fun in a pistol but it did show promise in the carbine working with a +P load . It could have been reduced a little and gotten where it needed to be but with it where it started I bought a 45-70 and don't regret that for a second .

The 45 cal TC commercial cast that I picked up someplace also was a fun killer in the BH . It really stopped being fun below 900 fps .

Disclaimer .
Every load I load is to humanly take game . Alloy , bullet selection and groups are worked to this end . When and where possible I will have a companion gun for a pistol and try to use the same loads in both ....... sometimes it works sometimes the 2 may as well be a 45 ACP and a 460 Weatherby .
I use Unique and Red Dot exclusively in pistols because it's cheap , I was given 25# of them once and they work well for my needs . Unique is dirty until you get it up over 16kpsi . Red Dot is sooty ,but neither are any worse than whatever FC loaded in the American Eagle 38 Special 158 RN .
Just a Red neck,White boy, Blue blood American.....
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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby fullagofast » 09 Mar 2018 12

I load this bullet (255 Gr swaged FP) for my father in law's 45 Colt Blackhawk. It has a 7 1/2" barrel also.

We had great luck with 8 grains of Unique and standard primers. If I remember correctly, OAL is 1.595". They smack the target with authority but don't kill your hand.
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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby Macd » 09 Mar 2018 13

fullagofast wrote:I load this bullet (255 Gr swaged FP) for my father in law's 45 Colt Blackhawk. It has a 7 1/2" barrel also.

We had great luck with 8 grains of Unique and standard primers. If I remember correctly, OAL is 1.595". They smack the target with authority but don't kill your hand.


Good looking projectile. Have never used one with that type of lube grooving. Of course I can't get then up here.
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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby mr surveyor » 09 Mar 2018 19

those cast Hornady bullets do look good. I ran across a buy of a couple hundred cast hornady 200 gr. of the same type profile for the .45 acp. With my loads, I'd doubt they were running over 800 fps through my Kimber, but they were sure pleasant to load, pleasant to shoot, and accurate. I've since just stuck to the XTreme plated bullets for the bottom feeders I load for, but I'd sure rather have that profile of nekkid cast lead again for my .45 acp.

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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby horseman » 09 Mar 2018 20

It could be the gun itself. I've never shot anything but cast in my 45 colts so can't remark on plated or jacketed. The first thing to know is the cylinder throat and bore diameters. Being that it's a Uberti and most (all?) are really good direct copy's of the original Colts I would not be surprised to find .454 throats and at least a .452 bore. This is just fine as long as the bullets you're shooting match these dimensions. Also need to check for any bore "constrictions". Not uncommon for any revolver, usually under a dove tail or even under any engraved writing on the barrel or possibly at the barrel/frame junction. Several ways to check for this but a soft lead fishing sinker (the ones with the hole in the middle work well, I don't remember for sure, but a number six size comes to mind) used to slug the barrel. I use pin gauges to check for constrictions because I have them, using the largest that will start in the bore it should slide all the way through. If not, you have a constriction. DO NOT TRY TO FORCE A PIN GAUGE THROUGH A BARREL, DAMAGE WILL OCCUR. To slug the barrel, it must be squeaky clean, apply a very light coat of oil down the bore, lightly oil the "lead slug" then start it in the bore. Using some sort of rod, be very careful with wood, drive it all the way through with just a couple really hard raps with a mallet. Don't "tap" it through, drive it through. Measure the results of the "slug" with a mic. If the bore is clear of any constrictions and you have a good reading (sometimes it takes more than one, but those sinkers come in a 4 or 6 pack) then you go from there. Ideally what you're looking for then is cylinder throats slightly larger than bore dia. Then you size or buy bullets sized to fit the cyl throats. I'm betting with the Uberti a .454 bullet is the answer. But you should check. The powders you have will work just fine, I shoot a lot of Trail Boss, 6gr under a 260gr Lee RNFP and it's a very fun and accurate load at 750 to 800fps and is a "one hander". IMR4227 or H4227 is a fine powder for the 45 colt with the same (or heavier) bullet for more "ooomph". I'll run 20gr (max is 24) of H4227 with the 260gr. and it is a very accurate (somewhat dirty because of the filler in the older version of the powder) and is in the same neighborhood as 18gr of 2400. Good hunting load. If or when all else fails, the "best" (meaning most accurate) load I"ve every shot out of my 45 colts (all Rugers by the way) has been 13gr. of Blue Dot under the same bullet mentioned. It is excellent out of my 4in. Redhawk. Now that I think about it, that 13gr load may be a bit over max for a standard 45 colt load. Many powders work in the Colt, it's a very forgiving caliber to load for. Good luck and get back to us with some results. +guns Sorry for the length of the post. I have more though...... :lol:
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Re: 45 Colt Discussion

Postby oscarflytyer » 09 Mar 2018 20

only used the Lee 452-252 (255 grn) to date in both Ruger Flattop 45 Colt and Uberti 45 Colt. Only load I have shot in the Uberti so far is 7.1 grns HP 38. Shot lights out in my Ruger and well in the Uberti.

Loads I intend to shoot, all Traditional pressure Colt loads, are (and same bullet)

7.3 grn HP 38
8-9 grns Unique
8-9 grns Power Pistol
6.6 grns Bullseye
16 grns 2400 (maybe less, 15 grns)

Nearly all these loads are discussed in Handloader #291. They, and a little powder for the Ruger, have all shot well in the Ruger.
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