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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1873 (Moderator: Major 2)  |  Topic: Test results .45 Colt Cowboy Ammunition 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Test results .45 Colt Cowboy Ammunition  (Read 4660 times)
w44wcf
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« on: September 22, 2013, 08:22:10 am »


Since some .45 Colt enthusiasts don't reload, I became interested in the performance and accuracy of the current .45 Colt factory offerings.  Hopefully, the below information may be of some benefit to those of you that have a .45 Colt rifle but don't reload.
 
Prior to the accuracy / velocity testing, I dissected an average of 5 rounds of each type to determine the average powder charge weight used.  I then measured the bullet diameter and checked the hardness. Higher BHN = harder

I tested the velocity when the cartridges were chambered from the magazine and if the powder was positioned to the rear to see what the difference might be. In positioning the powder to the rear, I partially chambered a cartridge, then pointed the muzzle up to at least 60 degrees for 1 second, then when the muzzle was pointing towards the target, I completed closing the action.

I ranked the cartridges in descending order by the most accurate to least. At number 1 is the standard .45 Colt RN ammunition. It features a hollow based bullet and was the only one to do so with the exception of the Aquila which came in last.

I also fired groups at 100 yards with the top 3 and accuracy was very good in the 2 ½” – 3 ½” range with the number 1 cartridge turning in the best group. I did not have enough rounds left of the Hornady ammunition to try them at 100 but I would expect they would do as well.



I had recently found a box of the Aquila .45 Colt Cowboy at a distant gunshop. It contained 200 gr. hollow based bullets with a lighter, as compared to the other brands, 3.4 gr charge of powder. They should call it “.45 Colt Lite Cowboy” or “.45 Colt Reduced Recoil”. I see that other makers offer cartridges with similar ballistics, however in testing the ammo in my single action revolver it fell 100 f.p.s. short of the claimed 650 f.p.s. velocity. I think I will contact Aquila to let them know.

There are a number of other .45 Colt Cowboy cartridges as indicated in this chart. If anyone has the opportunity to test any of them please let us know how they performed.



Oh, rifle used was a Marlin .45 Colt Cowboy with a scope for more precise aiming.  After all this was a test of what the rifle / ammo combination was capable of rather than a test of my eyesight……

I know this is a '73 Winchester board but I would think that test results might be pretty similar.

w44wcf
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aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
aka w30wcf (smokeless)
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.22 W.C.F., .30 W.C.F., .44 W.C.F., .45 Colt Cartridge Historian
fortyshooter
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 12:12:41 pm »

Underwood Ammo,out of West Va.,makes up some great .45 Colt rounds.  I have recently used his 250 gr. hardcast lead flat tops,and the FMJ ammo thru mu 1873 rifle and they shot well. They are rated at 850 FPS. from a pistol.
Will try and get some chrony reading on them.
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w44wcf
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 02:33:52 pm »

fortyshooter,
Thank you for the information. It would be nice to know how they perform.

Just recently, I tested the 200 gr Ultramax and the 225 gr. Federal lead H.P. ammo. I will update the chart adding the performance information obtained with those 45 Colt cartridges.

w44wcf 
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aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
aka w30wcf (smokeless)
NRA Life Member
.22 W.C.F., .30 W.C.F., .44 W.C.F., .45 Colt Cartridge Historian
w44wcf
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 08:30:48 am »

Chart updated. Added Black Hills .45 Colt ammunition.



Notice that the std Winchester and Magtech rounds have a case cannelure at the base of the bullet.
Early on, the cannelure was the indicator that the round was loaded with smokeless powder.

However, these days, smokeless rounds may or may not have the cannelure, depending on the whim of the manufacturer.

w44wcf
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aka Jack Christian SASS 11993 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
aka John Kort
aka w30wcf (smokeless)
NRA Life Member
.22 W.C.F., .30 W.C.F., .44 W.C.F., .45 Colt Cartridge Historian
Bryan Austin
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 02:40:49 pm »

John,
Is there a case cannelure machine for handloaders?
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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  The Winchester Model 1873 (Moderator: Major 2)  |  Topic: Test results .45 Colt Cowboy Ammunition « previous next »
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