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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Powder Room - CAS reloading (Moderator: Marshal Halloway)  |  Topic: Herco - for 45 LC and 45-60 WCF 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Herco - for 45 LC and 45-60 WCF  (Read 2874 times)
Gabriel Law
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« on: January 25, 2014, 12:43:04 pm »


Does anyone have any reloading data for using Herco powder in the 45 LC?  I have both 200 and 250 grain cast lead.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 02:12:40 pm »

Speer #10 Reloading Manual -  .45 Colt Herco loads:

- 200 SWC/8.0-9.5 grs  for 849-1002 fps

- 250 SWC/7.7-8.7 grs for 782-882 fps

These were chrono'ed from a 5-1/2" Colt SAA. The book lists even heavier loads for JHP's.

WARNING! The loads recommended then (1979) would be considered 'hot' by today's standards.

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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2014, 02:53:05 pm »

I use 6.2, and up to 8.0 gr HERCO in .44-40.

As I had a stash of HERCO gifted to me, it is my go-to smokeless powder for cast bullets in pistol and rifle, and shotgun.
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 11:13:07 pm »

I used to shoot a lot of +p 38 cast bullet loads out of my Blackhawk loaded with Herco, but haven't used any for years. Never used it with the .45.
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 06:56:40 pm »

Thanks very much, my Canuck buddies!  I've got a pile of Herco and I'd like to use it, so I'm pleased to now have some loads to try.
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 07:01:21 pm »

Sir Charles...how many grains for 12 gauge 1 1/16 oz loads?
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Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 12:17:33 am »

This is from the Alliant powder site.

 http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloaders/RecipePrint.aspx?shotype=&weight=1.125&weightdis=1+1%2f8&shellid=493&gtypeid=3&gauge=12&lid=983

---    1 1/8oz.    1,250fps    Win 209    Herco    WAA12, DRA12 or DR XL  1 1/8oz    25gr.    9,500psi

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NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2014, 07:43:04 am »

An Alliant Powder Pamphlet shows the following for Herco in the .45 Colt in a 7.3" barrek:
200 gr / 9.5 / 895 / 11,400
250 gr / 9.0 / 910 / 12,600

A retired ballastician from Hercules told me that the 9.0 load was his favorite for the .45 Colt.

w44wcf
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2014, 01:09:54 pm »

Lots of useful information fellas...thanks.
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Virginia Gentleman
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2014, 03:46:07 pm »

I wonder if Herco is the powder that was once called RSQ for US Government smokeless loads for .45 Colt and .45 Revolver loads for the Colt 1909?
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2014, 11:11:13 pm »

Sir Charles:  Tell me what you'd recommend for a Herco load in my 1876 Winchester 45-60 with 300 grain cast bullets, please.  And do you use a filler - toilet tissue, kapok, etc?  I used 8.0 gr. Herco with 200 grain cast bullets in 45 Colt, and had several bloopers - one destroyed my Chrony.!
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Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2014, 11:44:52 pm »

Will wonders ever cease? I am without an opinion! 

I don't shoot a .45-60, so I can't comment.  I only use GOEX in my .45-75 and generally for .45-70.  For smokeless, I have used 4895 in the .45-70, but not any of the other fine choices.  I see HERCO as a fraternal twin to UNIQUE, and it might make a plinking load, but I haven't tried it.
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NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Gabriel Law
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« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2014, 10:15:03 pm »

Sorry for putting you on the spot Sir, and forcing you to come up with such a declaration _ no opinion!

I don't have a lot of reloading confidence, and I'm asking if I can substitute Herco for Unique.  I would start really low and work up slowly, but naturally, I'm worried about damaging my new rifle.  I bought a 459300 mold from BACo, and cast a couple hundred bullets.  So I'm anxious to give it a whirl.  And I have several pounds of Herco and am anxious to use it up.  If it works for my 45-60, I'd be very pleased.
right now, I have some test loads made up with GOEX 2Fg Cartridge and some with Trail Boss.  I have a MVA powder measure/dispenser, and it meters everything perfectly, so far.
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Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2014, 10:03:19 am »

OK: Here's an opinion!

HERCO is slightly slower than UNIQUE, according to the burn rate charts, so using no more than Unique will probably not blow up your rifle.

I use up to about 13 grains of Herco in bottleneck 19th Century military cartridges, but I found data listed in my older version of the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook for some of them.

This is what I did, and should not give you licence to do the same. Yor mileage may vary, and entirely at your own risk!
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NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Gabriel Law
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« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2014, 12:04:10 pm »

Thanks Sir Charles.  I in no way hold you responsible for anything that I do.  I appreciate your input.
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w44wcf
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« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2014, 04:48:24 pm »

I wonder if Herco is the powder that was once called RSQ for US Government smokeless loads for .45 Colt and .45 Revolver loads for the Colt 1909?

RSQ was a gray colored granular powder whereas Herco is a black colored disc powder. 

w44wcf
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2014, 06:37:22 pm »


I loaded up 10 rounds of 45-60 with 13 grains of Herco and a half square of toilet paper balled up and pressed down on the powder, and a 300 grain bullet.  I'll post my impressions in due course.  Right now, I'm waiting for my new Chrony...old one received a blooper just right of the screen...fubar!  The Chrony is almost imperative to make any sense of reloading.
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2014, 06:39:25 pm »

I just amended the title to better reflect my questions.
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2014, 09:30:39 pm »

With regard to the 45-60 and Herco load...my brother who knows far far more than I could ever hope to glean about reloading, advised me against shooting the 45-60 with tt pressed down on the powder.  The space in the case above powder is apparently very bad.  So I pulled the bullets, re-expanded the necks, put into each case a 5/8" length of 1/2" cylindrical styrafoam insulation (.5 gr. weight) to fill the case with a bit of compression of the foam, and then reseated the bullets.  I still have not shot them, but I'll let you know how it goes.

Regarding Herco in .45 Colt ... terrible!!  I set up my brand new Chrony F1, and the very first round (200 gr. lead bullet, 9.5 gr. Herco) was another blooper.  the bullet hit the front of my Chrony, but did not kill it...it is the master edition, and the LED screen was beside me on the bench.  Still, I did not trust to fire another at the Chrony, so I fired some off just to see if I would get repeat bloopers.  Some went off with a satisfying crack, and others were pathetic.  Now, 9.5 gr. Herco is about 1/4" short of a full case with the 200 gr. bullet.  I wish I knew what was happening here.  i'm not holding much hope out for the rifle loads.

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Sir Charles deMouton-Black
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2014, 09:42:28 pm »

I have used 6.2 gr. and 8.0 grains of Herco in .44-40 without any problems. I fact 6.2 Herco is my match load for WB, etc.  There must be something else going on?

In PET LOADS by Ken Waters, he favoured Herco right behind Unique in the .44-40.
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NCOWS #1154, SCORRS, STORM, BROW, 1860 Henry, Dirty Rat 502, CHINOOK COUNTRY
THE SUBLYME & HOLY ORDER OF THE SOOT (SHOTS)
Those who are no longer ignorant of History may relive it,
without the Blood, Sweat, and Tears.
With apologies to George Santayana & W. S. Churchill

"As Mark Twain once put it, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
Gabriel Law
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2014, 11:47:52 am »

I have three different containers of Herco.  I think I'll set this one aside, and give the other two a try.  It's as if the powder is defective/old/whatever?  I appreciate your comments.
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2014, 10:51:59 pm »

Two things have come to light.

First, in the Winchester 76 in 45-60, the 13 gr. load of Herco and the 300 gr. BACo bullet with the 5/8" length of high density foam over the powder performed very well, gave uniform ignition and decent accuracy at 59 yds. where my target ended up.  i'm pleased.

And secondly:  I think the issue with the bloopers in my revolvers using Herco is a result of using cheap Russian primers.  I don't think they are hot enough, and sometimes, lately anyway, some of the primers are pierced!!  I shall buy some Winchester or other American primers and give it another try, and will report.
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« Reply #22 on: July 07, 2014, 11:03:07 am »

Gabriel,
I have not yet used Herco in one of my .45 Colt revolvers but I recently tested Herco in my Marlin .45 Colt Cowboy rifle.  My goal was to = the original performance of the .44-40 rifle load of 1,300 f.p.s. with a 200 gr. bullet but in .45 caliber.

So....with 200 gr. bullets cast from my Lee 45-200 RNFP mold, I loaded up 10 rounds with 10 grs. / Herco ignited by Fed 150 primers.
I was very pleased with the results.  Velocities averaged 1,312 f.p.s. from the 24" barrel and grouped very well at 50 yards ..... In th 1" range Grin

w44wcf
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Gabriel Law
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« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2014, 01:07:40 pm »

That is good new indeed.  On Sunday, I purchased some Federal 150 primers for my 45 Colt cartridges.  I have loaded twenty rounds with 9.5 gr. Herco and 200 gr. RNFP bullets...will report on the results. 

I'm pleased to hear of your own success.  I loaded up some 45-60 for my Winchester '76, and am quite happy with the results so far.  My load to start was 13 gr. Herco with a BACo 459300 (300 gr) bullet.  My velocities are ~1200 fps.  I'm going to increase the load to 14.5 gr. and try to get the velocity p to around 1500 fps.

Thanks for responding.
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Frank V
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« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2014, 06:57:02 pm »

I have used just below the Speer & 10s maximum for the 250gr bullet with the Lyman 454190 for 3 years & really like it. Cases fall out of the chambers & very little soot is on the cases. I'm getting 2-1/2" groups @ 25 yds & moderate recoil. It is one of my "go to" loads in the .45 Colt. Wink

I have no experience with loading the .45-60WCF, sorry can't help there.
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