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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Darksider's Den (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Major 2, Capt Quirk)  |  Topic: Full Power 45 Colt Loads 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Full Power 45 Colt Loads  (Read 20369 times)
Dave T
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« Reply #25 on: May 26, 2016, 10:06:18 am »

Driftwood,

Don't blame you a bit for not dissecting one of those beauties. Definitely collectible and having the box and all 12 rounds just adds to the value. With one missing for dissection it would diminish the impact, both visually and financially.

Congrats on a great find/acquisition and thanks for showing it to us.

Dave
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« Reply #26 on: May 26, 2016, 11:00:48 pm »

I've always been attracted by the idea of shooting original performance ammo from guns of the black powder cartridge era and I put a lot of effort into accomplishing that years ago.

Research indicated the original load was with FFg but I couldn't get enough of that granulation in modern, solid head cases to duplicate the oft quoted original performance of 910 fps. What I came up with was a very compressed FFFg load of 36g behind a 255g RNFP. From a 7-1/2" 1st Gen Colt I got average velocities ranging from 907 fps to 914 fps, depending on the time of the year (outside temp).

Since this time around I'm starting from stretch with different guns, different bullets, even different brass (brand-new Starline cases) so before I re-invent the wheel (LOL) I thought I'd ask what folks here do for full power 45 Colt ammunition. I'd be grateful for any and all info you're willing to pass on.

Thanks in advance,
Dave



This is a mite late, but I did manage to put a 40 grain charge of GOEX 2fg in some Winchester cases.  I had to compress the powder with a compression die after I poured it thru a drop tube. 
I then seated a 250 grain PRS big lube boolit in the case and gave it a good roll crimp.  I made up two hundred like this and shot them at a match some years ago.  I do not know what the velocity was, but the blast, concussion, and recoil was like touching off a twelve pounder.  I also used fifty of the Lyman Cowboy RNFP 250grain cast bullets.  Same results.   
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« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2016, 02:24:10 am »

HaHa! Way to go Grapeshot!
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2016, 08:29:48 am »

Wildman and Dave,

I load 17 grains by weight of Olde Eynsford (or Swiss) FFFg with a 220 grain bullet in my 1911.  The pistol runs indefinitely with this load and no cleaning.  I've fired 100 rounds without cleaning and with no malfunctions.

It's a hoot to bring it to a Wild Bunch match and mess with folks minds!  Grin
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2016, 09:09:37 am »

BPB....Are you gonna try Grapeshot's load?  I want to be on your Posse if you do!
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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2016, 10:16:56 am »

I have a pair of 45Ruger NM Vaqueros, they are looking good for Grapeshot's load!
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« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2016, 10:31:03 am »

4FoD...I'd like to see these shot, but don't think I can afford the trip!
I'll stick with my 45 S&W loads for CAS!
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Dave T
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« Reply #32 on: May 27, 2016, 10:38:56 am »

I should have specified in my initial post that I'm interested in duplicating full powder civilian ammo. That's confusing enough without adding in the military's inability to settle on what cartridge they were going to shoot (lol).

Back in the late 1980s when I first looked into this most everyone accepted the 40g of FFg charge as the standard civilian load so that was what I duplicated with a lucky find of 50 NOS balloon head cases. I had a custom mould that threw a 255g RNFP 20-1 alloy slug which I sized to .454" and lubed with SPG. With considerable compression I got 40g of GOEX under that bullet and tested the results through rebuilt 1st Gen Colts with 4-3/4", 5-1/2" and 7-1/2" barrels. The results were 865 fps, 887 fps and 914 fps respectively. Since the balloon head cases were not going to last forever (they started failing after the 3rd reloading) I searched for an alternative load in modern brass cases and came up with the 36g of FFFg load mentioned earlier.

I've learned recently that there may well have been as much variation in civilian loads as there was in military versions, but my interest remains in the full blown black powder offerings. If you haven't fired these maximum effort rounds from a SAA revolver you have a whole new experience waiting for you.

For one thing you will be surprised at the power of this black powder loading. I used to routinely knock over the steel targets of the "IPSC in boots" match directors and this was from a load developing just over half the chamber pressure of a standard 38 special (10,000 psi vs 18,000 psi). Then too the fact that all that performance is contained in such a compact, graceful, well balanced and beautiful package as the Colt Single Action Army revolver.

I never won any matches back in my CAS days but then that wasn't why I was there. I wanted to relive the experience of shooting the guns of the post-Civil War West and that included what it was like to shoot the same ammunition they shot back then, not some watered down version or even an entirely different cartridge with half the recoil so I can win a plastic pin or trophy.

That same motivation that drove me 25-30 years ago to pursue what the original performance was, is driving me to seek out the same thing with the components available today with the newly manufactured guns I now have.

Dave
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wildman1
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« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2016, 01:29:17 pm »

Some of the BH cases from the days of BP and the transition to smokiless era actually may have held a little less powder than todays modern brass. I do not know about revolver loads but my 38-56 BH cases weigh more and have less capacity than the modern cases of today. wM1
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« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2016, 04:58:38 pm »

4FoD...I'd like to see these shot, but don't think I can afford the trip!
I'll stick with my 45 S&W loads for CAS!

HaHa! I'mm too old to be fast, but I sure can be theatrical!

I'm not a stickler for absolute adherance to correct historical stuff, but do like to recreate the experience. In addition to that, I have never been one to go for 'cap gun' loads, unrealistic guns, etc. I used to shoot long range rifle / Bisley / Palma style matches but lost interest when they went from shooting rifles that looked like rifles  started watering down the rules and ended up with rifles that looked like space guns. The same as when I used to shoot 'combat' revolver matches. I kept my trigger pressures standard and my loads reasonable. With ear muffs on, the other guys sounded like they were shooting cap guns, mine sounded like a real gun. Did I win? No. Was I ever going to win? No. Did I enjoy the experience? YESSSSSSSSSSSS! When questioned about my gun, loads, etc, etc, I would say, I'm not trying to win, I'm just trying to beat the big guy's last score (me) and have fun.

It's still fun and no matter how you approach your shooting (or anything else in life), is your business. Good onya as we Aussies say.
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All my cowboy gun's calibres start with a 4! It's gotta be big bore and whomp some!

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« Reply #35 on: May 28, 2016, 09:28:06 am »

.45 Colt / 40 grs. Swiss FFG / 257 gr. bullet / SPG
Marlin .45 Colt Cowboy Rifle / Tang Sight
Benchrest

300 meters / 327 yards  Grin



w44wcf
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« Reply #36 on: May 28, 2016, 10:47:35 am »

That's mighty fine shooting!
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All my cowboy gun's calibres start with a 4! It's gotta be big bore and whomp some!

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« Reply #37 on: May 29, 2016, 07:59:04 am »

Thank you. I did shoot from a benchrest but  the load / rifle did the work. Grin
Bullet was the RCBS clone of the  historically correct 452190.

Here is a comparison between a settled 40 gr. charge by weight in early and current brass.
The early balloon head case has about 3 grs. more capacity.

Swiss powder is 10% more dense than Goex so 40 grs. by weight of Swiss in modern brass
would require about the same compression as Goex in the SHBP case.




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« Reply #38 on: May 29, 2016, 10:04:07 am »

Somewhere in the back of my stuff pile is a cigar box full of the old .45 Colt button head cases.
i would like to try loading some to the original specs. but they are almost rimless, do not have the groove under the rim, and will not fit into any shell holder I have.
As interesting as it might be the only way to load them would be with a Lyman tong tool that dates back to the early '50s when i started hand loading. The pleasure is not worth the pain.
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« Reply #39 on: May 29, 2016, 05:35:32 pm »

I have some of those, too. I do have a shellholder that will fit them, but it's different than the one I use for my other .45 cases. They tend to "pop" through the shellholder when priming on the press. I just put them away and use modern ones.
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Dave T
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« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2016, 05:44:27 pm »

w44wcf,

I remember back 30+ years ago, when I was doing this the first time, I had trouble seating my 255g custom 20-1 bullets to an over-all length of 1.6". Compressing 40g of GOEX, even in those balloon head cases I had, took so much pressure it distorted the nose of the soft bullets. I ended up talking a machinist/gunsmith friend into shaping a seating stem to exactly fit my bullet's profile. It allowed me to load the 40g duplicates I was trying to create and later what became my standard load of 36g of FFFg in modern brass without distorting my soft lead slugs. Wish I still had all that stuff. (smile)

Dave
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w44wcf
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« Reply #41 on: June 01, 2016, 09:01:57 pm »

Dave,
As you indicated, the softer bullets won't stand up to more than a bit of compression without being distorted.  Sorry that you apparently don't still have your equipment of 30+ years ago.

For the .45 Colt and 40 gr charges, I have been using a hard cast .44 bullet to compress the powder.

For the .44-40, I was using a jacketed 10MM bullet but recently had an aluminum .420" dia slug made in the profile of the bullet I am using and that works great. I need to do the same thing for the .45 Colt.

w44wcf
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medic15al
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« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2016, 01:07:18 pm »

I did this chrony test of full powered loads just recently:

 The guns used are a Pietta (Heritage Big Bore) 4 3/4in, Cimarron Old Model P  5 1/2in, and a Uberti Old Model P 7 1/2in.

The load is 40 grns of FFFG (3F) Olde Eynsford under a 250grn PRS Big Lube bullet. All loads fired 10 feet from chrono.

4 3/4 Bbl Pietta:

1. 925
2. 903
3. 927
4. 923
5.934
Average 922.4

Cimarron 5 1/2 Bbl :

1. 1004
2. 967
3. 1048
4. 1070
5. 1047
Average 1027.2

Uberti 7 1/2 Bbl:

1. 1028
2. 1049
3. 1018
4. 1026
5. 1010
Average  1026.2
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Dave T
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« Reply #43 on: June 04, 2016, 08:56:23 pm »

medic,

From all the research I did years ago, your results indicate that load was a bit much in what I'm gusssin' was modern brass. You got something of an over load in terms of the original performance. As I alluded to earlier top velocities should be in the neighborhood of 860 or so from a 4-3/4" barrel; about 885 from a 5-1/2" barrel; and a bit over 900 from a 7-1/2" barrel. You were getting high 7-1/2" velocity from your 4-3/4" barreled revolver.

Because of the low operating pressure of black powder I doubt hurt anything but in solid head cases those were kind of overloads to my thinking. No offense intended, just offering an observation.

Dave
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medic15al
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« Reply #44 on: June 04, 2016, 09:02:00 pm »

Yeah, I definitely backed off to 35 grn loads (2.2cc dipper) afterward. Easier to get even 200 loads from a pound and no sense in battering myself.
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w44wcf
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« Reply #45 on: June 05, 2016, 08:11:12 am »

medic151al,
Thank you for the data.  Smiley.  Impressive!  I'll bet those were a handful!

Even though your velocities with 3F Olde E. exceed the vintage .45 Colt loads of yesteryear,
the pressures are still only about 1/3 of what the brass will take.

I found that 40 grs. by weight of Olde E. 2F / 250 gr. pretty much matched the ballistics of the .45 Colt b.p. loading of yesteryear.

In my testing, Olde Eynsford  & Swiss have the highest ballistic strength of the b.p.'s of today.

w44wcf



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« Reply #46 on: June 05, 2016, 04:40:38 pm »

Question for you two guys. I was never able to get 40 grains of FFg GOEX in modern brass and seat a bullet to an OAL of 1.6". As my fading memory suggests I had a fair amount of trouble with 40g of FFFg GOEX in solid head cases as well.

Are Olde Eynsford & Swiss powders that different (denser) than the GOEX of 25-30 years ago or do you guys know some loading tricks I was and still am ignorant of? Inquiring minds (or at least this old one) want to know. (smile)

Dave
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medic15al
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« Reply #47 on: June 05, 2016, 05:12:57 pm »

I drop slowly from an elevated funnel like a drop tube. Ill have about a 1/4in of gap from top of case. Seating slowly on a Big Lube bullet. Can feel the powder compression.
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« Reply #48 on: June 05, 2016, 09:37:45 pm »

I drop slowly from an elevated funnel like a drop tube. Ill have about a 1/4in of gap from top of case. Seating slowly on a Big Lube bullet. Can feel the powder compression.

To reiterate other posts, a soft bullet is not the tool to compress the powder charge in any caliber.  I went the route of using a compression die.  Then I can compress the charge to the required depth without deforming the bullet.  T do this with my .45 Colt, .45/70, and .45 S&W Schofield rounds.  If using the bullet works for you, great.  It did not for me.  My results were impressive when I touch them off.  JMTCW.
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« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2016, 06:36:40 am »

Question for you two guys. I was never able to get 40 grains of FFg GOEX in modern brass and seat a bullet to an OAL of 1.6". As my fading memory suggests I had a fair amount of trouble with 40g of FFFg GOEX in solid head cases as well.

Are Olde Eynsford & Swiss powders that different (denser) than the GOEX of 25-30 years ago or do you guys know some loading tricks I was and still am ignorant of? Inquiring minds (or at least this old one) want to know. (smile)

Dave

Dave,
The pic in several posts above indicates that .28" of compression is needed on a settled charge (powder poured slowly through a funnel from about 4-5" above the funnel).  If I am using a bullet that is 14+BHN, i compress the powder with the bullet. If the bullet hardness is less than that, I compress the powder in a separate operation.

The density of Olde Eynsford is pretty much the same as some current and older standard Goex powders.  Swiss is 10% denser. In other words, 40 grs.of Swiss will occupy the same space as 36 grs of Goex in the lots that I have.

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