Author Topic: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP  (Read 436 times)

Offline SPJ

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Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« on: May 15, 2021, 02:59:11 AM »
I brought this upon another site but I think I may have better chances finding answers from the community here.

The Wikipedia page on the 45 Schofield states that it is comparable to, though less powerful than, the 45 acp. The page doesn't have references to back up that statement, but I have heard the comparison before and I can understand it myself.  Both being made originally with 230 grain bullets, and the velocity and power of the Schofield only differing from the ACP by a factor of roughly 100. With Wikipedia giving the velocity of the Schofield at 730 fps and 374 J of energy, and the 45 ACP being more powerful at 835 fps and 483 J (356 ftlbs) of energy. It does not state what barrel lengths these are being fired from though

This has made me want to ask what loading of blackpowder would it take to create a revolver cartridge with a performance comparable to the 45 ACP, with a velocity over 800 fps and energy around 350 J?

The majority of the sources I have found state that the original loading of the 45 Schofield was a 230 gr bullet with 28 grains of black powder. So I imagine that simply adding one or two more grains of powder would be enough to add roughly another 100 fps and J of energy to the bullet. I read that the Frankford Arsenal produced cartridges for the 45 Colt made in the 1800s was loaded with 30 grains of black powder so I imagine their performance was likely closer.

This thread involves a user stating that they were able to load 30 grains in a Schofield case. So I assume it should be possible. If not I will go ahead with a 45 Colt case

If I wear to take up this project I would go about trying to load a 45 Schofield case with a 230 RNFP bullet with 30 grains of 3fg black powder, either Swiss or Eynsford as I am told they would give me more of the performance I am looking for. I also have a Colt 1860, with a conversion cylinder, that has an 8 inch barrel. I imagine the length of the barrel will also help in allowing the bullet to reach a higher velocity.

Does anyone here know if I am along the right track of? Or if anyone has already achieved this level of performance before me, and how I can replicate it?

Thank you

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2021, 10:44:04 AM »
 :)  SPJ   ;)

I guess my initial  knee jerk reaction is "WHY??'' but since it's something you just want to do, My Why is immaterial.  lease accept that following as a WAG (Military Acronym for Wild Ass'd Guess) but you are on the sorta right track.

You may not be able to achieve our result with a 45 Schofield case.  The original Ordinance Department load was an amount of powder in a "Balloon" head case that had more capacity than a modern Schofield case.  And when you over-stuff a cartridge you start to get into ignition, burn, pressure problems.

The 45 Colt case is going to give you more powder capacity for the same weight bullet.  This will equal more velocity and will also equal more pressure/recoil.

Your 1860 conversion requires a bit more thought.  The conversion cylinder can well stand your intended load.  The longer barrel will add a few FPS to get you closer to your goal.  HOWEVER:  The Frame and Arbor may well not appreciate the stresses of lots of heavy loads.

I would expect load data for the 45 ACP was acquired with 5" test barrels.  45 ACP is, in contrast to Schofield or Colt, a higher pressure cartridge with completely different pressure waves and pressure spike effects so you may get some odd results.  Should be a fun pursuit.

Stay Safe Out There

FORGOT:  At these load levels you will be known as a "Warthog" or "Pale Rider"   

Offline Abilene

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Re: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2021, 04:03:36 PM »
Coffinmaker, my knee is sympatico with yours.  :)

Online Baltimore Ed

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Re: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2021, 04:17:29 PM »
I assume he’s thinking outside the box for when his unique, bullseye, clays, etc is gone but he’s still got a 50 lb keg of 3f under the bench. Initially I thought he was working on a 1911 loading which I’ve read about someone doing but not tried myself. Don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The .455 and .450 Webley were effective bp loads and expanded and maintained the Empire quite nicely. God save the Queen.
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Offline DeaconKC

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Re: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2021, 05:49:40 PM »
I think I would start with using load data for the .455 Webley. It was a lower pressure round so would probably be a safe starting point.
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Re: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« Reply #5 on: Today at 07:45:29 PM »

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2021, 04:20:04 AM »
if one wishes to duplicate .45 ACP ballistics in a .45 Colt revolver,
one can get .45 Cowboy brass and load per .45 ACP recipes! Sort of what I do...

BUT  the OP has asked
"what loading of blackpowder would it take to create a revolver cartridge
with a performance comparable to the 45 ACP, with a velocity over 800 fps and energy around 350 J?"

A simple question.

data found from various sources on the web.
.45 ACP:    230 gr FMJ   835 ft/s   356 ft⋅lb
Maximum pressure (SAAMI)   21,000 psi (140 MPa)
.45 Schofeld:   230 gr Lead    730 ft/s   276 ft⋅lb
      250 gr Lead    710 ft/s   283 ft⋅lb

.45 Colt   Maximum pressure (SAAMI)   14,000 psi

From a 7-1/2-inch barrel , BP loads:

35 grains BP    250 gr Lead   ~900 + fps
30 grains BP    250 gr Lead   ~800 + fps.

28 grains BP   230 gr lead    730-800 fps

your mileage WILL vary depending upon brand , lot, etc.
I have found Swiss to be cleaner and faster than GOEX
and Scheutzen to be right up with Swiss.

I myself would not worry about the difference between 28 gr and 30 gr as long as
the load was consistant and hit to POA. As previously pointed out, Modern .45 Colt cases won't hold as much BP as the old cases.

So, I would find a consistant load that fits in the case, compresses nicely, and use a firm crimp.
A chrony is your friend here!

More important is the right Lube, and enough of it.

a long and interesting discussion can be found here (especially KCSO's posts)

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Offline SPJ

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Re: Recreating 45 ACP performance in BP
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2021, 04:41:46 AM »
After searching more online I think I would be better off if I could find more information on attempts to recreate the Frankford Arsenal .44 Martin cartridges like this fellow

This guys work on 44 Colt reloads is also very insightful


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