45 Colt Powder Preferences

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by JeffB, Aug 25, 2020.

  1. JeffB

    JeffB New Member

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    OK, I'll try to be as specific as possible.

    I'm about ready to reload for my new NM Ruger BH 45 Colt (see range reports and Ruger Revolver discussions). I have a press, scale, powder measure, dies (carbide), deburring tool, manuals and misc small items on hand or on the way. I hope to recreate mostly cast softball to medium loads, I'll deal will dinosaur killers later.

    My question: considering 225-255 gr lead/cast commercial bullets, is there a preferred, best, most versatile powder to look at? When I reloaded .38, .357, .45 acp I was mostly using Unique. 2400? others?

    Thanks

    -jb, here and elsewhere, as usual
     
  2. RL Johnson

    RL Johnson Active Member

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    I am sorry no one has responded to your questions but I do not think there are many revolver loaders here. My brother and I have just got into reloading and neither of us shoot nor reload for revolvers. We buy a lot of coated bullets from Missouri bullets. Their website has a link to good discussion about Ruger revolvers.
    From what I read you should be using Trail Boss for cowboy action shooting with uncoated bullets. Unique is better suited for coated or jacketed bullets.
    More importantly it seems many have their cylinder throats honed to a uniform diameter. Rugers have tight throat diameters.
    Again I am not a revolver guy but it appears that reloading 45 long colt is sort of an art. Accurate cylinder dimensions determine your cast bullet diameter and hardness and therefore accuracy.
    Best of luck in your reloading efforts. It seems that is the only choice for a while. Now if we can only find some small pistol primers.
     

  3. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry New Member

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    Give Unique a try with your lead bullets. That's because you already have that powder on hand. For heavy loads, for me, it's Accurate #9 or the Shooters World equivalent. My gun runs very well basically without modifications. I do not recall every shooting a jacketed bullet in that gun. Not trying to contradict anybody. This is just my experience.
     
  4. JeffB

    JeffB New Member

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    I'd always been a Unique guy (uh, powder wise) in 45 acp, 9mm. .38, .357,et al, and always resigned to dirt, back in the day. I took the suggestions from elsewhere and ... Universal powder. Primers are a huge challenge. I scrounged the last 200 CCI LPP to be found in my small community. They'll get me started with my once fired factory brass.

    It's a start. 5+ years ago I {@&x6t%$ed <-- bad word} threw away my complete RCBS setup. But I'm back in business, low volume, now. Hope the forum gets more traffic, good sources are hard to find.

    -jb
     

    Attached Files:

  5. robmkivseries70

    robmkivseries70 New Member

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    I have not started reloading .45 Colt but did some research and settled on IMR 4227. A good load will occupy much of the case and make double charges easy to spot. Lots of guys have used Unique as well but it has been a long time and I/ we only used Unique for .45 ACP. hth
    Rob
     
  6. JeffB

    JeffB New Member

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    Thanks for the reply and suggestion Rob

    -jb
     
  7. noylj

    noylj Member

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    Anything from Bullseye to Unique is good.
    Any loading manual will show you at least six powders that are quite good for a given cartridge.
     
    SGW Gunsmith and 0311 like this.
  8. JeffB

    JeffB New Member

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    Quite true, all my manuals and online references list several powders. What they don't list are experiences and preferences of those having used the data. Things like "powder X doesn't meter well" or "powder Y produces the most efficient load" or "powder Z burns dirtier than powder A." Thus the question about users preferences. Thanks for your reply

    -jb
     
  9. gwpercle

    gwpercle Member

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    Hard to beat Unique because it works ...it may not "meter" well or be "clean " but it hasn't been around for 100 years for no good reason . But what happens when you can't find it ...last shortage (2013) left me looking for alternatives when Bullseye & Unique evaporated .
    I reload mostly handguns and cast bullets . Light target loads are best with Bullseye but 700X , Red Dot (Promo) Titegroup and AA#2 will do as stand ins.
    For Unique ... AA#5 is a tad slower but will do (might be best in 45 Colt mid range loads) H Universal , Power Pistol , Green Dot , 231 and True Blue will all do .
    I haven't had a chance to work a lot with AA#5 but it seems promising as a fill in for Unique ...it seems to be a tad slower but that's not a problem .
    All the powders I used as substitutes worked and worked well... but as soon as Bullseye and Unique came back I bought a supply ... I still like my old stand by's ...although AA#2 and AA#5 look promising !
    Gary
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
    SGW Gunsmith likes this.
  10. noylj

    noylj Member

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    Clean? I fired over 5000 rounds of IPSC and PPC/Bullseye loads through one 1911 using Unique powder and never had an issue. Finally cleaned the gun just to do something. If clean is what you want, DON'T Shoot.
    How about:
    TrailBoss
    It fills the case, you can't over charge, and it is often accurate. Look for Cowboy action loads.
    Unique
    It simply works. Fluffy.
    Bullseye:
    Nice powder that does well in most pistol cartridges.
    See:
    https://www.gunsandammo.com/editorial/45-colt-load-data/370003
    https://www.handloadermagazine.com/45-colt-pet-loads
     
  11. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Active Member

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    I agree with the use of Unique. When I was casting 255 grain Keith style bullets from linotype metal, 8.0 grains of Unique provided a very nice shooting and accurate load in my SAA Colts.
     
  12. paulruger

    paulruger Active Member

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    I like the "Holy Black"!
     
  13. noylj

    noylj Member

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    What I shake my head over for the last 20 years are all the questions about "clean" powders and almost none on ACCURATE powders.
    Sorry, all you clean powder types but the cleanest pistol powder I think that will EVER exist, IMR PB, died due to lack of attention since all the young whippersnappers decided that ONLY new powders were worth looking at. You will never find a cleaner powder, since the cases looked the same after firing as before when they were virgin cases.
    Shot lead bullets and Unique for a couple of years in competition. Firing fast, all I saw were my sights and target and NEVER noticed the smoke (inside or out).
    It's like tennis and golfers that can't stand crowd noise. If the crowd has to be silent, you are doing something wrong. Every athlete should be "in the zone" when competing.
     
  14. pcmacd

    pcmacd New Member

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    For top loads, #9 is the best propellent I have found for 44 Mag, which is similar in requirements to 45 colt. H110, 296 (the same thing), are a bit abrupt when fired. Great propellants, but really abrupt upon ignition. 2400 will yield nearly equal velocities with a softer burn profile.

    #9 is just the thing. I shot S&W 629 and Desert Eagle 44 loads with 240 and ~300 Hornady JHP bullets over an Oehler 35P at 100 yards, seated, no support. The consistency of velocity and accuracy were mind numbing, using CCI 350 primers. I was getting astonishing extreme spreads. I actually got a crowd behind me watching me shoot the D.E. at a rapid fire pace. It is quite noisy, no?

    I was shooting betwixt 17.0 and 18.3 grains of #9 for the 303 grain (weighed bullets!) Hornady loads. Your mileage may vary, please work up slowly to these levels.

    The #9 loads were just so pleasant to shoot in both weapons, unlike the boatloads of full tilt boogie 296 240/LSWC or Horn 240/JHP rounds I have on hand. Not so bad in the D.E., but I can't shoot more than around 25 rounds of full tilt boogie 296 loads in the revolver in one sitting. That's enough fun for a week. It's just too much for me. Oh, and the 50 DE with 325 grn bullets and 296? Six shots. I'm good for a month.

    I was getting around 1114, 1116, 1211 FPS with these loads with the Horn 303 grn. bullet, with extreme spreads of 56 for 10 shots on the higher loads. The lower velocity loads had less than ten shots with correspondingly much smaller spreads.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
  15. Magnum.357

    Magnum.357 Active Member

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    JeffB, I've been reloading for .357 mag/38 spl for a little over a year. I've had good results with HP-38. It is the same powder as Winchester 231. None of my cases have been loaded to max pressure. It is a good powder. Not as clean as other powders but pleasant to shoot.
    All bullets used are commercial, lead or FMJ.
    H110 or Winchester 296, which is basically the same powder will result in more pressure but slower. It will give you very good accuracy as well as many others but this powder is more for the 1,100 psi and above, such as magnum levels.
    If you are shooting lead try to stay off the 1,000 psi. It will save you from lead deposits in your BBL.
    You can shoot berry's FMJ above the 1,000 psi with good results. The hard cast lead bullets by Magnus is also a good option.
    HP-38/231 or H110/296 powders. Power Pro 300 is also good but I can't find it here or on the web.
    Over all Jeff, you just have to play around until you find something you are comfortable with.

    Also, very important! keep notes. As to grains of powder used, bullet used and how well it shoots (recoil) and its accuracy. Date the day you loaded. All powders will need some cleaning. Start off with a basic note book and date the page then what case and how many times it was loaded. If using mixed cases. What type of bullet, weight. What type of powder and grns.
    Some times you can be using the same bullet and weight grn then load a different number of grns in powder with different results. The obvious will be recoil.

    Happy shooting and keep us Ruger brothers in contact here. We like this kind business.
     
  16. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Active Member

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    Accurate Arms #5 works great in my Glock 23 .40 S&W caliber. Can't believe what's going on with primers now. I think it was on Gunbroker where some person was selling 1000 count boxes of Federal Large Pistol primers for $1,800.00. Man, that's crazy and if anyone pays that, they are the same...........crazy!
     
  17. Magnum.357

    Magnum.357 Active Member

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    Your right SGW,
    I just landed a box of small pistol primers 1g count for $50.00. I thought it was highway robbery. Seller told me it was his last box and there will not be any more available for some time.
    I asked if he would know when there wound be another supply?
    A- There is no telling when there will be another supply of primers but to not count on them having any for months and months to come.
     
  18. SGW Gunsmith

    SGW Gunsmith Active Member

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    This "primerdemic" has got to be fear involving the upcoming election. If Biden and Carmelo Hairless get elected, I'm afraid the whole sheet-a-ree will go down the terlet.
    I guess I can't blame some folks for stocking up and trying to think ahead, but I still have faith in the American Oath Takers who will back up the Constitution by any means necessary. So, am I a "ONE ISSUE VOTER", you're dog-gone right I am:

    [​IMG]

    And, do some of these radicals ever think that they will defund and not finance our Sheriffs Department here in Washburn County? Not as long as I'm on the County Board.
     
  19. Mowgli Terry

    Mowgli Terry New Member

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    Added-45 Colt: This is another case of many powders performing very well. A personal favorite is Accurate #5. This powder also works were in my 44 Specials. For the really heavy loads with heavy bullets I'm looking to Accurate #9 in the 45 Colt. Unique is also a personal favorite. Either way it's gonna work good.
    20200731_132320 (1).jpg
    The 45 Colt rounds go in two Vaquero's and a Blackhawk Bisley. My 44 Magnum's are a Super Blackhawk and a Vaquero. For heavy loads for all these guns, a personal preference, is Accurate #9 or Shooters World equivalent. I don't care for frail revolvers. It's all good!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020 at 8:14 PM
  20. noylj

    noylj Member

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    For 45 Colt, are you loading for std .45 Colt SAA, or for guns that can take higher pressures? I sure don't think AA9 would be good for SAA loads and would stay with faster powders.