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Reloading .45 Long Colt

This is a discussion on Reloading .45 Long Colt within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Just picked up a Ruger New Model Blackhawk 45 Long Colt with 4 5/8" barrel. What type/brand of bullet, brass, powder do you recommend for ...


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Old December 18th, 2009, 03:07 AM   #1
 
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Reloading .45 Long Colt

Just picked up a Ruger New Model Blackhawk 45 Long Colt with 4 5/8" barrel. What type/brand of bullet, brass, powder do you recommend for target shooting/plinking. Friend recommended using "Mountain Gold" Bullets to prevent leading. New to this gun so any advice, recipes etc would be greatly appreciated. THanks in advance. Bob



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Old December 18th, 2009, 03:31 AM   #2
 
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I like 8.0 gr of Unique with about any ~250 gr bullet...for many using the old Colt cartridge, it's the "Standard" load. If you like Win 231, 7.5 gr will do as well with a chrono'd velocity of 823 fps for the same weight bullet. I've had good luck with Remington brass, Winchester seemed a little thinner. I also use Winchester Lg Pistol primers. The bullets were Magnus Bullet Company #902, .452 RNFP 250 gr hard cast.

You might want to check your cylinder throats, many of the Rugers coming off the productions line have undersize problems. Cylindersmith.com can cure them,,,cheaply and with a short turn around time in my experience. Mine were down around .450" and accuracy suffered as a result. He opened them up to a very uniform .4525" and my leading and grouping problems went away.

Hope your's doesn't need the fix. Rodfac

Last edited by Rodfac; December 18th, 2009 at 03:35 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 04:23 AM   #3
 
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I like Missouri Bullet's 250gr "Cowboy #1s" (12 brinnel) I use 5.5gr of IMR Trail Boss. Very pleasant to shoot out of my 5 1/2" Vaquero and accurate too.

+1 on the Unique load.

As far as brass goes I have quite a variety. Starline is supposed to be the best. I have 50 of them. Most of my brass is Winchester and some older Remington. Haven't had any problems with any of it.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #4
 
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I like Missouri Bullet 255 gn.swc. Very close to a Keith style bullet. 8 to 8.5 grains of Unique with Winchester primers into Starline brass. This load is safe in my guns. Please start lower and work up for yours.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 05:04 AM   #5
 
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Doc same load I use in my 45/8 Blackhawk and my 7 1/2 Bisley. Shoots good in both but shines in the Bisley...
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Old December 18th, 2009, 05:17 AM   #6
 
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Welcome to our forum. Enjoy!

Quality hand-cast bullets for reloaders, competitors, and recreational shooters

Mt. Baldy Bullets

Rintoul Enterprises Home Page

Western Bullet Co. - Cast bullets for rifle and pistol

Leadheads Bullets,Gas Checked and Plain Based Bullets

TrueShot Bullets

MASTERCAST BULLETS

BRP Cast Bullets
P.O. Box 70
Whitehall, MT
406-287-3120

I also use and like BeartoothBullets.com

For hard-cast bullets and my general plinking and target, I always use 240-260 grain bullets for general use.

And this link, Moyer's, gives you twice as many good bullets for the same price as other manufacturers. His bullets are bevel-based, but I use thousands of them. Link:
Moyer's Cast Bullets Pricelist, cast lead handgun bullets, cast lead rifle bullets, lead roundballs, lead maxi balls, lead minie balls


Here's a good link on primers. I always use Winchester Large Pistol for all my .44's and .45's. Good standard primer. Don't use magnum primers for what you're doing. Follow the recipes for their recommendation on primers.
Quick question on mag primers

Almost all cases are fine for you. In order of my preference: Federal, Starline, Hornady, Winchester, Remington.

There are many good powders available. One pound of Unique will give you about 850 loaded rounds to play with. This is my personal preference for your use level; a good mid-range powder. Note that, especially for a beginning reloader, a double-charge of powder is one of the most common mistakes. Please be very careful. Once you fill 5 or 10 cases with powder, always examine them with a flashlight or penlight to see that the powder levels in the case look the same. A double-charge could ruin both you and your gun.

You should pick up a good book on reloading as found in that primer link I gave you above. Also Alliant.com and Hodgdon.com have good sections on recipes for you to follow. Read any post you find that is written by IOWEGAN. He's a retired gunsmith on this forum and has more knowledge than you can imagine. He's a nice guy besides.

Stay safe. Don't do any superman heavy loads. For your target and plinking, you'll be happy with 750-900 feet per second loads. Pleasant recoil, accurate, plenty heavy for small game.

Happy loading.

Sonnytoo

Last edited by Sonnytoo; December 18th, 2009 at 05:34 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 05:53 AM   #7
 
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.45 Colt

I like 6.0 of Trail Boss pushing RNFP 250 bullets. Easy shooting. A bit hotter load is 8.5g of Unique pushing RNFP 250 bullets. I like both and both loads are within .45 Colt constraints (ie. not Ruger only loads) for shooting lead bullets.

BRP Cast Bullets.... Never realized there was a casting outfit just over the hill. I've been using RimRock bullets and Penn Bullets.... Been trying some Oregon Trail too.

Oh, yeah, I use Starline brass... just because it works and was available . Need to order up another 500.....

Really any large pistol primer will do. I've used CCI (both regular and magnum) and WLP. Can't be to picky these days!

Last edited by rclark; December 18th, 2009 at 06:11 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 06:16 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boblenaere View Post
Just picked up a Ruger New Model Blackhawk 45 Long Colt with 4 5/8" barrel. What type/brand of bullet, brass, powder do you recommend for target shooting/plinking. Friend recommended using "Mountain Gold" Bullets to prevent leading. New to this gun so any advice, recipes etc would be greatly appreciated. THanks in advance. Bob
You can use H-110/W-296,2400,Unique,Bullseye,Red Dot,Green Dot,Herco,Blue .I signed up for www.loaddata.com for reloads for 45colt,454casull,sw460mag,45-70.Other sites I've used is www.Handloads.com found 11 pages of 45 +p Colt loads & Reloading Pages of M.D. Smith plus I have hodgdon,nosler,speer ,lyman,sierra,hornaday,cast performance data.I use the Nosler Load Manuals a lot because their reloading data has been very accurate in my Sako rifles.

Last edited by scr83jp; December 18th, 2009 at 06:20 AM. Reason: added info
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Old December 18th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #9
 
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8 gr Unique fan here too. Leading is a directly related and is preventable by using the proper size bullet in relation to throat size. Hard cast lead is not the answer. Wheel weight hardness (BNH of roughly 10-12) is just fine and works throughout the velocities that I care push (unchecked). Brass, I use what I can pickup or buy (used) and shoot it. I cast straight WW's for most everything that I shoot.

Congrats on the new toy.
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Old December 19th, 2009, 02:51 AM   #10
 
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Thanks everyone for all the info. Will be checking cylinder throat size. Bob
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 06:02 PM   #11
 
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Starline brass for sure. I just recently ordered a batch of 500 in .45 Colt. I have never seen such uniformity in a batch of brass. Also, the flash holes did not need worked, first new brass I have experianced this.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 06:04 PM   #12
 
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Forgot to mention the Hodgdon web site for load data, tons of good stuff there.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 06:20 AM   #13
 
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For Target shooting I like Tru-Cast 255gr. SCW. Cheap, accurate, and when you get them up to 1000fps or so they make nice clean wadcutter like holes.
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Old December 30th, 2009, 08:00 AM   #14
 
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For plinking, I cast my own from wheel weights using a lee 230 grn rn mold.
Contrary to wht you might think this is easy and fun.
I use Bullseye for practice loads started around 6 and worked my way up to 9. Any hotter and I start getting too much lead.

For hunting/other I have a 260 grn mold for a lyman Keith bullet over a case full of H110
The sites mentioned by Scr83jp are great sources for loads.

When I started out a few years ago I thought factory remington soft round nose ammo was hot but the more I shoot the hotter I like it and of course the better I can control it.
Now those Remmy's feel bout like a 22

have fun
fred
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Old January 1st, 2010, 02:09 PM   #15
 
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mobius wrote Contrary to wht you might think this is easy and fun.
I agree. Other than just plinking, cast bullets make excellent hunting bullets also
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