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Loading cast bullets in .45 Colt +P

This is a discussion on Loading cast bullets in .45 Colt +P within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I would like to load my .45 in +P velocities using cast bullets. Advisable? Gun is a Redhawk. If so, what would I use bullet ...


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Old August 3rd, 2013, 06:48 AM   #1
 
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Loading cast bullets in .45 Colt +P

I would like to load my .45 in +P velocities using cast bullets.
Advisable? Gun is a Redhawk.
If so, what would I use bullet wise. I'd like to use 250 gr of some kind.
Primary usage will be for hunting, but also punching paper. I read about things like heat treated, BHN, pressure limits and it all kind of scares me off.
I would be using either H110 or would like to try 'Lil Gun.



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Old August 3rd, 2013, 06:57 AM   #2
 
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The Redhawk is just the ticket for the 45 Colt with heavy loads. Many people feel that the 45 Colt is the best caliber in this role. There is a lot of data available so do a search. The powders you mentioned are favorites for this type of load.

For paper punching, standard 45 Colt loads will be fine. I used a 250 gr cast with Unique powder.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 07:17 AM   #3
 
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I've been searching . . . then I ask. I cannot find specific data for cast bullets and velocities that exceed 1200 fps. I find a lot of info that would discourage you from doing so.
Can I just take anybody's load data for say the Hornady XTP and just substitute cast for jacketed? I've loaded a bunch of the XTP in +P loads with good success. I want to try cast for economic and accuracy reasons.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 07:38 AM   #4
 
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You can do whatever you like, but if you want to do it safely - for yourself and anyone around you - the answer is a definite no. You should not susbstiture jacketed and cast load data. In fact for either, there is recommended load data for individual bullets. Have you read a reloading manual yet?

If you want to use cast bullets and very high velocities, use 250-300gr gas checked bullets. There are lots and lots of bullet suppliers and safe loads can be found in several reloading manuals. Lymans cast bullet handbook is a favorite of mine.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 09:38 AM   #5
 
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O.K. And "safely" goes without saying. At least with me. I'm looking at getting some 45 Cal (.452) 250 Grain RNFP 92% lead, 6% antimony, and 2% tin.
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 09:47 AM   #6
 
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I use Missouri Bullet Companies 18BHN cast bullets for my 45Colt leveraction, My Dad uses the same rounds in his Ruger Pistols and he loves them. I load them with H110 and Unique depending on the bullet and what results I am looking for. Enjoy!!
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Old August 3rd, 2013, 10:16 PM   #7
 
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You may start loading cast for economy, but you will likely continue using them for performance! The "Ruger Only" loads in .45 Colt are a perfect match for cast bullets, and really make the most sense. For hunting, a good Wide, Flat (WFN) nose profile is the ticket, and will mow deer over. I would say a good .452 WFN bullet weighing around 300 or more grains, cast hard and gas checked as most commercial cast are, launched by H110 will take down anything you are likely to run across on this planet earth, up to about a Freightliner semi. You will have no issues with power in that caliber with those loads, which have taken down cape buffalo with no problems, North American game should be no contest for a man with a Ruger .45 Colt and cast bullets!
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Old August 4th, 2013, 05:00 AM   #8
 
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You can use the same load data for cast bullets as you fo for jacketed bullets. You can even go hotter because their less pressure. But you do what feels safe to you.
Here's some web pages to browse.
Linebaugh's Custom Sixguns - The .45 Colt - Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Legend
Home
Home
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Old August 4th, 2013, 01:12 PM   #9
 
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Here's some more info:

The 45 Colt

http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

Reloading manuals are your friends.

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Old August 9th, 2013, 08:12 PM   #10
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45 Colt +P

I load for both the .45 Colt and the .44 mag. To push a 250 grain bullet to 1200 fps out of a .45 Colt is really exceeding the limits of the case. If you're going to hunt with your Red Hawk, 8.5 grs of unique, under a 255 gr Keith style SWC will yield over 955 fps out of a 5 1/2" bbl. That's well into the 500 fp energy range and being it's a big fat .45 slug will be a better stopper than smaller calibers going faster. Unless you live in Alaska, that load will kill just about anything under 800 lbs. To get to 1200 fps with a 250gr. you need to jump up to the 454 Casull, or a 44 mag.

Last edited by gunman5646; August 9th, 2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:15 AM   #11
 
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I don't want to start an argument but 45 colt cases are just as strong as 44 mag cases.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:37 AM   #12
 
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Yes, they are, and I start at 20 gr of lil 'gun/h-110 and a 345 cast WFN and work up from there.

A 250 cast in a 45 Colt is a plinking round. It is IMO, too light for the velocities the 45C is capable of in a high pressure round.
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Old August 10th, 2013, 01:44 AM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunman5646 View Post
I load for both the .45 Colt and the .44 mag. To push a 250 grain bullet to 1200 fps out of a .45 Colt is really exceeding the limits of the case. If you're going to hunt with your Red Hawk, 8.5 grs of unique, under a 255 gr Keith style SWC will yield over 955 fps out of a 5 1/2" bbl. That's well into the 500 fp energy range and being it's a big fat .45 slug will be a better stopper than smaller calibers going faster. Unless you live in Alaska, that load will kill just about anything under 800 lbs. To get to 1200 fps with a 250gr. you need to jump up to the 454 Casull, or a 44 mag.
Sorry, not even close to correct.

First of all, "weight of an animal" killing ability has nothing at all to do with caliber or weight/ energy. It is all about skin/ muscle / bone toughness.

I push a 345 gr bullet at 1200 fps without exceeding 32,000 PSI. Perhaps you should expand your horizons beyond Unique.

Also, energy is a useless mathematical answer to an equation just like horsepower. Energy kills animals just as effectively as horsepower wins a drag race (it doesn't)
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Old August 12th, 2013, 07:51 AM   #14
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I stand corrected

I was way out of date when I mentioned that the 45 Colt cases were weaker. I've run across a great article by John Linebaugh about the 45 Colt in the new revolvers. It certainly brought me up to date http://www.customsixguns.com/writing...g_the_myth.htm.
I have both SAA's and Black Hawks in 45 Colt and have to be careful to identify the +p ruger loads, so I don't shoot them in my Colts. Another excellent article by Chuck Hawks http://www.chuckhawks.com/high-pressure45.htm

Last edited by gunman5646; August 12th, 2013 at 08:48 PM.
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Old August 12th, 2013, 09:02 AM   #15
 
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Quote:
The "Ruger Only" loads in .45 Colt are a perfect match for cast bullets, and really make the most sense.
Yep. No need for gas checks either. I've ran my standard Rimrock bullets (15 BHN) up to 1300 in the .44Mag without any leading. 1100 or so in the .45 Colt (13g of HS-6 under 255g SWC which isn't even a Tier 3 load, but Tier 2). I usually don't run Oregon Trail bullets as they are much to hard for general purpose loads, but would work better at the higher pressures of Ruger Only Loads. There is no SAAMI +P standard for .45 Colt BTW.... Only SAAMI and Ruger Only Loads for .45 Colt.

Some useful reading :

Brian Pearce and .45 Colt


Yeah, I sure wish that 'myth' of 'weak' .45 Colt cases would 'just go away' . Back in the balloon head case days .. Yes. Modern day case ... no. Even Starline states in on there order page (due to the myth) "Our .45 Colt brass has been tested to .44 Magnum pressures in gun systems suitable for such loads." . I see BTW, they aren't even available now due to EXTREME demand.... Looks like the hoarding isn't over yet!

As for heavy bullets, the last Handloader had an article on shooting a Black Bear with 280g bullets (at Tier 2 pressures) and the analysis of the wound channels looked very good for those hunters out there. Worth the read . Also every hunter should read Max's book Big Bore Revolvers for actually hunting experiences with the .45 Colt and other Big Bore rounds . Of course there is also Ross Seyfried on the .45 Colt .... Oh and can't forget Taffin on the .45 Colt . Some Ruger Only Loads listed at the bottom. Between Linebaugh and Taffin you should a good place to start! Enjoy!

Last edited by rclark; August 12th, 2013 at 09:22 AM.
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