PDA

View Full Version : 45 Long Colt reloading


westcoastr
11-13-2009, 6:17 AM
My "friend" (translation-I'm seething with jealousy) just bought a late 1800's single action colt revolver in 45 Long Colt, nickle with ivory grips (I'm still getting the details)...on a whim..as his first firearm..oh ya and he's a bleeding liberal commie (so I get points for converting him).

Could you guys point me in the right direction for reloading for this set-up. I already reload plenty for modern guns but I'm pretty sure there are a lot of issues with reloading for an antique for safety reasons..etc as the factory stuff looks like its been loaded extremely lightly.

TakeFive
11-13-2009, 6:50 AM
I wouldn't shoot it myself. It sounds more like a collector's item than a shooter. The cowboy action shooters are shooting pretty light lead bullet loads, which makes jacketed loads very expensive and hard to find, so reloading is the best way to get cheap jacketed bullet ammo. If the gun must be fired, I'd suggest the lightest starting load and remote firing rig of some sort with sandbags to protect against injury.

GM4spd
11-13-2009, 7:00 AM
Shooting a "collectible" old COLT SA is not a good idea,especially when there
are cheap substitutes like Rugers that can be shot forever with no ill effects
to gun or shooter. Pete

choprzrul
11-13-2009, 8:03 AM
If your "...bleeding liberal commie..." friend can afford to buy a late 1800's Colt, he should be able to afford to put it under glass and buy a reproduction shooter. Show him http://www.uberti.com/firearms/single_action_cattleman.php and then go to ebang.com and search for the model he chooses. I found this on GB: http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=146477874

gunboat
11-13-2009, 12:17 PM
45 colt -- Cast bullets, about 250gr, about 6gr of unique to start -- for carry, only load 5 chambers leaving empty chamber under the hammer -- At the range it does not matter -- Colts, even old colts, are made to be shot not kept under glass -- unless of couse it once belonged to Elmer Keith or Teddy Roosevelt. -- my ha-penny

anyracoon
11-13-2009, 4:03 PM
Just be sure not to shoot any loads that work in a Ruger Black Hawk. The ones I use are pretty stout.

five.five-six
11-13-2009, 4:12 PM
I would shoot it, and you are right, it was designed for black powder and adapted to modern propellants. I would not put a lot of miles on it.. there area plenty of inexpensive repros to shoot

just my 2c

scrat
11-14-2009, 4:27 PM
REPEAT AFTER ME REPEAT AFTER ME.

NEVER SHOOT SMOKELESS POWDER IN THAT FIREARM.

BLACK POWDER LOAD DATA
Unless you do it right. Only 1 powder that can be safely be recomended in smokeless and that is Trailboss. Other wise Goex 3fffg. If i had it i would make some Gallery loads. Using 45 schofield cases.

Take sized 45 schofield case.
prime the case
use 20 grains Goex 3fffg.
Lube WAD
fill rest with COW (cream of wheat)
up to almost the top of the case.

Then press in a .452 round ball

the ball should be pressed at almost a little more that half way so the Round of the ball is just about to pass the case mouth.

http://i133.photobucket.com/albums/q77/scratm3/6-1.jpg

El Gato
11-14-2009, 5:01 PM
45 colt -- Cast bullets, about 250gr, about 6gr of unique to start -- for carry, only load 5 chambers leaving empty chamber under the hammer -- At the range it does not matter -- Colts, even old colts, are made to be shot not kept under glass -- unless of couse it once belonged to Elmer Keith or Teddy Roosevelt. -- my ha-penny

First.. Is it a "Black powder" frame? or smokeless...and while I am almost an exclusive Unique loader... I'd get some corbon black powder loads and play it safe

tankerman
11-14-2009, 5:05 PM
Not intended for smokeless powder. Why are you telling him to load Unique? You are making a dangerous suggestion.
Colts weren't made to handle smokeless powder until 1900, serial number 192,000.45 colt -- Cast bullets, about 250gr, about 6gr of unique to start -- for carry, only load 5 chambers leaving empty chamber under the hammer -- At the range it does not matter -- Colts, even old colts, are made to be shot not kept under glass -- unless of couse it once belonged to Elmer Keith or Teddy Roosevelt. -- my ha-penny

scrat
11-14-2009, 5:23 PM
The .45 Colt originally was a blackpowder cartridge, but modern loadings use smokeless powder. The original blackpowder loads called for 28 to 40 grains (2.6 g) of blackpowder behind a 255-grain (16.5 g) lead bullet. These loads developed muzzle velocities of up to 1000 feet per second (305 m/s).[2] Because of this power and its excellent accuracy the .45 Colt was the most-used cartridge at the time of its introduction, succeeding the .44 WCF (also known as the .44-40 Winchester).

Its Black Powder. so going back to what i said the ONLY safe powder to use is either GOEX 3 FFFG (black Powder) or Trail Boss. Trail Boss is the only smokeless powder that is safe to use in black powder only calibers. This said you must consult a manual if you are going to use Trail Boss. Other wise it is best to use 45 Schofield cases or use 45 Colt cases with 20 grains black followed by a lubewad and then filling the remainder of the case with C.O.W. up to the mark where the bullet can safely press the C.O.W

wellfedirishman
11-14-2009, 5:44 PM
Trailboss is very nice, there is a good Trailboss reloading manual from IMR with info specific for old cowboy guns. They will send it to you free if you call or email them. I use Trailboss in some old rifles (Springfield Trapdoor, Martini Henry) with good results. It is very bulky to it is really hard to overcharge a case.

Black Powder substitute (e.g., Pyrodex) is great too, but make sure you throughly clean the gun (barrel, chambers, everything) right after shooting as it is corrosive if left uncleaned.

scrat
11-14-2009, 6:34 PM
As mentioned the black powder substitutes are also good to use. Becarefull when using 777. as 777 burns 10% hotter and stronger than black powder. With this you need to reduce your load by 10%. The main purpose to use black powder is to shoot the same type of load as the original. However as i mentioned it would be best to shoot gallery loads to reduce the stress on the gun.

buffybuster
11-14-2009, 6:38 PM
+1 on scrat.

gunboat
11-14-2009, 7:31 PM
Black powder only ? the colt single action army was dug out of the arsenals, and re-issued during the 1900 phillipine difficulties -- all ate smokeless cartridges -

Me thinks there is way to much drama about this -- Colt single actions will handle reasonable smokeless loads -- not dirty harry 44 mag loads though -

Lots of old colts have been eating smokeless loads since it became available -
common sense should prevail --

scrat
11-14-2009, 9:09 PM
Well we are talking about a late 1800's colt. No one knows how many rounds have been shot through it. Anyone with a brain would not shoot smokeless rounds regardless of what the phillipines did. its more about making sure nothing goes wrong with a piece of history more than getting your kicks off of firing a hand gun. Shoot the loads it was designed for or gallery type loads or put it under glass and keep it clean

gunboat
11-14-2009, 9:44 PM
We disagree --

7x57
11-14-2009, 10:12 PM
oh ya and he's a bleeding liberal commie (so I get points for converting him).

Could you guys point me in the right direction for reloading for this set-up.

If he's converted to the Constitution, limited government, and low taxes, set him up with some light blackpowder loads.

If he's a sap who is going to vote for more of the government we have but happens to own a gun, then fill the case with a heavily compressed charge of Bullseye behind a 300-gr bullet and lay in the heaviest crimp your press is capable of making. :43:

Who says guns can't be used for good political effect? :D

7x57

freakshow10mm
11-15-2009, 6:52 AM
Here's the setup I suggest:

Lee Classic Turret Kit from Kemps gun shop
Use 250gr lead bullets and Trailboss powder only.