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Reloading 45 Colt ammo

gunner81gunner81 MemberPosts: 655 Senior Member
I just got a Ruger Blackhawk in 45 Colt that I want to reload for I read a book on reloading and it gave bullet diameters of .452-.458 and that seems like a lot of wiggle room. I allready load for the .45 ACP and have a big supply of all different bullets. Will the .45 ACP work in the Colt rounds? I allready loaded rounds of .452 diameter round nose lead bullets and the barrel is leading up bad. what is the right bullet to load with and what is the best way to clean the lead from the barrel?

Replies

  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    What lube are you using, and how fast are you pushing those bullets? .45 Colt bore diameter is in the .451-.452 range in most cases. The .458 diameter is for .45 caliber rifles. There's no way a .458 bullet could be loaded into a .45 Colt case without creating a massive bulge that would prevent the case from chambering in the cylinder.

    Soft lead bullets are bad about leading barrels if they're pushed beyond mouse phart velocities. I make my own lube from toilet bowl wax rings, paraffin, and automotive chassis grease, and it just about completely eliminates leading, even when I push a 300 grain hard cast gas checked .45 bullet to 1300 FPS or so from my 6" Blackhawk. That's way beyond any sane load numbers, but the Blackhawk doesn't seem to mind. I've used the same lube at 2K FPS with a 130 grain .30 caliber gas checked cast bullet from 7.62X39, .30-30, and 76.62 CETME cases. No leading there.

    Scrub the bore thoroughly with a mixture of KROIL and acetone on a bronze brush, wait a few hours, then follow up with tight fitting patches. The leading should come out fairly easily.
    Jerry
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    I think your Ruger will be fine with the nominal bullet diameters of .452. My Hornady manual lists that for both jacketed and lead.

    For .45 ACP bullets it has .451 for jacketed and .452 for lead...............if you are using .451 bullets they may be undersized. Soft cold swagged lead will lead up the barrel after certain velocities.

    .45 ACP bullets don't take up as much space in the brass and leave a lot of air space. I loaded some years ago for a S&W .45 Colt revolver and got smokey brass. They are also usually lighter in weight.

    Try using bullets made for the .45 Colt and see what you results are.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
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  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    A lot of cast bullet companies offer several bullet diameters for the .45 Colt if you happen to have one different from the nominal diameter.

    You will have to slug your bore and measure or have it done to find out. Older revolvers like SAA Colts and Rugers were known to vary, but I dunno these days I think most are within the nominal range.

    Teach's hard cast .45 Colt bullets he sent me work just fine in my Ruger Vaquero, a "New Model". And obviously they work in his Blackhawk too.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    My Blackhawk has throats that run right around .452.. I've loaded lead bullets that range from soft to hard without excessive leading. The diameter ranged from .452 to .454, and velocity was below 1,000 fps. Some leading does accumulate in the grooves at the forcing cone.

    The 45 colt is easy to load, operating equally well across the spectrum from light to heavy loads. I prefer heavy bullets. They just seem right in this big bore gun.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    What was your load?
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • gunner81gunner81 Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    I tried 2 loads both were Acme lead bullets one was 230 gr. round nose with 6.5 gr. of Unique the second was 255gr.SWC bullets with 6.4 gr. Unique both were close to the lower end of powders.They seemed to both shoot OK and compared with the ammo I bought that were 200 gr. lead flat point ammo Cowboy action loads. The gun was just so leaded up and maybe that's not that unusual comparing this with other bullets kinda the apples to oranges deal but when I read the reloading book it wasn't very clear and confusing as hell. Had I not read the book I would have been happy but the way it was worded I needed to check
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    Try about 8 grains Unique, look it up first. Also might have been the Cowboy loads causing the leading????
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • gunner81gunner81 Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    Jerry what mixture of Krol and Acetone do you use? I tried soaking patches in Krol and letting them set in the bore overnite and it cleaned up a little but not enough to make me happy
  • HAWKENHAWKEN Senior Member Logansport Indiana, by way of Hohenwald Tennessee by way of Cocoa FloridaPosts: 1,720 Senior Member
    A 230 grain LRN .45acp bullet, loaded in a .45 Colt case, with 6.5 grains of Trail Boss, for a velocity of about 750fps is accurate at 25 yards with little felt recoil and no leading. robin
    I don't often talk to people that voted for Obama, but when I do I order large fries!
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  • TeachTeach Senior Member Dellrose TNPosts: 18,428 Senior Member
    About 20%-30% Acetone, 70% KROIL works pretty well, but be sure to keep any leftover mix in a tightly-capped container. Acetone evaporates quickly.
    Jerry
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Im with Big Chief, give the bullets a little more push for better abturation.

    Them factory cowboy loads were likely loaded with .454 dia bullets.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • gunner81gunner81 Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    early wrote: »
    Im with Big Chief, give the bullets a little more push for better abturation.

    Them factory cowboy loads were likely loaded with .454 dia bullets.
    That may be where the lead came from I will find out at the next range session
  • NNNN Senior Member NCPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    MAGTEC loads their cowboy .44 spl and .45 Cold to 762 fps as posted on a box.

    The lead seems soft, at least scratches easily with a finger nail, and I do not get leading with either load.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    The .454 bullets lead less in my gun. I assume because as they swage down filling the throats and bore, gas can't escape along the edges. The ones I have are soft and I dont load them any faster than 600 to 800 fps same as factory cowboy loads.

    IMR Trail Boss is a very good powder and I use it along with Unique, and 700x, as well as Power Pistol.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member In the sticks, OHPosts: 5,617 Senior Member
    gunner81 wrote: »
    when I read the reloading book it wasn't very clear and confusing as hell. Had I not read the book I would have been happy but the way it was worded I needed to check

    What reloading book are you using?
    This is concerning.
  • gunner81gunner81 Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    jbohio wrote: »
    What reloading book are you using?
    This is concerning.
    It was a book on handgun reloading NOT a reloading manual I should have made that a point. The book seemed OK and a lot of info but on the .45 Colt the guy went off track and didn't clarify what he said about the sizes of the rounds
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    There were many S&W model 25's made that had oversized throats.
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    gunner81 wrote: »
    It was a book on handgun reloading NOT a reloading manual I should have made that a point. The book seemed OK and a lot of info but on the .45 Colt the guy went off track and didn't clarify what he said about the sizes of the rounds

    Throat and bore sizes varied a great deal in the past. .452 is pretty much standard in new revolvers of modern manufacture with a few exceptions, Ruger not likely to be among them.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • JayJay Senior Member New Mexico/TexasPosts: 4,547 Senior Member
    A quick and effective way to get lead out of your barrel is to get PURE COPPER Chore Boy scrubbing pads, cut a chunk off with scissors and wrap it around your bore brush. Clean as usual with solvent. The Chore Boy will take the lead out quickly. Be sure it's PURE COPPER. some are copper plated steel. Don't use that.

    Sometimes mouse fart loads can lead to more leading than too much velocity. If you don't have enough "hit" to obturate the base of the bullet, hot gas will blow by, melting the lead, depositing it in the bore.

    .451 45 acp bullets can be loaded in 45 colt cases and shoot ok. But .452 is standard for 45 colt.
  • gunner81gunner81 Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    Is there a way to lube rounds that are all ready loaded up and with what lube? The bullets I loaded are pre lubed but I'm not sure if it is enough and before I do more rounds should I lube them again and how? Don't laugh this is the first time that I loaded lead bullets
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    gunner81 wrote: »
    Is there a way to lube rounds that are all ready loaded up and with what lube? The bullets I loaded are pre lubed but I'm not sure if it is enough and before I do more rounds should I lube them again and how? Don't laugh this is the first time that I loaded lead bullets

    Not that I know of. Maybe spread some on whatever is still showing above the brass, more harm than good trying that I suspect. Driving bands and lube grooves are below the case mouth although you may have some designs and seating depth on some cast bullets with more than one crimping groove or you have seated them further out. Would be a sticky mess with wax and might be hard to chamber.

    Like puttin on a condom after sex.........................too late!
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • gunner81gunner81 Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    There is a lube strip on the bullets I will try pushing them a little faster and see how that works
  • gunner81gunner81 Member Posts: 655 Senior Member
    Is there anything that I can do to the bullets before I load? I was going to load some 45s this weekend is there anything extra that I can do to the bullets first. The bullets that I have do have a lube strip on them but can and should I do more and with what?What is the process? I read about some homemade lubes that you can make one is a pure lanolin alcohol mixture that I have the stuff for if that can be used and it stays on pretty good. When I first started reloading I read about it and mistook it for a sizing lube that was a mistake because I had a hell of a time cleaning it off the cases
  • earlyearly Senior Member Thornton COPosts: 4,950 Senior Member
    Lee makes a product called Alox thats very easy to apply.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member In the sticks, OHPosts: 5,617 Senior Member
    What powder and primer are you using?
    Do you have a standard reloading manual? Lee? Lyman? Hodgdon? Load book?
    If not, you need to get one asap.
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