45 Colt bullet weight

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Joined
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So I couldn't resist the classifieds and bought one of Acrylictnk's 45 Blackhawks. One with a 7 1/2 inch barrel. I did buy dies and some new brass, 45 colt seems to be cheaper than 41 magnum. That was Starline brass on Amazon.

I'm not asking for favorite loads but what is a good bullet weight to look for? I'm going to order some but tomorrow I'll go to the store and just buy a few to get started. Will a heavier bullet be more accurate than a lighter one? From what I've read 230 grains seems fairly common. Anyone have a favorite bullet weight for the 45?

I have been loading lead and powder coated bullets and seem to like those more than plated. I know I should cast my own, perhaps this fall...
 

KLNC

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The classic load for Colt is a 250 gr. RNFP or a 255 gr. SWC. Lots of data out there for those with a variety of powders. Unique is a popular powder, but there are others as well. There are many other choices of course, from light-weight to VERY heavy bullets, but if you want to get started with good time-tested loads, those are good choices. You can shoot 230s, but 230 is somewhat more associated with 45 ACP.

I
 
Joined
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Thank you, yeah, I went on reading some after posting my question and you're correct, 250 grain bullets do seem to be more common.

But i have yet to find a reloading or gun store that has Unique for sale. I'll go tomorrow and check again. There is a store with mostly reloading supplies and a few guns for sale. But lots of reloading stuff...
 

NikA

Buckeye
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Per other discussions on this and other boards, both Hodgdon Universal and Alliant 20/28 can be substituted with care for Unique. Both are currently part of Midsouth's powder sale, and I saw both as well as Unique on the shelf at the only local retailer that stocks a reasonable variety of powder.
 

Throckmorton

Bearcat
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Wa state,the sw corner of it
If you find some trail boss,it's a medium power powder,and fills the case nicely for good overall ignition. I do like Unique but either will get you going. Just don't use the lowest charges with TB,it's pretty wimpy down there.
TB is so fluffy a 'jug' is not even close to a pound,and a lot of honest dealers sell it for less, so watch that aspect of buying it. Do give it a try though.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
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The 250 grn bullets are the main ones used universally. There are heavier, and there are lighter ones. I'd go heavier before lighter. But if you start with the 250's you can't go wrong.
Powder coated ones are sweet in a few of mine.
 

Rclark

Hunter
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Pretty much all I load is 250g RNFP bullets. I save the 255g SWC for the woods load. Right now I use 7.0g of Green Dot under the 250g RNFP for my general load. There are lots of powders that can be used in .45 Colt. Look in any manual for a 'variety' of them.
 

DGW1949

Hunter
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About any 250-ish SWC works real-good for most uses, but some work better than others. If I was intending to work up a general use load which stayed within SAAMI pressures, I'd be looking for a soft cast, flat base bullet with a lot of bearing surface. Such bullets have a somewhat shorter nose than is typically seen on various copies of the "Keith bullet".

The best ones I ever bought were cast from a LEE 252 mold, but there's others which are similar out there too. It just takes some digging around 'n looking.

DGW
 
Joined
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Thank you all. I'm actually beginning to ask myself if I bought this new gun in 45 Colt just to have another caliber to reload for.

And I just walked out of the reloading store with two pounds of unique. Will wonders never cease! They in fact had lots of stuff of everything. 22 rimfire at decent prices and primers galore. And shelves of powder. The Unique was 23 per pound whic I felt was an average price.

And poly coated 250 grain semi wadcutters are in order from sns casting. Should be here around the same time as the gun!
 

mikewriter

Blackhawk
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Trail Boss was designed for lead bullets at low velocities for "Cowboy Action Shooting". I think for .44 "mag" you could just scoop the case full without weighing or measuring (kids, DON'T try this at home!), and you cannot get enough of it in a case to push a jacketed bullet. I use it for sub sonic loads for my suppressed .44 for quiet pest control, and have even used it in .480 Ruger for plinking loads my wife can shoot with no problems. It is not a high performance powder, but useful for its intended purposes.
 

PO2Hammer

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Sep 4, 2003
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Minnesota
I like Trail Boss with 200 grainers because there's so much empty space in the case, and light bullets tend to perform best with fast powders like Trail Boss.

But for your 250's, Unique is perfect and is the classic powder for the .45 Colt.
 

Rclark

Hunter
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Trail Boss works fine for the 250s. I've moved away from it though as I like just a bit more velocity for my 'general' loads.
 

TX Nimrod

Bearcat
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Jul 11, 2008
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Superstition Mountains
The 250/255 is THE classic .45 Long Colt bullet. Whichever you choose, I suggest getting bullets with cannelures. This allows crimping to keep the bullet from backing out due to recoil and often improves powder performance. Most/all 230s lack a crimp groove.



.
 

Rook

Blackhawk
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Hampton, GA
I load .45 Colt with Hodgdon's HP-38. I actually pretty much use HP-38 for all my low powered handgun loads and Hodgdon's H110 for all my Mag loads.

I've also loaded the .45 Colt with American Pioneer Powder which is a black powder sub when I was shooting frontier cartridge in SASS matches.
 

Rodfac

Blackhawk
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Mar 11, 2009
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691
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Kentucky
Generally I load 250-260 gr lead bullets in my two .45's. The sights are regulated for that weight...but 200 gr LSWCs that I usually shoot in my 1911's are a bit more accurate but do impact 2-3" lower at 25 yds than the heavier slugs.

Powders: I really like Winchester 231 or it's exact equivalent, HP38 for either weight. With a good crimp especially with the heavier ones, 7.0 to 7.2 grains of 231 will get you 854 fps from a 4-5/8" bbl. and superb accuracy. (My load in my guns...work up to it if interested after consulting a GOOD manual and considering the pressure implications.) Other good powders are: Red Dot, Unique and Herco. All have given me good groups and mild pressures. For years the standard .45 Colt load was 8.0 gr of Unique behind a 250 gr lead alloy bullet.

Brass: Starline is my #1 choice, but R-P and Winch. also make good, usable brass. A good roll crimp is necessary to keep those heavy slugs from inching forward during recoil and tying up your cylinder.

Hint: If you encounter leading issues with any lead alloy bullet, try re-lubing them with Lee Liquid Alox using their 'swirl' lubing technique. It really helps even with slightly undersized bullets. For the record, I size all my .45 Colt home cast bullets to 0.454" and have virtually no leading issues in my NV Ruger nor my 7-1/2" Gen 2 Colt SAA. Commercial lead alloy bullets for the .45 Colt, seem to run 0.452" nowadays...I've used them with good results, but generally some leading...try the LLA lube for help with this issue. I'd suggest getting 0.454" dia. bullets if available in a softer alloy...12 brinnell from Missouri Bullet Co. is one source.

HTH's Rod
 

Luckyducker

Single-Sixer
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Nov 18, 2007
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199
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Ft. Morgan, CO
I have loaded bullets weights from 255 grain plain base bullets up to 335 grain gas check bullets in my "old" NM Vaquero 45LC and it stabilized them very well, however the 335s will jump crimp and lock the cyl. unless loaded in shortened 454C brass. Currently I am using 270 grain Keith style bullets over Universal powder. The 45LC is very versatile and I kind of get my back up a little when I read or hear 44Mag shooters dis the 45 wheel gun, but to see the full potential of the 45 it really needs to be fed handloads or specialty hunting ammo. Just my rant! Blessings, Dennis
 

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