Lipsey's SS Blackhawk Flattop .45 Colt: Ammo Doesn't Fit?

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BrotherInArms

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
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Finally got my Lipsey's SS Blackhawk Flattop .45 Colt/ACP to the range today. Ran eight rounds of Buffalo Bore (standard pressure) through it, no problem. Loaded-up six rounds of Freedom Munitions 250 Gr. XTP. Went fine. Went to load another six... won't load. Cylinder won't rotate.

Luckily: Convertible. Put the .45 ACP cylinder in and kept shooting.

Got back home. Before cleaning: Checked again. Whereas at the range none of the FM rounds I tested worked in in any chamber, now a few will--in some chambers. (Temperature, I'm guessing.) "Dirt, the cylinder, or the rounds?" I wondered. Step One: Light initial cleaning. Then tried the Freedom stuff again. Now more goes, ±50% still doesn't.

Rounds picked at random from other ammo on-hand: Remington Target: No problem. Fiocchi: About the same as the FM. Hornady FTX (bought that for the lever-action): No problem. Remaining BB: Fine. Starline brass: Works.

Mind you: Some of them that "work" I can feel one-or-more rounds snagging the loading gate as the cylinder is turned. (E.g.: The Starline brass.)

Any suggestions as to what I'm dealing with, here?

Thanks in advance!
 

kooz

Blackhawk
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Oct 22, 2006
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
My guess is that your throats are a bit small for the bullets and they are getting hung up on the entrance to the throat . From the newer ruger .45's that I have measured , both flattop and full size models , my barrels measure right at .4505 and throats between .4512-.4515 . This is perfect for best accuracy , but bullets with a full size front driving band must be sized @.451 so as they will enter the throat and seat completely in the chamber. I see a lot of folks opening these throats to .4525...big mistake in my opinion , the sizes on these newer guns seem to be balls on , but need smaller bullets . I have 4 of these newer .45 in my safe right now and they are all like that and all will shoot ragged holes @25yds with .451 sized bullets . Good luck
 

Chuck 100 yd

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kooz said:
My guess is that your throats are a bit small for the bullets and they are getting hung up on the entrance to the throat . From the newer ruger .45's that I have measured , both flattop and full size models , my barrels measure right at .4505 and throats between .4512-.4515 . This is perfect for best accuracy , but bullets with a full size front driving band must be sized @.451 so as they will enter the throat and seat completely in the chamber. I see a lot of folks opening these throats to .4525...big mistake in my opinion , the sizes on these newer guns seem to be balls on , but need smaller bullets . I have 4 of these newer .45 in my safe right now and they are all like that and all will shoot ragged holes @25yds with .451 sized bullets . Good luck

I have one that shoots .451" bullets best but will accept loads that have .452 bullets.
 

daveg.inkc

Hunter
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Kansas City, MO
I opened all of my .45 BH 's to .4525. Much improvement. Why create higher pressure with slamming a .452 bullet thru a .450 throat makes no sense. .44 Mags Super BH have a .430" throat. Your bullets need to slip thru throat. Regardless of caliber.
 

cas6969

Buckeye
Joined
Oct 11, 1999
Messages
1,215
I doubt it was the throat with a 250 XTP, there's just not that much sticking out.
If it were a WFN/LFN, then maybe.

In this case "high pressure" would help things, not hurt. 45 Colt's have a tendency to be oversized in the chamber. They tend to have lots of blow back/leak back because of it if the pressures aren't up enough to expand the case enough to seal it. You can see the discoloring of the cases when this happens. That will cause harder extraction and dirty chambers (making it tougher to load new rounds)
 

daveg.inkc

Hunter
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kooz said:
So slam a .4525 bullet thru a .450 throat ? ........you realize that's bigger right ?
I do realize this fact. Exactly why I reamed my cylinders. Exactly why I have gages, pilots, and reamers in my reloading desk. Stopped leading in bore, also. Absolutely no reason not to do this
 

BrotherInArms

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
75
cas said:
45 Colt's have a tendency to be oversized in the chamber. They tend to have lots of blow back/leak back because of it if the pressures aren't up enough to expand the case enough to seal it. You can see the discoloring of the cases when this happens. That will cause harder extraction and dirty chambers (making it tougher to load new rounds)
That might explain at least part of what I experienced.

After giving the revolver a thorough cleaning, I ran the entire remaining box of Freedom Munitions XTP through a "chambering check." Of the remaining 44 rounds: 10-12 either would not allow the cylinder to rotate or scraped when it did. A few others needed a little persuasion from the ejector rod to get back out.

Of the Fiocchi: Three rounds scraped the loading gate.

I just checked the 14 rounds I'd fired (eight Buffalo Bore lead and six Freedom Munitions XTP). There was some typical (I thought) case discolouration on many of them. Only two, both FM XTP, had obviously blow-by on the outside of the case.

I don't recall which cylinder was dirtier: The 45 Colt or 45 ACP. One of them certainly was.

I just ran a whole box of Freedom Munitions FP through the cylinder check. They all dropped right in, allowed the cylinder to rotate, and fell right out.

I guess the moral of this story is don't buy any ammunition in bulk unless I've already tested it, and then pray their case sizing is consistent? Other than loading my own. Which I intend eventually to do. (Gotta build the man cave, first.)

One thing for sure: With kooz' and your comments: I'm disinclined to be boring-out any chambers!

Thanks for the insights, gentlemen.
 

BucolicBuffalo

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I had inconsistent sized chambers in my .45 New Vaquero Birdshead. A round would fit in some chambers and not others. Why Ruger cannot seem to bore all the holes the same depth surprises me. I sent it to DougGuy and he fixed it up. Seems to shoot well now.
 

BrotherInArms

Bearcat
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BucolicBuffalo said:
I had inconsistent sized chambers in my .45 New Vaquero Birdshead. A round would fit in some chambers and not others. Why Ruger cannot seem to bore all the holes the same depth surprises me. I sent it to DougGuy and he fixed it up. Seems to shoot well now.
I checked for that, after the initial, first-pass, light cleaning, then after the thorough cleaning. Rounds that passed or failed in one chamber did the same in others. I know a few times I checked every chamber, as opposed to just two or three others. I didn't do that check with every pass/fail round, nor in every chamber when I did, but did it with a sufficient number of rounds and chambers that I'm fairly confident my chambers are pretty darn consistent.
 

kooz

Blackhawk
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Oct 22, 2006
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
daveg.inkc said:
kooz said:
So slam a .4525 bullet thru a .450 throat ? ........you realize that's bigger right ?
I do realize this fact. Exactly why I reamed my cylinders. Exactly why I have gages, pilots, and reamers in my reloading desk. Stopped leading in bore, also. Absolutely no reason not to do this
Sorry, looking back at the post I made , it sounds arrogant , didn't mean to come off as an @$$ .

About .0005 over bore diameter is perfect for best accuracy and most of these newer guns are right at .4505 , I have never measured any Ruger bore diameter of any year that was larger than .451 myself . So a .451 throat will shoot as good as that gun is going to shoot . I guess what I am getting at is that there is nothing magical or perfect about reaming to .4525, as a matter of fact it has probably ruined as many guns as it has fixed . Once you start getting way over bore diameter and slamming larger bullets into a small bore you will notice the gun getting more "load picky" . Years ago when ruger had its throats all over the place and severely under sized , sometimes at .448 or so pressure and leading was an issue and reaming to .4525 would make a drastic improvement in accuracy and would stop the leading that occurred due to the undersized throats . But even then , a .451-.4515 reamer would have been more appropriate . Many go bigger so that their .452 or larger Keith style bullets will seat in the chamber fully and not hang up on the throat.....wrong fix for that problem, should size to .451 instead . Just my 2cents for what it is worth if anything . Good luck
 

teuthis

Single-Sixer
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Wisconsin
I think contacting Ruger about your issue would be a good idea. If factory rounds are not processing through the firearm they might want to look at it.
 
Joined
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Every .45 Blackhawk I have dealt with had considerably UNDERSIZED chamber throats, some as small as 0.447" diameter. Many times, there were different-sized throats in the same cylinder, and often the throats weren't even round.

Having them reamed to 0.4525" diameter fixed everything.

I shoot mostly 0.452" lead bullets, but the 0.451" jacketed stuff in the ACP convertible cylinder seems to like the larger throat size as well. I had that cylinder reamed as I occasionally shoot lead bullets in ACP cases.

:)
 

BrotherInArms

Bearcat
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Jan 16, 2011
Messages
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Well, it seems the only reliable way to measure throat diameter is pin gages. I'm disinclined to purchase an entire set of pin gages for one cylinder on one pistol, never to be used again.

From trying multiple rounds from multiple manufacturers in clean chambers, I suspect my cylinder is as koonz has observed in recent manufacture.

I'll buy more small lots of ammo from different manufacturers to try.
 
Joined
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Ruger has historically had a problem with .45 chamber throats. Dunno why.

If the bullets you want to shoot will slip thru the throats with perhaps only a little finger pressure, that's adequate. If only one type of bullet is a problem, I'd simply avoid those bullets. Your call.

JMHO
 

greenmtnguy

Single-Sixer
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Barnstead, NH
I have a 1980s era NM Blackhawk in 45 Colt with (factory original) oversize cylinder throats (.453-454). The barrel has been slugged but I don't have the measurement handy. It shoots pretty darn well when I do my part with both Hornady XTPs and numerous .452" sized lead bullets. I bought a new NM Blackhawk 45Colt/45ACP convertible in 2014 and slugged the cylinders - all were undersize and varied from .4490 to .4505. I shot it briefly and wasn't particularly impressed. I reamed the throats on both cylinders to .4525 with Brownell's tools, and both cylinders are very consistent chamber to chamber now, and definitely more consistent/accurate with various loads. YMMV, but it pays to slug or pin gauge the chambers in the cylinder and slug the barrel to get the best out of these NM Blackhawks in 45
 
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