Loading the 45 Colt for a Redhawk

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ShortBBL

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
Messages
731
Hi guys! I have a new to me Redhawk 45 on the way (tomorrow or weds) and want to know what some of you load for yours. I also have a Lipseys 44 for a "fun/plinking" gun so for the Redhawk, I was thinking of loading them a little warmer.

I'm curious how brutal the 335 gr loads running around 1300 fps are? Or... how fast can one load up a 250 or 260 grain? I want to stick with cast, so I am guessing whatever I try needs to be gas checked, correct?

Help me out with some ideas. I really want a fairly strong load for BIG Muleys at up to 100 yards... maybe a touch more if the gun is a shooter.

Thanks!
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mattsbox99

Hunter
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
3,391
1100FPS is all you really need. I've loaded 300 grain Cast Perfomance and Beartooth Bullets at 1250 (chronographed) and they are plenty stout for me.
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,829
Tagg, your Redhawk with 335 gr slugs at 1300 fps is maybe up to the task..........are you? Its cetainly not needed for muley's or even elk, that load will do 3 things & 2 of them are bad! First bad is recoil, substantial recoil, the second bad is how you hold up to it, because it can ruin your handgun skills, the third is good & that is, you will shoot somewhat flatter. Now compare that monster load with a 250 gr or 260 gr slug at 1100-1200 fps & see how well its shoots, how well you hold up & what little difference there is between the 2 loads at 100 yds as far as trajectory is concerned.
You young roosters can handle those heavy loads sometimes but generally speaking more recoil means less accuracy. Not trying to talk you out of it or tell you what to do but I've put a whole bunch of 250's & 260's through an awful lot of big game up to & beyond 100 yds with sixguns & that extra velocity has never, ever been needed & thats on elk, moose, bears & african game.

Dick
 

WESHOOT2

Hunter
Joined
Mar 19, 2005
Messages
2,124
True story: when chronographing six 360g utter-stupoid loads from my 5.5" 45 Redhawk, I shot the skyscreens five times.
Because I had my eyes closed......

I found that I could easily get over 1300fps from the 335g load, but recoil was, how to say this appropriately, ludicrous.


What I suggest (for your locale and intended target): 325g Dry Creek LSWC (over W296, CCI350, new sized case, Redding Profile Crimp die) at 1170fps.
Or: anyone's 300g LSWC (same data) at 1220fps.

These loads will have sufficient power at extended range for deer/etc, AND provide you with a defense load if a brownie wanders into your 'personal space'.
 

ShortBBL

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
Messages
731
sixshot":59w6zd7m said:
Tagg, your Redhawk with 335 gr slugs at 1300 fps is maybe up to the task..........are you? Its cetainly not needed for muley's or even elk, that load will do 3 things & 2 of them are bad! First bad is recoil, substantial recoil, the second bad is how you hold up to it, because it can ruin your handgun skills, the third is good & that is, you will shoot somewhat flatter. Now compare that monster load with a 250 gr or 260 gr slug at 1100-1200 fps & see how well its shoots, how well you hold up & what little difference there is between the 2 loads at 100 yds as far as trajectory is concerned.
You young roosters can handle those heavy loads sometimes but generally speaking more recoil means less accuracy. Not trying to talk you out of it or tell you what to do but I've put a whole bunch of 250's & 260's through an awful lot of big game up to & beyond 100 yds with sixguns & that extra velocity has never, ever been needed & thats on elk, moose, bears & african game.

Dick

Dick:

I like reading your stuff and seeing your pictures. you "walk the walk" as they say. I've taken a grand total of five Mule Deer with a handgun, that's my big game handgun use to date. All were with a redhawk 44 with 5.5" barrel and all were under 125 yards, the closest being about 75 yards.

That all said, I guess I have seen no big reason to go overboard with a load for the 45. To back up... the 44's were all loaded (my handloads) with 240 gr jacketed bullets of some kind (this was back in about 1985) and not super heavy loads, but warm. I was not too impressed that even at 75 yards, the bullets didn't go all the way through, although, now I understand that jackets are probably not the best at penetration.

So Dick, what kind of load do you recommend for a 45 which could be used on up to Elk sized game? I'm all for LESS abuse!! If a 250/260 Cast would be good.... let me know what you think is the best (bought) bullets and load and I'll try them out! To be honest, my 44 Special loaded at 900-1000 would be plenty I suppose, it just seems a waste not to load the 45 up a notch. I want it to still have some good penetration power at 100 yards or so!

Thanks everybody for your comments!

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Bucks Owin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,190
Here's what "Dr. 45 Colt", John Linebaugh uses and they are fine loads: :wink: "My personal loads include only 3 loads that I have settled on for all my handgun shooting. All are safe in Rugers and have been recommended to hundreds of shooters, All report good results and accuracy".

Powder Gr. Bullet Velocity Use
WW 231 8 gr. 260 cast 900 fps defense/plinker/big game
HS 6 13 gr 260 cast 1050 fps big game
HS 6 13 gr 310/320 cast 1000 fps big game
H-110 24 260 cast 1280 fps big game
H-110 24 310/320 cast 1250 fps big game/ dangerous game
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,829
Tagg, first off, anyone thats taken 5 muleys with a handgun is doing something right, not many people "tagg" even one! :wink:
On mule deer from any angle a 260 gr cast slug will go through, I've shot 3 deer lengthways, complete end to end shots with the 41 magnum & 44 magnum, of course your 45 will easily do it as well. I shot one cow elk with the 41 magnum that was almost lengthways using a 230 gr cast.
Another elk, taken 3 years ago was taken at 168 yds (too far) with a Ruger 45 Blackhawk using a 260 gr cast & 23 grs H110, 3 elk have been taken with the Ruger 45 & 325 gr cast slugs, every single one was complete penetration, cast bullets in the right place just flat work. Wounded is wounded, whether its with a rifle or handgun. I've always said, you need 2 things, shot placement & penetration, now thats assuming you use a correct bullet.
My most recent elk, taken in november was with the 41 maggie & a 250 gr WFN at perhaps 1100 fps, probably a little less (74 yds) complete penetration.
What I'm saying & an earlier poster also said is 1100-1200 fps is more than adequate for deer, elk, bear, etc. What I try to do is be somewhere in that 1100 fps range & then "tweek" my load up or down until I find the most accurate load, thats #1 on my list. To me, velocity is secondary.
Last, I didn't really notice any difference in killing results between the 260 gr Keith slugs & the 325 gr LBT slugs, although the bigger slugs are more accurate at distance. I've taken several deer with the 260 Keith, never used the 325 gr on deer, but of course it will work.
Congratulations on those 5 muleys with your handguns!

Dick
 

ShortBBL

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 20, 2009
Messages
731
Thanks Dick!

Another question then.... I see only Gas Checked from Cast Performance in the 265 gr for the 45... is gas checked fine even at lower speeds, like 1100?

I've loaded a LOT, but never lead bullets. From everything I read though, cast boolits is the way to go. I'm just worried about leading problems.
 

dougader

Hunter
Joined
Jun 18, 2008
Messages
3,108
The Cast Performance 335 grain WLNGC is one of my favorite bullets to use. I load 22 grains WW296/H110 for about 1200 fps. Actually, it gave me 1196 fps when I loaded it in 45 Colt cases, and 1211 fps when I loaded it in cut down 454 brass. This is what I load for big bear in the 45 Colt when I fish in Alaska.

As others have noted, loads of this sort aren't really needed for mule deer or even elk. I think a 255-265 SWC at 1200 fps is perfectly adequate for elk.

I've never had leading in 45 Colt with hardcast plain base bullets, but I do generally get a bit better accuracy with the GC slugs.

John Linebaugh says it best, I think, when he says added velocity really doesn't get us much more than distance. So if we're shooting at less than 100 yards, what's the point of all that recoil and wear and tear on shooter and revolver? My wrists like the slower moving slugs and the lower recoil associated with shooting them.
 

sixshot

Buckeye
Joined
Aug 20, 2006
Messages
1,829
There are several places that make quality 45 slugs that are plain base. Mt Baldy, Montana Bullets, etc. Cast Performance is probably at the top of the "food chain" when it comes to cast bullets, that is, they make the best cast bullet out there, at least in my eyes, just my opinion.
What you need with cast bullets is, BULLET FIT, thats #1, next is bullet hardness for the velocity that YOU plan to run them at, this second one is kind of an experiment on your part. Most all of us here on the forum will tell you that you you don't shoot soft bullets fast....because you can get leading/skidding, & you don't shoot hard bullets slow, the reason is, you want the bullet base to upset on firing, this makes the bullet seal the bore & eliminates any chance of gas cutting/leadin, this second one might just be the major reason many people new to cast bullets swear them off after one attempt. They don't realize whats happening inside.
I've said before, the worst word in bullet casting terminology is "hardcast" because its so deceiving. An example might be to use bullets that are 10-12 BHN (hardness) for your everyday plinking loads & go up to 16-18 BHN (hardness) when you are serious about knocking a hole in a big muley.
Gas checks in my eyes aren't needed if you have good bullet fit & correct bullet hardness but they can show improved accuracy many times, especially at distance. I never use them in any of my guns except for my 357 maximum, all my other guns are plain base.
If you need some to try, give me an address & I"ll give you some bullets. You first want to take a cast bullet & try to push it through each one of your chamber throats, they need to push through with a little effort, if they don't.....any they very well might not in your 45 then we need to talk some more!
You are on the right track with cast slugs for big game, for deer & down a good jacketed bullet is many times a better option, above deer size, play it safe & go with what works from ANY angle, cast.

Dick
 

Sonnytoo

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
631
I have truly enjoyed John Linebaugh's "WRITINGS", and I have several of his guns. I am certain that a 300 grain hardcast @ 1200 fps will do anything you want to do at 100 yards or less.
If you're after the muleys with the bullet-proof vests, read this article.
It tells you how far you can go with the .45 Colt in both the RH and the SRH. Of course, watch out for the recoil; it can spoil your day and will teach you how to flinch in a hurry.

http://beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/ ... tes.htm/11

Sonnytoo
 

MMichaelAK

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
361
I have been loading and shooting a 300 grain Cast Performance WFNGC over 20 grains of H-110 in PMC or Starline cases with CCI Large Magnum Pistol primers for a handful of years now. Everything from my 4 5/8th inch Black hawk and 5 1/2 inch Redhawk to my 7 1/2 inch stainless Blackhawk wher e it really shines. In the shorter barrel it gives me 1040-1060 fps which is plenty and in that light short Blackhawk (blued with alloy frame) it is a knuckle buster. But it shoots well and penetrates really well so I am very happy with it and see no reason to push for more speed.
 

Three44s

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
303
I recall an article by Brian Pearce in Handloader with regard to loading .45 Colt P+ in the Redhawk.

It's been several years ago ...........

It was enough to make me consider trading up from my .44s


Three 44s
 

Bucks Owin

Hunter
Joined
Mar 22, 2004
Messages
3,190
mattsbox99":1l56ib9a said:
1100FPS is all you really need. I've loaded 300 grain Cast Perfomance and Beartooth Bullets at 1250 (chronographed) and they are plenty stout for me.
I agree. I also have pushed 300 grs to 1250 fps (also chrono'ed) and I doubt it's ability to penetrate would be diminished much by throttling back to 1100 fps. It's dang near like shooting a .45/70 handgun penetration wise! :shock: :D I'm thinking that if the 457122 330 gr "Gould bullet" at 1100 or so proves accurate in my .45, I'll need no other bullet for it. A lead frugal lightweight plinker would be nice, but I'm still looking for an accurate one... :?
 

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