Reloading the 45 Colt: Ruger Single Action

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cholgeirson

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 23, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Colorado
I've loaded 45 colt for many years and have developed 3 loads. Unique or universal with a 250 gr cast bullet 900 to 950 fps very much like original loads. 2400 with a 250 or 265 gr cast bullet mimics 44 magnum. When I want some zip H 110 with 300 to 325 gr cast gas checked. 1300 + fps from 7 1/2 inch barrel. In my opinion handloading the 45 colt makes it one of the most versatile handgun cartridges available. Enjoy
 

putnro01

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 28, 2021
Messages
10
I don't see anything about H-110 or Universal in that article.

Danny
May have to get a digital subscription or physical copy of it. They don't put the full publication online. I think the link takes you to the q/a section with B.P. Should be more data in the petloads section. If not, forgive my memory.
 

Hankus

Blackhawk
Joined
Nov 13, 2022
Messages
524
Location
Florida Gulf Coast
Universal will work fine. Load like you do Unique. I currently use Green Dot for my general purpose load, and HS-6 for a Tier 2 woods load (23K). Tier 3 (30K) is Ruger only loads... where I don't need/never needed to go. I am sure H110/W296 will work fine for your 'hot' Tier 3 Loads. People seem to like that powder for that application.
I received my Lee Loadmaster .45C press kit Friday and ran by my local supplier for some components. I picked up a pound of Green Dot and the only cast .452 bullets they had (200 grain SWC), along with a couple hundred CCI LP primers. I have some questions;
1- I'm probably going to start casting my own bullets since my local source doesn't have and can't seem to source much in the way of cast bullets. Does anyone on here have experience with the Lee https://leeprecision.com/6-cavity-452-255-rf ? I want six-cavity molds, but they also have a "Keith-style" two-cavity mold https://leeprecision.com/mold-dc-452-252-swc . Any opinions?

2- Does anyone have any "recipes" for Green Dot using 250 grain bullets? Luckily, Alliant's web site has a couple of recipes for the 200 grain bullets I was able to find. These will be fine for targets but I will eventually want to start loading a little hotter for the field.
 

GasGuzzler

Hunter
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
2,829
Location
DFW Area, Texas
I have never used a "color-dot" powder so I cannot help there.

Get the six hole mold 452-255-RF. It's a nice bullet! Better hunting/defense bullets than Keith style and can be used in .45AUTO too. I had that mold and sold it when I sold my Evil Roy. I sold my LAM-II also so I powder coat since these were made.

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Joined
Nov 30, 2022
Messages
4,483
Location
Maryland
Considering getting a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt. I am already setup for 44 Magnum and 45 ACP. I use H110 and Universal. It seems like I have seen 45 Colt loads here and there with those powders, but not as often as others, at least where I have looked. I would like to load jacketed bullets weighing 240 grains and upwards. Will I be ok with these powders, or will they be a compromise? I would be interested in the Ruger level loads.

Only interested in using H110 and Universal.

Danny
Bullet weight, configuration, Barrel length etc are all variables in powder selection. Starting out with established data is a great place to start. If you are asking this here it probably means there isn't established data for what you want and that's probably for a reason. I have been known to cross-reference data for similar caliber, bullet, powder combinations.
From my experience Universal will get light bullets moving faster than most anything else in short barrels. H110 gets big heavy bullets moving better than almost anything else in barrels up to 12". Chamber pressures are a firearm specific issue. Since you specified Ruger Revolvers you can safely approach 44mag performance without taking the gun apart much like modern 45/70 not being safe in old trapdoor rifles. Where performance may suffer is the rifling in the barrel. It was specifically chosen for standard off the shelf 45 Colt ammo. If you push past that the barrel might not properly stabilize the bullet.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
25,434
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Hankus,, I've been casting my own bullets for several decades. The selection, the styles, and such for a .45 cal bullet are wide open.
While I do own some Lee molds,, I have not used the ones you are looking at. But I have chosen the build a good selection of MP Molds for most of the calibers I enjoy.
Yes,, they are by far more expensive molds when compared to Lee molds. But the quality, the versatility, and quality of bullets I get from them,, makes them worth every penny.
A 4-cavity, brass mold,, with all the pins,, allows me to cast solids, cup hollow points, deep hollow points and Penta hollow points,, EASILY!!!!!!!!!
I'm currently enjoying the mold; 454-640 with the pins,, that casts a 280 grn solid. With a deep HP or the Penta HP,, it's about 265 grns. My solids,, I'd use on bear, elk, or whatever. the HP's,, deer will drop decisively.
So,, while you may be seeking a Lee mold,, if you are wanting a truly top level design & top quality mold,, maybe look at MP Molds.

As for the use of Green Dot,, I can also say I've not used any in decades. I study several loading manuals,, to find a pattern of what's most accurate,,, as well as offering a good range of loads. Then I select a few powders,, which seem to stand out as the "standards" for most,, and begin working up my loads. With SAFETY in mind,, I try several loads,, to find the most accurate load MY gun prefers. Accuracy is my top concern,, followed very closely with; "Will the velocity of this load make the bullet perform as intended?"
In the .45 Colt,, several powders have always been the mainstay of many handloaders. Unique offers a good all around powder choice for mild to moderate loads. 2400, HS-6, IMR-4227 are a step up in power when used. Green Dot's range of use is a bit more limited from what I can remember in my research.

I would also politely suggest you consider powder coating your cast bullets. It's NOT hard,, requires a minimum of equipment, and gives great results. Bare bones basics,, powder, a plastic container with a lid, (there are different plastics used, but a Cool Whip or most of the butter tubs work very well,) some air soft BB's,, a toaster oven, and some non-stick aluminum foil for the pan in the oven & you are good to go. Just dump a bunch of bullets in the tub, a handful of BB's, and powder. Close, shake all of it around for 1-2 minutes,, open & dump the bullets into a plastic colander with holes large enough to allow the pellets to fall through over a plastic tub. Shake the excess powder off & dump the now coated bullets onto a foil covered pan, bake in the toaster oven for 15-20 minutes at 375-400 degrees.
Size & shoot.
No messy lubes, nowhere near the amount of smoke that's associated with traditional lubed bullets, and often,, a slight increase in velocities over lubed bullets.

My suggestion would be to get a mold,, cast a bunch,, then find a few powders available in your area that fall into the range of use you intend. After that,, have a bunch of fun experimenting,, and finding what YOUR gun prefers.
 

Rclark

Hunter
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Messages
3,547
Location
Butte, MT
my local source doesn't have and can't seem to source much in the way of cast bullets.
Why buy local. There are quite a few on-line store fronts that sale cast bullets. I use rim rock bullets and have always been in stock.

As for Green Dot, I have only tested with 250 RNFP and 255 SWC as they are the only bullets I shoot in .45 Colt. Works great for my purposes. Should work fine for the little 200s too.
 

GasGuzzler

Hunter
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
2,829
Location
DFW Area, Texas
I powder coat since these were made.

I would also politely suggest you consider powder coating your cast bullets. It's NOT hard,, requires a minimum of equipment, and gives great results.
Yep.

And I have only had one Lee mold that no one I sent it to could get it to make bullets out of the two dozen I've owned. That 6-banger is a good mold.
 

Ken 45LC

Bearcat
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
Messages
26
Location
Central Pa USA
I agree with Contender, MP makes really nice molds. I happen to favor the RCBS 270 replica of his. I shoot this out of all of my revolvers and lever guns.
I usually get my best groups around 90%-95% of max load, not always but generally. I don't feel the need to get the max velocity anymore after seeing what this bullet is capable of at less than break wrist speed.
sometimes it takes a little to find what bullet diameter it likes best, then of course to make sure the throats and cones are at optimal configurations.
 
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