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View Full Version : Loading Black Powder Cartridges By Hand (Questions)


Rachen
February 18, 2011, 02:32 PM
I prefer not to shoot commercially loaded smokeless powder factory cowboy action rounds because the powder is exceptionally dirty and leaves carbon everywhere. With the smoke and dust produced by these rounds, I might as well be using authentic black powder rounds

However, recently I am taken to reloading my own cartridges (.45 LC and .45 Schofield) since I have a gazillion of these cases available. I don't own a full handloading set nor do I want to spend too much money on it either.

I want to load these cartridges using 777 or another BP substitute and seat the bullets by hand. Has anyone here ever done this before? How was the accuracy and performance of these "hand"loads?

Model-P
February 18, 2011, 03:17 PM
Get a Lyman 310 tool with a universal decapping die, and skip the case sizing step. They work fine for me, and as accurate as through a press as far as I could tell.

throttleup
February 20, 2011, 09:18 AM
Rachen,
I've loaded about 800 rounds of .45 Colt over the years with either Jim Shokey's Gold or American Pioneer Powder, Synthetic Black Powder. I'm too lazy to do them by "hand" though. I set up my Dillon 550 and run 200 through at a time using 250 gr. Meister LSWC bullets and CCI Magnum primers. I throw approx. 26 grs. of FFFG powder. It gives me about a 1/16 inch of compression when the bullet is seated. The chrono shows 650 fps through my Taylor Smoke Wagon, SAA, 5 1/2 inch barrel. Bill

bushrod2
February 20, 2011, 09:20 AM
Accuracy is excellent, just remember a full case load of powder with slight compression. I've used Goex BP, American Pioneer Powder,etc. with great success and a whole lotta fun. Just remember to clean as soon as your done with hot soapy water, blow dry, and oil well. Have fun!

Foto Joe
February 20, 2011, 12:07 PM
I want to load these cartridges using 777 or another BP substitute and seat the bullets by hand. Has anyone here ever done this before? How was the accuracy and performance of these "hand"loads?

Your biggest issue when loading cartridge without a press is going to be consistant compression. As Hawg noted 777 doesn't get compressed but, on the other hand a case load of 777 is gonna first of all eat a lot of powder and secondly probably smack the snot out of your hand. You also may run into a muzzle velocity issue (too high) for competition. I don't know if they have rules about that or not but a case load of 777 in a longer barrel revolver is going to send that bullet out of the tube at a pretty good speed.

You might want to consider reduced loads and a lighter projectile with filler in between (Gallery Loads (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=549884&highlight=)). The gun tends to stay cleaner and cooler because there is less powder. I haven't used 777 but I load quite a few 45 Colt cartridges using 20gr of Goex or Swiss and a 150gr RNFP EPP Ultra Gamer Bullet (http://www.dashcaliber.com/big_lube_2_7.html). These things still get your gun dirty of course, but you can drive nails with them, the recoil is minimal and they don't eat much powder.

If the dirt part of the factory Cowboy Loads is your only reason for switching to Black Powder or a substitute, you're not gonna like the results. On the other hand, if you're lookin' for smoke and boom then there will be a huge grin on your kisser then first time you fire one of these.

Now that you've got me all ramped up and the weather is nice, I think I'm going to go out and "unload" some of those 45 Colt cartridges I've been storing.

Have Fun

arcticap
February 20, 2011, 03:02 PM
It worked for kameron454ci.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4445758#post4445758

darkgael
February 20, 2011, 05:21 PM
I load my 45-70 BP cartridges by thumbing bullets in to unsized cases. Accuracy is fine.
The issue is maintaining compression, as already noted. You can get an inexpensive Lee Loader for the 45 Colt which will allow you to put a crimp on the case mouth and hold the bullet at a uniform depth and compression. Or use a hand press and the seating die from a 45 Colt die set.
Pete

kameron454ci
February 20, 2011, 09:55 PM
if your going to reload just reload smokeless. i can shoot 50 rounds of my reloads with red dot and you can wipe the gun down with a rag and its clean when i shoot 12 rounds of bp you have to scrub scrape to get that crap off!!

kameron454ci
February 20, 2011, 10:07 PM
lee hand loader was $22.00 100 round brass was $15.00 one pound red dot $22.50 1000 primers $35 500 LSWC $61.00 so $159.00 to reload you first 500 when 500 rounds of ultra max cowboy loads are $50 a box so $500 for 500rounds:eek:

Foto Joe
February 20, 2011, 10:17 PM
if your going to reload just reload smokeless. i can shoot 50 rounds of my reloads with red dot and you can wipe the gun down with a rag and its clean when i shoot 12 rounds of bp you have to scrub scrape to get that crap off!!

I reload smokeless as well as Black Powder. Is the smokeless easier? YOU BET!! In some ways it can be just as satisfying but...

There's more to it than that, otherwise none of us would even bother with Black Powder. It's kinda like, "If I've got to explain it, you probably won't understand".

kameron454ci
February 20, 2011, 10:20 PM
cap and ball for bp and smokeless for cartrige that how i roll:cool:

Foto Joe
February 20, 2011, 10:28 PM
Don't knock it until you've tried it. The 45 Colt really isn't happy spitting Red Dot out of the barrel. Be warned though, once you start loading Black Powder Cartridges, you will be hooked!!

ClemBert
February 20, 2011, 11:19 PM
Yeah, real black powder is the only way to go in 45 Colt when you are talking about shooting a converted Colt or Remington replica. I load 45 Colt in both smokeless and black powder. The smokeless loads are reserved for my "modern firearms". The converted BP revolvers always get the good stuff...that is, REAL BLACK POWDER just like us soot lords like it! :p

Hawg Haggen
February 22, 2011, 06:45 AM
when i shoot 12 rounds of bp you have to scrub scrape to get that crap off!!

You ain't doin something right. You're shooting smokeless and bp one behind the other or you're using smokeless lube on your bullets or something.

Hardcase
February 22, 2011, 10:19 AM
you're using smokeless lube on your bullets

+10 million.

Don't do what I did the first time out :D What a mess.