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Old December 25, 2011, 09:41 PM   #1
pdh
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Powder for 45 Colt

I have a 45 Colt in a T/C Contender 10" barrel. What's good powders for the 45 Colt? I have done some load testing a couple years ago...using the 2400 powder and 250gr JHP bullets. Results was not bad but thought it could have better a little better
Thanks
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Old December 25, 2011, 09:46 PM   #2
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For hunting loads I would suggest H110 or W296. I've had good luck with both of them in my Ruger Blackhawk.
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Old December 25, 2011, 10:03 PM   #3
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Thanks....yes, I want hunting/plinking loads for it.
Thanks again
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Old December 25, 2011, 10:09 PM   #4
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Accurate NO.9 is a great powder
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Old December 25, 2011, 10:10 PM   #5
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Ok thanks. Got all winter to try them out
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Old December 26, 2011, 07:19 AM   #6
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Old December 26, 2011, 07:29 AM   #7
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Most manuals (e.g. Lyman, Hornady, Speer, and Sierra) have a separate section for full-power loads for the Contender, Freedom Arms, and old Vaquero SAAs; have you checked then?
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Old December 26, 2011, 10:28 AM   #8
pdh
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I have ran through the manuals. I have the Sierra, Speer, Nosler.
Seems bullet weight selection is small. My contender really liked the 225gr silver tip factory ammo well. Like to try a 225gr bullet.
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Old December 26, 2011, 11:04 AM   #9
Mike Irwin
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I'm shooting 255 lead hard casts out of my 4" Smith & Wesson.

I'm loading Universal Clays to traditional ballistics. I like the powder. Seems to do a good job.
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Old December 26, 2011, 11:09 AM   #10
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I'm using Titegroup. Works great.
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Old December 26, 2011, 11:14 AM   #11
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in my 9.5" Ruger SRH I load full house Casull loads 80-90% of the time but I do load some 45 Colts. My favorites so far are a 300gr Hornady XTP bullet and Alliant Herco powder, recoil is very light but it still puts a hurting on the targets. Also, the Cast Performance 360 and 395 gr lead bullets with either 296 or Ramshot Enforcer are nice shooting 45 Colt loads from mild to wild you wont be disappointed.
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Old December 26, 2011, 11:35 AM   #12
pdh
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Thanks for all the replies.
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Old December 26, 2011, 11:45 AM   #13
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+1 on Mike's Universal Clays load. It's a fun plinking load and I'll be carrying it in my backup gun hunting this week as well. No need for anything more for S TX deer and hogs. If you want that Contender to be "all it can be" 296 or 2400 under Hornady's 300 grainer should get you there.
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Old December 26, 2011, 12:05 PM   #14
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I will give that 300gr hornaday with 2400 and 296 a try.
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Old December 26, 2011, 03:28 PM   #15
Mike / Tx
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For standard Colt loads your only looking to get into the 850 - 1000fps range. There are several powders which will do this easily and are pretty economical per load. You mentioned plinking, so that is where these would be at their finest from your longer barrel. I would also suggest looking into some of the cast bullets which are available from several production casters. They are a bit cheaper and will provide not only some nice low recoiling rounds but will also do a number on deer or other critters.

Here are a couple of places to browse,
Montana Bullet Works
Missouri Bullet Company
Penn Bullets
Cast Performance

Personally I have used the Cast Performance 269gr WFGC and it is a real performer at around 1400+fps. I used them in my 454 until I got to shooting it too much to afford them, and I broke down and started to cast my own. I'm now using the Lee molds for both my 45 Colt and 454. I have mold for a 255gr RFN, one for a 290gr RF, and another for the 300gr RF, and they all shoot like a dream from the Colt. I have settled on the 255gr mold for it however as with my WW alloy they come out at 260grs right on the money.

I figure with a decent charge of 231, Unigue, or 2400, I should have all the basis covered with one bullet for the Colt.
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Old December 26, 2011, 04:36 PM   #16
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I am not familiar at all with the cast bullets. Will there be a hassle with leading in the barrel at the 45 colt velocities?
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Old December 26, 2011, 05:44 PM   #17
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"I am not familiar at all with the cast bullets. Will there be a hassle with leading in the barrel at the 45 colt velocities?"

There shouldn't be unless you're driving them either way too fast or the bullets are improperly lubed or are too soft.
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Old December 26, 2011, 05:48 PM   #18
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The only thing I shoot in 45 Cold are mild lead and use Penn for that. I have found that target loads work very well using Herco. It has a lot of bulk that will fill more of the case and its very accurate with 255 Gr bullets.
What I load hot for both the Contender and long guns is 44 Magnum. I use the 320 Gr and H110. I have pushed them over 1400 FPS without a gas check with little leading in a rifle.
They offer premium cast which is a harder lead. The nice thing about your contender is that it will take much heavier loads than most wheel guns if not all. And you can get some great velocities out of it. With my Contender in 44 Mag its not really the top loads that are accurate. For mine using lead or jacketed it’s the upper end that works usually a couple of GR under max. But for 25 Colt start mid to lower end and work up. Also remember that the Contender and Ruger Blackhawk’s have separate loads which are higher than normally loads for old Colts or N frame S&W’s. I mark my 44’s for rifle or contender only.

http://www.pennbullets.com/44/44-caliber.html
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Old December 26, 2011, 10:04 PM   #19
pdh
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....learning quite a lot here. Thanks, again, for all the information here. Got all winter to play with this all...

If I load cast bullets at the contender/blackhawk velocities, the bullets with the gas checks should take care of the leading? I have been looking here at the links you all provided on the cast bullets.
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Old December 27, 2011, 05:13 AM   #20
Mike / Tx
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Quote:
If I load cast bullets at the contender/blackhawk velocities, the bullets with the gas checks should take care of the leading? I have been looking here at the links you all provided on the cast bullets.
Things to remember with lead,

You want to clean all of the copper fouling out of your barrel before you shoot lead through it. The small bits of copper which might be in there will quickly contribute to a leading situation, since they are harder than the lead they will shear it off with each passing shot.

Fit and lube are essential to preventing leading. Either is easily dealt with however. Simply slug your barrel using an egg sinker, mic the widest part and use this dimension plus .001" when you order your bullets and you should be fine. Most of the top makers use lube that will handle the velocities at which the particular bullets will be driven.

The condition of your bore might also add to some leading, but it is easily removed with a strand of a copper Chore Boy scrubbing pad wrapped around a bristle bore brush. The copper strand will slice the lead out quickly and will not harm your barrel.

Another tip I was given, if you know of someone who cast and might have some or you have access to some Alox, simply wet a patch with it and run down your bore a few passes before you shoot your lead. This will somewhat pre-condition your bore so that the first shot has something to ride on. I have to do this with my 454 or I get slight smearing with the first three shots from a clean barrel. With the pre-conditioning, I have no issues what so ever even running the 300gr GC loads at 1500+fps.

A gas check will not prevent leading, but it will help reduce it, and it will protect your bullets bases from any major deformation when used with heavier loads. The fit and lube are what keep leading to a minimum.
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