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Old May 19, 2012, 10:48 PM   #1
steelbird
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45 Colt BP loads for Cattleman Hombre

Not new to BP shooting or reloading smokeless, but new to BP carridge reloading.

I've just gotten an Uberti Cattleman Hombre, ( 45 Colt )which I'd like to run BP through. I don't know enough about the strength of the gun. Would a load of 35 grains fffg of Goex with a 250 grain lead bullet be a load that the gun can handle without blowing it up? I've shot that same grain load out of my BP 1860 and Remmie guns, but with the lighter 451 Hornady swaged round balls - how different is it with a cased load and the larger bullet?

I also don't know enough about bullet lubes - are they entirely necessary? Could I smear a blob of Bore Butter in the creases (forgive me if that's the wrong term ) and be good with that?

I am aware of the need for no space between bullet and powder ( normal for BP in the other guns ). Would a good rule of thumb be to hear no rattle inside the case after the bullet is seated?

There's always contradictory information and suggestions when it comes to reloading - I'd like to iron them out before I start into this aspect of reloading.
Thanks!
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Old May 19, 2012, 11:04 PM   #2
rclark
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You can't stuff enough BP under the 250g bullet to 'blow it up' .... Simply not possible . Just make sure there is no air between bullet and powder (slightly compressed) and you are good to go.
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Old May 19, 2012, 11:43 PM   #3
Hawg
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The original load was 40 grains but you can't get that much in a modern case. I'd use something besides bore butter unless you're going to shoot them pretty quick. Something like a stiff beeswax/Crisco mix. Also you need some soapy water or Windex to drop the empties into as soon as they're removed from the gun or they wont clean up good.
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Old May 20, 2012, 06:44 AM   #4
steelbird
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Thanks! I figured that was the case, but just wanted some input on this before I went ahead. Is there a significant pressure spike though if the powder is given a heavy compression, as opposed to a light one, when in the case? I often give it a heavy push in the BP guns, with no ill effects.
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Old May 20, 2012, 06:50 AM   #5
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Nothing to worry about with bp, those frames hold up to magnum smokeless loads.
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Old May 20, 2012, 08:59 AM   #6
arcticap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelbird
I also don't know enough about bullet lubes - are they entirely necessary? Could I smear a blob of Bore Butter in the creases (forgive me if that's the wrong term ) and be good with that?
SPG lube is a popular black powder lube among BPCR shooters and they load with much larger powder charges than used in BP pistol cartridges.

http://www.blackpowderspg.com/lube.html
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Old May 20, 2012, 10:46 PM   #7
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I have a pair but in .357mag. One of the pair gummed up pretty fast. I had to ever-so-lightly dress the barely noticeable high spots on the back of the barrel on it. After that both have done well with BP and 777. I don't think I removed more than a half a thou off two areas (not the whole surface).
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Old May 20, 2012, 11:32 PM   #8
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How about cutting circles of beeswax honeycomb starter sheets? (also sold for making roll-up candles) Use it like a wad between the powder and the bullet.
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Old May 21, 2012, 06:35 AM   #9
HolliferADollar
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45 Colt loads for Hombre

I just crossed over to the dark side & can give you some newbie insight. I also have a pair of Hombres like yours.

To get started, all I had on hand was Pyrodex RS & 200 grain LRNFP bullets. I measured the length of the flat area of the bullet, then made a mark that distance from the case mouth on the inside of a sized empty case. I bought a set of Lee dippers & found the dipper that put enough Pyrodex in the case to come up to that mark. I then seated & crimped the cases as normal. First time around, I made up 5 test rounds & shot them in the back yard. BIG boom, BIG cloud of smoke, fire out the barrel, in other words, YEE HAW! Recoil was very manageable, comparable to what you get with factory ammo. I also use the Cowboy 45 Special cases, so I did up 5 test rounds with them, using the same process & a different powder dipper. Nice bang, big cloud of smoke, recoil about like a heavy 38 round.

I had a match in Tallahassee this past Saturday, so I decided to shoot BP rounds there. I loaded up 40 of the Cowboy Special rounds & 20 of the long Colt rounds. I shot the CS rounds on the first 4 stages & checked the cylinders. Big ring of carbon in each so I cleaned the guns quickly using moose milk. Very easy cleanup. I then used the 20 long rounds on the last 2 stages. Satisfying results, but the primers backed out a little so the action was more difficult to work. I didn't have enough empty brass to make rifle ammo, so I shot smokeless stuff there.

After the match, cleanup was very easy. Soaked the barrel & cylinder with moose milk, let them sit for a few minutes, then it took 3-4 patches through each cylinder & the barrel to get them all nice & clean. There was a lot of gummy fouling in the barrel because I had used smokeless-lubed bullets but nothing overly difficult to remove.

The primers backing out of the cases was most likely caused by the lighter bullets (200 gn). I have some 250s on the way for use in rifle rounds.

I spent yesterday de-lubing & re-lubing 100 bullets with beeswax. That should take care of the really gummy fouling in the barrel. I have also bought a can of Goex FFG. The next trial will be with APP, which is supposed to be compatible with smokeless bullet lube. That will make things a lot easier.

All in all, BP is a lot easier to work with & to clean up than I thought it would be. It is also fun!

HAD
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Old May 21, 2012, 03:36 PM   #10
Hellgate
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HAD,
Don't over fill the cases with APP. Heavy compression really ups the pressure. I shoot subs alot in the cartridges and no problem with fouling.
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Old May 22, 2012, 12:03 PM   #11
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I shoot BP cartridge also. If using real BP SPG is about the best. A simple check after a few rounds of the end of the barrel should be greasy if not then not enough lube. If using 777 smokeless lube works fine and you do not need as much powder. In a rifle caution using a 45 colt. Rifles were not designed to use a straight wall cartridge you need the slight bottle neck of the 44-40 38-40 or 32-20 to seal the chamber so the guts of the rifle stays cleaner and won't jam after 20 or so shots. You can use 45 just bring along some ballistol to lube and clean the lifter and such. But I found a huge difference in using a 32-20 and a 45 in a rifle. In the days of the old west they never made a rifle in 45 colt there is a reason. I made my own spg it's part bees wax part sheep fat aka lanolin pita just buy some lots easier. Just my .02 cents
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Old May 22, 2012, 02:27 PM   #12
Hawg
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Quote:
In the days of the old west they never made a rifle in 45 colt there is a reason.
Yep, the balloon case head was smaller than modern .45 case heads and the extractor couldn't get a good grip on it. You prolly do have a point about the fouling too tho. After a few rounds if the extractor COULD get a good grip it would prolly just tear through the copper case head.
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