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Old November 8, 2012, 10:10 PM   #1
BigTex308
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Looking for a 45colt load

Hey yall



Ny dad wants me to make him some handloads for his Vaqueros(.45colt.) Probably going to be using 200gr lead. Looking for a lighter, low recoil load. Any suggestions on powder and charge?



Thanks



Ike
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:16 PM   #2
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6 gr. HP-38 (W231)
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Old November 8, 2012, 10:25 PM   #3
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Trail boss powder...look up the charge amount in their chart. Trailboss is a good target powder for 45 colt
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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Ike - unless your dad is way younger than I am (70), then I suspect he either wants to shoot Cowboy Action or shoot as if he did. You need to give old men slack on that.

There are two reasons why Trail Boss is, IMO, the premier powder for Single Action Army replicas, particularly guns with fixed sights because they are far less likely to be used for serious hunting:

1. It is an intentionally fluffy powder that fills the case not far below the level of the bullet seat. It appears to be impossible to double-charge a load without spilling powder all over the place. This is important because older men, in the company of buddies, tend to BS a lot while loading. Even alone, it is important, since a double-charge is so readily visible. Regrettably for the entrepreneurs, it torpedoed the dreams of the forward-thinking folks who invented the shorter .45 Cowboy cartridge, which would use ball powder and similarly prevent double-charges, while dealing with #2 below.

2. Shooting holstered revolvers is very different from shooting lever rifles, at least in CAS, because the revolvers have to be presented from a barrel-down position and the rifles are presented from a barrel-up-rotated-to-table-level position. Same load, in most cases, but for in revolvers with tight low-grain loads there can be an inconsistent powder distribution in the cartridge and relative distance to, and spread from, the primer. For example, Titegroup and Clays use approximately 2/3 the amount of powder by weight, and probably half by volume, as Trail Boss. Not saying don't use them - they are popular with many top dog CAS shooters. Just sayin'.

For old guys like me, who shoot just for fun and for great memories of glories past, without reservation I recommend Trail Boss for your Dad.
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:42 PM   #5
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Ike - I should have added - out of 5 1/2" barrel SAAs, I use 5.8 grains of Trail Boss under 200 gr. Oregon Trail bullets. I recommend starting with no less than 5.6 gr. powder and nor more than 6.0 gr., to get a feel for where the guns shoot.

On behalf of all the old dads out there, thanks for looking out for yours. They are gone too soon. My last great memory of time with my daddy was when he laid my 3-screw Ruger .45LC Blackhawk across the hood of our car and popped a distant soda can or squirrel or something small, with the first shot. He had to go home after that, out of wind from emphysema, but I didn't fully understand, until recent years, that in that moment he was able to have the personal triumph of one final, excellent shot in the company of his son.

Enjoy those moments with your parents.
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Old November 8, 2012, 11:48 PM   #6
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BigTex - also recommend Federal primers, or at least not CCI in this particular case. Vaqueros tend to be light hitters in my experience, and Federals love 'em.
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Old November 9, 2012, 08:26 AM   #7
Hammerhead
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Hard to beat Trail Boss for light lead loads in the .45 Colt.
I use 6.5 grains Trail Boss with a 200 LSWC in the .45 Colt as a light load.
Start at 5.5 and work up until you get the accuracy ad feel you're after.
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Old November 9, 2012, 01:08 PM   #8
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Never tested 200g bullets in .45 Colt (I use 250g RNFP or 255g SWC)... However, for light loads, Trail Boss is certainly the way to go.
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Old November 9, 2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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200gr REDLINE RNFP bullet over 5gr Hodgdons CLAYS ignited by Federal NO. 150 primer or Federal NO. 155 shooting 'em thru my Colt Gen 3 and 4s and Marlin 1894 Cowboy lever action. No powder problems with ambient temps of less than 30 degrees thru 100 plus degrees................
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Old November 10, 2012, 02:54 AM   #10
BigTex308
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Thanks for all the replies!





Ike
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Old November 10, 2012, 03:25 AM   #11
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The advice you have been given is good. I'll add that you may want to try 250-260gr bullets for the .45 Colt. This may help in getting closer to point of aim with fixed sight revolvers.

I like 260gr cast SWC in mine. Got my last batch of bullets from Missouri Bullet Co. They put out a great product at a very reasonable cost.
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Old November 11, 2012, 08:35 AM   #12
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I am also pushing the 70 mark and have been shooting SASS (#316) since the mid 1980's. I have just retired from shooting SASS because of problems with my hands working the single action revolvers.

My go to load since Trailboss has came out has been a 200 Gr LRN bullet, 5 grains of Trailboss, WLP primer and either 45 Colt or 45 Schofield brass.
This load has worked well in my USFA and Colt 45's with either a 4 3/4 inch or 5 1/2 barrels It also feeds in my Marlin 1894 45 Colt rifle.
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Old November 13, 2012, 11:44 PM   #13
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I use a 250 or 255 grain rnfp over 10.5 of AA #5. Shoots like a house afire and won't blow powder gas back at you like some 200 grain loads do.
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Old November 25, 2012, 12:35 AM   #14
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Relative to Cowboy Action Shooting, my great respect and a tip of the hat go to Beans, given his very long experience with the sport. He is more knowledgeable of the required power factors than I am and I'd imagine he has won many, many more matches than I have.

All that said, my own loads for 200 gr. .45LC loads are 5.8 gr. of Trail Boss. I vary between the somewhat narrow range of 5.7 and 6.0 - that's just what suits my guns. Like many CAS shooters, I'd imagine, I set a load that is great for my revolvers and then use the same load in my rifle. Having had a squib or two in my time, I like a load with enough recoil to assure me that the train has left the station.

When I don't load with Trail Boss, I use Clays or Titegroup. Tend to do that more when using a buddy's gee-wow progressive press.

As for bullet weight, I load a few hundred 250 gr. bullets, kept in separate boxes, for when the spotters "seem hard of hearing."

Like Beans, though, all that can go wrong with my body is going wrong, so my notes are more retrospective than present-tense, except that I still go to the indoor ranges and fire these same loads from the same guns and am as happy as ever with them.
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Old November 25, 2012, 12:01 PM   #15
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+1 on Trail Boss for light loads.... I have never used 200g bullets in mine as I like to stick to the 'standard' 250g RNFP or 255g SWC bullets, but Trail Boss is still king of the light loads. I've done some testing with it for the 250+ bullets ...

Trail Boss 255g SWC loads

Trail Boss 250g RNFP loads
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:57 AM   #16
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What are your opinions on using a Federal MAGNUM primer for the following load? Brand new Henry lever-action rifle and brand new Uberti 1873 Cattleman revolver- I've heard the frames are both stronger than the original 1800's ancestors but still not anywhere near Ruger Blackhawk.

Here is Hodgdon's data for my powder and bullet, but not for the magnum primer:
200 GR. CAST LRNFP Hodgdon Titegroup .452" 1.600" 6.5 933 9,300 CUP 7.7 1050 12,700 CUP

Where do you think I should start?
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:27 AM   #17
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you've gotten alot of good advice here... I use 250 grain lead in both my lever & Vaqueros, I have a boat load of 200's, but they shoot low, I use 5.5 grains of Trailboss, & a 250 bullet, I still needed a little front sight filing, but now mine shoot exactly to point of aim at 40-50ft...

BTW... I use mostly CCI primers in my matching pair of Vaquero Montados, & never had a light strike ( though I've not trimmed my springs, or some of the things the gamers play )

as far as magnum primers, I don't think they are needed in the 45 Colt, until you get to loads aproching the 454 Casull in power / powder volume... I do use magnum primers in my very hot hunting loads I shoot in my Contender
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Old December 26, 2012, 11:44 AM   #18
Chadm1garand
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I apologize for not explaining more in detail... being completely out of standard primers the only ones I could find are magnum primers. Do the magnum primers have a significant impact on pressures?
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