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Old March 31, 2013, 09:24 AM   #1
DMZX
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Roundball in .45 Colt

I have exhausted my small supply of .45 Colt bullets and I am unable to find anything available on the shelves due to high demand on just about everything.

But, I remembered I did have several boxes of .454 round ball stashed away. Those would be nice for casual practice and plinking. I would like to load up a batch using Trail Boss, but can not find any load data. Is this doable?
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Old March 31, 2013, 10:07 AM   #2
Ozzieman
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Hodgdon has a load for 160 GR which if you start mid load should work since most ball are around 150GR.
Do yourself one favor, take some unprimed cases and get your load working first. It’s not the easiest process.
This is what I found. You need to bell the case as little as possible. Most dies when you bell/expand the top of the case it expands the first 1/3 of the case to the size of the bullet. This is too big for the round ball. The first couple that I loaded looked perfect,,, but when you took hold of the ball it would spin in the case.
I have the belling plug on order for a 45 and I’m going to have a friend machine the lower end smaller than the case so that it only bells the top so that the cases holds the ball much tighter. Hope it works.
The accuracy was dismal but at 7 yards was a fun round to shoot. Actually my cap and ball 44’s shoot ball MUCH better but it was a fun experiment. In my Ruger the ball felt like shooting a 22. Lots of smoke and soot with Unique. Velocity was 560 FPS, a real magnum.
Have fun.

http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 45 LC round ball.jpg (113.2 KB, 66 views)
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Old March 31, 2013, 01:17 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the informative post. I did not consider how to crimp the balls in place.

I think this might be a interesting and fun reloading project.

I noticed, from your picture, you used .451 balls, I was assuming that .454" would fit the bore better, I ask because I also have some .451" balls, but was not going to use them.
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Old March 31, 2013, 01:49 PM   #4
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I used 451 because it’s all I have. And they were 140 GR not 160.
I think??? That the balls compress slightly. My guess is that your 454 would work better. They are very soft lead so don’t push them very hard.
By the way, Speer #10 has a load for the 454 140 gr round ball for the LC. But not for trailboss.
Tell me another powder and I will give you the max min load.
http://www.castpics.net/LoadData/Rou...ll%20Loads.pdf
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Old March 31, 2013, 02:33 PM   #5
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Any data for Unique and 231?

BTW, I saved the page from that link to my reference library. Thanks!
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Old March 31, 2013, 04:36 PM   #6
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Would you have to load and shoot one at a time, to avoid recoil causing the round balls to move forward, out of the cases?
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Old March 31, 2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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g.willikers
YOu do have to test them but no they dont. The recoil is so light that that hasnt been a problem. But they do require a firm crimp
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Old March 31, 2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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I have a set of Uberti 1872 Open Top .45's that shoot round balls extremely well. I load 6.1 grains* of Trail boss, then seat the cast ball ALMOST flush with the case mouth (The rules of the game say the projectile can't be seated below the case mouth). I made a seater die that leaves the sprue stem above the case mouth so the projectile is sticking out of the case about .020" or so. Then for lube, I've got some solid stick grease that gets smeared into the space around the case mouth. It chrono's 850 fps, shoots to point of aim, is extremely accurate, and recoil is nil. I've used balls up to .457" with no real difference in performance, but I normally use .454". If the rounds will chamber in your cylinder without crimping, there doesn't seem to be any need to crimp either - crimping doesn't crimp the ball anyway, as contact with the case is ~.225" below the case mouth.

* 6.1 because that's what the corresponding RCBS Little Dandy rotor just happens to throw. I started with five grains, but ignition was very inconsistent and primers were backing out.
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Old April 1, 2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Jbar4Ranch did you have the problem I had using 451 with the belling die making the case to large below the bell. I ended up using a very firm crimp to hold the ball in place.
Didn’t think about the grease but it was so slow I didn’t get much leading. Might be different with your 850 fps.
Did you use any filler?
Thanks for the input.
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Old April 1, 2013, 04:35 PM   #10
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No filler, and I don't remember any problem with the ball being loose with .451", but I've been using .454" and .457" for several years. I don't remember the smaller balls being loose though.
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Old April 14, 2013, 11:12 PM   #11
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I loaded some up yesterday and took them out for a trial.

5.6 gr Trailboss.

I crimped the balls, (lubed with Johnson Paste wax), in tight at their circumference.

It was a very modest load. Zero blast or recoil. Accuracy was very good at 30'. A good deal of fun to shoot.

Empty hulls showed signs of low pressure, sooty with powder residue.

I think I will try a batch using 6.1 gr of Trailboss as JBar4' suggested.
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Old April 15, 2013, 07:56 PM   #12
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Glad to hear you’re having better luck than I did with accuracy but then again you were using a much better diameter than I was.
I loaded some up with Herco and pushed them a little faster and the accuracy got better but the leading was a little worse.
Think I’ll go buy a box of 454. It was fun.
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Old April 18, 2013, 12:21 PM   #13
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I use unsized brass to prevent gas blow back.
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Old April 18, 2013, 12:23 PM   #14
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oops!
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Old April 18, 2013, 01:34 PM   #15
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I load lead round balls for 32 S&W, 38 S&W, 44 Bulldog, & also have for 45 Colt... Lee tumble lube seems to work well... I think I've used a Lee factory crimp die on each ( been a while ) but I crimp almost to the point of indenting or deforming the balls, & have had reasonable accuracy out of all so far

biggest issue I've had thus far, has been with partially pushed out primers tightening up the cylinder... but raising the charge a 1/2 grain of powder seems to fix that ( I've used Trailboss on all my ball loads so far )
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Old April 18, 2013, 02:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
supply of .45 Colt bullets and I am unable to find anything
Just order up some bullets on-line from say Rimrock bullets or Missouri bullets or ... Bullets is one item that you don't have to worry about being 'out of stock'.

For example,

Rimrock Bullets

That said, I've never tried using balls in .45 Colt. Might have to give it a try sometime.
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Old December 6, 2013, 03:06 AM   #17
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last time i checked, you simply bell the case as normal and use a round ball thats been passed through a sizing die to get it to the same diameter as you size your normal lead bullets.

ie if you toss your cast bullet through a .452 sizing die, pass a .454 roundball through it toos. crimping is said to turn into like a normal projectile.


however, it does pay attention to the following

alot of bullets are available online. but if you need a particular bullet and its on a 4 month backorder, and all you can find are bh 12-13 at 200 grains. and you need a 250 grains.....
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Old December 6, 2013, 11:05 AM   #18
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I have experimented with shooting soft Lead balls.

1)
a) I have seated the ball all the way down to compress 1 gr of powder. This gives 10X the power of a Lead ball in the case mouth with 1 gr of powder, but makes the same amount of noise. With 1 gr powder, there is no worry about pressure, the more the better and the more expansion ratio the more efficiency.
b) I have seated the ball all the way down to the case web with NO powder. This will still penetrate cardboard and makes lots of noise with a handgun length barrel.

2) I have chamfered the case mouth until sharp. Then put a board under the top arch of the reloading press frame. Then I raise the primed and charged case onto a section of shogun plastic wad. This cookie cutters a wad into the case. I then seat a bullet deeply on top of it. This prevents the gas getting past the bullet which can cause Leading and loss of power.

3) I have shorted a case, made a special die, and used to presses in series to form a lead ball into the shape of a bullet while in the case mouth. I did this to seal the gas at the chamber throat of a wildcat.
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Old December 7, 2013, 03:30 AM   #19
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2 Balls

I have used two balls with lube between them as per Major George C. Nonte's instructions in his book, "Modern Handloading".
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Old December 8, 2013, 12:27 AM   #20
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Quote:
2) I have chamfered the case mouth until sharp. Then put a board under the top arch of the reloading press frame. Then I raise the primed and charged case onto a section of shogun plastic wad. This cookie cutters a wad into the case. I then seat a bullet deeply on top of it. This prevents the gas getting past the bullet which can cause Leading and loss of power.
What did you cut the wads from? The hulls or the wads?

I tried .060" vegetable fiber wads under my .45 Colt round balls with 2 grains of Clays and some of the wads stayed in the barrel (20" carbine).

They get sideways and the gas must just go around them. I was thinking a thicker wad wouldn't be as likely to turn sideways in the bore.

In a 20" .45 Colt carbine, even 3 grains of powder is fairly quiet, like a .22lr from a rifle. Like someone else noted, you get much better performance seating the balls deep into the case.

I have found that round balls are more accurate than regular bullets in gallery loads. 1 hole groups at 25 yards are normal for the Hornady .454" balls (rested H&R carbine with peep sights). At 50 yards they start to string vertically leaving groups about 1" wide and 3" tall when shot over 3 grains of Trail Boss. Gotta' say I'm happy with that.

Last edited by Hammerhead; December 8, 2013 at 12:37 AM.
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Old December 8, 2013, 11:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
Hammerhead
What did you cut the wads from? The hulls or the wads?
I used a 28 ga plastic wad that just fits over a 45 Colt mouth [when not belled]. I don't know it they are still available, I got 1000 for $1 from a box under a table at a gun show.
I cross sectioned one for you in the pic.
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Old December 8, 2013, 01:28 PM   #22
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Neat, thanks.
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