The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Thread Tools
Old September 26, 2015, 06:31 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Location: ILL-Annoyed
Posts: 159
Virginian Dragoon .45 and the +p

Hello friends, I have this old Virginian Dragoon in .45 and need to know if it is safe to shoot the new +p rounds out of it. I'm leaning toward yes since it's a big frame made to handle .44 magnum, but I don't know and I don't want to be a test monkey. I'm not talking all the time, but just a few a year for bambi.

If anyone knows someone who heard of someone who's cousin has had success with this it would really help.
sils79 is offline  
Old September 26, 2015, 08:44 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 6,793
Why do you need +Ps?
Aren't factory loads enough?
(correction made, 45 not 44M)
What kind of deer do you hunt?
Rule #xx is to never shoot higher pressure ammo than the gun is designed for.
Purty sure yours might be sturdy enough, at least initially, but why tempt the gods.
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.

Last edited by g.willikers; September 26, 2015 at 03:43 PM.
g.willikers is offline  
Old September 26, 2015, 08:59 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: November 29, 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 426
I believe he stated his is a 45 Colt.
SmokinTom is offline  
Old September 26, 2015, 10:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: April 24, 2006
Posts: 1,307
I agree with the first question. Do you really need a supercharged 45 Colt? The Virginian looks like a beefy design, but I have never favored hot rodding the 45 Colt. If you have genuine need of a high intensity revolver I suggest something designed for high pressure use, like a 44 Magnum, or one of the big bruisers like the 480 Ruger or 500 S&W.
SaxonPig is offline  
Old September 26, 2015, 11:27 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: June 2, 2015
Posts: 308
It's 4140 steel which is pretty strong, but why risk ruining a beautiful gun?

I found a copy of the owner's manual. It doesn't say anything amount ammunition at all.

It's somewhat entertaining to compare the manuals of yesteryear to today. No ridiculously safety warnings on every page, it is just clean and to the point.
9x18_Walther is offline  
Old September 26, 2015, 11:53 AM   #6
Tom Matiska
Senior Member
Join Date: April 12, 2000
Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pa
Posts: 1,023
I advise against the "it can handle the 44 Mag" school of thought. All things equal the 45 has a .480 case diameter and thinner cylinder walls than the 44, and it is a six shooter with the locking cut at the thinnest part.
A gun is like a parachute... when you need one you usually need it pretty bad...
Tom Matiska is offline  
Old September 26, 2015, 11:57 AM   #7
T. O'Heir
Senior Member
Join Date: February 13, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 4,521
.45 Colt is a big bullet going slow. A .44 Mag is a big bullet going fast. Either one will kill Bambi with factory ammo. No need for +P .45 Colt.
Everything you ever wanted to know about a Virginian Dragoon is here. Quick read shows nothing about +P though. Except for this:
"In terms of strength and overall dimensions, these were very close to that of a Blackhawk,..."
No idea who Lee Martin is, but he doesn't know the difference between ordnance and an ordinance. Needed to fire his editor. snicker.
Spelling and grammar count!
T. O'Heir is offline  
Old September 26, 2015, 02:01 PM   #8
Driftwood Johnson
Senior Member
Join Date: January 3, 2014
Location: Land of the Pilgrims
Posts: 572

First of all, there is no official SAAMI approved +P pressure standard for 45 Colt ammunition. SAAMI does have guidelines for +P 38 Special ammo, but not for 45 Colt.

So any commercial 45 Colt ammunition that carries the '+P' label is going to be made to whatever pressure standard the manufacturer chooses. There is no guarantee it will be safe in all 45 Colt revolvers.

Now..............If you are talking about Buffalo Bore ammo, they go the extra mile. If you click on the 'more info' button on any of their 45 Colt loads, they will tell you what guns that particular box of ammunition can be safely fired from. They are very specific. Some of their heavy loads deliver more velocity while staying safely under the SAAMI Max pressure for 45 Colt of 14,000 psi. And they will tell you with other loads that they should only be fired in certain revolvers and not in others. The information is all there on their website.

Personally, and I know I will get guff for this, I would not fire any 45 Colt ammunition that is labeled +P in anything other than a large frame Blackhawk, 'old model' Vaquero, or one of the custom revolvers specifically designed for extra heavy loads. I most certainly would not fire it in a standard Colt or Italian replica that has similar dimensions to the Colt. Yes, others will say the modern guns are capable of more pressure than SAAMI Max pressure, but I won't do it in any of my 45 Colt revolvers that have the notoriously thin chamber walls of the SAA.
Driftwood Johnson is offline  
Old September 27, 2015, 12:47 AM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: April 25, 2008
Posts: 223
If you are referring to the .45 Colt loaded to .45 ACP pressures (approx. 21 kpsi), yes, the revolver will handle them. If you are referring to the 32 kpsi "Ruger only" loads, I wouldn't do it.
DWFan is offline  
Old September 27, 2015, 09:56 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: September 13, 2005
Location: ILL-Annoyed
Posts: 159
Thanks for all the replies, looks like buffalo bore makes decent standard pressure load that is hotter than most, will probably go with that.
sils79 is offline  
Old September 28, 2015, 06:04 AM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: May 20, 2014
Posts: 787
My Virginian Dragoon is chambered in 44MAG

Here a sweet on on GB...low price..
peggysue is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:48 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2015 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.06720 seconds with 9 queries