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Old September 26, 2015, 06:31 AM   #1
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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.
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Old September 26, 2015, 08:44 AM   #2
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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.
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Old September 26, 2015, 08:59 AM   #3
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I believe he stated his is a 45 Colt.
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Old September 26, 2015, 10:56 AM   #4
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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.
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Old September 26, 2015, 11:27 AM   #5
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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.
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Old September 26, 2015, 11:53 AM   #6
Tom Matiska
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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...
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Old September 26, 2015, 11:57 AM   #7
T. O'Heir
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.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!
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Old September 26, 2015, 02:01 PM   #8
Driftwood Johnson
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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.
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Old September 27, 2015, 12:47 AM   #9
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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.
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Old September 27, 2015, 09:56 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies, looks like buffalo bore makes decent standard pressure load that is hotter than most, will probably go with that.
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Old September 28, 2015, 06:04 AM   #11
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My Virginian Dragoon is chambered in 44MAG

Here a sweet on on GB...low price..
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