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Old October 4, 2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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Looking for cowboy load reloading data/advice

I can't find the exact info in my reloading books and online. I have a best guess but would like some pro advice.

For .45lc Cowboy Action Shooting, I'm reloading Missouri Bullets Co 180 grain lead RNFP, and using Accurate #5 and CCI Magnum primers.

Any suggestions on how many grains of powder to use? I can find data for 160 gr JHP and 200 gr lead RNFP and I can split the difference between those, but thought I'd ask here first.
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Old October 4, 2015, 06:46 PM   #2
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but would like some pro advice
Haha! Until a pro comes along, I will do the best I can from the group of "also rans."

My favorite place for published load data is always from the powder manufacturer/distributor. In this case, that means published guides from Accurate/Western Powders. Just so happens that I have many of these printed guides... my oldest is from 1989. Got one from 1992, numerous ones from the mid 2000's and even the very newest printed guide they offer right now.

Nowhere in any of them do they offer load data for a cast 180gr slug in .45 Colt. They have lots of data for 200's, 255's and even some jacketed 185gr data. But I really can't help even with all of these guides.
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Old October 4, 2015, 07:35 PM   #3
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Welcome to TFL.

In this situation, if you split the difference, you should be okay.

You've got a light bullet with a (relatively) slow powder - the two together buys you a lot of forgiveness.

But one thing I'm curious about: do you have any other powder? Something faster? I think your bullet/powder combination is awkward and unbalanced. AA#5 is going to have a slow burn rate in the cavernous 45 Colt cartridge. You'd get more consistent burns (and corresponding positive results) if you were running something like Titegroup or AA#2, or the like.
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Old October 4, 2015, 07:47 PM   #4
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I wouldn't be afraid to contact Brad Alpert, the owner of Missouri Bullet Company, and ask him if he has any load data. I've conversed with him previously. He is a wealth of knowledge and personally answers the phone. He helped me out when I first began loading.

Good luck. Be safe.
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Old October 4, 2015, 08:42 PM   #5
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I wouldn't be afraid to contact Brad Alpert,
I've e-mailed him. He responds personally.

Good advice.
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Old October 4, 2015, 09:11 PM   #6
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Have you considered using Trail Boss powder which is the customary powder for Cowboy Action Shooting (if you can find any)? Using that powder often simplifies things since generally it is not necessary to weigh charges. Instead, powder loading just calls for visually filling the case to the base of the bullet when seated, regardless of bullet weight. Of course you will have to convince yourself of that which will require doing some research on the powder. This is a fast burning powder but results in light recoil and was developed for cowboy shooting but is good for most anything where reduced recoil is desired. I use the powder primarily for pleasant shooting with the large rifle magnums up to .416s and .458s. The closest handgun/rifle caliber to the .45 Colt that I load for is the .454 Casull. I have no idea how many grains of powder, just enough to fill to the base of the seated bullet regardless of bullet weight. Probably hard to believe. Part of the beauty of this powder is its simplicity in using. Powder scale not required unless you really think you should weigh charges (at least to begin with). Google Trail Boss powder for information but good luck on easily finding some. Seems like it is becoming more and more popular.
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Last edited by condor bravo; October 4, 2015 at 10:20 PM.
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