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Old July 30, 2014, 10:32 PM   #1
Hunter Customs
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IMR4227 and the 45Colt

As I stated in another thread here in the reloading forum we all know the availability of pistol powders is not the best.

I've used a bunch of powders I would normally not use to load the 45 Colt just because they are available, then again I've used some powders I've had some experience with but not in 45 Colt.

IMR 4227 is one of those powders I've loaded in other cartridges, 38 special +P+, 357 mag, 44 special and 44 mag.

So I started loading IMR 4227 in the 45 Colt and here's the loads I've settled on.
These are not barn burners by any means but they sure are accurate.

I'm using two different weights of cast bullets a 200 gr RNFP and a 255 gr SWC.
I'm loading 19 grs of IMR 4227 under both bullets.

Here's the stats on the 200 gr RNFP, Avg Vel 904.2 FPS, High Vel 930.2 FPS, Low Vel 882.5 FPS, ES 47.7, SD 17.4, AD 12.2.

Here's the stats on the 255 gr SWC Avg Vel 889.8, High Vel 928.0 Low Vel 863.5, ES64.5, SD21, AD16.1.

The above loads is not listed in any of my loading manuals so to those who decide to load these loads they do so at their own risk.

I've heard some claim that H 4227 and the new IMR 4227 (which is what I'm using) is the same powder and the same loading info can be used for both, however I do not know that to be fact so proceed with caution.

Best Regards
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Old July 31, 2014, 12:05 PM   #2
rclark
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I like 20.0g of IMR 4227 under 250-255g bullet (either RNFP or SWC) with CCI magnum primer. Works good for me as is still a Tier 2 load. For awhile it was my goto load, but I found myself going through to much powder! So changed. Others seem to like this load as well, for example, it is one of John Taffin's favorite loads

Unless I missed it you didn't give how many bullets in your string to get your data. I usually shoot 15 per load for example as 10 is bare minimum for trustworthy SD. Also, what barrel length of the gun for your tests?
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Last edited by rclark; July 31, 2014 at 12:21 PM.
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Old July 31, 2014, 12:10 PM   #3
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My powder inventory is committed to using IMR 4227 and A2400 to load .45 Colt for my Redhawks. I show in the Speer manual that 250 gr LSWC gives 19.0 gr IMR 4227 as the max load. Their test firearm is listed as Colt SAA. Your velocity data very much agrees (except for the slight difference in bullet weight).
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Old July 31, 2014, 12:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
I like 20.0g of IMR 4227 under 250-255g bullet (either RNFP or SWC) with CCI magnum primer. Works good for me as is still a Tier 2 load. For awhile it was my goto load, but I found myself going through to much powder! So changed. Others seem to like this load as well, for example, it is one of John Taffin's favorite loads

Unless I missed it you didn't give how many bullets in your string to get your data. I usually shoot 15 per load for example as 10 is bare minimum for trustworthy SD. Also, what barrel length of the gun for your tests?
rclark, thanks for the info, my shot strings were 10 rounds, the gun used is a Colt clone Cimarron Uberti with a 4&3/4 inch barrel.
I have 16 pounds of this powder to burn up, I figure I can use it for practice ammo, save the HS6 and Unique for more serious hunting loads.

Real Gun, thanks also for your info, I had a Speer manual but I must have loaned it to someone because I sure can't find it.

Best Regards
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Old July 31, 2014, 01:00 PM   #5
buck460XVR
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While IMR 4227 is a favorite of mine in .44 mag and my go to powder in .460 mag, I've never been a fan of it in low pressure loads. Basically for two reasons, cost of it compared to faster powders. IMR4227 is about the most expensive per pound powder I use. To get the same velocities that a faster powder would give in low pressure rounds the amount of powder needed is about twice as much. More expensive than Unique(and similar powders), and needs twice the amount per charge.....So cost wise, it doesn't make sense. Also when used at lower pressures, IMR4227 is worse than Unique when it comes to unburnt residue. Even at higher pressure, many times the bench looks like one of the sandbags tore open from all the powder granules strewn over it. But I do like it's accuracy. Especially with heavy bullets in long pipe revolvers at magnum velocities. It also was kinda a sleeper powder for years and one never heard much talk about it. It was available during the powder shortage when nuttin' else was and many folks discovered it. It works very well in handgun caliber carbines too. If one looks at Hodgdon's reloading pages, you'll see in the few applications where both are listed, that H4227 and IMR4227 recipes are exactly the same and produce the exact same velocities and pressures. Since this is what you see from them with H110 and W296, it tells me that they are the same powder. Besides a while back, I was told from a e-mail from Hodgdon that H4227 was re-branded IMR4227 and the old IMR4227 discontinued. So published info for old H4227 works for the "new" IMR4227.
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Old July 31, 2014, 01:42 PM   #6
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buck460XVR, you are right about burning twice as much but at the present time finding Unique and HS6 around here is very hard to do, so to keep shooting, IMR 4227 is it.

It's not the most expensive powder I've used.
SR7625 and the Vihtavhori powders around here cost more, if you can find them.

With the powder situation the way it is I've used a lot of powders that would not be my first choice, unfortunately that's the way it is for now.

Best Regards
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Old July 31, 2014, 03:20 PM   #7
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Anybody playing with Ruger only loads and 4227? My favorite 44 mag load is 25 grains 4227 and a 240 grain boolit. Was thinking the same combo in 45 Colt would be good also. Whatchall think?
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Old August 1, 2014, 07:46 AM   #8
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Airman Basic Anybody playing with Ruger only loads and 4227? My favorite 44 mag load is 25 grains 4227 and a 240 grain boolit. Was thinking the same combo in 45 Colt would be good also. Whatchall think?

According to the Lyman manual, that is a max load for TC Contender/Encore in .45 Colt. I can't believe you can get 25 gr under a 240 bullet in .44 mag.
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Old August 1, 2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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No problem stuffing it in a 44 hull. Not even very crunchy.
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Old August 1, 2014, 12:59 PM   #10
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally posted by Airman Basic: No problem stuffing it in a 44 hull. Not even very crunchy.
I load it under 240s in .44 mag and @ 23.4 it's already compressed. 25 grains is a whole grain over max listed by Hodgdon(24 gr)for a 240 jacketed and I always assumed that was not because of pressure, but because they couldn't stuff any more into the case and keep a bullet seated. Under a 240 gr boolit their max is 22 gr, compressed. Where did your data come from?
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Old August 1, 2014, 02:38 PM   #11
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I agree that I don't believe you can stuff enough 4227 in a 357, 41, 44, and maybe 45 to make an over pressure load. I use a drop tube so maybe that's why I can get 25 grains in there. As someone said earlier, 25 is a max published load in a TC. Anyway, it works. BTW, that's with an RCBS Keith style cast boolit. Also shoots great in a Marlin 1894.
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Old August 1, 2014, 06:18 PM   #12
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If you look at Brian Pearce's .45 Colt data, ROL (Tier 3) 4227 loads starts at 22g to 24g under 280g bullet. So 25g does seem reasonable under the lighter 255g bullet.... Never been there though so YMMV. I'll stick with 20g . Accurate and I can load 'em in my medium frame or large frame BHs and original/New Vaqueros.
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Old August 1, 2014, 07:54 PM   #13
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I use unique in all my revolver loads
and Bullseye in my semis
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Old August 7, 2014, 05:07 PM   #14
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Well I did a little more load development with IMR4227 in the 45 Colt.
The gun I'm using is a Uberti Colt Clone with a 4-3/4 inch barrel.

I worked my way up to 20 grs of IMR 4227 still using the 200gr RNFP and 255gr SWC cast bullets.

Here's my results shooting 10 shots strings (two cylinders of 5 shots each).

Stats for the 200 gr bullet, Avg Vel 993.0 FPS, High Vel 1007 FPS, Low Vel 979.7 FPS, ES 27, SD 9.6, AD 8.3.
I was much more pleased with these numbers, especially the ES, SD, and AD numbers.
This is a great small game and practice load.

Stats for the 255 gr bullet, Avg Vel 931.5 FPS, High Vel 998.3 FPS, Low Vel 867.2 FPS, ES 131.1, SD 41.1,AD 33.8.
I'm not pleased with these numbers, however it surprises me how accurate this load is.
If it wasn't for the high ES I would consider this load as a deer hunting load.

Here's a little something to ponder, I've read and have been told that as the gun heats up the velocity and pressure will rise when using IMR 4227.
There may be something to this as my 10 shot string shows this to some degree.
Again I shot two cylinders of 5 shots each with just enough time to unload the spent brass and load the cylinder again.

1st cyl - 2nd cyl

1. 916.9 - 1. 914.4
2. 880.9 - 2. 909.2
3. 867.2 - 3. 967.5
4. 943.0 - 4. 950.8
5. 967.0 - 5. 998.3

If you are loading to a max load of IMR 4227 the heat issue is something you may want to keep in mind.

I believe 20grs of IMR 4227 is the max in my Uberti, keep in mind that just because my gun handled it, that does not mean yours will, so as with all handloads start low and proceed with caution.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
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Old August 7, 2014, 05:13 PM   #15
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I did a little loading of 4227 for .44-40, as a low-pressure load for a 1st Gen single action.
I used 14.3 grains under a cast 200, and I think I chose that charge weight because it is the same as I use for .30 Carbine!
After firing fifty rounds, I decided to bite the bullet, and load only black powder.
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Old August 8, 2014, 09:48 PM   #16
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I've worked up to 25 grains of IMR 4227 and a 250grn Hornady XTP. Accuracy is very good. About minute of small pie plate at 100 yds. This is in a Super Blackhawk Hunter mind you. It is a stronger frame than the Uberti.
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Old August 9, 2014, 07:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
It is a stronger frame than the Uberti.
LOLBELL, I believe the cylinder is what will let go first, you are correct your Ruger load is not a load I would shoot in my Uberti.

I do have a question for you.
On your hotter loads (25grs IMR 4227) did you notice a rise in pressure and velocity as the gun heated up?

Best Regards
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Old August 9, 2014, 11:33 AM   #18
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Are we still talking 45 Colt, or did we slip into 44 Magnum with this 25 gr business?
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Old August 10, 2014, 03:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
I do have a question for you.
On your hotter loads (25grs IMR 4227) did you notice a rise in pressure and velocity as the gun heated up?
If pressure has in fact risen it has not been enough to notice. I developed this load in late Alabama Fall and have not shot thru a chrono since. I would have to dig up notes to give results of that day.
Quote:
Are we still talking 45 Colt, or did we slip into 44 Magnum with this 25 gr business?
We are still talking 45 Colt but I do load 25 grns of IMR 4227 and a 240 grn XTP in 44 Mag. This is over max in all data I have seen with the exception of some very old IMR data I got when I bought a kinda estate out. It is published just an old publishing.
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Old August 10, 2014, 04:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
On your hotter loads (25grs IMR 4227) did you notice a rise in pressure and velocity as the gun heated up?
Can't remember when I first loaded it, but shot a few last week, and it was hotter than blue blazes, (98 degrees) here in South Mississippi. A few was all I could stand out of the air conditioning, don't you know. No flattened primers, cases fall out of chambers, and all that. Nothing unusual, other than worrying about sweat fouling the primers.
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Old August 10, 2014, 09:21 PM   #21
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Quote:
Stats for the 255 gr bullet, Avg Vel 931.5 FPS, High Vel 998.3 FPS, Low Vel 867.2 FPS, ES 131.1, SD 41.1,AD 33.8.
I'm not pleased with these numbers, however it surprises me how accurate this load is.
I would not be pleased with that either. Now in my gun I got the following:

20.0g IMR 4227, 255g SWC, CCI-300, _911fps, 35 SD, 138 ES, 30 shots
20.0g IMR 4227, 255g SWC, CCI-350, 1030fps, 18 SD, _69 ES, 29 shots

As you can see I wasn't pleased with the 'standard' primer with the powder, but the Magnum primer made all of the difference.
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Old August 11, 2014, 08:06 AM   #22
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rclark, I have about 400 CCI 350 primers I'll try them for a hunting load with IMR 4227 and the 255 gr bullets.

I was using WLP primers that Winchester claims is for standard or magnum loads.

What throws me is the stats on the 200 gr cast bullet, the ES SD and AD are all low numbers.

I actually thought the stats on the 255 gr cast bullets would be as good or better then the 200gr bullet, seeing that the heavier bullet takes up more case capacity.

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Old August 11, 2014, 09:21 AM   #23
rclark
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In another powder (2400) I got the following results comparing back to back. Shows to me where the WLP falls in 'hotness'.

CCI-300, 1022fps, 82 ES
WLP, 1123fps, 133 ES
CCI-350, 1181fps, 94ES
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Old August 11, 2014, 03:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
I was using WLP primers that Winchester claims is for standard or magnum loads.
WLP is all I've used for 25 years or so, now. Never had a bad load in that time, standard or magnum, that I could attribute to the primer. Just received another 5000 with the brass cups. a couple thousand chrome cups all I got left. Hopefully they'll be as good.
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Old August 11, 2014, 03:45 PM   #25
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I just loaded 40gr of 4227 under 350XTPs in some 500 S&W yesterday, haven't made it to the range yet for a trial. Should be pretty good.
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