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Old March 11, 2013, 08:01 AM   #1
ketland
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Trail boss load in .45 LC not sealing the chamber, Uberti 1866

Just shot some of my new 45 LC loads out of my Uberti 1866, and am getting some serious sooting on the casing and in the action. My load is 5.5 gr Trail Boss, 200 gr Lead RNFP crimped using a lee factory crimper, Win brass, and cci Large magnum primer. I loaded up a few 240gr plated bullets, and the sooting seemed less. Perhaps I should try some 300 grainers and see if that helps increase pressures enough to create a better seal, Or, go back to using Unique. Anybody had a similar issue, and how did you resolve it? This was my first experience using Trail boss.
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Old March 11, 2013, 08:39 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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5.5 grains seems to be the starting load for a 200 gr. lead bullet. Try 6.0 grains and see what happens.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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I think its the nature of the straight walled case, my '73 gets pretty dirty but less so the greater the pressure.
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Old March 11, 2013, 09:38 AM   #4
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Try "neck sizing" the cases. (Assuming you have a way to deprime them w/o sizing) adjust the sizing die way up in the press so it only sizes the top half inch of the case. Leave the rest as fired.

If you have a Lee "Factory Crimp" die, you can use that instead of the sizing die to full-length size them a little oversized. This might not give you enough bullet tension, but it's worth a try.
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Old March 11, 2013, 11:48 AM   #5
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Crimp a little more or up your powder charge. I think you are on the verge of sealing pressure.

I shoot .45colt 210gn cast with 5.6gn Trailboss and mine seal just fine. I think your are very close.

I shoot CAS so am trying to stay light. I stopped at 5.6 because I got the seal.

Good luck.
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Old March 11, 2013, 12:06 PM   #6
ketland
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Thank you for the responses, I think I will try a few things then. First I am going to try upping the powder charge a bit, second I like the idea of only sizing the case back to the depth the bullet seats leaving the back 2/3 of the case in its "expanded" state and another thing I am going to try is annealing the first 1/4" of the cases. I know that annealing will loosen up the neck tension, but using the lee factory crimp die should make up for that in regards to providing consistent neck tension, yet allow the brass to expand into the chamber with less difficulty. I am thinking that the straight walled case might always be a bit dirtier than my necked cases like the 44-40, which I have no problems with at the light end of the loading spectrum but I would like to see if I can get the sooting problem down to a minimum.

Regards, B
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Old March 11, 2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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45 Colt brass is dead straight from rim to mouth and that is conducive to smoky brass, annealing will probably help.
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Old March 11, 2013, 06:06 PM   #8
44 Dave
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That is probably the reason Winchester didn't chamber for .45.
Yes my .45 loads smoke up the brass, but all I will shoot .45s in is my Colt and would like to trade the .45 for a.44-40 , if the 2nd gen. Colt wasn't such a good gun.
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Old March 11, 2013, 10:24 PM   #9
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I always thought the meager rim was why the '73 was never chamberd for the 45.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:04 AM   #10
ketland
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I went ahead and annealed the case mouths yesterday, and altered the powder charge by increments to see what powder charge will give the desired seal. Hopefully I'll have some time later today to do some testing, and I'll post my results. Also I only sized the cases back about 1/2" so as to leave the rest of the case expanded. I tried all the finished rounds in a gauge to make sure they will fit in and out of the '66 chamber without any difficulty, and a few of the cases were right there on the gauge wall with very slight drag,yet they still drop in without having to push them.
Salvadore is right, that is a meager rim on the 45 colt. Anybody know why?
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Salvadore is right, that is a meager rim on the 45 colt. Anybody know why?
Not sure, but I think it was so small so Sam Colt could fit 6 rounds in the cylinder of a SAA revolver. The rim was only used for headspacing, not for extraction, so size didn't matter.
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Old March 12, 2013, 08:49 AM   #12
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If you would go with larg pistol primers and not the larg pistol magnim primer you may fined it helps.
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Old March 12, 2013, 03:26 PM   #13
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All I have are large magnum primers, and unfortunately the suppliers are pert well dried up on regulars.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:29 PM   #14
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Ive been loading for my brand new blackhawk convertible 4-5/8. Current load is 6.0gn trailboss, 200gn lead swc, CCI300, magtech or rem brass with a roll crimp. It runs pretty clean. Chronos around 750fps. Plated bullets use lead loading data. If your worried about recoil I couldn't tell much difference with the hotter 6.5gn loads I made. Even at the 6.5gn max loading pressures are below 13k which is safe for the older guns. As always work your way up slowly and methodically.
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Old March 12, 2013, 04:56 PM   #15
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Here is some of the tests I ran in a Ruger BH. Never use (or plan to either) the 200g bullets in my .45s. I guess I didn't notice a sealing problem ... but then it never bothers me anyway to have dirty cartridges! Mention my testing below, because I did some regular/magnum testing back to back. YMMV. These were safe in my guns. Use your own judgement for the guns you will be using. Have no experience with Uberti revolvers ....

Trail Boss 250g RNFP .45 Colt

Trail Boss 255g SWC .45 Colt
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Last edited by rclark; March 12, 2013 at 05:04 PM.
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:06 PM   #16
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I don't see how the primer type makes any difference in this particular case.
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:08 PM   #17
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And I would agree.
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Old March 12, 2013, 05:44 PM   #18
Hawg
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Quote:
I always thought the meager rim was why the '73 was never chamberd for the 45.
The original 45 Colt rim was even smaller than they are today plus the early cases were made out of copper. After just a few rounds the extractor would have just torn through the case rim, provided it could get a grip on it in the first place.
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Old March 13, 2013, 06:54 AM   #19
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The final nail in that coffin was the fact that the cartridge also had no extractor groove as it was originally available.
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Old March 13, 2013, 08:05 AM   #20
ketland
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I just did a quick web search for pictures of old 45 colt cases and sure enough there is no extractor groove. Interesting point though was that the UMC loading had a hollow base bullet. Interesting.

I was unable to test yesterday, but today I should have some time to test my newly annealed brass loads.
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:19 PM   #21
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I know that you asked about Trailboss, but since you mentioned the possibility of going back to Unique if that didn't work, may I suggest Titegroup. I just did my very first load testing with that powder, trying to overcome the extreme position sensitivity of Unique that I'd been experiencing. My test firearm was a Ruger Blackhawk with 4 5/8 barrel using 6.2 grains Titegroup under a 255 gr. LSWC. This is a mild load, leaving copious amounts of free space in the cartridge. I made it even more spacious by crimping in the crimp groove of the keith bullet instead of over the first driving band like I usually do. Velocities were low: First five rounds--777...777...773...769...757. But as you can see, the velocity spread was excellent--far better than I get with Unique which, with a maximum safe charge, varied from a high of 950 to a low of the low 700's depending on powder position in my tests. I also annealed the case necks with these low Titegroup charges and experienced absolutely no blowby.
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Old March 13, 2013, 10:43 PM   #22
ketland
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Got out back for some testing this afternoon. Short story is the annealing worked, and worked so well that I had no blowback or sooting on my cases or back in the action.

Just as a note of interest, I loaded up test cases from my starting load of 5.5gr trail boss, all the way up to a full 8.0 gr of trail boss just to see how this powder does at various levels. Projo was a 200 gr RNFP, crimped at the groove using a lee taper crimper. 5.5gr is a really light popper load. 6.0gr is a nice light load with just a bit more edge than 5.5gr. from there I jumped up to 7.0 gr, and I must say this load was snappier and more fitting to the cartridge in my opinion than the lighter loads. From 7.0gr I jumped straight up to 8.0gr and found this load to be just a bit hot for what I am looking for (I know that a full grain is a big jump, but were talking trail boss here). Interesting is though that the 8.0gr loading was the most accurate, followed by the 7.0 gr, etc. so the more powder, the tighter the group. my initial testing was at 25 yards just to see what was what, then 50, then 100 yds. At the end of the day, I shot my 200 yard plate, using the 7.0 grain loads, and drilled it repeatedly with ease.

In summary, Annealing is in my opinion a good idea with new brass in the .45 colt if you plan on shooting light loads.

By the way, what do you guys recommend as the best crimper for 45colt? I would like something more like the "collet" crimper I use on 44-40. Does anybody make this?

Added: I do not recommend using over book load of 6.5 gr of trail boss with the 200 gr lead RNFP as my testing showed pressure sign at my high end loadings. Safety first!

Another thought is if you do anneal your brass, do not attempt to use that brass for hot loads.

Last edited by ketland; March 14, 2013 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Added Safety notice
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:59 PM   #23
Rebel Dave
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I use the Lee Factory crimp die,on my .45 Colt, and also on my .44-40 Win. It works good,and i have no complaints. They are also resonably priced.

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Old March 14, 2013, 03:12 PM   #24
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From what I have read and been told a tight roll crimp in a cannelure is whats best for heavy revolver bullets. The 200gn bullets I use don't have a cannelure but do have a sharp shoulder so I load them flush with the shoulder and slightly roll crimp over. I was told on rnfp bullets to roll crimp just at the start of the ogive. 7.0 and 8.0 grains of trailboss are over the 6.5gn max loads for 200gn bullets and you are probably compressing the powder. Be extremely careful with such things as trailboss was not meant to be compressed and your running the risk of a catastrophic pressure spike by doing so.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:41 PM   #25
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I like the LFC die.
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