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Old June 27, 2013, 10:32 AM   #1
BigMike349
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Hank Williams Jr 45lc load safe for new vaquero?

After some Google searches for a 45lc load using imr 4227 I saw many references to a hank Williams Jr. Load using 18-20 grains of imr 4227 and a 255 SWC. The source is supposed to be the lyman handbook on handgun reloading. If I decide to try the load I will definitely buy the book, but I want to check with the forum first to make sure it would be safe in my new vaquero first before spending the Money for the handbook.
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:20 AM   #2
WIL TERRY
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YOU'D TAKE THE WORD OF TOTAL STRANGERS posting under aliases on the load suitability for your pistol over the words from EXPERTS who wrote the book on/in modern style lading data manuals ?? ALWAYS BUY THE BOOK !!
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Old June 27, 2013, 11:31 AM   #3
BigMike349
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Re: Hank Williams Jr 45lc load safe for new vaquero?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WIL TERRY View Post
YOU'D TAKE THE WORD OF TOTAL STRANGERS posting under aliases on the load suitability for your pistol over the words from EXPERTS who wrote the book on/in modern style lading data manuals ?? ALWAYS BUY THE BOOK !!
Maybe I wasn't clear. I won't attempt the load before reading the book. I was wondering if anyone knows if the load I'm referring to is safe for a new vaquero. If people know the load isn't safe, I won't buy the book and I won't try the load. Does. That make sense?
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Old June 27, 2013, 12:18 PM   #4
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From the Lyman Reloading Handbook 45th edition (1970)

.45 Colt
255gr cast bullet#454424 (#2 alloy)

IMR 4227 18.0gr 780fps (starting)
22.0gr 1000fps (max)

They used Rem cases and primers.

The test firearm was a 5.5" Colt SAA.

If tis safe in the Colt, it will be safe in a New Vaquero.

As far as Hank using this load, I have no idea.

My personal choice is Unique. same bullet and 8.0-10.0gr. Give approximately the same velocities (actually was a few fps faster in the test gun in the manual) and you get nearly twice as many loads from a pound of powder.

Buy the book, anyway. It is useful in many ways, especially when you can't get the Internet. I've been using data from that edition since it was published, over a wide range cartridges. Its one of my most used references.
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Old June 27, 2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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My Lyman 49th edition shows a load using IMR-4337 starting load of 16.5 grains at 711 fps with a maximum load of 20 grains at 875 fps, using a 185 grain jacketed hollow point. In the Thompson Center Contender and Encore section it shows loads using a 200 grain JHP, a 250 grain JHC and a 250 grain JHP. It is my opinion that the load you are talking about would be too stout for your gun. But please buy several loading manuals to verify this.
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Old June 27, 2013, 12:39 PM   #6
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44Amp, looks like your post was as I was typing. Interesting how data changes over the years. Do the powders change?
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Old June 27, 2013, 12:59 PM   #7
BigMike349
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Re: Hank Williams Jr 45lc load safe for new vaquero?

Thanks guys. The reason I was looking into imr 4227 was because I read that as a slow burning powder it would give me the best delta in fps when used in my Winchester 1892 24 inch barrel. I read faster burning powders would not give me as much extra fps in the Winchester. From your experience, would unique give me at least 1250 fps in my Winchester?
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Old June 27, 2013, 01:22 PM   #8
Bob Wright
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Al45 wrote:

Quote:
44Amp, looks like your post was as I was typing. Interesting how data changes over the years. Do the powders change?
Indeed they do. IMR-4227 was originated by DuPont during the P, SR, and IMR days as a rifle powder for smaller cases. DuPont reformulated one time, then it became IMR Powder Co. and now is sold as H-4227.

Go by current published reloading manuals, and update your own notes periodically.

Just to show off my knowledge, and age, under the old DuPont nomenclature, P was Pistol powder, SR was Sporting Rifle, and IMR was for Improved Military Rifle powder.

Incidentally, IMR-4227 is a whamdoodler in the .44 Magnum!

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Old June 27, 2013, 01:23 PM   #9
AL45
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Lyman 49th edition shows a 255 grain lead bullet with a maximum load of 8.5 grains of Unique, fired from a 16" barrel at 1110 fps. This is in their rifle load section. I have fired a 250 grain rnfp lead bullet with 9.0 grains of Unique in my Ruger Blackhawk and it was very pleasant to shoot, Don't know the fps.
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Old June 27, 2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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Any Ruger is stronger than the Colt SA
BUT!
Like was said why trust strangers to tell you the facts and possibly cause an accident?
I trust the strength of the New Vaquero but it's not Blackhawk based.
Best to shoot only the handloads that approximate Factory ammo!
Protect yourself and your revolver and wshoot only reasonable ammo.
Do not push a non Blackhawk revolver with super loads.
HTH
BPDave
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Old June 27, 2013, 02:12 PM   #11
BigMike349
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Re: Hank Williams Jr 45lc load safe for new vaquero?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZVP View Post
Any Ruger is stronger than the Colt SA
BUT!
Like was said why trust strangers to tell you the facts and possibly cause an accident?
I trust the strength of the New Vaquero but it's not Blackhawk based.
Best to shoot only the handloads that approximate Factory ammo!
Protect yourself and your revolver and wshoot only reasonable ammo.
Do not push a non Blackhawk revolver with super loads.
HTH
BPDave
Dave. As stated earlier I will only use loads from the experts, written in the major handbooks. I am not an idiot, I'm not going to attempt a load recommended by a stranger without vetting it first. I'm here looking for insight from those with experience. With that said, I plan to stay within the pressure limitations of my ruger vaquero but will not imitate factory loads as most factory loads for 45lc are anemic and don't fit my needs. I will not push the pressure limitation but I will look to maximize my fps within those pressure limitations.
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Old June 27, 2013, 05:12 PM   #12
Jim Watson
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4227 is a VERY slow powder by handgun standards.
I used to load it in .44 Magnum because it was more accurate than with 2400, but I was giving up substantial velocity.
If you are a "clean powder" shooter, the amount of unburnt powder left in the barrel will annoy you.

I also shot some in a .44-40 and it was a good stout load at handbook specifications.

I no longer have the book with the Hank Williams Jr preferences. I recall that he did a lot of loading in cahoots with Mike Venturino, who seems to know his stuff.
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Old June 27, 2013, 10:30 PM   #13
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Do Powders Change?

Yes, once in a while. But powder makers go to great lengths to ensure uniformity from batch to batch. But there are exceptions. Back in the 1970s we had identified THREE different burning rate to H110 powder. This, of course, affected the max load amount.

What changes more often (and sometimes with each new edition of the manual) is the specific combination of test gun, bullet, case, primer, and powder.

Each component has an effect on the final pressure generated, and on the velocity that pressure produces. Some guns are "faster" than others. Some brass is thicker. Some bullets have different levels of resistance to the rifling, etc. Each combination of components and gun is an individual.

That is why the reloading manuals are guidelines, not hard and fast rules.

All you can absolutely count on is that they are accurately reporting the results that that they got with what they used. I have had guns that would take loads over "book max" without showing any signs of excess pressure. Likewise I have seen guns that showed classic signs of excess pressure well before reaching book max.

EVERY manual includes the advice to start low, and cautiously work up. And they will tell you to start the process all over if you change a single component.

While you should not expect identical results (they are nice when they happen, but should not be expected) getting something close is usually the case. Your gun likely will be a few fps different from the test gun. Either high or low, this is perfectly normal.

Also, the max loads listed in the manuals are NOT the point at which the gun is likely to blow up. They are the max working load (for the components, including the individual gun tested). There is a safety margin. However, since that safety margin includes the individual gun used, it can, and does change, sometimes radically, when a different gun is used.

Ruger New Vaqueros are not as strong as Vaqueros, or Blackhawks built on the large frame. New Vaqueros are generally regarded as just as strong as Colt SAAs and clones. Now, while those guns aren't bank vault doors, neither are they eggshells.

You can get a 250gr bullet up to 1000fps in any of them, safely. Its a top end load for a Colt, or the NEW Vaquero, but still safe. In a larger gun, that load is not the max.
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Old June 28, 2013, 10:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
18-20 grains of imr 4227 and a 255 SWC.
20 grains of 4227 behind a 255 will put you in the 20,000 CUP area, which is fine in Old and New Model Ruger SBH, Blackhawk, Vaquero and Bisley revolvers. I load closer to 30,000 CUP in my 45 Colt Bisley, 26.1 grains of H110 with a 250. The maximum pressure that most commercial ammo makers will load the 45 Colt to is 14,000. The latest version of the Vaquero is sized like the Colt SAA and is not capable of the same pressure as the others, but some guys are running mid-level loads in these smaller framed Rugers. HS-6 is a good powder to try as you can run from 10K to 30K with the same bullet. Slow burning "magnum" powders like H110 and 4227 work better when loaded towards the higher end.
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Old June 30, 2013, 01:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Any Ruger is stronger than the Colt SA
There is no evidence to support this whatsoever. No authority on the subject will state that the modern Colt or USFA SAA is less strong than the New Vaquero. Actually, the USFA SAA replica .44Spl was successfully rechambered for the .44Mag and USFA was going to offer it before throwing in the towel on real guns.
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Old June 30, 2013, 09:37 PM   #16
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Just another 'total' stranger here ... but I load 20g of IMR 4227 under both 250g RNFP and 255g SWC in .45 Colt. Use a CCI-350 Magnum primer. One of the most accurate loads I've found. Taffin also liked this load. Only reason I don't load it often is it is a bit expensive to use for general use. Doesn't take long to go thru 350 cartriages (per pound)! Load it for my medium frames as well as for my large frame .45s.

As for modern .45 Colt SAA and USFA, Brian Pearce puts them right along side Ruger's New Vaquero and the Flattops (medium frame). Ie. They all can handle the Tier 2 loads for .45 Colt. tier 2 is defined around 20,000psi. They can't handle Tier 3 (Ruger Only Loads at 30,000psi). Tier 1 is SAMMI (14,000psi).

Brian Pearce .45 Colt PDF

Note that since the advent of the .45 ACP in the New Vaquero and medium frame Flattops, the Tier 2 mentioned above has been revised upward to around 23,000psi...
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Old June 30, 2013, 10:59 PM   #17
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I am curious how the reload got the title of "Hank Williams, Jr." .

His "Old Man" wrote a few of his finest songs late at night at a small lake cabin very near my place on Lake Martin. I am sure it was after more than a few sips of stimulation. (page 103 of the second link)

http://www.childrensharbor.com/pages...williams-cabin

http://books.google.com/books?id=16R...martin&f=false

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Old July 1, 2013, 10:29 PM   #18
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Not too sure if loading a slow burning powder is a good thing.

The idea is to have unburned propellant in the six gun that will be used by the rifle. Well that's asking to turn the vaquero into a flame thrower.
Sure a big gout of flame coming out of your barrel is fun, especially at night, but it gets to be wearing after a while.
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Old July 2, 2013, 05:14 PM   #19
BigMike349
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IMR 4227 not worth it

After doing more research, I did purchase the book referenced at the beginning of the thread. unfortunately it did not contain the Hank Williams Jr load I was curious about. I believe that load is actually described in an article from the book "Shooting Colt Single Actions: In All Styles, Calibers, & Generations by Mike Venturino" in the article titled "Me, Hank Jr and the Peacemaker". That book is out of print and the cheapest used copy I could find is $135.00 so I'm not going to get that one.

In a recent loading manual from IMR it list the maximum load for 4227 at 17.7 gr for a 250 gr RNFP (literally hitting the 14,000 maximum pressure) giving the velocity at 890 FPS. As I was looking for a safe load to push well over 900 (maybe close to 1,000) this powder does not seem to suit my needs. While loading 18-20 may be ok for a new vaquero, I don't want to risk it and would rather be safe than sorry. I'm going to look into other mid-slow burning powders like blue dot and 2400. I really appreciate everyone's input!
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Old July 2, 2013, 07:29 PM   #20
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Mike mentions 4227 in the book, but your load is not in it either under that Hank Williams section or among the loads he lists separately for the .45 Colt.
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Old July 3, 2013, 09:28 AM   #21
BigMike349
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Re: Hank Williams Jr 45lc load safe for new vaquero?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPris View Post
Mike mentions 4227 in the book, but your load is not in it either under that Hank Williams section or among the loads he lists separately for the .45 Colt.
Denis
Thanks Denis. Well then I'm REALLY GLAD I didn't buy Mike's book. Maybe the load is from an earlier version of Lyman's handgun and revolver handbook.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:51 AM   #22
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Taffin mentions it in his books under H-4227 which is now the same as IMR 4227. From an old post in another forum: 2010 "Called Hodgdon... So ACCORDING TO HODGDON what they are really dropping is the old IMR-4227, and replacing it with what used to be H4227 but will now be labelled "IMR-4227". Of course, Brian Pearce mentions the load for the heavier bullet mentioned above.... Pretty common load for us that enjoy the .45 Colt caliber.

FWIW, out of a 5 1/2" barrel BH, I was getting 1030fps with 20g under 255g SWC. It is a 'stiff' .45 Colt load compared to the normal 850-900fps loads.

Taffin Tests .45 Colt

Thread on the H vs IMR 4227 discussion
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A clinger. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. Single Action .45 Colt (Sometimes improperly referred to by its alias as the .45 'Long' Colt or .45LC). Don't leave home without it. Ok.... the .44Spec is growing on me ... but the .45 Colt is still king.

Last edited by rclark; July 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM.
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Old July 5, 2013, 06:50 PM   #23
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For those that don't know in the black powder world hank jr is a big time shooter. He has a shooting house and range with steel animals out to 1200 yards and many a firearm expect/author in years gone by has spent time shooting with him. Guess seeing a refrence to a low powered revolver load would not be a stretch.



Back when Personson publishing owned most of the rags we read Bob Milek was a favered handgun columnist and spend many days shooting with hank jr.
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Old July 5, 2013, 07:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
In a recent loading manual from IMR it list the maximum load for 4227 at 17.7 gr for a 250 gr RNFP (literally hitting the 14,000 maximum pressure) giving the velocity at 890 FPS. As I was looking for a safe load to push well over 900 (maybe close to 1,000) this powder does not seem to suit my needs.
Take a look at HS-6. Hodgdon lists 10.5 grains to push a 250 cast @ 946 fps with 13,300 CUP. I am loading 14.5 grains of HS-6 behind a 250 JHP at a hair under 1,200 fps in my Bisley, which should hit around 27,000 according to John. I'd expect your load is somewhere in-between.
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