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Old August 8, 2013, 09:43 PM   #1
lamarw
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Thoughts and Guidance on a .45 Colt Revolver

I am enthralled with the reloading versatility of the 45 colt round and giving consideration to acquiring a revolver in this caliber. The intended purpose will be pleasure of ownership and plinking.

The only currently produced revolver in this caliber that strikes my fancy is the S&W Model 25. The market in this caliber seems dominated by revolvers resembling what I will loosely describe as "cowboy action looks". Please forgive me since I intend no disrespect toward these beautiful revolvers, but they do not appeal to me.

I would prefer a 4" barrel; although this seems to be a rather uncommon barrel length for this round. I am beginning to suspect there is a practical reason for its lack of availability in the market place.

Please share your experience and knowledge.
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Old August 8, 2013, 10:33 PM   #2
TennJed
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You mentioned reloading. If you want to reload them really hot then stick with Ruger in DA (Freedom Arms and Magnum Research make good big frame single action). Fortunately the Ruger Redhawk is only currently produced in a 4" barrel. Unfortunately they are extremely difficult to find. I lucked up and found my Redhawk 45 after about 2 years of looking

I would also suggest a chambering in 454 or 460. They can shoot 45 colt and handle higher pressure loads. The 45 colt is my favorite round to reload BTW

Also I would guess the reason for the scarcity of it in DA is the 44 mag does pretty much the same thing (more actually in non Ruger guns)
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Old August 8, 2013, 10:35 PM   #3
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DA revolvers in 45 Colt leaves a limited selection. I think a Model 25-5 is your best bet. I like the 4" best since IMO a longer barrel is waste unless it's a Magnum caliber. I got this from an FFL dealer set up at a local show about a year back for $550. Has a couple blemishes on the the barrel but I thought it a good deal.



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Old August 8, 2013, 10:43 PM   #4
lamarw
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That's the look I like SaxonPig. It may take some patients on my part.

I enjoy reloading but have never seen the need for hot reloads. There seems to be a lot of versatility in the 45C without getting into hot rounds.

Thanks for both of your comments and the one nice picture.
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Old August 9, 2013, 04:48 AM   #5
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I've owned two Smith & Wesson 45's. One a 25-5, the other a 25-13, both with 4" barrels. Both were good shooting guns.

I never saw any reason to hot load them. About like Cowboy loads was as hot as I ever got with them. Just plain fun to shoot.

I'm sure other companies have made D/A 45's but I don't think I've ever seen one.
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Old August 9, 2013, 06:07 AM   #6
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lamarw, you certainly don't need to go to "Ruger only" loads to enjoy the good 'ole .45 Colt. In fact, many of us "Ruger" loaders mostly shoot standard loads. Look at the selection of cast bullets available. The LFN style has proven very effective (can't argue with Elmer), and even the expensive ones are cheaper than jacketed bullets. Or you can cast your own. You can recreate the "original" load easily (probably get a debate going on exactly what that was), which worked in 1873 and works just as well today.
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Old August 9, 2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Good luck in your search. Nothing like the o' .45 Colt. And as you say, lot of reloading options even up through Tier 2 loads.
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Old August 9, 2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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Ruger makes a 4.2" Redhawk

Ain't nothing wrong with single actions. The beauty of the .45 is those slugs are easy to spot downrange. I've got two single actions and love them both.
My dream gun is a .45 Smith Mtn Gun, but finances are a bit of an issue.
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Old August 9, 2013, 08:41 PM   #9
mikejonestkd
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Its hard to go wrong with a Smith 25 or 625. I have three of them and they are outstanding.

My personal favorite is my 625 45 colt mountain gun.
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Old August 10, 2013, 04:07 PM   #10
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+1 on the 625 mountain gun, I feed it a steady diet of 255gr SWC's with 8gr. of Unique or universal clays. For woods carry a 265gr cast performance WFN with a gas check on top of 10.gr of Unique, I use these sparingly. Never felt the need to find any other loads. Gun just feels so right for the woods.
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Old August 12, 2013, 02:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
My personal favorite is my 625 45 colt mountain gun.
Luckily I am no longer flexible enough to kick myself about selling mine. Divorce is hell, in many ways with finances being one of the worst.

That is what I hope to buy again but it isn't easy to find them at a time when I have the money in pocket. I am expecting to pay between 7 and 8 hundred for one. If prices are higher I'll never be able to afford it, I think.

I guess I could just plow the money into getting my RNWMP Colt New service fixed. It is only good for singe-action shooting at this time.

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Old August 13, 2013, 06:42 AM   #12
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I picked up an early 1980s vintage 25-5 4" some years ago. I paid nearly $900 for it by the time all was said and done, but I had been searching for that gun for over 10 years.

I could have had a ton in 6", but I wanted the 4".

I was very happy to write that check.

It is everything that a big bore Smith & Wesson should be.
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Old August 13, 2013, 10:58 AM   #13
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This is a sweethart shooting gun. I have no need for hot loads for it, if I want to ramp up I have .41 and .44s. Everyone should own a model 25 (imho)
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Old August 13, 2013, 01:36 PM   #14
DPris
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The N-Frame Smiths are quite nice in the caliber.
I carried my first one, a four-inch 25-5, in the early '80s on duty & would have still been carrying it when I retired in '99 if the department hadn't dropped revolvers entirely in favor of Glocks. Still have it.

Later acquired a four-inch 625 Mountain Gun & a six-inch 25-9 (fluted) which I consider the apex of the S&W .45 Colt revolvers.

They are well worth looking for.
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Old August 13, 2013, 02:19 PM   #15
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My favorite is my S&W 625 Mountain Gun, I love this gun and it is my "never sell" gun. I had it cut for moon clips and now I shoot both 45 Colt and 45ACP.
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Old August 13, 2013, 08:09 PM   #16
DPris
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There are a couple people currently suggesting to Ruger that they trim a Red down by a few ounces & create a .45 Colt Red Lite Special, so far not a lot of interest, but maybe...
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Old August 13, 2013, 09:19 PM   #17
TennJed
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Thoughts and Guidance on a .45 Colt Revolver

Quote:
Originally Posted by DPris View Post
There are a couple people currently suggesting to Ruger that they trim a Red down by a few ounces & create a .45 Colt Red Lite Special, so far not a lot of interest, but maybe...
Denis
I would rather they actually produce enough of the current Redhawk 45 colt so you could actually find one
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Old August 13, 2013, 11:42 PM   #18
DPris
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They're working on it.
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Old August 14, 2013, 12:23 AM   #19
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I don't want to make any enemies here or denigrate the .45 colt double actions, but, while in his decision process, lamarw should be aware of the potential for less than positive extraction with he .45 colt. The rim on the .45 colt is small in proportion to its case diameter and more than once, I have had a case slip under the extraction star and fall back into the cylinder. Even under no stress, that is a difficult jam to clear. For that reason, I've left .45 colt double action revolvers and now, only run the colt cartridge in single actions.

Because of the potential extraction problem, I would consider as a big bore alternative, the .44 magnum in a double action revolver, or better yet, a S&W model 24 or 624, chambered for the .44 special. If you're totally fixed on the .45 caliber, then perhaps consider a S&W model 25/625 chambered for .45 ACP. You can't hot load the model 25 in .45 colt, anyway, and so why have all that wasted case capacity when you can pretty much duplicate the standard SAAMI .45 colt with a .45 ACP. Plus full moon clips provide about as positive and fast loading and un-loading in a revolver as you can get.
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Old August 14, 2013, 06:40 PM   #20
DPris
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Been shooting DA .45 Colt Smiths since '82.
Never had a rim slip under the star on extraction.

If you tilt the muzzle straight up and punch the rod straight down with the other hand, you probably won't either.
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Old August 15, 2013, 12:37 AM   #21
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I have a Ruger Blackhawk, and i only fired it once.

Far more favored are the Colt New Service and the Uberti Cattleman.

I have a Smith 25-2, but I can seat bullets out to 1.555" which is close enough to a 45 Colt at 1.6" so there is no real difference.
I can't tell the difference when I am shooting between the 29-4 44 mag and the 25-2 45acp seated at 1.555", and my other various 45 Colts.

Also I have 45 Colt rifles and 44 mag rifles, and they feel the same when I a shooting them.


Image above same as link below
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1943ColtNewService34ColtDutchproofmark11-17-2012.jpg (86.1 KB, 114 views)
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Old August 15, 2013, 09:43 AM   #22
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@Dpris: I don't want to be argumentative or overemphasize a problem, but that type of jam can happen, although, as you point out, it is probably due to my poor skills and technique. But it can happen and the potential is there. Let me quote you from "Gun Test Magazine" where they reviewed a .45 colt, ruger redhawk in the oct 2008 issue.

"Another problem we encountered was during the ejection of spent cases.
We would push on the ejector but the cases would not fall free. Instead, the star would retract partially and lock on to the cases holding them suspended behind the cylinder. ...any double action revolver that resists rapid fire and a speedy reload is not acceptable. Accordingly, we flunked the gun."

As you said, I think you can mitigate this problem, but the potential is there, and I think the original poster should have that information as a data point. Personally, if all I had was a model 25, .45 colt sitting on my nightstand, I would not feel discontented or helpless and I would sleep just fine. However, we all have choices, and my choice for a .45 caliber defense revolver is a 625, .45 ACP (on occasion, that is. I tend to "rotate" my defense guns, and right now a .38 super is doing its duty.)
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Old August 15, 2013, 11:08 AM   #23
DPris
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Hammie,
The potential for locking a case rim ahead of the extractor star exists with any rimmed revolver round in any swing-out/punch-em-out revolver.
I HAVE had it happen with a couple .38s in years gone by, when handled carelessly & lazily (trying to get the empties out without having to pick 'em up off the ground).

My background with DA revolvers goes back four decades, and my approach to extraction/ejection is from law enforcement training.
If you hold the gun with muzzle straight up & PUNCH that ejector rod straight down, you'll have to work very hard to end up with even a .45 Colt case rim inside the extractor star.

If you hold the gun parallel to the ground (or some shallow angle there-of) & fiddle it half-heartedly using the old-fashioned (and inefficient) thumb-on-the-rod method, you can stick a case inside the star on just about any caliber.

You quote Gun Test Magazine as an authority????
Geeze, guy.

"We would push on the ejector but the cases would not fall free."
Those people quite often have no conception of real life gun use in doing their evaluations and deriving their distorted conclusions.

They rejected the Redhawk because it resisted rapid fire and a speedy reload??????????
Do you have any idea how utterly brain dead that entire quote is?
It transcends idiocy and elevates it to new levels of sublime absurdity.

The concept & practice of punching the rod with the muzzle up was developed specifically to maximize ejection reliability in DA swingout revolvers, and it was widely taught to police beginning in the late 1970s/early 1980s, till autos took over.

You don't "push" the rod & expect brass to "fall out".
You want to do a quick & reliable reload?
PUNCH THE EMPTIES OUT, don't "push" them halfway & stand there dumfounded if they don't all drop clear.

I can duplicate a case inside the star jam with a gun with oversized chambers, and/or dirty chambers, in ANY revolver caliber. The .357 and .44 Mag revolvers I have will frequently hang one or more cases up if the rod's merely "pushed" slowly.
You NEVER count on empties dropping out, that's why ejectors were included with the guns at no extra charge, and that's why you use them aggressively.

Several guys on my PD carried the .45 Colt Model 25, right up till the Glock replaced revolvers in 1988.
I was a firearms instructor for several of those years.
Using the right technique, zero problems with extraction/ejection.
I can't recall anybody tying up the line or calling an alibi with a .45 Colt case lodged ahead of the star.

It's not a matter of "mitigating" a non-existent "problem", it's simply a matter of using the right technique across the board.

When our chief put out a memo with a cutoff date to transition to the new Glocks, I carried my 25-5 right down to the last shift before the "Show up with that gun tomorrow & be fired" deadline. I would have happily carried it till the day I retired, if they'd allowed it.

I never had the slightest concern over ejection or reloading.
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Old August 15, 2013, 12:15 PM   #24
temmi
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I would look for a Red Hawk
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Old August 15, 2013, 12:51 PM   #25
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Another vote for the Redhawk. Especially if you want to reload to .44mag levels. Gotta respect the flying ashtrays!
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