View Full Version : .45 colt rifle load data

November 21, 2011, 03:20 PM
Hey guys im trying to find load data for my rossi lever action rifle. I've noticed there load data for old replica revolvers and ruger and T/C ones. but what do i use for rifle? im using 700x and looking at doing roughly 7 grains. Any ideas?

Magnum Wheel Man
November 21, 2011, 04:24 PM
I haven't started loading for mine yet... in fact, haven't got one yet... but need to by spring, if MRS is going to start shooting CAS with me next year, & I'm going to pass down my 38 / 357

I'm hoping to just use my revolver loads...

But I also have a load I hunt deer with, with a 10" Contender... don't remember the load off the top of my head, but it makes my trigger knuckle bleed by the 5th or 6th shot...

I'd look at the Contender load book, & pick one of the slower burn rate powders to optimize the performance out of the longer barrel of the rifle...

( unless you are also shooting 45 Colt in a revolver... in which case find a load that shoots well in both... may need to adjust your COL to work most smoothly in your rifle )

November 22, 2011, 07:59 PM
Reportedly the Rossi can use everything up to and including loads the five-round cylinder Ruger Blackhawks can use.

Cheap 870
November 22, 2011, 09:14 PM
I've got an older Rossi 45colt. I believe they called it the trapper model.
It has a 16" bbl. & a big lever loop.
I shoot full power H110 loads out of it with no problem.
But I wouldn't recommend it for tender shoulders.
I also use 6.5gr. of titegroup behind 250gr. cast bullets.

November 23, 2011, 02:25 PM

I loaded a few rounds using 200gr berrys Hollow points and 7 grains 700x... holy crap... we were shooting a steel plate about 16 inches long and 10 wide. at 75-80 yards with some other rifles. I took out the rossi 45 colt lever action and was nailing it every time. there was little recoil and plenty of accuracy. impressed the guys i was shooting with. i have a new found faith in this rifle especially with this load.

there did seem to be some slight extra bulging in the case and will perhaps cut a grain of powder out to help case life.

black mamba
November 23, 2011, 05:30 PM
Rbf, the 7 grain load of 700x is only about 15,000 psi, very light for a rifle, or even a handgun. I wouldn't change a thing if it's that accurate.

November 24, 2011, 12:19 PM
With my Rossi Trapper 45 colt 16 inch barrel and my Rossi Ranch Hand with the 12 inch barrel my most accurate easy shooting clean loads are with 7.5 grains of Red Dot under a 250 gr rnfp bullet.
I can consistently hit a 12 inch diameter tree at 170 yards with the Trapper.
My hold over is just over a foot at that distance as I am sighted in less than 100 yards.
I tried IMR 4227 - 21 grains with same bullet and mag primer with similar results BUT the bore is a mess with kernels and slowly the action seems to pick up a few.
The Red Dot makes for a nice easy shooting load but I am looking for a powder that will give me a CLEAN burn in a mid level load.
Any advice in this regard greatly appreciated

black mamba
November 24, 2011, 12:27 PM
Alliant's American Select is a little slower than Red Dot, much cleaner burning and bulkier as well, so it fills the case better.

November 24, 2011, 01:14 PM
I had considered American Select but had been told that Red Dot ,Promo, American Select, and Solo 1000 were so close their loading Data was interchangeable. Therefore their performance would also be similar.
I was hoping to find a Clean Burn powder that was in the mid range group giving more performance as well. Unique has probably the power level I desire but I am hearing that it too is leaving kernels.
If my guns were not lever actions this would not be as big an issue.

November 24, 2011, 01:31 PM
Try 7.0 gr 231/HP38. I shoot this in my lever actions and revolvers and it is very accurate with my cast 268 SWC bullets. HS6 is also good in 45 Colt for mid to higher level loads.

November 24, 2011, 02:07 PM
One of the hotter loads I shoot in my Bisley-Blackhawk is a 255 grain cast bullet with 12.2 grains of either Herco or WSF. (I wouldn't go over 12.5 grain cuz I like to keep the pressure well under 30 kpsi) Herco is a medium-coarse flake powder and WSF is tiny flattened balls like 231. Both give almost 1300 fps from a 7.5" revolver. In a rifle or carbine you'll pick up another 150 to 200 fps.

November 24, 2011, 02:13 PM
Thank-you all.

Is that WSF powder fairly clean burning?? I have not seen 45 colt load data for it. Looks to be around the unique burn rate


November 24, 2011, 02:20 PM
There is no data for WSF in rimmed cartridges, and I don't know why because it's a great powder. It's slower than Unique and seems to be interchangeable with Herco (according to my chronograph, in the few loads where I've tested it.)

Yes, it's reasonably clean.

November 24, 2011, 02:22 PM
Its this cleaning a lever from muzzle to breech that makes me antsy about the kernels that my 4227 load left. A little soot etc is no big deal.
I was just looking for a little more horsepower without trying to magnumize it or make it uncomfortable to shoot.
Thanks Again

November 24, 2011, 03:48 PM
I've been told power pistol is a good powder for what I am looking for. Has anyone used this is medium 45 colt loads and have any load data they colud share?

Many thanks

November 24, 2011, 05:19 PM
Slower burning powders don't burn well at lower pressures. If you are going to use 4227 or other slow burning powders, the pressure needs to be higher than is safe for the weaker guns. I like AA-9 with 300 grain bullets in my Marlin, but the pressure is necessarily high. I also like HS-7 and 255 grain bullets. With a rifle using faster burning powders the velocity gain over a revolver is perhaps 100 or so FPS. With the slowest burning powders you get the most gain, 300 FPS +or-. The middle-of-the-road powders will easily give you a 200 FPS gain and are easier to get good results with, without having to go into super-high pressures. Sometimes the best powders are discontinued by the manufacturer; like HS-7/W-571. If you find it at the gun-show, buy it before I find it.;)

November 27, 2011, 05:40 PM
I guess Power Pistol in 45 Colt with cast bullets isn't too popular??
Thought it may be.
Thanks anyway

November 27, 2011, 06:02 PM
It should work fine, I just haven't tried it yet. (For the past year, I've been practicing almost exclusively with .38 Special and actually avoiding my single actions.)

13.5 grains of PP with a 255 grain bullet should be a good +P (Ruger large frame, Contender, or Rifle, etc) load. Ballistic efficiency will be very good with a 20" barrel and you should get 100% burn.

November 27, 2011, 06:45 PM
If your happy with your load and powder performance, then just run a bore snake throught it after shooting and cleaning later should not be problem.

November 27, 2011, 08:00 PM
there did seem to be some slight extra bulging in the case and will perhaps cut a grain of powder out to help case life.
A little bulging is good in the Rossi. If you drop the charges much, the brass probably won't expand enough to seal the chamber and you'll get gas blowing by the case mouth and dirtying up your gun and brass.

November 27, 2011, 09:33 PM
Many thank zxcvbob for the power pistol load. I appreciate your reply. In your opinion would that 13.5 grains constitute a maximum load under a 255 gr cast bullet?? I kind of find it amazing that with the length of time this powder has been available , there is so little data.
Kind regards and again thank-you Sir.


November 27, 2011, 10:08 PM
I appreciate your reply. In your opinion would that 13.5 grains constitute a maximum load under a 255 gr cast bullet??I don't know, what kind of pressure do you want? (That's the problem with loading non-SAAMI cartridges.) Quickload says 13.5 grains will get you 25.8 kpsi, and about 1570 fps. 14.0 --> 28 kpsi, and 14.5 --> 30.2 kpsi. But the calculations may be off a bit. Also it depends on the seating depth.

I think 13.5 is a sane load.

November 27, 2011, 10:32 PM
I agree that 13.5 grains would be a sane load. I want to be under 30K for sure so 14.0 gr would be the maximum I'd ever go to.
I believe I'll start at 11.0 gr. and work up slowly watching my cases , accuracy and barrel leading for issues. I would be well satisfied with 1500 fps out of a 16 inch barrel. This would be my hunting round as your 7.5 grains of Red Dot which I use as my shooting round I am well satisfied with in all aspects.
Many thanks for your time and expertise in this regard and your fast responses.

Cheap 870
November 28, 2011, 05:35 AM
My Speer manual lists a cast 255gr. Power Pistol load.
7.3gr. at 763fps. to 8.3gr. at 810fps.

200gr JHP at 8.6gr. at 829fps to 9.2gr. at 885fps.

260gr. JHP at 7.8gr. at 749fps. to 8.4gr. at 852fps.

Those are out of a 5" bbl.

November 28, 2011, 11:12 AM
I just got a Rossi M-92 in 45 colt. My initial loads were with W-571,(HS-7) under 255 lee cast, and 300 lee cast. Those loads were very accurate, no chrono data, but all bullets touching @ 25 yards. Bore was VERY dirty though. Unburned powder everywhere. Took some effort to clean it up. No leading.

As for power pistol, all I can find on the loaddata site is 9.0 maximum for 255 lead boolits to give 960 fps. No pressure estimates for that load. But they say all the loads were running 14,000 psi. The Rossi is capable of pressures just like the Winchesters and Marlins. So I too would be comfortable going up from there, maybe not to 13.5 though.

The loaddata site is a members only site to get the exact powder loads. You can go there as a non-member but the grains of powder is blanked out.


For $29.95/year you get access to 229,550 loads in a searchable format. Also included is a loose leaf binder that allows you to keep printouts of the loads you searched for. All data can be printed in a printer friendly format to keep from using colors.

It's put on by the Wolfe publishing company, who bring us rifle and handloader magazines. A lot of the loads come right off the pages of the magazines. If this sounds like a commercial, then so be it, I only wish I had subscribed sooner.

November 28, 2011, 11:25 AM
I purchased a Rossi 92 and a Ruger Blackhawk in .45 Colt (5.5" bbl) a couple months ago. I scoured the internet looking for load data for deer hunting loads for both guns. I settled on Hodgdon Lil' Gun powder as my powder of choice and a .454 WFN hardcast bullet cast by a local bulletmaker. I worked up to 20.1 grs based on data pulled from Hodgdon's website, Handloader.com, and some articles by Jeff Quinn.

With the 20.1 grain load I'm getting ~3 inch groups with the Blackhawk at 25 yards and the same size groups at 100 with the Rossi, at 50 yards (where most of my shots will be taken) they are in the 1-1.5" range. Primers look good with no cratering or flattening and the brass is not bulged or swollen. Cases fall right out of the revolver's cylinder and the rifle extracts them smoothly. Very few unburnt kernels and only very minimal leading. A couple swipes with a boresnake and Hoppe's cleans things right up.

Chrono results for the handgun are a 1277fps avg, and a 1750fps avg with the carbine.

This guy certainly couldn't argue with the results:


Recoil from the handgun is "brisk". From the rifle it's not bad at all.

Ralph Allen
November 28, 2011, 01:48 PM
My 45 Colt rifle load is 13.5 grains of Blue Dot behind a 255 grain lead bullet and a standard large rifle primer. Very accurate. The main thing I have found accuracy wise is that my rifle likes lead bullets, not jacketed. Sizing on jacketed is .002-.003 smaller.

November 28, 2011, 04:40 PM
Thank-You very much Gentlemen for your Data on Power Pistol.
It was a toss up on this powder or Universal for my mid level loads. I was trying to stay fairly close to the Unique burn rate but with a hopefully full clean powder burn.
I had been advised it would be better to go with a powder in this burn level for velocity and longer ranges without extreme hold over.
So I will start at 11.0 grains and work up to a safe accurate load that will not exceed 13.5 gr. I believe the Rossi 92 action will withstand 454 Casul pressure but a good mid level load is all I require.
My day to day plinking load will be 7.5 grains of RedDot over the same 250 grain cast RNFP bullet. This design gives me no feeding problems and I am using WLP primers in all loads.
It was a shame to quit the 4227 as it was accurate , but left an awful trail of kernels and at 21 grains was not too economical.
If anyone else can add to this thread I'd be much obliged.
Kind Regards

November 28, 2011, 09:58 PM
Doc, if I may suggest, try 17.5gr-18.0gr of Scots 4100 with your 250gr bullet. This is a .45 ACP pressure load (21 kpsi) and good for 1100+ fps in a 7.5" barrel revolver. 4100 is a very clean burning powder that is approx. 3% slower than AA#9. Ramshot Enforcer is the same powder.