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Old July 26, 2000, 11:17 AM   #1
Joe Portale
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Join Date: June 8, 1999
Location: Tucson, Arizona Territory
Posts: 715

I joined a bullseye league only to have my 1911 take a dump on me. It is currently on it's way back to the factory to get fixed, but now I am in need of a gun to shoot center fire. My other choices are a Smith and Wussy model 13 with a 3" barrel. All my other small caliber revolvers are under 3" barrel length. I do not want to use any of my other semi-auto's, since these are set up for defense and action shooting. I do not work well in terms of cutting a 10 ring at 25 yards with them.

This what I have, a Ruger Vaquero 4" barrel and an old Interarms Virginian Dragoon (great looking gun) with a 5" barrel. I started to work loads with for these guys using lead 200 RNFP, and Clays (4.5 grains to 6.5) to see if any of these loads will preform like I wish. Money is tight this month or I would have tried other bullet weights and styles. Does anyone have a suggestion on how to squeeze better accuracy given what I have on hand?
Or just do the best I can and take the ribbing on not being able to hit the broad side of a barn? Thanks.

Joe Portale
Tucson, Arizona Territory

"Those who turn their swords into plow shears,
end up plowing the fields of those who didn't"
Thomas Jefferson
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Old July 26, 2000, 05:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: November 17, 1999
Location: NW Wi
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7.5 gns hp-38 and Magnus 200 gn lrnfp have been very accurate in more than a couple of ruger 45 colts shot through (including vaquero). Approximately 880 fps, but will shoot lowere than the 250 lead loads. Nice light shooting and accurate. Sorry, but no experience with clays.
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Old July 27, 2000, 07:46 AM   #3
Jack Straw
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Join Date: July 26, 1999
Location: Georgia
Posts: 362

Are you casting or buying your bullets? If you are pouring your own that would give you several areas to experiment with (hardness, sizing, and brand of lube for example). What about trying a different primer. Do you have a place that will sell single trays of primers? It would mean spending money, but a single tray shouldn't be more than about $2. Of course you might wind up wanting to buy a whole box of new primers, but at least you will know what your gun prefers when you are able to buy them. Have you tried different seating depths? What about more or less crimp or changing type of crimp (roll vs. taper depending on what dies you have available to you)?

Ain't reloading great! You always NEED to go do more shooting!


[This message has been edited by Jack Straw (edited July 27, 2000).]
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Old July 29, 2000, 06:43 AM   #4
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Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,270
Suggest a slightly heavier bullet (250-300g) and W231 or Universal Clays.

Trim your cases to uniform length and.......

......finish using a Redding Profile Crimp die.

"All my ammo is factory ammo"

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Old July 29, 2000, 06:14 PM   #5
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Join Date: December 6, 1998
Location: mytown,mi,usa
Posts: 162
I just got a 5.5" ruger Vaq in 45lc. Starting to work on loads I shot 6.1 gr of titegroup, Hogdgon min start for cowboy shooting, and 3 bullets. At 50' indoor range over a carpet rest the 185gr star lead hp grouped 2.05" for 10 shots. A 190 lrn shot into 1.1". A 225 lead flat point shot into .72". This trend shows that either the gun likes heavier bullets or I should boost the powder under the lighter bullets.
The .72" group is as good as my Colt gold cup will do on a ransom rest.
Thumbing that baby in NRA rapid fire will be a real chore. Good luck
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Old July 30, 2000, 12:23 AM   #6
Bill Adair
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Join Date: April 18, 2000
Location: Seattle/Tacoma, WA USA
Posts: 345

I'm not sure how to convert group size for distance without my trig book handy, but I shot a 5 shot, 5/16" group at 30 feet (indoors) off a plastic rest, with my 5 1/2" Blackhawk.

This was with 9grs of Ramshot True Blue powder, Oregon Trail 250gr LRNFP bullets, Starline brass, and WLP primers. It was my first test of True Blue, and on a 4 bull target, after zeroing with the first, I shot two 1/2" groups and then the one above. Considering the poor lighting at our indoor range, and my aging eyesight, I thought that was pretty fair.

Chorographed this load outdoors at 877 fps, with a SD and ES, that I still don't believe! I'm going to check it again to verify.

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Old August 21, 2000, 07:25 PM   #7
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Join Date: August 19, 2000
Location: Miami, Florida, USA
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I have had good luck and mild recoil with a load of 5.8gr W231 behind a 250gr SWC using a Winchester Large Pistol primer. Group size for my Ruger Vequero was 2.5 inch at 25 yards. Not the sub MOA some other people listed but acceptable accuracy for Cowboy Action Shooting. Did not chronograph the load.
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Old August 21, 2000, 08:14 PM   #8
Bruce Dane
Join Date: July 24, 2000
Location: Ohio
Posts: 36
I recently compared two different .45 Colt loads with Laser-Cast 200 grain RNFP bullets: 4.7 grains of Hodgdon Clays and 5.5 grains of Titegroup. I like Clays because I think it’s a little cleaner than other powders. Using a Ruger Blackhawk, the Titegroup shot 2.5” groups at 25 yards (from a rest). The Clays was much worse – greater than 6”. Per the Laser-Cast reloading manual, velocity is 743fps for the Titegroup and 661fps for the Clays.
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