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Old School .45 Colt - 255g LWC

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Kentguy, May 20, 2014.


  1. Kentguy

    Kentguy
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    Greetings,
    about a month ago I picked up one of these; Cimarron 7th Cavalry 1873 Reproduction .45 Colt w/7.50” barrel
    http://www.cimarron-firearms.com/mi...in-45-colt-standard-blue-uberti-ca514m00.html
    Sorry I don't have a real pic... but you get the point.

    Well I was back at the range testing out this revolver and some ammo I made up for it and here is what I came up with.

    Just for comparison;
    Buffalo Bore 45 Colt (Long Colt) factory ammunition
    255 Grain Lead Keith-Type Semi-Wadcutter Gas Check
    Velocity – Box listed @ 1,000 fps/my 6 shot avg = 954.2 fps Standard Deviation – 23.25009
    OAL – 1.590”

    Primer – Winchester WLP
    Bullet - 255g LSWC “Elmer Keith style” (Missouri Bullet Co.)
    Bullet length/DIA - .690”/.452”
    Brinell Hardness Number (BHN) - 18
    Powder – Winchester 231
    Powder burn rate - #29 (Hodgdon)
    Powder range – 6.5g up to 7.2g (Lyman Reloading Handbook 49th Edition)
    Pressure range – 6.5g @ 797 psi up to 7.2g @ 13,500 psi (max is considered to be 14,000 psi)
    Test charges - 6.6g - 6.8g - 7.0g and 7.2g
    Bullet seating OAL - 1.575" (Lyman tested length)
    Test gun – Cimarron 7th Cavalry 1873 Reproduction .45 Colt w/7.50” barrel

    It was (up here anyway) partly sunny day @ 62 degrees.

    Although this is a long barrel revolver, I have chosen to use a faster burning powder - W231. I have chosen this powder because it showed up in almost all of my load manuals & data reports and I have used W231 in many calibers over the years and pretty much know what to expect.

    Velocity numbers;
    6.6g = 739.2 fps/Standard Deviation = 24.28511
    6.8g = 763.7 fps/Standard Deviation = 29.08794
    7.0g = 802 fps/Standard Deviation = 18.68689
    7.2g = 822.2 fps/Standard Deviation = 20.57682

    No sign of excess pressure, over burn only on half of the 7.2g charges (out side of the spent casings).

    Accuracy was tested from a seated/gun rest & standing free hand positions at 7 and 15 yards. All rounds fired without any problems. Accuracy was a bit of a toss up, all rounds were in tight at both distances. The widest group was from the charge of 7.0g @ 15 yards and was 4" and that was from my "free hand" position. I'll have to get into this more before I can declare a winner.

    Very nice load(s) all charges were easy to fire and control even the max load of 7.2 was handled very well by this revolver. The gun itself... what a Champ! very easy trigger, the sights - top of the front stem to the top of the rear grove puts you right on the center red dot of the target every time.

    The Keith style LWC were easy to load, shoot and with excellent results - nice clean round holes in the paper.

    If anyone has any other bullet/powder that you would like to recommend, but all means let me know.

    All in all are really fun old school revolver to shoot.

    Have fun and be safe out there
     

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 Kentguy, May 20, 2014
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  2. norton

    norton
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    Love the big .45 colt. This is one of my Ruger Vaqueros with my cast 250 grain Lyman 452664 bullets.

    And I have since learned, not enough crimp on that bullet.
     

    #2 norton, May 20, 2014
    Last edited: May 20, 2014
  3. fredj338

    fredj338
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    45colt & lead bullets, Unique, like PB&J.
     
  4. Bluescot

    Bluescot
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    I had the exact same pistol from the Cimarron and I think the grip was stamped for M company.

    Mine turned out to be a POS with multiple repairs and absolutely no warranty being honored by the company. After about 4-5 trips to the gunsmith and with all the replacement Colt parts now in it I had a pistol closier to a Colt.

    Neat looking and I hope yours continues to function for you. Good luck.
     
  5. G21FAN

    G21FAN
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    I have the Charcoal blue model in 5.5.

    35 grns FFFG Black powder under 250 grn RNFP.

    THOMP!!!!!! Big smoky fun!!!
     
  6. G21FAN

    G21FAN
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    No love for Blackpowder 45 Colt???
     
  7. Big Bore Fan

    Big Bore Fan
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    I had the same problem when I started loading .45 colt about three months ago. I found a good roll into the crimp groove works best even for light loads.
    I'll be playing with the crimp again soon when I start loading some heavier stuff.

    I've had good luck with Trail Boss in my 5.5 Blackhawk, nice and bulky. I get about 700fps and 1-1.25 inch groups at 20 yards.
     
  8. norton

    norton
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    I shoot blackpowder muzzleloaders. I have considered loading some blackpowder cartridges-I have a beater .45 Colt Taurus Gaucho that would be perfect for it.
     
  9. SJ 40

    SJ 40
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    This ! I might also suggest a bit softer bullet,like 10 on the brinell scale. Desperado cowboy bullets .com for 1/20 commercial bullets. SJ 40
     
  10. SJ 40

    SJ 40
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    Nothing like genuine Gun Powder,smokeless is but a passing fad :supergrin: SJ 40
     
  11. dougader

    dougader
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    Love the 45 Colt! I use 7.0 grains of 231 with the 255 SWC. About 12 - 13 grains of Blue Dot, too, for a bit more steam.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Kentguy

    Kentguy
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    Thanks for the feed-back folks. I have always loved this caliber & have shot this round for quite some time but this is my first attempt at re-loading my own.

    fred,
    Thanks as always! It was a toss up between W231 & Unique as to which powder I'd start this party off with.

    SJ 40,
    you are referring to these?
    http://www.cowboybullets.com/45-cal-250-grain_p_26.html
    I like the 255g/250g LWC bullets, I may do some playing around with a 200g LWC just for comparison.

    dougader,
    Blue Dot... humm... you are the second person to recommend that powder.
     
  13. SJ 40

    SJ 40
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    Yes,even though they don't cast a SWC at SAMMI pressures for 45 colt with a bit softer bullet you will notice better accuracy.

    If you were casting yourself or could locate a local caster where you could source a SWC bullet of a bit softer alloy,I think you would notice the difference in performance.

    That is why I suggested Desperado as they are 10 BHN and they cast them from 1 part tin and 20 parts pure lead,no scrap or wheel weights. SJ 40
     
  14. fredj338

    fredj338
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    I have done it but hate the cleanup. Easy reloading though, fill case, bullet, shoot. It is fun, like firing a small cannon every shot!:shocked: FWIW, if you do use BP, then make sure the bullets you use have a non petro lube in the grooves. Yes it matters. I use SPG in my BP loads back when. Beeswax & plant or animal fat mix works well too & is way cheaper.
     
    #14 fredj338, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  15. dougader

    dougader
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    I have the old Hercules Blue Dot and although I like it fine for certain applications, these days I think I'd be looking for Power Pistol, Longshot, or something along those lines.
     
  16. Kentguy

    Kentguy
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    G21FAN "Black powder .45 Colt... THOMP!!!!!! Big smoky fun!!!"

    :agree:

    Great fun to shoot, but I don't have any plans to start reloading for it, like fred said, just a pain to clean up. Just going to stay with smokeless power.
     
  17. G21FAN

    G21FAN
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    All hail Ballistol for BP cleaning! Makes it easier on me. I use whatever lube comes on the cast bullets as I am not in a position to cast now.
     
  18. fredj338

    fredj338
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    I used to use Windex, pretty simple, but I hate cleaning guns & BP requires it be done each time you shoot; 1 rd or 100.:crying:
     
    #18 fredj338, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  19. SJ 40

    SJ 40
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    Ballistol is the answer to cleaning BP,if it weren't I may not go through 25 lbs. of BP per year. SJ 40
     
    #19 SJ 40, May 22, 2014
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  20. Samuel_Hoggson

    Samuel_Hoggson
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    Have loaded right down to CAS wussie load levels with 200s and 230s. Mostly, I use 6.9 gr 231 behind 250-255 gr SWCs and FNs in my USFAs. Just feels right.

    Typically, you find three sets of data for the .45LC. There is no reason to restrict yourself to that used in old 1st gen Colts, etc. And there is no justification for playing with heavy carbine/TC loads in a SAA clone. Really, what can you not do with a 250 SWC at 850-900 fps?

    Remember to apply a fairly heavy crimp. It brings the velocity SD down.

    An economic option - in these powder-depleted days - is to use 45 Schofield brass.

    Sam