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Quizcat

Load 45LC, but with a recoil level of 38Spl.?

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Is it possible to reload 45LC rounds to closely mimmick the recoil levels of factory, low recoil 38 spl rounds?  If so, does anybody know some good reloading recipes to achieve this?  

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Because of the size of the case, I think the empty space would cause pressure issues.  You can use Cowboy .45 Spl. cases and reduce recoil quite a bit.

 

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Posted (edited)

My caliber preference with respect to authenticity is the 45LC caliber.  But,  I don't know if I can have my cake and eat it too compared to the preferably mild recoil of 38spl.  I'm torn between whether to purchase new revolvers in .38spl or 45LC, and hoping, perhaps, that I can somehow reload 45LC to recoil pretty closely to the recoil level of 38spl factory loads.  Will 45 Spl. cases fit the .45LC chambering?

Edited by Quizcat

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When I shoot reduced recoil .45 Colt loads, I use Cowboy 45 Special case, (available from Starline), or a Schofield case.  I use a 160 bullet.  But, I still load 200gr for the rifle, in a .45 Colt or a .45 Schofield case because the Schofieds with a 160s are too short in a '66.

 

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There are super light loads one can do with Clean Shot and 160gr lead, but the pressures are so low you need pure lead bullets that are super-soft.
I figure a side effect of these low pressure loads is a lot of blow-by because the cartridge won't seal well in the chamber.

These are 4.8 to 5.2k PSI values.

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26 minutes ago, Quizcat said:

My caliber preference with respect to authenticity is the 45LC caliber.  But,  I don't know if I can have my cake and eat it too compared to the preferably mild recoil of 38spl.  I'm torn between whether to purchase new revolvers in .38spl or 45LC, and hoping, perhaps, that I can somehow reload 45LC to recoil pretty closely to the recoil level of 38spl factory loads.  Will 45 Spl. cases fit the .45LC chambering?

The Cowboy .45 Spl was made to be chambered in the .45 Colt pistols.  An altered lifter allows it to be used in the Uberti 66/73s.  I have nerve damage in my right hand.  I am able to fire the C.45 Spl, in my pistols with little or no ill effects.  I load 3.5 grs of TB behind a 160 grn rnfp.

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Posted (edited)

Yes Cowboy 45 Special cases fit and function well in a .45 COLT revolver.  There really is no .45 Long Colt cartridge.  That is a poor choice of names by folks who don't know history of the cartridge.

 

You just CANNOT get any .45 caliber revolver/.45 Colt brass to function with the 60 PF loads that a lightly loaded .38 Special runs fine at.   But you CAN get a .45 Colt to run at about 75 or 80 PF using the Cowboy .45 Special case (available from Starline Brass).

 

And factory loads are NOT the light recoiling loads used by Cowboy competitors.  Most factories will not manufacture those kinds of real light loads, since they are not very suitable for anything but plinking and cowboy matches.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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Another factor is the weight of the gun.  The 45Colt will be lighter than the 38/357 in the same model gun.  

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2 hours ago, Quizcat said:

Is it possible to reload 45LC rounds to closely mimmick the recoil levels of factory, low recoil 38 spl rounds?  

No.

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1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Yes Cowboy 45 Special cases fit and function well in a .45 COLT revolver.  There really is no .45 Long Colt cartridge.  That is a poor choice of names by folks who don't know history of the cartridge.

 

Well, it is longer than the .45 Government... with the same WRAC 45 Colt headstamp.  But no, there was never officially a .45 Long Colt.  Just a .45 Colt and a .45 shorter Colt.  :lol: 

 

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2 hours ago, Quizcat said:

Is it possible to reload 45LC rounds to closely mimmick the recoil levels of factory, low recoil 38 spl rounds?  If so, does anybody know some good reloading recipes to achieve this?  

My combo 45LC (rifle/pistol) load is 4.1grs of Red Dot w/ a 200/180gr bullet.

w/ a 200gr bullet these loads make 625fps (125pf) in the revolvers. I never thought of that being a heavy load ... but ...

 

The year before last I broke down and bought some 45 Cowboy Special brass to experiment with. For those I ended up w/ 160s (Badman coated) going 400fps and making 62pf (w/ 3grs of Bullseye) ... The first time I shot them I was so shocked I started laughing and almost fell down. I let a friend shoot them (a 38 shooter) and he told me there was no way the load could be legal ... that I must be cheating!! :lol:

 

That was great for the revolvers but I was still loading the regular cases for my rifle ... Since I was using 180/200 in the rifle (what ever I got cheapest) I stopped buying 160s for the revolvers (they were a pain to load anyhow ).  

I started loading 180s and 200s in the Cowboy Special cases and could never really tell any difference in recoil compared to the 160s anyhow (even though they were creeping up into the 80-85pf range).

 

Here I was ... with a different tool head for each ... using a different powders and different brass for each of the loads (rifle/revolver). Not what I had planned.

Of course ... as I continued to enjoy people doing a double take at the loading/unloading table someone finally threw out a pair of short stroked stainless 357 4 3/4 EMFs in front of me and I grabbed them. 

 

I'm still shooting 45LC in the rifle and now 38s in the revolvers. Use almost the same amount of Bullseye in the 38s as I did in the 45Cowboys (2.8grs instead of 3.0) w/ 105s or 96s. I still have completely different setups for loading the rifle and revolvers sooooooo ... 

 

I will say ... the 45Cowboy Special loads in the revolvers were great ... they fell out of the cylinders all by themselves and stayed clean. The 38s stay clean but I usually have to coax half of them out.

 

If I had a 38/357 rifle I would probably shoot 357 brass in it anyhow so I would still be in the same boat ... 

I offer no advise ... I can only say I am glad I tried them (still have 450 loaded up and ready to go if needed) because they were an absolute blast to shoot ... and fun to dump out at the loading/unloading table (and I still have two sets of 45 revolvers to use them in).  s10.gif.af1e9b8f22e7fccad964e3499ee3debd.gif

  

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Actually, you can. I make and sell the Barnstormer .452; 130 grain bullet for use in the 45 cs cases. Recoil is minimal in the Vaquero line of pistols over 3-4 grains of Promo/Red Dot or equivalent. They make power factor and are what I use in my revolvers. Rifle still needs 200 gr rnfp and a 45 Colt case for length. Same recipe 3-4 grain Promo. Light recoil,  But enough power to drop knock down targets. PM me if you have questions.

 

Fox

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Posted (edited)

I've used round balls over Trail Boss with excellent results in some revolvers... and not so excellent results in others. Larger balls seem to work better - .454 and even .457". I don't crimp, or even remove the bell for that matter, as long as it chambers. A little hard grease smeared around the mouth or a drop of liquid Alox provides lubrication.

 

 

100_2350.JPG

Edited by Three Foot Johnson

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not at all sure what a light load 38 might be - never owned one till a few weeks ago - so i guess ii will find out in the hear future , but i own a lot of 45 colt rifles and revolvers , i load 4.5-5 grn red dot behind a 200 grn and my old arthritic hands can handle it , yes i get some blow by but not significant - i just know im cleaning the cases when i get home ,  

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I'll second what Three Foot Johnson says above. A .454 ball weighs about 140 grains, as close in weight to a .38 bullet as you can get in .45.

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5 minutes ago, Rattlesnake Slim said:

I'll second what Three Foot Johnson says above. A .454 ball weighs about 140 grains, as close in weight to a .38 bullet as you can get in .45.

Forgot about those round balls ... 

1765155310_roundball.thumb.jpg.77b0706a81ece59d074da377493bddda.jpg

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I've developed a light C45S load for my .45 Colt NM Vaquero Bisleys. I use 2.8g Red Dot with a 160g RNFP coated bullet.  Avg. 450 fps with a SD of 12 and min of 425fps.  It's about as light as you can get with easily available components. I think it's pretty close to my .38spl load of 2.9g of 700x under a 125g bullet but slightly more than the same powder charge and a 105g bullet.  I shoot either of these .38s in the revolvers but tend toward the 105g most of the time.  

 

 

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Here's my really light 45 Colt loads: 

 

3.5 grains of Promo powder (Red Dot)

Fill the rest of the case about 3/8" from the top with corn media. My drop is about 17 grains by weight. Just make sure you use enough to maintain some compression to keep powder and media in place.

180 or 200 grain bullet. Does not need a heavy crimp due to the case being filled up.

 

This load will maintain pressure and keep your rifle clean. And, no blowback.

 

In pistols, it's not quite light 38. But it's close.

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Posted (edited)

I recently got a brace of 45 Colts to shoot Classic Cowboy with.  I'm using Win 231 loaded towards the bottom end of the published loads for 200 grn bullets and haven't had a problem with them even with severe arthritis in my CMC thumb joint shooting duelist.  I did go with the 5.5 inch barrels in the 45s where I have the 4 and 5/8s barrels on my 38s.

 

Shooting a 1911 with Wild Bunch loads has gotten painful as the arthritis has gotten worse, but so far cowboy guns are manageable.

 

I get my left one fixed in a few weeks, and the right one after Winter Range.

 

Grizz

Edited by Grizzly Dave
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15-20 grains of 2F black powder under a 200gr rnfp is a pretty mild recoil. I'd compare it to the recoil of factory 38 long colt out of similar pistol models. I've never had a problem knocking over targets with my BP loads like that. 

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Some good load info on the 45s.   Round balls  or the 132s and Cowboy Special brass might be worth a try.

 

Best thing to do if you haven't yet is  ask for some help at a match trying a few guns and ammo combos.   Hard to  negate the weight differences by caliber in the pistols.   I tried to get my 45s  down to a similar level of recoil (using CS brass and a lwt load with 160gr bullets) as my 32-20s (115 gr bullets and a close to max load of  HP38).    45 wasn't even close.  Which surprised me until  you realize the weight difference in the guns.   Gun weights with similar material for the grips run 2# 5oz for a 45 and 2# 11oz for a 32.   6oz is a lot of extra weight in the barrel and cylinder of the gun.   I know the .32s aren't .38s but the weight/recoil comparison is similar.     

 

130 and 142 gr bullets in the .45 are gonna recoil more than a 105gr in a 38.   Ad the gun weight into the equation and  clearly the answer is no.

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12 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

I've used round balls over Trail Boss with excellent results in some revolvers... and not so excellent results in others. Larger balls seem to work better - .454 and even .457". I don't crimp, or even remove the bell for that matter, as long as it chambers. A little hard grease smeared around the mouth or a drop of liquid Alox provides lubrication.

 

 

100_2350.JPG

 

 

Is there enough lead past the end of the case to pass the exposed lead rule?

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Posted (edited)

Thanks everybody for your comments, it gives me a bunch of options to explore.  I'm just getting started in Cowboy Action Shooting, and trying to do as much research as possible.  I'm an FFL, so I have access to almost anything I decide on with respect to the best overall caliber and model of revolver to purchase. 

 

I have a pair of Ruger SASS .357/.38Spl Stainless Steel, Sequentially Serial Numbered Revolvers , in stock.  But, I'm reluctant to take them off the shelf and fire them before doing all my research.  Once I fire them, they're in my personal collection, and considered "used" product. 

 

I also have a Blued Ruger Vaquero, in 45LC, which has the standard hammer (not with the shorter hammer spur).  I even have a Colt SAA  blued, "NRA Commemrative 1871-1971," .357/.38spl in my personal collection, and it's unfired.  But, I've been reluctant to fire it just because of the collectability factor.  

 

I've also been looking at Cimarron's Piettas and Ubertis, and more specifically I've been eyeing the Cimarron Evil Roy (Uberti).  But, when I dry fire the the Ruger SASS's versus the Ruger New Vaquero with the standard hammer spur, I find that the standard hammer is easier for me to cock than the SASS shorter hammer spur revolver. 

 

I have neurapathy in my fingers (numbness), and having the additional leverage in cocking the hammer seems to be easier for me, which is counter intuitive to the reason represented by the manufacturers that the shorter hammer spur is better for Cowboy Action Shooting.  I suppose the ease of use assiciated with the shorter hammer spur might be whether you're shooting dualist or not.  The neurapathy is also the reason I'm weighing .38spl against 45LC recoil.  

 

So, I'm confused which direction to go with respect choosing the best revolver model and caliber, whether to purchase one with a shorter hammer spur or not, etc...  Costs of the revolvers are pretty close regardless of these various options.  I could probably sample the feel of various models at the club, but I don't have the experience yet to know whether the feel of recoil is particularly the standard by which I should make my selection.  As some have mentioned, there are weight considerations with respect to balance, etc...

 

I am aware of the history of the 45(LC), and only refer to them as "Long Colt" because there are a number of calibers these days with the .45 prefix, and the "LC" just confirms exactly which .45 I'm referring to, plus that's how the manufacturers of commercial ammunition refer to the .45 (LC) product.

Edited by Quizcat

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I know several shooter that place in the top 3 most every monthly match that do not have short stroked pistols or lowered hammer spurs.  If you shoot duellist the lower hammer spur can make it easier to reach the hammer.

 

The pistol modification that is most helpful is a reduced power mainspring. Reducing the force needed to cock the hammer makes a significant difference. All the other modifications are personal preference Some like them and other don't.

Lots of shooters put a reduced power trigger spring in theit pistols but I am finding that a lighter trigger is not always beneficial for CAS.

 

Go to a match and ask other shooter is you can try their pistols and see how they feel. it will save you a lot of money Remember that just because a particulat modification is popular doesn't mean that it is right for you.  ;)

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Those Barnstormer bullets made by Shootin Fox make a very nice low recoil .45 SPL.

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12 hours ago, Patagonia Pete said:

Forgot about those round balls ... 

1765155310_roundball.thumb.jpg.77b0706a81ece59d074da377493bddda.jpg


Very interesting, many thanks!
As a noob, I was not aware at all of these #454, as they are not found in my Lyman #48.

I ran the above through Quickload to see if I could find PSI.
QL velocity is higher than the chart above, which is no surprise for QL.
I'm getting pressures of 5612 and 5718 PSI.
QL has no data for SR-7625.

Recoil is calculated as being under 1.7 ft lbs in a 2.8 pound revolver.
This is lower than my 105gr 38SP Trailboss loads.

The above low pressure loads require very soft lead, BHN around 4.5 is the calculated value.

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I'd be very careful loading anything under 500 fps. There's a good reason the manuals don't list lower loads. A very small deviation in powder weight or a slightly undersized projectile not obturating may result in a bullet stuck in your barrel.

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16 minutes ago, bgavin said:


Very interesting, many thanks!
As a noob, I was not aware at all of these #454, as they are not found in my Lyman #48.

I ran the above through Quickload to see if I could find PSI.
QL velocity is higher than the chart above, which is no surprise for QL.
I'm getting pressures of 5612 and 5718 PSI.
QL has no data for SR-7625.

Recoil is calculated as being under 1.7 ft lbs in a 2.8 pound revolver.
This is lower than my 105gr 38SP Trailboss loads.

The above low pressure loads require very soft lead, BHN around 4.5 is the calculated value.

Outstanding ... thanks for the calculations. I noticed there are a few threads on 45 colt/round ball loads over on the Castbullet site too ... (now that I looked).

These are standard .454 lead balls ... Gonna have to pick up a box and try some in the 45 Cowboy Special cases (ACP size w/ a rim) ... see how accurate they are. 

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17 hours ago, McCandless said:

When I shoot reduced recoil .45 Colt loads, I use Cowboy 45 Special case, (available from Starline), or a Schofield case.  I use a 160 bullet.  But, I still load 200gr for the rifle, in a .45 Colt or a .45 Schofield case because the Schofieds with a 160s are too short in a '66.

 

This is the best advice

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4 hours ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

 

Is there enough lead past the end of the case to pass the exposed lead rule?

If you can hold it level and see lead, as in the bottom picture, it obviously extends beyond the mouth of the case, meeting the requirement "Ammunition with bullets recessed below the case mouth is not allowed."

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The best thing to do is find someone in your club(s) who shoots light .45 cs loads and another who shoots light(and there are some really light loads out there) .38 spec. Loads and try them out. Then, you can make an informed decision. It all looks good on paper but when you pull the trigger - your impression of the results may vary from what was anticipated. Another question would be “can you run the pistol ctg in your rifle or are you going to  have to double up on your reloading?”

 

Just my simple thoughts - good luck. 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/3/2019 at 5:23 PM, Sarge said:

The Cowboy .45 Spl was made to be chambered in the .45 Colt pistols.  An altered lifter allows it to be used in the Uberti 66/73s.  I have nerve damage in my right hand.  I am able to fire the C.45 Spl, in my pistols with little or no ill effects.  I load 3.5 grs of TB behind a 160 grn rnfp.

 

I have a couple of collectible Ruger Emiliano Zappata (TALO) .45LC revolvers that are collectable, in a shadow box, blued, gold leaf on them, imitation ivory grips, etc...etc...etc..I don't want to actually shoot the commemorative Emiliano Zappata Revolvers or it will degrade the embellishments on them very quickly.  So, I got a 45LC New Vaquero in Stainless as a stand-in the for the collectables, something I can actually shoot that's identical to the collectables, minus the collectable embellishments. 

 

But, you might know it...I have Unique, Bullseye, Power Pistol, Longshot, Universal, Hodgdon H110, and Accurate, on the loading bench, but no Trail Boss. 

 

Anybody know if any of the powders I have already will correlate pretty closely with the performance of Trail Boss?  I suppose I can determine the muzzle velocity of 3.5 grains of Trail Boss and apply it to the various powders I have, and make a selection after factoring in the 160 grain Round Nose Flat Point bullet, and get pretty close. 

 

Any opinions on which of these powders I already have would be closest to the performance of Trail Boss, with respect to burn rate, cleanliness, etc...?  It would be nice to use one of the powders I already have, and then get some Trail Boss later to further experiment if one of the powders I have that's close to Trail Boss shows promise.

 

 

picture-22-2-tm (1).jpg

1.jpg

Edited by Quizcat

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20 minutes ago, Quizcat said:

 

 

Any opinions on which of these powders I already have would be closest to the performance of Trail Boss, with respect to burn rate, cleanliness, etc...?  It would be nice to use one of the powders I already have, and then get some Trail Boss later to further experiment if one of the powders I have that's close to Trail Boss shows promise.

 

Do a search on this site. 

 

There's a thread with popular loads and some include velocity. 

 

I can't find it using my phone. 

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I've been digging into powder a whole lot.
Trail Boss is unique, no pun intended.

It is a revolver load for lead bullets.
Pressures are low, so soft lead is required.

Low pressures = weak case sealing, so blow-back is expected.
This justifies buying a wet case cleaner... ;)

Quickload software does have the data for Trail Boss when it was an IMR product.
QL is quite tardy in adding new powders... I contacted the author and was told he is denied the new powder data, so he cannot add it to QL.

Trail Boss is an expensive powder, per charge.
Clean Shot is the next one down from TB for case filling properties, and cowboy suitability.
As a noob reloader, I really like the fluffy TB properties which helps avoid a double charge.
I have very specific requirements for my wife to have low recoil in her Vaqueros.. and TB does the job.

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