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Philosopher

Low recoil loads for .45 ACP New Vaqueros

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Just getting started in cowboy action, my rig uses a pair of Ruger Vaqueros  chambered in .45 ACP.  Thus far I've shot the Rugers using cartridges I've handloaded  for use in my 1911 pistol. These particular cartridges generate quite a bit of recoil in my Vaqueros, so I'm looking to develop a lower velocity and lower recoil alternative just for use in the Vaqueros.  

 

My current "thinking" to use some 155 grain coated bullets I bought from Missouri Bullet Casting, and Bullseye powder. Thus far I've tested 3 groups of loads where the powder charges  were 1/2 grain apart. These cartridges produced average velocities of  700 fps for the lightest charge, then 750 fps for the middle charge, and 800 fps for the heaviest charge. Ignition is good with very little evidence of unburnt powder in all cartridges.

 

Wondering how slow I can go? Any issues I need to be aware of in producing reloads with light charges of this fast burning pistol powder?

 

What levels are YOU folks loading your low-recoil .45 revolver cartridges to? 

 

Thanks for any help and insights!

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I've got the birdshead version in my crossdraw holster, and a regular plow-handle gripped NM Vaquero on the strong side. Trying to decide which grip I prefer.

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You won't find low recoil using the 155gr bullet:

But if you use a 230gr bullet - plenty of low recoil loads:

http://reloadammo.com/45loads.htm


 

 

 


 
Edited by John Boy
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10 minutes ago, John Boy said:

You won't find low recoil using the 155gr bullet:

But if you use a 230gr bullet - plenty of low recoil loads:

http://reloadammo.com/45loads.htm



 

 

 



 

? ? ?

For Wild Bunch, I use a 230 grainer, but I noticed a tremendous drop in recoil using a ~150 grain bullet in the revolvers, as per my link above.

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try 3.8 gr of Trail Boss with a 155 bullet. They are plenty energetic enough for CAS revolvers.

Look on the Hodgdon website for the formula to load Trail Boss based on case volume. The actual powder weight works out to 3.73 Gr by my calculations, I just rounded up:)

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I can agree with the above load, I often used 3.6-3.8 of trail boss under anything between 160 and 200gr bullets and got great results out of c45s. The c45s is just a rimmed 45 acp, so it should be comparable 

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3.4 gr. of TiteGroup  and a federal large Pistol  magnum primer and a 160 gain bullet with a nice roll crimp will give you 437 fps which will make power factor.

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6 minutes ago, Judge Gardner said:

3.4 gr. of TiteGroup  and a federal large Pistol  magnum primer and a 160 gain bullet with a nice roll crimp will give you 437 fps which will make power factor.

In a Ruger Vaquero/New Vaquero, a .45 acp case still headspaces on the case mouth, so a roll crimp is inadvisable.

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No moon clips?
Just curious, don't own one.

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16 minutes ago, bgavin said:

No moon clips?
Just curious, don't own one.

Moon clips don’t work with a typical single action revolver. You will be unable to load or eject rounds from the cylinder. 
It will require the shooter to remove and reinstall the cylinder from the gun to load and clear every time. 

 

Edited by Captain Clark
Clarity

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15 minutes ago, bgavin said:

No moon clips?
Just curious, don't own one.

No moon clips, cylinder has machining inside for 45 acp case mouth to rest against.

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Excellent advice so far. Keep it coming! 

Sounds like I may need to buy some Trailboss powder.

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12 hours ago, Judge Gardner said:

3.4 gr. of TiteGroup  and a federal large Pistol  magnum primer and a 160 gain bullet with a nice roll crimp will give you 437 fps which will make power factor.

 

Why the magnum primer? Is the powder charge so small you need the more powerful primer to ensure reliable ignition? Have you had problems with standard primers?

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Please do keep in mind the 400 fps and power factor of 60 in any loads you work up.  the load at 437 fps might not make it  there on a cold day shoot.   Not that you have any such things in MN

 

See page 26 shooters handbook.

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In Minnesota we support global warming! I'm heading outside in a few minutes to burn leaves and a pile of old tires.  

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I have been loading 3.5 grains of Trailboss in 45 cowboy special with a 200 grain bullet for my Bond arms derringer. Not bad...even in a derringer 

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Over on the official Hogdon reloading site the starting powder load for the 180, 200 and 230g bullets is all 3.5g TrailBoss.  I would say then that is probably the minimum recommended for the 45 acp no matter the weight of the bullet.

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4 hours ago, LostVaquero said:

No moon clips, cylinder has machining inside for 45 acp case mouth to rest against.


Thanks!
Apparently this Vaquero is exclusively for 45 ACP, unlike the other model that shoots 45 Colt or 45 ACP with moon clips.
Thanks for the education.

Duh on my part... SA revolvers and moon clips don't work.
Sorry to ask a dumbass question... :wub:

Edited by bgavin

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Just got back from the range, it's a 35 degree day here in Minnesota. Gotta take advantage of these nice days while they last! The comments in this message string motivated me to try some loads with lower charges of Bullseye, so I tested 10 rounds each of cartridges loaded with 3.7 grains and then 3.5 grains over my chronograph.

 

The 10 cartridges loaded with 3.7 grains of Bullseye had an average velocity of 656 fps.

 

The 10 cartridges loaded with 3.5 grains of Bullseye had an average velocity of 593 fps.

 

Ignition for both batches was good with little evidence of unburned powder.

 

Since I've got a 4-pound cannister of Bullseye I think 3.5 grains of that  powder is going to be my standard load for my Vaqueros, subject to inevitable tinkering on down the line.

 

Thanks to everyone for your input! 

Edited by Philosopher
additional info
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2 hours ago, bgavin said:


Thanks!
Apparently this Vaquero is exclusively for 45 ACP, unlike the other model that shoots 45 Colt or 45 ACP with moon clips.
Thanks for the education.

Duh on my part... SA revolvers and moon clips don't work.
Sorry to ask a dumbass question... :wub:

No such thing as a stupid question.  The convertible vaqueros come with two cylinders one for 45 colt and one for 45acp.  The same for the Blackhawk convertibles.

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My plow-handled Vaquero came with a .45 ACP cylinder and a .45 Colt cylinder. The birdshead grip Vaquero is a TALO model made for a distributor and came with just a .45 ACP cylinder.  I bought the birdhead version a few years ago before I thought about taking up cowboy action shooting. Figured it was simpler to just get a second .45 ACP chambered revolver (the two cylinder Vaquero) versus buying TWO new guns.

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14 hours ago, Philosopher said:

My plow-handled Vaquero came with a .45 ACP cylinder and a .45 Colt cylinder. The birdshead grip Vaquero is a TALO model made for a distributor and came with just a .45 ACP cylinder.  I bought the birdhead version a few years ago before I thought about taking up cowboy action shooting. Figured it was simpler to just get a second .45 ACP chambered revolver (the two cylinder Vaquero) versus buying TWO new guns.

 

WRONG!!! 

 

Always buy 2 guns vs. one.

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2 hours ago, Cusz M. Dutch SASS Life 55326 said:

 

Always buy 2 guns vs. one.

 I usually go with three - gotta have an identical backup for each set, ya know. ;)

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Oh don't worry I bought PLENTY of firearms to get into cowboy action! An Uberti 1873 competition model, and a Stoeger coach gun. And after watching the side matches at Winter Range 2018 I bought a Pedersoli Sharps and added Lee Shaver sights, and put a tang sight on my Winchester 94. 

 

While I was at it I picked up THREE cap and ball revolvers for good measure and then had Lassiter slick all three of them up for me.

 

And it's not like my gun safe was empty to start with. Spent that money like it was going out of style and enjoyed every minute of it!

 

 

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Yep, 3.7 gns of trail boss with 200 gn bullet...nice!

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I liked 4Gr TightGroup with a 160Gr bullet.  Same same with 130Gr Barnstormer bullets.

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Best load I've found is 23 gs of Black MZ under a 230 g bullet. Works in a 1911 or my Ruger Vaqueros. Does not have the sharp recoil of a smokiless load.

kR

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