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.45 Cowboy Special Brass Loads


PanioloPete

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First a CAVEAT:  I've been shooting 45 Cowboy Special since it's inception.  Using 45 ACP dies will work but is not optimal.  An ACP resize will impart a slight taper on the brass and contribute to Blow-By.  Use a standard 45 Colt Resize.  45 ACP bullet seater will work a treat.  45 ACP crimp die, not so bueno.  You need a nice roll crimp.  I like a Redding 45 Auto Rim crimp die.

 

For smokeless, I shot 4.0Gr TightGroup

 

I now shoot 15Gr 3F APP.  I like 165Gr RNFP from Scarlett, Missouri Bullet, or Badman.  My all time favorite is the 130Gr BARNSTORMER.  See Shootin Fox for the Barnstormer.  Barnstormer's ROCK!!! 

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I just checked and I get .002 difference from sizing my brass with the 45 acp die as opposed to using the 45 colt die. I use the Lee 160 RNFP mold and PC my bullets and size to .452.

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3 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

If that is a concern for fracturing the top strap, couldn't we presume that all that was tested by the manufacturer, certified by the stampings on the gun?

 

 Every time the COLT SAA pressure limit comes up the 14,000 psi number is thrown about. SAMMI set that number on an old cast iron frame gun. The gun is far stronger than that number. I will say no more.

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I'm with CC on this one. I don't even run the sizer all the way down as my wife's rifle has a chamber cut on the large side. And I greatly prefer a roll crimp, as I do NOT want any chance of the bullet being pushed back into the case in the rifle. 45 acp use a taper crimp as the shell headspaces on the front of the brass, not the rim, so it has no real purpose on a C45S.

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9 hours ago, WOODFOX , sass#34179 said:

I have herd of some using Magnum primers in 45 cowboy special is there an advantage to them or are they just using them because it's all they can get ?

Woodfox

 

3.6 gr of Trail Boss behind one of Scarlett's RNFP 160s. I prefer a Federal Magnum Large Pistol Primer.  For two reasons.  First, I think it helps the TB burn better in all weather conditions.  TB can be a bit funky especially here in Michigan in cold weather.  Second, I believe that the Magnum primer has enough umph to push that 160 gr bullet out of the barrel if the round is a squib.  

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11 hours ago, john brown said:

 

 Every time the COLT SAA pressure limit comes up the 14,000 psi number is thrown about. SAMMI set that number on an old cast iron frame gun. The gun is far stronger than that number. I will say no more.

The loading data is based upon that limit, and I find 45 Colt challenging to shoot fast and accurately even within that range. In our context I think we care about lighter rather than heavier.

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If you are using 45 cs in your rifle then you are using the Smith Shop carrier correct?  With the lighter bullets mention are you crimping in the crimp groove?

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Twelve Bore B)

 

Yes.  I shoot C45S in three different Toggle Link Rifles.  ALL use The Smith Shop carrier block.  YES!!  I crimp in the crimp groove.  

 

As an additional FYI, the rifles run the 165Gr bullets like wet grain through a goose.  Barnstormers DO NOT play well with a rifle.  The Barnstormer is gang busters inna handgun though :D

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16 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

I like 165Gr RNFP from Scarlett, Missouri Bullet, or Badman. 

I have and use Barnstormers.

 

That said, do you have a link to any of the 165 gr bullets you mention?  I can't find them.

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46 minutes ago, Chief Rick said:

I have and use Barnstormers.

 

That said, do you have a link to any of the 165 gr bullets you mention?  I can't find them.

What I got from Scarlett and Badman were 160s.

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14 hours ago, john brown said:

on an old cast iron frame gun.

 

Not cast iron, but malleable iron.  Big difference.   Cast iron has little tensile strength, and would blow up with the forces in even a handgun.  And just about all SAA failures from over-pressure blow a cylinder chamber out.   A few also blow off the top strap.   So weak cylinders (at the bolt cuts) are as important as weak frames. 

 

The industry standards committee is SAAMI .  

 

Pressure capabilities also depend upon whether we are talking about Uberti or Pietta or Ruger clones or a Colt SAA.  

Because their are SO many different .45 Colt handguns around, the committee set pressures that would be safe in all smokeless powder designs.  As said earlier, if you know the pressure limits for your gun are higher, AND you really want all that recoil, go for it.   Otherwise the established max pressure limits for .45 Colt are plenty high enough for general use.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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OOPS!  Again :blush:

 

The Bullet I ran this past season for the Rifles is 180Gr.  Also from Scarlett, Missouri and Badman.  Had trouble getting 160s so switched to 180s, then the 180s dried up too.  Hopefully supply is getting better <_<

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4 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

Not cast iron, but malleable iron.  Big difference.   Cast iron has little tensile strength, and would blow up with the forces in even a handgun.  And just about all SAA failures from over-pressure blow a cylinder chamber out.   A few also blow off the top strap.   So weak cylinders (at the bolt cuts) are as important as weak frames. 

 

The industry standards committee is SAAMI .  

 

Pressure capabilities also depend upon whether we are talking about Uberti or Pietta or Ruger clones or a Colt SAA.  

Because their are SO many different .45 Colt handguns around, the committee set pressures that would be safe in all smokeless powder designs.  As said earlier, if you know the pressure limits for your gun are higher, AND you really want all that recoil, go for it.   Otherwise the established max pressure limits for .45 Colt are plenty high enough for general use.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

 

 

 I stand corrected IRON framed early 1st gen gun .That being said many know that SAAMI is  using the 14,000 number in order to protect itself and others from harm and law suits. Now , Colts made of modern steels will handle 14,000 plus. I say no more.

 

Best Wishes

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SAAMI was SET UP solely SOLELY to set functional specifications, including pressure SAFETY STANDARDS, for the sporting arms industry back in the late 1920s.  I don't see that they are protecting the SAAMI trade group with their standards, but they are protecting the public from the uncertainty of knowing if any given batch of ammunition would function safely in any particular gun that was manufactured.  And thus protecting the gun manufacturers from unwarranted lawsuits that actually were caused by bad ammo.   And the ammo makers from suits rooted in poorly designed firearms. Up to that point, there was such a severe problem with ammo and gun incompatibility that Congress was threatening to take action by regulation, due to public outcry.   The firearms industry wisely stepped up and said "We'll voluntarily set one standard that we will all agree to follow."   In my understanding, they did the right thing both legally (for safety of public) and for maintaining their profits.  

 

I do not see this as covering one's (company) butt, but instead wisely deciding to do the right thing for the whole industry.

 

Similar things are done in the liquid fuels business to ensure you get the octane number of gasoline products that you purchase, and that the diesel oil will pump and burn properly in any truck or in any home heating system that you have chosen to run.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

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6 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

What I got from Scarlett and Badman were 160s.

Both have been out of stock for the last few months I've looked.  I'll probably just stock up on 180s.

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19 minutes ago, Chief Rick said:

Both have been out of stock for the last few months I've looked.  I'll probably just stock up on 180s.

Contact shooting Fox for the barn stormers. I ordered some a few weeks ago to try in the revolvers. Tested a few, seem to work well so far. Fox was easy to deal with , shipping was prompt. 
LF. 

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20 minutes ago, Long Fingers, SASS#56813 said:

Contact shooting Fox for the barn stormers. I ordered some a few weeks ago to try in the revolvers. Tested a few, seem to work well so far. Fox was easy to deal with , shipping was prompt. 
LF. 

Got plenty of Barnstormers for the time being but will probably order some more soon.  He's powder coating them now, too.

 

Sometimes I just want to try something else and it's always good to have backups.

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On 1/19/2022 at 5:52 PM, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

 

I

49 minutes ago, Chief Rick said:

Both have been out of stock for the last few months I've looked.  I'll probably just stock up on 180s.

 

Scarlett had 160's about a week ago

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1 hour ago, Major BS Walker Regulator said:

Scarlett had 160's about a week ago

Yes, check with Scarlet https://bulletsbyscarlett.com, I got some 160's from her about a week ago also.  Acme Bullets also has a limited amount available for order.

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I was also looking for load data a few months ago. This is what I have gathered, mostly from the wire but a few from other sites. I have only used a few of these loads. I do not know the accuracy or safety of most of the listings. If you choose to use this data you do so at your own risk!!
 

45 cowboy special

Bullet Weight

Powder

Charge

130

Titegroup

4.3

130

Trail Boss

4.0

130

Promo

3.5

160

Bullseye

5.0

160

Bullseye

5.8

160

Clays

3.4

160

Clays

3.9

160

Clays

4.2

160

Red dot

3.3

160

Red dot

3.8

160

Red dot 

5.3

160

Tight group

4.7

160

Trail boss

3.5

160

Trail boss

3.8

160

Unique

7.1

160

W231

6.1

160

Zip

6.5

165

Clays

3.2

165

Tight group

4.0

170

Clays

3.9

175

Wst

4.2

175

Bullseye

4.2

180

Clays

3.6

180

Clays

3.9

180

Trail boss

3.5

200

Clays

3.9

200

Red dot

4.0

200

Red dot

4.2

200

Unique

6.0

200

Trail boss 

3.0

200 

Trail boss 

3.5

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Long Fingers, SASS#56813 said:

I was also looking for load data a few months ago. This is what I have gathered, mostly from the wire but a few from other sites. I have only used a few of these loads. I do not know the accuracy or safety of most of the listings. If you choose to use this data you do so at your own risk!!
 

45 cowboy special

Bullet Weight

Powder

Charge

130

Titegroup

4.3

130

Trail Boss

4.0

130

Promo

3.5

160

Bullseye

5.0

160

Bullseye

5.8

160

Clays

3.4

160

Clays

3.9

160

Clays

4.2

160

Red dot

3.3

160

Red dot

3.8

160

Red dot 

5.3

160

Tight group

4.7

160

Trail boss

3.5

160

Trail boss

3.8

160

Unique

7.1

160

W231

6.1

160

Zip

6.5

165

Clays

3.2

165

Tight group

4.0

170

Clays

3.9

175

Wst

4.2

175

Bullseye

4.2

180

Clays

3.6

180

Clays

3.9

180

Trail boss

3.5

200

Clays

3.9

200

Red dot

4.0

200

Red dot

4.2

200

Unique

6.0

200

Trail boss 

3.0

200 

Trail boss 

3.5

 

 

 

Thank you.

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15 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

SAAMI was SET UP solely SOLELY to set functional specifications, including pressure SAFETY STANDARDS, for the sporting arms industry back in the late 1920s.  I don't see that they are protecting the SAAMI trade group with their standards, but they are protecting the public from the uncertainty of knowing if any given batch of ammunition would function safely in any particular gun that was manufactured.  And thus protecting the gun manufacturers from unwarranted lawsuits that actually were caused by bad ammo.   And the ammo makers from suits rooted in poorly designed firearms. Up to that point, there was such a severe problem with ammo and gun incompatibility that Congress was threatening to take action by regulation, due to public outcry.   The firearms industry wisely stepped up and said "We'll voluntarily set one standard that we will all agree to follow."   In my understanding, they did the right thing both legally (for safety of public) and for maintaining their profits.  

 

I do not see this as covering one's (company) butt, but instead wisely deciding to do the right thing for the whole industry.

 

Similar things are done in the liquid fuels business to ensure you get the octane number of gasoline products that you purchase, and that the diesel oil will pump and burn properly in any truck or in any home heating system that you have chosen to run.

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

   This is what I said but with far fewer words. Modern steel Colts are  stronger than SAAMI says.

 

Best wishes.

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The MAP pressures of the standards make a minimum pressure level to which a gun has to be designed.   Yes, almost all the guns now well exceed that minimum pressure level to keep the gun safe, especially Ruger and Freedom Arms.  The standards have worked for that intended purpose.

 

The standards have not been "cooked" to prevent higher pressure non-commercial loading. IF you control the use of the resulting ammo and understand what you are doing, feel free.

 

good luck, GJ

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/18/2022 at 11:26 AM, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

All this talk of freebore always makes me laugh. For years people who wanted accurate target guns loaded 38 special brass in a .357 gun, and used a big flat ended bullet seated flush with the end of the brass,  that would contribute nothing to centering itself in the forcing cone of a barrel. And it worked fine.  And here we worry about being able to hit an 18" plate at 20 feet or less.

True enough! I started thinking about that when I was reorganizing my bullet and case storage. Heck, I’ve been shooting .38 Specials outta my .357 revolvers for years without a problem or second thought!

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3.4 GR. of titigroup and a 160 GR Rim Rock bullet. It makes power factor.

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4 hours ago, Judge Gardner said:

3.4 GR. of titigroup and a 160 GR Rim Rock bullet. It makes power factor.

If you know the power factor is good, then what is the velocity part of the calculation? 400 is minimum, so a min PF of 60 would only be 375 fps. Your load is well below any comparably sized 45 ACP for 160 gr (Lyman Lead manual, #2 alloy); 5.3 gr TG; 922 fps; 65% max pressure rating for 45 ACP.

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