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“All purpose” .45lc load


ACP

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Interested in recommendations for an all around .45lc pet load. Will be used in Winchester 1873 deluxe sporting rifle and 4 3/4” colt SAA. Looking for a load that is suitable to use for deer and for target in both that won’t cause issues in the toggle action due to pressure. 

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3f APP to the bullet base.  Any weight bullet.  The load is the same.  APP 3f to the bullet base.  Regardless of "Pet" load, with 45 Colt you're going to run into Blow-By of gun gas.   The only way to eliminate the blow-by is to anneal your cases.  OEM 45 Colt cases WILL NOT expand to seal the chamber unless annealed.

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker
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ACP,

While a single load could do both, the requirements for target shooting (esp. metal plates) and deer hunting are VERY different.  I’d strongly suggest developing a separate load for each purpose.

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If the target shooting you mention is on paper, then yes a hunting load could be appropriate for both.  Any SAAMI spec ammo is safe to shoot in those guns.  So basically, any load in a loading manual that doesn't say "for Ruger or Thompson only" will be safe.  Keep the OAL under 1.6" for feeding in the rifle.

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Pressure capability of the .45 caliber Uberti toggle link guns will be at least as high as the SAAMI ammunition standard pressure for .45 Colt, which is 14,000 PSI.   Any factory load that meets SAAMI specifications will be safe.   The major ammo makers produce their standard ammo within the SAAMI limits.    Same story for the revolver you are considering.

 

I'd suggest a jacketed bullet load for hunting (probably 240 or 250 grain hollow point), and a lead bullet for target use, probably something like 160 grain round nose flat point.  Keep it pleasant to shoot and you will be more likely to practice.

 

good luck, GJ  

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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3 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

3f APP to the bullet base.  Any weight bullet.  The load is the same.  APP 3f to the bullet base.  Regardless of "Pet" load, with 45 Colt you're going to run into Blow-By of gun gas.   The only way to eliminate the blow-by is to anneal your cases.  OEM 45 Colt cases WILL NOT expand to seal the chamber unless annealed.


I’ve never used APP, what’s the advantage vs smokeless? I’m understanding it performs similar to BP but without the cleaning woes? 

Edited by ACP
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Thanks for the info regarding SAAMI spec @Abilene, SASS # 27489 And @Garrison Joe, SASS #60708. This was my main concern on selecting an appropriate load for both. The overall idea is to consolidate components for the caliber. I’d like to arrive at a single bullet and powder. All my target/plinking shooting is either paper or cans, milk jugs etc. Just average Joe shooting and would like to do more of it cheaper and with a “practice with what you’ll use for real” philosophy 

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@Possum Skinner, SASS#60697 I certainly agree that a hunting load isn’t necessary for plinking, and if I was going through boxes every weekend I’d absolutely look at them in separate buckets. At my current rate I’m doing good to hit the woods a few times a year and go plinking every other month due to time availability 

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1 hour ago, ACP said:

“practice with what you’ll use for real”

If you want to be most successful hunting with the .45 Colt cartridge, you need a load that is just about factory level of performance.   This is a PISTOL cartridge, after all.  I find that when I would get ready for deer hunting, 10 or 20 shots at various ranges with the hunt ammo before the trip would remind me of the trajectory and ensure sights were still on. 

 

While the philosophy of “practice with what you’ll use for real” will work well for self defense when someone else is buying the ammo, it is hard to afford when you have to provide your own.  I would still run two different loads.  Premium for meat, and cheap and easy to shoot for plinking.

 

But if you can do premium for both, go for it.  Just don't take a .45 Colt plinking load out in the game field - you will shorten the success range from maybe 150 yards to more like 25 or 50 yards, due to lack of lethality.

 

Just one load with a cast bullet?   Hard to beat a 250 grain slug over 8.2 to 8.5 grains of Unique - something that has been shot successfully for at least 100 years now.  You might find hunting success with that to about 100 yards.

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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5 hours ago, ACP said:

Interested in recommendations for an all around .45lc pet load. Will be used in Winchester 1873 deluxe sporting rifle and 4 3/4” colt SAA. Looking for a load that is suitable to use for deer and for target in both that won’t cause issues in the toggle action due to pressure. 

 You are asking for apples and oranges Hunting load and target load .

 

Best wishes

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25 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

If you want to be most successful hunting with the .45 Colt cartridge, you need a load that is just about factory level of performance.   This is a PISTOL cartridge, after all.  I find that when I would get ready for deer hunting, 10 or 20 shots at various ranges with the hunt ammo before the trip would remind me of the trajectory and ensure sights were still on. 

 

While the philosophy of “practice with what you’ll use for real” will work well for self defense when someone else is buying the ammo, it is hard to afford when you have to provide your own.  I would still run two different loads.  Premium for meat, and cheap and easy to shoot for plinking.

 

But if you can do premium for both, go for it.  Just don't take a .45 Colt plinking load out in the game field - you will shorten the success range from maybe 150 yards to more like 25 or 50 yards, due to lack of lethality.

 

Just one load with a cast bullet?   Hard to beat a 250 grain slug over 8.2 to 8.5 grains of Unique - something that has been shot successfully for at least 100 years now.  You might find hunting success with that to about 100 yards.

 

good luck, GJ

250g lead is what I’ve used to present, just not been loading my own. I appreciate the recommendation on Unique for this 

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27 minutes ago, Texas Jack Black said:

 You are asking for apples and oranges Hunting load and target load .

 

Best wishes

If a common bullet and powder is applicable in both I’d have nothing against considering loading them up or down for some cost savings if I found myself really going through target rounds. Any suggestions? 

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You keep adjusting requirements and constraints tighter and tighter.   You CAN go considerably lighter with Unique, perhaps down to about 6 grains, to make a lighter target load.  Easier to keep 2 powders on hand, though.   Unique for hunting load, something like Titegroup or Bullseye for a target load, I've used about 5 grains of Titegroup with good results.  All with a 250 grain slug.   Won't be very competitive for cowboy action (still too much recoil) but it would "work."  

 

Get a copy of the Lyman cartridge loading manual, 51st edition.  It has lots of .45 Colt loads (with BOTH jacketed and cast bullets) for Single Action Army (SAAMI standards) pressure levels.   With it you can find a couple of combinations of powders and slugs to suit many needs.  We keep trying to guess what EXACTLY would make you happy, then you change the location of the "happy button."

 

One place this manual is sold (the publisher):

https://www.lymanproducts.com/51st-edition-reloading-handbook

 

Also at Amazon (often cheaper).

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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7 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

You keep adjusting requirements and constraints tighter and tighter.   You CAN go considerably lighter with Unique, perhaps down to about 6 grains, to make a lighter target load.  Easier to keep 2 powders on hand, though.   Unique for hunting load, something like Titegroup or Bullseye for a target load, I've used about 5 grains of Titegroup with good results.  All with a 250 grain slug.   Won't be very competitive for cowboy action (still too much recoil) but it would "work."  

 

Get a copy of the Lyman cartridge loading manual, 51st edition.  It has lots of .45 Colt loads (with BOTH jacketed and cast bullets) for Single Action Army (SAAMI standards) pressure levels.   With it you can find a couple of combinations of powders and slugs to suit many needs.  We keep trying to guess what EXACTLY would make you happy, then you change the location of the "happy button."

 

One place this manual is sold (the publisher):

https://www.lymanproducts.com/51st-edition-reloading-handbook

 

Also at Amazon (often cheaper).

 

good luck, GJ

 

1 hour ago, Texas Jack Black said:

 Buy a reloading manual  and work up a load that suits your needs.  

 

Best Wishes 

 HAPPY NEW YEAR

Thanks 

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It's been my experience that when you try to get a single solution to two different requirements you end up with something that isn't satisfactory for either.  As Joe mentioned you will get better results with purpose built ammo.  Perhaps Unique for hunting and Titewad (what I use) for target.

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16 hours ago, ACP said:

Interested in recommendations for an all around .45lc pet load. Will be used in Winchester 1873 deluxe sporting rifle and 4 3/4” colt SAA. Looking for a load that is suitable to use for deer and for target in both that won’t cause issues in the toggle action due to pressure. 

What powder do you have?

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2 minutes ago, ACP said:

@The Original Lumpy Gritz
Only Goex for muzzleloader and some VV N340 for .45ACP and Varget for center fire rifle at the moment

Look for data using Unique and WW231/HP38(same powder).

Bear Creek Supply has a good selection of moly-coated bullets. 

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1 minute ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Look for data using Unique and WW231/HP38(same powder).

Bear Creek Supply has a good selection of moly-coated bullets. 

Thank you I’ll check these out 

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1 hour ago, ACP said:

@The Original Lumpy Gritz
Only Goex for muzzleloader and some VV N340 for .45ACP and Varget for center fire rifle at the moment

VIHTAVUORI lists some reasonable loads for 45 Colt with N340 - see https://www.vihtavuori.com/reloading-data-tool-rifle-handgun-cowboy-action-shooting/#/imperials/2/53/-1/-1/-1.

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

If you want to be most successful hunting with the .45 Colt cartridge, you need a load that is just about factory level of performance.   This is a PISTOL cartridge, after all.  I find that when I would get ready for deer hunting, 10 or 20 shots at various ranges with the hunt ammo before the trip would remind me of the trajectory and ensure sights were still on. 

 

While the philosophy of “practice with what you’ll use for real” will work well for self defense when someone else is buying the ammo, it is hard to afford when you have to provide your own.  I would still run two different loads.  Premium for meat, and cheap and easy to shoot for plinking.

 

But if you can do premium for both, go for it.  Just don't take a .45 Colt plinking load out in the game field - you will shorten the success range from maybe 150 yards to more like 25 or 50 yards, due to lack of lethality.

 

Just one load with a cast bullet?   Hard to beat a 250 grain slug over 8.2 to 8.5 grains of Unique - something that has been shot successfully for at least 100 years now.  You might find hunting success with that to about 100 yards.

 

good luck, GJ

Agree with everything here.  A 255 gr Keith type semiwadcutter over 8.0 or a bit more Unique works nice in my Colt's and Rossi rifle.

Adequate for whitetail out to maybe 75 yards, but around here the bush is so thick we rarely get out to 75!

 

I'd suggest running up a load in 0.1 increments starting around 7.8 and going up to near max (per your loading manuals) and watch

the accuracy in the handgun - the rifle will probably gobble them all up anyway.

 

HTH,

SC

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ROFLMAO!!!  You ask about hunting loads on a site dedicated to a sport/game populated by folks who're most often accused of using mouse farts loads that barely make the 20-25' and make steel ring with a "tink".  Many of whom think a lofty goal is to have loads so light they can dump 10 rounds out of their rifle in less than 2 seconds.

 

I'm gratified that you received several well reasoned answers.  IMNSHO, it's the Colt SAA that's the weak sister in your combo, due mostly to its thin chamber walls, especially the locking bolt cuts.  

 

Since you're not adverse to using cast bullets, I recommend Lyman's 4th Ed. Cast Bullet Handbook for load data for both rifle and pistol loads.  If you happen to also cast, I can recommend the RCBS 45-225-CAV mold, it casts a truncated cone of about 230 grains with a nice grease groove & crimp groove for use with a BP compatible lube for Goex,   In my '73 I need to crimp in the forward part of the crimp groove to keep OAL to around 1.57" to feed thru the rifle.   The advantage to APP is that while a BP substitute, it doesn't require a BP compatible lube.  Cleaning regime would be the same as Goex, warm water, or your favored mystery oil for BP cleaning.  (I believe BP cleaning is easier than smokeless, just more often).

 

While your pistol won't notice so much, using a slower burning powder in the rifle will gain you a few fps in the longer bbl.  Stay away from "Ruger or Thompson Center" load data.  14,000 psi in a 45 Colt ain't anything to snicker at.  If you consider jacketed rounds, stay away from bullets listed for the 45Mag or the more powerful .452 chamberings as their jackets may prove too stout to allow expansion.  There're a few 45 Colt factory loads in the 225gr range that would serve hunting purposes well.  While Sierra's 240 JHP has proven accurate in my 45 Colt rifles, I haven't ever found an equivalent cast bullet for more cost effective practice/sighting in purposes.  Lastly, I've found Keith style bullets to be poor feeders in my toggle link rifles as the forward driving band tends to catch on the chamber mouth.  

Edited by Griff
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2 hours ago, ShadowCatcher said:

Agree with everything here.  A 255 gr Keith type semiwadcutter over 8.0 or a bit more Unique works nice in my Colt's and Rossi rifle.

Adequate for whitetail out to maybe 75 yards, but around here the bush is so thick we rarely get out to 75!

 

I'd suggest running up a load in 0.1 increments starting around 7.8 and going up to near max (per your loading manuals) and watch

the accuracy in the handgun - the rifle will probably gobble them all up anyway.

 

HTH,

SC

Thank you, I did some reading on unique and many seem to like the 8g loading. I appreciate the recommendation on the Keith 255 as well. 75 is about what we max around here unless on a field, which is a different rifle hunt anyway 

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1 hour ago, Griff said:

ROFLMAO!!!  You ask about hunting loads on a site dedicated to a sport/game populated by folks who're most often accused of using mouse farts loads that barely make the 20-25' and make steel ring with a "tink".  Many of whom think a lofty goal is to have loads so light they can dump 10 rounds out of their rifle in less than 2 seconds.

 

I'm gratified that you received several well reasoned answers.  IMNSHO, it's the Colt SAA that's the weak sister in your combo, due mostly to its thin chamber walls, especially the locking bolt cuts.  

 

Since you're not adverse to using cast bullets, I recommend Lyman's 4th Ed. Cast Bullet Handbook for load data for both rifle and pistol loads.  If you happen to also cast, I can recommend the RCBS 45-225-CAV mold, it casts a truncated cone of about 230 grains with a nice grease groove & crimp groove for use with a BP compatible lube for Goex,   In my '73 I need to crimp in the forward part of the crimp groove to keep OAL to around 1.57" to feed thru the rifle.   The advantage to APP is that while a BP substitute, it doesn't require a BP compatible lube.  Cleaning regime would be the same as Goex, warm water, or your favored mystery oil for BP cleaning.  (I believe BP cleaning is easier than smokeless, just more often).

 

While your pistol won't notice so much, using a slower burning powder in the rifle will gain you a few fps in the longer bbl.  Stay away from "Ruger or Thompson Center" load data.  14,000 psi in a 45 Colt ain't anything to snicker at.  If you consider jacketed rounds, stay away from bullets listed for the 45Mag or the more powerful .452 chamberings as their jackets may prove too stout to allow expansion.  There're a few 45 Colt factory loads in the 225gr range that would serve hunting purposes well.  While Sierra's 240 JHP has proven accurate in my 45 Colt rifles, I haven't ever found an equivalent cast bullet for more cost effective practice/sighting in purposes.  Lastly, I've found Keith style bullets to be poor feeders in my toggle link rifles as the forward driving band tends to catch on the chamber mouth.  

Mouse fart shooters have to eat too, certainly there’s some guns pulling double duty and putting meat on the table! 
 

I prefer cast bullets personally, I’ll look into the Lyman manual as well as the mold you mentioned. Are you running the mold bullet you mentioned with APP or other powder? 

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2 hours ago, ACP said:

Thank you, I did some reading on unique and many seem to like the 8g loading. I appreciate the recommendation on the Keith 255 as well. 75 is about what we max around here unless on a field, which is a different rifle hunt anyway 

FWIW: I use Unique for all my SASS loading, that includes .32 S&W, .38 Special,.44 Mag and 12 ga SG. 

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27 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

FWIW: I use Unique for all my SASS loading, that includes .32 S&W, .38 Special,.44 Mag and 12 ga SG. 

Sounds like a winner to me if it’s covering all these bases 

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5 minutes ago, ACP said:

Sounds like a winner to me if it’s covering all these bases 

 

Midsouth's website currently shows 8-lb jugs of Unique in stock.  Vista Outdoors stated Alliant powder would cost more and be in short supply next year.  OLG's statement about the versatility of Unique is valid.  Now would be a good time to place an order if you cannot find Unique at a local gun shop.

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14 minutes ago, Edward R S Canby, SASS#59971 said:

 

Midsouth's website currently shows 8-lb jugs of Unique in stock.  Vista Outdoors stated Alliant powder would cost more and be in short supply next year.  OLG's statement about the versatility of Unique is valid.  Now would be a good time to place an order if you cannot find Unique at a local gun shop.

I’ve been hearing the info on increases and shortages on ammo and components, have kicked myself too many times over the past 10 years and especially in the last 2-3 sitting and waiting for Olde Eynsford  and Swiss and Goex to be in stock. Not going to keep making that mistake, I’ll be picking up some Unique in short order 

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12 minutes ago, ACP said:

I’ve been hearing the info on increases and shortages on ammo and components, have kicked myself too many times over the past 10 years and especially in the last 2-3 sitting and waiting for Olde Eynsford  and Swiss and Goex to be in stock. Not going to keep making that mistake, I’ll be picking up some Unique in short order 

 I would not wait to long Unique is UNIQUE and will go fast.

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5 hours ago, ACP said:

Are you running the mold bullet you mentioned with APP or other powder? 

Yes, I bought my 1st '73 in 1987 and have shot BP thru it from the beginning, Lubed with a mixture of Crisco, lanolin & bees wax until S{PG came out. The 45-225-CAV has been my primary BP bullet.  I've used Goex, (2f, 3f & Cartridge),  Swiss, (3f) and APP (3f), with my best groups with Goex "Cartridge", sadly no longer made

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9 hours ago, Griff said:

Yes, I bought my 1st '73 in 1987 and have shot BP thru it from the beginning, Lubed with a mixture of Crisco, lanolin & bees wax until S{PG came out. The 45-225-CAV has been my primary BP bullet.  I've used Goex, (2f, 3f & Cartridge),  Swiss, (3f) and APP (3f), with my best groups with Goex "Cartridge", sadly no longer made

Is the 225g simply what you started with and found no need to change or is there a reason why you prefer it to 255 ? 

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3 minutes ago, ACP said:

Is the 225g simply what you started with and found no need to change or is there a reason why you prefer it to 255 ? 

225 is a good all around weight. 

That said, I load 255 in my reduced. 454 Casull loads.

255 was used in the orginal loads with BP.

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