45 LC Cowboy Loads

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Mouser, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Mouser

    Mouser Well-Known Member

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    Recently acquired a Cimarron 7th cavalry revolver and will look to start loading some ammo. I came across some coated lead bullets from Missouri Bullet co in 200 and 255 gr. The warning is to not load these bullets hotter than "cowboy action power factor"...some math

    To cut out the noise, I load with Accurate #5 and minimum load data pushes velocity over 900 fps...with ACC #5, any loads you use under that powder weight? I really never questioned the low end of the powder ratings, and now I'm wondering aside from a squib, why would it not be ok to drop a grain or two...from 10.5 to 9 for example....anyways, I hear people talk about detonation etc and I just don't see that in a 10-20%reduced load...so, anyone have insight or developed their own loads? Or just load them up to the published numbers and look for lead accumulation...what do you all do, if anything, in situations like this?
     
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  2. towboater

    towboater Well-Known Member

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    Bump to the top. hope ya get an answer.
     

  3. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

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    Stay within the recommended data you should be fine. 8-900 fps is plenty for what you're likely to see. 1000 fps with a hard lead bullet will do for anything on this continent.
     
  4. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have developed a fondness for Trailboss in cowboy loads. Trailboss fills the cartridge nicely, preventing a double charge even with low end loads.
     
    Wambli likes this.
  5. Mouser

    Mouser Well-Known Member

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    I may have to buy a new powder, though I'm hoping to stay with Accurate #5...I just don't know at what velocity/power factor leading becomes a problem and I wrote the company and their response was the power factor thing which I thought was a bit lame. Even if I stay within published numbers, I like to understand the "why" things happen; especially as you approach the fringes...my fringes are always too low power, never too high as I don't push the pressure envelope.
     
  6. Mouser

    Mouser Well-Known Member

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    The easy way out is to stay in published numbers...the velocity produced by a 200gr bullet and minimum Acc #5 is mid 900's and I didn't get a straight answer if this was too much for the coated bullets the mfg was selling...so, will it lead or won't it? I never push the high end of pressure, but rather want to keep the velocity in a range that doesn't foul my barrel...not getting straight answers and I suspect I will wind up buying more expensive jacketed bullets at some point for a rifle and go with minimum loads and lead for pistol
     
  7. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    Trying to push a powder outside of their optimal envelope hardly ever yields optimal results and CAN bring failure (even catastrophic levels at times). Too high or too low is immaterial. The powder companies will never give you concrete information that is outside of what's in their books (science) because it opens them up for lawsuits that they will never win. The bullet guys will never tell you conclusively anything since they have no visibility into your gun, bore, velocity of your actual loads, etc. So they'd just be guessing.

    The .45 Colt case is one big honking empty space and at really low volumes of propellant you have a lot of air in there. So everything from uneven ignition (weird pressure curves and velocity variations) to that mystic "detonation" that no one has been able to prove/disprove is in the hopper just waiting for you. Why play with something potentially dangerous when the good answer is just a few dollars away in the proper propellant.

    Now, I used to make some mousefart loads when the kids were little so they could play with Dad's cowboy guns. They were made out of soft lead round balls seated attop a few grains of unique (recipe was just out of one of my reloading books. They were fun, accurate and barely moved the gun when fired.

    But in summary, if you are looking at coloring outside the lines it's usually time for a different propellant. I also second Trailboss.

    All THAT being said, power factor for SASS is 60 and the max velocity is 1,000 fps. There is a LOT of leeway in there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  8. Wambli

    Wambli Well-Known Member

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    Theory is just theory and opinions are like, well, you know. Before you buy a bunch of bullets that you might not need just load a couple of rounds within minimum book specs and shoot them. Did they lead up the barrel? Yes, then stop. No! Have fun!

    Assuming the power factor thing was from the bullet manufacturer?
     
    Mouser likes this.
  9. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

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    Ask the manufacturer their max velocity. A lot better than karking because we don't know the answer.
     
    Rifling82 likes this.
  10. PaBushMan

    PaBushMan Well-Known Member

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    For light loads in my 44 mag and 45 colt i run 8-12 grains of unique. I don't have my data books by the pc though.
     
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  11. Mouser

    Mouser Well-Known Member

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    The question to the mfg: looking at some .45 long colt coated, lead bullets there is a note about cowboy action velocities only...exactly what are cowboy action velocities? That is, what is max velocity recommended?

    The answer from the mfg: Low velocity for Cowboy Action shooting. Refer to Cowboy Action power factor information.

    So...with a 200 or 255 gr bullet, what is the max velocity to prevent leading using their coated bullets...but to better understand the genesis of my question, refer to the information that they posted on their website regarding the true cause of leading in barrels... http://missouribullet.com/technical.php

    in this article, they state that leading or lack thereof is not directly related to the hardness of lead...anyways, my math skills aren't what they used to be and once I looked at the load data for Accurate #5, I found the velocities were higher than I expected at the lowest of powder...too much? I don't know. Can I go below the published minimum...well yes but how low is too low...the plus/minus normal variation likely puts some of my loads slightly below minimum published...all engineered design factors have a bunch of "fluff" built into them to ensure normal variation does not get you anywhere close to the edge of failure. So I was hoping to get people's experiences and mostly got people's opinions which is ok and expected...obviously, I can and will roll with the info I have just looking for others experiences mostly.
     
  12. freefall

    freefall Well-Known Member

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    I have always heard that leading started to be a problem between 900-1000 fps. Above 1000 use gas checks.
    I have no idea how it works with your store-bought bullets, and I feel that any issues you have about it are best resolved between you and them.
    I'm sorry you don't want to buy a different can of powder, but it seems that no one here is going to pat your hand and say "there, there, just load what you want, it'll be OK.
    Go buy a can of Trailboss and load your rounds or buy some different bullets. Yeesh.

    On re-thinking. The fact that THEY won't give you a straight answer tells me whether I would buy any more of their bullets. I would tell them the same, were I thinking of buying any of their bullets..
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  13. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Use powder coated bullets and don't worry about leading.
     
    Mouser likes this.
  14. PaBushMan

    PaBushMan Well-Known Member

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    I have run missouri bullet co coated bullets at 1500 fps in my 357 and 44. Did not have ant leading. With the 45 colt you do not want to load it at magnum velocities anyway. Except for in Tompson contenders and Ruger blackhawks. Other guns the frames can not handle the loads.
     
    Mouser likes this.
  15. CrunchyFrog

    CrunchyFrog Member

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    SASS rules set a maximum velocity of 1000 fps for pistol and mandates lead bullets (poly/moly/powder coated is OK) but as a practical matter there’s no need to get close to that speed. I usually shoot a 105 grain bullet at about 725 fps. Easy to shoot rapidly but the charge is above minimum. I worked up a .45 Colt load for use in a rifle for Wild Bunch. Because that game has a higher power factor My target velocity was a little under 800 fps. Pretty mild in a rifle. I used Red Dot powder.

    There are some published charts for cowboy action loads but not sure there is one for Accurate brand powders.

    In general I’m a by the book handloader so I don’t recommend deviation from published loads.
     
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