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  #1  
Old 06-25-2012, 01:01 PM
fireguy1 fireguy1 is offline
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Loading 45 Colt Rifle




I just started loading recently guys, and am loading my Judge Revolver w/ 45 Colt. I have been using Universal @ 6.5grn w/ 255 gr. RFN Jacketed Bullet. It does seem a little less power than store bought rounds and have been bumping it up a little to about 6.9 grn. Seems to work better. Around 700 fps or so
I have just bought a Henry Rifle in 45 Colt w/20 in. Barrel so I can load it as well. My questions are..does anyone have experience loading 45 colt rifle? I would like to get the velocity up to say 1300 or so. I have seen a few formulas but I`m wondering if anyone can recommend a load that they have used? I know there is some wiggle room w/ this load as far as space goes. and the pressures are fairly low. But I don`t want to cause problems either. Also, do I need to switch to rifle primers? or can I stay w/ pistol? I`m using CCI primers,
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2012, 01:23 PM
tomme boy tomme boy is offline
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Stay with the pistol primers. Some of the bullet profiles will not work with the lever action. The nose can be too long for the action to work.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2012, 03:03 PM
FN in MT FN in MT is offline
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I found that my pistol loads...all traditional .45 Colt pressures...gained anywhere from 150 fps to a hi of 300 fps when shot out of a 16" barrel M-94. The longer barrel helps add velocity by allowing the powder to burn completely. So slower powders will give you the better gain in velocity.

I'd bet that 1200-1300 fps with the 255 gr slug you mentioned would be fairly easy to reach.

FN in MT
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2012, 03:05 PM
mikeg1005 mikeg1005 is offline
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If I am no mistaken(double check this) you can shoot the "hot" Ruger/TC/FA loads out of 45 Colt rifles.

I have only experiemented with a 7.5" Ruger Blackhawk wheel gun...

But 10-11gr of Universal with a 255gr LSWC bullet will get you in the 1000fps range.
16-18gr of 2400 witha 255gr LSWC bullet will get you in the 1200-1300fps range.
24gr(I think?) of H110 with the same 255gr LSWC will put you at 1450fps range.

2400 and H110 seems to be the 'go to' powder for hot 45 Colt loads... my(and everyone elses) recommendation is unless you are trying to push 255gr at max velocity, or are stepping into the 300+gr weights that you use 2400.

H110, from my experimenting, with 255gr isn't not very consistant on velocity unless you are loading it to the max (in the 26-27gr range)... but as with any other caliber, H110 isn't designed to be downloaded, and shouldn't be used unless you want max velocity ammo.

Mike.

Last edited by mikeg1005; 06-25-2012 at 03:08 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2012, 09:54 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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I have been shooting a Hornady 300 grain XTP.

This is a .45 Colt round. On top of 21 grains of Winchester 296 powder. This is out of a new production Miroku made Winchester model 1892 trapper with a sixteen inch barrel. This round will definately get your attention. However I am not seeing any signs of high pressure. For a .45 Colt round. This should get the job done. If not then you need to go to a rifle round. Additionally I would not likely shoot this out of my revolvers.

I would advise you to procceed cautiously when loading your own ammunition. There are lots of dead people that dispensed with caution!
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2012, 10:25 PM
TheGerk TheGerk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy1 View Post
I just started loading recently guys, and am loading my Judge Revolver w/ 45 Colt. I have been using Universal @ 6.5grn w/ 255 gr. RFN Jacketed Bullet. It does seem a little less power than store bought rounds and have been bumping it up a little to about 6.9 grn. Seems to work better. Around 700 fps or so
I have just bought a Henry Rifle in 45 Colt w/20 in. Barrel so I can load it as well. My questions are..does anyone have experience loading 45 colt rifle? I would like to get the velocity up to say 1300 or so. I have seen a few formulas but I`m wondering if anyone can recommend a load that they have used? I know there is some wiggle room w/ this load as far as space goes. and the pressures are fairly low. But I don`t want to cause problems either. Also, do I need to switch to rifle primers? or can I stay w/ pistol? I`m using CCI primers,
ALWAYS load with the pistol primer.
The rifle primers will be too tall in final seating to work safely.
Large pistol primers will also match the standard 45 Colt load data available to you.
Regardless of platform used, it is wise to load for the caliber or cartridge, not the platform as a rule.

If you use data for STANDARD 45 Colt cartridge loading you will be fine.
But before you load to any higher pressure limits than STANDARD 45 Colt pressure check with Henry as there may be internal components or other manufacturing differences than prevent the use of higher pressure 45 Colt loadings from safely being used.

You may be ok, as Henry also chambers rifles in 44 Magnum, but this is no guarantee your 45 Colt rifle is constructed to operate at the 40,000 CUP level of the .44 Magnum.
Verify this first before loading anything above the 14,000 CUP limit of the 45 Colt.

I load for the 45 Colt in a Cimarron 1866 24” rifle and a Ruger Blackhawk
Your desired 1300 fps with the 255gr LRN is possible but this is most likely at the end, or very close to it using standard 45 Colt data.

Also, before you buy large quantities of SWC’s make sure your rifle’s designed (or test) to cycle this profile.
This could save you a lot of grief.

Good Luck
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2012, 11:02 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
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It's still a pistol round even when you shoot it through a rifle!

Stick with the pistol primer, for the tube magazine of course you need to use a flat pointed bullet.

Wish I could help with specifics but my experience is with a different chambering...
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  #8  
Old 06-25-2012, 11:50 PM
fireguy1 fireguy1 is offline
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Thanks Guys,, I appreciate the feedback. Your right, I will increase pressure just going to a long barrel, I hadn`t thought of that. Also, 255 grn bullet in not etched in stone, just happens to be what I have at the moment. I will stay well within the safe ranges on this one, as I only want a little more MV to shoot accurately downrange about 100yds, that`s about the max distance I am accurate to with the Henry anyway. I`ll try the 2400 powder. I`ll check w/ HENRY, but I`m fairly sure the rifle will handle the pressures,
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2012, 02:01 AM
fireguy1 fireguy1 is offline
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One more question re: 45 Colt. rifle loads. What type of crimp would you all recommend?
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:04 AM
TheGerk TheGerk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy1 View Post
One more question re: 45 Colt. rifle loads. What type of crimp would you all recommend?
Moderate to heavy roll
especially when loading in the tubular magazine

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  #11  
Old 06-26-2012, 07:14 AM
TheGerk TheGerk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy1 View Post
Thanks Guys,, I appreciate the feedback. Your right, I will increase pressure just going to a long barrel, I hadn`t thought of that. Also, 255 grn bullet in not etched in stone, just happens to be what I have at the moment. I will stay well within the safe ranges on this one, as I only want a little more MV to shoot accurately downrange about 100yds, that`s about the max distance I am accurate to with the Henry anyway. I`ll try the 2400 powder. I`ll check w/ HENRY, but I`m fairly sure the rifle will handle the pressures,
This is wise because if the rifle is manufactured to work only in standard 45 Colt pressures.
Henry may not make the bolt, parts of the frame and other internals “hard enough” to withstand Magnum pressure limits.
(Heat treatments and stronger steel alloys cost money to the gun maker in production, if they are perceived under design as not needed for the caliber these may not have been applied)

Most load data with the 2400 will be for Magnum loadings.
It is prudent never to assume here.
Watch you data carefully

Good Luck
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  #12  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy1 View Post
I just started loading recently guys, and am loading my Judge Revolver w/ 45 Colt. I have been using Universal @ 6.5grn w/ 255 gr. RFN Jacketed Bullet. It does seem a little less power than store bought rounds and have been bumping it up a little to about 6.9 grn. Seems to work better. Around 700 fps or so
I have just bought a Henry Rifle in 45 Colt w/20 in. Barrel so I can load it as well. My questions are..does anyone have experience loading 45 colt rifle? I would like to get the velocity up to say 1300 or so. I have seen a few formulas but I`m wondering if anyone can recommend a load that they have used? I know there is some wiggle room w/ this load as far as space goes. and the pressures are fairly low. But I don`t want to cause problems either. Also, do I need to switch to rifle primers? or can I stay w/ pistol? I`m using CCI primers,
Any of the modern steel lever carbines can handle the .45 Colt loads intended for the Ruger Blackhawk. Those for the T/C Contender may be a bit much. However, the rifling rate is going to be more of a determinant than anything else. If your twist rate is too slow, you might have a problem stabilizing the heavier bullets from 300 gr. on up. You might have to push them really hard to stabilize in a slow twist, and that could get you into pressure trouble.

A load that runs a 265 gr. WFN at 1150 or thereabouts in a pistol is going to run a couple hundred fps faster in a 20" carbine. That should be more than enough for the intended purpose of such a rifle. Just like in a revolver, use a heavy roll crimp in the appropriate crimp groove or cannelure of the bullet.

The whole point in the old days of having a rifle and pistol that used the same ammunition was that it is easier to keep either one shooting. That's why Colt started chambering the Peacemaker for the Winchester .44 WCF that was the standard cartridge for the '73 Winchester rifle. Oddly, I know of no manufacturer back in those days who chambered a rifle for the .45 Colt used in the '73 Peacemaker. I guess Winchester had more clout than Colt. You should make sure your reloads are safe to shoot in either weapon, though today that isn't as important logistically as it was then. But, if you've got a load for the pistol and a different hotter load for the rifle, make damn sure you don't get the two mixed up.

Note: The Model 92 replicas have a much stronger bolt system than the replicas of the '73 Winchester and similar rifles. If you have a true replica of a model prior to the 1886, DO NOT EXCEED load levels of the original black powder loads. Same goes for Marlin replicas for models prior to the 1894.
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Last edited by Rifter; 06-26-2012 at 04:35 PM.
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  #13  
Old 06-26-2012, 04:35 PM
fireguy1 fireguy1 is offline
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Thanks Guys,Rifter is right, I need to be sure I keep them seperate, I`m now thinking of going to a lighter bullet, the loads are much easier to safely attain the velocity I`m looking for in the lighter ones. Thanks again..
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2012, 01:08 PM
JKeats JKeats is offline
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27 June 12
I loaded some 45 Colt rounds for my S&W revolver last December. I used 4.8 grains of
IMR 700 X and a 250 grain RNFP cast bullet. They worked well. Now I want to load similar rounds for a Henry lever action 45 Colt rifle. I'll be using cast SWC bullets @ 255 grains. These are being loaded for target shooting primarily and not for hunting or defense. I don't want a really hot load.
Does anyone think that I can just load these new rounds with perhaps 5.0 grains of my IMR 700 X (slightly heaver bullet weight) and if so, would it be to my advantage to pick up a Lee Factory Crimp Die for them? Considering that these will load into a tube magazine and will be exerting a bit of pressure on each other, would the crimping help?
I'd sure appreciate any imput you guys may have. Better to ask around before you make a mistake.
Thanks..
JKeats
Arizona
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:51 PM
TheGerk TheGerk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKeats View Post
27 June 12
I loaded some 45 Colt rounds for my S&W revolver last December. I used 4.8 grains of
IMR 700 X and a 250 grain RNFP cast bullet. They worked well. Now I want to load similar rounds for a Henry lever action 45 Colt rifle. I'll be using cast SWC bullets @ 255 grains. These are being loaded for target shooting primarily and not for hunting or defense. I don't want a really hot load.
Does anyone think that I can just load these new rounds with perhaps 5.0 grains of my IMR 700 X (slightly heaver bullet weight) and if so, would it be to my advantage to pick up a Lee Factory Crimp Die for them? Considering that these will load into a tube magazine and will be exerting a bit of pressure on each other, would the crimping help?
I'd sure appreciate any imput you guys may have. Better to ask around before you make a mistake.
Thanks..
JKeats
Arizona
You can use many roll crimp die manufactures to achieve the process but the important thing is that anything fed into a tubular magazine should have an “adequate” crimp applied.

As to your data question, what does the load manual indicate?
What exactly is “slightly heavier” bullet? 300 grainers.?
Is there headroom available in the loading scale?

IMR 700X is a fast pistol powder, but with your 250 gr. or “slightly heavier” bullet there appears to be some headroom to work with here.
Going to 5.0grs. of the 700X for the 250gr – 255gr. lead would be within safe margins in most manuals including recent IMR data.

Good Luck
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  #16  
Old 06-27-2012, 02:08 PM
ghitch75 ghitch75 is offline
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these are a few bullet types in run in my 92.....all feed well and are from 200gr to 300gr...my favorite is the 270gr Thunder head....

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Old 06-28-2012, 02:54 PM
JKeats JKeats is offline
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Thursday 28 Jun 12
I went over everything I could find and this is pretty much a "See What Happens" situation. As soon as you want to use a "Pistol" round in a rifle you find an overwhelming lack of data available.

O.K. so I decided to just go with the pistol round data I could find. If factory rounds work in the rifle now, then I'm sure that rounds loaded like a factory round should work as well.

I decided to go with Hogdon Titegroup powder and loaded my cases with 5.5 grains. Hogdon recommends 6.2 grains max for a 250 grain cast bullet. I'm using cast bullets @ 255 grains (5 grains heaver than the 250 grain rounds I've loaded before) and they have a cannelure grove. The shells look very good and are probably the first reload. They are primed with a large pistol primer.

So I believe that I've struck a balance between bullet weight and grains of powder used and I should be in the 850 FPS range. I don't have a trap so I won't really know for sure.
I'm getting a normal roll crimp on each round and I installed a Lee Factory Crimp Die as the final stage on my progressive press. I'm getting 1.59" O.A.L. consistently and they look great.
So now I'll have to try a few and post my results here.
All for now,
JKeats
Arizona
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  #18  
Old 06-29-2012, 01:35 AM
220swiftfn 220swiftfn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
The whole point in the old days of having a rifle and pistol that used the same ammunition was that it is easier to keep either one shooting. That's why Colt started chambering the Peacemaker for the Winchester .44 WCF that was the standard cartridge for the '73 Winchester rifle. Oddly, I know of no manufacturer back in those days who chambered a rifle for the .45 Colt used in the '73 Peacemaker. I guess Winchester had more clout than Colt. You should make sure your reloads are safe to shoot in either weapon, though today that isn't as important logistically as it was then. But, if you've got a load for the pistol and a different hotter load for the rifle, make damn sure you don't get the two mixed up.

Note: The Model 92 replicas have a much stronger bolt system than the replicas of the '73 Winchester and similar rifles. If you have a true replica of a model prior to the 1886, DO NOT EXCEED load levels of the original black powder loads. Same goes for Marlin replicas for models prior to the 1894.
The .45 colt head wasn't conducive to being extracted reliably enough. Today's brass has a slightly larger rim and an extractor groove in a solid head..... The folded head or balloon head cases would tear off (or the extractor would just rip thru them)......


Dan
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:45 AM
220swiftfn 220swiftfn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy1 View Post
I just started loading recently guys, and am loading my Judge Revolver w/ 45 Colt. I have been using Universal @ 6.5grn w/ 255 gr. RFN Jacketed Bullet. It does seem a little less power than store bought rounds and have been bumping it up a little to about 6.9 grn. Seems to work better. Around 700 fps or so
I have just bought a Henry Rifle in 45 Colt w/20 in. Barrel so I can load it as well. My questions are..does anyone have experience loading 45 colt rifle? I would like to get the velocity up to say 1300 or so. I have seen a few formulas but I`m wondering if anyone can recommend a load that they have used? I know there is some wiggle room w/ this load as far as space goes. and the pressures are fairly low. But I don`t want to cause problems either. Also, do I need to switch to rifle primers? or can I stay w/ pistol? I`m using CCI primers,
I'd strongly suggest being careful in your load development here. Jacketed bullets tend to get stuck easily if you go too low with your powder (IIRC, somewhere @ 7.5-7.8gr Universal is the "SAA pressure" load, and I started to stick them at @5.5 or 6 in a 24" Rossi). I'm not sure how your "Henry" would react to "Ruger Only" loads, I'd keep those for the '92/'94 family myself.....


Dan
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:38 PM
fireguy1 fireguy1 is offline
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Originally Posted by 220swiftfn View Post
I'd strongly suggest being careful in your load development here. Jacketed bullets tend to get stuck easily if you go too low with your powder (IIRC, somewhere @ 7.5-7.8gr Universal is the "SAA pressure" load, and I started to stick them at @5.5 or 6 in a 24" Rossi). I'm not sure how your "Henry" would react to "Ruger Only" loads, I'd keep those for the '92/'94 family myself.....


Dan
Your right about that. I am very aware of the powder situation. I want to use a powder that will fill the casing enough so as not to have it too loose in the case, as that can cause uneven and unpredictable power curve issues. But at the same time, I have to watch headspace as well, so as not to create too much pressure. The more I think of it, I am probably better off w/ a lighter grain bullet, that way I can stay within the start load formulas, and still achieve over 1000fps. Henry says the rifle will handle it.. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy1 View Post
Your right about that. I am very aware of the powder situation. I want to use a powder that will fill the casing enough so as not to have it too loose in the case, as that can cause uneven and unpredictable power curve issues. But at the same time, I have to watch headspace as well, so as not to create too much pressure. The more I think of it, I am probably better off w/ a lighter grain bullet, that way I can stay within the start load formulas, and still achieve over 1000fps. Henry says the rifle will handle it.. Thanks.
My standard load for my Blackhawk is a 265 Keith style WFN from Beartooth over 13 gr. of Blue Dot. That charge fills the case to about half way to the case mouth before seating, and the shank of the bullet takes up most of the rest of it when seated and roll crimped in the crimp groove. That load runs at around 1150 in my 7.5" pistol. It should also work very well in your carbine, as the pressure is not excessive at all. I'd bet somewhere around 1500 fps. It should stabilize well since weight is fairly close to standard for the caliber. If I could use a rifle to hunt here, that's what I'd be using.
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  #22  
Old 06-29-2012, 10:16 PM
fireguy1 fireguy1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifter View Post
My standard load for my Blackhawk is a 265 Keith style WFN from Beartooth over 13 gr. of Blue Dot. That charge fills the case to about half way to the case mouth before seating, and the shank of the bullet takes up most of the rest of it when seated and roll crimped in the crimp groove. That load runs at around 1150 in my 7.5" pistol. It should also work very well in your carbine, as the pressure is not excessive at all. I'd bet somewhere around 1500 fps. It should stabilize well since weight is fairly close to standard for the caliber. If I could use a rifle to hunt here, that's what I'd be using.
Makes sense, Blue Dot is a fairly fast powder if I recall, also the 20 in. barrel will give me a few hundred more PSI`s as well. If I stay @ 265 grn or less bullet weight, I bet I could stay within start load profiles and achieve the FPS numbers I`m looking for. I`m not looking to hunt, just get a nice flat trajectory for longer rifle range. The 45 colt @ standard pistol loads tends to be a rainbow at anything over 10 or 15 yds. At least for me.Thanks!
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  #23  
Old 06-30-2012, 12:59 AM
ghitch75 ghitch75 is offline
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i like red dot in my 45 colt's ......
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:27 AM
220swiftfn 220swiftfn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireguy1 View Post
Your right about that. I am very aware of the powder situation. I want to use a powder that will fill the casing enough so as not to have it too loose in the case, as that can cause uneven and unpredictable power curve issues. But at the same time, I have to watch headspace as well, so as not to create too much pressure. The more I think of it, I am probably better off w/ a lighter grain bullet, that way I can stay within the start load formulas, and still achieve over 1000fps. Henry says the rifle will handle it.. Thanks.
Hmmm.... I *really* like Universal for loading Std. pressure .45 Colt.....
As per Hornady, a 250gr. XTP with 7.9grs of Universal is @800 FPS out of a 7.5" BBL, I'd be willing to bet it's over 1000 FPS out of 20" (MAX load listed is 8.2 BTW)


Dan

Last edited by 220swiftfn; 06-30-2012 at 01:36 AM.
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  #25  
Old 06-30-2012, 07:37 AM
fireguy1 fireguy1 is offline
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Originally Posted by 220swiftfn View Post
Hmmm.... I *really* like Universal for loading Std. pressure .45 Colt.....
As per Hornady, a 250gr. XTP with 7.9grs of Universal is @800 FPS out of a 7.5" BBL, I'd be willing to bet it's over 1000 FPS out of 20" (MAX load listed is 8.2 BTW)


Dan
Universal is what I`m using now for my 45 pistol loads @ 6.5, I`ll check out the other profiles, thanks
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