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.45 Colt BP load...?

4031 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  BuffaloGun
The original loads are usually quoted as being 40 gr. FFF/250 lead bullet. I'm assuming this was with the old balloon head cases and that 40 gr. won't fit in a modern solid head case...? I have only 25 or so balloon head cases, so will have to use modern cases, what will they hold?
It seems like an odd question, just try it, right? I've still got this fun & entertaining legal problem in effect that prevents me from possession ammunition or bp, so that's why I'm asking instead of trying for the time being. So... magnum primer, ~35 FFF, and a 250 gr. lead bullet? Can less-than-full-power loads be used if using a filler of some sort? I've never loaded bp cartridges before, he'p me!
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CP may want to take a stick and beat me around the head and shoulders for this answer, but here goes. Figure out the volume of BP it takes to load you bullet to the depth you want and give the powder a very light crush. When loading my Colt 1860 Army copy I never measure the powder, just leave the chamber down about half the diameter of the ball then crush it seating the ball. You don't want to crowd the .45 Colt that much though - say no more than a 1/16 inch crush.
No Top, I think that is a reasonable approach. Actually there is a lot we do not know about the old loads. The original 40 gr. load was reduced first to 38 and then 35 gr. with the advent of the 45 S&W.

A filler should not be needed and since the internal volume of the solid head cases is reduced you'll get equivalent pressure and velocity with lower charges. I think 30 gr FFG would come close to getting the case close to full with a bullet seated normally.

Does anyone have Mike Venturino's book on BP cartridges?
Does anyone have Mike Venturino's book on BP cartridges?
I got Mike's book when attending his BP class at TR. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), all I need to know about BP cartridges consists of asking my shooting buddy to load some for me. He enjoys doing it and is completely set up for the task.
Now how'd I know that?

Could you check and see what he says?
I most certainly will, but cannot get to it until at least mid-day Sunday. My advance apologies for the delay.
No apology necessary.

I did find a couple of books that suggest 28.0 gr. FFFG with the 255 gr. LRN and that might be a good starting point.
i can get 33 grains in a 44 mag casing, triple f- standard ordinary black- not geox or pyrodex
I think csmkersh hit the nail right on the head. Since BP is loaded primarily by volume, that's the safest course to take. Assemble a couple loads just how csmkersh said, pull the bullets and see what you get. You can then set your BP measure to match your results and load away.

An easier way would be to use your dial caliper depth guage to determine how deep the bullet goes into the case, and then just fill the case up to that mark. Then pour the powder out and weigh it, set your BP measure and get busy.

.45 L.C. BP loads

I shoot all black in SASS,and have a few loads that work. In a Win. 94 lever gun I load 28grs.FFG over a CCI LPM (250) and top powder with a .454 vegi. fiber wad (auto gasket matl.).060 thick then seat a 250 gr. .454 FNLP bullet with 2 lube grooves. The bullet should compress powder about 1/16-1/8 inch, so adjust powder accordingly. In my .45 Vaquero's I load 26grs. FFG same primer, with 2 .060 wads, than smear a wad of Crisco or BP lube on top of wad. I cap off with a .454 round lead ball. Seat ball 1/2 way,or a hair deeper, and crimp. A good crimp is important IMHO to help build some preasure,and burn all the powder off. A load with FFFG can be loaded the same. I only use FFG,or sometimes FG-1 1/2 FG as it has a bit deeper BOOOOOOM.
I started loading .45LC for my Vaquero w/ BP a few years ago, just for grins & giggles and I rarely use smokeless anymore. I don't get too carried away with details as I use the old Lyman hand tool that I use for my 45-70gvt rds. As someone posted early on, BP is loaded by volumn NOT weight. That was the most importent lesson to learn. I use 38 gr of FFG and a veggie wad under a 250 gr lead slug and I get good accuracy to 50 yards and recoil in a piece as heavy as the Ruger seems mild. I want to try to heat some up for use in a Henry replica.
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