Looking for accurate loads for my 1894CB 24 inch .45 for use in long range lever rifle competition. Gonna be shooting 100, 200, and 300 yards. Would prefer loads with 250 grain bullets, but will consider others. What do you guys find works? Lemme know velocity, powder, etc if ya can.
Are you requiring a cast/lead bullet or will jacketed be OK?
I replied to some other .45colt strings, and I'm still fairly early in my load development, but I'm starting to see some consistent "constants" in loading for this cartridge.
First of all, with my 255gr cast bullets, 8.2-8.5gr of Unique for 1,100fps is the most accurate cast bullet load I've found, followed by 18.5gr of Alliant-2400 under a 200gr FN for 1,250fps.
With the plated and jacketed 240-250gr bullets, 1,500 to near 1,600fps is possible with good accuracy. Again, 2400 is what I've used with good results, but my objective has been flat shooting hunting loads for deer/pigs for a point blank range of 125-150yds. Some Rainier 240gr PHP gave me 1,550fps and 3" groups at 50yds. About like the velocity I get from a .50cal muzzleloader w/sabots and 90gr of Pyrodex. Definitely enough for deer/pigs as far as they can be adequately hit.
If not shooting "cowboy" games, I would look hard at the 250gr jacketed bullets for a flatter trajectory and shorter flight time.
Either way, a vernier sight of some sort is a MUST, given the high arch of even the faster jacketed bullets. My Win M94 with factory "open sights", just barely has enough elevation for a 100yd zero with the 250gr bullets ata standard velocities. Though, with the faster jacketed or plated bullets is adequate for up to 150yd zero's.
I'm looking for a suitable vernier open sight (folding, with a "short-range" blade when in folded down position).
I'm not real keen on the tang sights as they compromise the handling of the gun while walking/hunting. I expect to carry the gun FAR MORE in the woods, than shooting it.
For your purposes though, the Vernier Tang sight will be THE way to go.
Good luck with your shooting/load development.
In GOD we trust: all others are "suspects"!
Thanks for the data.
I'm pretty well set now I guess.
I do use the gun for cowboy shooting, so had to use either plain base or GC lead, but no jackets.
I buy locally made HARDcast RNFP 250s, and run them with the 10.5 Unique load that runs 1375 or so. Very light leading if any, and accurate enough to hit the steel at 300 yards. I'll be using them in competition at 100 yards, as they group nicely.
The normal CAS load I run is 6.8 grains power pistol and the same 250, a load developed for my 5.5 inch rugers. It runs maybe 1050 fps outta the marlin, (a bit under 800 outta revolver) and has a trajectory like a rainbow, but is great for the close fast stuff, as recoil is almost non-existent.
The hunting load will be either the 300 GC and 21.5 of H110, or a 250 XTP and the same charge of powder.
Either is accurate enough, though the 250 is easier on the operator, and offers excellent expansion for deer to say 150 yards. If I ever wanted to hunt bears, or maybe Elk, the 300 would work well, when cast harder than hell and run with a GC it doesn't lead , even at 1500 It is a dramatic penetrator and holds velocity and downrange energy well.
I have a .44 carbine that is a pretty nice deer gun also, but is harder to hit with at a distance, due to the shorter tube and light weight.
I fell in love with the 24 inch octagon BBL for the balance. With a Marbles Peep, it is easy to cut groups in half from the factory sights.