.45 Colt (Long Colt) Bullets in the 1894
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  1. #1
    Wrangler
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    .45 Colt (Long Colt) Bullets in the 1894

    Iím new to the .45 Colt. Have only put about 100 factory rounds thru it. I have almost 400 rounds of different factory loads from bunny fart loads up to the HSM Bear Loads, a +P 325 gain bullet, so I will have close to 400 cases to reload. I donít plan on buying anymore factory ammo. Too expensive.

    I have everything I need to get started except for bullets. Iím finding it a little confusing when looking at bullets for this gun. Would like to stick with lead bullets for now. I donít hunt, but shoot a lot of steel and plastic bottles filled with colored water.

    Finding gas checked bullets seems to be almost impossible. Is there a reason for this?

    Also, I see lots of 250 and 255 grain bullets listed as popular for Cowboy Action. Does this mean you can not push those bullets over a certain limit? In other words, do bullets that say popular for Cowboy Action limited to bunny fart loads?

    Also, Iíve heard that SWCís do not feed well in the 1894's. Any truth to this? I load SWCís in my .357 1894 and have no feeding problems at all.
    jmmycowabunga likes this.
    Gary
    Will Fly for Food... and more Ammo

    Team 1894 ~ Member# 135

  2. #2
    Gunfighter
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    1. The more round, tapered bullets are likely to feed better tyhan other bullets.
    2. a 220 through 300 grain bullets should entertain you as much as you want.
    3. No .45 Colt bullet needs a gas check.
    4. If they will feed, so called Cowboy bullets will work just fine if they are large enough in diameter. You will likely need a .454 bullet and a lot of those cowboy bullets are .451 or .452 which means leading.

    Good luch and have fun,
    Dan
    To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, the trouble with many shooting experts is not that they're ignorant; its just that they know so much that isn't so.

  3. #3
    Gun Wizard
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    If you are going to be running upper end Ruger/TC loads like I do at 1600-1700 fps then gas checked cast are advised. In addition the gas checked casts will allow you to get away with a .452 size without leading the barrel. If running loads meant for general cowboy shooting and SSA revolvers at 900-1200 plus, then plain base cast will work if over sized and not real hard. I recommend that you do stay away from bevel base cast though.

    Beartooth and Cast Performance do sell all the gas checked sizes you could desire. You'll even find them at MidwayUSA. As for Cowboy Action bullets such as the one Hornady sells, they are very soft and I personally wouldn't run them at much more than 1000 fps....even from a rifle.
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    I shoot my own cast Lee 250RF with 10 grs Unique. It is plenty powerful and accurate enough to monotonously break clays at 110 yards. I have taken several axis deer and at least one turkey(85 yards) with this load in my open sighted 24" cowboy. Not sure of the velocity. I am using a homemade loob as cast at .453 (WW +2% Sn) I have no issues with leading.

    Papalote
    11 Team 444

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    I ordered some 250 Grain Round Nose Flat Point Bevel Base bullets from Dardas to try out. Didnít notice they were bevel base bullets till just now, but I only got 100 to try out. All the gas checked bullets Iíve found seem to be in the 325 grain and up. Nothing in the 250 grain range. Maybe itís just me, but I feel more comfortable in my early stages of reloading using gas checked bullets. Less leading and I just donít have to worry if Iím pushing them too fast. From my experience yesterday, Iíd be comfortable at around 1100 to 1200 fps and lighter for the range.

    I put a bunch of different factory rounds thru the gun yesterday, and included was some LSWC-HPís and the gun had no problems feeding them.
    Gary
    Will Fly for Food... and more Ammo

    Team 1894 ~ Member# 135

  7. #6
    Gun Wizard
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    As mentioned before, Beartooth and Cast Performance (Grizzle Cartridge) sell what you're looking for. 265 grain WFNGC casts. MidwayUSA sells the same ones........not hard to find at all.
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  8. #7
    Wrangler
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    Here are the ones I load for my own use and sell to customers. (Commercial Loader)
    They are coated 250gr RNFP bullets from Missouri Buller Company. Brass from Starline. Look like these :-)
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  9. #8
    Deadeye
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    Just to clear up a few things.

    When shooting BP, only lead is used and that at speeds up to 1350fps. No leading.
    I have shot up @ 200lbs of BP so i think i know a thing or two.

    Personally i have the following "rules"
    All bullets sized to .002" over slugged diameter
    Up to @1600fps plainbase bullets cast from lead + 3% tin (BHN 9)
    Up to @1750fps gascheck bullets cast from lead + 3% tin (BHN 9)
    Past 2200fps gascheck bullets cast from lead + 3% tin + 3% antimony (BHN 12)

    So far (30+ years) i have shot more than a ton and a half of lead and i have never cleaned lead out of any barrel what so ever.

    Where most commercial bullets fail is the rock hard "lube" they use. To stay put during transport and handling it is formulated so it is hard as a candle. That means it often performs poor as a lube/gasket during firing. So you think lube is there only to grease up the barrel so it wont lead? Well let me tell you about millions of airguns shootin non lubed pellets without problems.

    No it is the "gasket" function that is needed.

    Hard lubes vs. soft lubes. A veritable plethora of bullet lubes are commercially available today, both hard and soft, and the hard lubes can be had with a variety of melting temperatures (usually by varying the molecular weight of the polymer used to stiffen the formulation). Most commercial hard-cast bullets come with some gaily-colored hard lube, sometimes with a well-defined pedigree, other times from a somewhat more mysterious origin. Is this because hard lubes are better than more traditional soft lubes? No, itís because hard lubes handle the rigors of shipping better and are amenable to simple bulk packaging, whereas bullets lubed with soft lube need to be packaged a little more tenderly to keep the lube in the groove and not smeared all over the packing materials. The extra packaging and handling makes them more expensive.
    Sealing the bore. The microscopic defects discussed earlier are also the source of leading as a result of gas-cutting. Bullet lube plays a very important role in preventing this source of leading by acting as a sort of ďstop-leakĒ. The most important bore sealing mechanism is obturation of the bullet metal itself, but the bullet lube can play a strong supporting role if the lube is of the proper consistency. When the hot gases driving the bullet start to leak through the channels left by engraving, they pick up lube and force it into the crevices as they both move forward. By filling these channels with lube, the flow of gases is effectively stemmed, thereby limiting gas-cutting. If these defects are sufficiently large (i.e. rough bore, undersized bullet, irregular lands/grooves, etc.) then the lube simply gets blown forward and out the bore, leaving the bullet naked and severe leading is the observed result. Once again, we see that the flow properties of lube are critical Ė if itís too thin (i.e. liquid) and has a low viscosity, then this sealing mechanism is lost and the lube isnít able to do its job because itís an aerosol out in front of the bullet. Thus, the ďstiffnessĒ of bullet lube is a compromise between being fluid enough to be effectively pumped from the reservoir (i.e. lube groove) to the bullet/bore interface, and being thick enough to form an effective seal once in place. The old adage ďModeration in all thingsĒ once again holds true Ė viscous flow, with moderate thickness is a key virtue for a quality bullet lube. There is no such thing as a perfect bullet/bore seal, there will always be channels and defects that are not sealed. Itís a question of whether or not obturation and lube can team up and make an effective seal.
    Chapter 5 - Cast Bullet Lubrication - Cast Bullet Guide for Handgunners - Glen E. Fryxell
    BFPGW and wingspar like this.

  10. #9
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    The term hard cast is really misleading. Even at low speeds they can lead, sized right or not. But the lube is as much the culprit as the wrong alloy. To confirm my suspicion I melted the wax off some 45-70 bullets and dip lubed them in LLA and mineral spirits like my home cast bullets. Leading was reduced and accuracy improved slightly.

    My 45 Colt rifle and revolver perform very well with wheel weight level alloy and LLA lube. I do use some GC 300gr bullets in the rifle. Those are loaded hot in Ruger only levels and only because the mold calls for a gas check.

    You might find your best results come from a small investment in a cheap Lee pot and their 255rnfp mold with a moderate hardness alloy.
    Jeff

    "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me." Willard Duncan Vandiver

    "Don't worry 'bout the mule, just load the wagon." Unknown

  11. #10
    Marlin Marksman
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    You might check with MontanaBulletWorks. They've got several offerings for the .45 Colt cartridge. BTW, it's not necessary to include (Long Colt) when you say .45 Colt to avoid confusing people who read it with the autoloader pistol cartridge, which is commonly referred to as the .45AUTO to differentiate it from the revolver cartridge. jd45


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