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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I been casting about and brewing various loads for my 24 inch 1894CB.

Want a load for 100/200/300 CAS long range lever gun stage. Using Marbles peep and therefore need at least 1350 fps at the muzzle to have enough sight adjust for 300 yards. Then of course accuracy helps a whole bunch when shooting offhand (as I don't need the gun spraying on top of my own wiggle).

ANYWAY, after a 6 week saga with maybe 5 range sessions between rain and whatever else gets in the way of important stuff like shooting, I was getting to the end of my rope. Scrounged around looking for an old load book, and stumbled across a few samples of 10 unique and a 250 that had been kicking around for a while. Now, they grouped real nice, but were a shade light in the velocity department. This morning I found a bottle of unique I had banging around with a dribble left in it, and made up a few at 10.5 grains and a 250.

They run 1375fps with a tight ES, and GROUPED 3 rounds at a nicely centered 1 1/4 INCHES at 100 yards!!!!! That's a keeper load, especially considering my "bullseye" was a 9 inch paper plate just about covered by the bead :)

Then I got to thinkin how many bazillion rounds of 10 unique and a 250 I had popped through my ruger BH, it seems after all this, I just took the long way home.
 

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I'll have to try the Unique load.

I'm just starting to play with the .45 Colt. After 36yrs of reloading I can't believe I've never tried this cart. I won a Winchester 94 Legacy (24" bbl version with pistol grip and checkering- not a Marlin, but close) in a match. Not having the .45 dies, but .44mag (w/shellholder), and .45acp dies, I couldn't resist the urge to reload some of the only box of .45colt I could find locally. (Magtech cowboy load. Much better ammo than I expected from Brazil. Accuracy was 1.5" @ 50yds- 5 shots, and velocity was 900fps from rifle. Good extream spreads -low! Brass quality good too.).

I had never shot a .45Colt until I fired this one! It's everything I have heard! The good things, at least.

I loaded up some 200gr FN (Lee mould) with a listed accuracy load of 18.5gr of 2400. Velocity was 1,276 and accuracy was .095" 5-shots at 50yds. I think I'll be hard pressed to improve on this one. Pressure seemed to be little more than that of the 255gr factory loads, but impact was 1.5" lower- still just 2"over the POA at 50yds, and well centered. 5 shots fired from sitting at 100yds placed all 5 in paper plate with 4 going under 3". Hit to POA. Much better than 255gr factory which were down 8-10" with a 3.5" above POA sight in at 50yds.

Other load tried was some Rainier 240gr PHP that came with some Harvester Sabots for muzzle loader. I came into these from stock a deceased friends estate gave me. They were not as accurate as the lead bullets- 4" at 50yds, with 4 going to 2" but a single flyer opening the group. Velocity was 1,450fps! (loaded over 18.5gr of 2400). Five shots fired at 100yds ran to 8", again a single flyer opening the group from about 4". These 4 hit in center of paper plate at 100yds with flyer missing. The "flyer" situation seems to be symptomatic of the Rainer bullets. The pressure of the Rainier loads seem to be about that of a Plus-P .38spl load, so I'm quite pleased with this cartridge/rifle combo. Its a "KEEPER", even if it isn't a Marlin.

I've got a set of .45Colt dies, some Starline brass, and a 255gr bullet mould on the way. I'll be trying the 10.0gr of Unique as soon as the new bullets are cool enough to be run through the sizer lubricator and stuff into the new brass. The lead pot will be heating before the UPS man is out of sight !!

I've had .44mags, but none I liked as much as I do the .45Colt. I like the .44mag performance with out the pressures! I'm looking foward to seeing how fast a listed max load of about 20.0gr of 2400 will push the 255gr lead bullet, intended for a deer/pig load. If it's ~1,500fps and close to the accuracy of the 200gr FN, It'll do !!!

But, I'll be trying some 10.0 Unique with the 200gr FN's till the UPS man makes his run on Friday !!!

P.S: the Winnie holds 13rds in the magazine with one in the chamber making an even 14. Should be able to round up a whole herd of pigs before they make a "stage exit"!

Now, I've got to figure out how to put a tang "peep" sight on this "off-brand" rifle with it's new-fangled tang safety!

Now another delema. I've got to have a revolver in .45Colt too !
 

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Goose: Try Starline Brass/300 gr lead FN/ 22.0 gr of H110 for those deer and pigs. It will flatten them at <150 yds. I know I have and a 5 shot group out of my Legacy runs 1"@100 yds. I use the same load with a Sierra 300 gr FN too when I'm too lazy to make some casts.
BTW in my Blk Hwk 5.5" this load is awesome!!!!
I've used 2400 at time it performs well, but am I the only one that seems to think it leaves alot of dirt/mess in my lever guns?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh yeah, the 300 grainers are wild. A friend sent me a few 300 gr gas checked hardcast (Lee mould) bullets. I ran em over 20gr H110 and got almost 1500 fps out of the marlin, and 1240 fps or so out of the 7.5 inch BH. 21 grains was a shade more accurate, though I didn't chrony them. Out of a 5.5 inch vaquero they begin to bite on both ends, and out of the marlin we're into the same territory as the old BP loads for a 45-70. They rock ya back a bit, and thump real hard. Accuracy was good, though not the 1 1/4 MOA of the 10.5 grains Unique and a generic 250.

See, now this is why I love the ole .45 It can be anything from wild to mild and with a bit of load development there are some real nice nulls along the way.


Here's an excerpt from Paco Kelly's loads for the .45 lever guns (He runs em HOT!!!!!!!) :


"the new strong Marlins and Win 94s are certainly strong enough for the 30,000 to 35,000 CUP levels. The new strong 92s can go to 50,000 CUP but I would not give them a steady diet of that. DO THEY RECOIL? FROM THE BENCH SOME OF THESE LOADS WITH RIFLES WITH STEEL BUTT PLATES ARE DOWNRIGHT UGLY...... NEXT: Some very balanced rifle loads: ALL LOADS TESTED IN MY 1892S.....WINCHESTER AND MARLIN 94S. (Pressure levels are also effected by which rifles are used)
260 Keith 12/Unique 30,000 CUP for 1600 fps
18.5/2400 26,000 CUP for 1666 fps
20/2400 30,000 CUP for 1770 fps
22/2400 32,600 CUP for 1870 fps
23.5/296 22,000 CUP for 1599 fps
25/296 25,000 CUP for 1710 fps
26/296 30,000 CUP for 1850 fps
27/296 32,000 CUP for 1940 fps
26 H110 29,900 CUP for 1855 fps
27/H110 32,500 CUP for 1965 fps
22/H4227 29,000 CUP for 1710 fps
25/H4227 31,000 CUP for 1880 fp

300 grain WFN/LBT 15/HS7 32,000 CUP 1610 fps
" " 24/H110 32,500 CUP 1705 fps

300 grain Lyman 191 (sized down to .451) 20/2400 31,900 CUP 1650 fps
25/H110 32500 CUP 1710 fps

300 WFN 27/H110 46,000 CUP/for 92s 2180 fps

340 SSK/WFN 24/H110 33,000 CUP 1680 fps

335 CAST PERF/WFN 26/H110 50,000 CUP (for strong 92s) 1910 fps (like a 45-70)

325 JHPs and JSPs 23/H110 1715 fps 31,500 CUP
20/2400 1675 fps 33,000 CUP

NEI/Keith 325 27/H110 50,000 CUP (for 92s) 2121 fps (again like a 45-70)

350 grain WFN/LBT (CAST PERFORMANCE BULLETS) 16.5/2400 1450 fps/ 30,000 CUP
21/H110 1590 fps/ 32,500 CUP
24/H110 1660 fps/ 48,000 CUP

As I said dear reader I would be careful working up to these loads even though they seem well below the level of the 94s in pressure And even with the strong 1892s...work up to them slowly. But the 45 long Colt in strong rifles is a exceptional powerful small carry/woods rifle..................good shooting..... PACO"

NOTE< he runs some of these loads ONLY in winchester model 92s, NOT in 94s. If it says "for 92"s, don't try it in a 94.
 

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two years ago I had a 22.0 gr H110/300 gr Sierra FN load in my Legacy when a nice Pa Blak bear came out on the end of a drive 90 yds away. The woods were open enough to offer a nice clean shot, I rested against the side of a tree and put the Lyman peep sight om his shoulder....kabooooom....... flattened him right there. Total movement after impact was limited to his rolling around. At the check station he weighed 407# gutted out.
The onlookers at the check station asked what new magnum I was shooting...a 338 Mag, a 300 Ultra mag??? Naw I said "just a pistol catrige in a 24" barrel" they didn't believe it was possible.
Who needs these new super dupper mags other than the companies trying to keep their market sales up?
 

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Thanks for the info. on the 300gr FN. I presume you are referring to a Gas-Checked design. I strongly considered going that route, and I'm sure that I'll eventually get one, just that this being the middle of the pistol competition season (PPC), funds are a little tight. Yeah, I know,- the moulds are less than $20 and the gas checks about the same, but $40 will buy 3,000 small pistol primers for the .38spl. And I can make (2)- 148gr wadcutters from the same lead. (The wadcutters will be mined from the berm, and shot through some pork/venison this fall, for sure!!)

Ever used BullsEye powder in .45colt?

I have lots of it for .38spl, so I'll naturally try it with the 200gr load.


Yesterday, I tried the Unique (10.0gr) with the 200gr FN. Not even enough pressure to maintain gas seal on case. I got some blow back around the cases though the action yesterday. Loads chrono'd at ~1,250fps. Accuracy was good, but nothing like the 18.5 of 2400.

I tried 20.0gr of 2400 with the 200gr, but accuracy fell off quickly after 3 shots. At 1,500fps, leading was evident at the muzzle. I suspect the 200gr bullets single small lube groove is insufficient for this speed and barrel length.

The component shipment came in yesterday, but it was 2am this morning before I got through casting/loading the first batch. I went back with the 10.0gr of Unique and 18.5 of 2400. These were some old "Elmer Keith" recipes. My Lyman#48 and Speer#9 list the max recommended loads as 9.5gr Unique, and 17.5gr 2400 for Blackhawk/Contender. But then, they didn't know what brass WE were going to use. The Starline brass is as I expected it. I have about 5,000 pieces of 9mm and 3,500 pieces of .38spl, and a few odd .45acp pieces. So, I'm quite familiar with the superior quality of the Starline stuff.

None of Paco's data seems out of line with quality components and late production equipment. So many combinations; so little money & time!

I can't wait to get to the range this P.M. to give the latest loads a run through the '94 and the chrono.

I wasn't sure I didn't want to trade the Winny for a Marlin 336-CB in .38-55.
But I 'recon that my ".45-40-300" will do nicely!

Last question: Anyone used Hodgdon Lil-gun through the .45colt ??

Seems the high velocity to pressure ratio would make this a match from heaven.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Bullseye is too fast and spikes too early for all but the lightest loads in .45. Midrange powders like Unique are good for warm stuff, and slow powders like H100, 4227, 2400 for hot loads. Hp38 and Power Pistol are other powders for popgun to warm stuff. .45 acp type target bullseye loads are OK for punching paper, but don't push em.
 

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Shot the 255gr FN's with 10.0 Unique, and 18.5 of 2400. Got stringing with the 2400, but in verticle line. Could have been lighting- very bright and no clouds. The Unique groups were round, but at 4" at 50yds, seems I pushing this bullet a bit fast. Will try them at 8.5 Unique, and 16.5 of 2400. After looking at old Speer #9 manual and latest #48 Lyman, these loads should be more accurate. Not looking for real magnum performance with the cast slugs, just enough velocity to make them point-blank to deer/pigs to 150yds w/iron sights.

Thanks A/J for the data input. Not looking for anything with Bullseye except accurate plinking loads.

Still, anyone tried Lil-gun?

May load a few up this AM to "2400" starting data, and see where they go!

Again, not looking for a .454 load, but a good low pressure hunting load.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Got to try the 10.5 unique and a hardcast 250 rnfp at 300 yards yesterday. Was able to reliably ring the steel after a minor windage adjustment. I didn't have time to really dial my self or the bench set up in, so I won't say it was super tight groups. Can't say it wasn't either, as I didn't use a sandbag set up, only a front bag and somewhat ill fitting bench set up meant for someone shorter than me. I was just tickled to know the marbles peep cranked all the way up and 1/2 inch tall 3/32 front sight was adequate for 300 yards. Not that I'd hunt that far, just wanted to be able to get the steel to "ding".

Gotta love the ole .45 Can't think of another round as versatile. Still getting the job done 131 years on.
 

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I have a dozen or more various powders in my locker, but I keep going back to Unique and Red Dot. They both shoot great in all my old or new calibers.
I use them in my .45-70, .38-55, .32-40, .44-40, .38-40, .45 Colt, and my 8.15x46R Schuetzen (much like a .32-40) I've tried other powders over the years, but I end up back at these two eventually.
 

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I purchased my Marlin .45 Colt Cowboy rifle in 1997. I added a Lyman tang sight shortly thereafter. One of my favorite targets is the NRA HIGHPOWER RIFLE PIG SILHOUETTE target at 300 Meters (330 yards) from the muzzle. This target is only 9" high x 22" long. Good for windage, but a might thin on elevation!

I have tried a number of bullets / loads at this distance and the most consistantly accurate by far are either the 300 gr. RCBS (320 grs. in w.w. alloy), the Lyman 330 gr. Gould Hollow point, and the 340 gr. Lee. 20 grs. of 296 or H110 gives 1,350-1,400 f.p.s. with excellent long range accuracy. If my hold is good, those 300M steel targets don't stand a chance.

I have just recently found that the accuracy of these heavier bullets actually holds up well out to 500 meters (547 yards). On an almost windless day, after getting a sight setting, bullets from the .45 Colt Marlin Cowboy managed to hit 4x5 steel rams at that distance with enough force to send them earthward. Great feeling!

I like my bullets at .457 dia. for a better seal upon ignition. The bore dia. on this Marlin is .4525" and the .457 dia. bullets swage down easily for some excellent groups.

Long live the .45 Colt!
w30wcf
 

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Glad to see I'm not the only one who uses Unique. I always joke I love Unique so much I sprinkle it on my cereal in the AM and make iced tea with it, too.

I have been using Unique for all my pistol rounds from .380's to 300grn 45 Colt loads for over 10 years. It may not be the absolute best powder for everything on the planet but it has always served me well and it sure is easy to pick what powder to use.

I have experimented with other powders like 2400, W296, Blue Dot and a few others. The only powder I have had any luck with is W296 in my .41 Mag loads. I shot up all the other stuff and went out and bought a 8lb keg of Unique. I was going to put it on my fireplace mantle but my wife said that wasn't a good idea.

Now if I can just find some loading data for .30-06 and .223 with Unique... well, we'd be all set!
 

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Update:

I couldn't stand it. I went ahead and got the Lee 300gr WFNGC mould and a thousand Hornady gas checks.

Bullet comes out at 315gr w/gascheck and lube. A BEAUTIFUL bullet!

I've only tried with with #2400 due to time constraints, but have worked up the load I intend to hunt with now.

I started with 15.0gr of 2400 and worked up to the present 20.0gr load I using. The criteria was to get it to shoot POA/POI. The first loads shot quite a bit low. A sample load of 6.5gr of Unique shot close to POA at 50yds, so I knew that the higher velocity of the 2400 needed a bit more recoil to get the Impact up on the target.

By advancing to 17.0gr, the impact moved up, and at 18.5 I got a 50yd zero with the rear sight at the next to highest ramp cut (screw adjustable rear leaf is already as high as it will go). The 18.5gr load is about 5" low at 100yds.

At 20.0gr, I'm getting +2.5" at 50yds, and around 2" groups, and at 100yds, about 4" groups, well centered on the "paper plate" target I'm shooting at.

I didn't have my chronograph with me, as I had just taken the rifle along when I went to the range with mower to cut the grass, and fired a few rounds when I finished.

I still plan to try some Imr4227 and Hodgdon Lil-gun in the next few weeks.

I haven't yet tried any Bullseye, but I did try two loads I'd seen highly recommended for Win231, and 255gr Cast FN's (Lee's)

VERY ACCURATE!!!

6.5gr gave 990fps (24"rifle barrel), duplicating Magtech's factory loading with 255gr bullet, and shot to POA at 50yds as did the Magtech. Accuracy was a 4 in one hole "clover-leaf", and a single flyer 1" away. Center-to-Center about 1.5".
7.6gr gave 1,090 fps and essentially the same accuracy with a +2" POI at 50yds. Definitely two outstanding loads for anyone intending to shoot the "Cowboy" games. Recoil was minimal.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
PA RIDGE RUNNER quote:
"two years ago I had a 22.0 gr H110/300 gr Sierra FN load in my Legacy when a nice Pa Blak bear came out on the end of a drive 90 yds away. The woods were open enough to offer a nice clean shot, I rested against the side of a tree and put the Lyman peep sight on his shoulder....kabooooom....... flattened him right there."

Good to hear PRR! I have been thinking about taking the 45 LC Winchester 94 AE with some PMC 300 gr. bullets as a second or third day rifle this Bear Season. Primary will be the 45-70 Marlin 1895 BC, 26 inch barrel. with 405 gr. Remington Factory loads and some Randy Garrett 420 gr. hard cast hammerheads. hehe....a WIIIIDE range of ammo for sure.
RC 480
 

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I chronographed a few of the 315gr WFNGC's over 20.0gr of #2400, Win LP primer, Starline brass. Chrono'd at 1,470fps. 1,511ft/lbs. One round went over 1,500fps (1,507), low round was 1,462 with most in 1,470's. Excellent round. Will try it out on small pigs and deer in late Oct. early Nov.
Adios!
 
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