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Old 02-01-2011, 06:29 AM
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Colt Lightning 45-85-285

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I have a large frame colt lightning that i'm looking to make up some hand loads for and looking for any information or help I can get. I'd like to be able to shoot a 4" group or better out to 200 yards. If I understand it right, the 45-85-285 is a basic formula for a 45 cal bullet with a weight of 285 with 85 grains of black powder. I think the barrel is a 1/26 twist with a 459 diam. So far I have tried a cast bullet with 65 grains of 3f goex with a 300 grain bullet. The bullet seams to key hole on the paper and accuracy is marginal at best.


Best regards,

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Old 02-02-2011, 03:40 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Louisiana
Posts: 1,616
You may not be able to drive the bullet fast enough to stabilize it with a heavy bullet.
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Old 02-12-2011, 06:34 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Erie, PA
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Sounds like you have a pretty neat rifle!
Here's what I would suggest:

1.) Slug the barrel to see what the groove diameter is
For best results the bullet should be at least .001" larger
An undersized bullet will sometimes keyhole especially if it is too hard.
Important! -Use a b.p. lube.
What bullet are you using?

2.) Use a .06" thick poly wad between the powder & the bullet

3.) Up the b.p. charge to 70-75 grs. compressing it with the bullet.

Unless you are using SWISS brand BP you will likely have to clean the barrel every 7-10 rounds to maintain accuracy.

Hopefully that will give you better results.

aka w30wcf
aka w44wcf (black powder)
aka Jack Christian SASS #11993" I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13
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