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Discussion Starter #1
Hodgdon has some recently posted loads on their website. For the 45 Colt in a Ruger or other similarly stout firearm they suggest the following max loads. I am using such a bullet in my Ruger Bisley with a 7.5" barrel with 22.5 grains of Lil'Gun. My velocity is 1230 fps. My question is should we go by velocity or powder amount? I have heard it said that in general we should load to a safe velocity. For example if many reloading manuals indicate that 3000 fps is safely achievable with a 180 grain bullet in a 300 Winchester Magnum then if I am getting 3100 fps even though I are below the maximum recommended load I should back off. My gun simply requires less powder to get the maximum safe velocity. But does this apply to a revolver? Am I generating way above safe pressures even though my velocity is not really higher than Hodgdon indicates I should be able to get? With a revolver I suspect that I could be waisting quite a bit of the generated pressure out the barrel/cylinder gap. My cylinder has 0.008" of gap. Thanks, Brian.

335 GR. WLN GC(Maximum Loads)
DIA. .452
COL: 1.680"

H4227 22.5C 1155 28,300 CUP

H110 23.5 1240 28,000 CUP

LIL'GUN 20.0 1206 29,600 CUP
 

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Brian,

I've been loading "hot" 45 Colts for more than 10 years. If you're not getting sticky extraction or other signs of high pressure, I think you'll be fine. For me extraction is the main indicator of high pressure in a revelvor. Remember that Ruger revolvers are brutally strong, you have a bit of a safety margin.

SSB
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Brian,

As you suspect, revolvers have many variables including the B/C gap, in addition to barrel/cylinder alignment, chamber mouth dimensions, and throat geometry of the barrel.

Personally, I'd go with the Hodgdon recommeded loads, and keep an eye on velocity. If you run over what they've published (with comparable barrel length) then stop.

If you get to their max load and are running less velocity, then that is a decision you will have to make before going on.

It has been my experience that traditional pressure signs don't change much between 25,000CUP loads and 40,000CUP loads, so be safe. With smooth chambers I get cases falling out of the gun effortlessly even with full-house .357 and .44 mag loads.
 

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Something else to keep in mind when loading these high end loads is the bullet type/shape and particularly the distance from the crimp groove to the base of the bullet. Not all bullets take the same case capacity and a load that works well for a 340 gr LBT may easily be over max for a 340 gr SSK truncated cone style.

I've been shooting a lot of heavy bullets with Lil'Gun lately and my feeling is your gun/load is Ok, but you don't know me so you'll have to decide for yourself how much that is worth. I know of at least one other person who was loading up to 23.5 gr with that bullet without any visible problems. He unfortunately didn't have a chronograph with when he shot those so doesn't know what the velocity was.

Stay safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the replies. I have shot a few hundred rounds of this load and everything seems just fine but was curious about the issue of loading to powder charge or velocity, in particular in a revolver. Brian.
 
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