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Discussion Starter #1
I recently bought a new Ruger Blackhawk Bisley 45 Colt with a 7.5' barrel with the intention of using it for handgun hunting. I have quiet a few 250gr XTP's on hand and have decided to work up some loads using H110 for my upcoming deer/hog hunt. I've read from many that this combination gives best accuracy at the top of the load spectrum which also pushed the velocities a little over the operating threshold for the 250 XTP (1400 fps per Hornady). Has anyone used this combination on game that can tell me how they performed at 45 Colt Ruger Only H110 velocities?
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I can't tell you how that bullet will work on a deer, but I can tell you that some .45 Colt reloads with WW296 and 255gr. SWC bullets, produced some spectacular fireballs in one of my guns.

I think I would likely choose a different powder. 296 works fine with 300gr. bullets.
 

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45 Colt heavy loads

The handgun project here is also to work up heavier loads for 45 Colt in a Blackhawk Bisley. It was common to hear that 296 and H110 were the same powder. Has this changed or was it never true?:confused: Thanks.
 

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The handgun project here is also to work up heavier loads for 45 Colt in a Blackhawk Bisley. It was common to hear that 296 and H110 were the same powder. Has this changed or was it never true?:confused: Thanks.
Hodgdon makes that statement, and their reloading data indicates that they use either or both to work up data. Like all powders, there is a +/- factor from lot to lot, that may give different results from either/both with a direct comparison. But it's usually small, as 25fps-50fpd means differences in pressure are also small. But some lots will be more/less, and it's worth checking. The reason for 4lb/8lb canisters.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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The handgun project here is also to work up heavier loads for 45 Colt in a Blackhawk Bisley. It was common to hear that 296 and H110 were the same powder. Has this changed or was it never true?:confused: Thanks.
They are, and that isn't the issue with the loads asked about in this thread. The issue is too light of a bullet (in the caliber) with too low of pressure (for the powder) = pretty bad muzzle blast.

I'm not saying it won't work - but earplugs and muffs will be a good idea....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can't tell you how that bullet will work on a deer, but I can tell you that some .45 Colt reloads with WW296 and 255gr. SWC bullets, produced some spectacular fireballs in one of my guns.

I think I would likely choose a different powder. 296 works fine with 300gr. bullets.
It seems many prefer the 300gr+ bullet in hot 45 Colt loads. How was accuracy with the 255 SWC that you tested. Also, did you have your cylinder throats reamed? I see a lot of talk about under sized cylinder throats on the Blackhawks and noticed mine are very tight when I measured them last night. Very tight as in .450, .4505, and one being .449. I?m going to send the cylinder to a smithy his week and have them open them up some. I?d think a .452 lead bullet would have leading an accuracy issues after being squeezed down the small and entering the bore undersized.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The handgun project here is also to work up heavier loads for 45 Colt in a Blackhawk Bisley. It was common to hear that 296 and H110 were the same powder. Has this changed or was it never true?
Thanks.
Everything I?ve read states that the charge weights are interchangeable. I?m no expert on these two powders so don?t take that for gospel. John Linebaugh has a great article that I think you may want to read about hot 45 Colt loads. He also talks about h110 and 296. He says they are interchangeable but that h110 is not as consistent from bottle to bottle. So as always work your loads up and retest when you buy a new bottle to ensure you are getting consistencies from one bottle of powder tot he next.

https://www.johnlinebaughcustomsixguns.com/writings
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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It seems many prefer the 300gr+ bullet in hot 45 Colt loads. How was accuracy with the 255 SWC that you tested. Also, did you have your cylinder throats reamed? I see a lot of talk about under sized cylinder throats on the Blackhawks and noticed mine are very tight when I measured them last night. Very tight as in .450, .4505, and one being .449. I?m going to send the cylinder to a smithy his week and have them open them up some. I?d think a .452 lead bullet would have leading an accuracy issues after being squeezed down the small and entering the bore undersized.
I have an article over on the Beartooth Bullets site, in the 'Tech notes' section, on reaming cylinder throats. But that isn't the issue with the fireball you will get with loads proposed. There isn't enough bullet mass in front of 255gr. bullets to prevent objectionable (to me) muzzle blast.

Like I said, 300gr. bullets work fine with 296/H110. Up to you.

If you want to shoot 250-255gr. bullets, 8 grain of Unique ought to suffice and would be surprisingly capable for smaller big game. It really doesn't take the hammer of Thor to kill a deer.
 

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You might also give a look to AA#9 for powder. I am using "Ruger spec" 45 Colt loads pushing the 250gr XTP with my Winchester 94 Trapper. I haven't run them through the chrony yet, but accuracy is about as good as I am capable of with 2.5" groups at 50yds with the factory open sights.

Western Powders does have a "High Pressure" listing in their 45 Colt data too, but they don't list any for the 250gr XTP specifically. I used the Hornady 9th edition for reference when I loaded up my work-ups for my carbine.

I have had very good results in terms of accuracy using AA#9 in my 44mag and 357mag revolvers as well. I use H110 in my 460 S&W and have no complaints about that powder either. AA#9 is just more readily available in my area and seems to be a very good powder for this type of use.
 

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Unless you have a mill and indexing head, don't 'ream' chamber throats--lap them instead. Much less chance of cutting crooked because a lap can't unless you REALLY try.

Lap to the largest throat in your cylinder then have a mold made to match or lap a lube die to match.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Unless you have a mill and indexing head, don't 'ream' chamber throats--lap them instead. Much less chance of cutting crooked because a lap can't unless you REALLY try.

Lap to the largest throat in your cylinder then have a mold made to match or lap a lube die to match.
Good information. I?m dropping mine off to gun amithbto have the throats sorted out so I won?t have issue when I shoot lead through it. Pretty inexpensive, and I won?t risk doing a bad job. Appreciate the info!
 

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H-110/296 will produce high velocity and very accurate loads with the 250 grain XTP within the pressure limits for the cartridge and revolver.
 

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Does the OP have much handgun hunting experience? When I first started loading the .45 LC almost 45 years ago I went with the top-end W296/H110 loads and 250-grain bullets, believing I needed .44 Magnum performance to kill deer. Lots of noise and huge fireballs, so-so accuracy. Killed deer and caribou fine, but not so much fun to shoot at the range. As I matured I loaded XTPs (once they were introduced) to around 1100/1150 fps with BlueDot. Guess what, the animals didn’t know the difference and the pistol was much more fun to shoot.

I strongly recommend that the OP eschew H110 and instead use Longshot or a similar powder. He will shoot more accurately in the field and he will have no problem killing deer. Plus he will enjoy shooting the revolver even more given the lighter recoil and report.


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Discussion Starter #14
Does the OP have much handgun hunting experience? When I first started loading the .45 LC almost 45 years ago I went with the top-end W296/H110 loads and 250-grain bullets, believing I needed .44 Magnum performance to kill deer. Lots of noise and huge fireballs, so-so accuracy. Killed deer and caribou fine, but not so much fun to shoot at the range. As I matured I loaded XTPs (once they were introduced) to around 1100/1150 fps with BlueDot. Guess what, the animals didn’t know the difference and the pistol was much more fun to shoot.

I strongly recommend that the OP eschew H110 and instead use Longshot or a similar powder. He will shoot more accurately in the field and he will have no problem killing deer. Plus he will enjoy shooting the revolver even more given the lighter recoil and report.


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I?m actually more interested than in a 250gr at 1100-1200 FPS for a load I will standardize on. I do have Longshot and will be working up some loads using that powder next week as well as with some Lil?Gun. I have handgun hunted but not with any that my that has some serious punch (as in 44 magnum and up). So I?ll be trying out he boomer loads because I do want to crack off some boomers however not something I wan to shoot all the the time. Mostly I?ll be shooting standard 45 Colt loads for fun. I dropped the pistol off at the gunsmith today to have the cylinder throats opened up and will be playing with developing a hard cast in the 260gr range and once I find the accuracy node this gun like I?ll most likely settled on a 255 - 260 LSWC type bullet between 1100-1200 FPS as a do it all load that way not be me or the gun to death. That?s what Linebaugh seems to prefer and he has infinite more experience than myself and I?ll take that advice. I?ll know where I stand more when I get the Blackhawk back from the smith next week and get to do some testing. That will tell me everything I want to know about accuracy and what level of recoil I am willing to deal with. As far as this post goes I?m really looking just for feedback on the 250gr XTP On game but any additional information is welcome as to what loads have worked well for you on game. Thank you
 

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I used 300 grain cast bullets sized .454 with gas check and 453 copper plated bullets that I resized in a Corbin set up. I used CCI LR Mag primers with H110. Both bullets were very accurate in my Colt Anaconda and Rossi 92. The first load was 20 grains and never changed.

Jim
 

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I used 300 grain cast bullets sized .454 with gas check and 453 copper plated bullets that I resized in a Corbin set up. I used CCI LR Mag primers with H110. Both bullets were very accurate in my Colt Anaconda and Rossi 92. The first load was 20 grains and never changed.

Jim
That is scary, A LR primer in a revolver cartridge??? Unless you cut pockets deeper, leave that alone. You will still increase pressures too much and move out bullets. LR primers are higher then LP and you can get a slam fire out of battery.
The truth about H110 and 296, Both the same but Hodgdon and WW got different batches according to burn rate specs. 296 is more accurate on average in Rugers and S&W with the exception of the RH that prefers H110. It was MUCH more then batch to batch.
You do not need a heavy bullet for 296 either, what you need is case tension. Moderate crimp. I use the Fed 150 in my .45 Colt loads and the .44 mag. I did find the WW LP primer is fine in the .45.
When I bought my .475 Linebaugh I asked the powder companies about a LR since it is based on the 45-70 case and was told NO in uncertain terms, pressures too high so please don't do it with a .45.
Muzzle flash, do you see it or do you shoot at night? Of what harm is it?
 

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I concur with Carpe Diem, concerning using something BESIDES H110/W296 for .45 Colt work-up.
I've WORKED-UP Ruger/TC-Only loads for my .45 Colt Red Hawk and, unless the shooter simply MUST have the very LAST micro-joule of ballistic performance from his reloads, I generally recommend the use of Alliant 2400 over H110/W296. The difference in performance between a hot .45 Colt loaded to max with 2400 vs. the same round loaded to the max with H110/W296 is likely discernible, neither by the shooter nor the intended target.
To me, the work-up in magnum pistols is much simpler and more forgiving if 2400 is used. Alliant lists one load using 2400 in .45 Colt, 15.4/2400/250gr. Speer LSWC, which gives 970 f/s from a 5.5" barrel. John Taffin also listes a a rather formidable-sounding 21.0/2400/260gr. LSWC load, that just exceeds 1400 f/s from a 4 &5/8" or 5.5" revolver barrel. With a 5.6gr range of charge weight between SAAMI max, up to a load that is probably crowding TWICE SAAMI M.A.P., there.is a WONDERfully large margin of charge weights with which the reloader can make pretty much exactly what they desire, without worrying about uneven ignition, muzzle-borne flame-balls, excess amounts of unburned propellants, aand all the rest.
The "reduce by no more than 3% from maximum" warnings associated with work-ups using H110/W296 leaves the handloader a very thin margin between "starting loads" and "maximum loads". If the shooter simply MUST have the most of their .45 Colt Ruger/TC, IMR-4227 will deliver similar ballistics, and gives a wider-than-3%-margin between starting & max loads.

Unlike Carpe Diem, I have no experience with LilGun, so I'm hesitant to say much about it. What I HAVE heard of it, is that it seems to deliver very uniform performance when properly worked up, but also has a tendency toward a very loud report, when loaded to max performance, engendering some of the gents who use it extensively to refer to the propellant as "LOUDgun".

Another "advantage" of 2400 is that, even in quite emphatic loads, rarely have I seen a recommendation to use Magnum Large Pistol primers in the load (I use Win LPs, which may confuse the issue). It seems I almost never find data using H110/W296 in magnum pistol loads without the recommendation that magnum pistol primers ONLY be used. I don't recall poor results with Standard Large Pistol primers igniting H4227, neither do I recall improvements in performance when the primer was swtiched to Magnum LP primers. I don't know how to guide you using L'ilGun in work-up, except to follow loading data to the letter, then perhaps try a few loads with the other type of pistol primer & check for changes.

Okay, end of Master's Thesis... Good luck & (as always) be careful.
 

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Unless you are going after large LARGE game, like buffalo, then you don't need those super hot loads. If using XTPs I would load to about 1200 fps and you will have a powerful, but moderate recoiling, load. I really like Accurate #7 for this application. 16-17 grains of #7 will give you accuracy and power, and be economical and not too hard on you or the gun.
 

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I concur with Carpe Diem, concerning using something BESIDES H110/W296 for .45 Colt work-up.
I've been a W296 fan since it wqs introduced in the 70's. In the .44M, it was just the ticket for iron pigs and rams with a 7 1/2"+ barrel. In my handguns it was useless when pressure dropped below the pressures for top end .357/.44M levels. It's also one of the best for heavier jacketed bullet loads in the carbines. Again, accuracy falls out quickly below top end levels.

As the .45 Colt runs at lower pressures, I always wondered if accuracy took the same hit in the .45, or if that was somehow different than the .357/44's ??

When I loaded my .44's to .44 Special level, Red Dot worked fine. When I wanted top end "Special" levels of performance, Unique, Herco, Bluedot, Longshot, W231, were all more efficient, and usually were more accurate than 2400.

Is that typical for others?
 

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TMan, I think if I could only have one powder for 44 and 45 caliber, from specials up to heavy Colts, I'd choose Herco. I don't ever remember an inaccurate load with Herco, in 4 or 5 different revolvers.
 
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