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Discussion Starter #1
I recently came into possession of a .45 lc revolver, super fun gun. My question is this, is it okay to shoot the solid lead cowboy loads? I've heard that the lack of a case causes lead to build up in the riffling grooves of the gun. Is this reality or just an old wives tail? standard lead is a lot cheaper than specialty ammo, but is it worth the damage?
 

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Not sure what you mean by "lack of a case"? Do you mean a jacketed bullet? This caliber was designed long before jacketed bullets were ever thought to be used in it. Shooting unjacketed (lead bullets) definitely will not hurt the gun in any way. Lead can build up in the barrel simply due to using undersized bullets, not cleaning enough if it starts to lead, and using reloads with improper sized bullets and hardness for the gun. If you are buying commercial ammo and cleaning the gun as needed, you won't have any problems using unjacketed bullets. In fact, "cowboy" loads are unjacketed. Lead ammo is priced about the same as jacketed ammo when bought commercially loaded. It's cheaper to reload using lead bullets though if you "roll your own".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, unjacketed would be what I'm talking about. That's great, i just wanted to make sure i was'nt doing some irreparable harm to the gun.
 

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Solid lead bullets are all I shoot through my .45 Colt SA Colt clone revolver. Mine leads a bit in the forcing cone area but the rifling is clean.
 

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That is a famous old Army Single Action revolver cartridge. For it's time it was a hard hitting cartridge, still is. Started out as a black powder and needed that voluminous case. Since your packing it now I suppose that you should be aware of something before someone shames you regarding it's nomenclature. It is just…'45 Colt', no 'long' involved. That misnomer must have come from the 1880's when the .45 Scofield was introduced by S&W, a top break-over that was designed to be loaded by the cavalry while fighting horseback. It's case was a tad shorter than the .45 Colt and could be (not always fully loaded into as it had a larger diameter rim) shot from the .45 Colt revolvers. .45 Colt will not load into or shoot from the Scofield Model. Today the rims are standardized and the Scofield will fit the Colt and all 6 included in the cylinder. I'm probably confusing you here with the minutia, maybe you could think of the case difference somewhat like the .22 short verses the .22 long as far as case is concerned.
This gave the Army some real trouble when the .45 Colt ammunition would be sent to Forts where the Scofield had been issued.

Nuff said…check the WikiPedia article for further details if interested…:confused:...OS OK
 

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I'm one of those old curmudgeons who get bent out of shape when I see people refer to this grand old cartridge as a "long Colt" so I'm not going to say anything about that. (LOL)

It is interesting that someone called "cap_n_ball" would think lead bullets would damage his revolver. No offense intended to the OP, just seemed an odd opinion to hold.

Dave
 

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If you use a HARD cast bullet and keep the velocity low, you won't even have a leading problem.
 

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If a hard cast bullet and low velocity results in barrel leading, it's possible that the bullet is undersized for that particular bore in which case, a softer bullet which will upset (obturate) and fill the bore may be a solution. There are situations where a softer bullet is called for.
 

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If you use a HARD cast bullet and keep the velocity low, you won't even have a leading problem.
THAT is a recipe for leading, for if a hard bullet is too small, and is too hard, it wil not seal and gas will.leak past the bullet and cause leading,guaranteed.

There is no need whatever for alloy harder than 10BHN in revolvets below 1000 fps.
 

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THAT is a recipe for leading, for if a hard bullet is too small, and is too hard, it wil not seal and gas will.leak past the bullet and cause leading,guaranteed.

There is no need whatever for alloy harder than 10BHN in revolvers below 1000 fps.
I never mentioned anything about an undersized bullet. I don't see where anyone else did either. If your using an undersized bullet, you using the wrong ammo! PERIOD.

I shoot about 4,000 rounds of 45LC a year in Cowboy in 2 Ruger Vaqueros and a Marlin 1894CB.. I have gone almost an entire season without cleaning the revolvers without a problem. The rifle gets gummed up from powder residue, but no leading problem.

I use Rogers (hard cast) Better Bullets.
 

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Small Trivia Point:
The Needed Size of Your Bullets Depends on the Actual Size of Your Revolver's Bore And Groove Dimensions.
Those Dimensions have Varied over the Course of Single Action Colt and Clones Manufacturing History.
To Find out What Size bullet is needed for Your revolver, it is Best to "Slug" the Barrel AND the Individual Chambers in the Cylinder (seven places total).

If You are not familiar with the process, it might be a Good Idea to have a Gunsmith do it for you and record the Measurements.

Also, the Old Colt SAA was usually Carried with one Chamber empty and the Hammer Down on the empty chamber. This was to Preclude an accidental discharge if the Revolver Was Dropped or other Wise Struck on the Hammer over a Live Round.

Just a suggestion.
Best Regards,
Chev. William
 

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Hoping not to take the OP's original question too far out of context, but this leads me to ask a question of my own. I am working up loads for a Ruger NM Blackhawk. 45 colt. I am currently pushing at 250 round nose cast bullet (12 on hardness scale) about 900 fps. I have been bumping this load up slightly and may get it around 1100 fps. I have seen some of the same bullets advertised at an 18 hardness. Would there be a need to go to this hardness under faster velocities are am I ok to stay with the 12 hardness? I am not having any problem with leading as of right now.
 
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