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Discussion Starter #1
I am new to the art of re-loading but have long enjoyed shooting the old time guns-mainly colts and winchesters. I have several originals and clones of each. Like some folks I have apparently gone about my new found hobby of re-loading backasswards. I got the reloading equipment, bought the substitute black powder(easier to clean up) bought some bullets from a local gun store, primers etc, solicited advice from whomever I could corner that claimed they had any inkling about re-loading, even read a book or two, and set about loading up some 44-40 and 45 lc and went to shooting up my neck of the woods here in the north georgia mountains. Then I heard it may be prudent to slug the barrells of my guns to determine what bullet to use, and select bullet size based on the diameter of the cylinder bore and not the barrell groove dimensions. See what I mean about backasswards?-load and shoot-then decide what is the correct bullet. This is where some of you may help me. I have an old colt saa, 45 cal with cylinder slugging at .457 and the barrell at .451, a new colt saa with the same .451 barrell but cylinder bore at .456, and an Italian clone with both cylinder and barrell at .453. I have been loading oregon laser cast in .452 oveer 30 grains of triple 7. The only other bullets I have seen offered are .454. .454 comes closer to filling the cylinders but is that too large to shoot through .451 barrels? or should I just stick with the .452's. Any advice would be appreciated. I am not into CAS or competition so I am not interested in having custom cylinders made but I do like to hit close to what I am aiming at. Thanks. john p
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What kind of results did you get? The end result is all that matters, there are many ways to get there.

It would probably be worth experimenting with the .454 bullet in the guns that will accept it. Might help, you never know. If the .454 diameter bullets will chamber, it should do no harm to fire them, especially with black powder or substitutes.

Generally speaking, black powder & black powder substitutes do better with a soft bullet and lube specifically formulated for BP. Do you get a lot of fouling? Have y ou tried any smokeless powders (Bullseye, Unique, etc.)?
 

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I would try the .454 bullets for the guns that will chamber them also. Make sure that you are using soft lead bullets with lube designed for black powder, there are several companies that make them, or you can expand your reloading horizons and make your own. The lead bullets will fit the barrel when you a light a fire behind them, don't worry about that. Pressure problems will not be an issue in your case.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks Mike G and kciH for your rapid response. I will try the 454 in my 45 colts and see if my accuracy improves. I do not have a leading or fouling problem tho. One or two passes with my snake with ballistol on one end and oil on the other and I am good to go. What is the difference or advantage of the BP lube vs the standard lube that comes on the bullets from the manufacturer of the hard cast bullet? Also I have been trolling this site checking out what other folks are up to and I have noticed mention of putting wads of some kind in the BP cartridges. I have been shooting clean shot and triple seven with little or no compression(30 grns is recommended by Hogden) without stuffing any kind of waddding in there. Is this only for the big rifle shells or should I put wads in my 45 or 44-40 loads? Incidently, I am pulling my 1889 vintage Spingfield trap door off the wall and will load this 45/70 with 62 grns of triple seven. What purpose does the wad provide and was that done originally in the old days? Thanks-John P.
 

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I'm not a big black powder guy, unless it's in a muzzle loader, but I'm pretty sure the wad is to protect the bullet in the larger rifle cases. I haven't heard of anyone using/having to use them the pistol cartridges. Sometimes wads and filler are also used in larger black powder cartridges in order to keep the powder near the primer when using less bulky smokeless powders.
 
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