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Discussion Starter #1
Gents,
Although I have handloaded for over 35 years now,( .45 ACP and rilfe) I realize how little I really know. I would like any advice on loading for the S&W Mod 25 and 29. I am looking for a 250 Keith load for general "fun" and a 270-300 gn load for hunting- I am a rilfe hunter but always carry a S&W when going after four legged. For the .45LC I am looking at about the same wieght, but am really looking for advice. My Ranger Buddy and I have done a little with his cast 250's but I am at the point I want to personally get serious about these two weapons and various loads.

I have to admit that there is a wealth of knowledge on this forum, yet I only can get to a computer, well, not as much as I would like to. Thus I am trying to get set for a Sept leave when I can have whatever I end up with on hand so I can conduct reloading operations at the quick time (but very safely...) and then take Household-6 on a long road trip to camp and shoot - like I don't get enought of that now...

Thanks in advance for your time/brain power.
RLTW
 

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It seems like you are after cast info for the cartridges, so I would start with a powder that gets reasonable pressures at about the same time leading becomes a problem. It's hard to top Unique for that job if you're after 900-1000fps, and Herco is good for about 100-200fps more velocity at the same mid-range pressures. If you need more speed, 2400 is probably a good option. For jacketed bullets, W296/H-110 are the way to go. If you can, place an order now for Starline brass, they have been backordered almost continuously for months, but the wait isn't bad right now. Primers are coming back in supply, but stocking up on those could be a good idea also, Winchester Large Pistol primers are probably the most versatile, so you might want a couple thousand of those too. I suspect that when Kagan gets inducted to the Supreme Court, there wil be another mad rush on components as she's sure to be the one to tip the scales on 2nd Amendment Rights.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I have shot the Smith with 255gr. cast bullets at about 1,000fps in the .45 Colt. Frankly, it was all I wanted. While I like my Ruger Bisley with 300gr. bullets at 1,200fps in the .45 Colt.... no way would I want to shoot these in the Smith.

The gun may handle it, but I don't want to! You may be tougher.

Frankly a 255gr. bullet at 1,000fps is going to be tough for any critter to handle. I think one of our other mods shoots a 300gr. bullet at about 1,000fps in a Smith?
 

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I only load with Unique so for the .45 Colt I use 9.2 grains (which is about what I get out of my powder dipper) for 255 grain swc which is below standard pressure max of 9.5 grains. Most people use somewhere around 8.5 to 9 grains with Unique and the 255 grain swc.
 

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I've never seen a need for anything more powerful than a cast 255 SWC at 900 to 1000 fps in the 45 Colt. Penetration through critters can be measured in feet with that load, whereas faster loads deform more and actually penetrate less.

I don't load for any magnum (again, not seeing a need for more power) but a similar load in the 44 Mag would do fine. Like MikeG, DA guns kick me a lot harder than SA ones so if I did own one, I'd likely keep the loads down for that reason, also.

The 45 Colt is easy to load for IF you get the gun and ammo dimensions right. There are a lot of sloppy chambers with undersized throats and overlarge barrels in 45 Colt guns - a ruinous combination. Get the gun right, size the bullets right, and finding a good load is easy. The 8.0 to 9.0 of Unique or Universal is a great place to start. Another classic is 7.0 W231 with the same 255-gr cast bullet.
 

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It depends

Most of my reloads in .44 Mag are with 4227 and in the .45 Colt I prefer Unique. Moderate loads and cast bullets work just fine. Take care...
Oberndorf
 

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Rocky hit all the important spots.
I was in your position – Forty Years ago – and without a charming shooting companion. This type of mental exercise is the only thing that will keep you going.

My wife shoots a Model 25 and I load the cartridges pretty light. We shoot clay birds on the dirt bank and rocks up the hill side. For this type of fun I like the Keith 454424 at 255 grains ahead of 6.0 grains of Bullseye. This gives us just short of 800 fps from my wife’s 5” barrel Smith.

Several things to keep in mind when you get back. Include your wife in your loading. Mine dips powder for me using both Lee dippers and the mechanical powder measures. We cast together and she is quite a critic when it comes to imperfections in HER bullets. If money is tight don’t overlook the Lee hand press. You can put every thing in a small box and you can load quicker than you might think by sizing your brass one night, belling and priming another and dipping powder and seating bullets on another night. This will cut your loading time into 1 or 1 ½ hour sessions.

Oh, 8.5 grains of Unique will do the same thing but is a little smokier – sometimes a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Fellas, just got to say thanks. Did not know just how much sanity this site could bring.

Today is Independence Day, and I can assure you guys that it means something to most of the guys with whom I work daily. BTW- the local rat bas$%^s will insure that we have our rocktes for celebration- they are real thoughtful like that.

I have been doing this kind of stuff since I pinned on Butter Bars 35 years ago, and what a pleasure it is to be able to get to a computer and within hours - not days, weeks or months... get responses from you experts. I can sit here at the FOB and dream and plan for Sept, then order what I require on the computer and have it waiting for me upon my return. How lucky I am!

Thanks again, and if you have any other thoughts/suggestions/comments, please, fire away. Guess I will try the 250's in the .44 and the 270-80's in .45. I have several Colts and Rugers, but for whatever reason the grip is no where as comfortable as the S&W. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry, got a little distracted for a few minutes there... Early celebrations and all.

I plan on only using cast bullets. I will not be able to have Household-6 slugg either bbl or chambers prior to my return, so my plan is to take the Smiths with us and stop in at several places (if it is ok with them) and get the expert advice/measurements. Then order both bullets and mould. As I am Ft Lewis in the Peoples Republic of Washington, our plan is to make a big loop over to Panhandle of Idaho (stop in at Beartooth and LBT for moulds) into NW Montana, over the Beartooth Hyway to Cody, into Yellowstone and loop around to E. Oregon.
If any of you guys know of any good places to stop along that general area, please advise. Will be taking 30 days, and most will be able to be on this adventure, no kids, horses- just the two mutts and Household-6.

Most of what I am reading is guiding me in the thought that maybe I do not need much heavier than a 250-60 in the .45. The only reason I will experiment with a 270-80 or so is that I carry a S&W 329 when up in Alaska and if I ever have to shoot the bloody thing I want to insure that it works at any angle. Same in the .45. Besides, being an American gives me the opportunity to spend the time to work on both and select the best.

Fellas, again, thanks so much for your thoughts and ideas. Will be trying them all.
RLTW
 

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Ask your spouse to buy a copy of the August 2010 issue of Guns Magazine. Tell her to read page 70 and 71. Things have changed very little in 40 years and I'll wager when my father reads it he will tell me things have changed little in 65 years.

I believe the .45 caliber bullets in the 250- to 280-grain weight bracket are best for your needs. Cast these bullets about 18 bhn and the will penetrate deep and straight. I believe you will receive better accuracy with bullets a little softer than is normally discussed.
You might send a PM to Marshall as he will be able to make a recommendation as to bullet type and diameter. With a 7.5” barrel the 45 Colt will be able to give you just under 150 fps difference between a 250- and 310-grain bullet.
Order from Marshall early as he is busy. Shooting a variety of Marshall bullets will give you a good idea of what mold you want.
Also an e-mail to Veral Smith or a post on the Cast Bullet Association forum will get more information.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Slim,
Thanks, and to all who have given advice, thanks. I have been "talking" with Veral and will get his book. I will probably PM Marshall and get his advice as well. I plan on stopping by and being able to pick up my order in Sept. Both my S&W's are 6.5",
I have had several recommendations on powders and primers. I have all my brass, Win and Starline. I will be asking Household-6 to check on personal inventories and get what is needed. Which primers have you guys found best for what I am trying to do here?

Will not be posting for a while as I will be out in the hills doing my thing. Please keep those cards and letters coming as it is a real morale boost...

FWIW- the local bast%^&s have given us several "cheers" today; no one WIA so far...Happy 4th to you all.
RLTW
 

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It is hard to beat Hodgdon Lil’ Gun today. I believe it is just a little better than Winchester 296 and Hodgdon 100 for maximum pressure loading. Ross Seyfried once wrote Lil’ Gun should be named “Big Critter.”

Primer selection is not an important factor with Lil’ Gun. Remington, Winchester and CCI primers all gave good results in the 45 Colt and the 44 Magnum.

The heaviest bullets I have shot in the 45 Colt were the 322-grain 457122HO’s based on Marlin Collector and John Kort’s experience. If you have not seen the thread it will give you some ideas – even if it is not a handgun thread. The thread starts off slow but arrives at the heart of the matter soon enough.

http://shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t=22882&highlight=457122

When you get Veral’s book send me a PM. I have made up an index for it on an excel spread sheet. It’s for the second printing and I’m not certain how much the book has changed.

Please keep in mind the S&W Model 625 is not a Magnum strength revolver. 300-grain bullets at 900 fps are about as warm as you need to load for it. The full size Ruger Vaquero is a better handgun for packing protection with the 45 Colt.

Take spare socks, I never had enough.
 

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The S&W M25 won't handle the serious 30+ kpsi .45 Colt loads that the Freedom Arms, Ruger or Contender will; but it will handle the .45 Colt loaded to .45 ACP pressures of approx. 21 kpsi. Accurate Arms lists them under Ruger and Contender loads. Under Lead Bullets on the v3.3 internet data, 17.6gr AA #9 will give 1180 fps with a 255gr SWC at 20,100 psi. The load I keep reading/hearing about is the RCBS 45-270-SAA with 7.5gr Titegroup and CCI 300 primer that deliivers 950 fps from a 4" barrel at a low 14 kpsi.
 

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the rcbs -270-saa is a excellent round and can be loaded from lite to all the way to holy sh** check out this article for the loading options for the 270 http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/PDF/HL 246partial.pdf unique with 9grains is one of my favorite loads with that bullet the same load with universal is a tad cleaner 12.5 gr of blue dot is a bit softer to shoot and gives me just a touch over 1000fps out of my 5.5 inch blackhawk
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks fellas,
Good poop and will have household six get as much as possible so as to be ready to load when I get home. Again, this forum and the mil forum have really been a sanity saver. Good hunting and shooting to you all.
 

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I've not shot much 45colt,but my 44mag gets alot of time at range in back yard & woods.I have never found any difference in how dead a critter is between 250grn kiethswc and the heavier boolits so that is what I stick with for everything from groundhogs to deer.

for my light loads i use 6grn trail boss(wonderful stuff in my opinion)
heavy loads get the standby 20grn 2400 this load will make a meal of anything walkin' up to and including elk and penetrate like gangbusters
 

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I have a nice plinker/small game load for the .45 LC with 200 gr. RNFP leads and 6 gr. unique. It's a nice light recoiling load and is quite accurate in my NMBH with 5.5" barrel. I also load 255 LSWC leads with 9 gr. Unique for longer range hunting loads. Have also had good luck using 250 gr. XTP HP with 10 gr. Unique and also with up to 25 gr. H110 for barn burners. The 300 Mag. XTP is a good one with 23 gr. max H110 or 11-13gr. Unique. I will note that these are safe in my NMBH and are considered ruger level loads. You might want to work up loads from manuals. 8)
 

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Regarding the .44:

I like 9-10 grains of Unique and the Lee 200grain RNFP for a GP walking around/mid range load.

If I were after live critters, I would use 22-23 grains of H110 and the 265 grain Ranch Dog bullet. Make sure your dental work is up to snuff with this one as it's a handful, but an accurate load.

The Unique load runs 950-1000 out of my snubbie 44 and I haven't chronographed it out of my 7.5" Redhawk.

The H110/Ranch dog load runs 1300 out of my snubbie and 1500 out of my 7.5" Redhawk.

One neat thing about straight walled magnum pistol cartridges is they are versatile. :)

Matt
 
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