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45 Colt Powder

nemesis

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in my Marlin 1894.

That's a strong gun. You can explore the upper limits of the cartridge with that one.

Now, for cowboy action shooting with the 1873 toggle link action, it has to be much milder. VihtaVuori N320 or N330 is good. For a 200 grain bullet, 8.0 grains N330 will take up the most room in the case on the low side. Some charges, like Win 231, are pretty small volume. Some powders are position sensitive and ignition can be sporadic, giving uneven results.

Accurate #5 will take up the most volume for the low side of a 200 grain bullet: 10.4 grains for 908 fps.

All the above is careful to keep max pressure under 14,000 psi which is the limit for the 1873 toggle link action.

(Toggle link is fragile by comparison to the 94.)
Toggle-open1.jpg


Apparently, that's also the limit for the Colt SAA.

But Rugers and all model 94 levers have much more powerful load data, which, yours does.

Titegroup for the 1873 w/200 grain bullet starts at 6.5 grains.

All above data is for the 45 Colt.

And one other consideration for the 1873 is the blowback. With the original 44-40 cartridge, the case mouth expands under pressure, creating a seal that keeps powder and debris from flowing back past the case mouth into the action.

But the 45 Colt is straight walled and doesn't expand enough to stop blowback, especially when we're talking about loads for (more) fragile firearms. That's why dirty powders like Unique aren't too good.

But powders like VihtaVuori N330 are much cleaner. So, there's always that.

I know the info about the 1873 doesn't apply to yours, but I'm supposed to be picking up an 1873 in 45 Colt next week. And it's becoming quite an interesting project.
 
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cdschoonie

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That's a strong gun. You can explore the upper limits of the cartridge with that one.

Now, for cowboy action shooting with the 1873 toggle link action, it has to be much milder. VihtaVuori N320 or N330 is good. For a 200 grain bullet, 8.0 grains N330 will take up the most room in the case on the low side. Some charges, like Win 231, are pretty small volume. Some powders are position sensitive and ignition can be sporadic, giving uneven results.

Accurate #5 will take up the most volume for the low side of a 200 grain bullet: 10.4 grains for 908 fps.

All the above is careful to keep max pressure under 14,000 psi which is the limit for the 1873 toggle link action.

(Toggle link is fragile by comparison to the 94.)
Toggle-open1.jpg


Apparently, that's also the limit for the Colt SAA.

But Rugers and all model 94 levers have much more powerful load data, which, yours does.

Titegroup for the 1873 w/200 grain bullet starts at 6.5 grains.

All above data is for the 45 Colt.

And one other consideration for the 1873 is the blowback. With the original 44-40 cartridge, the case mouth expands under pressure, creating a seal that keeps powder and debris from flowing back past the case mouth into the action.

But the 45 Colt is straight walled and doesn't expand enough to stop blowback, especially when we're talking about loads for (more) fragile firearms. That's why dirty powders like Unique aren't too good.

But powders like VihtaVuori N330 are much cleaner. So, there's always that.

I know the info about the 1873 doesn't apply to yours, but I'm supposed to be picking up an 1873 in 45 Colt next week. And it's becoming quite an interesting project.
Great info! Thanks for that, I will look into these.
 

cdschoonie

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I went to the gun show at the fairgrounds today, there was very little powder and primers of course, but I did find some Lil Gun and another I can use for other cartridges, they were not too badly overpriced for gun show goodies.
Anyway, I bought the Lil Gun, because I’d seen other forum posts which mentioned it with 45 Colt, and since powder is scarce right now. Upon some quick scanning through different forums etc., I’ve read that for the 45 Colt, Lil Gun needs heavy bullets, like 250 gr and up. Whether these were intended for Rifle or Pistol, I’m not sure.
I figured I’d get it, then if it turns out that it’s not a good choice for me, I can use it for trade credit some day. I’m not afraid to pay regular (or slightly over) price for powder and primers, so whether I use it or not, I can at least break even on the powder.
 

cdschoonie

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Another question that popped up...

Should I look at .451 or .452 for this rifle?
Plus, I’m confused with the whole “With gas checks” or “Without gas checks” situations, if someone could clarify when I should look at using gas checks?
 

cdschoonie

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Low power loads don't require gas checks. Gas checks are brass bases for lead bullets used in higher velocity loads to prevent the lead melting on it's travels through the barrel.
So, in the instance with my rifle, plus using Lil Gun (which I understand to get higher velocity loads than say Unique, would this make it a time when I might use checks? Or am I thinking backwards? For example, the 2 bullets I’m looking to decide on, are a 280 gr LSWC with no check, or a 310 gr LSWC with gas checks. Thoughts one these?
For the record, I have both Lil Gun and Titegroup on hand.
 

dennishoddy

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I have limited experience with gas checks, never reloading any of them, but I have read what they are designed to do.
We have some on this forum that have much more actual experience.
Low power loads don't require gas checks, while high velocity do to prevent the lead melting and causing leading is my understanding.
I'll have to back out on the specific powders and loads your asking about as I don't have that expertise.
 

Dumpstick

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Another question that popped up...

Should I look at .451 or .452 for this rifle?
Plus, I’m confused with the whole “With gas checks” or “Without gas checks” situations, if someone could clarify when I should look at using gas checks?
Slug the barrel. It's not complicated, just do it. That will answer your question.

Rule of thumb, use a lead bullet at least .001" over groove diameter. Most go .002"

As for the gas check, what sort of velocities do you have in mind ? If using Longshot, I'm guessing you want higher vels. I would suggest a gas check, at least until you become more comfortable with what you are doing.

If the bullet you are using is designed for a gas check, use it. Accuracy can be a problem using a bullet without a GC if it is designed for one.

And, before someone jumps in and says "I got .5 MOA using blah blah blah...", notice I stated that it CAN be a problem, not that it WILL be a problem.
 

cdschoonie

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Slug the barrel. It's not complicated, just do it. That will answer your question.

Rule of thumb, use a lead bullet at least .001" over groove diameter. Most go .002"

As for the gas check, what sort of velocities do you have in mind ? If using Longshot, I'm guessing you want higher vels. I would suggest a gas check, at least until you become more comfortable with what you are doing.

If the bullet you are using is designed for a gas check, use it. Accuracy can be a problem using a bullet without a GC if it is designed for one.

And, before someone jumps in and says "I got .5 MOA using blah blah blah...", notice I stated that it CAN be a problem, not that it WILL be a problem.
Ok, got it slugged... It measures .452 in all 3 spots I measured. I drove it in from the muzzle end, just like the videos I watched, and measured at the groove points. Did I do it right? If so, does this mean I need .453 or .454 bullets, and not .452, or would .452 be ok too? Would you use gas checks, no gas checks, or does it really matter?
Again I have Lil Gun and Titegroup powders on hand.
 
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