Continuing on my journey in preparing for a hog hunt I have coming up at the beginning of the year, I have continued to research 45Colt in a lever action. In my research I came across an article by the famous John Linebaugh — Gun Notes: The .45 Colt – Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Legend this is a great read for anyone looking to achieve full potential out of the 45Colt. To use John’s words I am not looking to magnumize the 45Colt and as I stated in my initial testing I am looking to develop safe loads to get the job done cleanly and humanely. Though I am loading these rounds for a Rossi Lever action in my readings a came across many conversations debating the strength of Ruger over S&W. I do not have a dog in that hunt though I did find another article by Mr. Linebaugh — Gunnotes…Smith & Wesson Mod 25-5 where he indicated he had fired 5000 rounds through a S&W model 25 and listed the loads. It was his load chart that would grab my attention. I had felt reasonably prepared with my original loads but one of Mr. Linebaugh’s HS-6 loads was a full 1 grain above the load I was using and he called it his general daily duty load. I headed right to the bench to replicate these loads for testing. I do understand the general disclaimer that everyone uses and I repeat it here. Never use someone else’s load data as there are to many variables (firearm tolerances, powder lot etc) it is always best and safest to work up a load for the firearm you will be testing it in. Most importantly double check the loads with a creditable reloading manual, I always cross reference 3 manuals when working up loads.
These loads were comfortable to shoot but I felt did not have the accuracy as my original loads. This is probably due to my loading procedure as with these loads I put a heavier crimp on them to prevent bullet creep because I wanted to also try them in a couple of my revolvers. I plan to back the die out applying less crimp and try again for accuracy.
One of those revolvers happen to be one of my favorite. The Triple Threat Alaskan 454 I had the cylinder machined two years ago by Mark at Pinnacle to be able to fire 45ACP via moonclip and he did a fantastic job. This was long before Ruger ever released their 4in 45Colt/45ACP revolver. As you can see by the target the 255gr Cast were not so accurate. This has more to do with me than the load, this 5 shot group was fired double action free hand standing at 50 yards.
I wanted to see what performance would be like in such a short barrel and fired 5 shots across the chronograph also.
With an average of 936fps out of the short barrel of the Alaskan I was eager to test the 260gr Speer load in the Rossi Lever Action. 5 Shots fired from bag rest distance 50 yards.
The velocity was higher than I had expected out of the Rossi approaching 1400fps, no doubt in my mind that this will get the job done if I do my part with the right shot placement.
If for some reason I can’t get it done with 45Colt I will fall back to something absolute. Stay tuned for hopefully what will be positive results in 2017
Articles for reference:
John Linebaugh — Gun Notes: The .45 Colt – Dissolving the Myth, Discovering the Legend
Linebaugh — Gunnotes…Smith & Wesson Mod 25-5
Brian Pearce’s article on the 45 Colt in Handloader Magazine #246