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Thinking of trying something new. I've always wanted to load up some cartridge handguns in BP. Have a Ruger Vaquerro and thought it would be a hoot to shoot some
.45 Colt... :mrgreen:



My question is about regulating a fixed sight gun using Black Powder:

Should I stick with some FFG and use different bullets weights, or stick to one bullet weight and play with different powders...?

Giz
 

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I don't know about Rugers, but I've never been able to get my fixed-sighted Colts to shoot any bullet that's not in the ~250-255gr. range - and hit at my preferred POA - a dead-center hold. The only exception has been bullets in the 225-230gr. range that have been really loaded down to puny squib levels. I would start with your preferred bullet weight and then fool around with the volume and granulation of BP. JMO, but I'd start with FFFG if you have any.

The only BP loads I've made up for the .45C have been with FFFG. I compressed the 3F to pack in the max. amount, and these loads were pretty stout. I didn't have my chrony then, but I'm guessing that they were ~900fps with a 255gr. RNFP. They shot to approx. the same POA/POI as my smokeless loads at that ~900fps velocity, so I was very pleased with them. I do not find this load or its smokeless equivalent to be unpleasant to shoot at all in a SAA configuration.

The original BP loading for the Colt Peacemaker was 900fps+, and it was a real humdinger on the business end. They reduced that load to ~825fps when other, weaker firearms designs were introduced into the military arsenals.

If you find out that you really like BP loads in the large-frame Ruger, you can even fool with small duplex charges of SR4759 (~10% by volume) to aid in cleanup. That is exactly what I would do. This will increase pressure and velocity a bit and could be useful in lowering a POI.

xtm
 
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xtm,

I think I'm going to do three sets of 6 cartridges. I'm running a 250 grain SWC in each. One each in Fg, FFg, and FFFg. I'm going to rest them at 15 yards. When I settle on the closest to POA.....I'm going to do that one in three different lubes. SPG, RCBS, and Lyman...for group size.

I think I will follow that test up with a 225 grain RN bullet I cast. Same methodology to see how much lower it hits on the target.

giz
 

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I'm interested in this as well.

There were some BP CAS shooters I used to shoot with (Coto Cowboys) many years ago that would spray their's down after every stage (I think they were using Windex if I remember right).

I'd be real curious to know how much you can shoot before the cylinder starts seizing up. Figure maybe 4-5 cylinders full?
 

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I fooled around with this back when I was still in business. If I remember correctly, the bullet weight made a lot more difference than the powder type or charge. That is to say,lightweight bullets always shot low and heavyweights tended to shoot high. It seems every cartridge has a nominal bullet weight that the designer intended. For the 45 Colt,that is 250gr. I believe you will also find that the 37-40 grains of FFFg stuffed into a 45 Colt case will just about blow the revolver out of your hand. Even FFg is pretty stout.
It seems the way ammunition companies load the modern cartridge is somewhat conservative.
Let us know the results of your experiment!
 
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LordSlashcat,

We should run the little test together. It's about time you shot some stouter stuff out of one of my Rugers' :) I'm going to stop in on the way back from the range, this Saturday. Let's put some BP cartridges through that little Vaquerro together and compare notes...

Giz
 

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I am pretty late on this one but I used to shoot 35gr GOEX 3Fg black under a 255gr cast lead SWC lubed with SPG & set off with a WWlg Pistol Primer. It shot right to the sights & gave 2-1/2"- 3" groups depending on me @ 25 yards bench rest. I got just under 900fps on my Chrony. That load is compressed 3/16", & about all I could get into modern .45 Colt cases. It's a fun load & gives pretty much the same results our ancestors got in the 1800s. Frank
 
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