Heavy 45LC Loads

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by LDJ, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. LDJ

    LDJ Member

    May 26, 2011
    Oklahoma. USA
    In all my reloading books there are light or (cowboy) 45LC loads, and then there are loads that say for Ruger and TC only. My question is, are these heavy loads for any Ruger or certian models? I know some of my 45's would not handle a heavy load, but what about a Tarus Judge? I do not own a 45 Ruger but I am looking.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    First, there are three kinds of loads for 45 Colt. Don't confuse the "cowboy loads", which are squibs, with real, normal 45 Colt loads, which throw a 250 grain bullet about 800 fps.

    Then there are the "Ruger only", or, as I've seen them listed in one book, "Ruger/Contender only" loads.

    The Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero, in 45 Colt, are built on a 44 magnum frame. They will handle loads that are waaaaaay out of the normal 45 Colt range.

    There is now the Ruger "New Blackhawk" and "New Vaquero". They are NOT built on the 44 magnum frame, and if you use "Ruger only" loads in that gun, you stand a real good chance of breaking it.

    The standard 45 Colt load will put down any person or game animal on the North American continent. There is no need to use "Ruger only" loads. But, people will continue to use them because, hey, everyone knows that more power is better.

    If you feel the need to load "Ruger only" loads, buy yourself a Ruger Blackhawk, or a Vaquero or a Super Redhawk, or a Thompson Center Contender/Encore.

    Or, since the intent of these loads is to turn a 45 Colt into a 44 Magnum, buy a 44 Magnum.

    Shooting them in any regular gun chambered for 45 Colt - and by that I mean a Smith 25 or a Colt SAA or copy, or a Taurus Judge - is like asking to hold onto a hand grenade.

  3. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2009
    Simla, Colorado
    VERY sound advice from Alpo. I wouldn't use those hotter loads listed for the Ruger in anything except a Ruger. As Alpo already stated, the Ruger models listed are built for higher pressure ammunition.

    Besides that, with the short barrel on that Judge, and it's sighting system, I don't think you would gain a thing by using hot ammo, and would only risk un-due wear and tear on it. If it were my choice, I'd stick with standard velocities.
  4. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    What Alpo said. My heavy huntin' load isn't for the weak, man or gun. Follow the manual on this one.
  5. LDJ

    LDJ Member

    May 26, 2011
    Oklahoma. USA
    Thanks for all the good input. I will stick to the normal loads. I just thought I would ask and learn. And I did. Oh, and Jim I shoot a 6-1/2 inch Judge, but thats not important.
  6. DoesItMatter

    DoesItMatter New Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    Pacific NorthWest
    I saw the Judge on sale recently, but didn't go for it due to reviews.

    How does the 6-1/2 inch shoot? I suspect the barrel length should help with managing it.

    Read a lot on the lighter framed ones and the short barrel versions that kick was pretty stout.

    And - since this is a 45 LC discussion, is it worth it to get a 45 LC gun?

    I've currently got

    S&W 29-10 44mag, S&W 19-6 357mag,
    Taurus M44 - 44mag, Taurus 669 - 357mag,
    Ruger Bisley 44 Mag, Ruger Security Six 357 Mag, Ruger SBH 44 Mag.

    I do have some semi-auto's but I love the revolvers.

    Any point in exploring the 45 LC? Not a hunter, just a plinker/shooter.
    And yes, I reload my own 44/357
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  7. LDJ

    LDJ Member

    May 26, 2011
    Oklahoma. USA
    I have had a Derringer that shoots 2-1/2" 410 and 45LC that I carried in my fishing box when I was fishing in some backwater in Arkansas. It is very effictive with protection from cottonmouths. I purchased my Judge with the 3" 410 and 45LC because it sounded
    like it would be even better and more fun than the Derringe. It is. The 410 shells will really kick and are fun at the range. I can also hit the 8-1/2 x 11 target at 25 yards and I am getting better with practice. The drawback is when I first started loading for it, I used cast bullets and I had to clean the lead out when I got home. I have heard others have had the same problem. I solved this small problem with Hornady and Berry's bullets. I had several hundred cast bullets loaded so to solve this problem I purchased a Uberti Cattleman to shoot them up. Problem solved. I like my Uberti also.
  8. twobit

    twobit Active Member

    Sep 15, 2010
    In the Lee reloading book there are regular 45 colt loads and then there are the hot loads for those special Ruger guns. I have a Uberti 1873 clone so I shoot the cowboy loads for plinking and load the regular loads for hunting / defense. My plinking recipe uses Trailboss powder and my hunting recipe uses Unique.
  9. al45lc

    al45lc Active Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    colorful colorado
    Let me preface this by saying I'm a VERY utilitarian person, if something is close to another thing I already have, I'm not inclined to go with it.
    The .45 L.C. in a Ruger Blackhawk or Contender can match the .44 mag, but just.( This is with handloads) I don't own any .44 mags because I went with the .45 LC long ago, and they're just too close in performance (with my handloads) for me to justify it in my mind.
    So, from my P.O.V., the answer is no. Your .44 mag will do everything the .45 LC will do, and more if factory ammo comes in play.
  10. dustydog

    dustydog New Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    Shot the .45 LC as a competition round up until about 1995.Factory and handloading manuals don't really do this cartridge justice.The most accurate and stout load I cared to shoot in smokeless was a old Keith .452-255 grain bullet cast with 7% tin in front of 10.2 grains of Unique.Low s.d.,just at 1000 fps out of a 4 5/8 Ruger,shot flat as a streached string.Not much expansion,but when the bullet starts out bigger than most bullets stop at..........
  11. zant

    zant Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2009
    I load 300gr LFN@1200fps for my 7.5" Blackhawk...only problems,I've ever had was the ejector rod housing getting loose..I've found the recoil impulse on a Colt .45 to be much more pleasant than a .44 mag-given equal loads.
  12. Bowsage

    Bowsage New Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Central Virginia
    Alpo, could you direct me to where I can find the info concerning what you can shoot in the new Ruger Blackhawks. I was under the impression Ruger loads were fine. I have a 5 1/2 Convertable.
  13. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    If you have the "New Blackhawk", with the black plastic grips, and the lock underneath the grip, your gun is built on the 45 Colt frame. It is the same size as a Colt SAA, and will take the same pressures.

    If you just have a "New Model Blackhawk", with the rosewood grips, and (more importantly) DON'T have the lock underneath the grip, it is built on the 44 Magnum frame, and will take "Ruger Loads".

    Pull your grips and look at your frame. That's the only way to tell, for sure, without having one of each to compare.

    There is no magic to Ruger. Rugers will take more punishment because there is more steel in them. The "New Blackhawk", 7 1/2" barrel, Model BN-45L, weighs 42 ounces. The Bisley, on the other hand, 7 1/2" barrel, Model RB-45W, weighs 48 ounces. It is made on the older 44 magnum frame.
  14. Bowsage

    Bowsage New Member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Central Virginia
    Thanks for the response. I have the 5 1/2" Model BN 355XL.And yes on the lock.

    It seems there is a lot of confusion atleast on my part. I've read on the "trusty" internet that Ruger loads are OK in this gun. I would like to see what Ruger has claimed.( from the horses mouth) Can that be found on the web? Thanks Alpo
  15. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    I seriously doubt that any gun maker will tell you it is all right to shoot reloads of any kind in their guns, let alone reloads that exceed factory spec.

    Possibly Speer or Hodgdon or Lyman, or some of the other reloading companies, that list "Ruger-only loads" in their manuals, will tell you whether the new Ruger is safe with them.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 45ACP Hornady 185gr XTP - OAL pics (pic heavy) Jul 19, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 45 colt reloading heavy loads? Nov 19, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum 7.62x39 with Heavy Bullets Apr 24, 2011
The Ammo & Reloading Forum heavy bullets in a 44mag Jan 5, 2011
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Best online heavy pistol reloading prices Oct 29, 2009