Ruger 45 won't accept favorite load

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by lkbenson, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. lkbenson

    lkbenson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    I just bought a new Blackhawk, 45 convertible, and can’t shoot my favorite loads in it. I like shooting a LaserCast 300gr. in my Vaquero. It is loaded and crimped on the bottom crimp groove making the oal right at 1.64” When I tried them in the BH the rounds wouldn’t chamber all the way in. They extend just far enough to rub. I did some checking and found that all of the chambers, up to where the throat starts, were .03” shorter on the BH than on the Vaquero, just enough shorter to prevent chambering the round. The throat being .4521" the bullet won't enter the throat without a lot of urging. In other words the Vaquero chamber is long enough to contain the shell and bullet but the BH is short enough to force the bullet into the throat if the shell is chambered all the way.
    I am a little leery of loading that bullet to the top crimp groove as my oal would be in the neighborhood of 1.57” to 1.58” with a healthy dose of H-110 behind it. The load is high pressure as it is and I’m afraid of pressure rising by seating the bullet deeper.
    Has anybody else come across this situation and if so what have you done to correct the problem?
    The only solution I’ve come up with so far is to limit my loads to 255gr. (which I really don’t want to do) or ream the cylinder so that I have a little longer length.
    I am open to suggestions.
  2. tEN wOLVES

    tEN wOLVES New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2008
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Northridge, California
    Are you using a manual, I believe 1.60 is your max, your .04 over spec.

    tEN wOLVES
  3. lkbenson

    lkbenson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    According to the Speer #13, 45 Colt for Ruger and Contender only, using a 300 grain bullet the COL is 1.640". Even if you drop down to standard 45 Colt listings the COL as tested for a 255 gr. cast is 1.665". There is a footnote on this load stating "Excedes industry maximum cartridge length. Not for use in repeating rifles. Most 45 Colt revolvers will accept cartridges of this length"
    I have loaded and used cartridges over 1.60" on my Vaquero. It is almost mandatory if you don't want to raise pressure. My question is has anybody else had this problem arise in their BH and if so what did you do to correct it. I am beginning to think that I will order a chamber reamer from Brownells and make the chamber longer.
  4. retired grunt

    retired grunt New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    416
    Location:
    Northern NY
    thinking speer is talking about super red hawk not blackhawk ...any manual that specifies ruger and contender only is saying that pressures are extreme and caution should be taken..not sure if reaming a blackhawk is a great idea.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2009
  5. lkbenson

    lkbenson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    Retired Grunt, When a reloading manual or even Hodgdon reloading online refers to Ruger only they are referring to Redhawk, Blackhawk or even the old model Vaquero. The Redhawk is not a stronger revolver than Blackhawk, it is only double action verses single action. There is tons of heavy load reloading data available for the Ruger Blackhawk and Vaquero. I've been reloading data from the Hodgon #26 manual listed under Silhouette Loads for years and shot them in my Vaquero and never had a problem. The specific load I'm refering to is 300gr with 21.5 grs. of H-110 for a velocity of a little over 1100fps. It is the STARTING load listed for this bullet and powder. I'm not concerned with loading a round too stiff, I know the Blackhawk is up to the task, I just need to know if anyone has come across the problem of the short chambers.


    I appreciate your input
    lkbenson
  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    I had the very same problem with my Grover Number Five but even worse because I was loading a 335 grain LBT that I cast. Luckily a friend had a 45 Colt reamer and that fixed the problem. I would NOT as you already understand lower the bullet in the case as it will as you suggested raise pressures. However since lengthening the chambers my gun does not like 255 grainers as well as it does 300 plus grainers. I would also suggest that if you buy a reamer that it have a tapered forcing cone and not a shoulder like a 454 Casull. Every Casull I have seen in 454 has a ledge/shoulder like a 45 auto and why I don't understand.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  7. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Messages:
    6,781
    Location:
    Hesperia, CA
    lkbenson:

    The correct max OAL for 45 Colt is 1.600 inches. It is bullet that is wrong. I think the bullet manufacturer intended the bullet for the TC and gave you options for use in revolvers by giving you a second crimp groove. Why not use it if you can find reloading data that supports it (starting load!)?

    There is more to this max OAL than the cylinder diameter where the bullet seats. If you were able to get the bullet all the way into the cylinder would it hang out the end of the cylinder and drag on the barrel as the gun was cocked and the cylinder revolved? I think you need to measure the length of the cylinder where the cartridge seats before you start reaming out the cylinder to accept the bullet. You might get a surprise.

    I have a Taurus clone of the Colt Lighting pump rifle. It will not function with ammo that is 1.600 inches OAL. It must be under that by at least 10 to 20 thousands. When I asked a well know gunsmith about this he said all factory loaded 45 Colt ammo is shorter than 1.600 inches and I should make my ammo match factory ammo. You should consider this as well.

    LDBennett
  8. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    lkbenson:
    If my assumption is correct you are trying to get as much out of your Ruger 45 Colt as you can and by using the top crimp grove as suggested by LD you are in a sense not taking advantage of the case capacity available to you. While I have not measured the over all length of a Ruger cylinder (don't have one) I would bet money that it is long enough to deepen to accept your bullet of choice. I might add that I have three S&W in 45 Colt and all of them except my 335 LBT without any re-reaming/chambering of the cylinders being necessary. That fact leads me to believe that your gun started its life with too short of chambers to accept bullets with a long shank and a short ogive, which is waht allows the bullet to be heavier without any appreciable increase in OAL. I have been hot rodding the 45 Colt long before it became popular. In addition to my three factory guns mentioned I also still have an old S&W Highway Patrolman that was fitted with a 1955 Target barrel and rechambered to 45 Colt about 30 years ago.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  9. lkbenson

    lkbenson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    Thanks guys,
    LDBennett, as I stated before, my reloading manual gives oal of 300gr. bullets substantially longer than 1.600” Using an oal of 1.63” (which is the oal of this load) and shooting them in my Vaquero I still am .135” shy of the end of the cylinder so there is no chance of dragging on the barrel.
    Muddober, I think you misunderstood me; I am using the bottom groove of the bullet. Therein lays my initial problem. I don’t want to use the top groove because doing so will make my oal shorter; eliminating the chambering problem but there is a real good chance of raising pressure to a dangerous level. As for as the gun starting out with too short of chambers, that is my belief from the start. They are a lot shorter than the chambers on my Vaquero.
    I am starting to think that I will just order the chamber reamer from Brownells, lengthen them, and be done with it.
    Thanks for all of the replies, I am surprised that only muddober has come across the same problem and it wasn’t in a Blackhawk.
  10. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    lkbenson: I did not misunderstand you. I realized from the get you are using and you want to continue to use the lower crimp grove on your bullet. If you carefully re-read the first sentence in my previous post you will see what I mean. Admittedly I should have added the words "would" and "be" respectively before and after the word "not" in my first sentence making it clearer. Enclosed is a picture of my LBT bullet and 454 Casull case loaded with it. My factory stock model 25 S&W blued 8 3/8 will chamber that round but it extends beyond the cylinder. My two stainless model 25 will not in the 454 Casull configuration but will in 45 Colt as will my altered Highway Patrolman. My bullet in a 45 Colt case is 1.660 OAL leaving about .065 from the end of the cylinder to the nose of the bullet (talking 45 Colt). I have added a picture of one of my Grover Number Fives in 45 Colt and that is the only reason I don't have a Ruger.

    Ron

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  11. lkbenson

    lkbenson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    Muddober....I've got to say thanks for all the time you've spent with your help. The cylinder on both of my Ruger 45's are 1.73" so I have plenty of room for the load of my choice. I (with the help of someone on another forum) came up with a solution of sorts. If I take a loaded round and start it into a .44 resizing die, without the decapping pin of course, just until the brass touches the die (there is a definate feel of resistance when the brass touches the die) the leading edge of the bullet ogive is resized to .450". The round will then load in the Blackhawk perfectly. It makes for one more step in the reloading process but it's not like I am loading them 500 at a time.
    Again, thanks and I have to say that I really like that revolver. I might have to check into one of them.
    lkbenson
  12. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,369
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    Speer posts a max of 1.600. I doubt that putting the bullet in further will raise pressures since that the max is 1.600 in the first place.
  13. lkbenson

    lkbenson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2004
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Colorado
    GMFWoodchuck…I don’t understand why several people have told me that 1.60” is the maximum COL that I can load 45 Colt cartridges to. I have had four or five people tell me that. According to Speer #13 reloading manual the COL for a 300gr. bullet is 1.640” and the COL for 255gr. cast bullet is 1.665”. If the cylinder of your gun is long enough to accept the longer bullet without extending out the front and rubbing on the barrel as the cylinder is turned than you can load longer then 1.60” I quote directly from the Speer book, “We crimped the 300 grain Uni-Cor soft point to the REAR cannelure for a cartridge length of 1.640”. Do not seat them to the front cannelure with these loads as excessive pressure will result.
    My whole point in starting this thread was my inability to load a cast bullet that is over .452” because the cylinder throat is only .452” and the chamber is too short to allow chambering unless the bullet enters the throat. I could indeed load them to the front cannelure or crimping groove but the pressure would definitely rise. There are hundreds of cast 45 bullets that are .453” or .454” and I shouldn’t be restricted from using them because of the way that Ruger built this revolver. They didn’t build my Vaquero this way and I would be willing to bet a good sum of money that most Ruger 45 Colts aren’t built this way.
    Anyway I thank you for posting; I can use all of the help I can find.
  14. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,447
    lkbenson: It was my pleasure; also I do not remember you or anyone suggesting you send your gun to Ruger reminding them your other Ruger chambers your reload just fine. They are very good people and I would bet money they will deepen/correct your chambers for free. I would also suggest you send a dummy round for them to measure. I have included my Highway Patrolman rechambered to 45 Colt that I mentioned. The cylinder is recessed as you will notice how close the cylinder is to back plate. The gun is in the white though many think it is stainless or hard chromed. It has never shown any signs of rusting. I know I am just showing off but you have to admit it is an interesting piece.

    Ron

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  15. GMFWoodchuck

    GMFWoodchuck New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,369
    Location:
    Binghamton, NY
    Well speer #14 says differently. My point is, why modify the gun? Just modify the load. It's your favorite load in a different gun. Just use your time to come up with a new pet load for this gun. Whatever floats your boat I suppose.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Loading for the Ruger Scout rifle Sep 17, 2014
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Ruger M77 30-06 Loads Oct 8, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Ruger Black Hawk Jul 29, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Looking for .45 Ruger/.45 Colt +P Loads Jun 23, 2012
The Ammo & Reloading Forum Need loads for Ruger .44 mag Alaskan Feb 29, 2012

Share This Page