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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently acquired a SAA (Cimarron-Arms/Uberti Evil Roy) w/a 5 1/2" barrel and am looking for suggestions -based upon your actual experience- on low recoil/cowboy loads using components that I already have. I have extensive reloading experience with other calibers in both handgun & rifle, just not with the 45 long colt.

The bullets that I have on hand (thanks to a friend) are Oregon Trail Laser-Cut lead 250 RNFP and 255 SWC.

Primers will be Remington (not magnum) or can be WLP's.

Powders available include Bullseye, AA#5, True Blue, Silhouette and Zip.

My priorities are as follows:
  1. Accurate to 25 yards
  2. Minimal recoil
  3. Good case fill volume (if possible)
  4. Minimal chance of a problem due to a squib or pressure spike

I fully expect the load to be fairly dirty due to low pressure and am not concerned about clean-up.

Your expertise and experience will be most appreciated!
 

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I've loaded thousands upon thousands of 45 Colt but never reduced loads. Of the powders you have I would suspect maybe Bullseye or AA#5, neither of which will give you remotely good case fill in a reduced load. Accuracy, can't know til you try one of them. Bullseye does ok in my 44 Spl. but other powders do a lot better. I am completely ignorant of the other two powders. Were I wanting to do what you are I'd get a bottle of Trail Boss and be done with it, that's what it was developed for. It's a slam dunk recipe and usually pretty accurate. Either bullet will be fine.
 

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have to second sharps4590 advise. Trailboss is about all I use for my 45 colt loads.
 

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Try 5.4-6.0/Bullseye/250 RNFP or 255LSWC. This data is right in the middle of the recommended loading range from an old manual I've used & trusted for decades.

I really, REALLY don't like using fast-burning propellants in large revolver cases, for fear of a double charge. I'm not sure that AA#5 will work much better since, if memory serves, it is a fairly compact propellant, also. Unlike Bullseye, however, AA#5 also seems to burn cleanly only when pushed very hard, which would negate your "reduced recoil" criterion.

I use Alliant Unique or HERCO almost exclusively in .45 Colt, for near factory equivalent or SLIGHTLY more emphatic loads. My USUAL range is 7.2-8.0/Unique/250 RNFP. The lower end tends to gve about 10% less velocity than factory loads, and the upper side usually gives 3-5% over factory, depending on the revolver.

HERCULES Unique was the first propellant I used, when beginning to reload, and has always served me well. So, I will admit of considerable bias concerning its value as a propellant. I nonetheless opine that Unique goes with the .45 Colt somewhat the way beer goes with good barbeque, or peaches go with cream. Ditto the .45 ACP and Unique.

I'll have to plead ignorance concerning the other propellants you mention, which makes me think it might be time for ME to do some experimentation with some of the newer ones.
 

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While I fully realize you want to work with what you have the 255 gr. slugs will likely have more to do with recoil than any "mid-range" powder charge. The difference in recoil between the traditional 255 and the now common in CAS 200 gr. is very noticeable. Like sharps 4590 I've loaded zillions of .45 Colt rounds at full tilt and many reduced loads for the cowboy matches. I mostly used Tite Group for the cowboy loads with either the 200 or 255.

For my shooting these days, both plinking and CAS I now use the .45 Schofield cases with a 225 gr SNS Casting slug over 6.0 gr. of VV Tin Star at about 750 fps. This is a nice shooting load that gives enough recoil to feel like a .45 but is not at all hard to control.
 

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Jack is right, the bullet weight is going to make the bigger difference. Figure going from 250+ grs. to 200 is a 20% decrease in weight. At the powder charge weight levels in handgun cases the difference the weight of the powder charge is going to make is miniscule, not the kind of powder, the weight of the charge. Obviously the kind of powder can make a difference. It's when you get to big bore rifles the weight of the powder charge makes a difference or, when one switches from smokeless to BP in voluminous cases.

As an example; my 500 BPE when loaded with 60 grs. of IMR-3031 under a 380 gr. bullet with a foam filler is a pussy cat as regards recoil. Put that same bullet over 120 grains of BP and the recoil is significantly greater. It recoils as if you've released enough power to flatten a tiger....and in its day it did.
 

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It is folly to try to force components to do what you want. Get the correct components for the performance you seek. Trail Boss and lighter bullets have worked quit well for me in my 45 Colt revolvers.

I shoot both revolvers and a rifle in 45 Colt. The rifle, an old Marlin, is bad about blowing a bit of gas back into my face if I load the rounds too light. I generally load two sets of cartridges for a Cowboy match, one with 250 grain bullets and a max charge of Trail Boss or a suitable charge of Unique for my rifle and one set with 200 grain bullets and a starting charge of Trail Boss for my revolvers. The different weight bullets have different shapes so I can tell them apart at the loading table.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Appreciate everyone's help.

I got to the indoor range yesterday with 50 rounds of the 250's over 5.0 of Bullseye.

Shot very well - accurate and fairly low recoil.

Cleaning today there was no leading...just the expected lube & powder residue.

Will put together some ladder tests to find the sweet spot.

Am also picking up some Trail Boss for future use.
 
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