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Thread: Loading .45 LC for the Ruger Blackhawk

  1. #21
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    In defense of Lil'Gun powder I'll say this.

    The first and most severe complaint was with FA revolvers in the 454. The 454 operates at almost twice the pressures at which we generally operate the 44 mag and heavy 45 Colt loads. The 454 Casull, fully loaded is a 60,000 psi cartridge, the other two generally between 30,000 and 36,000 psi. The FA guns have a very narrow cylinder gap and the FA guns, in 454 will show flame cutting with lots of shots with Lil'Gun powder. They will also show the same erosion with the same number of shots with H110/W296 powder. If you burn more powder at higher pressure, you'll get more erosion. Duh!!

    This is kinda silly. The best way to reduce erosion and flame cutting on your revolvers is to not shoot them!! The second best way is to reduce the loads to something less than 60,000 psi. I think that is a joke anyway because you cannot keep bullets in the case of a 454 if you load it to its full potential. I like the 454 and I like the FA guns. Freedom Arms doesn't even recommend using hand loaded ammo in their guns. Geez!!

    I will say burn a lot of Lil"gun powder. I don't use H110 anymore because quite frankly Lil'Gun is a big improvement. With the help of some friends I shot about 800 rounds through seven different revolvers this month alone. Three of these guns were FA revolvers and all the powder burned was Hodgdon Lil"gun. It is generally better for heavy cast bullets than H110/W296. It is more consistent in ignition and less dependent on bullet pull (weight & crimp) than the other two. It is much better in colder temperatures and can be more predictable ignited with a magnum pistol primer and it gives more consistent velocities.

    How many of you who claim Lil'Gun is a bad powder have actually used it in any quantity? I burned about 3# in the month of January. I loaded the big 500 revolver cartridges, including my first venture with the new Freedom Arms Wyoming Express.

    I don't believe much of what I read on the internet when it is in full disagreement to my own experiences.
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  2. #22
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Reference Lil Gun and magnum primers; what are feelings about a max summertime temp limit (if any). Could a person run magnum primers exclusively within an ambient temperature range of -20F. to +85F.? Or are seasonal specific loads called for with Lil Gun?
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Reference Lil Gun and magnum primers; what are feelings about a max summertime temp limit (if any). Could a person run magnum primers exclusively within an ambient temperature range of -20F. to +85F? Or are seasonal specific loads called for with Lil Gun?
    I would always use magnum pistol primers, in those large handgun cases that accept a pistol primer, when using Lil'Gun powder. Lil'Gun is also for those loads where you want a full power load, such as the uses for H110/W296. I have used it in the 475 LB with charges of 30 grains or more with the CCI-350 LPM primer. Certainly in that temp range it will be well suited.
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  4. #24
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    So I'm sold on Starline brass, magnum primers, Lil'Gun powder, starting around 18 grains....

    A friend turned me on to these guys: http://www.proshootpro.com/index.htm a couple hours ago. I like the looks of their 270 grain Keith, and their 310 LBT...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I would always use magnum pistol primers, in those large handgun cases that accept a pistol primer, when using Lil'Gun powder. Lil'Gun is also for those loads where you want a full power load, such as the uses for H110/W296. I have used it in the 475 LB with charges of 30 grains or more with the CCI-350 LPM primer. Certainly in that temp range it will be well suited.
    Same here, CCI-350 LP primers but in 460S&W and 454 I run CCI-200 if itís an LR pocket or CCI-400 for a SR pocket in the theory that rifle primers are hotter anyway. LilGun always lights but with H110 I've had hang-fire shooting in the cold, that is NOT fun holding a 460V that will deal you some pain if not ready when it goes.

    iofthetaiga
    Take that 320g hard cast over 20g LilGun load Lowrider posted, reduce by 5% (1g) to start out and you should be fine. I run 20g under a 330g cast in my Blackhawk and have been to 21.5g under that bullet but 20g prints better from my gun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    So I'm sold on Starline brass, magnum primers, Lil'Gun powder, starting around 18 grains....

    A friend turned me on to these guys: http://www.proshootpro.com/index.htm a couple hours ago. I like the looks of their 270 grain Keith, and their 310 LBT...
    18g LilGun under a 310 would definitely be safe starting ground. Now if you play with H110/W296 itís never recommended to go less than 3% under published data with it, LilGun doesnít have that warning to it.
    Andy
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    So I'm sold on Starline brass, magnum primers, Lil'Gun powder, starting around 18 grains....

    A friend turned me on to these guys: http://www.proshootpro.com/index.htm a couple hours ago. I like the looks of their 270 grain Keith, and their 310 LBT...
    Yes 18.0 to 20.0 in a good solid Ruger, etc revolver. I have some of the leadheads 335 gr. LBT GC bullets @ .452" and use them in the 45 Colt and 454. ONe word of caution about the various LBT style bullets. WFN (Wide Flat Nose) is has more bearing surface than LFN (Long flat nose) and the Keith style and may give slightly higher pressures but not beyond 44 Mag pressures. I load them to about 30,000 psi. That is about 20 grs. of Lil'Gun under 300 to 335 grains of bullet. I think that 310 grain is about in between the WFN and LFN designs in bearing surface. Actually it isn't the bearing surface that ups pressure it is that we have to seat them deeper in the case and that reduces the internal capacity of the case. It isn't a biggie!

    Start at 18.0 and try 19.0 etc. Make sure you give them a good roll crimp in the crimp groove.
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    Hey Murphy,

    Do you see any significant difference between lead base and crimp on gas checks as far as pressure is concerned? I like to stay far enough below max that little changes in bullets of the same weight really don't matter much. I'm just wondering if the GC makes a big difference in your opinion. I can't see any real reason to use gas checks under 1500 fps anyway but I bought a Lee 300 gr mold for the .45LC and GC's for it just to be sure...mostly because I'm shooting them in a rifle too.
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  9. #29

    Default Anyone else use Scot/Accurate 4100?

    I never hear anyone mention this powder in discussions regarding magnum pistol loadings, but I found a really good deal on some ($10/lb.) and started using it in my .45 Colt Blackhawk. It has done very well for me and the burn rate is right in there with other regularly referenced magnum handgun powders (H110, Lil Gun, Acc.#9, etc.).

    I just wondered if anyone else used 4100 and what their experience had been.

  10. #30
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    Alliant 2400
    Ramshot Enforcer
    Accurate Arms No. 9
    Accurate Arms 4100
    Alliant Steel
    NORMA R123
    VihtaVuori N110
    Hodgdon LIL'GUN
    Hodgdon H110
    Winchester 296
    IMR, Co IMR 4227
    Hodgdon H4227
    IMR, Co SR 4759
    Accurate Arms 5744
    Accurate Arms 1680
    NORMA 200
    Alliant Reloder
    IMR, Co IMR 4198


    This is a piece of my burn chart. This is published by several different component makers and may vary slightly from time to time as some powders are very close in burn rate. 2400 is the fastest of these and IMR 4198 would be the slowest...too slow for the 45 Colt but just to add some relativity to the chart.

    I don't think I've used AA 4100 but a similar powder from some years back an old Alliant powder was called Alliant 410, meant for the 410 shot shell, is slightly faster than 2400.

    I have used Norma R-123 and Vihta N110. Very clean and high energy powders. The both seem better suited to jacketed bullets.
    Last edited by Murphy; 08-25-2012 at 08:50.
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Hey Murphy,

    Do you see any significant difference between lead base and crimp on gas checks as far as pressure is concerned? I like to stay far enough below max that little changes in bullets of the same weight really don't matter much. I'm just wondering if the GC makes a big difference in your opinion. I can't see any real reason to use gas checks under 1500 fps anyway but I bought a Lee 300 gr mold for the .45LC and GC's for it just to be sure...mostly because I'm shooting them in a rifle too.
    I have not noticed any pressure difference when loading bullets with GC or plain based. I think if we get above 30,000 psi it would be a good idea. The GC will reducing leading at the cone and throats. If you have a bullet that takes a GC (they will be molded with a recess at the base) a GC must be used as this seems to be an easy start to lead build-up.

    It isn't so much the velocity that causes leading in a big bore revolver as much as it is the hot, high pressure gas eroding the base of the bullet. If we complain about certain powders (!!) eroding the cylinder throats or the forcing cone, what do you think that that same hot, high pressure gas does to lead, which is much softer than the steel of the forcing cone?

    The same guy here who points out how a certain powder can cause forcing cone and throat erosion also said that lead isn't eroded away and vaporized (my word) by these same culprit gasses. Go figure. You be the judge.

    The best way to prevent barrel leading (a different issue altogether) is to use BHN 18-22 bullets, that pass through the cylinder throats freely and fit the bore tight. (groove diameter plus .001" to .002") Throats should be cut to uniformity at about .001" larger than the bullet size. I.E. Bore .451", Bullet .452", Throat .4525 or .453"".
    Last edited by Murphy; 02-15-2012 at 16:53.
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  12. #32
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    I have been using Accurate 4100 pistol powder in the 44 mag for a couple years now, and it is a fine powder. Meters great, does not require magnum primers, and gives excellent accuracy and velocity. From researching other magnum pistol powders, I believe that it is the same powder as the newer Ramshot Enforcer. Look at these load charts copied from their respective on-line manuals:



    See for yourselves, the only differences between loads were the primers, and they were still nearly exact. Here are the full manuals for Accurate and Ramshot powders.

    http://www.accuratepowder.com/wp-con...d_data_3.5.pdf

    http://www.ramshot.com/wp-content/up...dgun_rifle.pdf

  13. #33
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    I'm sure you're right....same stuff. Several powders are the same with a different name and marketed differently. IMR 4831 vs AA3100, etc. It looks like good stuff, I've just never used it.
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  14. #34
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I'm sure 4100/Ramshot is fine powder in .44 Mag. I'm not familiar enough with the .460 Smith Mag to extrapolate between the two rounds load data drow provided... Regardless I'm not really interested in reinventing the wheel. Without the benefit of seeing actual pressure curve data, it seems like 4100 is getting out on the margins of being pretty fast for the .45 LC Blackhawk. Am I wrong? Given we know pretty conclusively that the likes of H110/W296 are the sweet spot, I'm inclined to focus there and not stray to the margins.
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    Actually I only pointed out that there is information on the web claiming that Lil'gun causes forcing cone /throat errosion. This claim is important to be aware of, whether or not it is true is unknown to me. A potential user of Lil'gun should do their own research and draw their own conclusion. For the record- I still use it in my guns.

    A powder causing throat errosion and not melting the base of the bullet is quite easy to explain. To start the throat has many many more exposures to the higher pressure flame and the exposures are for a significantly longer period of time. The bullet is at the front of the flame/pressure wave where the throat is back where the powder is still burning. Note that the flame and high temperatures still exists in the barrel for a significantly period after the bullet has left the barrel as shown by evident by the muzzle flash.

    We have a somewhat similar effect to the bullet bases with the relatively soft brass cartridge cases. Cases don't show the errosion the throats do even though they are subject to similar pressures and temperatures as the throat. It would be interesting to examine a case if one could last hundreds of rounds.

    An unknown - at least to me- is exactly where the powder burns in the case and/or barrel. We know the powder is ignited by the primer at the head of the case and how much burning powder gets blown into the barrel still burning could be a factor in the throat errosion as is the temperature of the burning powder grains. IF the Lil'gun powder particles burn hotter than H110 and actually impinge on the forcing cone that COULD be an explaination for increased throat errosion if it actually is greater than other powders.

    We can also note that plastic sabots have become popular in a number of guns including subcaliber rifle rounds. I've examined quite a few of them and have yet to see one that shows signs of melting. If hot burning powder caused damage to the base of bullets it would almost certainly melt these plastic parts.

    In any event - the study on the potential throat errosion using Lil'gun makes some interesting reading. Everyone can draw their own conclusions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    The same guy here who points out how a certain powder can cause forcing cone and throat erosion also said that lead isn't eroded away and vaporized (my word) by these same culprit gasses. Go figure. You be the judge.
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    TV,

    Good point about the sabots.

    I've looked at the ones I use in blackpowder and also my Savage model 10 with smokeless powder (AA1680 and IMR4198) and there is no indication of melting. I've always wondered why that was and I figured it was due to the extremely short time they are exposed to the heat and that would apply to lead bullets too. I'm pretty sure the plastic will melt before lead. I've always attributed barrel leading to velocity which will strip a bit of lead off the bullet as it goes down the barrel. The rougher the barrel...the more lead that is left behind. Copper jackets will do that too but not as bad in most cases.

    Using that logic the bullet is not exposed to the heat near as long as the forcing cone or throat which could explain erosion there. I wonder if high speed air guns have similar problems with erosion?
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    Have either of you two guys shot cast lead bullets from any of your revolvers?
    Where does that splash of lead come from that is on the forcing cone and the top strap and the face of the cylinder??

    Why do plastic sabots leave plastic in the bore of my muzzle loader?

    How do plastic shot wads leave plastic in my shotgun??

    Why do some folks say GC bullets lead to premature gas cutting of the top strap?

    I had a cheap S&W 686 and shot it with mostly 38 specials. It actually cut thru the top strap with 125 grain JSP bullets anter ony a couple hundred thousand rounds. Why?
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  18. #38
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I appreciate all the info relevant to the .45 Blackhawk so far. Am hoping to continue down that path (as long as possible).

    Has anyone seen or heard of any gas cutting of top straps, or throat erosion issues in the Blackhawk? If so, under what conditions?
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post

    Why do plastic sabots leave plastic in the bore of my muzzle loader?

    How do plastic shot wads leave plastic in my shotgun??
    I'm with you in your answers in this subsequent post:

    I suspect that the plastic residue in your bores is from friction and smearing. If you check the edges of the sabots or wads on shotgun wads I think you will agree that there is no signs of melting. Heck - even look at paper patched bullets or the cloth patches from your muzzle loaders- they aren't even scorched!
    I do more muzzleloading than anything else these days, and have seen the plastic fouling both from sabots and shotgun wads. Looking at the bases of both recovered from the range, I've never seen so much as a scorch mark on the bases, but lots of black streaking down the sides.

    Knowing that, the solution was easy, making it a non-issue. I just put a lubed felt "bore button" under sabots and a lubed fiber "base wad" under my shotgun wads. Done deal. Zero plastic fouling. And the sides of recovered sabots and plastic wads are clean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    I started in about 1958, I have 21 pistol molds and 3 lead pots and 2 electric furnaces and 2 propane burners for casting and I don't have time to cast to keep up with my shooting so I buy cast bullets as well...by the 5,000 usually or the cheapest shipping rate.

    I don't have an answer to the questions posed but I am willing to discuss it in a civil manner.
    Of course. I never meant to imply you would not discuss cicil manner. My apologies.

    The theory or opinion I have had for some time, after after forty years of shooting cast bullets, (I shot 1000 this month) is that lead is blasted into particles at the cylinder gap. At the oxygen window of the cylinder gap where heat from the oxygenized powder gas burns much hotter (and brighter) we get enough heat to vapor blast this lead dust on to surrounding cylinder throats, and face as well as the forcing cone, top strap and frame. If one has no other explanation, then that is presently the most plausible theory. One cannot discredit a theory without offering an alternate opinion. Negative responses do not do that.

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    Last edited by Murphy; 01-31-2012 at 15:36. Reason: Still learning to spell.
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