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Thread: Handloading .45 colt and Smith and Wesson

  1. #1

    Default Handloading .45 colt and Smith and Wesson

    I have been handloading .45 colt for Rugers and recently bought a S&W in .45 colt...don't want to blow the side plates off the Smith and was wondering what a good trail load for the Smith would be.. maybe not a steady diet, but whats hot for the model 25...? I have been using Unique, 2400 and was thinking of trying that Italian sounding powder that starts with a V...any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated...

  2. #2
    Member Alangaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hey! If I look thru this empty beer bottle, I think I can see Russia from here!!!


    I also have a Ruger in 45 colt as well as a Taurus in 45 colt. And due to the absolute certainty of an eventual ammunition mix up on my part, (Murphy’s Law………not you Murphy……. The OTHER Murphy) I long ago did away with any “Ruger Only” loads with the exception of those loaded with 300 grain cast bullets as they are too long to function in the Taurus and therefore cannot be accidentally fired from it.
    Having said that, it is my humble suggestion that you do the same and stick with loads that are safe in both guns.
    I think my normal load is 9 or 9.5 grains of Unique under a 250 grain cast bullet. But check that with your load data as I cant remember for sure.
    It is a rather dirty (lots of soot) load, but plenty powerful (around 900 fps I think) and very economical. I don’t know how many you could load with a pound of powder, but imagine it would be a bunch………………………
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

  3. #3


    I use 13 grains HS6 with a 275 lfn hardcast or 285-290 swc hardcast for about 1050 fps. Used in 25-9 and 625 mountain gun. A friend got this load from John and Dustin Linebaugh. No problems with pass throughs on large hogs. Very comfortable, and guns are still tight. Good luck...

  4. #4


    Thanx for the info..The powder I was trying to think of is Vihtavouri...I have been loading for the Blackhawks 10 t0 10.5 grs. of Unique and 18.5 of 2400 for 300 grs. gas check, hard cast and 8.5 grs. Unique for 250 grs. hard cast...HS6 and Vihtavouri sound like interesting powders I would like to try but jeeze you have to buy a pound at a time...I wish they would sell smaller amounts so experimenting wouldn't cost so much..

  5. #5
    Member byrd_hntr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default sort of thread hijack

    Last year my bro and I got my oldman a .45 LC Henery Golden boy. He loves it. Anyway he handloads a bit and he is looking for a good strait shooting consistent load for his rifle. Something that is safe for the rifle but has some omph. Anyone have a good load they would like to share. He mostly shoots coyotes (not concerned with saving the hide) and he swears up and down then next year hes going to take it mulley hunting (he lives in NV). On a side note he is a darn good shot with it with factory loads, open sights too boot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    In one of the recent Handloader magazines Brian Pearce did an article on .45 Colt handloading. He broke his data up into three groups based on pressure. I don't recall what they all were, but I believe he wrote that Smiths were safe with up to 20k psi loads. If you're interested I can find out what specific issue it was so you could order the back issue.

    Generally speaking, (and with the understanding that you're talking about loads that will be used infrequently) I think that because the weak point in the Smith is that the bolt notch is over the thinnest part of the cylinder, you may want to go with only slower burning powders like 2400 or one of the 4227s. I use H110/W296 all the time in my Redhawk, but that's a 30 - 35k psi load, and I'm not sure how well that powder would work at 20k psi.

    John Linebaugh has written some good stuff on this here:
    And also here:


  7. #7


    Thanks for all the great for thought

  8. #8


    Jeeze...Now if I could only get my hands on some primers and powder...It seems Alaska is out of reloading supplies...!!!


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