Ruger Bearcat (Adjustable Sights) 4.2″ Barrel
||Bullet Weight (grains)
|Federal 550 Round Value Pack (old, need to confirm grain)
||Old pack with some corrosion on the bullet plating, but clean brass. Hard to load. Spit lead once. Box says 1280 @ muzzle, 1020 @ 100 yards
|CCI 40grain CPRN “AR Tactical”
||Easy to load
|Aguila Super Extra 40gr
||Nominal 1,255 fps @ muzzle, 1036fps @ 100 yards
|Aguila Golden Eagle “Eley Prime”
||Discontinued? Exposed lead. Nominal 1080fps.
Cartridge: 45 Colt
Brass: Winchester, 1x fired
Primer: Rem 2½ Large Pistol
Powder: CFE Pistol 8.8gr (per Hodgdon)
Bullet: 250 gr Nosler JHP, #43013
Crimp: Heavy Lee factory crimp
Velocity: 841 fps (814,868,844,850,825,845)
Extreme Spread (6 shots): 814-868 = 54fps
Standard Deviation (6 shots): 19fps
LabRadar Series: S29
Firearm: Ruger Blackhawk, 5.5″ Barrel
Notes: Low flash.
Hodgdon claims 915fps at 13kPSI with a Hornady XTP, WLP Primers, 7.25″ test barrel. I started with the maximum load, on the assumption I would get a cleaner burn at a higher pressure (since 45 Colt is much lower pressure than most modern pistol rounds CFE was presumably designed for). I felt safe doing that because I had a tremendous safety margin since this was intended for a Ruger Blackhawk.
The WLP primer Hodgdon used in their load data is suitable for hard-to-ignite “magnum” powders. Given the inconsistent performance of this load, I should try the WLP or a magnum primer, with my next CFE load, and see if I get more consistency.