Pink Bullets in 45 ACP

Bullet: 200 GR RN Polycoat Bullet from Eggleston Munitions in Pink.

Primer: Rem 2 1/2

Powder: 1.0cc Trail Boss ≈ 4.4 ± 0.2 grains

Cartridge Overall Length: 1.240″

Brass: Mixed 5x fired

Firearm 5″ 1911; Les Baer

Velocity: 774 fps (10 shot avg)

Spread: 804-734 = 70fps

Std Dev: 25.26 fps

LabRadar Series: 69

Notes: 👍 Unfortunately the pink bullet seems to be discontinued. Or only sometimes available. The coating did flake more than I’d like in shipping, leaving spots of exposed lead. Weight was pretty consistent, 200 – 203 grains.

Mild recoil. Quite report. Still cycled a couple 1911s.

Their load data shows 1.225″ COL for 200 GR RN Polycoat Bullet. I initially had a longer OAL of 1.255″, to be conservative about pressure. This shot fine in the one and only 1911 I tested, but after acquiring a chamber-gauge, I realized the rounds did not chamber in it. Seating deeper to (1.240″ COL) fixed the problem. I also crimped aggressively, but the COL was the true fix.


Powder: 5.8gr H. Universal

Velocity: 864fps avg

Spread: 911 – 809 = 102fps

Std Dev: 37 fps (12 shots)

LabRadar Series: 91

Notes: 👎 Stronger recoil than Trail Boss, but noticeably less than standard 230 grain loads.

Blue Dot + 500 Linebaugh

Cartridge: 500 Linebaugh

Firearm: Converted Ruger Blackhawk, 7.5″ Mag-na-ported Barrel

Powder: Blue Dot 18.0 grains, individually weighted

Bullet: 420gr Hunter’s Supply

Primer: CCI 350 Large Pistol Magnum

LabRadar series: 82

Shooting Record: 4/12/2017 @ Sunnyvale Rod & Gun

Velocity: 1180 fps average (7 shots)

Spread: 1193 – 1171 = 22fps

Std Dev: 7 fps (7 shots)

Drag Coefficient: -1.56 fps/yard over first 60 yards

Notes: Taffin Test data shows 18-20 grains of Blue Dot for “LBT #512.440 LFN (445 Grains)” with 18 grains giving “1037fps from a 5 1/2″ barrel.”

A LOT of recoil, but noticeably less than 525grain @ 980fps load. Lot of smoke. Low flash. I had poor accuracy, but I attribute it to poor control — I hadn’t shot this big of a bore in a while, and the smoke made it difficult to see POI corrections. No signal on bullet pull — I single loaded.

Primers were starting to look flat. No unburned powder. I am not comfortable increasing this charge without more data, and recommend starting lower.

TrailBoss + 500 Linebaugh

Cartridge: 500 Linebaugh

Firearm: Converted Ruger Blackhawk, 7.5″ Mag-na-ported Barrel

Powder: Trail Boss 2.2cc Lee dipper ≈ 9.4grains ± 0.2

Bullet: 420gr Hunter’s Supply

Primer: Winchester WLP

LabRadar series: 81

Shooting Record: 5 shots, 4/11/2017 @ Sunnyvale Rod & Gun, between 8 and 9 PM

Velocity: 768 fps

Spread: 778.6 – 757.4 = 21 fps

StdDev: 8.12fps

Drag Coefficient: -0.56 fps/yard over first 60 yards

Notes: Recoil was very controllable, no pain at all, I could make 100 yard hits repeatably. Winchester WLP primer helps identify light loads.

Although very slow, 420 grains × 768 feet per second = 240 grains × 1,344 feet per second, which approximates 44 magnum factory ammunition. And there was much less muzzle blast than with a 44 magnum. I was fortunate enough to be able to setup my chronograph at the 100 yard steel, and the LabRadar indicates that velocity-loss was pretty good for a pistol order of 1 fps lost for 6 feet of travel.

NewImage

I only got data to 60 yards. But extrapolating to 100 yards, the slug would still be moving at about 710fps — still a “Power Factor” of ~300.

Blue Dot + 45 Colt

Bottom line: 👎 in this caliber. There are more consistent powders for moderate 45 Colt loads. There are safer powders for heavy loads. I’ll finish the rest of the canister in 500 Linebaugh or 45 ACP.

Cartridge: 45 Colt

Firearm: Ruger Blackhawk, 5.5″ Barrel

Powder: Blue Dot 13gr±0.5 (high variation from using rifle-insert in measure)

Bullet:260gr Lyman #454424 from Matt’s Bullets

Primer: Rem 2½ Large Pistol

LabRadar series: S61

Shooting Record: 2017-03-07, evening, approx 55 Fahrenheit, 12 shots

Velocity (12 shots): Average 1060fps, ES 1087-1015=72fps, StdDev 22.4fps

Notes: stiff recoil — not pleasant, but not yet painful with gloves on. Lots of smoke.

Charge was max for 14kPSI with 260 grain jacketed per Alliant data. Note that charge is above max (by 0.1 grain) for 250gr Lead SWC in Speer #12. Assume it is +P and unsafe, until proven otherwise. QuickLOAD predicts 921fps @ 13.7kPSI. But clearly we got more than that, so something’s up! I tried estimating the pressure by increasing the powder charge in QuickLOAD until I got a velocity of 1060fps, which happened at an estimated 19kPSI.


Bullet: 230 grain “Softball!” (actually Brinell 18) Hi-Tek coated from Missouri Bullet Co

LabRadar series: S62

Other details identical as “S61” above.

Velocity (6 shots): Average 1053fps, ES 1086 – 1023 = 63fps, StdDev 22.3fps

Notes: Recoil was noticeably less than 260 grain load, much much less smoke.


Brass: Starline 1x fired

Primer: Rem 2½ Large Pistol

Powder: Blue Dot 12.9gr (Indv. Weighed)

Bullet: 250gr Lead SWC (Speer #4684)

Crimp: Lee Factory Crimp (moderate)

LabRadar Series: 86

Velocity: 1028 nominal, 1019 actual. ES 1043 – 996 = 47fps, StdDev 14.8fps (13 shots)

Notes: Speer LSWC Bullets are very consistent, ±1 grain or less. Charge is maximum in Speer #12. I took my time weighing each charge, so I could test if Blue Dot is a consistent powder — since my early loads above might have just shown inconsistent powder-measuring + variability in casting.

Die Adjustment Cheat Sheet

1/TPI = vertical distance traveled (inches) in one turn. Always round that number up, so you seat too shallow. It’s easier to add more turns than to pull the bullet and start over.

Standard dies are 7/8-14 = 1/14″ per turn 0.01″ per 1/8 turn is a healthy over-estimate.

Lee seater stems: use +0.015″ per 1/4 turn to estimate. Actual number is 18TPI and closer to 0.1388…89″.

Accurate #9

Accurate #9 is a handgun powder that is “ideal for high power loads in traditional magnums… such as the 357 Mag … also … large magnums such as the 460 S&W and 500 S&W for economical target loads. Made in the USA.”

Bottom Line: Still evaluating.

Manufacturer’s load data portal.

Pros:

  • Meters very well. So far the RCBS ChargeMaster has metered every charge exactly, while H110 charges would run over by 0.1 grain or so occasionally.
  • Good amount of load data available, for magnum and heavy calibers.
  • Lower flash than H110. Not sure I’d call it low flash overall though.

Cons:

  • I’ve had high shot-to-shot velocity variations with it.
  • Limited application.

Notes:

Still evaluating…

Ruger Bearcat 4.2″ Barrel

Ruger Bearcat (Adjustable Sights) 4.2″ Barrel

Ammunition Bullet Weight (grains) String Size Avg Velocity Ext Spread Std Dev Notes
Federal 550 Round Value Pack (old, need to confirm grain) 36 6 Shots 984 66 26 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” 40 6 Shots 964 51 19 Easy to load
Aguila Super Extra 40gr 40 4 Shots 948 54 22.2 Nominal 1,255 fps @ muzzle, 1036fps @ 100 yards
Aguila Golden Eagle “Eley Prime” 40 4 Shots 847 18 7.8 Discontinued? Exposed lead. Nominal 1080fps.

Cleaning Load with CFE

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.