I’ve started reloading 45 Colt using the materials at hand, Unique powder and 255 gr Hornady Swaged RN bullets. I started with 6.5 grains of Unique and increased powder in .5 gr increments. So far have loaded and tested 6.5 gr, 7.0 gr and 7.5 gr. The 6.5 gr has a MV of about 650 fps, 7.0 gr is 700 fps, and 7.5 gr 750 fps. These are expected MVs as one of the beautiful things about 45 Colt/Unique powder/250 gr bullet combinations is that the MV to powder load is approximately 100 FPS/GR.
Anyway, the level of recoil with these loads is rather surprising to me. The 7.5 gr loads recoil enough that I find it uncomfortable to shoot a box of 50 and enjoy the experience. Recoil is not in the 44 Mag arena by any means, but sharp enough to flip the barrel appreciably. I guess I expected these “pussycat” loads to feel more like a 38 Special.
There are no signs of leading, or indications of flattened primers. I am using a 4-5/8” Blackhawk and a 5.5” Bisley Blackhawk. The 5.5” is more comfortable to shoot as you would expect. For those of you that reload this cartridge, is this your experience? I know that recoil is subjective, but still, your experience will be enlightening.
I use an old RCBS balance beam scale that has been reliable for quite a few years. Still, I am beginning to think I should calibrate it with the weights I see on Amazon.
The Tier 1 max load for 45 Colt is 9 gr Unique for about 900 fps, which replicates the original blackpowder load for this caliber. If that is the case, those old Colts must recoil quite a lot. I don’t think many cowboys could fan the hammer like we see in movies.