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The Ultimate Reloading Manual
Wolfe Publishing Group
  • alliant reloading data
  • reloading brass
  • shotshell reloading
The Ultimate Reloading Manual
hodgdon load data

.45 Colt (Revolver)

Author: Brian Pearce
Date: Apr 23 2020

The .45 Colt was developed around 1873 for the famous Colt Single Action Army revolver and remains in continuous use and high demand for a variety of applications.

Industry maximum average pressure limits are currently established at 14,000 psi and none of the accompanying data exceeds that limit. All loads contained herein are for guns intended for smokeless powders and should never be used in any gun built during the black powder era. Colt Single Actions manufactured prior to 1900, or below serial number 192,000, are black powder guns that should never be used with this or any other smokeless powder data.

Regarding loads containing the Hornady 225-grain FTX bullet; cases were trimmed to 1.215 inch, then crimped into the cannelure, which resulted in an overall cartridge length of 1.645 inch. Although this overall cartridge length exceeds industry guidelines, it feeds and functions in all popular rifles and revolvers. And it should be noted that standard length cases (between 1.275 and 1.285 inch) can be used with the FTX bullet, likewise exceeding industry specifications, but nonetheless functioning perfectly in many firearms. If your gun(s) will accept the longer cartridge length, there is no need to trim cases with this bullet.

Much of the data containing the 250-grain Hornady HP-XTP bullet has “starting loads” that produce between 550 to 700 fps. These loads should never be reduced. And caution should be exercised to be certain that a bullet does not stick in the bore from too low of velocity. If this bullet is expected to expand, velocities should reach at least 800 fps.

The Hornady swaged lead bullets including the 200-grain SWC and L-C/T and the 255-grain FP do not feature a crimp cannelure and should be seated to specified lengths, then crimped with a moderately heavy crimp.