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

.45 Colt (Rifle)(using Hornady bullets)

Author: Brian Pearce / Wolfe Publishing Co.
Date: Mar 25 2016

Although developed primarily as a revolver cartridge in 1873, the .45 Colt became popular in rifles, especially lever-action rifles.

The accompanying data containing the 255-grain Hornady lead FP is primarily for cowboy loads. While several of the loads reached around 1,100 fps, which produced minimal barrel leading in a Ballard rifled Marlin Model 1894 CB LTD, in cross-referencing these loads in multiple rifles some bores will lead at these speeds. By reducing velocity to around 1,000 fps or less, barrel leading was reduced substantially.

The 255-grain bullet has no crimp groove, requiring that cases are crimped directly into the bullet. A heavy crimp is suggested for best accuracy and uniform powder ignition.

When using the 225-grain FTX, due to its spitzer profile and longer nose length, when crimped in its cannelure groove, cartridge overall length (COAL) will exceed industry specifications by around .105 to .110 inch. While some repeating rifles feed these longer cartridges without a hitch, others are not so accommodating. In these instances, the case should be trimmed to 1.215 inch (rather than the 1.275 to 1.285 inches normally associated with this cartridge) and the bullet seated and crimped in normal fashion. This method results in a COAL of 1.645 inches, still some .045 inch longer than industry specifications. So loaded, it functioned reliably in Winchester Models 92 and 94, Marlin 1894 and Uberti 1873 rifles. The accompanying data containing the FTX bullet (only) was fired with cases trimmed to this length.