.45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Hello, gurus. Looking through my trusty Lyman reloading manuals I don’t see an equivalent section for .45 colt (rifle data) I’m confident that I can cook some decent loads in this rifle.

I have some “kieth type” Bullets 255 gr 18BHN on the way.

I also have some 250 gr. 12 BHN bullets too.

I have federal large pistol primers, some starling brass and plan to use H-110 as that’s what I have quite a bit of (I am almost out of 2400 & universal)

I found load data for jacketed bullets on the Hogden reloading site - I guess start 10% lower
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?

As well as some mild pistol loads that I can load.
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Any experience with rifle .45 LC loads?


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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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The issue here isn't, do you "rifle" data or "handgun" data. The issue is, "how strong is your firearm, whether it's a rifle or a handgun"? Remember that full-sized Ruger Blackhawks (now called Super Blackhawks), Redhawks, and Super Redhawks (all handguns) can take considerably more powerful loads than the SAAMI specs. It's a matter of power vs. type and strength of the action (e. g. the three common levels of .45-70 handloads--Trapdoor, Winchester, and Ruger #1/Siamese Mauser). This is a critical point to understand if you're thinking about going beyond official SAAMI-spec loads.

I don't know how strong a Henry rifle is. But I am told that Winchester 92 rifles and their copies (e. g. the Rossi 92) are designed to be able to take 40,000 CUP, so apparently they, too, can handle the Ruger/TC loads. As was suggested above, call Henry and ask them.

I use 2400 powder for my high-power .45 Colt load. That load chronos at 1,350 ft/sec out of the 7.5" Super Redhawk's barrel. My load is the same as Lyman's T/C Contender load, which is 22.0gr of 2400 under a 250gr cast bullet (Lyman's 49th Edition, page 440). If a Henry is as strong as a T/C Contender, then this load should be OK in your Henry...*IF* the Henry is that strong.
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http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/ (reloading instruction)
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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Wondered how long it would take CowboyT to chime in. :) I don't reload - this isn't the time to start if you haven't got supplies already - and there are safety and logistical considerations beyond the pure financial ones. But since you already do, that's irrelevant.

There are old threads on the relative strength of .45 Colt lever actions down in the archives, if you've got SCUBA gear and time. I seem to recall Marlene saying something to the effect that 1873 actions and older weren't up to the 'Ruger only' loads, and the 1892 and its clones were more than capable.

I also seem to recall Henry being a zebra of another color, from a design standpoint. If you can't get a straight answer from Henry that isn't buried in legalese, I'm sure some forum somewhere has a multitude of conflicting opinions to pick and choose from.

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Well I had to get creative at the loading bench last night. I had .200 gr LSWC for .45 ACP over 7.8 g of 231, and not wanting to use the .230 lead RN - but I’m wary about using non-flat point billets in a tubular magazine. These feed terrible as to keep the COL under the max 2.60 I had to seat them under the case mouth. Tonight I’ll play around with crimp. I don’t have a Lee factory crimp die for this die set... and those can’t be had right now along with Lyman sizing dies - so it looks like I’m stuck until my LRNFP bullets arrive.


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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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I did get out yesterday morning and lever off some of the .45 ACP 200 gr. LSWC bullets I loaded into the .45 colt cases in my creek at about 20 yards (the white paper) I was shooting off hand - 7 rounds & quick as to not disturb my Nieghbor on the other side of the creek - so not too bad. The spread on the group was all me - if I had a bench & a rest they would have been a tight group for sure.
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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Nice biiiig holes!

+1 on CowboyT’s info above. I purchased my 20” .45 Colt Rossi 92 after reading much about its stout receiver’s ability to handle “Ruger Only” loads for a serious 100+yds hunting rifle.

Also some good .45 colt background load information here:
https://leverguns.com/articles/paco/45coltlevergun.htm
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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I’m told (via the internetz) you need to contact Henry & inquire about the safety of your particular rifle’s action with a “factory” load - if you say “handload” they just send you legalistic nonsense. So I picked the 2 stompiest + P loads in the Buffalo Bore line up. That will cover anything I need, with margin for error.
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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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lurker wrote:
INVICTVS138 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:24 pm
BHN 16
brinell hardness number?
Yes - Lyman #2 alloy 5lb Ingot purchased from Midway. Takes the guesswork work out of the alloy.

It’s almost as expensive (when factoring shipping) as purchasing pre-made cast bullets - but they are severely back ordered right now & this lets me shoot in the interim. And it’s a fraction of the cost of “factory” .45 colt ammunition - if it was available.


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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Interesting, as there is no SAAMI +P standard for .45 Colt.

Still, .44 Magnum hits 36,000 PSI, compared to 14,000 PSI for SAAMI spec .45 Colt. I've seen some argue that 'Ruger only' loads should stay below 23,000 based on the +P rating for .45 ACP, based on interchangeable cylinders. Ruger's lawyers have a different opinion.

The shape, weight, and COAL limitations seem reasonable.

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Nice looking boolits, Invictvs. Shooting one of those bumblebees is the mass equivalent of sending two (!) 9mm into a hapless target.

Interesting letter from Henry.
This is the first time I’ve learned of any credible testing done by a firearms manufacturer to make a clear statement about using lead (non-FMJ) round-nosed ammo in their leverguns. The fable was that for tube-mags there were concerns for setting off the primer/round sitting on top of it if the rifle was dropped onto its buttstock. I say fable because I’ve never heard or read of anyone actually witnessing something like that happening, even on the WWW (which is of course all true).
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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wings wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 7:31 pm Interesting, as there is no SAAMI +P standard for .45 Colt.

Still, .44 Magnum hits 36,000 PSI, compared to 14,000 PSI for SAAMI spec .45 Colt. I've seen some argue that 'Ruger only' loads should stay below 23,000 based on the +P rating for .45 ACP, based on interchangeable cylinders. Ruger's lawyers have a different opinion.
Not all Ruger revolvers are built equally. I know for a fact that my New Vaquero (with the .45acp convertible cylinder) is far less beefy than the original Ruger Vaquero. It visually looks closer to the Colt SAA which is why I like it. But I never wanted to shoot +P loads out of that cowboy revolver anyway.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Bisbee wrote:
wings wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 7:31 pm Interesting, as there is no SAAMI +P standard for .45 Colt.

Still, .44 Magnum hits 36,000 PSI, compared to 14,000 PSI for SAAMI spec .45 Colt. I've seen some argue that 'Ruger only' loads should stay below 23,000 based on the +P rating for .45 ACP, based on interchangeable cylinders. Ruger's lawyers have a different opinion.
Not all Ruger revolvers are built equally. I know for a fact that my New Vaquero (with the .45acp convertible cylinder) is far less beefy than the original Ruger Vaquero. It visually looks closer to the Colt SAA which is why I like it. But I never wanted to shoot +P loads out of that cowboy revolver anyway.
I think the New Vaqueros are rated higher than a Cowboy Action gun; However only the Blackhawks are rated for the “full house” loads.

I’m waiting to snag a bisely blackhawk .45 colt model when the insanity in prices comes down a bit. I have a black hawk .357 and it is ridiculously over built, heavy monster compared to even an Lframe or a GP-100. Any thing you can stuff into the case and fit the cylinder is no problem. John Taffin has really stretched what a .357 can do in a Blackhawk. So I look to his articles for data. I save the light .357s for my Kframes, and SP101.

I’d also like to get a (cimarron, Uberti, pietta, etc.) Cowboy action type clone as well in .45 colt. I’ll still to the “light” .45 loads with that tho.


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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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I decided to get this “cowboy action” Ruger because it is a nice “working gun” IMHO. I had an actual Colt SAA that was a beautiful jewel of a revolver but at $2k+ I was simply too chickenschize to actually shoot it. I only brought it out of the safe every once in a while to listen to its watch-like timing and ogle at the case-hardened frame. I could tell the revolver viewed me with destain and derision so I let it go to someone who had more money (than sense?) who promptly sent me a video of him shooting it the next day. Meh, everyone is happy. I got this Ruger for roughly a quarter of the price I sold the Colt for! And I shoot it with relish.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Bisbee wrote:I decided to get this “cowboy action” Ruger because it is a nice “working gun” IMHO. I had an actual Colt SAA that was a beautiful jewel of a revolver but at $2k+ I was simply too chickenschize to actually shoot it. I only brought it out of the safe every once in a while to listen to its watch-like timing and ogle at the case-hardened frame. I could tell the revolver viewed me with destain and derision so I let it go to someone who had more money (than sense?) who promptly sent me a video of him shooting it the next day. Meh, everyone is happy. I got this Ruger for roughly a quarter of the price I sold the Colt for! And I shoot it with relish.
For sure. Every Ruger I’ve had has been high value for the money, and I’ve had quite a few. My first gun was a Ruger 10/22. I still have it 30 years later. I bought my Blackhawk .357 in 2012 for $280. They guy I bought it from told “I only use it as a display gun as an a sample of a SA in my CHL class.” I sure have shot it, for far more enjoyment than than the purchase price would allude to.


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Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Rule of thumb - have you spent more on ammo to feed it than you have on the gun itself? That's a sign. It might be a sign that you spent too much during an ammo shortage, but if you were willing to, then yes. Yes, you did.

The internet is full of opinions. What I've seen, the term 'Ruger only' was originally shorthand for "Blackhawk or T/C Contender only." Since then the definitions have wandered. I see some 'factory' ammo listed as safe for 'modern' .45 Colt including Blackhawks, Redhawks, Freedom Arms or Contenders, and the old-model large frame Vaqueros built on the Blackhawk frame. There is much grief over the New Vaquero and the subsequent loss of the qualifying adjective. Play with higher pressure loadings at your own risk. I'd seen that '92s and their clones could handle the pressure, but maybe not older models - but I'd never seen any formal word on Henrys.

Because ammo and money are in short supply, I've been reading. A lot. While the usual comparison for levergun loadings is .44 vs. .357 Magnums, I am wondering if there really is anything .357 can do that .45 Colt can't do, slower. Especially out of a carbine. I'm starting to think snubbies are the only place they have a real advantage.

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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Anyone who saw the movie Gravity and shoot guns can really appreciate the visual representation of classical mechanics kinetic energy formula: (KE) is equal to half of an object's mass (1/2*m) multiplied by the velocity squared. In the movie, a paint chip moving at great speeds is enough to rip a hole through an astronauts spacesuit, possibly even the astronaut as well.

So a smaller mass, .22cal bullet, moving at very high speeds (like a 5.56 round from a carbine) can have the KE equivalent as a big .45cal bullet moving slower out of a stubbier revolver. The only difference apparently is how much of that energy is transferred into the target where it hits. The success of the .45 cal round has always been the frontal area does less piercing and pumps more kinetic energy into the target. A smaller round moving at greater speeds may have the same energy potential but is less likely to transfer the energy into the target as pierce right through it.

A tremendous amount of people succumb to .22cal bullet wounds each year, more than all the other caliber’s combined I read. But they likely bled to death slowly rather than collapsed due to being hit by the bullet.

So I’m guessing that a .357 magnum out of a snubbie revolver may actually cause similar damage as a stout .45lc load out of a snubbie. Out of a carbine a hot .45lc will certainly do much more damage than .357 magnum.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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INVICTVS138 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 8:40 am
lurker wrote:
INVICTVS138 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:24 pm
BHN 16
brinell hardness number?
Yes - Lyman #2 alloy 5lb Ingot purchased from Midway. Takes the guesswork work out of the alloy.

It’s almost as expensive (when factoring shipping) as purchasing pre-made cast bullets - but they are severely back ordered right now & this lets me shoot in the interim. And it’s a fraction of the cost of “factory” .45 colt ammunition - if it was available.


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Just a note. When you shoot these bullets through that Henry--regardless of your load used--I'd better let you know about some experiments I did with bullet hardness and lead-fouling, using the .45 Colt cartridge.

By the way, your bullets do look good.

I also had cast some BHN 15-16 bullets. The bullet weight was 255 gr, LRNFP, from a Lee 6-cavity mould. The powder was 2400. I tried 20.5 and 21.0 grains of 2400. Got rather severe lead-fouling in both chamber and barrel, as well as buckshot-like patterns on the target. When I got the load to 21.5gr, the lead-fouling almost entirely went bye-bye, and the buckshot patterns tightened up into actual groups. So, I tried 22.0gr of 2400. The groups tightened up yet a bit more, and the lead-fouling was completely gone. I tried 22.5gr and got the same results as 22.0gr.

What that told me was as follows.

Apparently the 21.5gr of 2400 was the point at which there was enough pressure to begin properly obturating the bullet. The 22.0gr finished the job, hence the slightly tighter groups. So, unless your bullets are already a little oversized, that BHN 15-16 is going to need some pressure to provide a proper gas seal in your gun as well.

I then tried BHN 12, with the same loads. Zero lead-fouling. Good precision on target. So, BHN 12 is now my standard alloy for my ".45 Colt Magnum" load as well. It appears that softer is actually better until you start looking at full-house .454 Casull loads; then BHN 15-16 is more appropriate.

My bullet lube in all cases was, and remains, liquid Alox, tumble-lubed as is my general practice. Hey, it works...and it's quite convenient from an actual workload perspective. I use a medium coat, which has proved sufficient for not just the Super Redhawk 454, but also the leverguns in various chamberings.
"San Francisco Liberal With A Gun"
http://www.sanfranciscoliberalwithagun.com/ (reloading instruction)
http://www.liberalsguncorner.com/ (podcast)
---------------------------------------
A true Liberal must back the Second Amendment 100%!

Re: .45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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CowboyT wrote:
INVICTVS138 wrote: Mon May 17, 2021 8:40 am
lurker wrote:
INVICTVS138 wrote: Sun May 16, 2021 9:24 pm
BHN 16
brinell hardness number?
Yes - Lyman #2 alloy 5lb Ingot purchased from Midway. Takes the guesswork work out of the alloy.

It’s almost as expensive (when factoring shipping) as purchasing pre-made cast bullets - but they are severely back ordered right now & this lets me shoot in the interim. And it’s a fraction of the cost of “factory” .45 colt ammunition - if it was available.


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Just a note. When you shoot these bullets through that Henry--regardless of your load used--I'd better let you know about some experiments I did with bullet hardness and lead-fouling, using the .45 Colt cartridge.

By the way, your bullets do look good.

I also had cast some BHN 15-16 bullets. The bullet weight was 255 gr, LRNFP, from a Lee 6-cavity mould. The powder was 2400. I tried 20.5 and 21.0 grains of 2400. Got rather severe lead-fouling in both chamber and barrel, as well as buckshot-like patterns on the target. When I got the load to 21.5gr, the lead-fouling almost entirely went bye-bye, and the buckshot patterns tightened up into actual groups. So, I tried 22.0gr of 2400. The groups tightened up yet a bit more, and the lead-fouling was completely gone. I tried 22.5gr and got the same results as 22.0gr.

What that told me was as follows.

Apparently the 21.5gr of 2400 was the point at which there was enough pressure to begin properly obturating the bullet. The 22.0gr finished the job, hence the slightly tighter groups. So, unless your bullets are already a little oversized, that BHN 15-16 is going to need some pressure to provide a proper gas seal in your gun as well.

I then tried BHN 12, with the same loads. Zero lead-fouling. Good precision on target. So, BHN 12 is now my standard alloy for my ".45 Colt Magnum" load as well. It appears that softer is actually better until you start looking at full-house .454 Casull loads; then BHN 15-16 is more appropriate.

My bullet lube in all cases was, and remains, liquid Alox, tumble-lubed as is my general practice. Hey, it works...and it's quite convenient from an actual workload perspective. I use a medium coat, which has proved sufficient for not just the Super Redhawk 454, but also the leverguns in various chamberings.
That’s solid data.

I have loaded 158 gr LSWC at 16 BHN over 14.2 -14.4 gr of 2400 as my standard .357 load in both my Blackhawk and 586. I find it “too beacoup” for Kframes, Italian clones and my Sp 101. The semi wad-cutter pushed hot seems to be very accurate out of these pistols. The Henry doesn’t seem to care as much as the handguns. Shoots every .357 load accurately as I can shoot them out to my own tests at 100yrds. I am experimenting with a skinner sight to see if that helps at 100yards. I needed to order a higher front blade.

The problem is I can’t find 2400 for 3-4 years
now, locally. What we do always seem to have is H-110, which I don’t like as much - but I have quite a bit now. I just found another lb of it 2 weeks ago.

My ancient, Lyman 150 grain mold “Keith type” bullet is less consistent than the 158gr ones I get from Missouri bullet company. However I had only
Every shot those over win 231, h-110 & universal. They don’t like h-110. I bet they would be better with 2400. Maybe I just think that Becuase it’s unobtainable for some time.

I find universal to be OK for jacketed, .38 +p loads but filthy for my own lubed lead bullets. Decent fouling.


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.45 colt - Rifle loads for Henry X model

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My own cast 255 gr Boolit over 7.0 win 231. An almost anemic load to shoot. But I start low with home cast loads. I’d feel pretty comfortable going up to 8.0 and see the results. Pretty satisfied with the prone position group at 15yards.


I also have some 250 gr cast boolits from Missouri at BHN 12 that I will test out similarly loaded.


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