Fun Day On The Range With The Venerable 45 Colt

| April 20, 2013 | 5 Comments

Some time ago I reviewed my first Smith and Wesson Performance Center Revolver (S&W 625) chambered in the venerable 45 Colt. It is one of few firearms on this site with a perfect 5 star rating. Since owning this great piece of American craftsmanship I have fallen in love with the 45 Colt cartridge.

Over the years there have been many arguments and questions surrounding the 45 Colt. Is the proper name 45 Long Colt? What’s the purpose of 45Colt since 45ACP can do everything it can do? Today I am not here to review the 45 Colt; nether am I here to try and answer any of the above questions or try and clear up any of the debates surrounding this magnificent cartridge. Today I just want to share my experience with you of shooting 140 year old 45 Colt cartridge over a brand new chronograph for the first time.

Though I have been reloading for 20 years I have not shot across a chronograph since I left home as a young lad. My dad has always utilized a chronograph and is of the mindset you can’t reload without one. I have never been one to hot rod any of my reloads, I subscribe to if I need more, go up in cartridge size or grab your rifle. I have always played it very safe when reloading, never going over the max in reloading handbooks and only reloading for best accuracy. I have always known if used correctly a chronograph could be a great tool in helping you achieve the best accuracy. The chronograph provides you the exact stats you need to determine how consistent your reloads are from shot to shot and this is how I plan on utilizing the chronograph I now have access to thanks to Darrell.

This range day was not meant to review or test anything; today was just a matter of going out and having fun since I had not been out in a while, as you have probably noticed by the lack of new articles.

Range Equipment/Materials

S&W 625 45 Colt Performance Center – Previously Reviewed

 

Ruger 454 Alaskan — Previously Reviewed

 

Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital CEI-3800

 

Reloaded Ammunition

Bullet — 255gr Lead .452, Brass — Starline, Winchester LPP, 5.9gr of Alliant Powder Red Dot from Lyman 49th Reloading Manual, COAL 1.602

 

 

This loading proved to be very mild in recoil, pleasant to shoot and plenty accurate from sandbag rest out to 25 yards.

The first 18 rounds were fired from the S&W 625 45 Colt?from the sitting position while only rest my elbows on the bench.

6 shots

 

12 Shots

 

6 Head shots

 

Chronograph Read Outs: S&W 625 45 Colt Performance Center 6in barrel, Target B34 25 yards, Chronograph 8Feet from the muzzle.

255 LRN (.452″) 5.9 grains Alliant Red Dot, Starline cases, Winchester Large Pistol Primers April-13-2013 60?F Roll Crimp .471
Avg Vel=853
Std Dev =20
ES = 87.85
High = 890.9
Low = 803
Number Shots = 18
Excellent Accuracy
Very Little Powder Residue
Very Smoky when fired due to bullet lube

 

There was very little powder reside on the cases after firing, but the rounds were smoky but this is normal because of the lube used in the groove of the bullet.

 

The second round of firing were 18 rounds fired from the Ruger Alaskan 454/45Colt from the sitting position while only rest my elbows on the bench.

6 Shots

 

12 Shots

 

6 Head shots

Chronograph Read Outs:?Ruger Alaskan 454/45 Colt 2in barrel, Target B34 25 yards, Chronograph 8Feet from the muzzle.

255 LRN (.452″) 5.9 grains Alliant Red Dot, Starline cases, Winchester Large Pistol Primers April-13-2013 60?F Roll Crimp .471
Avg Vel=763
Std Dev =36
ES = 61.12
High = 791
Low = 730
Number Shots = 18
Excellent Accuracy
Very Little Powder Residue
Not as smoky when fired from the 2in barrel

The 45 Colt cartridge is very versatile and can be loaded from mild to wild. Cowboy action shooters love this round loaded to 750fps. Hunters also find the 45 Colt to be very useful at 1000fps when fired from lever action rifles or Ruger BlackHawk revolvers. Don’t under estimate the 45 Colt as a great self defense cartridge as well. The key to the 45 Colt is pairing it’s capability and flexibility when hand loaded with the right firearm. Firing hot rodded hand loads or buffalo bore +P rounds in a Colt SAA is sure to cause damage to your firearm. I love the 45 Colt for it’s old western history, having been carried on the hips of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Scott Cooley and Johnny Ringo. I think it is only fitting that I now find a nice Single Action 45 Colt to add to my collection.

If your looking for a fun relaxing day on the range reload a number of rounds of your favorite cartridge, grab multiple firearms and a chronograph and be awed by the variability between the combinations. If your looking for the best accuracy out of your favorite cartridge experiment with different powders and amounts of powder, over all lengths, crimps shot over a chronograph to reduce your extreme spread and standard deviation to as low as numbers as possible to achieve the best consistency.

 

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5 Comments on "Fun Day On The Range With The Venerable 45 Colt"

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  1. Brian L says:

    You should try the old single action style of revolver. I have one based on the original Colt specs. It is a great shooting gun.

  2. I am on the lookout for a Single Action 45 Colt. I just can’t make up my mind which one I want, I have already been saving my cash for months looking for one 🙂

    Which one do you have?

  3. Bill U says:

    Single Action = I second that! Until I picked up a Colt at the last OGCA, I was dead set on a Ruger of some flavor. Now I don’t know. In that case you buy both? I really appreciate you staying with cast bullets. That’s the way it’s supposed to be!!

  4. Graeme says:

    impressive pictures. i agree with Brian on the single action style of revolver. fun fun fun

  5. Andrea says:

    could anyone please tell me the sku number of the smith and wesson 45 colt model 625? Thank you.

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