Friday, May 06, 2005

As I continue load development for the .45 Colt I can see that a trend is developing. Readers who wish to have some good background on what the .45 Colt can do when used in the M92 platform should read Paco Kelly's article on the .45 Colt in such rifles, 45 (long) Colt in Leveraction Rifles.

I'm not certain where Paco got his pressure data on his loads but my experiences seem to bear out those figures. Of course, I don't have a strain gage or lab to do testing for me, this is just many years of experience (and some mistakes!) talking.

So, I've already found that the load using the Sierra 300 gr. JFP and 23 gr. of H110 is fully acceptable in the M92 Rossi and I expect that I could do the same with the Hornady XTP bullets. The two Hornady bullets I'm referring to are the 300 gr. XTP-HP and the XTP-Mag. If I've updated the photo in an early post, you'll be able to see the differences in these two bullets. The main reason for doing so isn't really to gain more velocity and energy, although there might be minor benefits from doing so. The biggest reason is to bring the POI up on the target so that I can use these loads with my rear sight at it's lowest setting. I think I'll also be moving the 300 gr. Beartooth WFNGC a bit faster and will work up until that bullet also is "on" at 100 yards.

Now that bullet, and the Cast Performance 265 gr. WFNGC, are a hoot to shoot at targets. You can hear them slap the target backing at 100 yards. The sound is VERY noticeable and I'm sure that they would "slap" game pretty hard, too!

I am going to try to slow down the 265 gr. WFNGC, though. Even at moderate velocities with the 10 gr. Unique load, it shoots way too high at 100 yards. Perhaps IMR's (now owned by Hogdon) new Trail Boss powder will be just the ticket. Haven't seen any of that locally but I'm sure it will be here soon. We have several CAS organizations in the area. Even with a max advertised rifle velocity of about 725 fps, from a rifle it should do about 800-850 fps, that 265 gr. bullet would have a lot of uses around the farm for general use. Perhaps at that velocity it will shoot to the sights on MY rifle at some of the closer distances. It would also be a very mild shooter.

That brings up another subject, recoil. This rifle can either be a very mild gun to shoot with free recoil energy of less than 5 fpe or pretty rough with energies approaching 20 fpe. I'm sure many folks wouldn't like those upper level loads with the steel buttplate but I don't find them objectionable. It seems to me that the stock design is very good for my very average body dimensions. I might sometimes get a bit of bruising when wearing just a T-shirt but no pain.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I finally got to the range today to try out some new bullets and older bullets loaded differently. All bullets are 300 gr.

Hornady XTP-Mag, 22 gr. H110, 1423 fps, 1366 fpe, 5 fps AD, 7 SD This load was a bit stickier to feed than I expected but was pretty accurate. Also, it was on at 100 yards.

Beartooth WFNGC, 22 gr. H110 1480 fps, 1459 fpe, 6 fps AD, 8 SD Fed smooth as silk, just a little low at 100 yards, sub 2 inch group at 100 yards, just 4 inches low at 150 yards! I'm going to try to work this up to 23 gr. That big flat point really slaps the target backing. You can hear it through muffs all the way back to the firing line.

Sierra JFP, 23 gr. H110 1504 fps, 1506 fpe, 9 fps AD, 11 SD Another smooth feeding load despite the fact that it is the longest COL of any of these loads. 1" or so low at 100 yards. This bullet has the best BC of any of these 300 gr. bullets.

Hornady XTP-HP, 22 gr. H110, 1446 fps, 1393 fpe, 11 fps AD, 17 SD This time I seated to the topmost cannelure and it fed better but it also struck lowest on the target at 100 yards. I'm going to work these up to 22.8 gr. (the Hogdon manual max) and see how they do. However, it is the XTP-Mag that is most suitable for these velocities (of all the XTP bullets).

I need to restake the front sight and zero. Today, by paying attention to the front sight, lateral variation of all loads did not exceed 3". It was the vertical disbursement that varied.

Free recoil energy of these loads varied from 18 to 19 fpe.