Reloading Question

I have leveled up in the gunnie world today. In addition to the extra hit points, I now have a bunch of skill points allotted to “Craft Ammo”. That’s right, i have finally joined the ranks of the reloaders.

Which of course is the purpose of this post, i need suggestions for good loads for .45 Colt that roughly approximate the ballistics of the original loads. A 250 grain bullet at about 800 fps would be great for a lot of applications, with the added benefit of not blowing up any of my cartridge conversion revolvers.  I decided to just start with .45 Colt for a couple of reasons, foremost of those being that I have a ton of brass sitting around that I’ve collected in that caliber.  The 2nd reason is that even though I don’t shoot a lot of .45 Colt, the 100 or so rounds a month that I go through in that caliber easily makes it one of the most expensive things that I shoot, since a box of 50 goes for about $30-$35, which means that I can spend upwards of 70 bucks on ammo for just 100 rounds.  Even if I get the cost down to $15 a box, it’s still going to cut my cost of shooting in half, which means more shooting for me.

I also need/want advice on powder – I know next to nothing about selecting a powder for reloads.  I had heard that Trail Boss was good, but honestly I don’t really know all that much about powders and reloading.

Any and all advice is helpful.  Oh yeah, and I need a mallet.


  1. The thing Trial Boss has going for it is that it takes up a lot of space in the case. It’s far more difficult to double-charge.

    Beyond that I’ve never really heard anything spectacular about it.

  2. I like Hodgdon Titegroup for my .45 Colt loads.

    6.2 gr Titegroup (min 5.0 grains)
    250 gr. LRNFP (I like the Magtech bullets, cheap)
    COL 1.600″
    881 fps at 13,000 CUP (min 716 fps at 7600 CUP)

    Likes: large range of powder weight (5.0 to 6.2) means that small measuring errors result in small consequences and your target 800 fps is somewhere in the middle. Titegroup is cheap. Think $8 a box, not $15.

    Dislikes: 5.0-6.2 grains is a small charge. Don’t double charge. Stay organized and focused. Bulky Trail Boss is good for safety on this front. Go to to compare.

  3. I load .357 mag for Cowboy Action (.38spc is harder to clean-up after). IMR Trail Boss & Alliant Unique work well in the large cavernous space of the casing. Titegroup is supposed to be less susceptible to the open space, but I got wide velocity spreads. YMMV.

    Here’s some loads for .45LC… Colt&Weight=All&type=Handgun&Order=Powder&Source=

  4. I always feel obliged to point this out:

    Reloading is the single geekiest gun-related activity there is.

    We’ll have to swap recipes sometime. 😀

  5. Yeah…and check all your cases (if you use a loading block) for powder before you seat your bullets…. I had a squib in my Glock 21 and it was a PIA to get out.

    Some people had come over and we were talking in the garage while I was reloading….NOT A GOOD IDEA.

  6. I’ve had good luck with Unique for most loads; W231 also works well for lighter grain bullets in 45LC and 45ACP.

  7. I read the ABC’s of Reloading. That’s a good one.

    I also use W231 for my .45 ACP loads…. 5.1-5.3 grn behind a 230 grn bullet.

  8. One more vote for Titegroup here. The stuff works well in my .38, .357, and 9×18.
    I’ll second the observation on having company over while you’re reloading. To reduce the risk, get a pencil, the kind with no eraser, just a metal cap, and scribe it at the depth of an empty case, and one with the right amount of powder in it. After filling 50 cases, use the pencil to check EVERY ONE for powder depth. You’ll find you can estimate the powder charge to within .1g after a bit.
    Also, go here:
    for more Heloise Helpful Hints than you can shake a boomstick at.

  9. Another vote for Trail Boss, using a loading block with a good light (any tac light will do fine for checking a finished block for standard powder depth), and never, NEVER reloading while talking on the phone, watching tv, talking to a neighbor, etc. Easy to lose attention for just a second and either load a squib (frustrating and time consuming) or a double charge (resulting in carbon steel confetti and a sore hand IF YOU’RE LUCKY).

  10. I currently load for .45ACP, .38SPL, .270Win, and I’m working up a load for .357Mag.

    I use H4831 in the .270 and have been very happy with results. 56.2gr behind a Hornady 130gr Interlock gives me just over 1MOA groups unsupported prone, which is as good as I can do with factory Remington loads.

    .45ACP I’m currently loading 4.3gr of Green Dot behind a 230gr LRN. It’s a very mild target load, and I actually need to bump it up a little to see if I can tighten up the groups a little bit.

    .38SPL I’m using 3.5gr of Trailboss behind 158gr LRN and 158gr LSWC… very accurate and VERY light recoil.

    I’ve got a .44SPL waiting at the store to pick up, when I start for that I need to figure out the best load – and I’ll probably see if I can find one powder to work with both the .357 and the .44. All my digging suggests either W296 or Alliant 2400 will be the way to go…

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