In order to participate in the GunBroker Member forums, you must be logged in with your account. Click the sign-in button at the top right of the forums page to get connected.

Pre 1900 Colt Ammunition Loads

batwingmowbatwingmow Member Posts: 9 ✭✭
I have some old colts that are shooters in 45 LC and 44-40. Since they are pre 1900 I need to see the suggested loads for them in either black powder or smokeless reduced. I found some Cowboy Action ammo at 750 and 775 FPS. This seems really low and should not present a problem. Where is the best chart to look at online to verify these ballistics.


  • moonshinemoonshine Member Posts: 8,471
    edited November -1
    Use the Speer book and look up cowboy loads
  • 44caliberkid44caliberkid Member Posts: 925 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    There are mixed opinions on whether any smokeless load is safe in a pre-1898 Colt or other antique weapons. Smokeless powder pressure is different from black powder, even in reduced loads. It's not just a matter of FPS.
    I only shoot black powder in antique guns. I'd feel like a goat if I launched a cylinder or a topstrap into orbit using smokeless. A 45 Colt case, which used to hold 40 grains of BP in the old days, will only hold about 37 grains in modern cases. My general rule of thumb is to fill the case to the point where the seated bullet just touches the powder. If you want to go a little less, stick a Wonder Wad in on top of the powder.
    Shooting real black is so much more fun than smokeless that it's not worth the risk to ruin a nice piece.
  • PearywPearyw Member Posts: 3,699
    edited November -1
    I use 5.1 gr of Trail Boss with a 200 gr cast lead .427" bullet is my S&W Frontier 44-40.
Sign In or Register to comment.