45 Colt

All load data here is published as recipes that have worked for me or other shooters. It is not meant to replace any data by powder manufacturers, If in doubt consult your load manuals. The individual assumes the risk fully for their safe loading practices.

I have found 45 Colt a real challenge to load accurately. Result have been poor at best until last year. A supply of IMR powder came my way. This was quite a new powder, and I had seen some very positive article about it. We loaded:

Trail Boss 5g, Magtech Large Pistol Primer, Oregon Trail 250g LRNFP .452 Laser-Cast “Silver Bullet” (Supplied Via Midway UK). Light crimp.

reloading  data


This load was key holing at 25m (rested), with the average group of five shots held within 2.7cm. Shot from a Winchester 94AE 24 inch barrel, and a stock Chaparral 1866 18 inch barrel. The recoil was very light, but was heavy enough to drop steel plates. I was very impressed, and now load this recipe as my main load.

Surprisingly .44 magnum with a 240g LRNFP and 5g of TB, posted the same sort of results.

Trail Boss was developed for use in cartridges originally designed for black powder use. that would include the 45 colt and the 30-30 rifle cartridge. the powder looks different. it's shaped like a donut, and it fed through my Lee powder charger nicely. it's designed to take up a lot more room. a typical 1 pound powder can holds 9 ounces of Trail Boss. so when you throw a 5.8 grain charge, it takes up over 1/2 the available space. and when you throw a 6.5 grain charge, the case looks close to full, with enough room that the charge isn't compressed when inserting a 200 grain round nose bullet. I also like the fact it is a very light colour, so is easy to see in the case making the lightest charge clearly visible. This can only help with safety, with the risks associated with light loads using say, Bullseye for example greatly reduced.

Please e-mail me for more information, questions, experiences or suggestions.