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So, do people think it is safe to fire a case full of 3Fg under a 250 grain lead bullet in a Colt SAA in .45 Colt that was made in the 1890s and/or one made from 1900 to 1905? Or should I worry that the gun might explode?
I've shot my 1898 Bisley .45 Colt plenty with full power FFFg. loads without an issue. Factory black powder .45 Colt ammunition was still being sold in the 1930's.
 

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I loaded 40 grains under a 250 grn bullet with Olde Eynsford FFFG (3FG) Result were:

The guns used are a Pietta (Heritage Big Bore) 4 3/4in, Cimarron Old Model P 5 1/2in, and a Uberti Old Model P 7 1/2in.

The load is 40 grns of FFFG (3F) Olde Eynsford under a 250grn PRS Big Lube bullet. All loads fired 10 feet from chrono.

4 3/4 Bbl Pietta:

1. 925
2. 903
3. 927
4. 923
5.934
Average 922.4

Cimarron 5 1/2 Bbl :

1. 1004
2. 967
3. 1048
4. 1070
5. 1047
Average 1027.2

Uberti 7 1/2 Bbl:

1. 1028
2. 1049
3. 1018
4. 1026
5. 1010
Average 1026.2
 

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I have never shot black powder loads from any of my Colts. My 1st gen is a 1909 so I can shoot modern loads. I have been temped to load some BP loads for a long time . I do have black powder as I shoot some old trapdoor Springfileds and civil war revolvers, my Hawkins etc.
My question is does the action bind up after a few shoots ,like I have heard or is this more of an exaggeration? I was actually told an early gun should be a little looser as the black powder residue will stop the cylinder from being able to turn after a dozen shots. I have always wondered if this is true. I realize I must clean the pistol after use but wonder how many shots I can take before I a fowled action starts putting a strain on the hand and such.
My 1880 manufactured Army revolver never failed to bind up around 25 or 30 rounds but a quick crud removal my fingers and a knife or stick would get it running fine again, needed swabbing around 50 rounds. This was around 35 years ago when I was younger and dumber and SAA's were cheaper.
 

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Over the last 20+ years I have shot a lot of BP rounds thru Colt SAA's. The only reason to use Swiss is if you are going for supreme accuracy in a BP Rifle. I have used 2F & 3F interchangeably. In .45 I have gone to the .45 Schofield cases for less recoil, but even with the shorter case the recoil is substantial. Bullet lube is very important. I use SPG. Black Powder and petroleum based lubes do not mix well.
 

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Over the years I've fired black powder loads in .45 Colt SAA, Ruger BH and .38 spl and .357 mag S&W revolvers. Black powder loads will indeed got anyone's attention and are loads of fun. Recoil is substantial and accuracy is excellent. 3F Goex was always used. I'd heard/read that with long strings of shots that a bit of water was sometimes trickled onto the cylinder pin to remove fouling and keep the revolver functioning. I never had to do that and also can't recall if that was with cartridge or c&b revolvers.
 

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I loaded 40 grains under a 250 grn bullet with Olde Eynsford FFFG (3FG) Result were:

The guns used are a Pietta (Heritage Big Bore) 4 3/4in, Cimarron Old Model P 5 1/2in, and a Uberti Old Model P 7 1/2in.

The load is 40 grns of FFFG (3F) Olde Eynsford under a 250grn PRS Big Lube bullet. All loads fired 10 feet from chrono.

4 3/4 Bbl Pietta:

1. 925
2. 903
3. 927
4. 923
5.934
Average 922.4

Cimarron 5 1/2 Bbl :

1. 1004
2. 967
3. 1048
4. 1070
5. 1047
Average 1027.2

Uberti 7 1/2 Bbl:

1. 1028
2. 1049
3. 1018
4. 1026
5. 1010
Average 1026.2
Interesting, it seems that the 5 1/2 inch barrel has enough length to burn all the powder. The 4 3/4 lacks a bit, so you lose about 10% velocity. Maybe the military wasn't too crazy cutting the barrels to 5 1/2"
 

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GOEX did offer a CTG grade , which was supposedly between 2 and 3 Fg.

Strictly for can consolidation , I mixed a half can of 2F with a half can of 3F and used it in C&B revolvers as well as some 44-40 and .45 LC cartridges. Didn't really notice any differences.
 

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned the "verified proof" mark on the trigger guard to indicate the gun is intended for use with smokeless powder. I've been shooting old Colts and Remingtons with black since I was 14. I'm 80 now. SPG is THE lube and you need to use bullets with a big lube groove. I have found that Ballistol is the huckleberries for cleaning. 10 parts water to 1 part Ballistol for cleaning and then lube with straight Ballistol. When shooting a SASS match my old 1st gen 44-40s will go 5 stages before they get sluggish but I usually spritz both ends of the base pin between stages when I swab my rifle barrel. Keeps them running all day. I do sometimes shoot "cowboy" loads in my SAAs that have no verified proof marks. By the way, cross pin vs screw for holding the base pin has NO bearing on whether the SAA is for black or smokeless. That verified proof stamp is the only way to determine what material is in that frame. Change came about 1902 but Colt didn't throw any frames away and you'll find trigger guards bare of the vp 'till 07 or so. Wonder how they kept track?

These 2 get lots of Goex ffg.
 

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I forgot in my first post my 2 favorite Colts that I shoot BP in were built in 1889 and 1893 respectively. I shot them as from the factory for years but put modern built cylinders in them later. My choice of powder is Goex or Kik because of cost.
 

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Those BP cartridges were loaded with, what some describe, as a true sporting powder; possibly something similar to Swiss. I know of a few bullets being pulled from original BP rounds, and the powder (at least in these .45 Colt rounds) appeared to be finer grained than Goex 3F.
 
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