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I've often read about 45 Colt filled with 40 grains of FF black powder as being the commercial cartridges available in the Old West.

Here's a video shooting these cartridges:

They sure seem like one healthy load - talk about real cowboy loads, SASS :)

Who have tried these and chronographed them? Possibly ran some other tests, too? How is the recoil on 'em?

I'd be interested in hearing the results. Planning to make these my 'standard' load when I can finally own an SAA.

-Prowbar
 

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Don't count on getting 40 grains of bp in modern brass. Modern stuff has less capacity than old balloon head cases. You can fairly duplicate the 40 grain charge of FFg black powder by using about 33 to 35 grains of FFFg. I have gotten up to and over 900 fps with 33 to 35 grains of FFFg Swiss in 7 1/2" barreled Colt SAAs. Good luck.
 

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What the video shows is about what you can expect. A deep BOOM, a rise in your hand, and lots of smoke. The last time I shot my Bisley Model in .45 Colt it was hazy, hot, and humid. The smoke hung in the air like a fog...What fun! I went home and loaded another 125 rounds of the stuff! You really haven't lived until you've shot a .45 Colt loaded with black powder.
 

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In an article in Cartridges of The World; 9th ed.; Chapter 14; 1873: The Great Year Of The Cartridge Gun; by John Taffin: He states: "I am guessing the original load easily hit 900 fps."
I think we can trust his judgement. He also writes about duplicating the original load and getting between 950 and 1050 fps.
 

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The original military loading (Colt's Revolver), when the cartridge was Benet primed, was 30 grains of black powder with a 250 grain bullet. The cartridge was quickly changed to the shorter (Revolver Ball Cartridge) with 28 grains of black powder with a 230 grain bullet.
 
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