Thursday, June 14, 2007


One of the shooting gadgets I've been meaning to get at some point is a chronograph so that I can know how the ammunition I'm loading is performing. It might not seem like a terribly important thing to a lot of folks and in general, if you keep to the published reloading data, you'll be OK and the ammo will perform well. Last weekend, one of these devices was made available at PVR so that folks could chrono their loads. I availed myself of the opportunity and was reaffirmed of nearly all of the ammo that I reload.

For instance;

The .357 magnum loads I developed from the Hornady XTP bullets were dead-on with what I thought they'd be coming out of my Model 19. the 125g round traveling at 1,300fps and the 158g coming at you at 1,150fps. The later is probably going to be my carry load since its more manageable and there's been talk of problems with K frame S&Ws with hot 125g loads.

My .45 ACP loads were book perfect at 850fps. This is my practice load of a 200g SWC.

The .45 Colt load used for SASS matches clocked out of my 7.5" Ruger at 650fps and out of my 24" 1873 at 850fps. That's what I'd call perfect for matches.

The only problem load I had was the Cowboy .45 Special loads. The 170g bullets crawled out of the 7.5" Ruger at a measly 400fps! That alarmed me since I used data for the .45ACP and for some reason, didn't work out to what I'd call a usable load.  I've given it some thought and the only reason I can possibly think of is that the large .45Colt chamber is allowing gas to bypass the bullet before it reaches the chamber throat.

Sadly, I didn't bring any of the .45 S&W (Schofield) rounds with me to test and see if they're suffering a similar fate (I doubt it), but until I get that problem ironed out with the Cowboy .45 Special loads, they'll be staying at home.

Note to Self: I need my own chronograph and a range out my back door.

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