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Thread: load for 45LC Henry

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Franklin Va
    Posts
    2
    Region:
    Tidewater - Virginia and North Carolina

    load for 45LC Henry

    I would like to know about the starting load for a 250 grain bullet. I would like to use swiss powder

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Forney, Texas
    Posts
    254
    Region:
    Potomac - Virginia, Maryland and Delaware

    Re: load for 45LC Henry

    Dear Fathead,

    I use a longer, heavier (325 grain) bullet than you do. But, I use a 255 grain bullet also. I use goex 3f. I have owned a 44-40 Henry also. The 45 Colt Henry shoots as well as the 44-40 I used to have.

    Don't use a semi-wadcutter bullet. Last winter I found 5 sources in magazine articles and books about loading for the pistol cartridge lever action rifles, that said that is a mistake. One part of the bullet can get damaged when the bullet hits the throat (conical transition from the chamber to the rifling.) Bullets with a more normal design are damaged less. A damaged bullet is out of balance and that hurts accuracy.

    Having a good lube and a bullet that has adequate room for a lube is important. I use beeswax and Mobil One oil for a lube.

    With my 325 grain bullet, I use 26 grains of 3f, that is dropped through a drop tube into the case. Then I add cream of rice to a depth that allows me to compress the powder for about 1/16 th of an inch. I do almost everything I know of to have good quality reloads. (It doesn't add to the time to do the reloading.) My Henry will shoot 5 shot groups that average about 1 inch at 50 yards.

    My 255 grain bullet will shoot just as well with 23 grains of 3f. I do not use a drop tube with this load. Last winter I shot the 255 grain bullet, the 325 bullet with 26 grains, and 325 grain bullets with 23 grains 3f that I saved from the year before. They all shot well (about 1 inch average.)

    What surprised me was that the rounds I did not think shot well last year, shot fine after I made an effort to shoot better off a bench. Last year my 325 bullet with 23 grains, shot about a 2 inch group average for 5 shots. The point is that is if a person can't shoot well off the bench, sorting out if one load is better than another is difficult.

    Also, you need to shoot several groups (5 should be the minimum, as the writers do in the American Rifleman magazine) for each load to get a good average for each load.

    You can shoot pure lead or almost pure lead, but slightly harder bullets should be a little better because they are damaged less going through the throat. A harder lead doesn't hurt, if you have some hard lead you want to use.

    The relatively short 250 grain bullet should be stabilized with a low powder charge. I would try 25 grains, and if you think it doesn't shoot well, try 30.

    You can't really stop leakage past the cartridge case while using black powder. The 44-40 seals much better. If you use some kind of lubricant oil (not grease) on the sides of the carrier, it will help keep it from sticking.

    This is probably more information than you wanted, but I hope it helps you. Send me a message if you have a question.

    Good Luck,

    David
    DAVID FRANCE

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Burlington, Wisconsin
    Posts
    226
    Region:
    Deep South - Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas

    Re: load for 45LC Henry

    Fathead

    I load the 250 grn bullet for my 66 Uberti Winchesters (same as a Henry cept for how they load) with 35 grns of 3F Goex powder. I use SPG lube, a very thin white card (.025) over the powder, and a very strong crimp, lrg pistol primers, and a cart overall lenght of 1.590. The powder is a compressed load, I use a compression die as to not distort the bullet on loading. I have found , it dosn't make any difference wheather I use regular or magnum lrg pistol primers. I use a strong crimp on the cartridge, so as to help off set blow by, in the chamber when firing. This will help keep the action clean, as this is a minor problem with the .45 colt, being a straight wall cartidge. (The action is not as easy to clean as a musket). I also use Starline Brass. I use bullets at .454 dia, cause I shoot them in a Uberti colt SAA, and my Ruger NMV. They are a little stout in the pistols but fun to shoot. In the wins they are very acurate. The original .45 Colt load was 40 grns, but I cannot get that amount in the cart, even when compressed, and keep a good over -all lenght.

    You do know that the .45 Colt was never used in a Henry, or a 66 Win, back in the day. It is a modern thing, as the cart was modified a bit on the lip end,and was only a central fire, and now works. Thats why you see quite a few manufactorers chambering carbines, and rifles in this calibre.
    Thats how I do it.

    Rebel Dave aka Dave C.
    Life in The Rust belt

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Forney, Texas
    Posts
    254
    Region:
    Potomac - Virginia, Maryland and Delaware

    Re: load for 45LC Henry

    Rebel and Fathead,

    I load the way Rebel does with a couple minor differences.

    I don't use a plug to compress the powder; the bullet will do that if the compression is not to high.

    I don't use a wad, I use a filler, but a wad is needed if there is a high pressure load to prevent distorting the bullet. I don't think a wad is needed for the pistol caliber cartridges loaded with black powder.

    I use 451 sized bullets. Larger should work unless the size of the cartridge over the bullet comes out to large. I used bullets that were about 0.002 inches larger than the groove diameter and the cartridge was a little too large to chamber easily. I use a hard roll crimp into the crimp groove of the bullet, and that does help blowby (as Rebel mentioned).

    Some lever action rifles are not offerred in 44-40. Some are offerred in 45 Colt and 357 magnum. I am glad I changed to the 45 Colt, I hated lubing the cases.

    David
    DAVID FRANCE

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Burlington, Wisconsin
    Posts
    226
    Region:
    Deep South - Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and Texas

    Re: load for 45LC Henry

    Fat head and Dave
    If I was to buy a Henry for competion in the N-SSA, I would go with .44-40 win. I have 66 wins and SAA in both .45 colt and .44-40 win, and I prefer the .44-40 win, in the rifle, or carbine. The slight bottle neck of the .44-40, keeps the action clean. It is a little finicky to load but not hard. I use all Lee dies, with some compression dies, (depending on the load) and allways the Holy blk , it's the only way to shoot.

    Rebel Dave aka Dave C.
    Life in The Rust belt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Forney, Texas
    Posts
    254
    Region:
    Potomac - Virginia, Maryland and Delaware

    Re: load for 45LC Henry

    Rebel Dave and Fathead,

    It is about half of one and six of the other. I like the cases that last longer and are easier to load, but the leaking past the case is a disadvantage. I think people who use smokeless powder don't see any difference.

    Good luck to both of you!

    David
    DAVID FRANCE

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