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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a Ruger Alaskan .454 a couple of months ago, love it.

Before anyone tells me I should shoot something else, I have my reason for this gun and I have a great penetration load.

Here is my question; what little tricks have you used to compensate for the 2.5 in barrel?

Right now I am looking for both a defense load and a cowboy swc colt load. Like I said, on the 454 side of things I got it worked out with a faster powder; but on the Colt side, so far nothing. I have only used Trail Boss, I will try No. 7 and Blue Dot, because I have them. I think I will pick up some Unique as well.

I am interested in your loads for this gun, not interested in loads that work in longer barrels.
 

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On the 454 side I would look to a slower powder like 2400 and for 45 Colt the classic Skeeter Skelton load was 8.0 gr of Unique under a 250 gr Cast bullet.

I presume your question on tricks for a 2.5 " bbl relates the velocity loss and not shooting skills as that requires practice, practice, ...

For velocity loss for self defense in 45 Colt I would choose a lighter bullet. The Alliant web site has several loads listed for a 200 gr JHP that should be more than adequate. In the Casull for animal defense I would use what I could control remembering that whatever the velocity it probably packs more punch than a long bbl 44 mag.
 

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In fact, the short barrel makes more of a difference than most seem to understand. Every cowboy load I have tried gives me very slow velocities, lots of smoke and unburnt powder everywhere.

My experience is that the slow burning loads burn more outside of the barrel than faster powders. I can get a 335 grain bullet to go 1300 fps. The problem I am having is every load I have tried with 185, 200, 230 and 250 grain bullets are not working. It's like I am shooting black powder. The fastest powder I have used is Unique, but with little success as well. I may give up on cowboy loads.
 

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If you aren't showing pressure signs you can use a tighter crimp on the bullet. The Alliant site has loads for bullseye which is a real fast powder. I thought the trail boss was supposed to be a specility powder for cowboy shooting. So it seems surprising it isn't working out. There are only three ways I know of (other than faster powders) to get rid of some of the unburns and all add pressure: the crimp, a hotter primer and a heavier bullet.

Are you Chronying the loads and if so how are they comparing to published data for the loads you are using?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Some of these loads are hovering around 200 fps.

Over crimping at times.

Although, my penetration loads are reading what they should, I get the feeling my Chrono isn't working right or something. All of this just doesn't seem possible. Shooting 8 gr of unique under a 230 grain Gold Dot gave me tight cases.

I would like to have this shoot fun loads. Maybe I should try and back down my penetration load (335 gr WLNGC) until it is comfortable. These are expensive, compared to a 200 gr SWC.
 

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Even if you buy the cast bullets instead of doing your own it's still pretty cheap shooting and not too bad cleaning if you don't get carried away with the powder.

I first thought you saying they were 200 fps under published data but further reading your chrony is giving you 200 fps as velocities. I would think you could see the bullet in the air at that speed so I'm guessing your chrony has a problem. If you have a friend with one set them up and shoot through both and compare.

Were you still getting the unburns on the 8 gr of unique? Were your crimps real tight or just normal? It could be they were crimped down too much. The biggest problem with the 45 colt is the cases aren't that strong but I'm surprised you are showing pressure signs. The alliant web site also has a 250 gr load with 11.5 gr of Blue Dot but that is slower than Unique and won't help the unburn issue and will give higher pressure. The Alaskan shouldn't have trouble with the pressure but the 45 cases might be a real problem.

Have you tried just loading down the Casull loads to get a target or even self defense load? I haven't seen al lot of them around but I don't have my manuals with me right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
"Have you tried just loading down the Casull loads to get a target or even self defense load? I haven't seen al lot of them around but I don't have my manuals with me right now."

I think I am going to wait till spring and just load at the range. The thing is, I can load a light casull load for plinking, but I want a defense that doesn't blow out the back door.

I wanted to carry this honker as an occasional defense gun, but I just decided to get a sp101 in a 357.
 

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I have an SP and it is a great little gun. It is my primary carry piece and when I'm back home it gets it's share of lead run thru it at the range. It isn't as accurate as my GP but with 60 year old eyes I can still do alright at 25 yards and at 7 yards it's a piece of cake.

Some talk about using 38 +P's in theirs but I shoot 357's loaded below and some near max in mine and don't mind the recoil as the stock grips fit my hands perfectly. I've had good luck with Blue Dot and mag primers and the best part is it will take a steady diet as it's built like a mini-tank. Good choice.
 

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I'm just going to throw something out there;

I use Clays on some of my 240 gr LSWC 44 Special and light 44 Magnum loads with standard primers. Clays burns pretty quick. I don't have a chrony (shame on me) but the loads burn clean (smoke from lube) and low flash. Low charge weight, economical.

Anyway, I suggest looking at similar loads (230 or 250 grain bullet) for the .45 Colt.
http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp

Good luck with the Blue Dot. I couldn't get it to burn in a 7.5 inch bbl with 240 grain bullets. I think it needs a lot of heat and pressure to burn fully and consistently.
 

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mewachee! I would like to suggest that you contact Iowegan on your load question. He helped me learn a thing or two about loading for these great guns by using a program for loads that he knows about.
 
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