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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've always wanted to test Herco as I've seen some people really like it. So thought I'd do some back to back testing in .45 Colt with CCI standard and Magnum primers. Bought a pound, and loaded up some test loads. I tested the 'range' that most people seemed to be shooting Herco (8.0g to 9.0g under 250-260g bullet). Of course the usual caveats .... do you own research before using any of these loads.

Ruger .45 Colt Large Frame BH 5 1/2" barrel
8.0g Herco, 250g RNFP, CCI-300, _905fps, 17 SD, 57 ES, 14 shots
8.0g Herco, 250g RNFP, CCI-350, _941fps, 15 SD, 57 ES, 15 shots
8.5g Herco, 250g RNFP, CCI-300, _964fps, 14 SD, 44 ES, 15 shots
8.5g Herco, 250g RNFP, CCI-350, _991fps, 10 SD, 36 ES, 15 shots
9.0g Herco, 250g RNFP, CCI-300, _993fps, 13 SD, 53 ES, 18 shots
9.0g Herco, 250g RNFP, CCI-350, 1022fps, 15 SD, 54 ES, 18 shots

All tests ran back to back today, so same environment conditions for all shots.

Found it burns fairly clean, after I shoot the 100 rounds, the gun hardly looked like it has been shot ... there are dirtier powders. As for accuracy all the shot the middle out of the bullseye at 15 yards that I was using as the aiming point over the chronograph. I now need to test for distance, but I was happy with results... Note the use of magnum primer didn't help consistency, just around ~30fps more velocity. So either primer works fine with this powder.
 

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rclark, I ran your loads through QuickLOAD and found the 9.0 gr, 250g lead bullet load develops a chamber pressure of 13.990 with a standard large primer .... about as close as you can get to the SAAMI standard of 14,000 psi. Herco has been around for many decades .... I used it in 3" magnum 20 Gauge loads back when I was hunting ducks. I haven't seen a jar of Herco for a couple years and think Power Pistol has pretty much replaced it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks Iowegan. For whatever reason, around here, I kept noticing bottles of it, and it reminded me I hadn't tested with this powder yet :) . As said above, I decided, on a whim, to pick up a bottle (had to blow the dust off of it) and try it :) . Now I have to use it up. Might have to load up some in .44 Special next. But this time with just standard primers. No need to use Magnum primers given the .45 Colt results.

CoalcrackcerAl, I use Green Dot for my .45 Colt loads too. Right now it is my goto powder for general purpose loads. However, I standardized on standard/traditional 250-260g bullet weight. That way all my .45s shoot to same POA regardless of which one I pick up.

One reason I like to do this testing is to have accurate loads on hand if I ever run out of my favorite powder (pretty unlikely... but you never know). Like to use it as an 'excuse' anyway to do some chrono testing for fun!
 

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I like GD in 45 acp too. And in cast rifle loads. My LGS was out of red dot. So i decided to give green dot a try. I feel in love with it. I bought 2 8lb jugs then. He got RD back in too finally. So i grabbed an 8lber of it too.
 

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Used Herco a lot a long time ago for pin matches but have not seen any in long while but if I do I would snap them up.
 

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Used many 250g RFN with Herco for over 20 years but in a tad longer 454 case. Have switched to PowerPistol but if found some $10 or so containers of Herco on clearance again would get'em.

The above at about 990fps looks really good from here but would have to actually try that load sometime in my own Ruger.

Thanks for posting interesting data.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Your welcome. But good luck finding Herco for $10.... I paid $27 for my test pound.
 

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I haven't seen a jar of Herco for a couple years and think Power Pistol has pretty much replaced it.
Say it isn't so !!! :)

Just kidding, I just ordered and received a 4lb jug of Herco from Midway, as my last supply was looking thin at the bottom of the container. Same reason, Herco is a really good medium level powder in the .38/357/44's with cast bullets and lightest jacketed bullets, and it does a killer job with 20ga heavier shot loads of for foxes and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Tested Herco in .44 Special today. Again same caveats as before... Do your own research for loads. Here for reference only.

All loads shot well. Never saw any deviation accuracy wise. I will probably stick to 7.5g or 8.0g Herco for my use in my revolvers except for the Bulldog which will get 6.0g if I ever need to use it there... which I doubt.

.44 Special Ruger Flattop 5 1/2". 84F Sunny
6.0g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, _859fps, 15 SD, 46 ES, 14 shots
6.5g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, _911fps, 10 SD, 39 ES, 15 shots
7.0g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, _966fps, 12 SD, 41 ES, 14 shots
7.5g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1014fps, 12 SD, 37 ES, 14 shots
8.0g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1052fps, 13 SD, 47 ES, 27 shots
8.5g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1087fps, 11 SD, 33 ES, 10 shots

Here is how Herco compares to my Unique tests (run a few years ago) out of the same revolver with the same bullet and primer and same location and same chronograph.
6.0g Unique ..., _874fps
6.5g Unique ..., _933fps
7.0g Unique ..., _969fps
7.5g Unique ...,1033fps
 

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rclark, Just in case you wondered .... QuickLOAD predicts chamber pressure with your hottest Herco load (8gr) at only 13.8k psi, well below the SAAMI max of 15,500 psi. Your max load with Unique (7.5gr) is about 500 psi short of max SAAMI pressure limits at 14,962 psi. These should be nice safe loads in any 44 Special.
 
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I've had a 1 pound bottle of Herco stashed back for several years. I'm planning on loading some 38 special with it. I just need to find the right bullet. Probably something in the 125 grain jacketed hollow point variety.
kwg
 

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Discussion Starter #14
rclark, Just in case you wondered ....
I did wonder. Thank you. I Actually tested 8.5g as well, but didn't 'publish' it as I wasn't sure where it fell vs SAAMI.
 

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rclark, Your 8.5 gr of Herco load is about as close to SAAMI max as you can get .... 15,538 psi, also a safe load.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks again. Added it to the table for .44 Special.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Here are the .357 Results on a smokey smokey day here (ash was coming down too) in the 70s, no breeze. Can't say I was really impressed with Herco and .357. If I had to pick from the targets, I'd say 7.0g and 7.5g were the most accurate. Didn't like 5.0g at all.

Ruger .357 Flattop 5 1/2

5.0g Herco, 158g SWC, CCI-500, _890fps, 24 SD, 68 ES, 14 shots
5.5g Herco, 158g SWC, CCI-500, _964fps, 17 SD, 58 ES, 13 shots
6.0g Herco, 158g SWC, CCI-500, 1021fps, 23 SD, 71 ES, 13 shots
6.5g Herco, 158g SWC, CCI-500, 1085fps, 26 SD, 84 ES, 13 shots
7.0g Herco, 158g SWC, CCI-500, 1124fps, 14 SD, 59 ES, 13 shots
7.5g Herco, 158g SWC, CCI-500, 1140fps, 18 SD, 57 ES, 14 shots

Following is control sample shot at the same time as a reference:

6.0g Unique, 158g SWC, CCI-500, 1060fps, 21 SD, 69 ES, 10 shots


Now for the last tests with this powder. .44 Magnum . These loads felt much better than the .357 loads for some reason. I liked 8.0g, 10.0g, and 10.5g . Shot the best groups in my gun..

Ruger .44 Magum Flattop 50th Anniversary 6 1/2"
_8.0g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, _998fps, 17 SD, 49 ES, 14 shots
_8.5g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1042fps, 16 SD, 47 ES, 14 shots
_9.0g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1058fps, 13 SD, 46 ES, 15 shots
_9.5g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1102fps, 12 SD, 38 ES, 14 shots
10.0g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1120fps, 13 SD, 44 ES, 13 shots
10.5g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1148fps, 12 SD, 38 ES, 13 shots
11.0g Herco, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1172fps, 16 SD, 49 ES, 10 shots

Compared to Unique out of same gun:

_8.5g Unique, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1053fps, 19 SD, 63 ES, 14 shots
10.0g Unique, 240g SWC, CCI-300, 1136fps, 14 SD, 47 ES, 10 shots


Anyway, I've tested all I am going to test with Herco. Hope this helps someone if they run across a bottle of Herco. Again check your sources and research your own loads.
 
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