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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been shooting jacketed bullets in my 4.25 inch model 97 45 Colt, mostly 250 gr. Hornady XTP and a few 300 gr. XTP's. I want to try some cast, Beartooth has 255, 265, 280, 300, and 330 grain WFN cast bullets with a nose to crimp distance that fits the FA 97 cylinder length. I think I would like to try the 300 or maybe even the 330 gr. I can find lots of load info for bullets of the same weight but only with a longer overall cartridge length. Does anyone know of a source for load info for these bullets in the model 97? I am not looking for hot loads, I'd be happy with velocities between 800-1000 fps.

The 300 WFN is available with or without a gas check the 330 WFN is not gas checked. At those velocities do I need one or does it even matter? Do gas checks just solve leading issues at higher velocity or do they effect anything else. I am not too concerned about long range accuracy as I have my work cut out for me at 50 yards. Thanks!
 

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Published load data for “Ruger/TC” Only Loads with a 1.600 OAL and heavy bullets is pretty much non existent – the old Hornady manuals list data for their 300gr JHPs with 1.580 OALs, but are at greater velocity than you are looking for.

Brian Pearce wrote an article in Handloader magazine on Loads for the FA97 in .45 Colt – you should be able to get a copy from Wolf Publishing http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazine/index.cfm?magid=96 .

This article won’t show data for your specific bullets, but should give you enough info to develop safe loads for your intended use. I have the data and will PM to you if interested.

The 330s are probably on the long side for the M97, all though it can be done.

The following heavy bullets when crimped in the crimp grove will work in the FA97:

The LEE 320gr DCFNGC (Dual Crimp Flat Nose Gas Check)

RCBS 300gr SWCGC (This bullets runs about 320gr) and is very accurate in my 97s, but I’m running them a little over 1,100 fps.

SAECO 305 gr SWC GC.

Montana Bullet Works offers the LEE and the RCBS in various sizes and with LBT bullet lube http://www.montanabulletworks.com/45_Colt.html

Matts Bullets offers the LEE and the RCBS but are limited to lube and size (although the price is right)

http://www.mattsbullets.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=71&sort=20a&page=2

Both of the above offer great products, service and timely delivery. Beartooth Bullets are great, but reasonable delivery times have been a problem in the past (don’t know if this is still true).

My next project is to develop a FA97 .45 Colt load with Matt’s 305 gr SAECO SWGC using HS6 at a velocity between 950 and 1,000 fps

Oh, you will need a higher front sight for your M97 to shoot POA with the heavier bullets.

You will have to try both gas checked and plain base bullets in your gun to see what it likes.

Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Paul105! Handloader magazine is on the way. Hopefully this will give me a comfortable/safe starting point in developing a heavy weight cast load for my FA97. I appreciate your response.
 

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Redleg,

Various FA M97 cylinder lengths:

My .45 Colt cylinder measures 1.620"

My .357 cylinder measures 1.628"

My .22 LR cylinder measures 1.627" (didn't measure the .22 Mag Cyl but should be the same or very, very close).

Remember, the cylinders are recessed for cartridge case rims, so overall length will be less. I usually try to keep the OAL at 1.600 or less for loaded rounds but have gone a bit longer on occasion.

Paul
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