Monday, September 26, 2022

Through many dangers, toils and snares...

A friend recently purchased a derringer in .45 Colt. She did not ask my opinion, and even if she had I doubt that it would have made any difference.

The .45 Colt, in most loadings, has a robust recoil. Tiny grips accentuate that recoil. .45 Colt in a derringer will have a ferocious recoil.

In my humble opinion, she would have been better served on a per-dollar basis if she had purchased a used, .380 ACP Hi-Point pistol or Taurus .38 revolver than what she bought, but what is done is done.

Actual picture my friend sent to me

She purchased ammo on-line and it arrived....squashed. It is almost as if somebody who worked with the shipping company deliberately dropped a weight on the package to damage the contents.

I immediately cautioned my friend to NOT shoot any of the cartridges. Pressure spikes rapidly in pistol cartridges when the bullet is set-back and the starting volume is compromised. Shooting damaged cartridges like the ones in the picture can turn a handgun into a grenade.

This is not the first time I have seen shipping companies damaging packages delivering shooting-sports supplies. In April, 2022 I ordered 1000 brass cups from Capital Cartridge.  The package I received had been torn open and contained about 20 pieces. The package was prodigiously stamped with "Damaged blah, blah, blah..."

The USPS refused to honor the damage. Capital Cartridge has not shipped replacements. Odd that the only packages that get damaged, in my experience, are the ones that might contain shooting-sports items.

I went on-line and .45 Colt brass is currently unobtainium. I would gladly purchase a set of dies and show her how to reload some patty-cake loads but it is not to be...not that I, personally, own any firearms. No-sirree. I rely on my rapier-like quick-wits, my manly physique, repulsive body-odor and pepper-spray.

I will be visiting some of the local shooting ranges and seeing if I can scrounge up a handful of brass. A firearm without appropriate ammo is little more than a paperweight.

Bonus points for readers who correctly identify the hymn that contains the title of the post.


  1. The Amazing Grace with Bill Moyers special on PBS is a 'must see'. About 90 minutes.

  2. Amazing Grace, my favorite! How would one send you some 45 Long Colt brass?

    1. Let me tickle my local sources first. Then maybe we can figure something out.

  3. I have used a Frankford kinetic bullet puller to disassemble rounds.

    Its my third bullet puller .....the all plastic ones did not hold up.

    I also use a large hardwood block between my knees as an anvil. This provides enough resistqnce and allows some give so the shock does not damage the bulletbpuller.

    I have made quite a few errors in my time.

  4. The dealer that sold her that is a jerk. He should have explained to her that is not a womans or old mans gun.---ken

  5. For me .45 long colt equals Ruger Blackhawk or some such. Couldn't imagine firing that thing or hitting anything with it. Whoever recommended that thing needs a pop in the forehead. Allan

  6. I hope you're going to download that round to closer to a black powder lever of power.

    Or find her a heritage arms 22 revolver with 22 mag cylinder.

    Not as stout a round but better for practice, practice, practice (a hit beats a loud miss and DROPPONG that idiot gun) and I can comment on the real world (tm) ability of a pair of hits with a 22 mag on an aggressive large mutt.

  7. I totally could have won this i I had seen it earlier....

    Back-up points for know the verse (verse 3)?

  8. Back in the early 2000's, I was manager of an indoor range/gun shop. We had a male customer who also bought a derringer in 45 Colt. First time out, he fired two rounds and came off the range with his hand bleeding. Came back a week later with homemade grips, pretty much two chunks of wood crudely whittled from a 2 X 4. Fired two more rounds and came off the range bleeding again. Never heard any more about it.

  9. "I have already come...." I have reloaded that caliber in the past. I thought you were showing me fired rounds....not compressed ones. Wow. Cast lead solids, too. (Okay, I finally zoomed in the pic) Yeah, you could load those down and press the bullets in even with the case mouth like lower right round, that "might" tame that thing, but I doubt it. Maybe load it with black powder and have your own smoke screen!! That is definitely a bad breath range device.

  10. I agree. That is a relatively pricey gun, and either a semi auto or a revolver in a smaller caliber would be a better choice for her.
    Even a 22 would be better - multiple small hits are better than a few large misses!

  11. Friends don't let friends buy Hi-Point firearms.

  12. Some of those rounds could be usable.
    Mike them for overall length and if they are 1.600 or better yet 1.590 you are good to go.
    1.600 is the MAX Over all Length for 45 Colt

  13. Hahahaha! That's a gun that says, "screw both of us."

  14. I have inherited a gun that looks quite similar, but is a .38/.357 . I wouldn't be brave enough nor strong enough to shoot .357 in something with so small a grip. I'd want both hands on it, with my back against the wall. Want it?

  15. I have one of those in 38 sp. It's fairly hostile to shoot, even when you're ready for it.

  16. Tell your friend to buy a smaller caliber (.38 special) barrel(s) assembly. .38 wadcutter off the shelf will help educate your friend on physics.

  17. Would a 4-10 shotgun shell with #7 shot, provide a light enough recoil for her?

  18. That looks like it would be very unpleasant to shoot. I really like my husband's .357 revolver. Not much recoil, easy and fun to shoot. For self defense, I would recommend that, or a 9 mil semi auto, which seems fine for recoil. Where I am it's getting a lot harder to get brass at the range, hope you find some.

  19. I can't imagine firing enough full power rounds out of that to be any kind of proficient. If I just want my hand to hurt, I have a Ruger LCP that can do that.
    To STxAR, a case full of BP in a .45 Colt is not really a light recoiling load either. I bet the fireball when all the unburnt powder blows out that short barrel would scare any bad guy to death.

    ERJ-If you can't find any .45 Colt brass, yopu might search .45 Scofield-it's just a bit shorter than .45 Colt, can fire in the same chamber. Also, search for something called >45 Cowboy special. It's something developed by Cowboy Action Shooters, can fire in the same chamber-loads with .45ACP dies. Like a .45 ACP but with a rim the same thickness as .45 Colt. Might be a better choice anyway, for working up light loads.



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