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My Model 94 Trapper - by L. F. Combs
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This page dedicated to
Elmer Keith 1899-1984
There are strengths and weaknesses of both types of firearms, and this page is not here to change your mind one way or the other. This site is in memory of one of the pioneers of handgun shooting and handloading, Elmer Keith. If you love shooting I strongly recommend you get a copy (or two) of Sixguns by Elmer Keith. This book is more than just a handgun reference, it contains some great stories you may find you can't put it down.
"Long range shooting is the real test of any revolver or pistol."
"Make haste slowly."
"Shoot Keith bullets for serious work."
View loads others have submitted
Just a short word of caution: These are all MAXIMUM loads! If you choose to load any of these start low and work up gradually. We do not need to give the anti-gunners any ammunition by blowing ourselves up. Since I have no control over your loading practices I take no responsibility for your safety. These loads were assembled with Winchester primers and brass and hard cast bullets.
*This 38 special load should be consider a top end 357 Magnum load and should never be fired in anything other than a 357 magnum. The load was assembled using 38 special brass, and was safe in my Ruger GP-100, but as always work up slowly. Todays 2400 powder is faster burning than it was in the 1930's when Elmer Keith worked up this load. Many people feel that this should be reduced to 12.0 gr with modern 2400 powder.
The 44 Special was Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton's working gun. The first load was Skeeter Skeltons development, and is a very good everyday shooting load. This should be safe in the modern small frame 44's, but it might not be fun to shoot them. The second 44 Special load was Keith's daily carry load and what eventually lead to the development of the 44 Magnum. The Keith load is safe in large frame 44 specials, like the S&W M24, but not in the modern small frame specials. This load, while powerful, is not by any means punishing and shoots great in most magnums and M24 Smiths.
I first learned of this 44 Magnum load from the writings of John Taffin. This load is very powerful, and provides more penetration than most North American hunters will ever need. This load also shoots 5"+ 100 yard groups from a sandbag rest using a 8" Taurus 44 Magnum but this particular revolver has not proven to be ultra accurate, this load should shoot under 4".
The Blue Dot 45 Colt load is to date the most accurate load for my 25-7. This load clocks out at 1000 FPS from my 5" M25-7, 1100 from the 7.5" Blackhawk, and shoots 3.5" groups at 100 yards. If you want to hunt deer with a 45 Colt this is an excellent load. Please do not shoot this load in any Colt Single Action Army or replica revolvers; the cylinders and frames on these guns just are not built for heavy loads.
The final load listed here I got from John Linbaugh, and for him this is a small load! This load should only be fired in Ruger Blackhawk, Dan Wesson or Freedom Arms 45 Colt revolvers. We are looking at near magnum pressures with this load, it may not blow up a Smith but it sure might bend it! No way I'll shoot it in my S&W.
If you're looking for a good source of top notch hard cast true Keith LSWC bullets you owe it to yourself to take a look at Dry Creek Bullets they make some of the best bullets money can buy of true Keith design, not the typical cast bullet you see in shops today.