45 Colt Report

Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Philip Mahin

Last time we spoke, I said I would give you an accuracy report from my Henry 45 Colt shooting our #8820 240 gr JHC Sports Master so here it is. As much as I try to keep the thing cool between shots, it does heat up after a 5 shot group. I have realized if I put the gun aside after every shot and let it cool back down to ambient temperature, it won’t open groups as bad. I could get three off before it ever got warm enough to make any difference but it is a hunting gun and I shouldn’t need more than the first one, right?

The first three shots are usually close, within an inch and a quarter or so and after that, they go a little wild. My notes list a nine shot group inside of two and three quarter inches. Also my notes list rapid fire three shot groups that average two inches from my sitting position.

I was able to get one group that measured less than an inch from four shots off my bench. It went off the paper target and went into the cardboard backing so I saved it to show here.

By the way, these descriptions are running center to center and shot at fifty yards. One other thing to remember, the front sight brass bead covers roughly six inches in diameter at fifty yards.  It is original to the firearm and it worked well with the ghost ring rear sight I installed. Speaking of the rear sight, it wears an XS Sights ghost aperture designed for the Marlin 336 because the hole spacing matched. My shooting keeps the aperture bottomed out and almost all the way to the left but that keeps me well inside the top half of the front sight.

Even though they say the gun alone weights six and a half pounds, it is easy to shoulder fast because it is short and handy. It is easy to carry because it balances so well with the hand just forward of the trigger guard. There is no safety but the hammer will rest down on a full chamber because of a transfer bar system. To make it fire would take the hammer to be re-cocked and then the trigger pulled. I applaud them for this kind of system because in an ever-increasing world of products that dumb us down, this puts the control back into my hands where it should be in the first place.

The brass life has exceeded my expectations as I’m on reload number seven so far. I’ve not been kind to them either with higher than normal for the cartridge pressures. The primer pockets are still tight and the case mouths are still flexible. I have needed to trim them but that is because the brass is moving 0.01” or more from fired to full length sized.

I am glad I was able to purchase this firearm. It has performed well for me and I enjoy using it. I made the mistake of saying that ‘someday, I’ll shoot the barrel out and…’ and before I could finish, the 800 room was a roar with laughter.

Till next time, have fun and be safe shooting.

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4 Responses to 45 Colt Report

  1. firstriverbend says:

    As this is a cartridge/rifle combination for up to about 150 yards, really more like 100 yards, the accuracy is more than good enough for a quick, humane kill.
    Thanks for the info. 🙂


  2. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on .


  3. Doug McKeever says:

    I missed this post when it was a new. Own a 20″ Henry & use 8820s = sub 2″ 50-yard w/factory sights. I single load when testing & have not seen heat-up changes in groups. Stringing with a full magazine opens the groups, double the size or more. Great bullets & great gun.


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