45acp, 455 Webley, and 45 Long Colt reloading with just the Colt dies
Well I found out you can load all three of those calibers using the 45 long Colt dies. They all shoot .452 dia bullets and all have basically the same case diameters.
If you read my post earlier on reloading for the 455 Webley, you will read were I used the 45 LC dies to reload for the Webley.
After loading the .455 I got to thinking, why not for the 45acp caliber also as those cases are similar to the 455 Webley cases and the 45acp is one of the few calibers I don't load for because years back the GI ammo was really cheap. But times have changed, as I just went to a Gun Show over the weekend and the same 50 rd boxes that you could buy for around 8-12 dollars were now going for 40-50 dollars. Of course these are the recent inflated prices.
Humm I thought, so time to load for the 45acp and as luck would have it, I found a single cavity semi wad, .452 Lee mould with handles for $10 on a table at the show. Which would do for me as I probably won't be shooting the 45acp much.
I used the 45 LC dies and sized and primed 20, 45 acp cases without a problem and they are waiting for me to make the bullets.
I have a bunch of 45, 255 gr bullets already that I had for the 45 LC and which I had used some in the Webley. Also I had bought some 45 acp rimmed cases awhile ago that I thought I could convert for the Webley but it turned out the 45 LC cases were easier to convert so I can use them in my 45acp revolvers with the 255gr bullets as an option, again using the 45 LC dies.
The bottom line was, I have too many dies for too many different calibers and didn't want to buy more so this was a workable alternative for two more calibers without having to buy more dies and besides I love these little challenges, Ray
Last edited by rayg; 06-16-2013 at 05:37.
Please, please, no such cart. as 45 Long Colt, its just 45 Colt. There, I said it and I'm glad!
Dave a little history lesson, it was, and still is for me, called the Long Colt as that is the name it was called during the period when both the Colt 1873, 45 cal. and the S&W 1876 Schofield, 45 cal. were in use together. It was called the Long Colt to differentuate it from the shorter Schofield 45 cartridge. Now I have both a 1873 long Colt 45 and a 1876 Schofield 45 so that term is still in my vocabulary and it had been called the long Colt officially and unofficially for many years, See Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_3
If you note in the description of the Schofield it referrs to the Colt cartridge as "AKA the Long Colt". Ray
Last edited by rayg; 06-17-2013 at 05:04.
How are you going to get a crimp on the 45 ACP? Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the 45 ACP will go far enough into the 45 LC die to get a crimp.
You're right the 45LC crimp area is too high. I'll have to cross that bridge when I get to it after I mould some of the bullets in the mould that I just got to see if the bullets seat tight enough in the case were a crimp may not be necessary. Keeping in mind cast bullets don't necessary have to be sized and can be left as poured larger. I also have an extra FL Colt LC die where the Id is about .002 smaller and maybe it might just be small enough to crimp the case when a case with the bullet just enters into the mouth of the die. We shall see if that works. Otherwise I'll have to look for some other other alternative. I had already crimped some bullets with just a light squeese with a pr of pliers. Probably how they did it in the field years when loading in the wild years ago Ray
Last edited by rayg; 06-17-2013 at 07:14.
I'm thinking the crimp on a 45 ACP is too important to leave to chance. The round headspaces on the case mouth. Some say it's not so important because the 1911's extractor will do the job. But Mr. Browning designed it to headspace on the mouth and that's the way I think (IMHO) it should be done. The ACP is a tricky setup procedure with the right die. At the very least I think you should buy a separate crimping die if your going to use your LC seating die (Lee makes a good cheep one). Using oversized or unsized lead bullets may lead to failure to feed problems with anything but a loose chamber, because it will stretch the OD of the case out to large to fit the chamber. If you go after a 45 ACP round with pliers, you will more than likely get many failures to feed and fire problems. Back in the days of rimed, strait walled cases, maybe they could get away with pliers but modern auto pistols? I'd think twice about trying it.
Thanks DaveL for your thoughts. Take a look at this earlier post on this thread here and the magazine article relating to head spacing vs extractor with the 45acp, Ray
Last edited by rayg; 06-17-2013 at 12:41.
Well I cast some of the 45, 200 gr swc bullets with the mould I purchased and tried them in the cases I had sized with the 45 LC FL sizing die and the bullets fit too loose. I checked and the thickness of the case walls of brass of the 45 acp cases is about .003 thinner overall then the Long Colt cases so the bullets fit looser and so I'm afaid I'm going to have to buy a set of 45acp dies as I'm not sure if just a crimp die would squeese the case enough to hold the bullet. The FL die of the 45acp must size the OD/Id of the case a bit smaller. Anybody have an extra set of 45acp dies they want to sell? Ray
If you have a FL sizer for .30/06, .308 Win., 7x57, 8x57 or any other of the common "Mauser" size rifle cartridges (~.470" base diameter), it will probably do the job on your .45 ACP cases (~.470" mouth diameter after seating bullet). Some of the seaters for these cartridges will work nicely as taper crimpers on various .45 handgun cartridges - depends on internal body dimensions of the individual die.
Great idea, I have all those dies and will try it. I know I use the 30 M1 Carbine die to crimp the 8mm Lebel. Ray