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45 colt sizing ?/curiosity


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In a previous thread I posted requesting info on making my own Cowboy 45 Specials from Colt brass, there was quite a bit of mention on which sizing die to use. 45Colt die seemed to be the answer for my Dillon SDB. I have never measured the diameter of my loaded rounds as they have always passed the case checker. Anyway: I have now started cutting and trimming some old brass and decided to measure it. Unsized they all measure abt. .473 after being fired from my Marlin & Rugers. I resized a bunch and the Dillon sizer is making them .467-.469--- way smaller than the prescribed .480. So I measured some brandy new never loaded Starline brass and they were all .473- .474. Seems to be quite a difference from expected. Would I be better off not resizing after firing? Seems like I'm working the brass alot if they don't need it. Still dirty and not sized they fit in my case checkers just fine.

 

EH

 

P.S. I measured with three different calipers---2 dial of which one was recently calibrated and a digital caliper.

Edited by Eyesa Horg
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Yes-Full length size, you have 7 chambers those rounds have to fit. ;)

Confirm you are using a .45 Colt sizing die and NOT a .45acp size die.

BTW-best in use way to calibrate a dial caliper is to be sure it shows '0' when closed.

OLG

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Well, yes, you do have a .45 Colt die that is sizing a little tight. But you have the good luck to have a Marlin rifle that has a fairly tight chamber, also. Since it produces fired brass at .473" OD. Meaning you will have to have a max finished case diameter of about .472" to chamber easily.

 

And since the SDB sizer die is almost certainly a carbide die, it's not easy to ream that out slightly larger.

 

(If you switched to a .45 AUTO die, you would size your brass even tighter.)

 

If you back the sizer die off quite a bit and run the depriming rod down, you might be able to reduce the sizing to just the mouth area (which is where sizing is needed to help hold the slug as you seat and crimp), but (as mentioned above by OLG) you DO need to test your finished rounds in all "holes" you expect the ammo to be able to chamber in! Find which gun has the tightest chamber(s) and test against that.

 

I ran a quick test on what I size my .45 Colt cases to. Standard dies for Dillon take the case down to about .467 (most of the way down to the rim). I suspected that was too much work on the case, so I bought a year ago one of the Redding two-carbide-ring sizer dies. Yep, over $70 for that one die, it's expensive. The top ring sizes the mouth down to .467" and the bottom ring sizes rest of the case to .472." I have generally seen about 50% fewer split .45 Colt cases since I did that.

 

You can try not sizing at all. But most likely you will have slugs that want to drop deep into cases while seating. And unless you crimp hard, the slugs may collapse into cases in the rifle magazine - that would be real bad news.

 

My guess is you will be most happy if you size only the top half of that little stubby case. In fact, that may be what I adjust my sizer die to do the next time I load C45S.

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I found I can open up a carbide die with a diamond cutter in a Dremel tool - while it's slowly turning in the lathe. I actually only opened up one sizing die in this manor. But I have put a bit more chamfer on several dies to make the cases enter easier.

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The .480" dimension you are referencing is for a loaded cartridge, NOT a sized, empty case. When reloading, the case is always sized smaller, so that the bullet is a press-fit into the case. THe neck tension of the case on the bullet is what retains the bullet in the case, not any crimp you apply afterward.

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A little tidbit to throw into the mix. When you "roll your own" to make C45S cases, your cutting down into the "thick" part of the case. I don't have the actual number at hand, but the area of a 45 Colt case left when trimming is quite a bit thicker than the mouth of a standard 45 Colt case. You may well get some "funny" caliper readings.

 

Mostly the caliper readings are interesting, but of no real practical use. THE BIG question is ..... does the loaded round fit into the hole. I personally don't resize my C45S cases all the way down, whether actual C45S or home grown cut down 45 Colt. Neck size only. Helps a little bit with blow-by.

 

Coffinmaker

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Thanks you guys--- I feel better now! Being that I use a SDB loader I have no depth adjustment on the sizing die. I now see the issue of not resizing and having the bullet fall into the case. As GJ stated this could be real bad in the rifle. My colt brass that was old when I got it has held up pretty well I think to being reloaded/sized many many times. The ones that are cracking now are from when I believe I crimped 'em too tight a couple years ago and sort of flattened the mouths where they are now getting tiny cracks. Figgered rather than scrapin' 'em, I'd tried making C45S's out of 'em. Made 100 today and they look pretty cool, I think. My powder measure is somewhere between Dillon and here on a Fedex truck so can't load 'em up yet! Friday the tracking site said would be here Saturday last, but now it shows no actual delivery date!?! Hope it's not on the side of the highway from a wreck somewhere!

 

EH

 

 

PS--- Just checked tracking again, It left Dillon on 12/20 and is supposed to get here on 1/5. They must be using an actual pony!

Edited by Eyesa Horg
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My powder measure is somewhere between Dillon and here on a Fedex truck so can't load 'em up yet! Friday the tracking site said would be here Saturday last, but now it shows no actual delivery date!?! Hope it's not on the side of the highway from a wreck somewhere!

 

PS--- Just checked tracking again, It left Dillon on 12/20 and is supposed to get here on 1/5. They must be using an actual pony!

They probably rescheduled delivery based on the expected Nor' Easter on Thursday/Friday.

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I'd say your all over it Chuck. The irritant was with last Thursdays track it was to be here last Saturday. Then Friday it said "not scheduled" and finally now it's another week out !!! These things happen sometimes---Glad at least for me it's pretty rare with shippers.

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I have found that certain brands of .45Colt brass seems to be thicker, especially at the case mouth when cut to C.45S length. I no longer try to alter brass stamped PMC, Federal or Magtech. My best altered brass is Winchester, Remington and Starline.

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