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Roscoe Regulator

My setup for 45CS (Cowboy Special)

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I have various dies for 45 Colt and 45 ACP and was able to get test rounds completed by cobbling together a die set as follows:

  • RCBS Cowboy sizer
  • Lee 45 ACP powder through expander (needed the expander insert longer than 45 Colt) (.451 works fine for .452 bullet)
  • RCBS standard seat/crimp set to only seat
  • Hornady Custom crimp die (they list the same die number for 45 ACP and 45 Auto Rim) (gave a satisfactory roll crimp)

All the rounds plunked nicely into my 45 Colt gauge, so cases at least are not buckled, and crimp is basically okay.

I am using 160 gr Acme coated RNFP from Bullets by Scarlett. Powder is 3.0 grains of Trailboss (.71 cc). Federal Large Pistol primers. New cases by Starline. Press is Lee cast turret. Guns are 45 Colt Marlin using 45 Colt ammo and 45 Colt pistols using 45CS. My loading strips allow clearly segregating the two sets of cartridges.

 

I plan to try 3.1 Clays in warmer weather. Clays was the lowest velocity, while Lyman's lower velocity loads include W231, Titegroup, and Zip. I noted right away that if this round is pushed at all, it could exceed the 1000 fps limit for pistols.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator

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My die setup is very close to yours. Rcbs 45 Colt sizer, rcbs 45 acp expander, rcbs 45 Colt to seat bullet, Lee 45 Colt die trimmed off the bottom to crimp. I use 180 gr bullets and I'm able to get away with a 45 Colt die to seat with the die body screwed all the way down to the shell plate and the seater plug almost bottomed out. All this in a Hornady progressive.

 

I put very little thought into this setup and it happened to work so I leave it set. 

 

I run 3.2 grn of Clays under the 180 grn bullet. I have loaded lighter but my times did not improve and I felt that they were on the verge of a squib. I have recently switched over to running them though my rifle for a quick reload and that gives me another reason to not run on the fringes of failure. They are nonetheless much lighter in recoil than any 45 Colt case loading I have tried that actually burns clean. 

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I use .45 ACP dies to load, including a taper crimp die. .45 Colt shell plate on a Dillon 550. Have used this set up since around 1998 or so. Long before there was a Cowboy Spl case. I used, and still do, trimmed .45 Colt brass cut to .45 ACP lenght. Have about 3,000+ or so. I don't shoot the .45's much anymore, went to .38 Spl.

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I use RCBS .45 ACP dies with a Lee FCD added.Cases are .45 Colt rough cut to .900 and finish trimmed to .898.(Going from memory here,may be wrong.I use .45 ACP data )

Rounds check out fine in a .45 Colt chamber checker.

I use a 160 grain Lee mold and powder coat my own bullets and use Federal #150 or #155 primers,whichever  are available at the time.

I haven't found a powder that I'm completely satisfied with yet.W231 works but leaves sunburnt powder,Unique is cleaner,but I think it may be a little slow.

Thinking of trying Titegroup next.Whatever it takes ,I'll keep looking 'cause I really like this round.

Suggestions gladly accepted!

Choctaw Jack 

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Clay Dot is not as temperature sensitive as Clays either, but loads to about the same weight, perhaps 10% more CD needed for same velocity.  LIGHT LOADS of Clays gets weak in cold weather from my experience.

 

I load Cowboy 45 Special on Dillon 550 with these dies:    RCBS .45 Colt sizer, Dillon .45 cal Powder-thru expander, RCBS powder check lockout die and RCBS .45 auto rim seater/crimp die, making a firm roll crimp.   Seating accuracy is good enough for a revolver load for Cowboy shooting.

 

Good luck, GJ

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4 minutes ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

I load Cowboy 45 Special on Dillon 550 with these dies:    RCBS .45 Colt sizer, Dillon .45 cal Powder-thru expander, RCBS powder check lockout die and RCBS .45 auto rim seater/crimp die, making a firm roll crimp. 

 

That's about my setup.  But I started using the manual Dillon 450 powder measure to throw BlackMZ. 

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I use Lee 45 ACP dies with a Dillon 45 Colt shell holder on my Dillon 550, finished with a Lee factory crimp die. 

 

I started out loading Trail Boss and found that I needed to go up to 3.8 grains to get even a remotely consistent load. I finally went to 3.8 grains of Clays because Clays feeds better through the powder funnel of my Dillon powder measure.

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Hand cast lee 452 rnfp powder coated sized to 452 3.5 grains Bullseye gets me 560 ps and a power factor 112 in my revolver. Over the top in my rifle feels like a .22

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I'm surprised so many are loading smokes in such an excellent black powder case. 

 

I use BlackMZ and 200 Lee RF sized 454.  No lube or coating.  

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^^^^^ This

 

20 gr of Schuetzen FFFg under a lead round ball and a wonder wad for lube is a very nice load :D

 

 

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On 2/5/2020 at 2:48 PM, David Richert said:

Hand cast lee 452 rnfp powder coated sized to 452 3.5 grains Bullseye gets me 560 ps and a power factor 112 in my revolver. Over the top in my rifle feels like a .22

What bullet weight is that?

 

p.s. So I calculated that you are referring to 200gr bullets, which is heavy for 45CS but would contain the velocity while likely offering more recoil than some are experiencing with 180 or 160. I see data in Lyman for a 160 that with a minimum load of W231/HP38 the power factor would be about 152. I have it loaded to test 15 rounds but expect that it is more power than SASS shooters are typically using in this cartridge. I already tried 3 grains of Trailboss with 160 bullets and thought that was just too much of a pop gun load. I also realized that Trailboss has no justification in this case size.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator

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On 2/5/2020 at 2:34 PM, Tyrel Cody said:

^^^^^ This

 

20 gr of Schuetzen FFFg under a lead round ball and a wonder wad for lube is a very nice load :D

 

 

 

What diameter ball are you using?  Hard or soft?  I tried 451 soft lead ball and had no accuracy.  

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1 hour ago, Warden Callaway said:

 

What diameter ball are you using?  Hard or soft?  I tried 451 soft lead ball and had no accuracy.  

.454, though I have used .451 with no accuracy issues. This is in Vaqueros and/or Pietta cap guns w/ conversion cylinders.

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4 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

What bullet weight is that?

 

p.s. So I calculated that you are referring to 200gr bullets, which is heavy for 45CS but would contain the velocity while likely offering more recoil than some are experiencing with 180 or 160. I see data in Lyman for a 160 that with a minimum load of W231/HP38 the power factor would be about 152. I have it loaded to test 15 rounds but expect that it is more power than SASS shooters are typically using in this cartridge. I already tried 3 grains of Trailboss with 160 bullets and thought that was just too much of a pop gun load. I also realized that Trailboss has no justification in this case size.

Correct 200 gr sorry I did not state that. I would cast lighter as soon as Lee makes. 6 round mold (I'm spoiled)

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7 hours ago, Four Eyes Henry said:

http://www.biglube.com works but not with the rest. Could you suggest which mold to select on that page?

Maybe this, that works with 45CS smokeless cartridges.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator

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I've only used roundball in cartridges to get POA/POI with my Pietta 1858 conversion like with the percussion cilinder, that, more or less, worked. 

For a long time now I'm using the J/P 200 in my 45 CS and 45 Colt with 18 grains blackpowder (cous cous as a filler for 45 Colt)

I have a Lyman sizer and Pacific 45 ACP dies for the 45 CS. The sizer die is a litlle bit bigger then standard, so I get straight wall cartridges. 

Edited by Four Eyes Henry

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13 hours ago, David Richert said:

200 gr sorry I did not state that. I would cast lighter as soon as Lee makes. 6 round mold

 

Tom at Accurate Molds will make a mold for you in a week that drops a 175 grain .452 bullet that I designed specifically for the Cowboy .45 Special.   It has a big enough lube groove to work with BP, and I have shot a few hundred like that, but normally I cast an 8 Brinnell slug with that mold for smokeless loads.

 

That mold design (45-175B) is a truncated cone with no crimp groove.   If you cast soft, you can roll crimp easily right into the broad driving band anywhere you want the length (cartridge OAL) to come out.   I know they will make a 3 cavity aluminum mold, and perhaps even a 4 cavity one.   And the Accurate mold will cast more accurately and last MUCH longer than the Lee mold - from my several tests.

 

And, no, I get no royality or kickback if you buy a mold.  Tom is just a great mold maker and wonderful resource for casters!

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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I use the Hornady die set recommended by Adirondack Jack when he started selling the 45 Cowboy Specials:

 

"The very best results to date have been achieved using Hornady New Dimension .45 caliber dies no. 546554.

Note Hornady uses the same dies for .45 Colt, ACP, Autorim, and win mag.

They produce a proper roll crimp, and use a sliding bullet guide that aids in seating even very short bullets straight."

 

if you wish to read his article, link here.

http://74.220.214.175/nick/cowboy45special.pdf

 

--Dawg

Edited by Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329

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1 hour ago, Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329 said:

I use the Hornady die set recommended by Adirondack Jack when he started selling the 45 Cowboy Specials:

 

"The very best results to date have been achieved using Hornady New Dimension .45 caliber dies no. 546554.

Note Hornady uses the same dies for .45 Colt, ACP, Autorim, and win mag.

They produce a proper roll crimp, and use a sliding bullet guide that aids in seating even very short bullets straight."

 

if you wish to read his article, link here.

http://74.220.214.175/nick/cowboy45special.pdf

 

--Dawg

Hornady Cowboy 45 Colt has a different seat/crimp die number than the other 45s sized for 451 instead of 452. That set is targeted to lead bullet use, but the sizer is too small (same as all others), allowing the bullet shape to print through the case. There I substituted an RCBS Cowboy sizer.

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First a very quick CAVEAT:  I load on Dillon 650s.  So I'm jaundiced BLUE.  Anyway, I run straight Dillon 45 Dies with one exception.  Resize and de-prime is standard Dillon 45 Colt.  Expander and powder drop is standard Dillon 45 ACP.  Bullet seater is standard Dillon 45 ACP with the punch flipped and the crimp die is a Redding 45 Auto Rim Profile Crimp.  I don't use 45 ACP to resize because it puts an ever so slight taper on the case which promulgates Blow-By.  I also don't use a 45 ACP taper crimp as I run my C45S in several rifles.  Don't trust a taper crimp for the rifles.

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15 hours ago, Four Eyes Henry said:

I have a Lyman sizer and Pacific 45 ACP dies for the 45 CS

...forgot to mention that they make a beautiful roll crimp...
Because of the slightly bigger sizer die I can thumb seat the bullets so I need a good roll crimp..

 

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14 hours ago, Four Eyes Henry said:

...forgot to mention that they make a beautiful roll crimp...
Because of the slightly bigger sizer die I can thumb seat the bullets so I need a good roll crimp..

 

Is that crimp supposed to keep the bullet from going outward or inward? At our recoil levels, like virtually none, it may be hard to tell. I think I would go for a tighter expander neck, if I can fully seat the bullet easily enough with my thumb.

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230 grain hand cast on Lee tumble-lube, 10% tin, no lube.

Federal large magnum pistol primer

1.6 cc of Fffg 777 or APP.

Lee .45 Colt sizing die

Lee .45 ACP speed dies for expanding, seating and crimping.

Shooting in a Uberti 1860 Henry Trapper

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10 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

Is that crimp supposed to keep the bullet from going outward or inward?

Outward, with Blackpowder I fill the case so the bullet compresses the powder a little.

I had blowby with my 45Colt rifle and that went away with my slightly larger sizerdie and CBC brass and I use the same sizer for 45CS

That also helpes with case life BTW :D shooting the same batch for 8 years now...

 

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3 hours ago, Four Eyes Henry said:

Outward, with Blackpowder I fill the case so the bullet compresses the powder a little.

I had blowby with my 45Colt rifle and that went away with my slightly larger sizerdie and CBC brass and I use the same sizer for 45CS

That also helpes with case life BTW :D shooting the same batch for 8 years now...

 

Well, that makes sense, with the bullet supported by the powder. Is the CBC brass thicker? Wondering how it would be part of the solution.

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CBC brass is thinner so it expands and seals better with my Blackpowder loads.

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IMG_20190204_192926.thumb.jpg.8e70d174db801d3a6fedc96f4085a58a.jpgFWIW, yesterday loaded 500 45CS. I have a Lee Challenger single stage, so I batch the steps. All brass was deprimed and tumbled then hand primed first. Use the Lee 45 colt sizer on all 500 primed cases. Used Lee 45acp thru powder die to bell all the cases slightly. Use heaping 1.3 cc dipper (20 gr) to fill Goex 2f in 50 count batches. Use Lee seating die 45acp, then ran all through the Lee 45acp crimp die. So in summary, use shell holder and first die from 45 colt, then switch and use last 3 dies 45acp. The bullet is Missouri Bullet Co Cowboy #4 200 gr black powder lubed. This has the same profile as all my other 200 gr bullets that I load for the 73 and 92 rifle(Big lube JP 200) or 1911 (Outlaw 200 gr, Summers 200 gr, MBC #4). Don't ever need to fiddle with the dies. 

Edited by Trooper Ozzy

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5 hours ago, Four Eyes Henry said:

CBC brass is thinner so it expands and seals better with my Blackpowder loads.

Impressive analysis and perfection of your load.

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4 hours ago, Trooper Ozzy said:

IMG_20190204_192926.thumb.jpg.8e70d174db801d3a6fedc96f4085a58a.jpgFWIW, yesterday loaded 500 45CS. I have a Lee Challenger single stage, so I batch the steps. All brass was deprimed and tumbled then hand primed first. Use the Lee 45 colt sizer on all 500 primed cases. Used Lee 45acp thru powder die to bell all the cases slightly. Use heaping 1.3 cc dipper (20 gr) to fill Goex 2f in 50 count batches. Use Lee seating die 45acp, then ran all through the Lee 45acp crimp die. So in summary, use shell holder and first die from 45 colt, then switch and use last 3 dies 45acp. The bullet is Missouri Bullet Co Cowboy #4 200 gr black powder lubed. This has the same profile as all my other 200 gr bullets that I load for the 73 and 92 rifle(Big lube JP 200) or 1911 (Outlaw 200 gr, Summers 200 gr, MBC #4). Don't ever need to fiddle with the dies. 

My Lee 45 ACP crimp die (FCD) doesn't provide a roll crimp. It also, when case walls are thick enough, will crush a bullet bigger than .451.

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4 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

My Lee 45 ACP crimp die (FCD) doesn't provide a roll crimp. It also, when case walls are thick enough, will crush a bullet bigger than .451.

Lee FCD in my kits seem to handle .452 bullets (lead, hitek) .451 (fmj) with no crushing...star line, winchester, etc brass   

I just follow the directions in the die box about setup. 

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2 hours ago, Trooper Ozzy said:

Lee FCD in my kits seem to handle .452 bullets (lead, hitek) .451 (fmj) with no crushing...star line, winchester, etc brass   

I just follow the directions in the die box about setup. 

You have your own experience, but have you ever pulled a bullet and measured its resulting diameter? Usually a Lee FCD with lead bullets feels like sizing the bullet.

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Using a 45 Auto crimp die will almost never give you a roll crimp.  They are usually designed to give a taper crimp, turning into a crushing taper crimp when over tightened.   The .45 Colt or a .45 Auto Rim crimp die works SO MUCH better.  The .45 Colt only crimp stem can be lowered far enough.

 

That's why I use a .45 Auto Rim crimp die (as I stated many posts above).

 

Good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708

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