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Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life

Cowboy 45 Special

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Howdy all

After following another thread (and some very good advice in it) I have decided to take the plunge and add another caliber to the stable. This will be a pistol only round in 45 colt NMV.

I am using the Hornaday dies number 546554 - 45 auto/AR/ WIn that were recommended by the designer of the cartridge (?)

Dillon 550 with 45 colt conversion kit using the 45 colt expander in the powder measure.

Cases are starline, I have lots of Federal Large pistol primers, a couple thousand 160 grain FP from clarks bullets.

Seated to the crimp groove my dummies came out at 1.1 inches +/- .001

My first couple had a very small amount of brass that appeared sheared off when crimped so adjusted the flair smaller at the powder measure and the next 3 did not do that. The version I have is a roll crimp but can be had with a taper crimp for the ACP. If needed I can get that separate crimp die.

So my questions are as follows:

I have a keg each of Trailboss, ClayDot and Titegroup. Any preferences from the Wire? What weight would be recommended?  Do I match up future loads with Auto Rim or ACP in the book? I do NOT want to add another smokeless powder to my shelf.

I also have 3 pounds of Swiss 3Fg and 4 pounds of Goex cartridge from who knows where and don't remember why I got them. All are unopened and have been stored in climate controlled conditions, (closet in the house) I do not currently load BP in any of my firearms so am a total rookie here and don't currently know anyone who shoots BP and can mentor.

Is my OAL within specs? If not where would I find that info?

Lastly I have seen several references to a 130 grain Barnstormer bullet. Worth picking up a thousand or two? From where?

The wife thinks she may begin shooting this summer and likes the lighter weight of the NMV 45's with 4 5/8" to my OMV in 357 with 5 1/2". If I can keep the recoil down we may have a winner.

Thanks in advance

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

 

 

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@SHOOTIN FOX makes the Barnstormer bullets. They make nice soft shooting loads.

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Here are some documents I saved over the years, some from this wire, & some from Adirondack Jack's Website:

http://www.prairiedawg.net/nick/45CS_wire_data.pdf

 

http://www.prairiedawg.net/nick/cowboy45special.pdf

 

http://www.prairiedawg.net/nick/cowboy45specialLoadData.pdf

 

http://www.prairiedawg.net/nick/cowboy_45_Special_Jacks_load_data.pdf

 

 

Edited by Prairie Dawg, SASS #50329
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I'm using 160 badman bullets, a Dillon 550B, and a combination of Dillon & RCBS dies.  My fully crimped (in the groove), AOL, is 1.107".    I have loaded them with Titegroup, but, have settled on Clays for my smokeless loads.  I don't load them to either ACP specs... quite a bit hotter than I prefer in my Colts.  I'm using the starting load listed on the Hodgdon site with the only bullet listed, (a jacketed bullet).  And while it shows a bit more pressure than I like in a Colt SAA, it's measured in a auto pistol... cylinder gap reduces that somewhat, and I find it a pleasant load.    It's been some time since I chronographed them, and don't have the info written down and handy right now... I'm sure it's around here somewhere... 

 

As for published specs... it's a wildcat load, I've never found any specs outside the case measurements and those that Dawg lists above.  

 

23 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Always best to crimp in a separate operation ;)

OLG 

If you're just too lazy to pay attention to the details in setting the seating die.  :P  Yeah, it's a pet peeve of mine that folks don't think it's worth the effort to correctly adjust dies, and take the separate crimp die shortcut.

Edited by Griff
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28 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Always best to crimp in a separate operation ;)

OLG 

Just asking but why then does every major manufacturer offer numerous die sets that seat and crimp in one step.

Most of my newer dies are Dillon which has a separate crimper (easier) but most of my older (primarily RCBS) are seat/crimp in one die and I have never noticed any issues in accuracy or defects from the reloading process. It takes a bit longer to be sure they are right but I must be missing something here.

Please understand I am not a precision long range shooter (where I can see the need for ultimate accuracy) but if ones rounds are not quarter size groups but are instead 50 cent sized at 50 feet what real problem is there?

Curious cuz I like learning

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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17 minutes ago, Griff said:

I'm using 160 badman bullets, a Dillon 550B, and a combination of Dillon & RCBS dies.  My fully crimped (in the groove), AOL, is 1.107".    I have loaded them with Titegroup, but, have settled on Clays for my smokeless loads.  I don't load them to either ACP specs... quite a bit hotter than I prefer in my Colts.  I'm using the starting load listed on the Hodgdon site with the only bullet listed, (a jacketed bullet).  And while it shows a bit more pressure than I like in a Colt SAA, it's measured in a auto pistol... cylinder gap reduces that somewhat, and I find it a pleasant load.    It's been some time since I chronographed them, and don't have the info written down and handy right now... I'm sure it's around here somewhere... 

 

As for published specs... it's a wildcat load, I've never found any specs outside the case measurements and those that Dawg lists above.  

 

If you're just too lazy to pay attention to the details in setting the seating die.  :P  Yeah, it's a pet peeve of mine that folks don't think it's worth the effort to correctly adjust dies, and take the separate crimp die shortcut.

Thank you for your reply

These will most likely be for my wife. She injured both wrists in an automobile accident in 2001 and the weight of the gun seems to be more of a problem than the recoil of the round. I have been trying for years to get her out with me but shooting more than 3-4 stages with my OMV, 38specials, 125 grain at about 750fps leaves her with tingling, aches and numbness for the remainder of the day. Went to 105's at about 710 fps but same thing. Already have the 45 colts but may have to try lighter pistols / different caliber / smaller bullets just not in the budget right now.

Again thanks for all of your reply

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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24 minutes ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

I bought the mold and commercial rights from Jack. 

Thank you for the quick response.

Do you have a website or facebook page with info on pricing/quantities ?

I think a 1000 for now would be a sufficient try out

Regards

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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13 minutes ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

Just asking but why then does every major manufacturer offer numerous die sets that seat and crimp in one step.

Most of my newer dies are Dillon which has a separate crimper (easier) but most of my older (primarily RCBS) are seat/crimp in one die and I have never noticed any issues in accuracy or defects from the reloading process. It takes a bit longer to be sure they are right but I must be missing something here.

Please understand I am not a precision long range shooter (where I can see the need for ultimate accuracy) but if ones rounds are not quarter size groups but are instead 50 cent sized at 50 feet what real problem is there?

Curious cuz I like learning

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

Gateway, you ask a good question here.  My experience is not as great as some loaders on the wire, but in my experience the problem is varying case length.

For example, you buy 500 Starline cases.  Then you trim them to minimum length for the caliber and you can set your die to seat the bullet so that the end of the case is near the top of the crimping groove in the bullet and adjust your die to crimp as the bullet is seated.  All is good.  Until the next match, when you get some of your brass back and some of two or three other shooters brass of the same caliber.  A few matches go by and you have quite a bit of brass of various lengths.  Your options are then to trim all the brass again but by this time bullet lube has built up on your seating stem and changed how deep the bullets are being seated.  So you can buy a Lee factory crimp die and forget about case lengths as it will squish the crimp into the bullet whether the case length is spot on or not. As you noted, we do not need quarter size groups to hit typical SASS targets at typical SASS ranges. 

Also, you can have a better feel for how much crimp you are applying to an individual cartridge and/or you can be more precise when doing crimping as a separate operation, among other considerations.

 

Duffield

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I sell them for $45  for 500 + shipping. $8 for 500, 16 for 1000 to 2000. Flat rate shipping with tracking and insurance. These are labor intensive as it is a hollow base projectile and they will not collate. Each one must be fed into the lube sizer by hand.

multiple post in this forum have load info.

 

PM me if you have more questions.

 

Fox

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My wife has been shooting 45CS brass for a couple of years now, in rifle and pistol. She is not that big, 5'4" tall. I use 3.5 grains of Trailboss with a 190 grain RNFP and it is a light shooting load. As for crimping, I seat and crimp with one die for 45 Colt and 45CS but prefer a separate die for 44-40 , as the brass is thinner and more prone to damage if over crimped.

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Don't ya just hate those short, fat bullets? EPP's do the same thing, won't feed in the bullet feeder tube. I have some 160 grain 45's that do that too, otherwise I would use those for my wife's 45CS loads.

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I use Hornady .45 Colt dies on a Hornady LNL press for my C45S cases. I seat and crimp in one step. When I'm not shooting BP, Trail Boss is my powder of choice, loaded to mid-range with a 180 gr bullet. Perceived recoil is little more than my .38s. I could reduce the recoil further but don’t bother because I have a pair of .38s. 

 

This setup has produced excellent results for me for 10 years. 
 

YMMV ^_^

Edited by Abilene Slim SASS 81783

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1 hour ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

Just asking but why then does every major manufacturer offer numerous die sets that seat and crimp in one step.

Most of my newer dies are Dillon which has a separate crimper (easier) but most of my older (primarily RCBS) are seat/crimp in one die and I have never noticed any issues in accuracy or defects from the reloading process. It takes a bit longer to be sure they are right but I must be missing something here.

Please understand I am not a precision long range shooter (where I can see the need for ultimate accuracy) but if ones rounds are not quarter size groups but are instead 50 cent sized at 50 feet what real problem is there?

Curious cuz I like learning

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

Duffield gave you best answer, as case length is less critical when you crimp separately from seating.  And for cowboy ammo, it's probably "good enough".  As for claims that it makes for better, more accurate ammo... I did a test on my favorite rifle round... the .30WCF in my favorite rifle.  One that has been proven to shoot 5 into ¾" @ 100 yards.  I used my same Federal cases as that target load, trimmed to length, 2.028", primed with WLR primers, then charged with 27 grains of RE7, and seated a 150 FNGC bullet out of a Saeco #316 mold, sized to .309 and lubed with Lyman Alox.   The bullet is ~20Bhn, cast of 6 parts of WW and one part Linotype.  I then seated ten rounds with my combination RCBS seat/crimp die, and 10 with the RCBS seater only, and then crimped with the Lee FCD. 

 

My crimps were consistent with both crimp dies.  But, I like the look of the consistently round complete crimp of the RCBS.  However, the proof of the matter is in the resulting targets.  In my testing it's exactly zip, nada, well... negligible group size difference.  This load duplicates my hunting ammo, a Federal 150 grain soft point in average velocity, but have a much smaller ES and SD.  And, not surprisingly, my regular handloads consistently group better than factory ammo.    It may have been a fluke on that particular's day shooting, but neither group was as good as I expected.  

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  • I'm loading a 160 gr.  coated bullet over 3.5 gr. of TB.  Using the same die set you are using.  I just picked up some of Shooting Fox's bullets to test but I've been shooting the 160 gr. no problem with in my converted 66 too.  Absolutely no problem with the conversion.  The only issue I have is loading on my 550B.  For some reason, I can't go quite as fast as other caliber cartridges.  If I don't watch station 3 carefully, the case likes to get a little bit out of alignment and I crush the case.  

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3 hours ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

Just asking but why then does every major manufacturer offer numerous die sets that seat and crimp in one step.

Most of my newer dies are Dillon which has a separate crimper (easier) but most of my older (primarily RCBS) are seat/crimp in one die and I have never noticed any issues in accuracy or defects from the reloading process. It takes a bit longer to be sure they are right but I must be missing something here.

Please understand I am not a precision long range shooter (where I can see the need for ultimate accuracy) but if ones rounds are not quarter size groups but are instead 50 cent sized at 50 feet what real problem is there?

Curious cuz I like learning

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

 

Those die sets were designed back in the day for a single stage press. That type of die combines 2 ops into 1.

Dillon dies are made for progressive presses.

Seat and crimp in 2 separate stages works very well when running mixed brands of cases.

OLG 

Edited by The Original Lumpy Gritz
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I found no justification for the volume of Trailboss and did not find 45 ACP data for it with 160 gr bullets. However, the 45 Colt rifle is being loaded with Trailboss in 45 Colt brass, and I have a lot of that powder. I would use TB if necessary. I found data indicating W231/HP38, Titegroup, and Clays run at the lower velocities. I am reserving Clays to try in warmer weather. I found 10% off published minimum to be too light for my taste, so I am using 5% off. With 160 bullets the HP38 is kind of dirty but not a real issue. I thought the Titegroup was good but again too light at 10% off. I have yet to shoot the test rounds of TG at the increase to 5% off Lyman minimum, my source for 160 bullet weight.

Edited by Roscoe Regulator

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I did not get the crimp result I wanted until purchasing a 45 AR die by Redding and crimping separately from seating. I had tried my Hornady and RCBS seat/crimp dies for 45 ACP. I too got some brass shaving with all the dies and still get some. I deburred and chamfered the new brass, but it is still as if the crimping is shaving the case mouth when attempting to achieve a full roll crimp. It's fine, and I will not plan on making further changes to the set up unless seeing brass shavings from fired brass.

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That is where the Barnstormer excells. The hollow base skirt seal the chamber better to help prevent blowby. Think about the Minnie ball principle.

Edited by SHOOTIN FOX
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RCBS makes a 45ACP Roll Crimp die, RCBS p/n 18942, I'm not getting any shaving of brass or bullet in my seating/crimp setup on the Dillon 550B.  In looking at their website, I see they list this same die for the ACP, GAP & Auto Rim.  As I recall, when I got mine it didn't come with a seating stem, & just used one from one of my 45 Colt sets.  

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15 hours ago, SHOOTIN FOX said:

I bought the mold and commercial rights from Jack. 

 

Can you change the name to 45 Short Colt so we can solve a century old debate?

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I’ve had pretty good luck reducing blowback in both my 45 Colt rifle rounds and my 45 Cowboy Special pistol rounds by going to Redding profile crimp dies. 

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Just an update to all

recently got back from several weeks in Tanzania so finally have a little (government mandated) time off to reload;)

have reloaded 50 each of a 160 gr and a 130 gr (thanks shootin Fox) using trail boss  and federal LP primers.

160 with 3.7 grains and the 130 with 4.0 grains. Sound about right? Headed to the range tomorrow to try them out.

 

Thank you everyone 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

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28 minutes ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

Just an update to all

recently got back from several weeks in Tanzania so finally have a little (government mandated) time off to reload;)

have reloaded 50 each of a 160 gr and a 130 gr (thanks shootin Fox) using trail boss  and federal LP primers.

160 with 3.7 grains and the 130 with 4.0 grains. Sound about right? Headed to the range tomorrow to try them out.

 

Thank you everyone 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

Yup... you ought to be good to go with those 160 gr  loads!;)

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Gateway Kid SASS# 70038 Life said:

Just an update to all

recently got back from several weeks in Tanzania so finally have a little (government mandated) time off to reload;)

have reloaded 50 each of a 160 gr and a 130 gr (thanks shootin Fox) using trail boss  and federal LP primers.

160 with 3.7 grains and the 130 with 4.0 grains. Sound about right? Headed to the range tomorrow to try them out.

 

Thank you everyone 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

What is the connection to this round of Trailboss? I do use it in the taller 45 Colt. Mostly I found no load data for it (45ACP).

Edited by Roscoe Regulator

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Roscoe Regulator

Same here as far as published loads, have not found any specific data, so have been

mostly using others “pet” loads and comparing to those that Prairie Dawg linked to.

Not the best way I know but there are plenty using these “approximately “ data so I am cautiously optimistic these will work. If they don’t at least I will be by myself if things go south.:unsure:

regards

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

 

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Posted (edited)

A salute to GK for knowing what he is biting off!

 

Load data for .45 auto is not directly appropriate for Cowboy .45 Special loads.  In general, "auto" loads will make a LOT more velocity than cowboy matches need unless you use very lowest end loads.  There is quite a bit of possibility of generating more pressure than you may want in old single action revolvers.  

 

Cowboy .45 Special is a WILDCAT cartridge.  It was not intended by it's developer, as far as I can tell, to be a great cartridge for loaders who do not know how to make up a wildcat load, nor how to read pressure signs, nor ones who want the "iron-clad" guarantees of safety that factory cartridges producing pressures accepted by SAAMI committee can provide.

 

WILDCAT cartridges have not been tested by several factory ballistics technicians and had "factory" loads worked up, nor usually supported with any published loading data.  That is a fact of reloading life for wildcatters.  If a loader cannot accept those conditions, they probably should stick with published loads from industry technicians for standard cartridges.

 

In "X" number of years, C45Spl may be a factory loaded cartridge.  It may gain some published loading data even if it is a wildcat cartridge.  But it's not now.

 

Good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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Posted (edited)

Patronizing aside, 45CS load starting points can be extrapolated from 45ACP loads like with Titegroup and HP38 that show the lower velocities. Trailboss is nowhere to be found there, and there seems no good reason to use a powder that is more expensive than good alternatives. The problem I found with 160 grain bullets is that there appeared to be few starting points for extrapolation from published data. I wound up with loads that were pretty substantial before feeling right to me (in a 5 1/2 Vaquero).

Edited by Roscoe Regulator

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I have found 45AR loads to be better suited to 45CS.

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4 minutes ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

I have found 45AR loads to be better suited to 45CS.

Did not intend to start a firestorm amongst the many knowledgeable reloaders on this forum. Garrison Joe has summed up many of the considerations that kept me from trying this cartridge for quite some time. I am very much aware of the lack of “hard” data but I am also comfortable that those who have given freely of their experience are sharing the best available information they have. I am also aware that the consequences of my reloads are mine alone and I accept that.

As Springfield Slim has stated the loads I am considering are closer to 45AR than some others and while I am not at the lowest levels I am also not at the highest.

As I go forward I will be monitoring my loads closely and isn’t that part of the challenge/fun with making our own ammo?

regards

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

Gateway Kid

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Roscoe Regulator said:

What is the connection to this round of Trailboss? I do use it in the taller 45 Colt. Mostly I found no load data for it (45ACP).

Trail Boss Load data can be “ found” if you use the formula that Hodgdon has on their website for Trail Boss use in any cartridge. It’s easy to figure and works. When using the formula I came up with a load of 3.72 grains of TB for a 160/165 grain bullet which at the time I was , and still am, loading 3.8 grains! Coincidence? No, just reading and doing my home work 

Really it’s not rocket science fellas, just ballistics;)

 

FYI.... probably have fired 10,000 + rounds of this load. 

Edited by Captain Clark
Clarity

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