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Red Eye Jim

.45 Cowboy Special Brass

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I'm thinking about picking up some .45 Cowboy special brass.  A couple of questions.

 

Am I correct in thinking that my Dillon .45 ACP dies setup for my WB loads (200 Grain RNFP) with my .45 Colt plate would be the loading method?

 

Also would these rounds work in my Ruger Birdshead with the .45ACP cylinder or would that need some gunsmithing?

 

Right now it seems like the only rounds my .45ACP Birdshead will work with are ones that can drop into a .45ACP case gage and drop out without issue.  

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Your die set should work.  I've had the best luck with a Hornady .45 Auto/AR die set.  

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Red Eye Jim said:

Right now it seems like the only rounds my .45ACP Birdshead will work with are ones that can drop into a .45ACP case gage and drop out without issue.  

 

I had a pair of Ruger 45ACP that would handle the C45S IF loaded with 451 bullets and tamper crimp. The throats were too tight.  

 

20160816_121501_zps1jgno8d4.jpg.2ff318a3c4caa61215e77fc7aadf7d87.jpg

 

 

Edited by Warden Callaway

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Warden,

 

I use a .452 mostly because it's a polymer coat.  That my issue then you think?

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17 minutes ago, Sarge said:

Your die set should work.  I've had the best luck with a Hornady .45 Auto/AR die set.  

I am a new 45 CS user. This set is what I use with a 45 colt shell plate on a Dillon 550. I think the auto rim crimp is a roll type and my standard 45 ACP is a taper. If I am incorrect someone will let us both know. Took a little fiddling but works great with 130 grain Barnstormer and 160 grain rnfp. 

Regards

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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On a Dillon, perhaps the biggest problem is the powder drop/expander sticks especially in new Starline brass.  Starline knows they have a problem with the brass they make catching on the expander.  They will (for free I believe) reshape your expander to more freely expand the cases.   Make sure the expander is set deeply enough to give a mouth bell sufficient to let whatever bullets you use enter the case well.   Especially if you use poly coated bullets.

 

I like a .45 Colt sizer die rather than the .45 auto or auto rim die, because it leaves the case slightly larger in diameter.  The Cowboy .45 Special is closer to a .45 Colt than a .45 auto outside diameter.  That makes it a little less likely to crack from being overworked (on the diameter) during loading.

 

I find the Starline brass still cracks way too often.  I have gone back to trimming down old .45 Colt cases and get much better case life.   I believe they need an extra  case annealing step in their case manufacturing.

 

Good luck, GJ

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I don't load new Starline brass without tumble in Frankford tumbler and using Hornady One Shot lube. 

 

They made a video showing taking new brass and sticking the neck into shot coated with graphite to give just enough lube to prevent sticking on the expander die.

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2 hours ago, Red Eye Jim said:

 

 

Right now it seems like the only rounds my .45ACP Birdshead will work with are ones that can drop into a .45ACP case gage and drop out without issue.  

 Guess I’m not understanding the problem? If the rounds that fit the case gauge fit the gun as well, Isn’t that the point of using a case gauge? Seems that’s what you would want IMO. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Captain Clark said:

 Guess I’m not understanding the problem? If the rounds that fit the case gauge fit the gun as well, Isn’t that the point of using a case gauge? Seems that’s what you would want IMO. 

 

There's fits perfect, and fits snug.  In my testing I'm finding that rounds that fall in the "fits snug" category (Say the rim doesn't drop all the way in with just gravity, but goes in with just a little pressure, but may require a little pressure get out.) can actually cause the gun to stick a little on the spin, or worse cause it to jam after it's fired.  Especially if it's the second or third round in.

Edited by Red Eye Jim
More data.

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2 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

On a Dillon, perhaps the biggest problem is the powder drop/expander sticks especially in new Starline brass.  Starline knows they have a problem with the brass they make catching on the expander.  They will (for free I believe) reshape your expander to more freely expand the cases.   Make sure the expander is set deeply enough to give a mouth bell sufficient to let whatever bullets you use enter the case well.   Especially if you use poly coated bullets.

 

 

First I've heard of this, but explains an issue I have with the expander.  Is there someone to contact at Starline about this?

 

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Good grief fellars... have a little respect for the developer of the cartridge, he named it the Cowboy45Special.  Or, C45S for short.  It's even headstamped such on all 2,000 cases I own, bought from the originator and then Miss Cubby.  Even the ones now offered direct from Starline (the original manufacturer), are so marked.

 

Either 45 Colt or 45ACP dies with the 45 Colt shellplate work to size the cartridge.  The 45 Colt seating or combination seating/crimp die needs to be cut down to work properly.  I just purchased a 45ACP roll crimp die to perform the seating and crimp function.  

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1 hour ago, Sarge said:

Is there someone to contact at Starline about this?

Call their support line.  It's a small shop and they will know who can set it up.

Good luck, GJ

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1 hour ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

Call their support line.  It's a small shop and they will know who can set it up.

Good luck, GJ

Thanks for the tip.

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This from FAQ on Starline website.

 

Quote

There are two situations that create this problem. The first is one seems to be associated with the Dillon powder funnel and only a couple of calibers (45 Auto and 40 S&W). The land for expanding case mouth is too long and when you begin to bell mouth the bottom of expander gets into the thicker taper of case and wedges causing it to be very hard to get back out. We have modified several by increasing radius on end and slightly shortening expanding land and this eliminated the problem completely. Call Starline and we will take care of it if you wish. One other cause can be a burr at case mouth created by the final trim operation, which grabs onto expander as it comes back up. This situation does not often appear and can be fixed by deburring case mouth or inside lubing cases.

 

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I've been loading C45S cases from Starline for about 3-4 years now without any issue on my Dillon SDB. Only wish I could roll crimp them as I think I may be over taper crimping and reducing bullet diameter. Not sure, but since I went to coated bullets I seem to get a build up of hard fouling about mid barrel in my Vaquero's. Need to use a brush to remove. It does come out easy with a brush and hasn't been detrimental to CAS accuracy that I can see. I don't clean after every match either!

I use the 45 colt shell plate, 45 colt sizing die, & all the rest are 45ACP dies. Dillon doesn't make a 45AR crimp die for the C45S and said the Schofield won't work.

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Eyesa,  RCBS makes a 45ACP roll crimp die.  That's what I use.  Produces nice tight rolls.

DSCN1212.jpg

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23 minutes ago, Griff said:

Eyesa,  RCBS makes a 45ACP roll crimp die.  That's what I use.  Produces nice tight rolls.

 

RCBS dies won't work in a Dillon SDB.

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2 hours ago, Chief Rick said:

RCBS dies won't work in a Dillon SDB.

Hmmm... a good excuse to upgrade to the 750?  ;)  Sorry Eyesa, I missed the SDB reference in your post.  

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If you have a small metal lathe, or a drill press it’s not difficult to modify the expander so that it doesn’t stick. It took me about 5 minutes and it works great.

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Well Golly gosh.  I've been loading Cowboy 45 Special on my Dillon 650 Since Adirondack Jack first made the cases available.  Completely without problem.  However, trying to use 45 ACP dies is a mistake.  First problem is the ACP resizing die gives the case a slight taper.  Suggested to use a regular Dillion 45 Colt resize die.  Second, the 45 ACP Taper crimp is designed for jacket bullets in a case that headspace on the case mouth.  To roll crimp I use a Redding Profile Crimp die for 45 Auto Rim.  45 Colt shell plate is fine.  my Dillon 45 Colt expander/powder dies works perfect.  I do use the Dillon 45 ACP bullet seater die with the punch turned around.   Scrimping to save a few bucks on dies is a mistake.     

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I got the crimp and fit I wanted after following the advice to get a Redding 45 AR crimp die.

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This only apples to use a Dillon SDB.  The dies are SDB dies that will only work on a SDB reloader for 45 Colt.    With a  160 grain bullet with a crimp groove, it will fold the lip of the brass into the crimp groove when properly adjusted even though they are a taper crimp.  These work fine for 45 Colt Ruger Revolvers. 

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5 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

If you have a small metal lathe, or a drill press it’s not difficult to modify the expander so that it doesn’t stick. It took me about 5 minutes and it works great.

I did mine on a bench grinder. Very, very carefully.

 

I use a 45 Colt shell plate, Lee 45 ACP dies and a Lee Factory Crimp die to load my C45S rounds on my Dillon 550. I'm loading Clays and 160 grain RNFP bullets.

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12 hours ago, Eyesa Horg said:

I've been loading C45S cases from Starline for about 3-4 years now without any issue on my Dillon SDB. Only wish I could roll crimp them as I think I may be over taper crimping and reducing bullet diameter. Not sure, but since I went to coated bullets I seem to get a build up of hard fouling about mid barrel in my Vaquero's. Need to use a brush to remove. It does come out easy with a brush and hasn't been detrimental to CAS accuracy that I can see. I don't clean after every match either!

I use the 45 colt shell plate, 45 colt sizing die, & all the rest are 45ACP dies. Dillon doesn't make a 45AR crimp die for the C45S and said the Schofield won't work.

 

I run the SDB as well.  For C45S I ground down a 45Colt crimp die (bought an extra one from Dillon) so that it would work with the shorter cases.  I use a 45Colt sizer, 45ACP expander and seating die, and the ground down 45Colt crimp die. 

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On 5/16/2020 at 3:35 PM, Red Eye Jim said:

Also would these rounds work in my Ruger Birdshead with the .45ACP cylinder or would that need some gunsmithing?

I shot a match just yesterday, with "homemade" C45S cases. I had a hundred loaded rounds of .45 Auto Rim, and I sold my S&W 625 some years ago, so... I chucked each one up in the ol' Jet lathe and thinned the rims so they'd chamber in my Birdshead .45 acp's. Worked fine. :)

45AR.jpg

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11 hours ago, Ripsaw said:

 

I run the SDB as well.  For C45S I ground down a 45Colt crimp die (bought an extra one from Dillon) so that it would work with the shorter cases.  I use a 45Colt sizer, 45ACP expander and seating die, and the ground down 45Colt crimp die. 

Ripsaw,

Could you PM me some more info on how you did that. Maybe a picture next to a 45 colt crimp die.? Much Obliged.

Eyesa

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13 hours ago, Null N. Void said:

This only apples to use a Dillon SDB.  The dies are SDB dies that will only work on a SDB reloader for 45 Colt.    With a  160 grain bullet with a crimp groove, it will fold the lip of the brass into the crimp groove when properly adjusted even though they are a taper crimp.  These work fine for 45 Colt Ruger Revolvers. 

I tried that and tightened all the way down it just made a wicked taper with no roll. My die is from the late 80's, maybe a new one would work better. I did call Dillon a month ago and they didn't say anything about that. They told me it couldn't be done on the SDB. I have read past posts stating what you said about about tightening the taper crimp down more. Mine just didn't work.

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50 minutes ago, Eyesa Horg said:

I tried that and tightened all the way down it just made a wicked taper with no roll. My die is from the late 80's, maybe a new one would work better. I did call Dillon a month ago and they didn't say anything about that. They told me it couldn't be done on the SDB. I have read past posts stating what you said about about tightening the taper crimp down more. Mine just didn't work.

 

The ACP dies on my Dillon SDB are about 5 years old.  I use those and a 45 Colt base plate.  In the number 3 position, I set the bullet to where the cartridge lip is even to just below the crimp groove.  What I did was back the crimp stage (#4) adjustment all the way off and move the cartridge to the # 4 position.  I then tightened it up to where it just started to crimp and went about a 1/2 turn.  I took the cartridge out and tapped it fairly hard to see if the bullet would move.  If it doesn't, it's good for revolvers.  If it moves, put it back in and give it another 1/4 turn and keep testing until it bullet won't move.   On mine, it actually pushed the lip into the groove.  It measures about .007 of reduced diameter into the crimp groove.  It doesn't matter for 45 Colt revolvers at the loads we shoot at whether it's a taper, a crimp or something in between so long as the bullet stays put.  The bullet I used is a 160 grain from "Bullets by Scarlett".  I use 3.8 grains of Red Dot.  I don't shoot the 45s any more, but that was the combination I used for a couple of years.

 

I also use the Cowboy 45 Special for rifle reloads in Wild bunch.  I use a 230 grain RN that's a 45 ACP bullet.  That's adjusted the same way as above except is a straight taper crimp and is identical in overall length to the 230 grain bullets I loaded for WB.

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This is just a view from my saddle but using a taper crimp is fine unless you're using the ammo in a tubular magazine.  I'd be taper crimping above or below the crimp groove on a flat spot for good contact.  Don't over think this.

 

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On 5/18/2020 at 8:32 AM, Eyesa Horg said:

Ripsaw,

Could you PM me some more info on how you did that. Maybe a picture next to a 45 colt crimp die.? Much Obliged.

Eyesa

Here are some pics of the modified 45Colt die insert for the SDB for crimping C45S. Just make sure you grind off the correct end! Bevel and Polish the new "bottom ".

20200525_112032.jpg

20200525_112020.jpg

20200525_111959.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Will they work in a 1873 Winchester clone? Are they too short? Schofield loads work ok in my .45 carbine. 

Edited by Baltimore Ed

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Hi Biltmore :rolleyes:

 

Nope.  Too short for a '73 reproduction.  UNLESS your repro '73 is a Uberti and you switch out the Carrier Block for a modified item from The Smith Shop.

 

If your shooting a Miroku, you're just out of luck. 

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On 5/25/2020 at 11:43 AM, Ripsaw said:

Here are some pics of the modified 45Colt die insert for the SDB for crimping C45S. Just make sure you grind off the correct end! Bevel and Polish the new "bottom ".

 

 

 

Nice job Ripsaw, that came out excellent. Thanks much.

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On 5/25/2020 at 11:43 AM, Ripsaw said:

Here are some pics of the modified 45Colt die insert for the SDB for crimping C45S. Just make sure you grind off the correct end! Bevel and Polish the new "bottom ".

20200525_112032.jpg

20200525_112020.jpg

20200525_111959.jpg

 

I did this modification to a new 45 Colt die today and it works excellent. Thanks Pard

 

Eyesa

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