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I have this style 45 colt brass i traded for and it won't fit none of my reloading stuff. Can anyone give me info on it please and thank you



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On 4/1/2021 at 1:01 PM, Dog1029 said:

I have this style 45 colt brass i traded for and it won't fit none of my reloading stuff. Can anyone give me info on it please and thank you




Those are the older type of .45 Colt brass, made up through the 1950s, referred to as "Solid Head Balloon Pocket" or "Balloon Head" cases.  That type of case first appeared with the "Model of 1882 Ball Cartridge for Cal. .45 Revolver"  like the earlier version, but boxer primed, still without an extractor groove and a smaller rim.  The modern .45 Colt brass has a wider rim and an extractor groove that allows them to be used in rifles as well as revolvers.  The shell plates of modern reloading equipment fit into the extractor groove that is missing from your cases.   


They can be a PITA to reload as they don't have the extractor cut above the rim as do recent cases.  This means every shell holder made in the last 50 years won't fit them.  They also vary quite a bit in rim thickness and can give issues in some cylinders.

To reload your cases, you would have to hunt for antique .45 Colt reloading shell plate for a single stage press, or see if you can hunt down the old Lyman 310 tool for .45 Colt.  That hand tool is tedious, but if you must load these cases...  Personally, I'd just get a bunch of modern .45 Colt cases.  Easy to find, and several folks on the Classified Forum have been selling their extra cases. 


Edited by McCandless
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Howdy Pard


and condolences. Yrs back at a gunshow I bot a partial box of old 45LC loaded ammo. Old? It was in the old Peters Cartridge Company red and black box. Some of you guys cerca 1940’s/1950’s may remember them.  Used ‘em at a match. They were all sure fire (good job there, Peters Cartridge Company!). They were at least solid head construction and not balloon head.


The rub came when I tried to reload ‘em. They didn’t fit the Lee #11 shell holder. Thot the Lee #14 for 44-40 would work. Nope. Wouldn’t go in. Finally used the shell holder for 7.62X54R. Loose fit but worked. Still have that brass. I have a lot of brass and do rotate  it in the reloading cycle. And, like a bad penny, their turn keeps coming up. With time and some effort with coarse emery paper on the rims, they are now a tight-but-doable fit in the #11 shell holder.


Know it sounds like extra effort but brass is brass and, in these difficult times , shouldn’t go to waste.  

Hope with some extra effort you’ll be able to put that brass to use.




Fort Reno Kid 


Side note.  Many yrs back, before CAS became popular, saw some cheaply priced W-W 38-40 brass (then almost as rare as hens teeth) at a gun show but it was balloon head. Oh, I’d read of the hazards of balloon-head brass but, gritted my teeth and bot it ‘cause I really needed it. I painted the heads black to differentiate it from my other 38-40’s and only used light loads of Unique and  Bullseye w/cast bullet. Still have the brass. A few succumbed to age but most of ‘em holding up fine. Now have plenty of modern brass (thank you, Starline!). I still use the old with light loads. Never had an issue.  

That said ... NO! ... I don’t recommend the practice and hold myself out as an excellent example of God protecting fools and idiots.







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