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Making 45 cowboy from 45 colt


Bullett Sass 19707
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A cheap cutoff saw with a metal-cutting abrasive blade, Harbor Freight.   Make a little case holder that lets the saw cut the brass at about 0.91"  and you don't have much to trim in case trimmer.  You want to get to 0.898"

 

good luck, GJ

 

 

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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A friend of mine uses a drill press and a Forstner bit. Made a holder and set the stop on the drill press. He says it works great

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I made a hardwood jig that I can put ten cases in.  Then cut them off with a bandsaw.  Finish with a case trimmer.

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Can't help you, but may I say that I would rather pay $.32 each, be ready to load, and have the real thing for different headstamps when picking from my loading strips. My rifle uses full size 45 Colt from the other section of the strip. Minor point maybe.

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Edited by Roscoe Regulator
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I did this LOOOONG before cowboy spl came about. I didn't want to throw away split cases. So I 1st cut them back to .45 schofield  length and then decided to cut them back to .45 acp length so I could just use my .45 ACP dies. I made a jig to cut 10 at a time, and used a small band saw. I don't shoot .45's at this time but have around 1000 to 1200 loaded rounds plus empties. I have never used cowboy special cases.

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I use a 2 inch chop saw.Made a jig from 1/2 inch aluminum channel.

Cut a groove to hold the rim of the brass,and set the groove at .910 or so away from the sawblade,and locked it down with the saw's table vice.

Make sure the belt and pullies remain tight, or it will grab the brass and throw it across the room.

Yeah,ask me how I know.

Of course ,

YMMV

Choctaw

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I got the power drill spindle for my Lyman case trimmer & cut them with that tool.  https://www.lymanproducts.com/brands/lyman/case-trimmers-accessories/trimmer-accessories/lyman-trimmer-power-adapter  Use a higher speed drill - you get better results.

 

It takes no time at all to zip from full length to CS length, then I deburr inside & out and run them through a wet tumbling cycle.  I don't ream them at all.  I have done this on well over 1000 pcs of brass & have never had any issues at all.

 

FWIW I don't trim cases that were split - only intact older 45C brass.

 

Holler

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41 minutes ago, Hollifer A. Dollar said:

I got the power drill spindle for my Lyman case trimmer & cut them with that tool. 

 

I did that for about 20 cases.   Dulled the Lyman cutter on just brass cases.   Got a new cutter head.  Dulled the cutter quickly again.  Then I got the chop saw and an abrasive blade.  Have done about 500 with that, even nickel plated.  On second 50 cent blade now.  

 

good luck, GJ

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Here’s my set up for making Cowboy .45 Special brass.

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I used a bronze 1/2" bushing from the hardware store and cut it to be bit long. Squeezed in the vise just enough to hold the brass and cut with a dremel. Then trimmed on Forster trimmer. The chop saw looks way easier. The easiest now for me is an order to Starline!

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Way back inna Wabac (thank you Perfesser and Sherman), when Adirondack Jack and I were messing with "Short" cases, I put a Case Trimmer head on a wood bock, then ran the Carbide trim cutter in my horizontal boring machine.  Made several thousand that way.

 

PLUS ONE for Eyesa Horg you betcha 

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My efforts at making C45S from cracked 45Colt cases.  Labor intensive and not to way I'd do it if I were to make more than a few. But this is how I did it using what I had.

 

 

I'm still "using up" the first 500.  They have been reloaded numerous times and annealed several. Get cracks and splits in the body. A few loose primer poskets showing up now.  Good thing I have 500 new stashed back. :rolleyes:

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What is the advantage to 45CS over regular Colt or Schofield cases?  Do they seal the chamber better? 

 

I would think cut down 45 Colt cases would be as thick or even thicker than regular 45 Colts in the neck area. 

 

Do regular 45Colt dies still work for expanding and seating or do you need to use 45Auto dies?

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18 minutes ago, July Smith said:

What is the advantage to 45CS over regular Colt or Schofield cases? 

 

For me, they have just the right volume to load black powder (or subs) to not need filler.  If loading smokeless,  it makes more efficient use of the powder.  Much easier to detect a double charge. 

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1 hour ago, July Smith said:

What is the advantage to 45CS over regular Colt or Schofield cases?  Do they seal the chamber better? 

 

I would think cut down 45 Colt cases would be as thick or even thicker than regular 45 Colts in the neck area. 

 

Do regular 45Colt dies still work for expanding and seating or do you need to use 45Auto dies?

I shoot the C.45S in ROA conversion cylinders but not in a rifle so blowback is not a concern for me. I used .45 auto dies for seating and crimping.

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1 hour ago, July Smith said:

What is the advantage to 45CS over regular Colt or Schofield cases?

 

Easier to get a consistent load with light powder charges and a light slug.  Less likely to get a squib than when a small powder charge tries but fails to produce a large volume of gas in a mostly empty .45 Colt case.  So, lower recoil, thus faster stages.

 

Really, about comparable to using .38 Special cases rather than .357 Maximum cases for cowboy loads.

 

Cut down Colt cases are a little thicker.  Almost all guns chambered in .45 Colt are chambered to SAAMI maximum chamber dimensions, meaning chamber is 0.480"   That is just about perfect for Cowboy .45 Special loads even with slightly thicker walls at the mouth of the cut-down case.

 

I use .45 Colt sizer, .45 Dillon powder-thru expander, and .45 Auto Rim die for seat and roll crimp.    So, no, you can't use .45 Colt dies all the way through loading cycle.

 

good luck, GJ

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Hello the fire,

The main reason Adirondack Jack created the Cowboy Special was to make a lighter shooting black powder case to ease the recoil on his arthritic hands. That is why he didn't work at cutting any of the other cases down. He was also concerned about the wall thickness of the 45 Colt case as it gets thicker as it gets closer to the rim.

To those of you who are modifying cases and not having problems with fitting in chambers, good for you. Some did early on. Now it is just a personal choice to cut cases or buy them.

 

Chelsea 

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35 minutes ago, Chelsea Kid, #47400 said:

Hello the fire,

The main reason Adirondack Jack created the Cowboy Special was to make a lighter shooting black powder case to ease the recoil on his arthritic hands. That is why he didn't work at cutting any of the other cases down. He was also concerned about the wall thickness of the 45 Colt case as it gets thicker as it gets closer to the rim.

To those of you who are modifying cases and not having problems with fitting in chambers, good for you. Some did early on. Now it is just a personal choice to cut cases or buy them.

 

Chelsea 

Early on I had the issue with them not fitting in the chamber but remedied that by taking about 1/16” off of the bottom of the sizing die to allow the case to be sized nearly to the rim and it solved the problem.

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

So, no, you can't use .45 Colt dies all the way through loading cycle.

Depends on the dies. I’ve been using the standard Hornady .45 Colt 3-die set for the entire cycle on my LNL press for over 10 years. RCBS dies on the other hand, won’t work. I can’t speak for the others since I’ve never tried. 
 

Edited by Abilene Slim SASS 81783
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The only change to a std 45 Colt die set is that I use a 45ACP roll crimp/seating die.  

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The mini Harbor Freight chop saw is the 1st step in turning 223 Remington cases into 300BO cases.

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Howdy Pard

 

As my 45 Colt brass developed rim splits, I saved ‘em. After a good period of time and many CAS and Silhouette matches, I had a good amount of them. Then … off to a shootin’ buddy with a lathe. In less than half an hour they’d all been cut to 45 Cowboy.

 

I reload them using 45 ACP dies with the 45 Colt shell holder. I use 45 Cowboy in two percussion revolvers with Howell conversion cylinders. The short Cowboy brass gives much better ignition with light loads than full-size 45 Colt brass.

 

Side note: the same process works for trimming 44 Mag to 44 Special and for 44 Special to 44 Russian. With current ammo and component shortages, these techniques are useful.

 

Happy Trails and Adios 

 

Fort Reno Kid 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Fort Reno Kid said:

Howdy Pard

 

As my 45 Colt brass developed rim splits, I saved ‘em. After a good period of time and many CAS and Silhouette matches, I had a good amount of them. Then … off to a shootin’ buddy with a lathe. In less than half an hour they’d all been cut to 45 Cowboy.

 

I reload them using 45 ACP dies with the 45 Colt shell holder. I use 45 Cowboy in two percussion revolvers with Howell conversion cylinders. The short Cowboy brass gives much better ignition with light loads than full-size 45 Colt brass.

 

Side note: the same process works for trimming 44 Mag to 44 Special and for 44 Special to 44 Russian. With current ammo and component shortages, these techniques are useful.

 

Happy Trails and Adios 

 

Fort Reno Kid 

 

 

I see a couple references to use of only 45 ACP dies, which to me means loading without a roll crimp, which I would never consider doing, while allowing that at SASS pressure levels risks may be low. I worked up to a mid level load though, preferring some pop in my  5.5 inch pistols. I followed the tip to crimp with a 45 Autorim crimp die, and that has worked perfectly for me, giving a very nice roll crimp. I do own a Hornady 45 Colt set but don't recall trying the crimp die on the short cases. My 45 Colt loading has been with an RCBS Cowboy seat/crimp.

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