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.45 Cowboy Special Brass


Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474

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I was able to find and order some Starline .45 Cowboy Special brass and I have a couple of questions.

The brass isn't here yet but I'd like to get my duck in a row for it's arrival.

Can I use the loading data for .45ACP ?(Minimum charge of course for our work)

Will my .45 ACP seating die work to seat and crimp the bullets?

I plan on using HS-6 and/or HP-38, since I have a couple of bottles and can get that up here.

Any comments/suggestions/Cautions/warnings ?

Thanks

C.L. Kid

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And I use a .45 auto rim roll crimp die.    And I respect most single action's pressure limits (about 14,000 psi) rather than try to make a .45 auto load (21,000 psi).

HP-38 (which is also Win 231) will be decent.  Win WST works real well, and Bullseye does too.

 

good luck, GJ

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All that info above is great info.....really good solid info.

 

But I will share my accuracy results from a .45 Colt caliber rifle.   It sucked.

The bullet jump from the C45S casing to the rifling in the rifle gave me horrible accuracy.

At our Cowboy distances, you might not have a problem but if you are an edger type shooter,

you'll start getting some misses with the rifle.

 

You probably won't notice any accuracy problems with our revolvers.

 

The C45S cartridge is a good cartridge.

I had a Ruger .45 revolver that I used and for some home protection stuff, I would load up

some C45S cases using some .45 acp Super load data and 185 grain JHP bullets.  Great

personal protection load.

 

..........Widder

 

 

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I use 4 grains  of Red Dot and since I’m shooting them in Kirst conversion cylinders I don’t worry much about the crimp. If they were going in a rifle then a good crimp would be a consideration.

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PLUS ONE for Garrison Joe.  I don't consider the ACP taper crimp to be adequate.  I use a Redding 45 Auto Rim Profile Crimp die.  Also consider, a 45 ACP resize die will impart a slight taper to the case and promote Blow-By.  Use a regular 45 Colt resize die.

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Thanks for the replies Pards.

I have some TB left, as well as a lot of .45 Colt brass and loaded ammo, so I'll use the .45 Colt and TB in my '73 and use the 45 Cowboy Special and one of the other powders in my SAA's.

We are getting Titegroup, HS-6 and HP-38 up here and some others are becoming available, but I still have a soft spot for Trail Boss.

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Kid,

additional info, based on the creator of the C45S cartridge.

Its not a good idea to cut down .45 Colt brass to C45S lengths due to the wall thickness

of the Colt brass in the area of the cut.   Apparently, the case mouth brass will

be thicker and seating bullets can be a little tricky AND..... cause an ugly bulge in your

reloaded C45S ammo.

 

Best regards

 

..........Widder

 

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Here's one of Adirondack Jack's post on the C45S brass:

 

cowboy45special.pdf

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You can use 45ACP data, but... I'd recommend avoiding anything midrange or higher if you're using it in a Colt or replica thereof as GJ advised...  My preferred pistol load is 3.2 grains of Clays behind a 160 grain RFN.  In my 4-¾" Colts it give about 714 fps @ ~10,500 psi according to Quickload.  For the rifle I typically use a 200 grain RFN with the same charge, for approx 870fps @ ~10,500 psi.  This from an 18-½" 1873.  I use a RCBS 45ACP Roll Crimp die, their p/n:  18942.  

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If using in a rifle, absolutely get the roll crimp die.  When I first started loading C.45 Spec.  I had problems with some of the lighter .45 ACP loads.  Might have been because I was cutting down .45 Colt brass and might have been a bitt roomier case.  But i found that the light loads that ignited in a 1911 wouldn't go off in my pistols.  I think it was a bit position sensitive or slightly more room in the case.  

 

I also prefer to use magnum primers when I can get them.  

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The C45S is almost identical to 45 Autorim. The only real difference is in the rated pressure. Don't do warthog loads and you should be okay.

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7 hours ago, Griff said:

You can use 45ACP data, but... I'd recommend avoiding anything midrange or higher if you're using it in a Colt or replica thereof as GJ advised...  My preferred pistol load is 3.2 grains of Clays behind a 160 grain RFN.  In my 4-¾" Colts it give about 714 fps @ ~10,500 psi according to Quickload.  For the rifle I typically use a 200 grain RFN with the same charge, for approx 870fps @ ~10,500 psi.  This from an 18-½" 1873.  I use a RCBS 45ACP Roll Crimp die, their p/n:  18942.  

 

I'll be using the .45 Cowboy Special reloads only in my SS SASS New Model Vaqueros, so I THINK I'll be OK with the low/mid range charges I intend to use.

I'm going to reserve the rest of the Trail Boss I have for the .45 Colt brass I have and use it only in the '73.

Thanks for the heads up and the advice.

It's appreciated.

SASS New Ruger Vaqueros and Black Hills Leather Holsters 005 (2).JPG

1873 SASS Short stroked in .45 Colt 2016-01-27 01.50.37.jpg

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So, I did some further digging, on the Forum, (as I should have done earlier) and found threads and info as far back as 2017.

It answered my other questions about overall case length etc. etc.

Apparently, I can use my .45 ACP case length trim die, .45 Colt deprime and resizing die and the .45 ACP seating die; my existing stock of bullets and minimum charges spec'd for . 45 ACP

I'll just have to drop my WARTHOG post nominal appellation..

I'll stick with .45 Colt for my '73 and use the Specials in my SAAs

Now the fun begins trying various available powders, charges, bullet weights.......

OH! The humanity! All that Work and range time!!

 

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12 hours ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

Didn't Colt chamber some SAA in 45acp?

Not that I ever heard.

 

I do have a Ruger Blackhawk with dual factory cylinders (.45 Colt and .45 Auto).  That would take a full .44 mag load, if it were chambered for one.

 

But GUESSING about chamber pressures that single actions will handle, or ASSUMING an automatic pistol load safely works in them, is about the worst mistake you can make in loading for SASS games.  Check pressure limits - they are easy to find.

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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22 minutes ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

On the Colt forum they discuss that 45acp was introduced in 1924. They have guns lettered including one in 1934 from a collection. There were not a lot of them made however. 

In my years of collecting and being in the "Gun" business, one thing I've learned: Never say they never made it.

 

;)

 

Phantom

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I'm just curious because of the pressure differences between 45 Colt and 45acp. I've tried searching but haven't run across any info about the 45acp cylinders being made stronger or Colt saying you need to reduce the loads. You would think they'd have to do one or the other if it was actually an issue. Or if it was they wouldn't offer 45acp at all.

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17 hours ago, Cholla said:

The C45S is almost identical to 45 Autorim. The only real difference is in the rated pressure. Don't do warthog loads and you should be okay.

Yep, Autorim is a good place to start.......I use a roll crimp.

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PLUS ONE for Widder (With a CAVEAT)

 

PLUS ONE for Phantom

 

The CAVEAT:

 Adirondack Jack never actually intended for the Cowboy 45 Special to be run in rifles.  He did however, have a Marlin modified to do so.  Accuracy wasn't impressive.  The cartridge was specifically designed to enable the .45 to compete with the 38 Special with regard to recoil and muzzle flip.  AJ completed the "package" with the .45 BARNSTORMER 130Gr bullet.  I communed extensively with AJ as we were both chasing the same sort of cartridge at the same time.  When he convinced Starline to make the C45S commercially available, I quit work on mine and switched to the C45S.

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59 minutes ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

PLUS ONE for Widder (With a CAVEAT)

 

PLUS ONE for Phantom

 

The CAVEAT:

 Adirondack Jack never actually intended for the Cowboy 45 Special to be run in rifles.  He did however, have a Marlin modified to do so.  Accuracy wasn't impressive.  The cartridge was specifically designed to enable the .45 to compete with the 38 Special with regard to recoil and muzzle flip.  AJ completed the "package" with the .45 BARNSTORMER 130Gr bullet.  I communed extensively with AJ as we were both chasing the same sort of cartridge at the same time.  When he convinced Starline to make the C45S commercially available, I quit work on mine and switched to the C45S.

 

YEP....... I agree CC.

 

And until I was able to make the 'Widdermajik', supposedly the Marlin had to be short stroked.

I remember talking to AJ and telling him I was able to make the Marlin run his C45S without being

short stroked........AND, could also still run the .45 Colt at the same time because I had put a

'timing curve' in the carrier timing ramp.    And although very few people know this (AJ does),

that is one of the reasons I named that rifle the 'Widdermajik' and using the letters 'aj' in majik

instead of 'magic'.     And now you know the rest of the story..... ;)

 

..........Widder

 

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11 hours ago, Smokin Gator SASS #29736 said:

You would think they'd have to do one or the other if it was actually an issue. Or if it was they wouldn't offer 45acp at all.

Not all pistols being made back in the 1920s and 30s were designed properly to handle common commercial ammo without suffering excessive wear,stretching and even blowing cylinders.  (Like Iver Johnson, and many others.)  One of the reasons a Federal Court pretty well cornered and "persuaded" the firearms industry to put together their own standards organization (what we know as SAAMI) back in 1926.  It was do that, or the Court was going to request Congress to set up a Federal organization to enforce firearms and ammo standards.

 

good luck, GJ

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On 11/19/2023 at 2:51 PM, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

Kid,

additional info, based on the creator of the C45S cartridge.

Its not a good idea to cut down .45 Colt brass to C45S lengths due to the wall thickness

of the Colt brass in the area of the cut.   Apparently, the case mouth brass will

be thicker and seating bullets can be a little tricky AND..... cause an ugly bulge in your

reloaded C45S ammo.

 

Best regards

 

..........Widder

 

I  load cut down star line 45 colt brass with no problems at all because I only load a 160 gr bullet , I heard that about the wall thickness too so I checked the wall thickness with a Sinclair ball end mic and the cut down 45 colt brass and if you load 200gr or 250gr maybe you could get that bulge, wall thickness in the depth of B.C. 160 gr only goes up 4 to 5 thousands but at the depth of a 250gr it goes up about 12 to 16 thousands! But Brass can very a lot!

Edited by Von Dutch, SASS # 7995
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No problem with the cut off .45 Colt cases in my C45S handloads.   I trim almost all brands of .45 Colt and none have bulged the case enough when seating a 175 grain, and even a 200 grain slug to ever drag when loading into any Ruger single action I have tried.   I think this may be a theoretical problem, but with the large diameter chambers that most manufacturers put into their .45 Colt pistols, this is not a practical problem.   I get much better case life using my cut down assorted mfgr. cases than I do using Starline Cowboy 45 Special cases, too.

 

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe, SASS #60708
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+ 1 to Garrison Joe's post.

I use both Starline factory C45S brass and my cut down Colt cases.

No problem with either, but as Joe said, the cut down Colt cases don't seem to split as often.

Of course,YMMV.

 Choctaw Jack

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I apparently do things just slightly different than the rest of the fine folks who answered here. I load my C45S brass on a Dillon 550 using my .45 Colt shell plate and my Lee .45ACP dies, including the factory crimp die. I can't speak to the use of W231/HP38 because I use Clays for my C45S loads. 

 

Once upon a time I had a copy of what Hodgdon said about determining loads with their powders that weren't listed in their reloading data but I'm not sure what I did with it. It was pretty handy.

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On 11/20/2023 at 6:14 PM, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

 

YEP....... I agree CC.

 

And until I was able to make the 'Widdermajik', supposedly the Marlin had to be short stroked.

I remember talking to AJ and telling him I was able to make the Marlin run his C45S without being

short stroked........AND, could also still run the .45 Colt at the same time because I had put a

'timing curve' in the carrier timing ramp.    And although very few people know this (AJ does),

that is one of the reasons I named that rifle the 'Widdermajik' and using the letters 'aj' in majik

instead of 'magic'.     And now you know the rest of the story..... ;)

 

..........Widder

 

 

I learned one of our top tier shooters up here, "Serenity" wife of "Legendary Lawman" is using the .45 Cowboy Specials in her '73.

She has a modified lifter, after market, kit installed.

I'll have to contact here and find out who made it for her.

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The Smith Shop makes them.

As far as accuracy goes, I've never really used that word and SASS in the same sentence, considering most of our targets are 20 yards or less. That being said, my wife has been shooting C45S rounds in her rifle for 5 years now, and frequently has clean matches. I plan on converting a couple more of my rifles with the Smith Shop carrier to shoot my 44 Cowboy Short cartridges in my 44-40 rifles. We'll see how that goes. Been working fine in my daughters and my pistols for over a year.

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7 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

The Smith Shop makes them.

As far as accuracy goes, I've never really used that word and SASS in the same sentence, considering most of our targets are 20 yards or less. That being said, my wife has been shooting C45S rounds in her rifle for 5 years now, and frequently has clean matches. I plan on converting a couple more of my rifles with the Smith Shop carrier to shoot my 44 Cowboy Short cartridges in my 44-40 rifles. We'll see how that goes. Been working fine in my daughters and my pistols for over a year.

I have one in my 1860 Henry... holds 19 rounds in the magazine!  Wonderful fun!

 

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On 11/22/2023 at 12:39 PM, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

 

I learned one of our top tier shooters up here, "Serenity" wife of "Legendary Lawman" is using the .45 Cowboy Specials in her '73.

She has a modified lifter, after market, kit installed.

I'll have to contact here and find out who made it for her.

I've converted my match rifles to C .45 Spl.  I shoot gunfighter, so I don't shoot a clean match every time out.  But when I do miss, it is rarely with the rifle and always my fault.  I can't blame accuracy of the C .45 Spl reloads.

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