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Die setup for 45 Colt


sarcasmn

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I am about to start reloading 45 colt on a progressive.  I was talking to a gentleman that basically uses two seating does.  One to seat and a second to crimp. Another does both in one shot.  This got me to wondering what die setups people use.

 

Don’t really want to get into a what press is the best thing here or what dies are best. Much more interested in how different people set up their press using what dies. 
 

I have a lot of experience loading rifle rounds like 308 and 6.5 CM on a single stage but not a lot of experience with 45 Colt or a progressive. 

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Sarcasmn,

 

For myself, I use BOTH methods.

I use a one step seat and crimp when reloading lead bullets.

BUT, for my jacketed ammo, I use separate dies to seat and to crimp.

 

..........Widder

 

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I have only 4 stations on a Dillon 550, and I HIGHLY value a powder cop/lock out die after the bell and charge station.  That leaves me only one station.  So, on cast bullet .45 auto, .45 Colt and Cowboy .45 spl, I use the combined seat/crimp die.   If I were making Olympic match quality ammo, I'd use separate seat and crimp dies.   Only on .44-40 do I use a separate seat and crimp dies because of the tricky thin neck of a .44-40 case (so easy to bulge a neck and then have failures to chamber).

 

good luck, GJ

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i use a three stage - the decrimp/full length resize , then a flaring/powder drop , the last sets the bullet [lead] and crimps , been using this for years with no issues and treats my cases well , they are carbide so no lube is involved , 

 

i dont load jacketed so im not certain what might be involved there , others can deal with that better than i can , i only reload for my cowboy action and a little for my antique collection items but im only loading lead bullets for both , 

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I load my .45 Colt on a 550 (4 stations). As Garrison Joe mentioned, some kind of powder check is highly recommended. I use a RCBS carbide die set with the combined seating/crimping die together with a RCBS lock-out die. However, I ran into some coated bullets where I had to switch to separate seating and crimping (with Dillon dies) without using a powder check die. Please consider: While a good light source is always a good thing, it is absolutely indispensable when just checking powder level by naked eye!! I use a LED light in the center of the toolhead.

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I've used both approaches.  For rimmed, straight wall cases like .45 Colt, at least with a single-stage press, I see absolutely no benefit to adding a fourth die to the process.  Three-die sets, assuming of course they're set up properly, have and will continue to produce literal mountains of good cartridges.  

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I use the RCBS cowboy die set, seems to work great for lead bullets with seat and crimp in the final die, I ALWAYS run a RCBS powder lockout die in stage 4 right before my seating die. I can’t say enough good about the lockout dies they really work well

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For what it's worth, I use the bullet seating die set to not crimp, followed by a Lee Factory Crimp Die.  Very rarely will a round have a bulge, but if it does it gets fixed with the FCD.  It's nice to not have to check every round to be sure it will chamber.

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+1 to Diamond Jake's method.

I load on a Dillon 550, using Dillon 45 Colt dies.

Since there are only 4 stations available, I use the seating die to seat only and a Lee FCD to crimp.

I do a visual check to make sure each case is charged.

I bought an LED light that goes under the tool head ( Unique Tek maybe?) that makes it easy to see into the cases.

This setup may not be ideal, but it works well for me.

Of course, YMMV

 Choctaw Jack

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I've loaded 45 Colt on a Dillon 550 since about 1987, might have been doing it wrong for all this time, but I do the actual loading in 3 stations, seating & crimp in one step.  My 45 Colt ammo gets shot in any of 6 rifles & 4 handguns so chambered... nary a problem.  

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I may not be a good example.  I load on DILLON 650s.  I use Dillon Dies so I load with a seating die and a crimping die.  

 

Some Lustrum ago, when I loaded on a single stage press, I liked the RCBS seat/crimp die.  Worked well.

 

I do believe in using ALL the available spaces on a progressive press.  that even allows me to use some specialty dies for some cartridges.

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Also same as Diamond Jake where roll crimp.  9mm & 45ACP seat and crimp on one station.

 

If I'm going to a match where a new pickup is on the line I still check every round with a go/no-go gauge.  OCD yanno.

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I use the Hornady die set that has more adjustment flexibility. Especially in the .44/40 rounds. Using this die I can seat and crimp at the same time.

(the die on the left is the seating/crimp die.)

 

https://ads.midwayusa.com/product/1011098266?pid=797875&utm_medium=shopping&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Reloading+-+Metallic+Reloading+Equipment&utm_content=797875&srsltid=AfmBOooTbTezn8BeYekxoANrsZT-6HurGniicVD83s3g6chWORdNuYBKm2M

Edited by Ya Big Tree
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I use separate seat & crimp dies for everything, whether on the 550s or single stage for hunting rounds.  Never had any luck at all seating/crimping in 1 step - buckled/bulged cases & inconsistent OAL.  Crimp dies aren't that expensive.  YMMV.

 

Holler

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+1 for powder lockout dies.  I have one on a progressive press and it often saves me from squib rounds.

+1 for lights that illuminate the loading stations on a progressive press.

 

My 38 Special brass comes from multiple manufacturers in North America, Europe and some even from South America.  There is just too much dimensional variation to seat and crimp at one station.  I seat and then crimp with a LFC die to get good results.  Every other case I load can be seated and crimped at one station though I frequently seat and crimp separately just because I can.  The .32 H&R mag cases I reload for my wife are all Starline and Federal cases and are quite uniform.  They seat and crimp well at a single station.  I gauge my rifle rounds before major matches but don't gauge revolver rounds.  I also gauge all my 45 ACP rounds for Wild Bunch.

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On 11/30/2023 at 12:02 AM, sarcasmn said:

…  I was talking to a gentleman that basically uses two seating does.  One to seat and a second to crimp….


Me too.

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On 11/30/2023 at 5:25 AM, Major Hazzard, SASS #23254 said:

I've used both approaches.  For rimmed, straight wall cases like .45 Colt, at least with a single-stage press, I see absolutely no benefit to adding a fourth die to the process.  Three-die sets, assuming of course they're set up properly, have and will continue to produce literal mountains of good cartridges.  

i do load with a single stage [never needed a progressive - but starting out a friend helped me out with his and i decided against that] i also dont use the powder drop - i hand load every cartridge with both the primer and the charge , its a little slow but we dont need 1000 rounds for a match only a couple hundred , i can do that in a day without thinking hard on it , it also gives me multiple opportunities to inspect the brass , and the bullets as well as my seating and the charge - i can throw out what is bad or fix what is wrong , 

 

i wont push it but ive found it to work for me over 20+ years 

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