454 cut to load 45 Colt

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  • whitesquirrel44

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    Sep 29, 2010
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    Lafayette Area
    45 Colt cases are weak. They split down the middle of the case. 44 Magnum are stronger cases and split at the tips where they are the weakest. I've cut down split 44 mag case to load 44 specials. I know that 454 cases were made stronger to handle the load. I just agreed to buy a 454 Casull rifle and ammo and was wondering if a 454 case could be trimmed to load 45 Colts? Not that I need 45 Colt cases but was wondering if anyone has ever tried this?
     

    340six

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    Apr 12, 2012
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    I would be concerned that the brass in whole has seen it day. I discard all questionable brass

    FYI I only use Starline 45 Colt brass that is top notch. It is to quote them tested to 44 mag pressures. I don't do it offten but there are loads for Ruger and T/C only for hunting.
    It is the only cases I would trust with full boat load charges in a gun made for such loads.
     

    Redd508

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    May 18, 2012
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    I've reloaded 45colt brass several times without splitting it, even in higher pressure loads. 454 can be cut down but the walls are thicker so all of your colt loads will be higher pressure than what reload data states.
     

    DBMJR1

    Madame Mayor's Fiefdom
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    Jul 27, 2008
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    If you are consistently experiencing brass split in the middle, you, likely, have an oversized cylinder.

    I load range pick up .45 Colt. My loads are far from mild. I would not shoot them in anything other than a TC / Ruger.
    My brass splits after about six to seven loadings at the mouth. From over working it with a stout roll crimp.
     

    themcfarland

    tactical hangover
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    Dec 6, 2008
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    Does no one else experience 45 Colts splitting in the middle?
    what one of the previous posters suggested is the chamber may be oversized. I would go on to better explain it as the brass is essentially fireforming to the new chamber
     

    Xeon64

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    Jan 26, 2021
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    Prairieville, LA
    I shoot 45 Long Colt loaded for a Ruger Black Hawk. StarLine Brass, 26gr of H110, and magnum primer. I get about 1300fps out of it and have yet to have a case split. I have read about using 454 or 460 brass trimmed but you have to reduced your loads due to a thicker wall.
     

    whitesquirrel44

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    Sep 29, 2010
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    Lafayette Area
    I understand that I may have an oversized chamber or even an undersized resizer die. Brass can not hold pressure, the steel chamber does. All brass cases get fire formed to the chamber when fired. Most reloading dies have a full length sizer that squeezes the brass back down to saami spec size to be reloaded again in order to work in any other firearm. An expander die is then used to open it back up to insert a new projectile (I don't like using the word bullet because it confuses some people). Brass cases also flow in the direction of the projectile because of the pressure of the propellant, that's why cases need to be trimmed periodically. It's this expansion from firing and then contraction from the resizing die combined with the pressure of the charge causing it to lengthen that makes the brass walls thin out and become weak and wear out.

    The 45 colt was introduced in the 1873 Colt saa revolvers, I don't know the exact year without looking it up, but for arguments sake, we'll say the cartridge is well over 100 years old. Having experience with 44-40, 38-40 and 45-70, I know the case walls of those older calibers are much thinner than newer cartridges like 44 Magnum and 454 Casull.

    According to a publication done by IMR, Trailboss can be used to load any cartridge, pistol or rifle, to near capacity without over pressuring it. I don't have the article handy but you put the intended projectile next to the case, mark the bottom, fill to that line and weigh the charge, then subtract a certain among (that's the part I don't remember right now) to find your minimum and maximum loads. I have done this with 7.62x54R which made my moist-n-nugget more pleasant to shoot but you had to aim it like an artillery piece to hit anything. Trailboss works better in 44 Special and 45 Colt cowboy loads where you need just enough 'umf' to get it out the barrel. I watched a cowboy action shoot in Texas where you could actually see the bullet fry through the air. I don't know what he was loading but it probably didn't meet the minimum requirement 600fps at the time.

    My questions still remain, does anyone else experience 45 colts splitting down the middle? Has anyone tried loading a 454 case cut down to 45 colt?
     

    whitesquirrel44

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    Sep 29, 2010
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    I was given reloading equipment from the 1970s and most of my cases are from that same time period. The guy who gave it to me, now deceased, used to load crazy high power loads before 296 was invented. I load according to the books with the exception of trailboss. I load light cowboy loads, standard max loads and well as Ruger/TC only loads. In addition to writing the load and warning on boxes, I only load certain projectile to help me remember what's what. RNFP are cowboy loads, SWC and jacketed are standard load, and Keith mold bullets (very distinct SWC) are for Rugers only. I use whatever cases I have available, mostly Winchester but a mix of all brands. I do have a number of Starline brass I bought new but haven't loaded yet.
     

    Xeon64

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    Jan 26, 2021
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    Prairieville, LA
    I would give that StarLine Brass a go. I have seen some older 45LC brass so thin it looked like I could tear it with my fingers. A lot of that older stuff was loaded with a Cast Lead Bullet and was loaded very light so the Peace Maker could handle it.
     

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