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Old November 7, 2011, 09:40 PM   #1
federali
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.45 ACP Cartridge Makeover?

I was getting ready to change over my Dillon press from 9mm to .45 ACP and I'm sure you'll agree that changing over the primer feeds on progressive presses can be a bit tedius. With just about all the auto cartridges using small pistol primers, why not the .45 ACP? I think that if a company offered .45 ACP brass accepting small pistol primers, I'd be the first to buy them.

The advantages are that you don't have to convert primer feeds if you load other auto-pistol cartridges and you may not have to stock large pistol primers unless needed for something else such as the .44 Magnum.

The disadvantages are that in recovering brass at the range, you would have to sort your brass by primer pocket although eventually, brass with the large primer pocket would dry up.

While the jury is still out on the .45 GAP, I do like that they designed it with a small primer pocket.

What do you think?
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Old November 7, 2011, 09:47 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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I think you are somewhat behind the curve.
There has been small primer .45 auto for some time now.
Started out as lead-free ammunition because of the characteristics of the Dinol priming compound, but it looks like some companies are just using small primers to maybe save a few cents a case.

Ask around, there are a lot of people complaining about the small primer cases contaminating their supply of large primer .45 ACP. You can probably get a good deal on what they are discarding anyhow.
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Old November 7, 2011, 09:55 PM   #3
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Thanks for the heads-up. I didn't know that .45 ACP could be found with small primers. I've yet to find one at the range I use.
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Old November 8, 2011, 12:08 AM   #4
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I'll skip past the fact (that's horribly obvious to almost anyone who reloads!) that those SOBs are already making small primer .45 and simply comment on the idea of it.

At it's heart, it's a fine idea... the problem is that we've got 106 years of .45 Auto brass on this planet that already has a large pistol primer.

It's much more than a simple annoyance. What it truly is it a pitfall/danger for anyone who handloads because when you use tools to prime a case and you expect a large pocket and you attempt to fill it with a large pistol primer BUT it ends up being a small pocket, you are begging for a discharge on the press (or other tool.) That's noise, flash and maybe some flying metal, and you've gotta hope there is no chain fire.

All this hazard for what? Would have been fine if not for the fact that we've already got 874 guzillion pieces of large primer .45 Auto floating around.

One round that could really benefit from a small pistol primer over a large one is 10mm. The spot between the extractor groove and the primer pocket becomes the weakest part of the brass and getting 10 brass to run smoothly in a tight shell plate is a horrendous problem for me when the stuff it even slightly out of spec -- because of that large primer pocket.
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Old November 8, 2011, 02:19 AM   #5
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Are you serious?

Just to save you a few minutes on your particular Dillon, you think it is a good idea that the entire rest of the world switch 100 years of what has worked?. Yea, great, now the entire reloading world now has to sort primer pocket size so that you do not have to deal with it. What a fantastic idea. Like Sevens said, I hope not too many people will have explosions on their benches, but who cares since you have a tiny bit more convenience with you Dillon.

BTW, Hi Sevens, Long time no see! How are you doing? I have not been here for a while, but good to see you.

Willy
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Old November 8, 2011, 02:28 AM   #6
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travesty

Who woulda thunk it, small primered .45 ACP? Old John Moses is likely rolling in his grave.
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Old November 8, 2011, 09:53 AM   #7
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I've got a buddy who does a brass business and has contracts with a number of local ranges and also buys large lots of cartridge brass (usually in a 55-gal drum) and he separates all the small primer .45 out and doesn't sell any of it.

Part of it is supplying what people want and ensuring there is no small primer crap in there. The other part of it is that he's hoarding it until the day comes when all of those thoughtless makers start producing it in small primer exclusively. By that time, he'll have a major stash of it. Until the day comes when it's what everyone wants, he'll simply stockpile it.

I predict it will take 106 years before the lion's share of us agree with the mere existence of the stuff.


Willy, great to have ya back around!
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Old November 8, 2011, 10:15 AM   #8
federali
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Undies in a bunch?

Yes, I posted a potentially controversial topic but don't appreciate personal attacks. It's a matter of reading comprehension. My post was to ascertain whether or not reloaders thought it was a good idea, yes, no and why. And no, I don't expect the world to change for my convenience. Keeping the large primer pocket in the .45 ACP reminds me of the saying, "we've done it this way because we've always done it this way."

Safety: we can load a primer upside down, fail to seat a primer, then spill powder through the flash hole at the next station, double charge a case, fail to charge a case altogether, use the wrong powder. Etc. Alertness and not allowing ourselves to become distracted is what keeps reloading safe. If indeed, two primer pocket sizes are available, it's a matter of scanning the pockets. Also, primers require impact to detonate. Is there any reloader who has not accidentally crushed a primer?
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Last edited by federali; November 8, 2011 at 10:29 PM.
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Old November 8, 2011, 10:22 AM   #9
snuffy
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Quote:
I was getting ready to change over my Dillon press from 9mm to .45 ACP and I'm sure you'll agree that changing over the primer feeds on progressive presses can be a bit tedious. With just about all the auto cartridges using small pistol primers, why not the .45 ACP? I think that if a company offered .45 ACP brass accepting small pistol primers, I'd be the first to buy them.
No, I do not agree. Want some cheese with that whine? It's simply part of the process, something that has to be done. Takes all of 3-4 minutes, and I'm 65 with arthritis in both hands! Some jamokes go as far as getting another complete primer feed, so they can simply change the whole thing.

Changing primer size in an established cartridge is like changing boats in the middle of a raging river. NOT a good idea. I can say I haven't seen any small primer 45's-----YET. My private range is populated by mostly reloaders, so range brass is something I don't see very often.
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Old November 8, 2011, 10:24 AM   #10
Sevens
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reminds me of the saying, "we've done it this way because we've always done it this way."
This is a logistical problem -- really. It's not about "feelings" and "attitude."

It's about the pure physical inability to undo 106 years of production.

If the Earth were hit by a meteor and 99% of the world were destroyed and only a couple people were left to reproduce and rebuild MAN on Earth, that would be the perfect scenario for small pistol primed .45 Automatic.

Otherwise, you'll be needing an '85 DeLorean with a flux capacitor or the idea is a really bad one.
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Old November 8, 2011, 10:37 AM   #11
Jim Watson
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Gee, guys, considering that the manufacture of small primer .45 auto is an accomplished fact, some of us had just as well get some use out of it.
And it will save time in primer feed changeover, which I for one consider one of the meaner tasks in progressive loading, and simplify private inventories of components.

Few of us, even me and Snuffy, go back far enough to have dealt with the FA brass and its odd .204" primers. But there weren't many progressive loaders back then and I have not heard of a Star primer feed to suit.
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Old November 8, 2011, 11:46 AM   #12
Sevens
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some of us had just as well get some use out of it.
No argument there, but that still doesn't make it a good idea. Whoever is originally responsible for the first pieces of small primer .45 brass is a short-sighted moron.
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Old November 8, 2011, 12:01 PM   #13
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Roughly half of the .45ACP brass I picked up at the LEO range this past weekend was small primer stuff and I didn’t notice NT in the head stamp. I like to scrounge at this particular range because the brass is almost always shiny “new” (once fired) stuff not the mud encrusted stuff I dig out at other ranges. While it is not a scientific study, the range pick-ups from the past few months indicate either a trend moving toward small primer .45 or someone dumped the stuff on the local law at a good price. Like it or not, I suspect we are going to see a lot more of the small primer stuff.

I could be wrong, but I suspect the changeover to small primer pockets is an economic decision to control cost and maintain profit. I didn’t get an email from Federal or Winchester or other asking my opinion on making this unthinkable change to the ancient standard; did you? Face it, we reloaders are small potatoes to companies selling to the military or Wally World or Midway. In fact, there is a sense in which we are competition (small scale for sure), who are cutting onto the big guy’s market and doing it by reusing his stuff to boot. If it’s profitable manufacture the small primer stuff, we are going to be seeing more in the days to come. “Say hello to my little friend!”
I’m sorting .45ACP brass now, so I’m experiencing the disadvantage; however, once the pile of small primer stuff is large enough, I’ll enjoy the benefits of not swapping priming setups and having one primer which can be used in my 9mm, 40S&W AND .45ACP.

My daughter, who is an ER trauma nurse, says there are times at which she tells herself, “I’ll just put on my big girl pants and deal with it!”
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Old November 8, 2011, 12:27 PM   #14
Sevens
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Yeah, there's no doubt that this is a change that most all of them are going to end up going to. Fiscally, it makes sense. (it would have made more sense if there was only one size to begin with, no?!)

The bottom line is still the same, it's a PITA. Funny thing is, for as strong as my opinion is on the subject, it doesn't cause me any real grief simply because I sort all my brass already anyway and the small primer stuff is easy for me to spot. The biggest problem it causes me is that I bend over and pick up brass that I later don't use.

Maybe one day I will use it... simply because there is more of it. I don't know. Still, it's an obnoxious idea.
Quote:
In fact, there is a sense in which we are competition (small scale for sure), who are cutting onto the big guy’s market and doing it by reusing his stuff to boot.
This is the truth, and it's with this clearly in mind that I also get annoyed and angry at the very idea of Hornady's new "Steel Match" ammunition line.

They market the stuff as being cheaper... but it's still much more expensive than Blazer Brass or WWB or Rem-UMC and it scatters these complete useless steel cases all over the place. Makes every outdoor range look like complete hell. (yes, I know it's chi-com milsurp that actually does this, but Steel Match is the same end result, it's just that nobody is buying that over priced crap)

But my major problem with it is that Hornady, at their heart, is a component bullet manufacturer who's entire business was originally based around handloaders. These days they have tools (originally Pacific when they acquired them) and a heap of ammo, but at their heart, their business was formed and grew around handloaders. And their "Steel Match" line is not only over priced but it's a little stick in the eye to handloaders and anyone who reuses cartridge brass for handloading.
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Old November 8, 2011, 01:02 PM   #15
serf 'rett
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The bottom line is still the same, it's a PITA...... The biggest problem it causes me is that I bend over and pick up brass that I later don't use.
The picking up process actually causes me more pain in my back/legs/feet than in my posterior. I stagger around for two days after folks have left a pile of brass at the range.

We need to get ahead in the .45 small/large primer game and set up a swap site for dumping that which is distasteful and acquiring what we want. Someone just starting to reload .45ACP would likely love the small primer brass for it’s advantages. I could be tempted to part with some large primer, because it stands to reason the small primer brass may be less than 50 years old.
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Old November 8, 2011, 01:10 PM   #16
Jim Watson
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Whoever is originally responsible for the first pieces of small primer .45 brass is a short-sighted moron.
Actually, he was a competent engineer working to a specific end.
The FIRST pieces of small primer .45 brass will be found with an NT headstamp indicating lead free priming compound (and non lead or 100% jacketed bullets.) The Dinol mix used in those is so "hot" that the first generation Winclean used large cups but had to have larger than standard flash holes to vent all the fire and pressure into the case. That scared a lot of reloaders, too; but at least Winchester said they were ok for standard reloads. So they went to small primers to use less Dinol which gave adequate ignition and cost less.

There is now small primer .45 with no NT headstamp.
I don't know if those are lead free and just not marked or if they have gone to using standard lead styphnate small primers for convenience and cost savings by only having to run off one size primer pocket. And I don't know a cheap way to find out.

It is not (YET) a factor here. I have picked up two batches of small primer .45. One I used for experiments to see how much velocity was lost going to a small primer reload. (25-40 fps depending on the powder) The other had crimped primers to boot so they went in the scrap brass box.
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Old November 8, 2011, 01:15 PM   #17
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Just FYI, if you set primers in cases like I do, with a hand press, the large/small primer issue is easier to detect and deal with before you try to crunch the large primer into the small hole. It's a touch thing, those of you who have done it will know what I'm talking about.

Last batch of ~250 pieces that I primed contained 9 small primers. I used to throw them away, now I save them out and prime them separately. Not a big deal.

Quote:
Is there any reloader who has not accidentally crushed a primer without a resulting fire or explosion?
Not sure exactly what you are asking, but I've crushed plenty (dozens) of them sideways into the pocket and have never had one detonate.
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Old November 8, 2011, 01:24 PM   #18
Don P
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What do you think
I have a zip lock bag with roughly 40 45 acp cases with a small primer hole. Mostly blazer I think. If you don't spot them in time its real fun trying to put a large primer in a small primer hole

I save them up until I get 100 and then prime and load them up
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Old November 8, 2011, 08:04 PM   #19
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Our club has about 900 members. I go there about 4 times a week, and I have never found a small primer .45 case. Occasionally maybe 30 of 40 cases are lying around, but most generally I'll pick up a half dozen on a trip.
Such new fangled things probably haven't made it down to Texas yet!
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Old November 8, 2011, 08:15 PM   #20
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Do you have eyes in your head?? Small pistol primers in 45 ACP are here, they will not go away--get real, I have thousands of rounds in the small and large primers in 45 ACP, if you can't distingquish between the two, get out of reloading
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Old November 8, 2011, 09:21 PM   #21
chris in va
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Personally I think the ACP has too much case volume and should be reduced to fit in a 9mm sized magwell.

Oh wait...
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Old November 9, 2011, 10:35 AM   #22
azphx55
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I dealt with my LP's becoming obsolete, then my tapes, and then my CD's.
I tossed my BetaMax tapes, and then my VHS.
I don't know where to begin talking about all the change in the computer industry over the past 20 years.

In 5 years, people won't understand what the fuss was about.

In the meantime, I color my small primer brass heads to make it less likely that somebody will pick one up and not notice the difference.

It would be nice if the industry would stain the small primer brass a different color.
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Old November 9, 2011, 11:12 AM   #23
Sevens
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LP's, tapes, CDs, Beta, VHS, it's a funny comparison and almost sounds reasonable.

Problem is... this brass has been this way for a lot, LOT longer. This isn't 1982 and CD's aren't just now coming in to vogue. And if you accidentally place a CD on a turntable and move the lever, it's not going to EXPLODE.

Nobody is trying to say that all improvements and change must be resisted.

This would be much more like if all new light bulbs had a left-screw thread. Bulbs would still be 110v, they'd still give the equivalent of 60 to 100 watts of expected light -- but you couldn't screw a damn one of them in to any single lamp that you own. You'd first have to retrofit each lamp you intend to use a new light bulb with a left-hand screw thread.

Sure, you can keep an old stock of proper right hand thread light bulbs... until they quit making them. And there will still be some lamps for sale with the common, proper, "been doing it that way since the turn of the century" right hand thread, but these will be phased out.

For about 5 or 10 years, or for as long as you can stand it, you'll have to stock two different kinds of light bulbs and match the proper bulb to the lamp or fixture unless you want to rid your house of every right hand thread fixture from the basement rafters to the upstairs attic crawl space.
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