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Old February 9, 2013, 03:12 PM   #1
mattL46
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Hello all. new guy question

Hello all. New to the firing line and glad to be here. Not really new to reloading just a little in experienced which is why I'm here. Any who my question is along the topic of substitutions. I'm sure this question has been asked before. What are your thoughts,suggestions,do's,don'ts about case substitution. For instance alliant's freebie guide lists for the 45Colt so many grains of green dot with this primer and this bullet etc etc. But it uses all speer brass (which I was unaware speer made case brass) I have a ton of winchester brass I'll be using. So is this a no no or could I reduce the load (which I would do anyway considering all of alliant data is maximum and suggests to do so anyway) and work up to my desired performance. Please give your thoughts and opinions. Thanks folks.

Matt
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Old February 9, 2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

A general rule of thumb for maximum or near maximum loads you've developed in a gun is to reduce the charge 5% when changing either case or primer, then work back up while watching for pressure signs. That said, it depends on the size of the charge. If it leaves a lot of empty space in the case under the bullet, then the difference in brass will have less effect than if the case is nearly full in one of the cases, which would mean it either leaves space or is compressed in the next. Also, pistol cases don't typically vary as much from brand to brand as some rifle cases like .300 WM or .308 Win do. If it doesn't fill the case and is not a maximum load, it can probably be substituted in just fine.
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Old February 9, 2013, 03:38 PM   #3
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Welcome. You're going to like it here.

As you already know, even when you're duplicating a published load exactly, i.e., each of the individual components is exactly as listed, you should start below the maximum and work up to be sure it's safe in your particular firearm. Should you then change any of the components, the safe and recommended course is to back off the powder charge by 10% or so and work up again. The same applies if you don't have the exact components to start with - just start with a reduced load and work up while looking for signs of excessive pressure.

I rarely duplicate all the individual components of a load recipe exactly, but have never had any problems following that procedure. In the case of target loads that are well below the published maximums, which is most of what I reload, I substitute components pretty freely without dropping the powder charge.
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Old February 9, 2013, 03:53 PM   #4
Lost Sheep
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Welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattL46
Hello all. New to the firing line and glad to be here. Not really new to reloading just a little in experienced which is why I'm here. Any who my question is along the topic of substitutions. I'm sure this question has been asked before. What are your thoughts,suggestions,do's,don'ts about case substitution. For instance alliant's freebie guide lists for the 45Colt so many grains of green dot with this primer and this bullet etc etc. But it uses all speer brass (which I was unaware speer made case brass) I have a ton of winchester brass I'll be using. So is this a no no or could I reduce the load (which I would do anyway considering all of alliant data is maximum and suggests to do so anyway) and work up to my desired performance. Please give your thoughts and opinions. Thanks folks.

Matt
The main thing about substituting brands of brass is the case volume. More to the point, the volume inside the case under the bullet at whatever seating depth you are using. And this is even more important the more the case is filled (free volume vs occupied volume). With a large case like the 45 Colt (originally a black powder cartridge), the relative volume differences between brands is less than the volume differences between, say, a high-efficiency cartridge like the 40 S&W.

My opinion: You have little to worry about.

Other factors might come into play, like case wall thickness and the elasticity of the brass at the case mouth, which will cause the neck tension on the bullet to vary.

My opinion: Little to worry about here, either, as SAAMI specifications keep everything fairly uniform.

Yes, do work up your new load from a mid-range charge weight.

More advice: Consult a variety of loading manuals and sources. One source is the Loadbooks' "One Book One Caliber" manuals. For about $10, you buy a book that is the compiled copies of many different manuals, but only the recipe pages for the titular chambering. They have one book each dedicated to all the popular calibers, about 5"x8" and 30-40 pages or so and a spine bound so the book lays flat on your loading bench. A really nice concept and fairly well executed.

Good luck, Matt.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; February 9, 2013 at 06:40 PM.
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Old February 9, 2013, 05:14 PM   #5
rlc323
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I agree with Lost Sheep on the Load Books, you get the advantage of several different manufacturer's data in a single place. The Lyman 49th Manual is good and the Speer 14 has a lot of techincal info.

The ABC's of Reloading gets a lot of mention around here, and at 16 bucks paperback on Amazon, $13 Kindle, it is worth the time it takes to read it.

You may find over time that you or your machine "like" certain brand cases better than others. But as others mentioned, technically they are all so similar it is not worth worrying about.
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Old February 9, 2013, 09:10 PM   #6
mattL46
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Thank you all so much for contributing. As I said earlier I'm no stranger to the loading game but lack experience with metalics. These were my thoughts as well but wanted experienced reassurance. One more question. I mistakenly bought a box of 200gr FTX hornady bullets about a year ago and today actually got them ready for some loading. Found out through the manuals that these slugs were initially designed for use in the 460 smith. As you all know a lot of components are scarce right now. Can I use these for the colt or should I hope to be able to give them away considering I probably can't return them. I emailed hornady and won't hear back til sometime next week. Also I'm familiar with the manuals you speak of and they are pretty handy. I have one for the 12ga and will look for other calibers ill be loading. Thanks again!
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:19 PM   #7
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I think you MAY be able to use them... assuming that with the tricky little plastic pointed tip, you can load them to a proper seating depth and yet still make them fit in your .45 Colt cylinders with enough clearance to spin freely.

You are correct...those slugs are designed for extreme pressure and velocity in the .460 S&W Mag. I think a better choice than loading them in .45 Colt, given the high price of those bullets at retail -- would be to swap them to someone who loads .454 Casull or .460 S&W Mag... or stash them in your supply until you find yourself down the road with one of those monsters.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:32 PM   #8
mattL46
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Very sound advice sevens. I'm curious to know what hornady will say. I have a feeling it will resemble the end of your statement.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:57 PM   #9
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Well, in the interest of being a bit more clear --

if you take some low-buck slugs with thin jackets that were built & designed for 800 fps from a .45 Colt and you violently flung them from a .460 Mag at 60k PSI and over 2,000 FPS, you run a very real chance of damaging your revolver by running bullets way, WAY out of the scope of their design & construction.

The opposite isn't true. You won't hurt your .45 Colt by running those high-performance (and expensive!) slugs through them at a loping .45 Colt pace.

I just think they are better saved or swapped or even sold for something you can use. I doubt Hornady would warn you that it's unsafe or unsound. In fact, in some of the big, beefy .45 Colt guns that folks run hotrod .45 Colt "Ruger & Freedom Arms ONLY" loads through, some guys are maybe even running those bullets or something similar.

What's the firearm you hope to load .45 Colt ammo for? If we are talking a nice fixed sight CAS-style Single Action Army replica, than I just don't see the point in running these slugs. But if you've got a big, bruising Super Redhawk or something on that order -- hold on to them and run 'em full-nuts in a while after you've gotten your feet wet in handloading.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:15 AM   #10
mattL46
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Again very good advice sevens. I'm shooting a ruger old vaquero which I'm pretty confident can handle a lil pressure although it has been the front man of a long argument I do believe its beefy enough. Yes they were quite expensive! I may just swap or sell them. Although saving them for a boomer is much more fun. Whenever I fly the reloading nest that is!
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