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Old January 18, 2001, 09:58 AM   #1
Dr_Johnson
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Can I use Lee 45 ACP dies for 45 Long Colt?
I know I will have to get a new shell holder,
but will the dies work?

Thanks,

Charlie

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Old January 18, 2001, 10:04 AM   #2
WESHOOT2
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No.
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Old January 18, 2001, 01:46 PM   #3
Hutch
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Nuh-uh

Just won't work. You're just gonna have to get off the bucks for some new dies.
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Old January 18, 2001, 09:10 PM   #4
Johnny Guest
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They Won't Work???

Hey, WESHOOT2 and Hutch---

I am truly not arguing with you here--I just want to know. (Seldom a day goes by I don't learn something new on TFL.)

Do your negative replies to the question have something to do with the design of the Lee brand dies, or the crimping shoulder, or what?

Reason I ask goes back a few decades, when I was an impoverished deputy sheriff and was doing a lot or experimenting on a tight budget. I was using, I believe, a set of well-used-when-I-bought-them Pacific dies labeled ".45 ACP/Auto Rim." I had saved my pennies and purchased a Lyman Carbide size die for .45 ACP, and had loaded a bunch of .45 auto with that combo on an old CH single-stage press. I got lucky in a trade and got a 2nd generation Colt SAA and two boxes of factory ammo. When that was gone, and factory ammo was a whole seven bucks a box, I began experimenting. I found that I could utilize the Lyman .45 ACP sizing die, and, by backing out the expander stem, I could bell the cases properly. Then, of course, I had to back out the seating die body a lot, seat the bullet properly, and then crimp as a separate step. The crimp was not a classic roll crimp, but it held everything together, and I shot a BUNCH of loads assembled with this combination.

In the intervening years, I've obtained a lot of different dies. I own proper RCBS .45 Colt dies and Dillon .45 ACP dies, and load with a Dillon 550B. Everything has its own setup on a separate toolhead, and I occasionally reminisce about the makeshift, jury-rigged setups I sometimes utilized back in the dark ages. (Remind me to bore you with tales of how I used to load .45-70, .380 ACP, .38 Special, and .38 S&W ammo.)

Best regards,
Johnny
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Old January 19, 2001, 08:29 PM   #5
sw627pc
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Johnny,

You probably could size .45 Colt brass with the ACP dies, but since the ACP case is slightly smaller than the Colt you are going to be working the brass a lot more than necessary, and it won't last as long as it could. The .45 Colt case is a true straight wall case at .477 front and back. The ACP is .473 in the front and .476 in the back (by SAAMI standards at least).
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Old January 19, 2001, 08:53 PM   #6
Johnny Guest
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sw627pc

Yeah, you're probably right--
Reaching back into the dim recesses of my memory, I seem to recall getting case mouth splits fairly often. But since most of my brass, after the initial 100 rounds was scrounged, I didn't think much of it.

Best,
Johnny

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Old January 20, 2001, 03:21 AM   #7
dundee
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45acp & 45 LC

A co-worker asked the same question before buying a new revolver. I wasn't sure so I called Hornady to ask about their dies. The Tech at Hornady said there would be no problem. Yes the book spec's are different but in reality they (Hornady)use the same spec's to make both die sets.

If a person wants ammo this obvoussly works. Few people bother to get reloading dies that really match their gun /chamber.

My 40 Glock lets brass expand more than my Kahr. I have been toying with the idea of buying a 2nd sizing die and have them be oversized it so as not to work the brass excessively. This will make 2 different 40 rounds. One will chamber in either gun, but the other will only chamber in the Glock.
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Old January 20, 2001, 07:16 AM   #8
WESHOOT2
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My answer is based on the fact that the right tool(s) make the job easier. I've used my GP100 as a hammer. I've used a 45 magazine as a hammer.
Doesn't make them hammers, though.

Buy quality and you only buy it once.
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Old January 22, 2001, 08:29 PM   #9
photoman
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Don't tell anyone, but I'm using my Lee .45acp taper crimp die to crimp acp bullets in .45Colt cases. This is only until my Redding .45Colt taper crimp die arrives. I've even used the Lee .45acp seater die for acp bullets and Colt bullets until my round nose Redding seater stem gets here.

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Old January 23, 2001, 01:56 AM   #10
Paul B.
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Yes it can be done. Before I got my .45 LC die set, I used the .45 ACP dies with a set of custom spacers made up so that the dies would not have to be constantly adjusted. I do the same, even today with .38 SPL. and .357 Mag. and .44 SPL and .44 Mags die sets. I believe RCBS even sells a set of spacer rings for the same purpose.
Measure the difference in length between the ACP and LC rounds. get a couple of washers with 3/4 inch holes. Place the washers between the die and the press. You may have to file one of the washers to make it the proper thickness. I made my sets of spacers from some delrin rings I came across. They do file a bit easier than steel washers, but I have no ideaas where you caould find a set of rings made of delrin. BTW. I've been using those rings for about 25 years, and they are still holding up.
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