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Old January 21, 2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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Join Date: November 8, 2007
Posts: 2,001
The issue with loading .45 ACP cartridges with dies meant for .45 Colt is probably going to be getting a proper crimp on the ACP brass. It may also be getting the bullets seated, depending on the dies, but that is not as often a problem. The issue is that the dies for the .45 Colt may have the "working" parts too far up inside the die body to allow for enough adjustments to reach the mouth of the shorter .45 ACP case.

The crimp is the major issue with .45 ACPs to be used in an auto-loader. You can flare the case mouth with the .45 Colt dies, because you can adjust the expander stem way down in the .45 Colt die body. But, when you need to remove that flare, the usual crimp section of a .45 Colt die just won't reach the .45 ACP case mouth. And, even if it did, it is probably a roll-crimp, and you need a taper crimp for an auto-loader.

One possible work-around is to CAREFULLY use the .45 Colt sizing die to make the taper crimp by adjusting the sizing die so that the case mouth just enters the die bottom a little bit. That works OK with many carbide type sizers. Just be careful to not make the case mouth less than the standard dimension for the .45 ACP crimp, or you could create misfires if the case mouth can get past the shoulder in the chamber, or even a dangerous situation if that happens and the firing pin on your particular gun is still long enough to actually fire the cartridge.

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