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Old May 16, 2005, 10:30 AM   #1
Join Date: April 26, 2005
Location: Virginia
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Follow up on another .45 acp\.45 Colt post

Just bought my wife a Ruger Vaquero for her birthday.

We don't have .45 colt dies, but do have RCBS Carbide dies for the .45 acp.

How much trouble would it be to load .45 Colt with the .45 acp dies?

I got a pot load of 230 grn FMJ.

She just asked if we could go shoot it again.

Lucky for us we can do so in our yard whenever the kids are gone.

But don't worry, as soon as the kids get old enough, we got a ruger .22 to start them out on.
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Old May 16, 2005, 04:07 PM   #2
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You could get some type of reload out of it I don't think I would want to shoot them.The big thing is resizing them you will only resize hafe way down and trying to set up the other dies wouldn't be fun.BUY THE PARTS TO CHANGE YOUR PRESS OR STAY WITH THE .45acp in my Blackhawk they are just as much fun as the .45colt
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Old May 16, 2005, 07:21 PM   #3
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I am pretty sure that it won't work.
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Old May 16, 2005, 07:35 PM   #4
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Buy some 45 colt dies , You can load the same 230 grain bullets
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Old May 16, 2005, 08:14 PM   #5
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Don’t be too hasty to say it wouldn’t work. The bullets are interchangble; I have interchangble cylinders for my Ruger 45. The case doesn’t need to be resized all the way down all the time. It depends on the loads used. It is just like neck sizing a rifle cartridge. If moderate loads are used you can neck size rifle brass for several loads. I do this for my Marlin 444 a straight-sided rifle case; only partially size the cases for practice loads. I actually get better accuracy with partial sizing the case. The larger-unsized- rear portion helps center the case in the chamber.

That said the dies might not have enough adjustment range in the press. It is worth a try and cannot hurt anything. Just size a few and see if they chamber easily. Just don’t load up a bunch until you checking for fit and function.

You will need the proper dies sooner or later - but part of the fun of reloading is experementing
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Old May 16, 2005, 09:50 PM   #6
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It may very well work.

I started loading .45 Colt on ACP dies a long time back.

I'll describe the process, presuming you have a single-stage press.

First you need the proper shell holder.

Much depends on the configuration of the dies. If the sizing die has a decapping pin, you must back the pin out quite a ways. You may need to remove it entirely, and deprime in a separate operation. If the sizer is not carbide, be certain to lubricate the cases. Doesn't hurt to do so anyway.

Bell the case mouth only enough to start the bullet.

Reprime the case. Charge with powder.

Do not install the seating die yet. Place the case in the shellholder and run the ram all the way up. Now back the seater stem all the way up. Thread the die into the press just until the case mouth starts to bind on the crimlping area. Back the die out a full turn and set the lock ring. Place a bullet in the case mouth and run the ram up. Now screw the seating stem down and, by trial and error, seat the bullet to the required depth.

Now you have an essentially loaded case, which needs crimping. Back the seating stem out and raise the ram all the way. Screw with die body in until the crimping area binds on the still-belled case mouth. Lower the ram slightly and screw the die body in a half turn. Run the ram up and inspect the results. This first attempt may be enough to remove the belling. Continue this process one-quarter to on-half turn at a time until the desired amount of crimp in attained.

Some ACP die sets which accomodate reloading of .45 Auto Rim cartridges have a real crimp shoulder that allows for a proper revolver-style crimp. Otherwise, you'll have to be satisfied with a taper crimp, which may be best if you're using FMJ bullets.

I have described loading a single cartridge. I assume you've been loading .45 ACP ammo. The only difference in processing the batches is that you'll need to readjust the seating die before crimping.

This procedure is a bit makeshift, but it works okay. If your wife likes to shoot the Vaquero a lot, you'll probably eventually want to get a set of .45 Colt dies, and some lead bullets. It CAN get a bit tiresome, adjusting the dies back and forth between ACP and Colt loading.

Good luck to you.
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Old May 16, 2005, 10:28 PM   #7
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I used the same procedure as Johnny Guest. EXACTLY the same procedure for a couple of years. It works quite well.
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Old May 17, 2005, 11:50 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone.

I thought it would work but wondered if anyone else may have tried it.

I plan on buying a set of dies for the .45 Colt but thought I could run a few through while I waited on getting a set.

Haven't decided on RCBS or Lee yet but I am leaning toward Lee due to 4 die set that has the seperate crimp die.

I use a single stage Rock Chucker for all stages except the crimp, I use a Lee Challenger for that.

Still haven't gotten that Dillon the wife wants, we'd have to build a bigger bench to hold it.
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Old May 24, 2005, 03:14 PM   #9
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Which Dies

I just got a 4 die set from Lee in 357mag. $25 from Midway.
All the rest of my dies are RCBS. $35-$45
The lee makes as good or better bullet.
Lee has a carbide sizer ring on the 4th die that will straighten out
bulged cases if you get them from too much crimp.
I just had this problem with my 45 auto.
Loaded 500 45acps in RCBS dies using taper crimp. They all had a slight bulge
and you can see where the bullet stops in the case. I had about 1 in 10 that
would not completly chamber.
Had to run them all back through the taper crimp die set to almost touch the shell plate. Whole round is reformed and straightened out.
I don't think this would have happened with the Lee dies.
I intend to get the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die for the 45acp and try it.
It works great in 357mag should work in 45acp also.

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Old May 25, 2005, 03:33 AM   #10
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I like Lee dies... good product, good price. I'm not sure they are 'better' than my RCBS, Dillon of Lyman dies... but they're fine.
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