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Old January 19, 2013, 10:07 AM   #1
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acp and long colt...

I would like to reload my .45 acp brass. I don't have to dies for it. But my brother has dies for a .45 LC. I know the brass are diff. Lengths and what not, but can i use them?
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:32 AM   #2
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No where close.

I don't see how you could possibley load 45 ACPs with LC brass.

Dies are cheap.
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:48 AM   #3
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If you are asking if it is possible to load 45 ACP with dies meant for 45 Long Colt, it depends.
Hornady Series 2 dies for 45 ACP are also marked for 45 LC.
A carbide or Nitride die has a narrow band of carbide or nitride at the base that does all of the sizing.
Case belling and bullet seating ACP cases might be difficult with dies made for the Long Colt. A different shell holder would also be necessary.
Short answer, just get dies for the ACP.
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:04 PM   #4
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Thanks hunter52. That's what I needed to know.
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:17 PM   #5
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That is an interesting question. Most of us use .357 Mag. dies when loading .38's. Naturally, for the two .45's the shell holders are different. I think buying ACP dies is the best idea but I may try using my LC dies for ACP, just to see if it can work. I load for both and have dies for both.
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Old January 19, 2013, 12:33 PM   #6
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more bullets, look at it this way. A set of Lee dies is pretty much a bargain. They are the lowest priced dies in the industry, but they make up 95% of the dies I own and I've been buying dies since the 1980's. I love them and I specifically choose them no matter the price.

And anyone's dies are tool steel and they will EASILY outlive you if you take care of them, and can still by used by your grandchildren.

Furthermore, even if you could make your brother's .45 Colt dies work, you've got two more concerns. First is that your .45 Auto is (most likely) a semi-automatic, so things like case mouth tension, mouth flare and taper crimp are more than essential -- they are incredibly important to avoid unnoticed and/or unintended bullet setback which can happen to any semi-auto that violently chucks rounds in to battery. The .45 Colt seating die is designed to impart a roll crimp, which you don't want for a semi-auto round.

And secondly...even if you could "make" the dies work (certainly possible and if I was on a deserted island, I'd go for it! ), you'd have to change all the settings that your brother uses for .45 Colt...and then he'd have to change all your settings when he wants to use them and back and forth.

All that for a $25 to $30 die set that will last for the next 75 years?

Buy the dies and you are rolling!
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Old January 19, 2013, 03:10 PM   #7
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I load 32H&R and 327fed mag with the same dies as well as 38 spl and 357, 44spl and 44 mag.have separate dies for 45 colt and acp, never thought otherwise, besides it saves a lot of screwing around in more ways then one.
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Old January 21, 2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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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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Old January 21, 2013, 12:26 PM   #9
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You could pop the decapping rod out and use the sizing die to iron out the flare if you don't push it in too far. It's an extra step. You can also buy a Lee Factory Crimp Die or anybody's .45 ACP taper crimp die and use that, so you only have the expense of one extra die instead of a set.
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Old January 21, 2013, 04:34 PM   #10
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I reload LC. If a given manufacturor makes one die set for the 45acp and another for LC, that says to me that you should not use one die set for both.

It is kinda like 380ACP and 9mm. Both are very similar, both use the same shell holder, primer and bullet diameter. One, however has a tappered case, so there are two different die sets....

I could be wrong, but why test the waters. Dies are fairly cheap... I don't use Lee that much - mostly Lee factory crimp dies, but lots of folks use Lee for everything and they are really cheap.
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