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Old October 29, 2020, 07:57 AM   #1
FoghornLeghorn
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Even 45 Colt brass is impossible to find.

I ordered a second Square Deal press from Dillon so I could set up dedicated presses for small primer and large primer. It's a pain to swap everything out.

I already had toolheads for my straightwall calibers: 44 mag, 357, 9 mm and 45 ACP.

But you can't order the Square Deal without a caliber dies, etc, so I got the 45 Colt caliber.

Now I'm hankering for a Colt SAA and Winchester 1873 (or 1866), both in 45 Colt.

Thing is, there's no brass for the 45 Colt except maybe on Gunbroker. And I'm not willing to mortgage the farm to buy anything from those pirates.

I understand the hot calibers being scarce. But 45 Colt doesn't seem like it would be in such demand.

Unless the companies that make brass have suspended production of lesser demand calibers in order to ramp up manufacture of high demand product?

Anyhoo, I guess I'll wait to buy any new caliber guns till later.
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Old October 29, 2020, 08:33 AM   #2
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There is no separate factory for 45 Colt brass. The same machines in the same plants that make 9 mm are used with a different dies to make 45 Colt. Right now, essentially all component production capacity (machine time) is going to making components for loaded ammunition in the calibers that are most popular. That's why primers are scarce as hen's teeth as well. This Forbes article explains some of it.
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Old October 29, 2020, 08:56 AM   #3
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I scarfed up the last 200 new Starline 44 mag cases my local (and normally very well stocked with reloading supplies) FFL had. They're less than a mile from Starline so we'll see how soon they're restocked.
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Old October 29, 2020, 10:06 AM   #4
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Did Winchester ever make an 1873 in 45 Colt? Maybe some of the modern replicas, but I dont think 45 Colt was available in the originals. Grant.
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Old October 29, 2020, 01:26 PM   #5
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"...those pirates..." Are mostly dealers who think they'll get rich selling on line. Same on all the other auction sites. Gunbroker is just the medium.
Midway lists just about everything as "Out of Stock No Backorder". So does Graf's.
"...suspended production..." Quite likely all of 'em are closed due to the Covid Panic.
"...a Colt SAA and Winchester 1873..." Two firearms means you need to work up a load for each. It's possible you'll find a load both will shoot well, but not likely.
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Old October 29, 2020, 01:48 PM   #6
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I ordered 45 Colt dies recently for my SDB and was able to find brass at local farm supply store and Titan Reloading near me. Cabelas of course was out. Look at your local shops to find some.


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Old October 29, 2020, 02:07 PM   #7
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Did Winchester ever make an 1873 in 45 Colt? Maybe some of the modern replicas, but I dont think 45 Colt was available in the originals. Grant.
None of the original old west lever guns was made in .45 Colt. The reason given back in the day (true or not, I have no idea) was that the gunmakers of the time felt the small rim on the .45 Colt case would not be reliable in a rifle.

They might not have been wrong. .44-40 and .38-40 worked fine, but the original .45 Colt cases had a smaller, thinner rim and Winchester (and others) didn't bother making rifles for it.

Modern .45 Colt brass has a larger, thicker rim (the difference isn't a lot, but it is different) which seems to work well enough in lever guns. Reproductions of the old Winchesters, Marlins, etc are today chambered in .45 Colt and seem pretty popular.
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Old October 29, 2020, 02:20 PM   #8
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Anyhoo, I guess I'll wait to buy any new caliber guns till later.
You can always go to Starline Brass and put in an order even if back-ordered. That way you'll get it as soon as they catch up with demand.
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Old October 29, 2020, 03:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by FoghornLeghorn
Unless the companies that make brass have suspended production of lesser demand calibers in order to ramp up manufacture of high demand product?
As Unclenick already commented, I think you hit the nail on the head with this assessment.

I was pleasantly amazed a couple of weeks ago to find some nice .45 Colt brass in the discard bucket at the indoor range where I shoot. I always try to leave with a few more pieces of brass than I came with. I know the range owner sells the brass for scrap value and I'm not out to steal money out of his pocket, but I've known him for 20 years and I help him out when he has computer issues, so he doesn't mind if I grab a few cases once in awhile. In this case, I have a friend who is just getting into reloading and who needed some 9mm brass, so that's what I was looking for. I found plenty of that (headstamps I've never before seen or heard of!), and I found the .45 Colt brass in the bucket. I made a special effort to sift through and find as much of the .45 Colt brass as I could.
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Old October 29, 2020, 04:29 PM   #10
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You can always go to Starline Brass and put in an order even if back-ordered. That way you'll get it as soon as they catch up with demand.
Agree with rclark. Starline is real good with filling back orders in a timely manner.

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Old October 29, 2020, 07:59 PM   #11
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Starline is real good with filling back orders in a timely manner.
JYep. That's been my experience as well. Rod
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Old November 1, 2020, 08:31 AM   #12
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Wait till you go to find primers!!
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Old November 1, 2020, 08:38 AM   #13
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I stopped at the BiMart store where I normally shop for reloading supplies the other day. I didn't expect to see any primers but I figured since I was there I'd look. There wasn't a can of powder or a box of bullets in any caliber on the shelves. There were a few bags of brass in what looked to be odd calibers from what I could see but that's it.

Also they seemed to be completely out of reloading dies and presses. There wasn't a box of dies on the shelf either. This store doesn't carry odd caliber dies but still, you'd think some would be left...

Furtuanatly I have all I need for the time being but I could see how this would rattle a fellow.

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Old November 1, 2020, 02:04 PM   #14
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Starline has their .45Colt brass backordered.
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Old November 1, 2020, 02:42 PM   #15
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Go put up a wanted add at your local range. Some scrounger will probably have empty brass laying in his workshop to sell.
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Old November 1, 2020, 02:44 PM   #16
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Starline is real good with filling back orders in a timely manner.
Hope so. I'm waiting on 1,000 each of 45 ACP and 9mm.
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Old November 1, 2020, 02:48 PM   #17
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Wait till you go to find primers!!
I've got primers. But for the caliber referenced in my OP, I don't even have the guns yet.

I'm in Tulsa and we've got the Wanamaker show coming up. I might peruse the offerings there. Guns and brass.
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Old November 3, 2020, 09:41 PM   #18
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Have you thought about the shorter schofield brass?

https://www.starlinebrass.com/45-sw-schofield-brass

This stuff should work in 45 colt pistols like 38 special works in a 357 mag.
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Old November 5, 2020, 01:50 AM   #19
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Schofield brass will work in .45 Colt chambers. But you can't crimp it with .45 Colt dies. You will need a separate die to crimp it, one made or altered just for that purpose.

The standard loading dies in .45 Colt are not made "dual purpose" like the .38/357 or the .44Spl/.44 Magnum.

.45 Schofield came back from the dead a while ago, for the cowboy action shooting market. Its not as widely available as .45 Colt, and wasn't in the same demand, so right now, you might find some but its a dice roll.

Good Luck!
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Old November 5, 2020, 12:30 PM   #20
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I hate to change anything once I get my seating and crimp dies set. That's exactly why I load both my moderate and heavy loads in 44 mag brass.
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Old November 5, 2020, 03:26 PM   #21
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Schofield brass will work in .45 Colt chambers. But you can't crimp it with .45 Colt dies. You will need a separate die to crimp it, one made or altered just for that purpose.

The standard loading dies in .45 Colt are not made "dual purpose" like the .38/357 or the .44Spl/.44 Magnum.

.45 Schofield came back from the dead a while ago, for the cowboy action shooting market. Its not as widely available as .45 Colt, and wasn't in the same demand, so right now, you might find some but its a dice roll.
And if you want to shoot really powder puff loads through a .45 six gun, there's also a non-historical cartridge called .45 Cowboy Special. It's a rimmed case that's the same length as .45 ACP (shorter than .45 Schofield), and is loaded using .45 ACP dies. It allows a very light powder charge with less concern about the powder shifting around in the case. Unfortunately, it's not in stock at Starline at the moment:

https://www.starlinebrass.com/45-cowboy-special/
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Old November 5, 2020, 05:42 PM   #22
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And if you want to shoot really powder puff loads through a .45 six gun, there's also a non-historical cartridge called .45 Cowboy Special. It's a rimmed case that's the same length as .45 ACP (shorter than .45 Schofield), and is loaded using .45 ACP dies. It allows a very light powder charge with less concern about the powder shifting around in the case. Unfortunately, it's not in stock at Starline at the moment:
Also, unfortunately, not gonna work in the lever gun that the OP mentions.

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Old November 10, 2020, 07:16 AM   #23
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I'm in Tulsa and we've got the Wanamaker show coming up. I might peruse the offerings there. Guns and brass.
Wanamaker cancelled the show because of covid.

However, I got an email from Starline that my 45 ACP and 9mm brass has been shipped.

Guess I'll wait on the 45 Colt project.

Thanks for all the responses.
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Old November 11, 2020, 01:04 PM   #24
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I was at a Cabela's yesterday, and the only brass they had was .454 Casull, .460 S&W, and .500 S&W; wouldn't think they'd sell much of that in the best of times.
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Old November 11, 2020, 05:50 PM   #25
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...Nor in the worst of times, apparently. Just not a lot of people shooting them enough to wear out their brass, I would guess.
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