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Old March 22, 2014, 11:42 AM   #1
Marco Califo
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Making 45 ACP brass from 308

I have not done it, but 30 years ago someone I knew was cutting down 308 to make "snake loads" for 45 ACP. He was cutting them long and filling with shot and calling them snake loads. I do not have a need for snake loads, but couldn't 308 be trimmed to 45 ACP length? Probably turned to a usable thickness at the mouth? I believe large pistol primers are the same dimensions as LRP
Yes, I know 308 brass is more valuable than 45 ACP, and the internal dimensions would be less in volume requiring lower charges. Has anyone done this?
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Old March 22, 2014, 12:08 PM   #2
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I have heard of it and I think that someone (RCBS?) makes a die to crimp the top, sort of like a .22 LR rat shot. If you had a lot of time to spare you could do it. I'd prefer to make them using shot capsules.
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Old March 22, 2014, 12:14 PM   #3
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when you cut off a 308 to 45 ACP length the brass will be too thick in the body to seat a bullet. You need to ream the inside of the case to thin the brass down for bullet seating.
For shot it is not important.
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Old March 22, 2014, 12:39 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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Not to mention, the brass at that part of a .308 case would be "hard as a rock". You'd need to anneal it, especially after all the cutting.

All in all, seems rather pointless.
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Old March 22, 2014, 01:16 PM   #5
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I tried it, but the 308 cases were a real bear trying to run them through the .45 ACP sizing die.
And, as Wyosmith said, seating the bullets wasn't in the cards, either.
Might be worth the trouble if there was absolutely no other source of .45 brass.
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Old March 22, 2014, 01:34 PM   #6
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News Flash: As the OP states, this is NOT for seating bullets! The purpose of the conversion is NOT to make ersatz .45 ACP cases that shoot a regular bullet.

The whole purpose of this (it's in an article in an old Handloader magazine, Wolf Press might have back issues) is to make a shot cartridge out of .308 (I suppose .30-06, etc. would work, too) that will work in a .45 ACP pistol. Making the cases and loading these is not a trivial job, but, then, how many would anyone probably shoot? It should perhaps be noted that these cases are cut longer than a regular .45 ACP case, so that the shot and necessary wadding will fit....

By the time I read the Handloader article, I had already loaded some of the Speer shot capsules for .38 / .357, which worked very well, so I was not about to go through all the sturm und drang necessary to make the .45 ACP rounds.

NB: The shot cartridges, obviously, will make your autoloader into a single-shot, as the material in the cartridge is insufficient to provide the energy to cycle the gun.
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Old March 22, 2014, 03:23 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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Sure, but for $15 you can just buy the things...

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/549...shot-box-of-10
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Old March 22, 2014, 07:03 PM   #8
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Sure, but for $15 you can just buy the things...
Always assuming you don't see the ubiquitous "Out of Stock, No Backorder".
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Old March 22, 2014, 07:08 PM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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I just assume it's not an emergency and I only used that link to show they exist. Several other places have them in stock.
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Old March 22, 2014, 07:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Pfleuger
Sure, but for $15 you can just buy the things...

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/549...shot-box-of-10
You're serious? telling someone to buy cartridges for $1.50 a pop in the handloading forum?
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Old March 22, 2014, 07:47 PM   #11
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In this case, you're darn right.
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Old March 22, 2014, 10:24 PM   #12
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I got some of these some years back, but they would not chamber..so it did a little research..

The brass was 45 win mag. It has a powder charge, then a gas check on top, then the shot, then another gas check and star crimped.

The problem I had was the cases were a little long..so I sized them down a little with a 44 mag die to set the shoulder to the right length to chamber.

I haven't weighed the shot, so I can't tell you how much..

Maybe a similar approach with 308 brass could be used.

Last edited by surveyor; March 22, 2014 at 11:14 PM.
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Old March 22, 2014, 11:57 PM   #13
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I've done a bit of work over the years with the .308 case, including making ammo for Auto Mags.

You can cut down .308 to make .45acp size cases. Also .30-06, and everything else with a .473" head size. In fact, if you have a handful of mixed single cases, say .243, .270, 8mm Mauser, etc., one thing you can do with them is cut them down for shot shells in .45ACP (or a few other rounds).

You would have to extensively ream them to take a bullet, and as mentioned, annealing the necks would be a good idea if you plan to load them with slugs.

Considering the abundance of .45acp cases (used, I'm not talking about finding new on the shelf), forming them from .308 is an exercise in wasting time and money.

You could TRADE .308 brass for .45 about any day of the week. And be a lot happier, I think.
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Old March 23, 2014, 10:30 AM   #14
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A couple years ago someone on here had dies to make 45 auto birdshot.
I dont remember who, but I think they used RCBS dies and 308 cases.
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Old March 23, 2014, 01:40 PM   #15
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Since you could probably trade the .308 brass for .45 brass and get 2:1 in the deal, I wouldn't do it.
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Old March 23, 2014, 02:24 PM   #16
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I have read folks using blank forming dies and 308 family brass to make shot rounds for 45 acp. They turn out like the old Remington 45 shot shells.

You can buy the dies here.
http://www.ch4d.com/products/dies/bc


RCBS also makes a die set for this also.
The finished rounds are different though.
http://www.ammosmith.com/forum/index.php?topic=7780.0
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Old March 23, 2014, 02:35 PM   #17
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Y'all are missing the OP's question.

Quote:
I do not have a need for snake loads, but couldn't 308 be trimmed to 45 ACP length? Probably turned to a usable thickness at the mouth?
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Old March 23, 2014, 04:26 PM   #18
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I got it but would just trade the 308 for 45 brass. If the op needs a fellow to trade with he can pm me as I have plenty of 45 I would trade.

I was just addressing the subject of the drift.
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Old March 23, 2014, 04:28 PM   #19
Marco Califo
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Y'all are missing the OP's question.
Correctamundo! I also never said "Should it be done?", and in fact stated the reasons why it should not.
My question was "Could it be done? And have you done it?"
But the responses took on their own life, and it has been amusing. Thanks for the posts!
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Old March 23, 2014, 05:00 PM   #20
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Old March 23, 2014, 05:05 PM   #21
jmorris
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Almost anything can be done, with enough time and money.

Trim and ream the thicker web out and you would have it.

Google how to make 45 from 308
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Old March 23, 2014, 07:40 PM   #22
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BTW- large rifle primers are not the same size as large pistol primers, unlike the small ones.
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Old March 23, 2014, 10:58 PM   #23
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I knew exactly what you were asking and also don't really feel the need to say some variation of "you're nuts to do that!!!!!"

Locally, we have a little group of guys that will get together at a Starbucks or other small venue and sit around for 2-3 hours and chat handloading. We have met as often as every other month, though sometimes MANY months go by between "meetings." There is nothing formal about this group, just friendly guys living in/around the same city and we enjoy sitting around and discussing handloading or guns in general.

One of our guys arrived to a meeting some time back with a .308 cartridge case that he had cut down to .45 ACP dimensions, including the inside-neck reaming. He also had on hand a copy of a very interesting book of cartridge conversions. I only had a moment to flip through this reference-sized book very quickly, but to describe it as "comprehensive" would be to sell it short.

He absolutely did this conversion to .45 Auto as an exercise and as far as I know, he never made a second one. I don't know if he ever used that one piece to build a round of ammo, but I doubt that was ever his point. He thought it was a neat adventure and it might make for a funny thing to pass around at one of our meetings. He simply handed it to the guy next to him with a grin. Every guy that grabbed it noticed at first touch that it sure seemed HEAVY for a piece of .45 brass.

The big book was very interesting to me, but not so interesting that I ever thought about buying a copy of it. I believe the following links are that particular book.

http://www.flyshack.com/DisplayItem....FZRr7AodLX0A2g
http://www.abebooks.com/978161608238...1616082380/plp
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Old March 24, 2014, 12:07 AM   #24
Marco Califo
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That is a cool book!

Sevens, That is a cool book!
The kind that is better for reading than doing,
And the kind that will wait until after I get the bass boat and the time and money that requires.
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Old March 24, 2014, 12:20 AM   #25
gyvel
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Just an FYI, but any case with the approximate base diameter of a .308 will work. That means you could use old .30-06, 7x57, 8x57, etc.

It's a good use for cases with split/cracked necks.
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