Flash hole diffs for .45 ACP CCI and Winchsester cases


October 26, 2006, 04:53 PM
I noticed today that the CCI cases have much bigger flash holes than the .45 Winchester cases. I must say the Winchester cases were cases I picked up at the range and look like they're in VERY good shape. Is this a big deal? The head stamp clearly indicates .45 auto on the Winchester cases.

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Ol` Joe
October 26, 2006, 07:18 PM
The Win cases are from NT-non toxic- ammo. Winchester uses small pistol in place of Large pistol in them. I toss them as I don`t enjoy sorting brass, but if you feel up to it they are reloadable.

October 26, 2006, 07:27 PM
Ol'Joe- these Winchester cases definitely have large pistol primers just like the CCI cases. I wish I had other different cases to compare. The Winchester flash holes look like the same diameter as my .40 small pistol holes though.

October 26, 2006, 07:31 PM
I toss them as well, but know others who reload them.

October 26, 2006, 10:24 PM
You're going to find large flash holes in brass from Federal, Speer, CCI and Winchester in recent production brass. They are fully reloadable. I've talked to factory reps of both Speer and Winchester at the SHOT Show and they verify that there is not a difference in loading them. They also told me that eventually, all their brass will have the same flash holes.

The larger flash holes were the result of the change in priming mixture in the newer non-toxic primers. It produces it's flame faster and at a sharper pressure curve. The older size flash holes caused the primers to back out, but the larger flash holes allowed the pressure to dissipate and relieved the problem.

There are some .45 cases that use small pistol primers. They've been used for years in some foreign ammunition. I've got some cases I picked up about 20 years ago that have small pistol primers. Winchester has started using them in some of their non-toxic line as well. You'll also find that some cases with non-toxic primers are crimped in, the same as military brass. This is an attempt to keep the primers from backing out, the same as enlarging the flash holes.

Other than looking different, the larger flash hole brass loads just like any other .45 brass. The brass with small primer pockets will also load just like any other .45 brass.

The heaviest crimp I've seen in brass has been the Federal 9mm NT brass. It's crimped in heavier than most military, but any primer crimp swager can remove it.

Hope this helps.


The Bushmaster
October 26, 2006, 10:44 PM
Hi Fred...

Sure glad you got us straightened out here. I wasn't sure if we were talkin' about primer pockets or the flash holes in the primer pockets.:) I have no problem sorting brass as I sort by head stamp anyway. All good brass, be it federal, Speer, Remington, Winchester or what ever. They all will load and fire with no problem. There's just a few that aren't even worth mentioning that are good for tossing.:D

October 26, 2006, 11:06 PM
Fred- thanks for the great info. How does one know if you have new non-toxic primers?? I use WLP. If I have cases with SMALL flash holes but LARGE pistol primers- can I use newer primers safely?

Thanks again!

October 27, 2006, 12:17 PM

The great majority of the primers you buy are going to contain the regular priming compound, which contains lead styphnate. The only non-toxic primers I've seen for sale were the PMC, which are made in Russia, and they were in green packaging. There was ample notice that the primers were different all over the boxes.

If you're loading with Winchester Large Pistol Primers, they will work with either size flash hole. The size of the flash holes in various brands of brass varies anyway, so it's really no big thing.

I had a discussion with the Speer reps at the SHOT Show this year about the size of the flash holes on their 357 Sig brass, since they come with two different size flash holes. I asked them point blank if an outside vendor was making some of their brass for them and they said that for a period of time they couldn't keep up with the demand, so an outside vendor did make a large amount of their 357 Sig brass for them, hence the two different headstamps and flash hole sizes.

Just for kicks, I measured all the decapping pins in my RCBS, Redding, Lyman, Hollywood, Dillon and Lee dies and they are all different. The fact that the Dillon decapping pin wouldn't fit through about half the Speer 357 Sig flash holes is what prompted me to talk to Speer about it.

The bottom line is, for just general shooting and having fun at most handgun ranges of 7 to 25 yards, the difference in brass and flash holes doesn't amount to a hill of beans. Just load them and shoot them. The only difference would be if you were an Olympic class pistol shooter and every round fired was in earnest practice for the big games, then all the brass should be from the same brand and lot, trimmed, flash holes deburred, weighed, etc., etc.

I do sort some of my .45 brass by brand, due to varying thickness of the brass, and what I'm going to use it for, but for just "playing around" shooting, I don't sort it. I use the time to load more, so I can shoot more.

The Bushmaster,

You escaped the Peoples Republic!! Congratulations. Hope you took your snow shovel.........

Hope this helps.


October 27, 2006, 02:50 PM
Thanks Fred! No Olympics in my future so I'm good to go!

The Bushmaster
October 27, 2006, 09:31 PM
Yup...Escaped. Yup...Got snow shovel.:D

October 27, 2006, 09:51 PM
Snow shovels are not very effective for ICE. It might get cold enough for a windbreaker in Ava.

The Bushmaster
October 27, 2006, 10:34 PM
Hey....Don't be pickin' on my new home state. Just wish the USSR of C hadn't wrecked all the West Coast states right along with themselves (Ore & Wash). Coming from the two Northwest states I have extreme cold weather gear. Yer right though. It hasn't been that cold here yet, but the locals say that I should stand by.:D For ice I have clampon spikes (1/2"). As long as my horse doesn't come skiing down off the hill unanounced I'm OK...

Hummm...Must have solved the primer pocket/flash hole problem...:)

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