Anybody trim .45 colt brass to .45 acp length?


June 4, 2003, 10:47 AM
I just wondered.
I suspect that my inability to find really, really accurate loads for my bird'shead vaquero stems from the fact that I don't want to fll the case with powder.
The barrel is so short that slow powders won't work well, and fast powders don't fill up the case enough.
Some people suggested using wads of dacron, or other material to fill the case up the rest of the way, however this would be rather time consuming, I would think.
I wonder if it would be ok to trim a few .45 colt cases to the same length as .45 acp cases, and use load data for .45 acp?
Has anyone tried it?
Or should I just get the .45 acp cylinder and be done with it?
I already have 500+ pieces of brass, and love shooting the gun, but my .45 acp seems more inherantly accurate, and I've yet to find a ruger revolver that I couldn't hit with at 25-50 yards.
I just don't believe it's the gun's fault.
As a side note, I get acceptable accuracy from it, just not the accuracy I'm used to in .357 magnum, 357SIG, .45acp, and other inherantly accurate calibers.
I suspect that in full power loads, .45 colt would be very accurate, indeed.

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Master Blaster
June 4, 2003, 10:58 AM
Did youtry Hodgden Tite Group, they claim it was specifically designed to be case position insensitive, Try it with winchester large pistol primers and you may find that its a good accurate load.

You may also want to look around for a bulkier powder, some cas shooters at my club use unique in .45 colt and swear by it as well.

Jim Watson
June 4, 2003, 11:13 AM
Lots of CAS-ers use .45 S&W (Schofield) brass in .45 Colt guns to cut down on airspace over light loads. Cut a few cases back to 1.10" and see how they run. No reason not to go all the way back to .890" but somewhere in there you might start seeing increased bullet jump fighting the more efficient case size.

Note: If you buy real .45 S&W brass, I understand that you will have to relieve the ratchet on a Ruger to clear the larger rims. No such interference with cut-down .45 Colt.

Steve Smith
June 4, 2003, 11:31 AM
Titegroup or the use of a bulkier powder ought to work.

June 4, 2003, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the quick replies.
If I cut the cases down can I call them .45 short colt? :p
Will try titegroup first, though.

Jim Watson
June 4, 2003, 01:43 PM
Titegroup is advertised to be insensitive to powder position in the case. I ran a little test in a .44-40 single action. In a cylinder full, I shot three shots starting with the muzzle up and lowered gently to horizontal to fire so the powder stayed as near the primer as possible; and three starting with the muzzle down and raised gently to fire, so the powder stayed near the base of the bullet and as far from the primer as possible.

Titegroup gave less difference between muzzle up and down than Win231 but more than 700X. I will keep loading my .44s with 700X for the time being. Burnt up the Titegroup in .45ACP. I have samples of .38 Special - originally a black powder caliber, too - loaded with various powders for more position trials, one of these days.

June 4, 2003, 03:12 PM
I use Winchester Super Target in my light 45 Colt loads for CAS. It fills more of the case than any other "fast" powder. I have not found it to be a problem for CAS.

Phil in Seattle
June 4, 2003, 07:44 PM
Accurate Arms recommends their Nitro 100 powder for low pressure/low density loadings such as 45 Colt.

I haven't tried it yet myself. That great big 45 COlt case just looks strange with a little tiny dab of power i.e. 11grs AA#5 in it.

June 6, 2003, 09:06 AM
If you have a good tight full length resizing die and shoot lead bullets, you can develope what used to be called "Gallery Loads". I've done this for years when shooting .44 - I use Magnum cases but taper crimp and use the powder charge and OAL of a .44 special. Very silly looking cartridge but very accurate, quiet and keeps the clyinder chambers clean. Fun to shoot. With a heavy .45 cast bullet you should be able to do this with the .45 Colt. I just read something about this in "shotgun news" a few weeks ago. Just make sure the bullet is held firmly by the brass or you'll get into trouble.


June 6, 2003, 03:52 PM
After trying to cut back a few cases, I may give that a try.
I had no idea it would take that long to trim the cases.

June 10, 2003, 02:35 AM
I wonder if starline would consider custom making .45 short colt brass.

June 29, 2003, 12:41 AM
A couple of years ago I tested Titegroup with my my chrono for position sensativity,and in the big .45 cases it certainly was not as consistand as i was led to believe.
In .357 cases it is a dream!
Those big cases just beg for bp,but I'm not into that black stuff.
I have tried American Select and find it less sensative,but still not perfect.good enogh for cas distances though.
Unique also works good,and it can be bought almost anywhere they stock powder....even my walmart has it.:)
Good luck,and good shooting.!

June 29, 2003, 01:10 AM
I cut down 45 LC brass to fit my 625 45 ACP it works, but a drill press is the proper tool for the job. 45 Schofield is a lot easier. You may want to check out less dense powders that better fill the space, my favorite is Red Dot.


Old Fuff
June 29, 2003, 07:33 PM
If you are looking for accuracy I suggest that "you bite the bullet" (pardon the pun) and have a .45 ACP cylinder fitted to your revolver. If you trim back .45 Colt cases the base of the bullet may be swaged smaller by thicker case walls. Also the bullet's base may expand in the front of the chamber and/or tip or yaw. I doubt that accuracy will improve. On the other hand the short cases are easier to eject .... Same with .45 ACP.

July 2, 2003, 07:09 AM
Slug the barrel and the chambers before you do anything else.

Most of the accuracy problems I read about w/the .45 Colt in a Ruger stem from a mismatch between the chamber mouth and the barrel.

July 2, 2003, 07:24 AM
as a coupla "Handloader" articles, Brian Pierce made a real big deal out of the throat dimension variation in some .45 Colts. Getting them all trued up to .452 (IIRC) supposedly helped some guns a lot.

never bothered to check mine, so I have no actual experience.

You might also check at Mebbe something there. HTH

July 5, 2003, 11:52 AM
After determining that your throats rum .452-.4535" slug your bore, and after determining that (.4505-.452") suggest for ACCURACY you experiment with BULLETS, not powders/primers/cases.


Or 100-ct box of 300g XTP's.

July 5, 2003, 12:04 PM
A few other guys beat me to it. I think you are barking up the wrong tree. In .45 Colt, Ruger throats were originally too big. Then they went the other way and the newer ones are too small. This is usually the source of accuracy problems in Ruger .45 Colt handguns.

July 10, 2003, 08:59 PM
I sent my vaquero in to Gary Reeder, 11 degree forcing cone, reamed throats, freewheel, action job, etc.
Already been done.

July 10, 2003, 11:38 PM
Don't they still make .45 Auto Rim? I think StarLine has it.

July 11, 2003, 07:08 AM
One of the things I DIDN'T do was have the rachet hand relieved for .45 schofield, or the cylinder relieved for AR brass.
I think I'll just send the gun in again, this time for the removal of the ruger warnings on the barrel, and to fit a .45 acp cylinder.

Tom C.
July 14, 2003, 01:58 PM
I have .45 ACP cylinders for 3 of my SS NMBHs in .45 Colt. I find I don't use them much. They don't really like my IPSC loads with a little bullet sticking above the case mouth. I have to press them into the cylinder. They shoot well enough, but I prefer to load the .45 Colt brass with Titegroup and 165 gr bullets for CAS shooting.

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