No need to resize .45 Colt cases after firing?


PDA






1858
January 1, 2009, 04:49 AM
My .45 Colt reloading saga continues. I don't know how many more ways I could screw up but I'm sure I'll find a way. First off, I made the mistake of shooting 200 grain lead bullets using WAY too much W231 which resulted in cracks near the case head after one firing. My mistake was that I found a load (Speer #11 Reloading Manual) for a 200 grain jacketed hollow point using between 10.5 and 11.0 grains of 231 resulting in velocities between 1238 and 1255 fps *. The load is under 25,000 CUP so safe for the Redhawk and Marlin and I figured I could apply the same data to a 200 grain lead bullet which resulted in severe leading of the barrel (in the Ruger ... didn't shoot them in the Marlin).

Then like an idiot, after cleaning the cases in a tumbler and inspecting them for cracks, I proceeded to full-size the case with a Redding carbide die. I literally set up the die so that it was almost touching the shell holder (normal practice for most dies that I use) and didn't use case lube since the die is a carbide variant. Well, the second case got stuck in the die when the shell holder ripped the rim off the case but I was able to rotate the shell holder and remove the case ... carefully.

My next mistake was to lube all the cases and full-size them with the carbide die. Once I was done, I glanced at the die instruction sheet only to read that the die SHOULDN'T be used to full-size the case. It should be used to size as little of the case as possible (just enough that they fit in the chamber) to avoid overworking the brass. So after loading/shooting about 80 rounds last Friday (loaded and fired once), I decided to see if the cleaned cases would fit in the USFA Rodeos, Ruger Redhawk and Marlin chambers without ANY resizing ... they fit!!! So now I'm thinking that all I need to do is expand the case mouth to seat a new bullet. The .45 Colt is a great round to shoot but it's a lot of work to reload. I'm going to shoot some hot loads in the Redhawk using H110 powder this weekend to see if the brass holds up to the abuse.

:)


*CAUTION: Loads intended for Ruger Blackhawk, Redhawk and Contender ONLY!!

If you enjoyed reading about "No need to resize .45 Colt cases after firing?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
buck460XVR
January 1, 2009, 12:07 PM
If your spent casing came outta the chamber, it certainly will go back in without resizing. The problem of not resizing would be insufficient neck tension to hold the bullet without over crimping.....I'm bettin' you wouldn't even need to expand the neck to get a bullet in....and that getting it to stay in place @ proper OAL till crimped would be next to impossible.

Walkalong
January 1, 2009, 12:50 PM
I set my sizer to just miss touching the shellplate of my Projector by about 1/32 to 1/16" and full length size my .45 Colt brass after every firing, light or heavy, and 95% of mine are light.

You do not have to size them all the way, and less sizing could extend case life a little bit, maybe, but it is not a "no no" either.

I have no trouble with stuck cases etc. I have no trouble at all. It is just as easy as other straight walled revolver cases. I load .32 L, .32 mag, .38 S&W, .38 Spl, .357, 41 Mag, .44 mag, & .45 Colt all the same way.

dwave
January 1, 2009, 02:12 PM
I don't full length resize my cases all the time. I do full size after a few reloadings. I only resize the neck area to get the tension.

SASS#23149
January 1, 2009, 02:23 PM
I have never,ever had a colt case stick in a carbide die,I'm very srurpised at that.
You must resize at least part of the cae,or your bullets will almost fall into the case.
I'm thinking over expanding the case mouth caused your neck splits,not the load.
It sounds like you are farily new to reloading? If so,starting with hot loads is usually not a good idea.
That Hornady die 'should' be able to be used for fl sizing,imho.I don't understand their warning not to.I'd call Hornady and ask what that is all about..

rcmodel
January 1, 2009, 02:34 PM
10.5 and 11.0 grains of 231 resulting in velocities between 1238 and 1255 fps *.That right there might be your problem.

IMO: There are very few powders less suitable for that kind of velocity in a .45 Colt then WW231.

If you want to magnumize the .45 Colt, you should use a slower powder & more off it.

You are smacking the bowling ball with your fist with that load.

You need to be pushing it with your palm using slower powder.

rcmodel

1858
January 1, 2009, 03:20 PM
Thanks to everyone for your informative posts. I'll try to respond to the main points made.

The problem of not resizing would be insufficient neck tension to hold the bullet without over crimping.....I'm bettin' you wouldn't even need to expand the neck to get a bullet in....and that getting it to stay in place @ proper OAL till crimped would be next to impossible.

I tried inserting 250gr and 300gr lead bullets in a number of cases and they won't fit so I will need to expand the case mouth.

I set my sizer to just miss touching the shellplate of my Projector by about 1/32 to 1/16" and full length size my .45 Colt brass after every firing,

Yes, this is what I do for 9mm, 45ACP, .38/.357, .44/.44 Mag. All of my pistol dies are the carbide type so I keep them off the shell plate by about 1/32".

I don't full length resize my cases all the time. I do full size after a few reloadings. I only resize the neck area to get the tension.

This is what I'll be doing today.

I'm thinking over expanding the case mouth caused your neck splits,not the load.

The case split near the HEAD on the 231 loads, NOT the case mouth.

It sounds like you are farily new to reloading? If so,starting with hot loads is usually not a good idea.

I've been reloading since '92 and have probably reloaded 30,000 pistol rounds in that time. I am new to the .45 Colt though but did start out with 6.0gr and 6.5gr of Trail Boss for the Rodeos and Marlin and found those to be very accurate (but sooty) loads.

That Hornady die 'should' be able to be used for fl sizing,imho.I don't understand their warning not to.I'd call Hornady and ask what that is all about..

The die is a Redding carbide die and they claim that full-sizing the case reduces case life by overworking the brass.

IMO: There are very few powders less suitable for that kind of velocity in a .45 Colt then WW231.

This is what I'm discovering ... the powder is too fast but Speer does list a load for a 200 grain bullet and 231 at those velocities. Admittedly it's a copper jacketed bullet so perhaps the lead bullet attains an even higher velocity. Either way, even at lighter 231 loads of 8.0gr I still don't care for 231 in the Rodeos, the Marlin or the Ruger. I have about seven pounds of 231 and it lasts forever with my other loads so I was trying to use it for "plinking" in the Redhawk.

If you want to magnumize the .45 Colt, you should use a slower powder & more off it. You are smacking the bowling ball with your fist with that load. You need to be pushing it with your palm using slower powder.

I'll be loading 250gr and 300gr bullets with H110 today and will be shooting them in the Redhawk and Marlin tomorrow.


As for roll crimping the case, to me this is one of the most mysterious aspects of reloading. I still don't know how much crimp is enough or how much is too little. I'm probably guilty of over-crimping my .45 Colt cases. I'd also like to add that I'm done with working up loads for the Rodeos ... they are so accurate with 6.0gr of Trail Boss and a 200 grain lead bullet with no fouling that I don't plan on shooting anything else. I could try a 250 grain bullet but I'm in no rush. The Marlin and Redhawk are a different story. I have no idea about the Marlin yet. I've shot 6.0gr and 6.5gr of Trail Boss with 200 gr lead bullets and 8.0gr and 8.5gr of W231 with the same bullet. The Trail Boss loads are quite accurate but very anemic. I'm going to try H110 powder and 250 and 300 grain bullets this week so see if I can get a combination of accuracy, range and energy.

:)

rcmodel
January 1, 2009, 03:58 PM
I still don't understand why a new bullet won't fit in a fired .45 Colt case??????

It should just freely fall in, or be a slip-fit at worst!
Until you re-size the case.

Could be your WW231 "Proof-Loads" stretched the cases so much they are getting crimped shut in the end of the chamber?

rcmodel

1858
January 1, 2009, 05:29 PM
Could be your WW231 "Proof-Loads" stretched the cases so much they are getting crimped shut in the end of the chamber?

New 200gr, 250gr and 300gr Oregon Trail bullets (.453") won't fit in ANY of the cases. Some were loaded with 6.0gr and 6.5gr of Trail Boss and the others were loaded with 8.0gr and 8.5gr of W231. As you can see I'm no .45 Colt reloading expert but it looks to me like the roll crimp is still obvious on all the fired cases i.e. the end of the case is rolled over. Like I said, I may be putting too much roll crimp on the case. I'll just take a quick photo or two of some loads from last week and post them here within the next 15 minutes. If I'm lucky you'll be able to set me straight. I really do appreciate the expertise on this board.

Thanks.
:)

rcmodel
January 1, 2009, 05:34 PM
Well, it probably is a remnant of too much roll crimp then.

The cure is to resize & expand them, like you need to do anyway to get proper neck tension.

Neck tension is necessary to get proper bullet pull.

Bullet pull is necessary to get consistant powder burn from shot to shot.

No amount of crimp will take it's place.

You just need to resize & neck expand when loading them.

rcmodel

ilbob
January 1, 2009, 05:38 PM
even with carbide dies a little lube makes it a whole lot easier.

emphasis on little.

1858
January 1, 2009, 05:42 PM
OK ... here's a photo of a couple of loaded rounds (200gr OT bullet, 8.5gr of W231) and a couple of fired/cleaned cases showing the roll crimp still present and a case on the right showing the horizontal crack near the case head.

http://thr.hawthorn-engineering.com/45C.jpg

:)

rcmodel
January 1, 2009, 05:48 PM
Yeppers!

Too much crimp for sure!

rcmodel

1858
January 1, 2009, 05:49 PM
The cure is to resize & expand them, like you need to do anyway to get proper neck tension.

Neck tension is necessary to get proper bullet pull.

Bullet pull is necessary to get consistant powder burn from shot to shot.

No amount of crimp will take it's place.

You just need to resize & neck expand when loading them.

rcmodel, thanks ... I'm going to resize the top half of the case only, expand the case mouth and go from there. I'm also going to try using a lot less roll crimp. I'm using a Lee roll crimp die for that phase and it seems to do a really nice job.

:)

Walkalong
January 1, 2009, 06:02 PM
rcmodel was right. So much crimp that enough was left to keep bullets from entering the case after firing. It is normal with a healthy crimp with lead bullets for some crimp to be left over, but those crimps are real healthy. I'd back it off 40 to 50%

Your W-231 loads were pretty hot to split the cases near the head. I wonder what the pressure was?

I used to load some .45 Colt with W296. (for a Ruger) It worked well. If you want to load anything besides light target loads, use medium to slow powders. I would suggest Unique or slower for anything more than light target loads.

rcmodel
January 1, 2009, 06:07 PM
I would suspect that the lead bullets you have are very soft lead. They are swaging down on the base instead of ironing out the crimp.

That would also explain pressure signs & case separations with the heavy load of fast 231 powder.

If in fact they are soft lead, they are slugging up when hit by the slap of the fast powder, and causing excess pressure over & above what the jacketed bullet test data suggests they might run.

rc

Walkalong
January 1, 2009, 06:20 PM
Yep. Slugging up to fit the throats and then slamming into the forcing cone/bore, all with a fast powder "peaking" behind them. Or should I say "spiking" ?

1858
January 1, 2009, 06:22 PM
One more reply before I get to reloading ...

Walkalong, thanks for the advice. I'll back off the crimp and I'm going to use H110 which is supposed to be very similar to W296. I bought this Redhawk to carry when out in the woods so I'm not interested in light loads for it ... I have the Rodeos for those. I have no idea what the pressure was when firing the 10.5gr and 11.0gr W231 loads. The Speer manual says that the 200gr JHP load with the same powder is under 25,000 CUP. Since lead bullets attain higher velocities (with the same amount of powder) than copper jacketed bullets (I've read that, NOT measured it) I don't know what kind of pressure increase can be expected. Given that the Redhawk can safely handle 40,000 CUP, I wasn't worried about the revolver.

I would suspect that the lead bullets you have are very soft lead. They are swaging down on the base instead of ironing out the crimp. That would also explain pressure signs & case separations with the heavy load of fast 231 powder.

The bullets are Oregon Trail Laser-Cast which according to OT have a BHN of 24. That's a hard bullet right? At 10.5gr and 11.0gr of 231, the leading in the barrel of the Ruger was HORRIBLE. When I shot the 8.0gr and 8.5gr W231 loads last Friday, there wasn't any leading to speak of. No leading in the Rodeos shooting 6.0gr and 6.5gr of TB and 8.0gr of W231.

Well, time to get reloading or else I'll only have my mouth to shoot off at the range tomorrow.

A quick side note ... I cleaned the Rodeos for the first time last night ... first time that I've ever cleaned a SA revolver! I'm just tickled pink about the way the cylinders drop out without any tools. I felt like Clint Eastwood in "A Few Dollars More" sitting there with two empty revolver frames and two cylinders on the table. Now I know why the cylinders have the serial numbers on them as well as the frame ... or maybe I don't. Anyway, at least I can't mix them up if that matters.

Happy New Year!
:)

Walkalong
January 1, 2009, 06:29 PM
BHN of 24. That's a hard bullet right? At 10.5gr and 11.0gr of 231, the leading in the barrel of the Ruger was HORRIBLE
Yep, pretty hard. There was not enough pressure to stop flame cutting and leading, OR there was not enough lube for the task. Or possibly to much velocity for the hardness, but I think that was OK.

Was the leading at the forcing cone, the whole barrel, or the end of the barrel?

1858
January 1, 2009, 08:24 PM
Was the leading at the forcing cone, the whole barrel, or the end of the barrel?

The whole barrel as far as I could tell ....

Back to the reloading bench ... until I hear a "ding" from the ol' crackberry.

:D

Walkalong
January 1, 2009, 10:04 PM
Excessive velocity for the lead hardness, or undersized throats, unless it started at the forcing cone and you shot enough rounds to lead the whole barrel.

Sometimes you have two things going on and it's hard to tell. Anyway, you have ruled out one thing. Edison ruled out a lot of options before perfecting the light bulb.

marsofold
January 1, 2009, 10:16 PM
I routinely shoot 255grain lead SWCs from 454casull brass at 1050 fps using 9.5 grains of trailboss powder. And I've shot quite a few using 10 grains of trailboss at approximately 1100 fps. No leading at all. I don't understand why you get such severe leading.

1858
January 2, 2009, 04:10 AM
I routinely shoot 255grain lead SWCs from 454casull brass at 1050 fps using 9.5 grains of trailboss powder. And I've shot quite a few using 10 grains of trailboss at approximately 1100 fps. No leading at all. I don't understand why you get such severe leading.

The leading occurred with W231 loads not Trail Boss loads. I think as has been mentioned by rcmodel, W231 may be too fast for the .45 Colt and hot loads.

Walkalong, I'll be shooting a bunch of H110 loads tomorrow so hopefully the slower burn rate will produce better results both in terms of case life and leading.

:)

TEDDY
January 2, 2009, 03:28 PM
I use unique at 9.5 gr with 255 gr cast bullet.size to depth of bullet and roll crimp.in ruger the crony gives 980 fps in win trapper 1080fps.980 is about what original bp loads gave.you may have loaded since 92,but you are in a new field.why people have to load heavy I can never figure out.I load from 25 acp to 45 colt.and most in between.and none are hot.placement is answer.
I have loaded since 1939 and never had a big problem.most of my rifle loads are cast lead and medium.:rolleyes::uhoh::eek::D

1858
January 2, 2009, 03:44 PM
why people have to load heavy I can never figure out

Perhaps an hour or two perusing John Linebaugh's articles here (http://www.customsixguns.com/writings.htm)will shed some light on the matter. There's a reason why I have a couple of USFA SAA Rodeos AND a Redhawk. I bought this Redhawk for one reason and one reason only, so that it can handle HOT loads that will stop just about anything that I might encounter out in the woods. I don't think that shot placement is a problem for me. 2" groups at 25 yards shooting DA is good enough by most standards. That said, I'm sure the groups would open up some with a 400lb ball of fir, teeth and claws coming at me. :eek:

revolverman357
January 2, 2009, 10:53 PM
I'm with rcmodel and Teddy, I've been loading 45 Colt for a long time, and I'm not an expert, but I've never experienced the problems described here. Follow their advice and stick with the velocities under 1000 fps. The 45 Colt cartridge very much exceeds it''s paper ballistics on small and large game alike. I've given up on the next wonder bullet or the new hot load in all the calibers I shoot. Shot placement is key whether on targets or critters.

Walkalong
January 2, 2009, 11:15 PM
Nothing wrong with hot loading the .45 Colt for the right guns. My two loads from years ago when I had a Ruger Blackhawk was 22.5 Grs W-296 and the 250 Gr Ranier plated TrFP (back when they had a cannelure and were plated thick) & 20 Grs W-296 with a 255 Gr Durocast heat treated cast SWC. I also used some 4227.

I had no brass problems with those loads.

These loads were safe in my guns, but they are off the charts. Do not use them.

1858
January 3, 2009, 01:31 AM
revolverman357, I respectfully disagree. Ruger makes the Blackhawk and Redhawk specifically to withstand "hot" loads. I don't see the point of owning a BH/RH and only shooting CAS type loads in it ... kind of like owning a Porsche C4 and never driving over 50mph. When I want to "plink" I'll shoot the Rodeos which are excellent for that. I'm sure they're good working revolvers too with velocities around 900fps. However, when the SHTF, I want as much KO power as is reasonably possible.

Now for the range report. I made the following loads yesterday (shot today).

For the Ruger Redhawk:

250gr OT RNFP
H110
10 @ 21.0gr*
10 @ 23.0gr*
10 @ 25.0gr*

300gr OT FP
H110
10 @ 21.0gr*
10 @ 22.0gr*

For the Marlin 1894:

250gr OT RNFP
H110
10 @ 18.0gr**
10 @ 19.0gr**
10 @ 20.0gr**

I only resized the top 1/3 of each case and had to use my .45-70 resizing die to pop the spent primer out of the cases. The Redding decapping rod/pin couldn't reach the primer with the die backed out. I think that may be a design flaw.

At the range, all rounds chambered/ejected well with NO LEADING in the Ruger or Marlin barrel. Also, none of the cases split at the mouth or the base. rcmodel and Walkalong, you both nailed it ... the W231 just isn't suited to hot .45 Colt loads although it may be a good choice for lighter loads. I did back off the crimp by at least 50% but completely forgot to check if the bullets were backing out due to recoil when I was at the range ... I was having too much fun ... but I don't think they were.

After firing 50 hot loads in the Ruger my hand felt fine. The recoil is very manageable and my best group was 2-1/2" at 25 yards (off hand, two-hand hold, SA) with the 21.0 gr of H110 and the 250gr OT bullet. This is a good thing since the muzzle velocity of that load is around 1300 fps and the 20.0 gr load with the same bullet (1245 fps) shot well in the Marlin with a 2-1/4" group at 50 yards (ghost ring sights). My objective has always been to find a load that I can shoot in either the Marlin or the Ruger that is accurate, has A LOT of KO power, and is fun to shoot. This is still early days but I think I have a really good combination in the '94, Redhawk, OT and H110. The hotter loads really make the Marlin come alive compared to the Trail Boss and light 231 loads I've been shooting. The extra muzzle velocity will help the bullet out at 100 yards plus.

Both the Ruger and the Marlin held up well to the "abuse".

:)


WARNING: These loads are NOT intended for Colt SAA revolvers or their clones. These are intended for Ruger Blackhawk, Ruger Redhawk and the modern Marlin 1894**

1858
January 3, 2009, 01:40 AM
Nothing wrong with hot loading the .45 Colt for the right guns.

+1

That's why I bought the Redhawk after buying the Rodeos. I realized that I liked the .45 Colt so much that I wanted to have the choice of going from "mild to wild".

The Marlin is an amazing rifle too since it can be paired with a SAA revolver or a BH/RH revolver. It shoots 6.0gr of Trail Boss with a 200gr bullet just as accurately as it shoots 20.0gr of H110 with a 250gr bullet. I can't imagine a better rifle to learn to shoot with and keep shooting your whole life. It'd make a great first rifle for a teenager (or younger).

:)

If you enjoyed reading about "No need to resize .45 Colt cases after firing?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!