Reloading issues with 45 Colt


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huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 01:57 AM
I am just starting out in reloading and decided to get a lee loader (the one with the hammer) to start reloading for 45 colt. I got the Modern Reloading Manual by Richard Lee and in the tables it specifies to use 200 grain xtp bullets for the particular load I am wanting to make. So i went to pick up components and I got Hornady 200 gr XTP (.451"). I got home and started my first round and when I got to the step when you add the lead I went to seat it and the lead fell through the casing and sat on top of the powder :cuss: . Needless to say I was disappointed. I can't seem to find any info on what may cause this. So I tried not flaring the casing and the bullet would go in by hand still, but it did not fall through. So I thought I would just make a round with no powder or primer and just make sure I had all the steps down and when I turned over the tool to crimp the bullet, I had no luck. It seems to only crimp on one side and that is only when I really get rough with it. This deformed the casing and any attempts to be lighter with it yielded no results. The brass is only once fired, has been resized per instructions in the kit and has been cleaned and lubed. The instructions aren't just overly detailed and I'm not sure what could be wrong. The crimp end just doesn't seem to fit right but I don't really know how it should fit, being as this is my first go around with any kind of reloading equipment. Sorry for such a long post I appreciate the help!

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ArchAngelCD
December 13, 2010, 04:22 AM
It's been a VERY long time since I used a Lee loader but I'll try to help.

First off, the crimp doesn't hold the bullet, neck tension does. If the bullet falls right down on to the powder you have not sized the case correctly. You probably need to be more forcible on the resizing step to get the neck tension right. On the Lee Site (http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1292231129.902=/html/catalog/cleeloader.html#force) (at the bottom of the page) they specifically state the .45 Colt loader is one of three calibers which "requires considerable force for sizing." I'm guessing you're just not using enough force to properly size the case.

Now, if you can't get it to work correctly may I make a suggestion? Lee has the Lee Reloader Press (http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1292231129.902=/html/catalog/rlpress1.html) Part #90045 which is a single stage press but it's very inexpensive. You can find it on the NET for ~$28 and it will work much better than the handloader will. (Midway (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=807734) has it in stock for $27.99) You will need to buy a set of dies but those dies can be used with any press you buy in the future and the Lee dies can be bought for ~$25. Carbide .45 Colt Dies (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=159803) on sale for $23.39.

If you spend a few bucks more than you did you will make much better ammo with less effort. I do understand why you bought a handloader and most times they work well but as you see, sometimes they don't.

Welcome to the forum and I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble. Don't let this turn you away from reloading. You'll get it right...

Steve C
December 13, 2010, 04:31 AM
The bullet falling into the case indicates a case that isn't re sized properly. So lets make sure you properly sized the case once that's completed there should be enough tension on the bullet to stop it from falling into the case.

Its been ages since I used a Lee Classic reloader. To re size the case properly you should have hammered in the case in the resizing part of the die until its base was flush with the bottom of the die. This should have completely sized the case from mouth to base. If you just hammered in the case part way it didn't get sized properly and is the likely reason for the bullet falling into the case.

ArchAngelCD
December 13, 2010, 04:48 AM
Steve, Lee's site states the .44 Magnum, .45 ACP and .45 Colt require considerable force for sizing like I mentioned above. I'm guessing that's the problem and your suggestion is the way he can check his work...

Vacek
December 13, 2010, 06:36 AM
Hunting Cowboy,

Welcome to the forum.... I got my masters in Stillwater in 75. Lots of good memories. I also started loading with a Lee Loader while there. One two part question. Is the brass new or already fired; and is it 45 Colt or Scholfield? If it is new it should already be sized. If it is 45 Scholfied it may not size correctly in the Lee although I had good luck with it after making adjustments. Other than that if it is your fired 45 Colt brass and you are whacking it in all the way then you may have a faulty die.

Once you get it right, the Lee Loader is extremely useful and actually pretty fast, especially to load up 50-100 rounds.

Walkalong
December 13, 2010, 07:33 AM
A $25+ press will save untold $'s worth of aggravation down the road.

That said, follow everyone's advise and the set up you have will work.

Welcome to THR

Trent
December 13, 2010, 10:38 AM
Step #1, lose the hammer.

Step #2, go shopping.

Lee single stage press $29.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=807734

Lee Carbide 45 Colt Die set (on sale) $23

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=159803

(Carbide on straight walled cases means no lube required)

Trent
December 13, 2010, 10:40 AM
Ahh I should really learn to read before I post. Someone else already linked to those above. :)

huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 02:15 PM
It's been a VERY long time since I used a Lee loader but I'll try to help.

First off, the crimp doesn't hold the bullet, neck tension does. If the bullet falls right down on to the powder you have not sized the case correctly. You probably need to be more forcible on the resizing step to get the neck tension right. On the Lee Site (http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1292231129.902=/html/catalog/cleeloader.html#force) (at the bottom of the page) they specifically state the .45 Colt loader is one of three calibers which "requires considerable force for sizing." I'm guessing you're just not using enough force to properly size the case.

Now, if you can't get it to work correctly may I make a suggestion? Lee has the Lee Reloader Press (http://www.leeprecision.com/cgi/catalog/browse.cgi?1292231129.902=/html/catalog/rlpress1.html) Part #90045 which is a single stage press but it's very inexpensive. You can find it on the NET for ~$28 and it will work much better than the handloader will. (Midway (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=807734) has it in stock for $27.99) You will need to buy a set of dies but those dies can be used with any press you buy in the future and the Lee dies can be bought for ~$25. Carbide .45 Colt Dies (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=159803) on sale for $23.39.

If you spend a few bucks more than you did you will make much better ammo with less effort. I do understand why you bought a handloader and most times they work well but as you see, sometimes they don't.

Welcome to the forum and I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble. Don't let this turn you away from reloading. You'll get it right...
I did hammer the casing all the way down into the piece to resize it. I even thought that maybe it was just a millimeter or so above so I beat the tar out of it. I hammered it until I was sure that it could go no deeper. It was definitely flush with the tool. Could the problem be that I am using the .451" bullets? The booklet that came with the loader said .452" to .454", I just picked up what was available on the way back to my parent's house thinking they would work fine.
Thanks for the tip on the press. Had I known that beforehand I would have ordered that instead as I want to eventually reload for several calibers.

huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 02:20 PM
Hunting Cowboy,

Welcome to the forum.... I got my masters in Stillwater in 75. Lots of good memories. I also started loading with a Lee Loader while there. One two part question. Is the brass new or already fired; and is it 45 Colt or Scholfield? If it is new it should already be sized. If it is 45 Scholfied it may not size correctly in the Lee although I had good luck with it after making adjustments. Other than that if it is your fired 45 Colt brass and you are whacking it in all the way then you may have a faulty die.

Once you get it right, the Lee Loader is extremely useful and actually pretty fast, especially to load up 50-100 rounds.
Hello fellow cowboy! For question one the brass is from Winchester and Hornady ammo that I bought and fired. Part two it is 45 (long) Colt not 45 Scholfield. I hammered it in flush, if you look at the tool from the side you cannot see the end of the case.

rcmodel
December 13, 2010, 03:10 PM
Could the problem be that I am using the .451" bullets?Yes.
If you bought .451" XTP bullets, you bought .45 ACP auto-pistol bullets, not .452" .45 Colt revolver bullets.

I imagine there is no crimp cannulure on the bullets for the revolver roll crimp on them either is there?
Auto pistol bullets have no crimp cannulure.

rc

huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 03:18 PM
Yes.
If you bought .451" XTP bullets, you bought .45 ACP auto-pistol bullets, not .452" .45 Colt revolver bullets.

I imagine there is no crimp cannulure on the bullets for the revolver roll crimp on them either is there?
Auto pistol bullets have no crimp cannulure.

rc
I'm not sure what a crimp cannulure looks like but if it is a groove on the side, these bullets have none. They are smooth along the side. So if I get the bullets with the crimp cannulure will that solve my problem or just the problem of not getting a crimp? The first issue was the bullet falling into the case. I know that .001" is not much but working with small tolerances I guess it could be the difference in a bullet falling through and having to push it in.

Walkalong
December 13, 2010, 03:52 PM
This is a link to some .44 Mag (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5864147&postcount=28), but they show the cannelure and the case crimped into it. Your .451 .45 ACP bullet should still have had some neck tension, it just doesn't have a cannelure to crimp in. It should not drop into a sized case.

230 Gr .45 ACP XTP (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=342056)

250 Gr .45 Colt XTP (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=776746)

Walkalong
December 13, 2010, 03:59 PM
I do not know why the book would call for a 200 Gr XTP in a .45 Colt load, because they do not make a 200 Gr XTP with a cannelure.

You can use it and taper crimp, but that is not the norm. You must solve your neck tension problem first either way.

huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 04:12 PM
Well if it still boils down to tension problems I guess I will need to have the die (not sure what to call it) replaced. I have been trying to get ahold of Lee Precision by the phone number listed on the website, but have only succeeded in getting a busy signal.

The only place that I could really be going wrong to get inadequate neck tension would be the resizing step right? If so I am 100% sure that I am supplying the needed force and driving the casing all the way into the die. Any further and it would be recessed inside. After the first one fell through I didn't even flare my next one that I was trying for practice, I just put the bullet in. It would hold up at the neck but I could push it all the way into the casing with a finger

mboylan
December 13, 2010, 04:17 PM
Stop. You are going to hurt yourself. Pick up a reloading manual and a general reference like The ABCs of reloading. Read them. Pick up a good reloading scale, not a Lee. The dippers aren't the most accurate things in the world.

Come back here when you've got some book knowledge. People on the forum will be able to give you all kinds of good advice.

huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 04:29 PM
Stop. You are going to hurt yourself. Pick up a reloading manual and a general reference like The ABCs of reloading. Read them. Pick up a good reloading scale, not a Lee. The dippers aren't the most accurate things in the world.

Come back here when you've got some book knowledge. People on the forum will be able to give you all kinds of good advice.
I do have a reloading manual and I am following the directions and recipes verbatim. That is why I am seeking the advice of experienced members. I have not done anything with a shell that has powder or a primer in it except the first one where the bullet fell into the powder. After that I worked exclusively on empty shell casings to see if I could solve the problem. I did it this way to eliminate any dangers of injury other than from smacking myself with the hammer. This is the manual I am using http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/40355-1.html

rcmodel
December 13, 2010, 04:30 PM
I didn't even flare my next one, -- It would hold up at the neck but I could push it all the way into the casing with a finger Then you have a defective die.
Call Lee and talk to them about a replacement.

In the mean time, it would probably be a good idea to buy a box of .452" .45 Colt revolver bullets until you get it all sorted out.

You are starting out behind the 8-ball using the wrong size bullets with no crimp cannulure.

rc

huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 04:40 PM
Thanks, I'll try to get someone on the phone over at Lee.

Funshooter45
December 13, 2010, 04:45 PM
Yeah, the .451" bullets are not good. But still, if the sizing die was working right, they shouldn't just fall into the case. I have never used the whacker loader though, so I don't know exactly what might be going on. I had a similar sort of problem with my first .45 Colt loads. I had just started reloading. I had started with .357 and discovered that with brand new brass, they were already sized perfectly, so the sizing step was not needed with new brass. So the next week I get some .45 Colt dies and a bag of brand new Winchester brass and a box of Sierra JHP bullets. They were sized at 0.4515. I already "knew" that brand new brass didn't need to be resized. Not so with Winchester .45 Colt it turns out. Yep, those bullets would usually just barely stay at the mouth of the case if you didn't jiggle them, but the seating die would jiggle them just enough so that most of them would get seated way below the mouth. I was too dumb at the time to know that I could have just taken the decapping pin out of the sizing die and sized the cases even though they were already primed. I ended up taking a pair of pliers and giving them a very very faint squeeze to get just a little bit of tension so that they could be seated. The crimping step returned the mouth to round of course.

The .45 Colt round has an old and interesting history. It used to be that "normal" diameter for .45 Colt bullets was .454". I wonder if some sizing dies are set up to give that diameter instead of the smaller size most of us use now?

Jesse Heywood
December 13, 2010, 04:50 PM
Do you have any calipers? They are useful for helping to figure out this kind of problem.

rcmodel
December 13, 2010, 04:54 PM
It used to be that "normal" diameter for .45 Colt bullets was .454".
Yes, for many many years, standard .45 Colt bullets were soft lead, and .454" dia.
Older reloading dies were spec'ed to that size bullet, and often would not resize thin brands of brass enough to hold a bullet.
And they were loaded early on with compressed black powder, so they couldn't fall in!

Today, I think most of the die manufacters are making dies for .452" bullets, but maybe not all of them.
I know Hornady had a problem there for a while with loose .45 Colt sizing dies.
If you called and whined, they would send you a 454 Casull sizing die, which is actually a .452".

I believe RCBS now makes .452" standard dies, and "Cowboy" dies for .454" lead bullets.

rc

huntincowboy
December 13, 2010, 04:55 PM
Well I got on the phone with the people at Lee and they were very helpful. They said that if I send it in with some of my brass a few bullets they will figure out the problem and either get me the new part or exchange it for another product. He said that even though the bullets have no cannelure they should still work fine if things are resized correctly

ArchAngelCD
December 13, 2010, 05:38 PM
Lee like most reloading companys are usually very helpful when you have problems. They want you to be happy and to continue buying their products.

Vacek
December 13, 2010, 07:57 PM
HuntingCowboy,

OK Pistol Pete.... You aren't doing anything wrong and don't let those who don't believe in Lee Loaders distract you. You obviously have a bad die, but with a good one you can load very nice and safe bullets. As to the scoops they are very consistent if you again follow the directions. Many of us started with Lee Loaders and even if we have moved on we have kept them. They are useful and eloquent in their simplicity. If after reloading for a time you want to add to your equipment (note I didn't say upgrade) then a press and assorted equipment are great. As to the Lee Scale, it is a little cumbersome to learn, but still it is very accurate and precise. I have a set of analytical weights (Class S ... essentially the best) and the Lee Scale is every bit as accurate and precise as the other balances, and as a rule a little better than the cheap digital balances for sale out there.

When you get some time, go to Hideaway Pizza and have one in my memory and then on to Eskimo Joes for a cold one.

billybob44
December 13, 2010, 10:01 PM
Hello fellow cowboy! For question one the brass is from Winchester and Hornady ammo that I bought and fired. Part two it is 45 (long) Colt not 45 Scholfield. I hammered it in flush, if you look at the tool from the side you cannot see the end of the case.
Cowboy, check the Hornady brass that you have. I know that the .44Mag. Hornady Lever loads (forget the exact name) are a shorter brass case than the standard .44Mag.
Set your Win.and your Hornady upright on the bench+be sure that they are the same length. As said before on this thread, a caliper to measure your loads/components will go a long way toward producing a quality hand load.
I load .45Colt for a good friend, and use several different .45 cal. bullets-Yes some that are usually for .45acp. My difference is that I use good QUALITY dies (RCBS+DILLON), and I have hand loaded ammo for almost 40 years.
Cowboy-take the advise of those here that have hand loaded for more years than I==For the price of ONE box (of 50) .45 Colt factory loads, you can buy an economy press and die set, and solve your case size problems..Bill.

noylj
December 13, 2010, 10:29 PM
+1 for ArchAngelCD.
Get the little Lee press. It is really quite useful.
Now, I can see the idea of loading a .45 Colt similar to the way cowboys did it in the 1890s onward is a "romantic" thought, but a single stage press, even the little Lee, is so much more useful and easy and less tiring and faster.
When my son asked me for my reloading press (Hornady L-N-L progressive), I should have sent him the little Lee. Only problem is, I still use it.

Vacek
December 14, 2010, 12:32 AM
Here's the skinny,

I went out to Midway and put the following in my shopping cart. (1) the little Lee C Bench press; (2) the primer system for the press; (3) set of Lee 45 Long Colt Dies. Cost without the shipping $61.17. If you throw in the Lee scale and shipping you are at a C note.

huntincowboy
January 7, 2011, 04:47 PM
Well I got the kit back in the mail yesterday. Excited, I opened it up and read the letter contained. Basically they said we found nothing wrong with your die it matches machining tolerances, we could only get lead to fit tightly in your hornady casing.
I could have used my own calipers and measured the stuff and told him that over the phone without waiting 3 weeks. What's more I bought some bigger bullets like they recommended. Same problem on about half of the loads so I call them back, and they say use a dowel rod to drive the casing deeper into the die, it should work. I know they know more about it than I ever will, so I tried the dowel tip, only to have the same problem.
I don't intend on using an imprecise method to make something work that should have worked in the first place, especially when it didn't work any better. Plus I told them in my letter that I sent in the box with the kit that I wanted them to call me before they sent it back so I could see what was up. Never received a call. I'm going to have to say, the customer support has been sub-par. It wouldn't be such a big deal if I could ever get ahold of anyone but 8 calls out of 10 I got busy signal, the two calls I get through have been no help. (the calls were about 15-30 mins apart not all right toghether)
I think I want to get a press, but after this experience I want my products to come from from someone else, but I need to keep the price down. Any suggestions? I know everyone has been suggesting the lee press in the posts. I would have considered it but lee has really left me upset with the performance of their product and if this is how customer service is I would rather deal with someone else.

EddieNFL
January 7, 2011, 08:53 PM
I had the same issue with a Hornady size die. Turns out Hornady decided to change the sizer dimensions to suit cowboy shooters using .454 sized bullets. They sent me a .454 Casull sizer...problem solved.

Measure the ID of your sizer. Should be about .470 IIRC. If larger, it's designed for old school Colts.

DannoBoone
January 7, 2011, 09:19 PM
huntincowboy, spend your money on dies, not presses. Arguments can go on
all day long about which is the best press, but in the end, if the thing goes
straight up and down, it is capable of helping the dies do their work. The
press is just sort of the muscle-bound dummy of the process. The Lee press
will work fine, and it is absolutely the least expensive of all the presses. Their
scale works a lot better than it is given credit. Just make sure you balance it
out before proceeding with weighing.

As for dies. The only pistol dies I have are ancient Pacific dies for the .45
Colt. That isn't much help, I know, but they are now known as Hornady. If
the newer expander ball for their pistol dies is anything like the one for
bottle necked rifle dies, I'd look for something else. The expander ball really
pulls unless the case necks are rediculously lubed. I use Forester dies for
rifle cases, but do not know how they work for pistol rounds.

huntincowboy
January 8, 2011, 02:51 AM
Thanks Danno. This has been my first crack at reloading and so far has been pretty unproductive. I have spent more time pulling out hair than making ammo. When I called the first time (before they got rude with me) they offered that if the loader had problems maybe I could exchange it towards a press or some dies. Maybe if I can get ahold of them again they will still take me up on that. So the lee press it is...

Anyone have a recommendation for good dies? I am reloading rounds that are for carrying as a sidearm to my .30-06 while deer/pig hunting cuz my '06 doesn't have open iron sights which is a detriment in thicker brush. The most common size of bullet that I have found that is not just a plain RNFP is .452" diameter hollow points or plastic tipped stuff. So I guess that the dies I need to get would need to work well with this type smaller stuff.

Also, I have seen that dies can be bought in sets of like 1-4. I know they are for different things but if I were to buy say the dies here (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=706882) would this be all I need to get? Do these dies allow me to prime the brass or do I need some type of priming tool?
Again thank you all for your advice, it has been very helpful!

ironhead7544
January 8, 2011, 06:45 AM
I have had trouble with a number of dies from different makers. Not unusual. Also brass can vary a lot. I started out with a Lee Loader in 44 Mag and never had a problem. You made the right decision getting a standard press. If you have any problems, post here for help. Im glad you didnt give up. Ive been reloading since 1972.

orrwdd
January 9, 2011, 12:48 AM
Huntincowboy,

Anything from RCBS, Lyman or Hornady would be good quality, but most of them will be > $100 for the press. Midway has the RCBS Partner single stage press for $79 and they also have a $10 rebate. As for dies, RCBS, Hornady and Redding all make quality dies, though they are more expensive than Lee and Lee dies are actually pretty good.

For single stage press use a 3-Die Carbide set will be fine. Don't worry about the Lee Factory Crimp Die, it is not needed for a revolver.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/default.aspx?productNumber=779320

Hope this helps

Bii

huntincowboy
January 10, 2011, 10:11 PM
Ok so with the hammer lee loader you can prime the brass. My question is if I buy a set of dies do I need to get some kind of priming tool or will the dies have that function?

GLOOB
January 10, 2011, 10:26 PM
The press will generally have a priming function, but depending on how you buy it, it might be an add on. Dies have nothing to do with priming, other than the decapping pin that is usually on the resizing die.

I hate to break it to you, but for hand priming on a press, Lee presses have one of the better systems. Maybe you should give Lee a second chance?

huntincowboy
January 10, 2011, 11:06 PM
Maybe you should give Lee a second chance?

Thanks for the info Gloob. I guess it sounds like the best idea to give them another go.

1911Tuner
January 11, 2011, 10:02 AM
I didn't read the posts all that closely, but I don't remember seeing anything mentioned about the expander plug. The case can be perfectly sized, but if the expander is too large...

GooseGestapo
January 12, 2011, 04:16 AM
I too started out with the Lee loaders. I've still got the original 20ga, and .30/30 Lee loaders I started with in the '60's.

The problem you're having is a century old problem endemic to the .45Colt.

The original spec's call for a .454" bullet. As such, the Lee Loader is machined to size for the larger bullet spec's. With a .451" bullet, it most likely indeed will be a loose fit. I have only loaded very few jacketed bullets for the .45Colt. I size my cast bullets to .452" and have no accuracy problems through either my late production Ruger BlackHawk, or my Winchester M94 "Legacy" rifle.

I found that even the Lee standard dies to be on the large side for loading the .45Colt.

I "fixed" that by using a set of Lee Carbide .45acp die set to load my .45Colt ammo. I even went so far as to sell my .45Colt dies to a friend who uses it to load for an older Colt S/A that he uses in cowboy action shooting.

I've had excellent accuracy and performance from some Hornady "blem" 250gr XTP's I got several years ago. They DO have a crimping cannulure as they were made for the .45Colt. Likewise the .451" SST muzzle-loader bullets (for use with a sabot in .50cal rifles) have shot very-very well from my Ruger. I've also loaded and shot some of the 250gr FTX bullets from the lever-action rifle. I did have some seating issues with some nickle plated Starline brass. (sure did make an impressive looking load with the FTX's loaded in the tumbled Nickle cases!). The "modified taper-crimp" of the Lee .45acp seater/crimp die did a nice job on the non-cannulure SST and FTX bullets.

FWIW; The Starline brass is somewhat thicker than most other .45colt brass. This might help in loading with the Lee Loader. The MagTech, Winchester, and Remington brass is much thinner. But, as such, I prefer the MagTech brass for my lead-bullet loads. The thinner brass is much easier to size.

huntincowboy
January 12, 2011, 02:20 PM
I didn't read the posts all that closely, but I don't remember seeing anything mentioned about the expander plug. The case can be perfectly sized, but if the expander is too large...

I put the calipers to it and at the biggest point it was .453". This is bigger than my bullets so I just tapped it lightly once and checked the size of the flared casing. It is hard to get consistent results doing it this way. Would there be any problem with not flaring the casing? It runs at about .447 i.d. after sizing. I put in a bullet this way and it didn't go in straight so I put it aside and have considered it unsafe. But assuming I can get them in straight, would there be any pressure issues in doing it this way? It is a very tight fit.

huntincowboy
January 12, 2011, 02:30 PM
The problem you're having is a century old problem endemic to the .45Colt.
I haven't been able to find anything other than LRN type bullets in the .454 size, which kinda stinks because I am wanting to use the reloaded rounds for hunting purposes. Target ammo is about all that is available around here. I have had success loading about 15 rounds of the .45 Colt ammo with FTX bullets that were for the 460 S&W (found this out after checking OAL as the dealer i got them from told me they were for .45 Colt). My tests didn't show much expansion in phonebooks, but they are for a round that is over twice the velocity lol. Are there any .454 hunting suitable bullets that are designed for 45 Colt standard (not Ruger/TC) velocities, or would the plain ol LRN or flat bullets be fine as they probably are going to stop in the animal and likely cause damage like the old civil war bullets did?

bayhawk2
January 12, 2011, 04:20 PM
I load .45 Colt regularly with my Lee dies.It does require a bit of pressure to assure the casing is fully inserted in the die,but it works all the time"every time."Never had a problem with sizing.My advise is make sure the casings are properly sized,or maybe
it is a bad die,or as was said earlier,the wrong die.They are all probably differrent,but if it is any help mine is stamped "LEE .45 Colt T-10"..Not sure what the T-10 is?Good luck.

1911Tuner
January 12, 2011, 06:35 PM
I put in a bullet this way and it didn't go in straight so I put it aside and have considered it unsafe. But assuming I can get them in straight, would there be any pressure issues in doing it this way? It is a very tight fit.

There won't be any pressure issues, but you'll probably ruin a few bullets and cases without the flare, and even if you don't...you'll swage the lead down a little smaller and possibly wind up with lead fouling and accuracy problems.

I'd send it back and have them reduce the size to .451 or cherry-pick until they find one. The expander you've got is sized for .454 diameter bullets.

huntincowboy
January 12, 2011, 08:14 PM
I did send the die in (along with the whole kit) and they said everything should be fine. The pain is that it sounds like the tight idea is the expanding plug is too big. I really had overlooked that. They should have checked that for me when it went back. I sent in the whole kit my own brass and my bullets, as well as a letter explaining the problem in detail. He sent one back with a lead in it and said use thicker brass and larger diameter bullets. No problems with this one. What I want to know is how he managed to put a 451 bullet in a 453 hole with my kit. No matter how thick or thin the brass was the flareing tool is going to make the I.d. 453. Something is fishy with what they did.

FROGO207
January 12, 2011, 09:49 PM
I too had problems with the 45 colt loading and .451 bullets. I ended up using a set of 45 ACP dies and a shellholder for the colt brass. It does size for the 45 ACP bullets and they are tight enough for my use without a large roll crimp. As a side note the 45 ACP JHP bullets are for slower velocities than the Casull and will work in the colt ammo well. If you do this you will need to get a standard size "C" press and some dies. I have had excellent luck with the LEE carbide dies and think that your problem is with the Lee Loader size issue and not having .454 or so lead bullets to use, NOT the quality of Lee products in general. This hobby can seem easy when reading while not translating to real results as easily. If you do get the "C" press you need to get the Ram Prime tool or keep the Lee Loader so that you can still prime your brass.

Hope this helps you
Rick

murf
January 12, 2011, 11:08 PM
sorry you're having a problem with lee. since they can't, or won't fix your problem, you may want to spend the bucks and get the c-press and carbide dies. my lee press and lee dies work fine reloading .451 or .452 diameter bullets. until you get a smaller expander on you lee loader, you're gonna have problems IMO.

murf

GooseGestapo
January 13, 2011, 11:23 AM
I can assure you that the .454" cast bullets at the "target" velocities will indeed take down a deer.

If you have the Lee "dipper" set, use the 1.0 dipper and Unique powder. This will throw 9.3-10.0gr of Unique and is safe in any but the Colt SAA or "clones". Perhaps even in them too.

This load will run to ~1,000fps and will completely penetrate your average whitetail deer. I know, I've (and some friends) have done it several times.

It leaves a near 1/2" hole all the way through them and usually a broad-short blood trail.

For my .50cal muzzle loader, I use the left over sabots and a 200gr SWC (Lee copy of H&G #68) over 80.0-120.0gr of Pyrodex RS or #777. It knocks a near 1/2" hole through the deer and also a short broad blood trail. It's also very accurate.

The .45Colt bullet is "pre-expanded". It dosen't need additional expanision...
Just adequate bullet/shot placement.

huntincowboy
January 13, 2011, 05:11 PM
is safe in any but the Colt SAA or "clones". Perhaps even in them too.

That is exactly what I have lol. An Uberti Cattleman. I bought it and then got the itch to start reloading after shooting a few boxes. Had I known more at the time I bought the thing, I would have bought something else. But there are several loads that I can get in my manual that are 8-900 fps that I know are safe. Thanks for answering that question, I have only hunted with (necked) rifle rounds all my life which really were more desirable to have some type of expansion.

Also I think I finally got the problem worked out. I called Lee to get a smaller flaring plug. If they can't/won't get me one that is .451, I am going to go the press route. I know that is where I am going now anyways ( I have several other calibers I am wanting to reload) after all I have learned just in this thread, I'm just going to wait until this summer when I have more time and funds.

Again Thanks to everyone for all the help! I really appreciate it

gman82001
January 23, 2011, 08:57 PM
delete

Irish Bird Dog
January 25, 2011, 01:24 AM
HUNTINGCOWBOY.....lots of good advice so far...

Now my thoughts on the .45 Colt cartridge loading...

...I have loaded thousands of .45 COLT ammo for CAS over the years. I have LEE 3 die carbide set + Lee pistol crimp die too (not absolutely necessary tho).....(also have set of RCBS carbide .45 Colt dies)...I load on a Dillon 550B press w/powder measure....My bullets are 250/255 gr. LEAD cast & sized/lubed at .452 dia. I use 7.5gr of UNIQUE powder and standard LP primers. A good load that the books say is around 850fps +/-. This load/bullet will kill wild hogs IF bullet placement is correct. Also, all my .45 Colt SAA's are clones so it is safe for them too.

My advice would be to buy the cast lead bullets that are sized/lubed @ .452 in 250/255 gr weight and load away. My brass is mixed, ie several brands over the years....no problems with bullet tension....as noted above I CRIMP with the LEE Pistol Crimp Die...I don't use the built in crimper in the seating die. Die sets all come with good set up instructions.

A good option for you IF you don't want a bench press is the LEE HandPress but it will require a set of CARBiIDE dies to use anyway so, therefore....I'd go with the next jump at LEE for a bench press and get the little 'O" press they sell. For priming buy the LEE handprimer set up and don't look back, it is very good system,

Now, I know you had a less then good experience dealing with LEE so far and I can't say why that was. The fact is tho, they usually have good equipment and it sells for fair prices....try MIDWAY USA for a place to buy.& to review all of the LEE stuff & others on line with them......check them out on the web. Keep us posted on your progress in the reloading game.

HAPPY RELOADING!
IBD

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