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45LC +P Brass -- life expectancy confusion

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by revo, Apr 28, 2006.

  1. revo

    revo New Member

    Feb 2, 2006
    I'm loading Ruger-only 45 Colt loads for the Super Redhawk. Things are going very well, but starting to wonder how many times I should reasonably reload the brass.

    Loads are kept on avg of 1150 fps (+/-50) using both Winchester and Starline brass. I reloaded this batch 4 times now and the cases seem to be holding up well. No problems visible to the naked eye.

    However, the Speer manual states to use new or once-fired brass for these loads.

    Am I asking for trouble by loading them a 5th time? Or is it as simple as keeping a close eye on cases, i.e. -- they're good as long as they don't show signs of failure?

    How many loadings do you get out of your 45 Colt brass for Ruger-only?
  2. Waffen

    Waffen Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    You can reload thoes cases tons of times. It really does not matter with strait walled pistol cartriges.

    Like you mentioned you will just need to keep an eye on case splitting. Aside from that you are good to go. You are also loading these in a Ruger RedHawk. The thing is built like a bank vault. If you get case splitting I would be hard pressed to think it would even hurt the redhawk.
  3. Sport45

    Sport45 Senior Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I wouldn't use the "Ruger Only" load more than two or three times before retiring that piece of brass to the low-pressure load bucket. Here's what Chuck Hawks has to say on the subject.
  4. loadedround

    loadedround Senior Member

    Feb 18, 2006
    Valley Forge, Pa
    Revo: On these heavy "Ruger Only" 45 Colt loads watch out for loose primer pockets after multiple loadings. I have found this to be the case on my two 45 Colts.
  5. huntershooter

    huntershooter Senior Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    You didn't specify bullet weight with your 1150 fps. load. I've loaded 310 gr. LBT's @ 1300+ fps 10 times without problems (Starline brass). The issue is CHAMBER PRESSURE here. .45 Colt +P is limited to around 30k PSI. At 1150 fps, even with heavy for caliber bullets (300 + grs) you are WAY under that figure. Modern .45 Colt brass is as "strong" as .44 mag brass (in spite of what Mr. Hawks and others may say). "Balloon Head" cases are no longer produced. The limiting factor is cylinder wall thickness in the Ruger revolvers. Read what John Linebaugh has to say about this subject. The only problems I've found in +P .45 Colt loads is: loose primer pockets & split cases. Until my cases reach this state I continue to load them.

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