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A couple of .45 colt questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Upriver, Nov 21, 2007.

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  1. Upriver

    Upriver Member

    Jan 14, 2005
    After years of lurking here in handloading and reloading I just loaded up my first 10 rounds of .45 colt last night - a 255gr Keith over 8.5 grains of Unique and WLP primers.

    A couple of questions:

    1.) Since this was my first time, I neurotically I weighed every charge, but now I'm curious - how case filling is Unique? At 8.5, I seem to be a little less than half full.

    2) Roll crimp. I felt like I couldn't get enough crimp, so I kept crimping these until the die was about maxed out (in relation to the shell-holder). The cartridges don't appear squashed and chamber cleanly, but I'm curious if you can "over-crimp" rounds like this.

    3) In my pile of mish-mash .45 colt brass, I have a bunch of PMC and PMC +P+ cases that have mouths that are not even / concentric - should these be trimmed to an equal length before trying to use them? It seems like left as is, the crimp would suffer.

    These will get launched from a 5.5" Ruger Blackhawk...

    Anyway, thanks for any tips - I're lurked in this part of the forum forever, and appreciate all of the information that's been made available here.
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Unique fills the case pretty well, considering the HUGE capacity of the .45 Colt case.

    Yes, but it does not sound like you did.

    Yes. Your case length needs to be consistent for a good consistent crimp.

    Good platform. Good luck. You should be fine.
  3. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Too much crimp will actually loosen the bullet. The case will bulge behind the crimp ans make the cartridge snug in the chamber or may prevent its full entry. Just crimp enough to roll the case into the crimp grove and you`ll be fine. Later if you start loading heavy work horse loads you will have a better idea of the amount your die delievers and what is needed.

    I used 1000`s of 8.5 unique/250 gr lead bullet loads in my old Blackhawk. It is a great load! The powder doesn`t seem to quite 1/2 fill the case but keep in mind the bullet sets with 1/2 its lenght in the case also. There is very little room in relation to what you think there is with this load.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    That is THE LOAD for the .45 Colt. Don't worry about it.

    Just use enough crimp to roll the case into the crimping groove on the bullet. Any more will just shorten the life of your brass.

    The 8.5 Unique load in a Blackhawk is not going to recoil enough to have problems with pulled bullets, and Unique powder will burn consistently without a lot of crimp resistance to get it lit.

    You only need a very heavy maximum amount of crimp in full power 2400, WW296, H110 type loads that recoil hard enough to yank bullets.

  5. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    S.E. Minnesota
    The only loads where I've had problems with the bullets jumping the crimp were with plated bullets (no cannelure) and very heavy charges of a fast powder (like Red Dot.) I think the recoil has a faster impulse with fast burning powder.
  6. JollyWhiteGiant

    JollyWhiteGiant Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    central MN
    If you start using any heavy loads be sure to work up with each type of brass. I have noticed a big difference with different combos.

    With .45 Colt I will trim only for heavy loads where a wierd crimp could cause problems if it is sever enough. With the brass the way you describe it I would trim nomatter what.

    When settign your crimp start with no crimp, just the die adjusted so it is touching the case, then move slowly and lok at the round after each try. I sometime find it helpful to have an uncrimed round next to it to see where I began. After the brass is slightly rolled into the bullet you are done. If you are shaving brass off the top of the case you have gone too far.
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