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Rechamber Browning Low Wall .45 Colt to .454 Casull (No, I'm not quite crazy...)

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by JNewell, Jan 21, 2005.

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  1. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    Rechamber Browning Low Wall .45 Colt to .454 Casull

    Here's what I'm thinking...please read before replying! :D

    Browning chambered the 1885 low wall rifles for .45 Colt -- also for .243 Win and .260 Rem. Browning won't quote a PSI figure for the action (and I don't blame them) -- but clearly even though this is not in the same class as the high wall, it's good for .243 Win pressures, which are spec'd by SAAMI at 60k psi.

    So, the action is strong enough for very hot .45 Colt loads.

    The goal would be, however, to use the .454 Casull brass, as being better suited to high pressure loads (small rifle primer less apt to expand/back out, stronger case head, etc.). -- the goal is not to load to full .454 Casull pressure specs -- would stay well within or under .243 Win pressures.

    Two questions then.

    First, am I missing something?

    Second, does anyone know whether a chamber reamer could be used on this rifle without taking the barrel off the receiver?

    Tks and, please, be polite. ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2005
  2. mete

    mete Member

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    Yes you're missing something. The ability of a receiver to handle a certain cartridge depends on both pressure and bolt thrust. While a small diameter case such as a 223 may have the same pressure as a larger 308 the bolt thrust of the 308 is greater [ thrust = pressure x area].... Is the only difference in the cartridges one of length ? If so you probably could use the reamer with barrel attached.
     
  3. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    Good point - thanks.

    What I'm really after is a better gasket. Maybe the easiest way to do that is simply to trim some .454 Casull brass back to .45 Colt length. I'm not actually trying to turn the rifle into a .454 Casull.
     
  4. Otony

    Otony Member

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    Well, since the subject seems to be bolt thrust based on the case diameter, the diameter .45/.454 are both VERY close to...ta-da, the case diameter of the .253 and .260 cartridge casings.

    Even taking the rim into consideration, these are fairly close, much more so than comparing .223 and .308, no?
     
  5. Third_Rail

    Third_Rail Member

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    I'd just trim some .454 brass back to .45 colt length, no need reaming the chamber and accidentally putting a full-power .454 in there some day.
     
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    They made the High Wall in .454 Casull and several standard rifle calibers.
    They made the Low Wall in .44 Magnum, .45 Colt and several standard rifle calibers of the same pressure range as for the HW. I think that shows where Browning drew the line, and it is a pretty narrow one.

    I think that any load that would need Casull brass instead of Colt brass was too heavy. A rimmed cartridge in a falling block action is well supported, according to such sources as P.O. Ackley. The Monster Colts from such people as John Linebaugh are loaded no different from Casull.

    I think I'd shoot heavy to magnumized Colts and see what happened before I started trimming Casull brass to disguise signs of high pressure, which is what a small rifle instead of large pistol primer will do for you.
     
  7. JNewell

    JNewell Member

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    Yes, that occurred to me after I turned off the computer.

    As mentioned, I'm not interested in taking the .45LC into the .454C territory. Just looking for a better gasket. BTW, I'm not sure that a straight-wall case is going to show the classic signs of excess pressure, so I'm not sure that I'd be disguising any of those signs?

    The best reason not to rechamber seems like making sure that no one can accidentally chamber a real, full throttle, .454C round. Looks like the SAAMI MAP for .243W and .260R is 60k psi while .454C is 65k psi...maybe not enough to actually blow the gun up, but it doesn't seem like a worthwhile risk/return ratio...too little upside, probably.

    BTW, I continue to be interested that the petite 1892 action will by all reports happily choke down .454C loads with only peripheral problems (stocks split, magazine tubes shear -- but bolt, receivers, etc. hold up fine). Pretty surprising, I think?
     
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Why do you consider a case of harder brass with a different primer pocket a "better gasket?" And if you are not going into Casull country, why do you need one? Is LC brass causing some sort of trouble now?

    I think you are making work for yourself cutting off cases, but that is ok by me. A .45 LC or Casull clone of a Winchester Single Shot is a filthy perversion, anyhow. If I wanted that kind of power, I'd get a nice normal .45-70. Instead of my really sensible .38-55.
     
  9. Desert Dog

    Desert Dog Member

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    ???

    Just go buy a batch of new Starline .45 Colt brass... They hold up just fine to hot loads....
     
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