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Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:52 am    Post subject: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

I’m new to loading for any handguns, so please forgive my ignorance...

I have a set of .454 Casull dies from RCBS. It is my understanding that these dies can be used to load both the Casull and .45 Colt. I picked up a box each of Hornady .45 Colt and .454 Casull brass, a box of Hornady 240 grain XTP Mag bullets and various powders and primers.

I started tinkering with them this week. RCBS’ instructions are confusing at best...

What I found was that when I seat a bullet, whether it be in .45 Colt brass or .454 Casull, the seating stem leaves a pronounced ring in the bullet nose. I went back through the instructions included with the dies, searched on-line, and came to the conclusion that the seater just doesn’t work with this particular bullet. I found several “solutions” where folks have modified the seater and eliminated this issue, but I’m not comfortable with any of them.

I checked RCBS’ website and found a few different seating stems listed, but nothing for this bullet, so I called them this afternoon. The only solution they could offer was that I send them three bullets and a $25.00 check and they would make me a custom seater stem. Looking through Hornady’s website, I noticed that I can purchase their seating die as a separate component. Midway has it listed for the same price as a custom stem from RCBS.

My question.....

Would I be better off just ordering the Hornady complete seating die and using the RCBS as a roll crimp die, or getting the custom custom piece from RCBS and ordering either the LEE or Hornady crimp die?

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:08 am    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

dont load pistol myself but the lee crimp die for 30/30 I have is piece of cake to use....

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English Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:35 am    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

The Hornady seating die should also roll crimp.
Might be worthwhile emailing Hornady first to check the standard seater plug is OK with the XTP bullets.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

What? This ring?

I drilled my .38/.357 seater deliberately to identify these reloads as mine after a person claimed that one of my reloads had damaged his revolver. He showed me an unfired cartridge with a bullet that I have never reloaded or have in my inventory.

The ring will not effect accuracy.



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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

English Mike wrote:
The Hornady seating die should also roll crimp.
Might be worthwhile emailing Hornady first to check the standard seater plug is OK with the XTP bullets.

Mike,

After I started down this path, and following a lot of internet research, I decided that it would probably be best for me to seat and crimp in separate operation. The original plan was to use the RCBS die to seat the bullets then back out the seater stem and crimp them, but then I read about the Lee FCD and thought that might be a nice alternative. Now I’m considering the Hornady die as a seater and just using the RCBS die body as a crimping device. Unless I can get the Lee at a good price. The RCBS can always be used if/when I try a different bullet.

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Last edited by hunterjoe21 on Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 2:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

Bushmaster wrote:
What? This ring?

I drilled my .38/.357 seater deliberately to identify these reloads as mine after a person claimed that one of my reloads had damaged his revolver. He showed me an unfired cartridge with a bullet that I have never reloaded or have in my inventory.

The ring will not effect accuracy.

That’s the ring...

I understand that it won’t be detrimental to accuracy, but mine look like cr*p...

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English Mike
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

Spin the seater plug in a drill clamped to a bench (or in a drill press) whilst holding a Dremel stone against the edge to open up the pocket.
Just take it easy to ensure you remove material evenly.
Worst comes to the worst, you'll have to buy a new seater plug.
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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

By the way the Lee FCD is a good idea. I use one for .30-30 and .38/.357. As long as all the cases are the same length the FCD does a great job.

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PaulS
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

Bushy,
is the Lee die really any better than the roll crimp I get with my RCBS dies?
I have never had any trouble with the crimp, but then I keep all my cases trimmed too.
can't complain about the accuracy either.
What improves with the Lee FCD?

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

If it works for you don't fix it.

I was having problems getting a firm crimp on my .38 Specials a few years ago and the FCD solved that problem. Also if the case has a small bulge near the mouth from seating the bullet the FCD will resize it a small amount. It's supposed to give you better accuracy, but I haven't notice any improvement there. Probably because I'm so anal when reloading, so my friend that I shoot with tells me.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

Lee FC dies work great unless you are crimping oversized cast bullets. The die makes sure the entire loaded round is "factory" dimensions which means it will squeeze the lead bullets too. I have to use .432" cast bullets in one of my .44s to prevent leading. This leaves a visible bulge in the cases. They still chamber fine, but if run through a Lee FC die they get sized down and start leading again. I don't use the Lee die for any cast loads (.45 Colt, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP,. 38 Special)... only jacketed.

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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:14 am    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

I have the seating issue worked out. I talked to a friend, who called a friend (who loads a lot of hand gun calibers), who has a friend that recently sold his .45 Colt. Since the third guy didn’t need his dies anymore, he gave them to the second guy, who didn’t really have any need for them either. I flipped him a 20 for an almost new Hornady 3 die set.

Playing around with it a little, it shows very little of the “ring” when seating a bullet. Thought I was ready to start making some ammo, so I went ahead and sized 50 pieces and set up my trimmer to make sure all the cases were the same length. That’s when I had a new revelation. RCBS makes more than on 45 cal pilot for their trimmer. I picked up a 45 cal RIFLE pilot (.458 Dia) but need a .45 cal PISTOL pilot (.452 dia). I didn’t even notice that it was marked 45R until I couldn’t force it in to the case mouth and probably ruining a couple pieces of brass.....

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Bushmaster
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:17 am    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

I just plain hate that when it happens.

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Sparkie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:51 am    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

The 44Mag Hornady New dimension dies I have include a FC built in the seating die. The Hornady FC is the same as the the Lee 44 mag FCD, I already had the Lee FCD before I bought the Hornady's. Hornady does not tell you their seating die includes an FC. I do like the HDY dies they are well made and accurate, I switched because the Lyman 44Mag dies I have kept breaking the decapping pins and concentricity wasn't that great.
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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:25 am    Post subject: Re: Loading for .45 Colt/.454 Casull Reply with quote

Nearly all seating dies from any manufacturers include a crimping option based on how the die is adjusted, but unless Hornady has changed things, the difference in the Lee Factory Crimp dies is that it only crimps (doesn't seat) and slightly sizes the finished round to make sure the entire cartridge is close to factory specs. If Hornady is indeed making such dies they would also be of concern for certain cast bullet applications. Most cast bullet loaders seat and crimp in two different steps to avoid shaving of the lead bullet when the crimp closes as the bullet is still being seated.

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