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Thread: 45-120 brass

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    45-120 brass

    alrite im not nearly done asking questions here from the knowledge and folks that have covered a bunch of this ground before me.

    i have 5 box's of 45 basic brass manufactured for rcbs by a company in sweden...exclusivly made for rcbs is what is on the box's. my question is this...this 45 basic brass does not meassure out to the full length of a 45-120 case oal trim length. yet the paper inside lists this brass to be able to make the 45-120 sharps straight cases from them. they meassure out at 3.163 inch.

    i have 20 or so of the bell 45 basic cases that have already been made into the 45-120 and they meassure out to 3.250 inch as they should.

    so are these rcbs cases the wrong cases i need for making my 45-120 loads or is this approx 1/8 shorted case not gonna make a difference on these shells.

    im having a hoot loading and shooting these shells in this browning "lite" hiwall and think i have the method for not maiming myself everytime i squeez the trigger so i want more loading experiments for this monster.

    also ive loaded some smokeless in the bell cases and used cream of wheat for filler so if this is just an absolute no no then maybe somebody better lead me out of a bad habit before i get in trouble. i used to use cornmeal and cream of wheat for pistol reloading back in the dark ages but i have never used any kind of filler in rifle cases so am i going in the rite direction before i shoot these "cow" filled cases?

    thanks for the info in advance

    bigted.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    You can use the shorter cases and it won't hurt anything. It just means the bullet will get a running start before it hits the leade of the barrel.

    Any of the brass with RCBS on it is going to be good brass. Just avoid Bertram brass for this caliber. It suffers from less than steller quality........

    I've never used Cream of Wheat for a case filler, other than to fire form rifle cases without a bullet. I use Super Grex, which is no longer available to the public. Bullshop says he uses the styrofoam peanuts from packing material in his, and I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work, since all you're trying to do is keep the powder in position against the primer. The problems I've heard about with granular fillers is they compact and form a slug under the bullet, though I've never used them, so I don't have any experience with them.

    Norma currently offers brass for the .45-120, as well as Jamison International, who purchased all the old B.E.L.L. (Bell Extrusion Labs, LLC) case making equipment and dies from PMC before they were sold to the Korean company that owns it now. It was in Boulder City, NV, at the time.

    Did you find a shooting glove for your trigger hand? Mine is with my rifle at all times, so I won't lose it......

    Hope this helps.

    Fred

  3. #3
    I'm A Honcho! montana_charlie's Avatar
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    Shooting cases shorter than the chamber depth is likely to cause leading in the chamber end and throat.
    CM
    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    fred...yes i found a insulated / padded glove that i proceeded to remove the trigger finger portin from so as to be able to "feel" the trigger before the "slap" happens but will hopefully guard my other fingers from battery so to speak.

    hadnt thought about the cerial clumping together in a mass behind these boolits but more news at 11 so to speak as im gonna try em today...got some warm ones and some nice easy ones to try...will report back when the smoke clears.

    thanks for the reply and ill use those rcbs cases as soon as i trim em all to the same length.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    charley will those short cases "lead" if i load the boolit out to touch the lands?
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    as soon as i trim em all to the same length.
    I suggest you fireform the new cases before trimming. The new cases will shorten after firing.
    Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    charley will those short cases "lead" if i load the boolit out to touch the lands?
    Depends on how soft or hard your alloy is, and how generous the throat/leade is.
    Those who fail to study history are doomed to repeat it.

    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity”. Sigmund
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  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    The RCBS Basic was made by Norma. I have three boxes that also average about 3.161".
    I haven't experienced any leading using shorter cases in 32/40, 38/55 or 45/70 with black or smokeless; altho I don't own or have any experience with a extra-long 45cal.

  9. #9
    I'm A Honcho! montana_charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    charley will those short cases "lead" if i load the boolit out to touch the lands?
    Probably.
    The problem comes from the bullet bumping up to chamber diameter (between the end of the chamber and the mouth of the case) and that oversized slug of lead being scraped over the chamber step.

    Normally, when a case is just a little short (20 to 40 thousandths), the bullet can be seated so there is a grease groove even with the case mouth. Then the 'void' between the case and the step is filled with lube under extreme pressure...limiting the expansion of lead.

    Your cases..being an eighth inch short...would require a giant lube groove to bridge the gap.

    Perhaps you could avoid leading by using smokeless powder (although I would never suggest such a thing). But, smokeless may be able to get the bullet out of the chamber before it gets fully bumped up.

    Or, you could go all the way sacreligious...and use jacketed bullets.

    CM
    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    blindeye,

    Not all the RCBS brass was made by Norma. I have boxes of it that were made by BELL. When BELL closed it's doors and sold their equipment to PMC, RCBS went to another vendor for their brass, which was Norma. That's why Norma is selling the brass under their own name now, they have the tooling and RCBS no longer markets brass.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    so i have no recourse on these short cases then it sounds like. i have few bell cases that are the rite length but im sickened by the 6 box's of too short cases altho i havnt opened all these box's to meassure all these cases to be sure i dont have the "jump" happening and the coresponding lead problem. i think that this is just what happened with these shells and this mega lead just in front of the chamber. thanks charlie for the heads up on these shortys.

    guess these short cases would work in anything 45-110 and shorter tho so maybe i have trade for someone somewhere
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  12. #12
    Boolit Master semtav's Avatar
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    There was a guy on another thread talking about cutting his 45-120 brass down . Maybe you need to get ahold of him and switch.

    http://www.shilohrifle.com/forums/vi...ighlight=45120


    Brian

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    also ive loaded some smokeless in the bell cases and used cream of wheat for filler so if this is just an absolute no no then maybe somebody better lead me out of a bad habit before i get in trouble. i used to use cornmeal and cream of wheat for pistol reloading back in the dark ages but i have never used any kind of filler in rifle cases so am i going in the rite direction before i shoot these "cow" filled cases?
    I've used cornmeal filler in .38-55, 45-70 & .45-90 with reduced loads of 4198 for years. I've never used COW but assume it would be similar. Use enuf' so the cornmeal (or COW) is compressed. Holds the powder charge back against the primer for consistent ignition and I theorize it also acts as a gascheck creating a buffer to protect the bullet base from the hot combustion gasses?

    John C. Saubak

  14. #14
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    My cases are shorter than 3.250, but I'd have to go down in the shop and dig them out to measure them. Maybe later.

    With the gas checked RCBS 405 gr. RNFP bullet I'm using, and Super Grex case filler, I get zero leading at just over 2,200 fps with IMR 4895 powder. I do get a small ring of plastic at the mouth of the case from the melted Grex, but it flicks right off when I eject the case.

    Before you do anything drastic with that brass, check some other things and see where the leading is coming from. You've already mentioned your lube as maybe being a problem. I use 50-50 Alox on mine, and like I mentioned, there isn't a trace of lead in my bore, and I've shot this rifle a lot. I've fired bullets sized from .457" to .459" in mine and it didn't seem to make any difference with leading or accuracy. Mine will shoot a 3 shot cloverleaf of about an inch and a half at 200 yards, if I'm having a really good day and conditions are right.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred

  15. #15
    I'm A Honcho! montana_charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigted View Post
    so i have no recourse on these short cases then it sounds like.
    Well, you do have a couple of options...
    There is the possibility of a trade with the guy semtav linked you to.
    Or...you can stretch those short cases.

    You are not alone in having brass that doesn't match your chamber. As a matter of fact, there are probably many who would be amazed to learn that their trusty .45/70 does not have a 2.1" chamber.

    I got interested in the short case problem a couple of years ago and came up with an idea to mechanically redraw a case to get the needed length. Rick Kalynuik (Red River Rick) and I worked together to develop a model that could be used by a guy who doesn't really know (or care) what's happening, as long as the brass grows longer.
    http://kal.castpics.net/

    It isn't cheap, but it's strong enough to do even more than it's designed for.
    It requires the use of a hydraulic porto power to do the pushing, so the total cost is enough that a guy wouldn't buy one for just a small pile of cases.

    In your case, Ted, the tool would have to be modified a bit to get it to pull enough to satisfy your (special) requirement.

    CM
    Retired...TWICE. Now just raisin' cows and livin' on borrowed time.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check