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Thread: Making 45acp shotshells (My Way)

  1. #41
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    Those are some of the mind provoking thoughts I was looking for gear, so guess what I just had to do?...well.......try it out for myself. Using the original length of 1.260 and doing the same steps as before I only put in 10gr more shot and had some aluminum GC's and used it as the overshot card and the appearance of it was better but that isn't the point.

    Doing it the way I did produced an AOL of 1.300 which for my magazine is really a tight fit but it did work. I put 1 in the chamber and 1 in the mag and went to the local range to see how well it would work, my range is out the front door. As before the first round fired but the case got stuck at the ejection stage and even trying to eject it was tough, seems the case itself is a bit to long. I don't have time right now but what I want to try out requires me to take off .100 to make the case 1.160 and use either #8 like I have been using or some #12 that I have and use sparingly.

    Hopefully in the next few days I'll post a success or a failure but either way at least folks will know what direction not to take.
    Click to see what I'm doing and have available, this takes you to the VS (Vendor Sponsor) section of the site. Currently..25Rem,30Rem, 32Rem, 35Rem, 257Roberts, 358Win, 338Fed, 357 Herrett, 30 Herrett, 401 Winchester, 300Sav, 221 Fireball, 260Rem, 222Rem, 250 Savage, 8mm Mauser (AKA 8x57), 25-20WCF

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  2. #42
    Boolit Master

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    I did some of those back in the 80s just to try it. I cut down the .308 brass with a tubing cutter and dipped the brass into molten lead to soften. I sized down in two steps, .44 then .41 IIRC. Over powder wad sat on a Bullseye load, filled with #9 shot and capped with a 35 gas check. They worked ok and I remember wanting to not cycle the action so I didn't lose the brass I worked so hard to create. Since I normally used a revolver when snake hunting the the Mojave area I didn't pursue the .45 ACP shot shells so much. I haven't made up any .45 Colt shot shells yet but will use gas checks like I have done with the .357
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35remington View Post
    308 brass is the way to go. The 30-06 brass is not recommended.
    I went into S.A.A.M.I. and downloaded both the 30-06 and 308 pdf files, the width of the head of the 06 case is .049-.01, the width of the head for the 308 is .054-.01. OK so far not much of a difference till you look at the width of the extractor groove itself, the width for 06 is .033+.01, and the width for the 308 is .055+.01, so there is a difference between the 2 when you get into looking a bit closer at things.
    Click to see what I'm doing and have available, this takes you to the VS (Vendor Sponsor) section of the site. Currently..25Rem,30Rem, 32Rem, 35Rem, 257Roberts, 358Win, 338Fed, 357 Herrett, 30 Herrett, 401 Winchester, 300Sav, 221 Fireball, 260Rem, 222Rem, 250 Savage, 8mm Mauser (AKA 8x57), 25-20WCF

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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRUMPA View Post
    Those are some of the mind provoking thoughts I was looking for gear, so guess what I just had to do?...well.......try it out for myself. Using the original length of 1.260 and doing the same steps as before I only put in 10gr more shot and had some aluminum GC's and used it as the overshot card and the appearance of it was better but that isn't the point.

    Doing it the way I did produced an AOL of 1.300 which for my magazine is really a tight fit but it did work. I put 1 in the chamber and 1 in the mag and went to the local range to see how well it would work, my range is out the front door. As before the first round fired but the case got stuck at the ejection stage and even trying to eject it was tough, seems the case itself is a bit to long. I don't have time right now but what I want to try out requires me to take off .100 to make the case 1.160 and use either #8 like I have been using or some #12 that I have and use sparingly.

    Hopefully in the next few days I'll post a success or a failure but either way at least folks will know what direction not to take.
    Hmm. The 1.3" is way too long to clear the barrel hood and port, but if you cut it back to an OAL of 1.270" it ought to work fine. I'm getting the impression they were trying to cycle the slide with the aluminum check crimped over the shot, looks like it might work for you with the load you're using if you cut the brass a bit shorter. There's really nothing wrong with them not cycling as long as the shot has enough suds to penetrate the intended target, it's easy to rack the slide for a mulligan (even on a britches leg if your other hand is occupied with something else or you're in tight quarters).

    My work with revolvers involved developing a shot wad made from scratch. The point was to prevent the usual bore leading, improve patterns, and to increase the shot payload so the powder could build pressure enough to do some real work. I made some for the .45 ACP but could never get the payload needed with my method, so I had to go with bare shot and crimped the mouth using an 8-point socket for a starter and finishing with a .38 round-nose top punch in my drill press.

    Gear

  5. #45
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    Pictures of making and shooting 45acp shotshell case

    I am posting results and pictures of making cases and patterning the 45 acp shotshell. What I have proven to myself in this process is that GRUMPA's idea does work and in fact works quite well. My thanks to him for providing the procedure and plans if you will for creation of these shotshells. I had no way to hold the brass for processing like he did so I devised a simple jig of 3/4" pine with a 15/32" hole for holding the brass at the proper depth for cutting and filing to rough length. After chamfering and annealing I proceeded with the neck reduction using a 40 S&W sizing die. As GRUMPA stated, it is important to have your 45acp barrel handy to let you know when you achieve the proper body length which will allow the new case to properly headspace in the barrel. It does this on the newly created shoulder after case forming. Go easy. You get to the proper length before you think you will. I ruined my first two because I did it until it looked right rather than trying it in the barrel chamber. I used his load recipe, along with a homemade cardboard op wad. I used a dipper but weighed the #7 1/2 shot load to 122 grains. I used a .375 gc over the shot. I achieved a roll crimp using my .45acp seating die. My case neck was a little too big to start with so I used my 500 S&W seating die to start and finished up with the acp die. I have shown pictures of a factory shotshell for comparison with the newly made shotshell. I was impressed with the similiarity between the two!! I then did a comparison at the pattern board at 5 yards. This can hardly be called a conclusive test comparing the factory to the homemade shotshell. However if it shows up well enough in the picture you will be able to see that the two shells have very comparable patterns. The difference in appearance is result of the factory using #9 shot, while I used #71/2 in mine. I have some #9, but I felt the larger shot would result in more penetration than the #9 would so that is what I chose. Fact is in my test both loads patterned almost the same percentage of shot on the cardboard at 5 yards with a calculated 77% for the handmade vs 80% for the factory. For my next go around I will use a BPI op card cut to half thickness. I will also trim the finished formed brass to 1.180" prior to loading. Hopefully this will allow the cases to work in my magazine. The others were slightly too long to work smoothly. The load did eject and I feel will work the action ok once the right length is found. Personally I am going to good smooth function rather than trying to maximize the shot load which might require each round being individually loaded in the chamber. I am not too good at this picture thing, so I hope this all works when I push the send button. Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling and thanks GRUMPA for the initial idea that pushed me over the edge to give this a try.Click image for larger version. 

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    Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
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    its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
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  6. #46
    Boolit Master cheese1566's Avatar
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    I am now caught by the bug!!! Probably never use them, but its the point of crafting them!!
    I have been reading, reading, and reading this thread and Internet about making these. I have copies of the die making instruction also.
    Questions:
    When you guys are making and then firing these, do they need to be resized in a 45acp die and/or custom die?
    Or are they low powered they dont need it?

    Plus, how many loadings can you get if you keep having to remove the crimped flare and then recrimp to load?

  7. #47
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    So would .243 brass work? I have lots of '06 brass, no .308 but a handful of .243
    Is this a......what day is this??

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plinkster View Post
    So would .243 brass work? I have lots of '06 brass, no .308 but a handful of .243
    I checked my books and it looks like you can, but to be double sure I would go to S.A.A.M.I. and down load the pdf file for both of them, 308 and 243.

    Quote Originally Posted by cheese1566 View Post
    I am now caught by the bug!!! Probably never use them, but its the point of crafting them!!
    I have been reading, reading, and reading this thread and Internet about making these. I have copies of the die making instruction also.
    Questions:
    When you guys are making and then firing these, do they need to be resized in a 45acp die and/or custom die?
    Or are they low powered they dont need it?

    Plus, how many loadings can you get if you keep having to remove the crimped flare and then recrimp to load?
    So far I've just been using them after re-sizing them neck with the 40cal sizer die. The second time I annealed them and I trimmed them down which is smaller then the original length I have posted in post #1. Hopefully this week sometime I'll post some progress (I hope) because I was trying to make them cycle on there own. I did a couple things different but haven't gotten to the point of being able to try them out, been real busy forming brass and that takes priority.
    Click to see what I'm doing and have available, this takes you to the VS (Vendor Sponsor) section of the site. Currently..25Rem,30Rem, 32Rem, 35Rem, 257Roberts, 358Win, 338Fed, 357 Herrett, 30 Herrett, 401 Winchester, 300Sav, 221 Fireball, 260Rem, 222Rem, 250 Savage, 8mm Mauser (AKA 8x57), 25-20WCF

    Annealing Services

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...php?117-Grumpa






  9. #49
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    I have very limited experience so far. I would say for my old GI barrel it appears to have expanded to the point that I think resizing is needed. The jury is out as far as whether to resize the lower or "case" portion and the necked down portion as well, or just the neck portion. What I have done to be on the safe side for feeding is to resize the fired case in a 45 acp sizer, and the neck portion with the 40S&W die. This is just me. I will say that the load is anything but underpowered. The felt recoil and sound to me was about the same as the factory Speer shot load. However the resizing is easy the second time around. The brass appears to be in very good condition. The factory case which is aluminum split in the neck section. I don't know if that is due to my chamber or if they always do that. I will fire some in my Officers just to check that out. As I said I haven't enough experience with reloads yet to say how many loading cycles you can get before the case neck splits. I do think it is important to anneal the brass after a few loadings. I think that will lengthen brass life substantially. Cheese, I totally agree that this thing has a tendency to get a hold of a guy that likes the process of crafting your own ammo and expecially taking a rifle case and making not only a pistol case out of it, but a shot case as well. Being able to do it without the very expensive set of no longer available factory dies is nice too. Let us know how yours turn out. I was very impressed with the pattern and I must say that I would feel very confident if a poisonious snake just happened to make advances to me if that is what I had on my person. A rabbit wouldn't be too safe either. I wouldn't shoot a quail because we don't have that many anymore. Well you get my drift.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
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    its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
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  10. #50
    Boolit Master cheese1566's Avatar
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    In my Google searches for more knowledge, I found some forum talk elsewhere about guys using 44 mag dies. After looking at SAAMI speccs, it seems that may be too large to neck down. I did see 41 mag might be closer. I dont have any Speer shotshells to measure to see how they are.

    I have a set of old steel 41mag dies being held by IllinoisCoyoteHunter to tinker with. When it warms up I may also try crafting my own homemade set on the lathe.

    I do have a idle set of RCBS carbide 40S&W on the shelf if all else fails, from knowledge and experience above, I know these will work.




  11. #51
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    I had some time this morning to give another version a try and write it down here. I used the same brass I did in the first test phase but I trimmed them down to 1.200 and annealed them real well, and by real well I mean I got the brass glowing red. I know it may seem excessive to some but I want to know where limits are on some things so I can make notes and not make the same mistake twice.

    This time when I did them I did everything the same as before but only put in 110gr of #8 1/2 shot, I know I said previously I was going to use #12 but I didn't have much, it's not like it's easy to come by anyway.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This time instead of using an over shot card I tried out some aluminum gas checks I had instead just to see if I noticed anything different. The OAL was 1.240-1.245 doing this.

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    When I loaded these same pieces of brass I did size them with a 45ACP sizer die first, and yes while sizing there was resistance from the brass so it's safe to say the even though your using 308 brass for this project the brass does expand and is advisable to re size them.

    Re sizing the neck was simpler than the first go around, when I re sized the neck there's obvious marks from the 40cal sizer die as your doing it, just pay attention when doing it and all should be fine.

    I went and fired them and as before I had to manually cycle the action every time, even though they were a bit short than the first batch they cycled just fine, just failed to extract on there own. I guess I'll have to be happy with what I have and not look a gift horse in the mouth.

    One thing I did notice right off the bat is that they were just a bit but not much harder to extract and I believe this is from the annealing part of it allowing the brass to expand more thus grabbing onto the rifling easier. This is such a slight difference I almost didn't even bother to add it in here but figured I would anyway.

    I started with 4 pieces and 2 of them split to the point they're scrap now but I did get 2 firings out of them from some scrap 308 brass that would otherwise have been destined for the scrap yard anyway.
    Click to see what I'm doing and have available, this takes you to the VS (Vendor Sponsor) section of the site. Currently..25Rem,30Rem, 32Rem, 35Rem, 257Roberts, 358Win, 338Fed, 357 Herrett, 30 Herrett, 401 Winchester, 300Sav, 221 Fireball, 260Rem, 222Rem, 250 Savage, 8mm Mauser (AKA 8x57), 25-20WCF

    Annealing Services

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/foru...php?117-Grumpa






  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Willbird View Post
    I seem to recall from the article that they said the 308 brass would be easier on your extractor ?? The extractor rim recess is bigger ??
    That agrees with information I have read as well.
    The 308 extractor groove has a .055 groove with a 36.1 degree chamfer on front.
    45 ACP has extractor groove of .035 BUT the slope on the front chamfer is 26 degrees.

  13. #53
    Boolit Master

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    THANX, for the info, you guys are really working at this..........
    JMHO-YMMV
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  14. #54
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    Man I gotta get my new bench finished and moved into so I can get some of these worked up.
    Is this a......what day is this??

  15. #55
    Boolit Master cheese1566's Avatar
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    So far, so good!
    Just ignore my crappy thread cutting! This is my initial attempts at threading
    ...heck my first real lathe project!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  16. #56
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    wow! Cheese, those look good! I'd say you did very well. Tell you what, you do another one which will be a little better and send me this one. Seriously, looks like a perfect neck resize from my end. I am anxious to see your next steps. Can you make a trim die that you can run the formed cases into, and hack saw them off. I think you would have to harden the top of the die so the hack saw wouldn't cut into it. You might be able to incorporate a cut-off/resizing die into one die. Nice work.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure,
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    its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
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  17. #57
    Boolit Master Plinkster's Avatar
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    Looks great! Don't worry about the threads even the ugly ones usually work as well as the purty ones if not as smoothly. I like the idea of sizing before trimming, seems as though the crumpled case problem that some have had would go away.
    Is this a......what day is this??

  18. #58
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    Don't let the pics fool you. The die scratches the top portion and some of the lower. I dropped these in SST tumbling media afterwards and it seemed to remove the ugliness. I can live with that.

    I felt sizing before intial cut down will help make the sizing easier. The case neck on these 243WIN guided through the die with no problems. I think just a straight wall would catch the interanl sizer ring.

    Wheels are turning in my head with more ideas.


  19. #59
    Boolit Man
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    I use 45 Win Mag cases, case needs no mods, use 2 gas checks and #12 shot over Unique. I bought a set of the RCBS Dies on Ebay for $50.00. iam sure their close to #200.00 now.
    Last edited by George Tucker; 03-11-2013 at 02:28 AM.
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  20. #60
    Boolit Master cheese1566's Avatar
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    I hope I am not hijacking this thread...Grumpa please PM if offended.
    I have learned a lot on this thread and am taking the experience of others to build on.
    I just finished a "trimmer" length die for shortening my cases after sizing.
    The die is from 1018 7/8" stock and threaded to 7/8-14. (Notice my threading getting better!!)
    It is about 1.100" long. Using my ram adapter from my PiggyBack, I can use it as an extended shellholder with my #3 shellholder. (i assume one can use an actual extended shellholder.)
    I turn the die into the top and then bottom out the ram touching the bottom of the die. I then put a sacrificial 7/16" washer on top and use a hacksaw to cut flush using a pliers to keep it from turning. The die's top hole is just big enough for the brass to pass freely and about a .20" depth to help keep the brass from bending. The rest of the die is bored 31/32".
    Using a fine tooth hacksaw, the brass comes out at 1.300"; enough room for final trimming on my powered ProTrim at my desired length to yet be determined.

    Click image for larger version. 

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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