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Thread: Reloading the .455 Webley, the 45 acp and 45 Long Colt with just the Long Colt dies

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Reloading the .455 Webley, the 45 acp and 45 Long Colt with just the Long Colt dies

    Well I found out you can also load the 455 Webley and also 45acp using the 45 long Colt dies. They all shoot .452 dia bullets and all have basically the same case diameters.
    After loading and shooting the Webley with cases sized using the 45 LC dies I got to thinking, why not for the 45acp also as the 455 cases are similar and the 45acp is one of the few calibers I don't load for because years back the GI ammo was really cheap. But times have changed, for I just went to a Gun Show over the weekend and the same 50 rd boxes that you could buy for around 8-12 dollars were now going for 40-50 dollars. Of course these are the recent inflated prices.
    And as as luck would have it, I found a single cavity semi wad, .452 Lee mould with handles for $10 at the show. Which would do for me as I probably won't be shooting the 45acp that much.
    So I used the 45 LC dies and sized and primed 20, 45 acp cases without a problem and they are waiting for me to make the bullets.
    I also have a bunch of 45, 255 gr bullets for the 45 LC and had used some of them in the Webley. And I had bought some 45 acp rimmed cases awhile ago that I thought I could convert for the Webley but it turned out the 45 LC cases were easier to convert for me without a lathe so I can use those bullets and the rimmed cases in my 45acp revolvers with the 255gr bullets as an option, again using the 45 LC dies.
    The bottom line was, I have too many dies for too many different calibers and didn't want to buy more so this was a workable alternative for two more calibers without having to buy the dies and besides I love these little challenges/adventures, Ray

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Hi Ray! I'm glad that you're getting extra mileage from your dies!
    I checked my .455 Webley reloading setup, and I use the Lee 45/455 dies.
    .455 Webley is NOT .452"! It's actually .455/.454.
    My RCBS mould drops the 265 grain RNHB bullets at about .456"....
    Checking the throats of the non-British guns I use for .455 Webley shows them running at least .454....
    Unless you have really soft bullets, I wouldn't expect good results from firing .452" bullets.

    -Tom

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Hi Tom, I just miked my bore useing an inside telescope mike and my groves mike out at .447-8, at least a few inches into the muzzle. So the .452 bullets should be fine. Here are six shots I fired from the bench with a hand support at 14 yds. Don't know why the two high ones but I did find in checking some of my 255 bullets afterward that some bullets were harder then others. I had made those bullets years ago and must have gotten some mixed up. (I haven't shot my old original 1884 dated 1873 Colt for years), or else I pulled the shots as the trigger pull on my Welbey is Terrible, extremely heavy and crippy. Almost takes two fingers. Anyway even the two high ones grouped well.

    Next time I load I will check the hardness of each bullet. I read you can also drill out a cavity in the base of the 255 gr bullets to help expansion but doubt I need to do that the way it's shooting now.

    Here's my 14 yrd target of six shots

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by rayg; 06-17-2013 at 04:20 PM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Can you get a good taper crimp on the ACPs using that setup?
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    My Webley is machined to take the mood clips and I shot it with 45 auto reloads first. It shot great,all be it a heavy trigger but as mentiioned it is crisp.
    Slugged the bore later and it is a .452. Suprize-suprize-suprize! I have noticed that in the olden days bores seem to vary some and I guess I got lucky.
    A fellow gave me some CCI 45 auto shot loads and the package said to not shoot them in a wheel gun as it might lock up the cylinder. Well,since I follow directions so well.........I shot at a belly wash can at 12-15 feet. The resulting divot in SWMBOs lawn was a sight to be seen. TG she wasn't there to see it. I cut a plug from the otherside of the yard and patched to evidence.
    The next long range snake is in for a rude awakening....hehehehe
    I also found a few boxes of Auto Rim right before this ammo SNAFU. Was $20 a box too much? 200 grn FMJ wadcutters.....and yep, I've shot them too. This old pistol has a 1916 date on it. Could it be that it is that old or is that the date of the rework?
    Either way,rimmed or full moon-half moon-1/3 moon it is a keeper in my book.
    Lewis AKA Wright Brothers Gunsmiths

    "Illegitimus non carborundum"

    Political Correctness: A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t*rd by the clean end!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
    Can you get a good taper crimp on the ACPs using that setup?
    The 45LC crimp area is too high. I'll have to cross that bridge when I get to it after I mould some bullets in the mould that I just got to see if the bullets seat tight enough in the case were a crimp may not be necessary. I also have an extra FL Colt LC die where the Id is about .002 smaller and maybe it might just be small enough to crimp the case when a case with the bullet just enters into the mouth of the die. We shall see if that works. Cast bullets don't necessary have to be sized and can be left larger as poured. Those may fit tight enough to not need a crimp if they will fit the chamber unsized. Otherwise I'll have to look for some other other alternative. Ray

    Here's an interesting post and a magazine article on case length/head space vs extractor.

    http://www.jouster.com/forums/showth...p?39285-45-ACP
    http://www.riflemagazine.com/magazin...d=71&tocid=970
    Last edited by rayg; 06-17-2013 at 04:14 PM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Hey Ray, if you're getting results that satisfy you that's all that's needed. I do have one question about how you measured your bbl groove dia. If you used a telescoping gauge you are measuring the lands and not the grooves. The telescoping gauges I have are too large to fit down into the grooves. Your groove dia might be closer to .453 or .454.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master



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    Ray;
    It is more important that the cast bullets fit the cylinder throats - not the barrel. If the bullets are undersize vs. the cylinder throats you are almost certain to get gas cutting a leading - severe leading is common.

    If the cylinder throats are .454" then you should size your bullets .454". They won't lead and will shoot with more accuracy.

    FWIW,
    Dale53

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohavedog View Post
    Hey Ray, if you're getting results that satisfy you that's all that's needed. I do have one question about how you measured your bbl groove dia. If you used a telescoping gauge you are measuring the lands and not the grooves. The telescoping gauges I have are too large to fit down into the grooves. Your groove dia might be closer to .453 or .454.
    I rechecked with a caliper and this time I got .453-.454, apparently you were right about the groves, Ray
    Last edited by rayg; 06-18-2013 at 07:03 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Ray, That's a NICE group of shots into the target!
    And I'm envious of the original 1884 Colt...
    OK on drilling the bases of the bullets. Not needed if they are soft enough.
    I love the RCBS bullet mould, as it casts beautiful hollow bases. For all practical purposes, you wind up with a smokeless Minie ball!
    Also have the Miha four cavity mould, but haven't had a chance to use it yet.
    Still looking for something in .45 Auto Rim... Plans are to load those with the Webley bullet and 4.3 grains Unique...

    -Tom

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Well I moulded some of the 45, 200 gr swc bullets with the mould I purchased and tried them in the cases I had sized with the 45 LC FL sizing die and the bullets fit too loose. I checked and the thickness of the case walls of brass of the 45 acp cases is about .003 thinner overall then the Long Colt cases so the bullets fit looser and so I'm afaid I'm going to have to buy a set of 45acp dies as I'm not sure if just a crimp die would squeese the case enough to hold the bullet. The FL die of the 45acp must size the OD/Id of the case a bit smaller. Anybody have an extra set of 45acp they want to sell? Ray

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    You might be able to apply a taper crimp by carefully using the sizing die. Just a thought. I may have a crimping die I could turn loose of, too. I'll get back to you.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Just checked. I have a set of Pacific dies for the .45ACP. I'll trade them to you for whatever you think they're worth in boolits. Shoot me a PM and we can work something out.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    PM on the way, Ray

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I was advised you can use the opening of the 8mm or 30-06 FL die with the decapper pin removed to crimp the case. I tried it and it works. Ray

  16. #16
    Boolit Master jethunter's Avatar
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    I reload 455 webley, 45 Schofield, 45acp and 45 autorim using Lee 455 Webley dies. I've read that the Lee 455 Webley die set is just 45 colt sizer die, and 45acp expander and seating dies.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Sounds like that could be as the Colt dies are to long for the acp/455 cases to reach the expander and seating/crimping area. Ray

  18. #18
    Boolit Master The Virginian's Avatar
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    Don't shoot the webley with 45 cap or 45 auto rim loads unless they are downloaded to 455 webley pressure
    which is lower. To do otherwise is like shooting it with proof loads. You can damage the gun or yourself.

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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