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Thread: 308 brass into 45 ACP shotshell

  1. #21
    Boolit Bub

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    Has anyone tried using 400 Corbon dies for making 45 shot shells?

  2. #22
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Basically the same story ... I found a set of the dedicated RCBS .45 ACP shotshell dies cheap at a gun show years ago and couldn't resist buying them. I made up some cases from .308 brass, but found it faster and easier to use .45 Magnum (Wildey) brass which was available at the time. I used the RCBS suggestion and cut Remington .410 wads down to length, used their recommended load of Winchester 231, and roll crimped a .375 gas check upside down in the case mouth. In my commerial Colt Government model they feed, fire, extract, and eject without issue. They are a ton of fun to shoot at Station 8 Skeet too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brazos_Jack View Post
    Like Bama, I bought the forming and loading dies from RCBS right after the American Rifleman article came out.

    One potential issue that would compromise function in semi-autos is if the wad burns through, dumping pressure. So they recommended Remington SP 410 wads because they were the thickest available at that time. They also recommended using W231 powder because it burns cooler than powder of similar burning speed available at the time, like Bullseye.

    I used .375 gas checks instead of .35 gas checks so I didn't have to crimp the case mouth as severely.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  3. #23
    Boolit Master


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    In one of the threads on this subject, there was mention of a 3D printed jig for cutting the 308 to length. Now every search I do turns up everything else.
    Does anyone remember the source for the jig?
    I've successfully made the 45 ACP shotshells, but cutting them with a tubing cutter was painful and not accurate. I have the HF saw and several hundred primed 308 pull down blanks to cut.
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    I have made simple fixtures to cut and sand to length.




  5. #25
    Boolit Master
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    That's a neat fixture!

  6. #26
    I cut down .308 / 7.62 NATO to 1.18" and use a Lee 41 Mag Factory Crimp Die and Imperial Sizing Wax to set the shoulder. Costs a lot less than RCBS dies. I use any 410 shot cup cut down on top of 5.5 gr. Green Dot and cover the shot with a 410 overshot card. For crimping the overshot card into place, I use the regular 45 ACP round nose seating stem in my bullet seating die and carefully roll the case edge just enough to hold it good. This load will cycle in my 1911, but I use a lighter than normal recoil spring for target work.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
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    The fixture looks like you have cut down the wall thickness for the forward portion that would expand into the throat and rifling, is that correct? Did you use a lathe? I have to use commercial 308 brass to get reliable operation because the thicker military brass does not release from the rifling very easy and causes hangup. Please give a little more info on your fixture--looks like you have found the cure!

  8. #28
    Boolit Master


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    What I saw was a 3D printed jig that allowed the 308 brass to be held at the correct length and cut with the HF saw. Each cut piece was ejected by the next piece inserted. There was some kind of a detent pin that registered off the extractor groove.
    I can't find the video anymore.
    Anybody remember where it is?
    Information not shared. is wasted.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bama View Post
    The fixture looks like you have cut down the wall thickness for the forward portion that would expand into the throat and rifling, is that correct? Did you use a lathe? I have to use commercial 308 brass to get reliable operation because the thicker military brass does not release from the rifling very easy and causes hangup. Please give a little more info on your fixture--looks like you have found the cure!
    That one is actually for cutting down .223 brass to make .380 shotshells and yes before I made an insert to size them down I turned them in a lathe. Since no one had done .380 shot shells I wanted to make sure they ran before I did much work.

    I actually "cheated" a bit making the forming die too. I just took the guts out of a Lee powder die and installed the insert I machined. To form them.



    Much faster and the crimp looks a bit better but here is the difference between turned and formed .223.




    In any case (no pun intended) the fixtures are pretty much the same for both of them, to cut the length.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by jmorris; 06-28-2017 at 09:28 AM.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    X57 has a better taper and can be cut just short of cylinder length and fire-formed in cylinder with moon clips. 308 does not have enuf taper.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master bbs70's Avatar
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    Several years back I made some of these 45 shot shells for my 1911 out of 308 brass.
    The other day I decided to make some more to have on hand now that I live in the country.
    Refreshed my memory via YouTube on how to make them.
    Can't seem to get it done right though.

    Deprimed, cut down to recommended size, sized in 45 die,and used a 41 Mag die to size the neck down.
    But everytime I end up with a smashed 308 case.
    Tried different head stamped brass, grease, oil,and about everything else, but still get mashed brass.
    No, I'm not trying to size the whole thing, just a smidge on the case mouth.
    I know it can be done because I've done it before some years ago, but am getting mighty frustrated.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Boogieman's Avatar
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    Try sizing the 308 case down in your 41 mag die before trimming to length. I've never lost any cases forming that way.
    The 3 people a man must be able to trust completely are his gunsmith his doctor & his preacher ..,his gunsmith for his short term health ,his doctor for long term health ,and his preacher incase one of the others mess up.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master bbs70's Avatar
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    Well hell, after rechecking the cut down cases and making sure they were lubed I tried to make shot shell cases again from 308 brass.
    This time for some unknown reason it worked perfectly, only 1 smashed case out of 30.
    Don't know what I did differently, but this time it worked, must have held my tongue out wrong the first time.

  14. #34
    Boolit Master


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    Getting a 41 die for this project led to 2 41 pistols and 3 more molds. I'm having trouble finding time to make shotshells now. Is there no end to this maddness?
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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