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Thread: 45 Cowboy Special Now Available

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

    Ickisrulz's Avatar
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    45 Cowboy Special Now Available

    There was some discussion on here about 45 Cowboy Special brass. At that time new brass was not available. Starline is now making and selling this stuff.

    https://www.starlinebrass.com/brass-...owboy-Special/

    From the Starline site:

    "The Cowboy .45 Special is a case that is optimized for use with light loads in .45 Colt caliber revolvers for Cowboy Action Shooting. Light loads with excessive airspace are a recipe for case splits and erratic function. By using the Cowboy .45 Special case, with its .45 Colt rim and .45 Auto length, the problem no longer exists. While many claim that .45 Auto load data can be used in this caliber, it is important to realize the limitations of the firearm it is chambered in and only use loads that fall within the pressure range of that firearm. Generally these can be loaded using .45 Colt dies and a modified (shortened) crimp die, or .45 Auto Rim roll crimp die."

  2. #2
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    So what's the difference between this and .45 auto rim? Not being a smart ***, I have never seen either and it looks like a good plinking case for a .45 Colt revolver..

    Would it be the thickness of the rim?
    Last edited by Tom W.; 09-08-2017 at 12:40 PM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom W. View Post
    So what's the difference between this and .45 auto rim? Not being a smart ***, I have never seen either and it looks like a good plinking case for a .45 Colt revolver..

    Would it be the thickness of the rim?
    The .45 Cowboy Special rim is .060", .45 Auto Rim is .089," .455 Colt is .039"
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom W. View Post
    So what's the difference between this and .45 auto rim? Not being a smart ***, I have never seen either and it looks like a good plinking case for a .45 Colt revolver..

    Would it be the thickness of the rim?
    I have seen neither the CS or AR case. I have no idea what the differences in measurement are. But, from what I understand the 45AR will not fit into a Ruger Blackhawk convertible unless the cylinder is modified. The CS will fit.

    I am not advocating for the 45CS case, just letting people know it is available.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    The Cowboy Special case is a 45 ACP body with a 45 Colt rim. Or a 45 Colt case, made to match the length of the 45 ACP/AR.

    You can't make one by shortening a 45 Colt case, because the case walls in the resulting neck area would be too thick. You can't make one by thinning a 45 AR case from the front of the rim, because the rear of the Auto Rim head is heavily chamfered.

  6. #6
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    The 45 Cowboy SPL is best suited for use in a 45 ACP cylinder for SAAs. The 45 ACP cylinder for my Uberti "Evil Roy" 45 Colt has .452 throats and shoots very accurately with a myrid of .451/.452 cast bullets. I trimmed some Starline 45 Schofield cases back to 45 ACP/45 Webly aol and they work perfectly. Were I shooting a lot of SASS competition I would definately get the new Starline 45 Cowboy SPL cases as they perform much better with the minimal SASS loads than does reduced loads in the larger 45 Colt case, especially with 160 - 200 gr cast bullets.

    The 45 Cowboy SPL case load just fine on my Dillon SDB using the 45 Colt shell plate and the SDB 45 ACP dies. I can also use the 45 a 45 Colt shell plate and standard 45 ACP dies in my 550B. A 45 Colt shell holder and standard 45 ACP dies will do just fine on other presses. With minimal SASS legal loads no more need for a rollcrimp. Just a normal 45 ACP taper crimp works quite well.
    Last edited by Larry Gibson; 09-08-2017 at 03:41 PM.
    Larry Gibson

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  7. #7
    I have used Starline Schofield brass in my .45 Colt's and it works great. I imagine the .45 Special brass would be just a little shorter than the Schofield brass with very similar rim dimensions

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The .45 Cowboy brass works great in the Ruger NM Blackhawk Convertible .45 ACP cylinder.

    It gives better accuracy in the ACP cylinder than firing the same short ammo in the .45 Colt cylinder which has a longer "jump."

    I load 4 grains of Bullseye with Saeco #954 230-grain bullet for 700 fps in 4-5/8" barrel.
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  9. #9
    These work perfect in a Taurus 445 which is there 45acp version of the Tracker which has the exact same headspace between the cylinder and recoil shield as there .45Long Colt Tracker.

    While the 445 requires moon clips to eject 45acp shells correctly the 45 Cowboy Specials can be loaded one at a time and ejected like a regular revolver without moon clips.

    45AR rims would be too thick. These may also work in the S&W 25 and 625 45acp revolvers.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    They DO NOT work in the US M1917 S&W .45 Hand Ejector or S&W Model 25 or 625.

    Those revolvers all have .090" cylinder head clearance for the .45 ACP case plus the moon clip, or the .45 Auto Rim case.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nueces View Post
    The Cowboy Special case is a 45 ACP body with a 45 Colt rim. Or a 45 Colt case, made to match the length of the 45 ACP/AR.

    You can't make one by shortening a 45 Colt case, because the case walls in the resulting neck area would be too thick. You can't make one by thinning a 45 AR case from the front of the rim, because the rear of the Auto Rim head is heavily chamfered.
    Actually, you can make them from a .45 Colt case. I've done it. It is a real PITA. But now that Starline is marketing their own (Starline made the previous batches for clients who re-sold it)at a reasonable price, I won't have to go down that road. Many say you have to use .45 Colt resizing dies, but I've had success using .45 ACP dies with a .45 Colt shell plate in my 550B.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    I had a batch of .45 Cowboy Special brass from a different project when I got my Ruger SS Bisley .45 ACP/.45 Colt Convertible. I determined that the headspace was correct for my .45 ACP cylinder and have used those cases with bullets that required a good roll crimp with excellent results. I believe I reported same on the forum some years ago.

    Now, that they are readily available direct from Starline, it makes them all the more useful.

    Ikisrulz;
    Thanks for the heads-up!

    FWIW
    Dale53

  13. #13
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    Thanks for the heads up, Ickisrulz, I ordered a hatful of cases from Starline.

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    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the post. I've been waiting for these to become available and I didn't notice that they had them now.

    Perhaps some who load these for SASS could post some of the "typical" lighter loads they use in these cases along with the boolit / boolit profile / boolit weight? I'm going to order some to use in my Uberit Cattleman and it would be nice to have some safe starting loads. Thanks!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    bbb, CS cases have the same capacity as 45 ACP, so those starting loads will work. Some manuals may start ACP loads higher than you want, so that they'll function an autoloader, so you could check Auto Rim loads, too.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ickisrulz View Post
    There was some discussion on here about 45 Cowboy Special brass. At that time new brass was not available. Starline is now making and selling this stuff.

    https://www.starlinebrass.com/brass-...owboy-Special/

    From the Starline site:

    ".Light loads with excessive airspace are a recipe for case splits and erratic function. By using the Cowboy .45 Special case, with its .45 Colt rim and .45 Auto length, the problem no longer exists. ."
    And to think for decades we used 2.7 gr of Bullseye in a .38 Spl case with top notch accuracy to 50 yards and almost unlimited case life. ( BTW, I have .38 cases that have been loaded well over 20 times). I guess we did not know better.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    It is good news that 45 Cowboy Special brass is available directly from Starline. Following on what others have said, it is just a 45 ACP case drawn on a 45 Colt head.

    I use it in two 45 ACP cylinders in two SA revolvers. One is a Ruger and the other is a USPtdFA. The rims are much thinner than the Auto Rim rims and will give proper headspace and function perfectly in these revolvers. They allow you to disregard the headspace shelf in the front of these chambers and roll crimp the cases in the proper groove of the bullet.

    I use these cases to load good old 452423 over 4.5 grains of Bulleye. This load has plenty of thump and shoots to the sights of the fixed sighted revolver which was made for the 45 Colt. I have retired the 45 Colt cylinder in the USPtdFA with it's .457 throats and use the 45 ACP cylinder with it's .453 throats. Quantum leap forward in accuracy with about the same power.

    When you get a new batch of these cases and intend to use them in 45 ACP cylinders, run them through a FL sizer first and they come a smidge larger for the 45 Colt cylinder.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedbugbilly View Post
    Thanks for the post. I've been waiting for these to become available and I didn't notice that they had them now.

    Perhaps some who load these for SASS could post some of the "typical" lighter loads they use in these cases along with the boolit / boolit profile / boolit weight? I'm going to order some to use in my Uberit Cattleman and it would be nice to have some safe starting loads. Thanks!
    Any .45 acp load will work. I'm using 3.5 gr. of Trailboss behind a 200 grn RNFP or 200 grn Semi-wadcutter.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Think these will feed in a Marlin 1894? For plinking a few extra rounds in the tube is a nice bonus.

  20. #20
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    A good bet that they will not feed in an OEM Marlin. However, there are a few CAS smiths that can make a Marlin run at top speed with short or long empty cases, so a Marlin can be made to work with the CS round.

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