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Thread: 45 colt dies??

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    45 colt dies??

    Currently using a carbide die set for my 45 Colt sized .454 in a Bisley Blackhawk. The sizing die is doing its job WAY too well. I have been reading on here about people using steel dies for their 45c.
    I am a little confused (I am blonde) as to what specific set I need. Again, I am sizing to .454. Do I need just a steel sizing die or the whole set? M die (what is that?). Brand name? Please tell me exactly what I need.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    The 45 Colt actally is a tapered case. Thuse using a carbice die to FL size with results in sizing the bottom 2/3rds of the case too much. many back the carbide sizer out to just NS the cases to the depth of a seated bullet. Redding does make a 45 Colt carbide die that sizes for a taper but it is quite spendy. I have a Dillon SDB I load on but have removed the carbide sizer as it also over sized the cases as did the Hornady FL carbide sizer. I was NSing with the Hornady carbide sizer in my single stage press and then finish loading on the SDB progressive. However I now use an RCBS steel sizer in the single stage press that FL sizes the case correctly. Once all the cases are sized and lube cleaned off I then finish loading on the SDB progressive. Not any real hassle or problem.

    A standard set of steel RCBS dies will serve you well. You do have to lube the cases. The "M" die is the middle die; the case mouth expander die.
    Larry Gibson

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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    Currently using a carbide die set for my 45 Colt sized .454 in a Bisley Blackhawk.
    Have the cylinder throats been reamed do you know? If they are stock throats never been worked on, chances are you are sizing to .454" but the boolits will exit the front of the cylinder at throat diameter which could be .4505" or .451" or even .449" see if one of your boolits will go into the throat from the front with finger pressure..
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
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    The cylinder throats have been reamed to.4525. Forcing cone reamed 11 deg. Bore slugs at .450, cylinder throats slugs at .4525.
    Last edited by Schreck5; 09-11-2017 at 08:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Should I be using a.452 bullet?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Nope .453. Actually if your barrel is .450 × 445 then .452 will be fine .

    Keep an eye out , it only took me 6 yr to luck into set of steel dies .
    The neck sizing worked out well for me . It is more consistent in the carbines also as they have oversized chambers .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

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  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harter66 View Post
    Nope .453. Actually if your barrel is .450 × 445 then .452 will be fine .

    Keep an eye out , it only took me 6 yr to luck into set of steel dies .
    The neck sizing worked out well for me . It is more consistent in the carbines also as they have oversized chambers .
    So my .454 cast boolit is too big? Hope not, really like that Mihec mold.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Here is what you need. 1951 RCBS in 45 Colt.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCBS-45-COLT...53.m1438.l2649
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Harter66's Avatar
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    Probably not it's just a lot of action sizing that happens .
    Lee push through sizers are in expensive . Start with a .451 and lap it up to a fat 452 .
    In the time of darkest defeat,our victory may be nearest. Wm. McKinley.

    I was young and stupid then I'm older now. Me 1992

    About that rally point, the soap and mail boxes fall on blind eyes and deaf ears,the ballot box is manipulated,it would seem we are fast running out options....

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Redding makes a two step a carbide 45 Colt die that works well.

    http://www.redding-reloading.com/onl...g-carbide-dies
    Last edited by M-Tecs; 09-11-2017 at 10:34 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    Here is what you need. 1951 RCBS in 45 Colt.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCBS-45-COLT...53.m1438.l2649
    Exactly the info I needed. I really do need things spelled out for me sometimes. I think my thinker doesn't work too good anymore!

  12. #12
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  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    So the guts of a steel sizing die are also shaped diffrent than the carbide ? any suggested reading ??

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  15. #15
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    ............A couple of years ago I bought a used S&W M25-5 revolter, and was mentioning to my pal 9.3x62Al that the accuracy didn't seem to be up to par. As an aside I have an old model Ruger stainless Vaquero, a Rossi M92 rifle and a Miroku M92 rifle in the same caliber. So Al's first comment was, "What dies are you using"?

    I was using a set of Lee carbide dies. He said, "Ya-know, the 45 Colt is NOT a straight case?" Of course I didn't know that. He said that I needed a set of steel dies. I went to Graf & Son and at that time they had Redding steel dies for the 45 Colt on sale. So I bought a set. Upon their arrival, and putting them into my 45 Colt die box I realized That I also already had on hand a set of RCBS steel dies for the 45 Colt Don't know WHERE they came from, but they were dated 1977.



    The above photo is self explanatory. With the Lee carbide dies and expanding for a .454" slug the case looks like a Boa Constrictor that had swallowed a Volkswagen. I kept the old RCBS dies and sold the Reddings (I liked the longer neck sizing of the RCBS dies) to a friend.

    The mentioned Rossi Levergun has an overly generous chamber, so the steel RCBS dies seated out to only partially size do a MUCH better job then the Lee Carbide set I'd been using.



    The above photo was taken when the only 45 Colt I had was the Vaquero. The Rossi levergun will easily chamber the round with the 340 gr Lee sized to .457". Oddly enough with it's 32" twist it shoots them very well, which seems odd. It bore is very tight at with .446" lands and a .450" groove (yup, grooves only .002" deep). A fired case will easily pass a slug sized at .458".

    This Steel die VS carbide die stuff is fairly new to me (Thanks AL) and I have not shot the M25 Smith with the steel die sized brass yet, and I have 150 rounds loaded for it (15 different loads).



    I had been fighting a similar problem some years ago with a rifle in 40-65 (above). So I ginned up a 'Neck Only, size die" for it, below:



    This way all I had to size was the neck, and left the majority of the body alone. I may make up one specifically for the M92 Rossi x 45 Colt as even the RCBS size die sizes the area ahead of the rim a bit too much. Maybe I should simply re=barrel it?

    .................Buckshot
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    Should I be using a.452 bullet?
    Yes you should be using .452". Lee makes .452" push through sizers as the default size for 45 caliber, should be an easy one to find anywhere.

    Also don't recommend on sizing larger because all you will do is raise pressures since the boolit will be swaged down to throat diameter before it leaves the cylinder anyway, and if you have much of your boolit sitting proud of the case mouth, then how is a .453" boolit going to enter a .4525" throat? You will run into interference sizing larger than the throat if the driving band can't go into the throat.

    If you size to .452" and load a bunch of ammo, in the months it spends sitting on a shelf in an ammo box, or the months that sized boolits lie in wait of handloading, they can grow as they age harden, and you come back later and measure them with a mic and discover they are actually .0003" to .0006" bigger than when you sized them, you will need that extra room in the cylinder throat so your ammo will chamber in the cylinder.

    I do not recommend lapping a 451" when .452" is plentiful, these dies are case hardened and can be a real bear to lap and polish. Yeah there will be suggestions to use a dowel and abrasive paper, etc, but why when you can buy the .452" for less than $25 and a factory one will always be better than a lapped one unless you use a Sunnen hone.

    If your barrel slugs to .450" I would suggest you may have a slight thread choke where the barrel meets the frame, -OR- you are using calipers to take these measurements and not a micrometer. Ruger 45 barrels have been .451" in the groove for years and years. You can tightly patch a cleaning jag with paper towel or cloth patch and push it down a clean bore, if you feel the jag get tighter where the barrel meets the frame, you are feeling thread choke.
    Got a .22 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zymguy View Post
    So the guts of a steel sizing die are also shaped diffrent than the carbide ? any suggested reading ??
    I have no idea about what you should read. I started reloading the 45 Colt round before there were such things as carbide sizing dies. The older dies produced a finish sized case that had a slight taper to it and was larger than the ones produced by the later carbide dies.

    The larger case will produce great accuracy, as it hold the bullet in better alignment as it enters the cylinder throat.

    The asserted advantage of a carbide die is that it require no lubrication. This may be important to some folks, but not to me.
    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 Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schreck5 View Post
    Exactly the info I needed. I really do need things spelled out for me sometimes. I think my thinker doesn't work too good anymore!
    Those dies were a little high in price. They were made in the 3rd. year of RCBS die production. These old dies usually go for about $25 - $30 a set. Three months ago I saw a set for sale on Ebay for $15.00 plus shipping. I don't need them, but could not resist the purchase. They turned out to be NIB 1963 RCBS dies.

    FYI ---- RCBS began production in 1949 with the date/letter code of "A". 1950 was "B" and so on until they switched to the last two digits of the year date. The box end label of the year dated dies has the date on it, but the numbers are reversed.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

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