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Thread: Cowboy Dies for .45 Long Colt

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Cowboy Dies for .45 Long Colt

    Hui:

    I am looking at loading for the .45 Long Colt and would like an opinion on what dies are the best or dose it make any difference as to what brand you buy?.

    Thanks,

    Terrytm

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    RCBS Cowboy dies work great.

    But if you come across a set of RCBS .4C55 MkII dies they will work well to also load not only .455s, but the shorter .45 Cowboy Special cases and .45 Auto Rim as well as being able to be backed off for .45 Schofield and .45 Colt.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I like the RCBS dies, but people make plenty of good ammo with Lee or Hornady. I just happened to start loading pistol with RCBS dies and have stuck with them.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master bdicki's Avatar
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    Cowboy dies have a larger expander for lead bullets.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've reloaded many .45 Colt rounds with the Lee 4 die set.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I just started reloading for my SAA clone in 45 Colt about 18 months ago. I started using my plain old Lee die set. I had no trouble except it is easier to seat oversize bullets (.453") with my RCBS Cowboy die set. It comes with 2 expanding stems and the seating die body seems to be slightly larger ID...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    When I started loading for .45c, I bought a lee 4 die set. They worked good. Now, I use the lee sizing die, a lyman m die expander, then comes the powder thru die. I don’t use this to expand anything. It has a funnel on top to drop the powder from my chargemaster. Then, I use the lee seating die, and crimp with a redding profile crimp die. So I am all over the place, but it works for me. The rcbs cowboy dies are sometimes hard to find, but that is what I would get, if I had to start over.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master

    mdi's Avatar
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    Sounds like my bench! I also use 3 different die maker's stuff for my 44 Mag and 45 ACP. I use a Redding Profile crimp for my 44 but also use Lee's collet crimp, depending on the bullet and how I feel...
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  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master


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    Agree
    I mostly build die sets
    I will buy 2, 3, or 4 die sets to throw on a turret, but have have a lot of Redding Profile and Lee Collet dies, Redding taper crimp and Lee Factory crimp - use the FCD with jacketed bullets in semi-auto hanguns. Like RCBS and Dillion dies. Like CH4D dies. Mix and match. How a few sets of RCBS Cowboy dies and small base dies. A few Dillion carbide rifle dies.....
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  10. #10
    Boolit Mold drjjpdc's Avatar
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    I would get the RCBS cowboy die set and forget about it. The 3 pc die set covers any surprise that might come up. I am not the typical CB member. I don't like to fuss around with how to do something.
    "And some like two guns. But one's all you need if you can use it..." - Shane

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 1bluehorse's Avatar
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    Hornady also makes a "cowboy" die set for 45 colt, 357mag, and 44mag. I have each and they do a good job with their larger diameters when using "oversize" cast bullets. They are a tall die though if that is a concern. They also have an "interesting" (read different) way of adjustment. I also use regular RCBS dies with good results. They cost more than "regular" die sets and I'm not convinced they make THAT much difference in performance. Handy though.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I have both RCBS and Dillon

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Petander's Avatar
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    I got an RCBS carbide set for 500 S&W to support my very tight Redding steel dies today. Redding is very good with jacketed for my gun.

    Very positive surprise, RCBS came with two seating stems AND is noticeably more "cowboy" than Redding. Means wider,better for oversize cast. I can flare and seat much easier now. Redding seater works the whole round smaller like a taper crimp now I use it for the final crimp only. It also makes sure that the rounds chamber.

    And the RCBS sizer has a long decapping pin so I can "neck size" and decap at once now,without using a separate decapper.

    I would buy RCBS cowboy and I even might get those for 45-70, Hornady seater sleeve is a bit tight,too...

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    Hi:

    Thanks for all the help.

    Terryt

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    45ACP dies work well for .45S&W and are supposed to work for .45spl.
    I have Lyman, RCBS & Redding die sets for .45Colt, .45ACP & .45 Auto Rim, respectively. And an old Lachmiller set I use for .45S&W.

    A single Lyman 4 die set in .45ACP can be used to load all these calibers. If you don't mind adjusting your die set, every time.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    it depends what machine you want to load them with. If single stage, get a three die set, if progressive, get a 3 die set. That might sound confusing, because it IS!

    The rcbs cowboy set is a non progressive set.

    I use the Dillon set, because I load 45 colt on my progressives.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    45ACP dies work well for .45S&W and are supposed to work for .45spl.
    I have Lyman, RCBS & Redding die sets for .45Colt, .45ACP & .45 Auto Rim, respectively. And an old Lachmiller set I use for .45S&W.

    A single Lyman 4 die set in .45ACP can be used to load all these calibers. If you don't mind adjusting your die set, every time.
    How do you use 45acp to load 45 colt? That makes no sense to me.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew P View Post
    How do you use 45acp to load 45 colt? That makes no sense to me.
    The sizing ring is in the bottom of the die so will size them both for modern colt or acp specs the other dies are adjusted up for the long case. Depending on you gun and bullet choice you may want a different neck expander and crimp die and possibly sizer , 45 colt has had a long life and there are many variables in the guns

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    Me too! I have the RCBS Cowboy set. But I use my regular RCBS .45 set, too, so I can seat and crimp in two steps with using two dies. I'm all serious bidness with my 45 Colts.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwtim View Post
    Me too! I have the RCBS Cowboy set. But I use my regular RCBS .45 set, too, so I can seat and crimp in two steps with using two dies. I'm all serious bidness with my 45 Colts.
    I ordered the RCBS cowboy expander to supplement an older carbide set. It works GREAT for my .452+ cast boolits! Then I use a Redding profile crimp to finish them off.
    hc18flyer

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
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