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Thread: Looking to draw 45 acp brass into jackets

  1. #1
    Boolit Master

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    Looking to draw 45 acp brass into jackets

    I have a c&h 45 die set that I have made some bullets from 40 sw brass. I never really liked the way the base was formed but got in the game to late to take advantage of rce while he had jackets.


    My question is has anyone tried using a 451 lee bullet sizing die to draw a 45 acp case down to use as a 45 cal jacket. I know it need to be smaller than that but in looking for an off the shelf solution for the short term.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Richard had a draw set on the shelf for less than $100.00 shipped in mid Dec. Might give him a call. I've tried drawing .40S&W cases to .40 jacket size which is approximately the same reduction using a Lee die. Can be done but takes a whole lot of effort. RCE's set to draw 45acp takes a lot less effort but then .45 cases are a lot thinner too.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I will send him an email and see. I wish I would have got on board and bought more stuff before he retired.
    As for noe I was hoping for a quick fix till funds free up or I make one

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Go to your local plumbing supply or shop and ask for some 1/2" OD copper refrigeration tubing, M or L.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    They also should have sweat caps for 1/2" OD copper pipe.
    Last edited by Lead pot; 01-20-2020 at 08:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    I have thought about using copper tubing. I'm not setup yet to draw it.

    I also have tried 40sw brass for 45 cal bullets but have never been happy with the base

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    I've been using 45 acp cases to make 458" bullets. If your trying to make bullets for a 45 colt in the range of 300+ grains should be easy. If you want 45 acp bullets you'd be better off with the 40 S&W cases. I use the 40 case to make a nice 280g HP bullet for both 44 mag and 45 colt. Keep poking at it, you'll figure it out.
    Good Judgment comes from Experience, Experience comes from Bad Judgment !

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I'm looking to make bullets for the 450 bushmaster mainly

  8. #8
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    I have known about people making jackets from copper tubing for quite a while, but the expense of the tubing seems to be way too high to be practical. The tubing is over $1 per foot. Add I. The dies and itís a lot cheaper to buy bullets. Am I missing something?

    Here are some Corbin jackets that may be available:
    *. J-45-540 ------ 45 cal x .540 len., per 250 -------------------- 54.00
    * J-45-680 ------ 45 cal x .680 len., per 250 -------------------- 54.00
    * J-45-840 ------ 45 cal x .840 len., per 250 -------------------- 58.00
    Last edited by garandsrus; 01-21-2020 at 01:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Try machining the cartridge rim off the .40 S&W case. This'll leave the flash hole in the base which doesn't hurt a thing. The .40 case is thick enough to swage up to .452 and may yield a base that you'd be more satisfied with.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I made a size die that brings 45 autos to .448 diameter.
    If you don't have a lathe, a inexpensive, but time consuming way of making such a die is as simple as a lee bullet size die, .430 diameter, a wooden dowel, the end split with a hacksaw cut, and good ole emery cloth.

    Turn the die by rolling it on a soft surface, like your leg while watching vids.

    Turning the dowel, instead of the die will result in a out of round hole.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm not familiar with C&H, and I don't have a 450 BM so I'm not sure what weights you want. But when I make 458 bullets (w/ 45acp cases)the draw is fairly easy so I don't know why it cant be done. I've not tried to use lee sizers for the use you are suggesting and I'm not sure of the challenges you face trying that route (more than 1 draw ?) but I still think it can be done. Corbin's site has a ton of info if your willing to read and search a little, and BT Sniper always seems willing to answer questions when asked. Where there is a will, there is a way !
    Good Judgment comes from Experience, Experience comes from Bad Judgment !

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by nun2kute View Post
    I'm not familiar with C&H, and I don't have a 450 BM so I'm not sure what weights you want. But when I make 458 bullets (w/ 45acp cases)the draw is fairly easy so I don't know why it cant be done. I've not tried to use lee sizers for the use you are suggesting and I'm not sure of the challenges you face trying that route (more than 1 draw ?) but I still think it can be done. Corbin's site has a ton of info if your willing to read and search a little, and BT Sniper always seems willing to answer questions when asked. Where there is a will, there is a way !
    Yep right about challenges, I get that in one draw using a walnut hill press. And it does take some serious work on the handle.
    Drawing a .45 ACP from >.473 down to .448 would be much easier in two steps on a heavy duty reloading press.

    I'm making .451 diameter. With .458 being your finished size, working a lee.452 die until it sizes brass about .455 makes for much less work than a .429 to .448.
    To lazy to chase arrows.
    Clodhopper

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy tiger762's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmatchell View Post
    I have a c&h 45 die set that I have made some bullets from 40 sw brass. I never really liked the way the base was formed but got in the game to late to take advantage of rce while he had jackets.


    My question is has anyone tried using a 451 lee bullet sizing die to draw a 45 acp case down to use as a 45 cal jacket. I know it need to be smaller than that but in looking for an off the shelf solution for the short term.
    I have asked Lee for custom diameter sizers. Using a 451 sizer will be problematic. Due to springback, the jacket will probably be more like 0.456!!!

    For 45acp brass to be made into jackets for 451, I'd go with a 0.445 sizer and call it a day...

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    It is just not that hard to make a good (heavy) bullet from 40 S&W brass for .452 bores.

    These are 315 grain JHP's from a 2010 thread here on CB

    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_f9mZJsRJS54/S4...w/Swage45c.jpgClick image for larger version. 

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    You could go to 350 grains with more lead & a RN punch

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    I use Lee bullet sizing dies to make .458 jackets out of 45 ACP all the time. I use 44 (.430) soft cast bullets as the core.

    I see absolutely no reason why the jackets could not be swaged one more time down to .452, but I have not tried it. I don't know if an additional annealing step would be appropriate, but maybe someone else can comment.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I make jackets for my 41 mag using 40S&W cases. I bored a hole in a piece of all thread in 7/8x14 and reamed and polished it to 410. I fully anneal 40 S&W cases in a lead pot in the wood stove then push them through my home made sizer die. Not wanting to spend a fortune on real swaging dies I then push them into a 308 reloading sizer die until I get the mouth tipped in to a certain point. Then I heat the case and pour full of melted lead and squish the top flat before is solidifies. 270gr jacketed truncated cone bullets at almost no cost. Can do the same with 223 cases for my 358 rifles.
    The 40S&W cases size down fairly easy after annealing.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    rbuck - Would you explain how you do the "Squish" on the hot lead? How consistent are the finished weights of your completed bullets?

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I make a shell holder that is just flat on top and another piece of 7/8 x 14 all thread faced flat on one end. Install the all thread and shell holder in the press adjusted to just kiss the top of the preformed case. I then fire up my Lee bottom pour pot and set a row of formed cases around the rim to heat up. When all is hot, use pliers to hold a case to overfill a bit with lead. Quickly set it on the shell holder and raise it to the top to squish the top flat with the mouth of the case. Theyare probably not as close as bullets swaged with real swage dies. They run from 169.5 grs to 170.5grs. To make sure they are consistant from batch to batch you should set aside a nose forming die with the lock ring locked. I made a punch to push the brass into an extra 308 die with the decapper rod removed and then knock them out with a punch. I think I will chop the bottom of the die off enough to be able to use a shell holder to push them in and remove them. Same set up works for making 358 bullets from 223 cases except use a 300H&H or 22jet sizer for forming a longer less steep nose on the bullet.
    Anyway, cheap homemade hot core bullets.

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    That's an innovative way of accomplishing the task, and it appeals to my DIY attitude about doing things. I think a variance of 1 grain is outstanding. My 45 shellholder still grabs the rim a little bit on my .458 cases, so I would already have that part ready.

    Have you thought about or tried using the all-thread to make a point forming die to finish things off when the lead has cooled?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Hadn't really thought about it but for the rifle it sounds like a good idea. In the 41, I think the flat nose is probably the way to go. I retired in 2016 and we moved to MT. Since then I haven't had a lot of time to play with any fun projects. My wife has kept me pretty busy rebuilding her perfect retirement home to how she really wants it. Last year I had a 40x60 metal building delivered (in pieces) for my shop. Until that is set up, I don't have near enough room to get all my loading gear and shop equipment set up. I haven't even had time to shoot any of the 358s to see how they shoot.
    I'm thinking 5.7 x 28 would make good 308/312 bullets with little effort or expense but too many ideas and not near enough time.

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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