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Thread: loading 45 colt

  1. #1

    Default loading 45 colt

    i have some 45 colt brass that was loaded as cowboy/practice loads from the manufacturer. i believe they had a velocity somewhere around 900fps, and were flat nosed lead. the brass have a crimp or some type of indentation around the case about 1/3 down from the rim.
    my question is: can these cases be loaded with fmj bullets and run at higher velocities/pressures? my concern is that ring around the case being a weak point and causing a problem at higher pressures. i haven't sized them or anything yet, but it doesn't look like that indentation will be removed with the sizing die.
    thanks for any feedback.
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  2. #2
    Member gunbugs's Avatar
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    Jul 2007


    The cannelure is of no concern. Load them as you wish. It is only there to prevent the projectile from being pushed back into the case during recoil in a tubular magazine, or other circumstance that puts rearward pressure on the loaded cartridge. I've never seem a case failure at the cannelure, and have loaded 1,000's of cases like that without any problem.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

  3. #3


    Agreed. If indeed those were standard vel/standard pressure loads, you can get many loads out of them. The biggest area of failure with multiple reloads is cracking at the case mouth. That can be prevented with occasional annealing along with minimal crimping. Put heavy crimps on as is required with slower powders, heavier bullets or hot loads, and you better be annealing often if you want the cases to last. I always look closely at all case mouths for the slightest sign of cracking. A cracked case needs to pling its way into the trash can, but it's also another sign that you need to anneal the remainder of the case lots before any more loading.

    I can't recall how many years it's been since I fired a hot load in a 45. If I want hot loads, I switch to 454 and no apologies. My typical 45 load is a 250/255 grain bullet on top of enough Unique to push it around 750 fps. With those loads and regular annealing, I'm getting close to 20 shots from cases before discarding. Pretty good economics along with shooting less powder, and casting my own bullets from lead I recover from the backstop. Right in the range of what most 22LRs cost.

    Smacked a whole lot of deer out to 50 yards with that load over the last 40 years. They drop nicely. Never needed a second shot, and never had one go more than 20 yards after the shot. I simply don't have any need for hot 45 Colt loads. But I'm a geezer waaaaaay out of fashion.

  4. #4


    thanks for the responses! loaded em up and shot em with big fat grin on my face. thanks!


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