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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:? I recently aquired an old (but in like new condition) set of 45 ACP shotshell reloading dies, made by RCBS. Does anyone have any information on these, such as load data, and what materials to use? What's best to use to cover the shot, and what brass do I use, etc.
Thanks for any info.
 

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I almost remember an article in "Shooting Times" or other such magazine on .45 shot shells. Maybe it was in an old "Gun Digest?" Back issues of "Handloader" might reveal some info. Lastly, try contacting RCBS.

If I remember correctly, the process used cut down .308 brass to start with, and the finished round had a shoulder to headspace on. Don't remember the loads, but I think they used cut-to-length .410 wads.

If I get a chance I'll check my back issues of Handloader and GD. Might have some info in the "Gun Digest Book of the .45."
 

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.45 Shotshells

The RCBS .45 ACP Shotshell dies are mentioned in an article “Shot Loads for Big Bore Handguns” in Handloader’s Digest, 11th edition. The procedures outlined, credited to C. E. Harris of the NRA Technical Staff, use various .45 ACP, .41 Mag, and .38 dies, but said that the RCBS die set speeds up production.

Basic procedures:

Cut a .243, .308, or .358 rifle case to 1.250, and trim to 1.180.

Size and decap in a .45 ACP die, do not expand.

Neck size in a .41 die to establish a shoulder. The shoulder should be located so the base of the brass is even with the barrel tang. The shoulder sets the headspace, and too much will lead to misfires.

Prime (The table showed a CCI 300).

Powder charge with 6.0 grains of Unique.

Trim a .410 wad to 11/16 inches and insert.

Add 90 grains (approx) of shot.

Set a .38 gas check skirt down, and lightly crimp with the .38 die.

The text said 6.0 of WW 231 would also work, and that a paper overshot wad could be used in lieu of the gas check. You can make an over shot wad using a sharp-mouthed case. It indicated the .45 ACP shot shell was the most difficult of the cartridges in the article to make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ahh, thanks much Bob K. I'll try those instructions. The wads were the main thing I was unsure of; I figured it had to be .308 brass or something similar.
 

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I know you already have the set of dies, But if you are looking for 45 shot shells it might be just as easy to use the speer shot cups. They don't hold alot of shot but should work ok for snakes.
 

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The advantage of the RCBS dies/reformed .308 cases vs the Speer shot caps is the shot shells made with the reformed cases will cycle the pistol, but the Speer shot caps will not.
 

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You might check out the Harbor Freight Mini Cutoff Saw for shortening those cases; they only run $30. After rigging an adjustable stop, I found it the best tool for that job I have seen. Gives nice clean cuts that only vary a couple of thous. Lets me skip the trim step on shortened cases.

I would suggest that if you get one, you take a break every 50 cases or so. It's not built for heavy production work and tends to heat if run hard for a long time.
 
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