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45 ACP for Flattop/Vaquero

This is a discussion on 45 ACP for Flattop/Vaquero within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; So I'm just starting to load some 45 ACP for my Flattop and New Vaquero convertibles, and I'm running into some problems. The bullet I'm ...


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Old March 6th, 2017, 04:46 PM   #1
 
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45 ACP for Flattop/Vaquero

So I'm just starting to load some 45 ACP for my Flattop and New Vaquero convertibles, and I'm running into some problems.
The bullet I'm using is the 200 grain RNFP from Lee. I've been using this same bullet in my 45 Colt loads out of these same two guns with no problems.
For the ACP, I'm loading to an OAL of 1.225" and the problem I'm having is the loaded rounds will not fully seat into the cylinder, at least not without some extra force. I thought my bullets might be a little over sized, so I bought a Lee .452" sizing die, but that didn't help much. The round is about .125" from going all the way in. The empty brass goes in fine, even with the mouth expanded, so it seems the bullet in the issue.
I've heard of plenty of people using this bullet for the ACP, but most of what I've read has been in connection with use in auto's (go figure). Anyone use this bullet in your revolvers? Whats the secret to your success?



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Old March 6th, 2017, 04:55 PM   #2
 
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Have you thought about seating your bullet just a tad deeper so it will seat better in the cylinder??
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Old March 6th, 2017, 05:03 PM   #3
 
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I have thought about seating deeper and I may still try that, but I want to stay with published data as much as possible. I have seen data that shows shorter OAL so I may start moving in that direction, but based on how far the round sticks out of the cylinder, I'm not sure if I should be making all of that up with pushing the bullet deeper. Doesn't that raise concerns about increased pressure?
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Old March 6th, 2017, 05:42 PM   #4
 
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If you are having trouble with loaded rounds chambering but an empty case chambers OK, the ogive of the bullet is probably encountering the chamber mouth in the cylinder.. There are a couple of fixes for this, the easiest being to just seat the bullet a little deeper until it chambers properly. Unless you are loading to absolute max, this shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck!

Last edited by scattershot; March 6th, 2017 at 05:44 PM.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 06:07 PM   #5
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Hopefully you are not roll crimping those bullets. Too heavy of a roll crimp will cause the problem you mentioned. Should use a taper crimp die and the case mouth should be around .470 to .472.
If your crip is ok, then you will need to seat the bullet deeper until it will fully chambers. Those specs you mentioned concerning overall length of the cartridge are a average guide to go by and seating a few thousand shorter will not harm anything.
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Old March 6th, 2017, 06:25 PM   #6
 
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Thanks for the quick feedback everyone. As for crimping, I'm use a taper crimp die from Lee. Between your responses and some reading I've been doing elsewhere it looks like shorter is the answer. I've seen several people saying they need to seat this particular bullet all the way down to 1.10". All I'm looking for are some light loads for plinking/cowboy action shooting, so I won't be working anywhere near max loads.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 10:13 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haywood View Post
Thanks for the quick feedback everyone. As for crimping, I'm use a taper crimp die from Lee. Between your responses and some reading I've been doing elsewhere it looks like shorter is the answer. I've seen several people saying they need to seat this particular bullet all the way down to 1.10". All I'm looking for are some light loads for plinking/cowboy action shooting, so I won't be working anywhere near max loads.
Haywood, I seat that type bullet to 1.190" for my 1911 & it works well for me.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 10:32 AM   #8
 
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One of the guru's here stated that the 45 single action Rugers are prone to having undersized chambers. I know all mine did. I bought a reamer from Brownells and that took care of the problem. The quick check was to take a bullet and see if pushes through. If not reaming the chambers is the trick. Will also lower chamber pressure.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 12:27 PM   #9
 
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Mine has nice tight chambers , unless I size cast bullets to .451 they will not fully chamber. If sized .452 they will almost , but not quite fully seat. Be sure and use a good taper crimp along with the .451 sized bullets.
Jacketed bullets , sized .451 of course, give no problems.
The upside to the snug chambers is extended case life, they don't expand much and can be reloaded many times. And the accuracy in mine is great. In fact it's the most accurate 45 acp I own now !
Size those bullets .451 and carry on.
Gary

Last edited by gwpercle; March 7th, 2017 at 12:29 PM.
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Old March 7th, 2017, 12:46 PM   #10
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Haywood, I don't think "shorter" is the right answer. I think you have tight cylinder throats, which are very common in all Ruger 45 cal revolvers.

Try this .... remove your cylinder then try to push one of your bullets through the cylinder's throat by starting with the bullet going nose first into the front of each hole. The bullets should move through all throats with just slight finger pressure. If they have to be forced through the throats, it's obvious your throats need to be reamed. Looking inside your cylinder's chambers ..... you will see a "stop" that contacts the case mouth. This is for proper headspacing and the make sure the cartridges don't seat too deep in the chamber. The diameter of the throat starts just after the "stop" and should be the same on the inside as it is on the outside. This means if your throats are too tight, your bullets will contact the throats, thus not allowing the cartridge to fully seat.

Nearly all higher quality jacketed bullets measure .451" in diameter. It is not unusual for throat diameters to measure .448". If you use .452" lead bullets, the throats are even tighter. This is very bad because it will increase chamber pressure and will eventually result in excessive cylinder endshake .... meantime accuracy suffers. The solution is quite simple .... either buy a reamer or pay someone to ream the throats to .4525".

I posted a document in theFforum Library over 7 years ago that shows you how to ream throats. Here's a link: http://rugerforum.net/library/18570-...hamfering.html

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Old March 8th, 2017, 09:54 AM   #11
 
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Thanks again for all the replies. I've often seen references to Rugers having tight throats, but I didn't want to believe this would be true of my Flattop and NV since I had also read that they supposedly were coming out correctly from the factory now. Anyway, it seems that its time to cast some pure lead bullets and start slugging the bore and throats in preparation for reaming.
Thank you Lowegan for the link to the reaming instructions. Is there anything to be aware of, or extra cautious about with a stainless cylinder? Should the 45 Colt and 45 ACP cylinders both be reamed to .4525?

Last edited by Haywood; March 8th, 2017 at 11:17 AM.
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Old March 9th, 2017, 11:31 AM   #12
 
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I did both cylinders for my two conversion 45's. When you do it cut the rimmed end off a case and use that in the camber for a guide so the reamer stays straight. Not a big deal just go slow.
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Old March 9th, 2017, 12:39 PM   #13
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Haywood, I reamed both cylinders for my 45 cal Blackhawk. The 45 ACP cylinder was acceptable for jacketed .451" bullets but not for lead .452" bullets. The 45 Colt cylinder was way too tight for jacketed or lead.

Ruger cylinders are cast and ream fairly easy. There's no discernable difference between blued or stainless. S&W cylinders are a different story. They are forged and are very difficult to ream.

You might want to consider a 11 deg forcing cone too. It helps accuracy and bore fouling when using lead bullets.

In my opinion, slugging a bore is a fruitless procedure. Likely you won't have a set of shims to cover the slug so the micrometer won't bite into the soft lead. Further, you need to measure with a micrometer accurate to .0001" .... not a caliper accurate to .001". Of course there are exceptions for factory defects or guns that are pretty much wore out .... but after slugging many Ruger bores, I can tell you I've never seen one that was off by more than a half a thousandth. So what I do is rely on the factory's compliance with SAAMI specs then use .452" lead bullets where the hardness is matched to chamber pressure. This forces a bullet to expand and form a tight seal in the bore .... even if the bore is slightly oversized. Once you get your cylinder(s) reamed to .4525", you will be amazed how well your gun will shoot. Here's another document that I posted in the Forum Library that may help you understand the relationship between the cylinder, bore, bullet diameter, and bullet hardness. It's titled "Lead Bullets and Revolvers". Here's a link: http://rugerforum.net/library/19869-...revolvers.html
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