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45 Colt Chamber Size

This is a discussion on 45 Colt Chamber Size within the Ruger Single Action forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; Has anyone experienced differences in 45Colt cylinders in Blackhawks or Vaqueros? At my shop, I taught several older men how to reload. I purchased a ...


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Old October 1st, 2009, 04:43 AM   #1
 
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45 Colt Chamber Size

Has anyone experienced differences in 45Colt cylinders in Blackhawks or Vaqueros? At my shop, I taught several older men how to reload. I purchased a Dillon Square Deal reloading press set up for 45 Colt. In the process I use when teaching, I use a case dimension gauge to check each completed cartridge. My reloads drop in the gauge every time.
I have a Blackhawk and a Bisley Vaquero that allows the reloaded cartridges to drop in the respective cylinders freely.
The majoriy of the men have new stainless Vaqueros and one has a Colt Army chambered for 45 Colt. Many of my reloads do not drop freely in their revolvers. I can't explain why this happens. My revolvers are stock and have never had work done on the cylinders.
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Old October 1st, 2009, 09:41 AM   #2
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Indy, I'm betting the chambers are just fine ... it's the cylinder throats that are too tight for the type of bullet and seating depth you are using. The bullet extends from the case on a loaded round. When you insert a loaded round into a chamber, the bullet must "fit" in the throat or it will prevent the cartridge from seating properly. You didn't mention what bullets you are using or the bullet seating depth. Your case gauge eliminates any problems with case size but doesn't account for throat diameter.

As you may know .... Ruger SAs chambered in 45 Colt tend to have tight cylinder throats and here's a thread that explains how to test them: http://www.rugerforum.net/showthread.php?t=7519
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Old October 1st, 2009, 06:56 PM   #3
 
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Iowegan...Thanks for the information. I now understand. It was difficult to understand why my Blackhawk and Vaquero Bisley accepted the cartridges so easily. The other guys' firearms must have tighter throats.
Thanks Again,
Indy
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 05:45 AM   #4
 
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What bullets were your loading out of curiosity? If these were RNFP for example, I don't see how they could hang up on the throat as the ogive starts at the case mouth . A bullet with a shoulder that sits on the case mouth would be more likely.
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 04:36 PM   #5
 
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200 grain RNFPs. Please know they drop in the cartridge gauge without any issues. The fit is exactly like they are suppose to be. They fit all the chambers in my unmodified Vaquero Bisley and Blackhawk. However, the cartridges have fit problems in five different SS Vaqueros, and one Colt Army. The Vaqueros are new and the owners bought them from me. The Colt is nickel plated and was purchased forty years ago.
As I said in the first post...the press is a Dillon and factory set.
Don't laugh, but I have taught statistical quality control during my business career, so you can imagine how this troubles me.lol Also, I taught the owners of the handguns how to reload.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #6
 
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Indy;
The "Iowegan" is giving you the correct information. This particular "problem" is not limited to Rugers. I shoot the Lyman 452644 bullet in my Ruger Vaquero. I size it .452" and it works perfectly. However, even tho' this bullet is a 250 gr RF it has a band of bullet diameter (.452") in front of the case. In some "tight throated" revolvers it will not seat.

I use that bullet in my S&W 625's, on occasion and it is a light "press fit" in those throats. It is perfectly usable in my guns but a similar revolver with a smaller throat (.451" as a for instance) would NOT accept that bullet.

Typically, sizing the bullet to .451" will work as it sizes the front band at the same time as it is sizing the base and center band. You might make up a couple of dummies with smaller diameter bullets and see how they work.

John Taffin has an article on the S&W 625-2 that mentions the exact same problem with that revolver and the Keith bullets (which have a full diameter front band).

Of course, the proper course of action is to have the cylinders reamed to the correct dimensions. I did my own on the Bisley Vaquero (Brownell's has the tools) or CylinderSmith reportedly gives a one week turn around and his charges are quite reasonable;

http://www.cylindersmith.com/



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Old October 15th, 2009, 10:29 AM   #7
 
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I also recommend Cas at Cylindersmith. He did 4 Vaqueros for me (.45 LC set at .452"). The result was better accuracy, less lead buildup, and no more flyers. His prices are less than a box of ammo. And my guns were back within a week.
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Old October 18th, 2009, 07:22 AM   #8
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CS is the way to go.
I had to idea how accurate my Acusport Bisley was until AFTER I had the thight throats sized properly. (.45 ACP lead reloads were a complete no go.)
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Old October 18th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #9
 
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+1 on Cylinder Smith. He did mine in less than two weeks turn around time and the result was a set of throats that measure .4525"; each and every one. Groups are circular now and with my standard load of 7.5 to 8.0 gr of Unique, measure at or less than 2" at 25 yds. He's cheap, does excellent work, and deserves our support. Rodfac
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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:43 AM   #10
 
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STW;
My new Ruger SS Bisley Blackhawk 5" .45 Colt/.45 ACP has ok throats on the .45 Colt but the .45 ACP is WAY undersize. That will get reamed shortly to just make it usable with reloads (they won't even chamber unless the bullet shoulder is flush with the case mouth).

Why Ruger does the .45 Colt cylinder close to perfect and the .45 ACP unusable is an absolute mystery to me...

At any rate, it'll be "right" soon...

Rodfac;
I have sent you a PM.

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Old October 18th, 2009, 11:54 AM   #11
 
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I bought a used Ruger Blackhawk Convertible in .45LC/.45ACP this weekend. It was made in 2003. Throats on both cylinders measured a consistent .452 to .4525.....both cylinders.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 05:20 AM   #12
 
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The problem was just the opposite for the early New Models; I have a 1977. My cylinder throats are .454 but the barrel slugged out to .450. I started out shooting .451-.452 bullets and had to buy a 45 ACP loading die (the .452 bullets fell into my cases) and "neck sized" my cases. I eventually learned that I should have used bullets to match my throats not my barrel, so now I use .454 bullets. I still "neck size" my cases.
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Old November 6th, 2009, 06:35 AM   #13
 
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I finally got around to reaming the cylinder throats on my new Ruger SS Bisley .45 Colt/.45 ACP Convertible 5".

After checking with pin gauges preparing to ream, I learned that the .45 Colt cylinder throats were undersize, also but about .451". The .45 ACP were about .450-.4505" (not quite as small as I had thought). I could not even chamber my .45 ACP reloads with .452" bullets.

At any rate, using the Manson reamer with interchangeable pilots it was rather a snap. In just a few minutes, I had perfect throats at .4525" in both cylinders.

I am really looking forward to many good range sessions in the future.

Ruger DOES have my gratitude (and my dollars) for making the Convertible available. I consider it an excellent package and much prefer the Bisley grips and hammer. This makes a fine hunting revolver AND an excellent range gun all in the same package. One of the little bonuses is the use of black sights (the front sight is pinned so could be changed if desired) for a really good sight picture.

The ONLY minus feature (other than the original chamber throats) is that they do NOT have the later pawl system on this revolver. I will just HAVE to have this change made in the near future (I'll probably use IOWEGAN's pawl alteration). After using the new 50th Anniversary Flattop .44 Magnum and the .44 Lipsey Special Flattop, I am spoiled. I REALLY like the new pawl system. It definitely eases the loading and unloading - you can do it in the dark on the new system.

I have been casting lots of the NOE (454424 Lyman clone) 255 gr Keith bullet in this FINE five cavity mould and will have several thousand ready to go, shortly.

FWIW
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Last edited by Dale53; November 6th, 2009 at 06:38 AM.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #14
 
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It might help to understand this situation if you realize that the Ruger .45 throats can run as small as .447" or .448" in diameter . . . and quite often they aren't round, either.

I've had several cylinders cleaned up, and they all were much happier afterwards.

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