Reloading for 45 Auto Rim in S&W 1917

fiver

Well-Known Member
heck Allen swing by and pick up the 375 and 445 super's.
I can put a 4" barrel on the 445 [which is what it wears when I have to carry it in bear world]
I recommend plugs and muffs for the 375, it should shake enough dust out of the rafters that you can have the place to yourself for an hour or so.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Lamar, if it wasn't such a long commute I would be all over that offer.

I have an Ideal one-cavity #454424 and a two-banger Lyman of the same pattern. All are "Kosher Keiths", 3 bands the same width and square lube groove, and all cast at 253 grains x .455" in 92/6/2 alloy. They are a squatty, short bullet at first glance. They have shot well in a couple 45 Colts.

The Lyman #452423 remains Terra Incognita for now, it has not been cast with since acquiring it at NCBS 2018. 2-holer, I have no real idea of its age/vintage or its vital statistics.

All of the pre-1980 S&W and Colt 45 ACP/AR revolvers are out of my price range. Un-butchered 1917 or 1937s are very scarce. You are left with one of the later 625 variants, and the wood-stocked current model can be had for $825 pre-tax and fees; the PC garish-gripped offering is about $80-$100 more. I have a lot of trouble sealing the deal on the new S&Ws. I have balked twice on these--one of the PC 45s, and on a Model 48 x 6".
 

Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
Chargar, your "452423- I love you!" article many years back got me into the right line of thinking when it comes to 45ACP/AR. Thanks!

Al, yeah, 681's. Great gun for a cop. One of mine was a real shooter with a good trigger. I'm no fan of stainless, but that was a beauty, that one!
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
I am amazed at the prices people ask for the 1917s now. My 1937 Brazilian was $155 at a gun show when they were
first imported. Early 90s, IIRC. It has it's "beauty marks" from being apparently kept in a leather holster in the jungle for 50 years.
Deep pit where the holster retention strap ran across the rear of the frame, and a similar pit where the exterior front
of the bbl must have rested on the leather of the holster. But the interior surfaces are all fine and it shoots well.
The Colt 1917 was found at a small local gun show just about as the prices were starting to go nuts, but I got an
completely unmolested, all original Colt 1917 for $400 and I could tell the guy thought he was taking me for a
ride. I think that was about 20 years ago.
So many of the 1917/1937s have been reworked, cut down, refinished that a relatively unmolested one is hard to find
and as Allen said, the prices are nuts. I modified the 1937's front sight to the later S&W factory style with a 45 deg
slope on the rear with fine serrations. Much better sight picture than the guaranteed shine on the round rear of
the originals.
I got into them both "just in time", fortunately .

And I agree with Bret on "452423 I love you" , memorable article.

Bill
 
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CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
There IS a quasi-affordable route-to-go here.......one of the swap-cylinder Ruger Blackhawks (45 Colt/45 ACP) could manage ACP brass loaded with #452423. Ruger seems to no longer make their 45 revolver throats in kit form for home machinists. OR--I could use the "423" castings in the existing 45 Colts, and call it "good". I might have to "Beagle" the mold, dunno yet. It might be "A Bridge Too Far" to try the "423s" in a self-loader 45 ACP; all of those on staff DO feed the H&G #68 counterfeits without a bobble, though. There ARE a couple zero-cost options on deck, IOW.

Moral of the story--'low-cost' mould acquisitions AREN'T, many times. They can become cash snares of the first order, as if by magic.
 

RicinYakima

High Steppes of Eastern Washington
I have loaded 452423's for 1911's for 40+years. Seat the bullet so it headspaces on the front driving band and add 4.5 grains of Bullseye. The key is to have the bullet hard enough that it doesn't smear on the feed ramp. It will lead a little, but there are trade offs in everything. p.s. This is a max pressure load with the bullet deep seated!
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Thank you, Ric. Your real-world experiences hew closely to my concept ideas for such an experiment. I better get that mould warmed up soon. I will go "low and slow" with the powder weights, being very fond of both the Colt GC and the SIG P-220.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
The point of "452423, I love you" is that he used it in 1911s for a long time and had excellent results, and no
feeding issues. I have not tried it, my 423s go into my 1917s, but I have no doubt that Chargar....I believe using
Charles Graff here is correct.
I don't think I have used the 423 in my .45 convertible Ruger, either. But may be I have.

Bill
 
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Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
What I took away from Charles 423 love story was tat bottom feeders didn't need pointy bullets necessarily and that a 45ACP/AR could be used for something other than plinking at paper and mutant zombie biker types. I'm going to have to go back and find the article and refresh my memory, but IIRC it was one of those "Geeze! That's what I've been looking for!" moments.

As far as finding 45 wheel guns, I can't help much. I bought the sole Smith 45 I ever saw I could afford, and that was my '17. I did pass up a 1955 Target, but that was when I was young and stupid. Now I'm old and still stupid, but I also have an emergency stash of credit for true emergencies like finding an affordable 1955 Target! I also bought the only Ruger BH 45 Convertible I ever laid eyes on, and if I recall, at a very good price. Sadly, it's just a work gun for me, I've never warmed to it or any single action really. But I'm not trading it off for a Hi Point 9mm anytime soon either!
 

Dale53

Active Member
It's no secret that I am a fan of .45 ACP/.45 Auto Rim revolvers. I have put tens of thousands of my own cast bullets through my 625-6 (5") as well as one of my favorite revolvers, my 625-8 JM Special.

These days I mostly shoot target loads, standing at 25 yards. My favored target load is a Mihec copy of the H&G #68 200 gr. SWC ahead of 4.0 grs. of Bullseye or equivalent. My guns will shoot well under 1" off a rest at 25 yards.

If you need a speedy reload for competition or self defense, you could hardly beat the home cast Lee 230 gr. TC as mentioned above (using moonclips and .45 ACP cases.

The early .45 ACP revolvers are not heat treated like the ones made after the early 1950's. They are a bit tender. However, they WILL handle good cast bullets at reasonable pressures, long term. I would NOT exceed 5.0 grs. of Bullseye behind a 230 gr. bullet.

I presume the O.P.'s revolver in question has fixed sights. That add's a complication to the equation. However, a 230 gr. Lee TC bullet ahead of 4.0-5.0 grs. of Bullseye should shoot to the sights. Keep in mind, that not every one sees the same. You have to adjust the load to YOUR eyes and revolver.

As some have said, this is a journey, not a destination. I am VERY partial to adjustable sights. Due to aging eyes, my "adjustable sights" these days are mostly Red Dot sights (and, I LOVE them). Having said that, one of my revolvers, a Ruger Bisley Vaquero, using Black Powder and my own cast Lyman 452664 (a 250 gr. RFN) shoots to the sights at 25 yards right out of the box. Good things DO happen from time to time!

Happy Journey!
Dale53
 
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Cherokee

Well-Known Member
"If memory serves, BD designed the 45BD to have the max metplat that would reliably feed in a stock 1911. All I know is it works great in my '17. Not sure I've ever shot it out of a 1911!"

Yes, it feeds and shoot well in my 45 ACP 1911's. This is my SASS match bullet for 45 Colt and general all-around 45 Colt loads.
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
Been revisiting notes ......
At some point I thought a lot about a 452421 . I have a 429421 that was opened up to .448 that paper patched shot well in the 1917 and HP Carbine . I know , paper patched 45 ACP ?????
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
The two #454424s I have on hand are short, squatty-looking little things, though they both cast up at 254-255 grains in 92/6/2. #452423 at 15-20 grains lighter must be a 'tuna-can', comparatively. We shall see.
 

Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
Anyone with a Smith 17 type can add a "Wondersight" with just one screw. Made a world of difference for me with my '17 and lousy eyes.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Aight, I located and read Charles' article on the "423" and have been fully-informed as to dimensions, charge weights, and seating depth details. Thanks to all for sharing the info--especially Charles!

I have emptied-out W-W 45 ACP cases running in the corn cob grip as I type this, and tomorrow promises an uninterrupted day or two minus My Main Distraction--SWMBO, who is headed off for a couple days of sister and friends in the mountains. Stillness will prevail hereabouts for reloading and other gainful pursuits. Some Condor Cuddler loads in 22-250, 223, and 22 Hornet await completion as well. Summer heat in the garage makes this long-delayed project less than pleasant, esp. since my ancient box fan died last week. Home Depot (new fan) and an oil change in the truck need attention, and soon.
 
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Pistolero

Well-Known Member
I put a cheapo window AC ($250 or something on sale) in my shop. Slow to cool down, but eventually
gets WAY better than without it when it is 105 or so on rare occasions. Works better in 95F heat.
Well worth the $$ spent, IMO. No window, had to saw a hole in the wall and frame it, but still well
worth the time, effort and $$.
I used window fans for decades, finally decided to upgrade. A slow learner, sometimes. :embarrassed:

End of season close out a few years ago.
 
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Dale53

Active Member
Some years ago, I had a contractor friend build me a 20x12 utility barn. One end has a dedicated casting area. I had the building insulated, installed 220 volt electrics with a electric wall heater and cut a hole in a wall and installed a window air conditioner. I also installed a range hood to ventilate when casting. It works perfectly in both hot and cold weather.

FWIW
Dale53
 
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CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Some years ago, I had a contractor friend build me a 20x12 utility barn. One end has a dedicated casting area. I had the building insulated, installed 220 volt electrics with a electric wall heater and cut a hole in a wall and installed a window air conditioner. I also installed a range hood to ventilate when casting. It works perfectly in both hot and cold weather.

FWIW
Dale53
Heaven.