Reloading for 45 Auto Rim in S&W 1917

Elric

Active Member
:sigh:

Bummer, looks like the old man used it to fuel his black powder cartridge rifle urges... Oh well, looks like I'm saving a lot of money. Got some 45 Auto Rim rounds and cases, but no gun...
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Silly question time.......will loaded (or empty) 45 AR cartridges fit in one of the Ruger converible 45 ACP cylinders and allow the cylinder to rotate? I have owned a couple of these guns, and never had trouble lighting off 45 ACP loads. But I also never tried chambering 45 AR ammo or cases in either example (both now down the road). I am still rolling around a 45 convertible Ruger with 4-5/8" barrel idea a bit.
 

KeithB

Resident Half Fast Machinist
I have read that the .45 cowboy case was developed to have a rimmed .45 ACP case for Blackhawks. An AR case rim is too thick unless the back of the cylinder is faced off.
 
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Dale53

Active Member
KeithB is absolutely correct! I have a Ruger SS Bisley Convertible .45 ACP/.45 Colt. When using the .45 ACP cylinder I often use Starline .45 Cowboy Special cases. They work perfectly and headspace correctly. .45 ACP reloading data works just fine with the CS brass. I use the Lee Factory crimp die. That die comes with a taper crimp insert. When loading bullets calling for a roll crimp, just order out the Lee roll crimp insert together with the required spacer and you are good to go! You can easily swap the insert backwards and forwards as needed.

Dale53
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Thank you, Keith and Dale. I had an idea that 45 AR might be a bit too much of a good thing. As well as plain ol' 45 ACP ran in the BH convs I've owned--and how accurately they shot--I should just leave well enough alone. That 45 ACP does a lot of things very, very well.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
AR rim is as thick as the .45 ACP case plus the half moon clip, so way thick. Not a fit in a .45 Convertible without
machining off the back of the cyl. I had not heard of the .45 Cowboy brass. Sounds interesting -except I don't
see what the point is. ACP brass works fine and since the ejector is a SAA type, they ALL eject from the inside
of the case.
 

KeithB

Resident Half Fast Machinist
I think it may be so that a roll vs taper crimp can be used. I've always heard that a taper crimp is for autos and is meant to keep bullets from telescoping in to the case, a roll crimp is designed to keep bullets from jumping out of the cases in a wheelgun. Oversimplified and not totally true, there is some validity to the concept and the resulting .,45 cowboy case.

Check this out: https://www.starlinebrass.com/45-cowboy-special

Edit to add - After reading the user comments at the bottom of the page it seems as if loading these with black powder also has some fans.
 
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Pistolero

Well-Known Member
OK, smaller case volume for the Cowboy action crowd, who love their super light loads. More appropriate
case volume for tiny powder loads. But others are using them in .45 Colt guns, not in the ACP cylinder of
a convertible Ruger as I had imagined. .45 Colt Short.....sort of ( so I guess the .44 Special sort of name has
been applied, where the regular .45 Colt is the "magnum").

Bill
 

Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
Interesting. I'd never even given the AR in a BH idea a thought. Thanks for the info!
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
Ill have to look at the cylinders for the one I load for but I think they only have the rim of the ACP out and I'm not sure there's room for even a Colts rim . The Colts cylinder however happily takes 45 S&W , 410 , and 303 rims . Honestly the 7.5" 2#+ behemoth doesn't really move with ACP so crimp to any degree is kind of pointless in it . The 1917s because of the clips and having a 196? set of Lyman dies with a dual crimp seater . I've always just removed the flair so far even in the HP Carbine it hasn't been a problem , even with the extremes of bullets tried .
 

Dale53

Active Member
I have used the .45 Cowboy Special with my NOE version of the Lyman 452424 (250 gr. Keith SWC). Being able to use a good roll crimp (which the CS rim, allows) is a big advantage with bullets that are designed for a roll crimp.

FWIW
Dale53
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
Thanks to all for their insights. There are historic references to a lot of cavalry units being issued "45 S&W" ammo (meant for the Schofield 45 top-break revolvers) instead of the longer 45 Colt ammo to simplify supply chain issues. Colt SAAs could function with either round; the S&Ws had to have the shorter case. Murphy's Law gets no plea bargains.

For a few years, Uberti imported a very close copy of the 45 Schofield top-break S&W revolver. I would prefer one in an original caliber, if possible--and with the 3rd Model's "Schofield Lock". A few were made in 44/40 WCF originally, that might have to be the route I go if the 45 S&W repros are indeed out-of-print.

The S&W top-breaks seem to me to be a far superior design for someone actually using the arm to fight with when compared to the Colt SAA. SO MUCH EASIER to refill and get back into action! It is hard to understand how the SAA format stayed so popular for so long and the S&Ws kind of withered on the vine. While still on the subject of top-break S&Ws, what the h--l is the meaning or utility of that bizarre finger hook on the 44 Russian edition? Superb cartridge, but that hook leaves you scratching your head.
 
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Pistolero

Well-Known Member
I have to agree on the reloading situation in an actual gunfight with a SAA, Al. Gotta go find some place
to hide for about 30 secs if you are a superhero in SAA reloading, more like a full minute for mere mortals
from a belt loop rig.
I'd bet that a Schoefield could be reloaded in half the time of a SAA, say 20-25 sec from a pouch for
anyone. Only a second to dump them all, and then the time to drop them in, two at a time if you are
even slightly dextrous, and slap it shut.

Bill
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
I have played around with a WWII-vintage Webley-Enfield over the years, 38/200 caliber. These have an even better evolution of the Schofield locking mechanism, lever operated by the user's thumb. I have used HKS #10-A loaders with the W/E, and on many occasions been able to launch 18 rounds at steel targets in 30-35 seconds at 25 yards, with few misses on "IPSC coffin"-sized plates.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
Regarding the roll crimp in a convertible cylinder, two things. One, with a proper, firm taper crimp I never ever had a single issue with bullets migrating forward. Two, I have an RCBS roll-crimp die that I used for many years for all my .45 auto cast bullet ammunition and again, never ever had a problem with headspace. The largest throat entrance I ever saw was .455" and the smallest the roll-crimp die can make the case mouth is about .463" and that's an extreme, ruinous operation. Rolled to about .467" (same as I make my TC with the Lee TC die), headspace cannot possibly be an issue unless you use a bullet with a crimp groove, crimp IN the groove, and use a die that rolls the case mouth down to bullet diameter.

The "cowboy" brass is a solution looking for a problem IMO, or a market-driven fluff item.
 

Bret4207

St Lawrence river valley, NY
Loading a break open Smith would be about like loading a swing out cylinder Smith DA. I can assure you, based on first hand knowledge, that a standard Smith (or Colt) swing out cylinder type can be reloaded from loops in about 5-6 seconds, maybe less. Takes practice, but it's not at all hard. A break open might be a little slower but if you can get the cylinder in your hand to turn it the time would similar. Not sure most are familiar with loop loading, but the gun goes in your off hand with a couple fingers in the cylinder cut out from the bottom. The thumb goes over the cylinder. The gun is held at belt level and the strong hand picks fresh rounds from the loops, 2 at a time, and into the cylinder they go. The thumb moves the cylinder as you fill. When full the strong hand goes to the grip, off hand slams the cylinder shut and more loud noises ensue. After you practice you don't even look at the cylinder as you fill it, just like punching a mag release while reaching for a fresh mag off your belt. You never look after you get enough practice, eyes are on the target/BG. Muscle memory.
 
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CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
I have used HKS #10-A speedloaders with my Webley-Enfield 38/200 DAO revolver, and the regimen is much like that described by Bret, with the adaptation of the left hand holding the barrel and left thumb aligning the cylinder with the 6 bullet noses.

I never loaded from loops. I used Bianchi Speed Strips inside my dump boxes, and went to HKS loaders a couple years after joining up. The speedloader baskets went just to the right of my Sam Browne belt buckle, where the dump boxes had been located. The dump boxes were moved to the small of my back, kinda centered at 6 o'clock. Hitting the street with 30 rounds of 38 Special 110 grain JHP +P in those days (early 1980s) was considered over-aggressive by the Captain I worked for at the time. That pogue is likely spinning in his grave, knowing that our deputies now go about with at least 3 and often 5 high-capacity magazines in their Glock 40 S&Ws and 45 ACPs. People like that jerk are why I am glad to be retired.