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21
The Darksider's Den / Re: .45 Cowboy Special
« Last post by Mako on April 22, 2024, 01:34:44 PM »
StrawHat,
I have another thing that you might have some insight to.  I Don't know if you have ever looked at the SAAMI specs for the .45 ACP, they have two, one is for a "Match" chamber.  BUT,  there is also a strange specification for the .45 Auto Rim.  Look at the bullet diameter and the huge allowable throat dimension.  Oddly they have a smaller Groove diameter of Ø.4512 +.004/-.000 and a larger Bore diameter Ø.444 +.004/-.000 than the standard or match chamber .45 ACP.  That has to be the direct result of the S&W chambers and information they had on the original 1917 specifications.

I mean the bullet diameter can run from Ø.446 to Ø.452 (??????) and the throat in the cylinder starts at Ø.4555 and runs to Ø.4595.  I have no idea how they got that, but there is a reason.



Comments?

~Mako
22
The Darksider's Den / Re: .45 Cowboy Special
« Last post by Baltimore Ed on April 22, 2024, 08:20:41 AM »
Strawhat, I just tried a couple rds in my 625 smith and you are correct. Non moon clip 45acp will fire along with C45S. I would not have thought that with the extra room needed for AR or moon clipped brass. Thanks for the info.
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The Darksider's Den / Re: .45 Cowboy Special
« Last post by Mako on April 22, 2024, 03:56:04 AM »

Who told you that?

The S&W Hand Ejector First Model, aka New Century, aka Triple lock, was introduced to the Army in the 45 S&W Special cartridge. Once the Army chose the Model 1911 in 45 ACP, S&W introduced the New Century to the public chambered for the 44 S&W Special.  The British Army was a bit short of sidearms to fight WWI so they contracted with S&W to buy revolvers chambered for the 455 cartridge. Even before the first shipment of the Triplelock was delivered, the British Army complained it was too heavy and the complicated mechanism would jam in the mud of the trenches.  S&W redesigned the revolver and produced the Second Model Hand Ejector, less the third locking mechanism, less the shrouded ejector rod.  It was this revolver that was used to create the Model 1917 (or Government Model as it was called in the factory).  Joseph Wesson realized the US would be dragged into WWI and in 1915 tasked a group of engineers to build a revolver that would fire AND eject the 45 ACP cartridge.

The 45 ACP Second Model Hand Ejector, aka Model 1917, was the result.

The barrel dimensions were specified by the Army.  Did the barrels you measure have the Army acceptance stamps on them?  Unfortunately, many of the 455 First Model Hand Ejectors, aka New Century, aka Triplelocks, were rechambered for the 45 ACP cartridge. These were not ever accepted by the Army.

Kevin

StrawHat,
You are correct, the M1917 is a Second Model.  I should have said the original S&W Webley .455 Mark IIs were 1st models and the M1917 and the British Production revolvers were 2nd Model.  As I wrote before, I am not a hardcore S&W collector.  What I know about them is from modifying them.  I'll admit I'm more interested in the technical package than the collector minutia (now the Colt's Conversion Revolvers is a different matter, I am very interested in the details and every variation).

We were interested in heavy bullets and also adding a second cylinder in .45 Colt. On some of the "conversions"  I used two crane/cylinder assemblies  (just swap out the entire Crane/Cylinder assembly), on others kept it to one crane assembly, just cylinders/Extractor Rods, gas rings, spacers for the extractor rods.  But they all needed a new extractor/ratchet (they have to be modified) to set the recoil shield length for the .45 Colt, usually a  modified a .44 spl 1950 (no counter bored chambers), you can also use a Mod 27 or 28 Extractor because the counter bore goes away as you open it up to accept the larger diameter cartridge (you can't use Mod 24 or Mod 29 because of the counter bores), new gas rings, move the barrel back, re-cut the clocking pin slot, a spacer for the extractor rod.  A lot of work, now you can just buy a model 25 in .45 Colt.

To answer your question about early model dimensions, I have never had a 1st Model (or an early 2nd model I was aware of) available to measure, so I don’t know what the early barrels measured.  The guys who were the hardcore 1917 nuts were the ones who told me about some of the early 1917s having the Webley bore dimensions. I don't normally trust someone just telling me but they are hardcore 1917 nuts.  I also know Pete has at least one Commercial Model 1917, I know the one I examined had a better finish and not marked as gov’t property.  Pete has some expensive toys.

I'm not the 1917 nut that several of my friends were/are, I tended towards the Mod 25s and M1950s.  As you can see from my photos I still have a couple of 1950 barrels and cylinders with Cranes in my parts bins. All of the 1917 barrels I ever measured are more or less the same as the 1950 and Mod 25 barrels.  I know I have measured at least four, and yes, they were all originally government property guns and had all of the appropriate inspector stamps on them.  The 1917 barrel I removed and replaced with a shortened 1950 barrel had problems which is why it was replaced.  I never measured it, I guess I need to find it, and measure it now.

I don't have production drawings for the M1917 barrels, do you have one or a complete or partial drawing set?   If you have the barrel drawing number I may have a way to retrieve the document, I don't have a technical data package list for the M1917 drawings. You stated that the barrels were inspected to the government specifications, they must have a greater range or a nominal shift for at least the bore dimension.  I'd be very interested in what that spec. was.

I'm curious as to what you consider a "Hardball" cut barrel.  I know exactly what the Army considered a “Hardball” cut barrel for the 1911 which of course is the original Mil-Spec for the .45ACP barrel rifling.  This is from the Army Rock Island Arsenal drawing 7791193 for the 1911A1 Barrels.  This drawing has a 1961 release date but I have seen older ones and they are the same.  The national match rifling is actually where the Kimber barrel drawing specifications came from that I posted above in reply #18.



I can tell you the S&W barrels (both M1917 and later models) I have measured are actually above the 1911 mil-spec rifling dimensions in the Groove diameter.  On later commercial 1950 and 1955 revolvers the Groove Diameters are usually Ø.453 and the Lands (Bore) are Ø.443, which does not meet the 7791193 dimensions of Ø.450 +.002/-.000 and Ø.442 +.002/-.000. What I don’t understand is why everyone keeps calling these “Hardball” rifling or jacketed bullet rifling dimensions.  They are just standard rifling dimensions. the ratio from the Bore to the lands are typical of modern barrels, the groove depths on pistols that were designed to shoot jacketed bullets run groove depths of .004” to .006”.

I have measured at least one M1917 barrel with Groove diameters as large as Ø.455 and can’t swear to it but I think they all tend to normally run Ø.453 to Ø.454.  I know this because of the loads Leon and Britt were working up, those cartridges with the 244gr bullets were part of that.  They ran larger soft lead bullets because the throats ran large and the bores did too.  They had a bunch of "shooters" and one other friend Pete, has serious collection of guns he doesn't shoot, he also collects Colt Commandos.

What do your barrels measure?  And your chamber throats?  How did you or do you measure them? 

I don’t have air gages at my disposal anymore and have to borrow an Optical Comparator or toolmakers scope if I do a bore optically. I have to resort to gauge pins and slugged barrels for the most part now.  I have a micrometer somewhere with internal anvils made for bore measurement but I don’t always trust the measurements, you have to be perfectly centered in the groove and do it under a scope to make sure you are in the center of the grooves, any lean or touching the groove wall and you are off.  I didn’t know they had gone to 5 grooves on the 625s, you couldn’t use that mike on a five groove and slugging a barrel with odd numbers is hard too.  Why did they change, was it because of the Stainless galling during rifling and dropping a groove to minimize friction?

I have never been able to get a set of the 1917 drawings or the S&W .45 drawings.  I have complete sets of the drawings for the 1911a1 (plus the set I detailed from the models)  I also have drawings for the National Match Slides and Barrels they would send out for production quotes.

You’ll get a chuckle out of this, in 1973 the last National Match slide contract was actually built by IMI.  I actually have the military drawing sets from them and slide drawings in Metric and annotated in HEBREW!

Back in the ‘90s the last Frames the Army purchased (for general use) were from 1947, they just rebuilt them or in the case of the AMU they also bought some frames from Colt’s (I don’t know when they bought the last of them.)  I used to sell Hammers and Sears to the Colt’s Custom shop, the last ones I manufactured were for the Series ’80 and they had to send me prints so I could add their “safety shelf”  (not a “half cock” they would cut you off in the middle of a sentence if you said “half cock”).  After that we sold some Series ’80 Hammers in the aftermarket, or I should say we offered them, we sold very few and just sold the stock we had from the 1st run. I have those Colt’s drawings around somewhere.

~Mako
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The Darksider's Den / Re: .45 Cowboy Special
« Last post by StrawHat on April 21, 2024, 08:17:55 PM »
Does anybody know what the throats would be on a .45 ACP cylinder?

The reason I ask is because my 3rd Gen Colt's regular .45 Colt cylinder has .455 - .456" diameter throats.  If the .45 ACP has .451 - .452" throats I bet the Cowboy Special could be a tack driver.

Are you asking about Colt cylinders? 

…however double action revolvers, the 1917 colt /smith and the Model 25 /625 smiths. They are cut for 45acp in moon clips or 45Autorim but will not fire loose 45acp/45cs as there is too much space between the case and firing pin. …

Sorry, my experience with ACP revolvers finds this to be incorrect, at least with S&W. Yes, the double action revolvers are indeed, cut for the use of moonclips.  But, the ACP cartridge will still headspace on the case mouth and fire.  It will not extract or eject because there is no rim.  That is why the moon clip was developed and patented by S&W.  For S&W, building a revolver to fire the 45 ACP, was easy.  Getting the cartridges out of the cylinder, in an efficient manner, was the hard part. 

At the request of the Army, S&W permitted their competitor, Colt, access to the moon clip so they could also design a revolver to fire the 45 ACP cartridge.  Colt promptly stuck their foot in it by cutting the chambers straight through, no throat.  This prevented the revolver from using loose ammunition.  Once the Army discovered this, they made Colts correct the problem and fix any revolvers returned to them. Considering they were also building the Model 1911, they should have know how to cut a chamber.

Just one note on actual S&W 1917 revolvers. Their barrels have rifling set up for FMJ bullets. Unless you use a very hard cast bullet, it will not play well with non-jacketed bullets.

Yes, indeed, the rifling is cut just as the Army specified it be cut, for Hardball.  However, target competitors soon figured out how to make the ACP revolver competitive…with lead bullets.  Hard lead bullets are really not an answer to this problem. The proper size bullets are what matters. My personal load development has shown that a .454 diameter cast bullet, with a long bearing surface, produces great accuracy in a lot of revolvers. And very good accuracy in the rest. Here is the bullet, on the left.

I have more than a few ACP revolvers. I do not try to find a specific load for each one. Instead, I have found one load that gives acceptable acceptable accuracy in all of them. The SAECO 453 over a hardball dose of powder. 



The M1917 started out as an “Americanized” version of the S&W the British bought chambered in the .455 Mark II Webley cartridge, it was basically a S&W Hand Ejector (First Model).  Now go look up the dimensions for a .455 Webley, they are larger than the .45 ACP.  Some of the early M1917 revolvers in .45 ACP even used that original .455 Webley barrel, you have to know the vintage of a M1917 to even guess what the rifling dimensions might be…

~Mako

Who told you that?

The S&W Hand Ejector First Model, aka New Century, aka Triple lock, was introduced to the Army in the 45 S&W Special cartridge. Once the Army chose the Model 1911 in 45 ACP, S&W introduced the New Century to the public chambered for the 44 S&W Special.  The British Army was a bit short of sidearms to fight WWI so they contracted with S&W to buy revolvers chambered for the 455 cartridge. Even before the first shipment of the Triplelock was delivered, the British Army complained it was too heavy and the complicated mechanism would jam in the mud of the trenches.  S&W redesigned the revolver and produced the Second Model Hand Ejector, less the third locking mechanism, less the shrouded ejector rod.  It was this revolver that was used to create the Model 1917 (or Government Model as it was called in the factory).  Joseph Wesson realized the US would be dragged into WWI and in 1915 tasked a group of engineers to build a revolver that would fire AND eject the 45 ACP cartridge.

The 45 ACP Second Model Hand Ejector, aka Model 1917, was the result.

… BUT, then they started producing barrels specifically for the .45 ACP and it will surprise you to know what the land and groove dimensions were.  The ones I have measured have the Lands at Ø.443 or Ø.444 and the Grove diameters were Ø.454 or Ø.455.  They can argue all they want, I have actual measurable barrels and the tools to measure them.

~Mako

The barrel dimensions were specified by the Army.  Did the barrels you measure have the Army acceptance stamps on them?  Unfortunately, many of the 455 First Model Hand Ejectors, aka New Century, aka Triplelocks, were rechambered for the 45 ACP cartridge. These were not ever accepted by the Army.

The Model 1917 was also the first S&W revolver to have a heat treated cylinder.  It was a requirement of the Army.




… Does anyone say the 1911 barrel with a .00475” groove cannot shoot anything except Jacketed or HARD lead bullets?

I have rebarreled a  S&W 1917 and have the M1917 barrel around somewhere in my mountain of boxes from storage.  I have owned a couple as well, I mainly shot either lead 230gr bullets or H&G 68 SWCs through them.  Based on the one I put a shortened 1950 barrel on and my experience with shooting a lot of S&W .45 ACP revolvers I can tell you the barrel rifling is pretty much the same as you find on a S&W 1950, a S&W 1955 and the current Model 25s which are just the new numbering for the 1955 (the 1950 became the Model 26).  The major differences are the barrel profile and rib changed from the M1950 and remains the same today on the Mod 25.  The other difference is that the newer M25 and M625 no longer have the pin through the threads on the top of the barrel extension locking it to the frame.


~Mako

At some point, when the Model 625 was introduced, the rifling was changed.  It reverted to the common S&W 5groove rifling.  I am not sure if the rifling pitch is different from what the Army required. Also in the 625 series, S&W engineers decided to go the route of Colt and cut deep charge holes that REQUIRED the use of moon clips. But, that was sporadic enough as to be poor quality control.

Kevin
25
The Longbranch / Re: gunoholic
« Last post by Coffinmaker on April 21, 2024, 06:33:25 PM »

 :)  Oooooooo So SWEET!!  The Altamont grips are absolutely YUMMY fer sure!! 
26
The Darksider's Den / Re: .45 Cowboy Special
« Last post by LonesomePigeon on April 21, 2024, 06:02:40 PM »
Mako, MP Molds makes the 454-423 Plain Base Solid which looks very similar the the Lyman 452423 .45 cal 242 grain bullet.

https://www.mp-molds.com/product/mp-454-423-pb-solid/

I do have this mold from them. Although it says .454" mine always seem to drop closer to .452" with plain lead or 1:20. I haven't used it much, I usually use the Lyman/Ideal 454190.
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The Longbranch / Re: gunoholic
« Last post by Silver Creek Slim on April 21, 2024, 03:00:11 PM »
Nice pistol and grips.

Slim
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The Longbranch / Re: gunoholic
« Last post by Major 2 on April 21, 2024, 12:57:18 PM »
The new Altamont grips are installed
29
The Darksider's Den / Re: .45 Cowboy Special
« Last post by Mako on April 20, 2024, 09:22:34 PM »
I got curious and dug up those heavy .45 ACP bullets I had run across a few weeks back.  The ones I have were loaded by one of my friends for a 1950 and it uses:

  • LYMAN/IDEAL 452423 .45 CAL 242 GRAIN (actually weighs 244 gr) bullets
  • 6.0 Gr of unique which in almost all manuals except for the old Lyman manual of 1970 is a .45+P load
  • CCI 300 Primers
  • and any piece of brass he scrounged up

Leon noted it as "Very Accurate"  which means it actually was.  I don't know where you could get those bullets or the mold today.

 

I have some data on 250gr and 255gr .45 ACP and ,45 Auto Rim somewhere as well, I need to find my .45ACP revolver notes, they are in a notebook somewhere and not in a computer file.

Those are SOFT lead bullets that weigh 244gr, the cast bullet in 20:1 or WW would be 242gr.   Leon was experimenting with a soft lead Ø.452 bullet to work in the Ø.454 Groove Bore he had.  We also tried Ø.453 and Ø.454 sized bullets (I think the Ø.454 were "as cast") but they bulged the case if the case was normally sized. We tried all kinds of things, but to get them to chamber an all of our revolvers (and even 1911s) you dad to use a standard full die with the standard expander.  If I remember correctly one of the carbide dies we had made them too tight and we were using asteel die.  Back then Carbide dies were not even that common, I think they came out in the late '60s and were expensive at the time.   You can't tell from the photo but that case has a slight swell in it, there is a slight taper on the old RCBS .45ACP steel sizing dies to match the .003" diameter difference on the case from front to rear.

I don't know how any of you use carbide dies to size 9mm brass but that makes them "straight walled", 9x19mm has a 0.011" diameter difference from front to rear, that's a lot, it is a true tapered case.  That is one of the reasons a .38 Super is inherently more accurate than a 9x19 with reloaded ammunition in a correctly chambered barrel (there are other reasons as well).  The .38 Super is actually a true straight wall case.  The 9X23 Win (same length as the .38 Super) isn't as accurate or as "clean" as the .38 Super either, it fouls out a lot sooner.  Lot's of little details there.

Back to the .45 ACP which is an almost straight walled case.  With soft bullets the Ø.452 worked just as well as the Ø.453 sized bullets, and the Ø.454 leaded the forcing cone.  I believe those were the days before the cheap Lee push through dies were common and we had to buy dies for the Lyman Lube sizer and you had a hard time getting anything other than Ø.452 or Ø.458.  Those others were "custom" (maybe the Ø.454 was available) and you had to wait for them.

I had to look the mold up, but I know it was a Lyman Mold.  I also know it was throwing a heavier bullet than the mold spec with 4 Hbn lead.  I have some of those unloaded bullets somewhere, also 250gr and 255gr that I was using for the "conversion cylinders".

~Mako
30

MAKO and TRAILRIDER

Those are some rather FINE looking holsters.  I will concur with the esteemed MAKO, the primary difference dimensionally will be the Cylinders, although there must also be some careful consideration of the Ejector Assembly on either an Open Top or and 1960 Richards/Mason Conversion piece.

MUCHO fine leather work there Trailrider.  Strictly Yum Yum you betcha
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