Author Topic: .45 Colt blow by...again  (Read 364 times)

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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.45 Colt blow by...again
« on: July 29, 2020, 12:17:56 PM »

Some time back, a semi-lustrum ago, there was considerable discussion on this forum about .45 Colt blow-by.

One “intelligent” answer was “get a .44 40” which was a great idea but what do I do with my .45 Colt rifles?
That was not a satisfactory answer but got me to thinking. If a .44 40 does not blow back will a .44 40 case work in a .45 Colt. Rifle? 
Having an 1892 carbine made from original Winchester pieces parts in .45 Colt which uses a .44 40 bolt (long story not important here) an idea hatched.
A lot of conversation with more experienced shooters and a test was carried out. Some range pickup brass got that conversion and it worked greatly reducing blow by in my Uberti rifles.

Now new shooters are having the same problem. The solutions are either anneal .45 Colt brass or do the .44 40 to .45 Colt operation for RIFLE loads only. Those converted cases will NOT work in revolvers, they don’t fit.

There is a gold mine in past postings in this forum so go back and look.
We all were “new guys” at one time and we learned from “old guys” and our own experiences.
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Offline Abilene

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2020, 01:36:45 PM »
Hey Bunk, I understand that there is no need for better sealing loads in a revolver, but I still don't understand why the blown-out 44-40's will fit in a .45 rifle chamber but will not fit in a 45 cylinder.

Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2020, 03:13:41 PM »
Hi Abilene and all concerned,
The cases will fit in the chamber but the problem is hand gun headspace.
A .45 Colt Star Line case has a rim about 0.0500 thick
the .44-40 Star Line case rim is 0.0575 thick
more or less measured with my electronic (made in china) caliper.
So the case heads will not clear the frame and the cylinder will not rotate which equals 10 misses.
They work OK in my '66 Uberti yellow boy, but that is either the toggle link will mash things down or the rather generous  Uberti chambers are not bothered by that slight difference in thickness.
The feed, fire, and extract as fast as this doddering old cowboy can crank the handle.
In the revolvers I just use .45CAS cartridges so there is no mix up on the loading table.

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Bunk

Offline Abilene

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2020, 03:55:46 PM »
Thanks, Bunk.  Had not thought of rim thickness.  Now you have me curious, so when I get home this weekend I will have to drop some 44-40's in some of my .45's to see if it is the same on all of them (Colts and Ubertis).  I have .45's with me right now but no 44wcf shells.

Offline Tascosa Joe

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2020, 04:48:17 PM »
At one point I had my wife shooting a .45 Colt handgun and a 38-40 '92 Winchester.  She was always putting 38-40 Rds in her pistol (1906 Colt) They functioned fine. 
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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #5 on: Today at 02:10:17 PM »

Offline Professor Marvel

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2020, 06:57:35 PM »
At one point I had my wife shooting a .45 Colt handgun and a 38-40 '92 Winchester.  She was always putting 38-40 Rds in her pistol (1906 Colt) They functioned fine.

Ah My Dear Joe -

could you please elaborate on your idea of "They functioned fine" ?  LOL

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Offline Wagon Box Willy

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 07:58:44 AM »
Sorry for coming late too the party as I haven't been on this board in a while and maybe my response is out of context of the discussion.  It's interesting that the fire formed 44-40 cases will reduce blow back but I think that is simply because the neck brass is thinner and thus seals the chamber better, improving the results for a shooter who was used to 45 Colt Starline.  I don't use Starline, I use Winchester and anneal them.  I get virtually no blowback.  When not in a pandemic, I shoot about 30lbs of 2f through my 1860 Henry, Remington revolvers and '87 during the short New England CAS season and I do not perform any more maintenance than wiping the frame at the carrier area with a patch wet with Eezox.  I recently went 4 seasons without taking apart the rifle and that was only because I put a mild SS kit in it.

The bullet is a J/P-200 with a light to moderate crimp.

I guess I understand why folks would want to just load a different piece of brass and call it good but Winchester brass and annealing is pretty easy and works great.

Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2020, 09:52:27 AM »

 :)  W B Willy   ;)

Why heck ... Welcome to the party!!  Glad you could make it   :D   Better a little late than to miss the party completely you betcha.

Confused am I.  I don't quite understand the problem with using 44-40 brass as a donor in handguns.  The only handgun that might be a problem are Rugers.  Some Lustrum(s) ago it was a real problem with Rugers.  45 Schofield and 44-40 wouldn't clear the Hub for the Star.  Had to file little flats on the Hub to clearance for 45 Schofield.  Atz a bit of a nuisance.

Colt, on the other hand, and I believe most Replicas, are cut for 45 Schofield hence 44-40.  I haven't paid any attention to Replica Strap Guns for years.  I don't own any and since I'm not working for a living, didn't need to.  However, I can report, with Annealed Cowboy 45 Special, I couldn't get them to extract from the chambers in MY cartridge conversions.  Cases stuck tight.  Absolutely no Blow-By but geez Louise, kinda tough to reload between stages when you gotta disassemble and punch em out.

I don't necessarily recommend Annealing for Revolvers.  I don't feel it's needed.  Other than a little spooge on the recoil shield, I have never experienced problems in handguns.  My conversions and my Open Top(s) all digest .45s with no annealing without problems.  Rifles are an entirely different matter.  Especially Uberti Rifles.  Ugh.  Big sloppy chambers.  Other than .38 Spl or 357, I do really recommend annealing straight wall cases.  44s, any 44s and 45s, ANY 45s will benefit greatly from annealing.

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Offline Bunk Stagnerg

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2020, 10:46:09 AM »
Update correction on the .44-40/.45 Colt case fit in revolvers
I tried random cases from a box full in the other Evil Roy of a pair not consecutively numbered guns and they fit.
I also tried them in a couple of Gen 1 guns numbered 144XXX and 341XXX and they fit.

My guess is some do some don’t check before a match and save 10 misses. That is my experience.
Experience, the thing you get right after you needed it.
Yr’ Obt’ Svt’
Bunk

Offline Wagon Box Willy

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 10:58:51 AM »
I anneal all my 45 colt brass as I think it is too much work to keep them separated.  I also do notice improved performance in my Uberti 1858 factory conversions and 75's because of less build up on the recoil shield and thus less drag.  Not enough that I would anneal just for that purpose though it is noticeable.

The difference it makes in the rifles is profound.

As for number of firings between annealing, at least a few but since I got my Annealeez I just anneal about 3000 prior to the winter reloading session and call it good.



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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #10 on: Today at 02:10:17 PM »

Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 02:39:42 PM »
At one point I had my wife shooting a .45 Colt handgun and a 38-40 '92 Winchester.  She was always putting 38-40 Rds in her pistol (1906 Colt) They functioned fine.

Hey Joe something tells me accuracy would suffer though.
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Offline Abilene

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Re: .45 Colt blow by...again
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 04:10:06 PM »
Hey Joe something tells me accuracy would suffer though.

Sure, buy hey this is CAS!  About 20 years ago during a team shoot I accidently loaded 44 Spcls in a 1st gen Colt .45.  Bulged the brass but hit the targets 5 times (and they were not as close as they are these days)!   :)

 

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