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.45ACP Brass weird length

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KB2MBC, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. KB2MBC

    KB2MBC NRA Life Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    I was in the process of loading up .45ACP rounds using previously fired brass, mostly my own, but some range brass was included. I was going through measuring lengths and came up with a few that were too short, I pu them aside figuring they were .45GAP. Afterwards, I looked again at the short cases and they were all headstamped .45 AUTO, huh, weird. After checking the case length of .45GAP, the casings in question are too long. Take a look:

    Sorry for the blur, best the camera can do.
    Case lengths form L to R: 0.898(.45AUTO), 0.830 (?), 0.753 (.45GAP)
    What would be the reason for oddball case length? The only thing I can figure is someone using them with a revolver.
  2. Omikron


    Jun 5, 2009
    Is it possible that those cases were loaded with an unusually long bullet to reach to correct total length?

    Are there any other markings on the casings besides the caliber that would tell you what brand it is?

  3. skyugo


    Nov 23, 2008
    Loveland CO
    semi-unrelated question, can you trim 45ACP brass to 45 GAP length? you know, and have it actually work.
  4. KB2MBC

    KB2MBC NRA Life Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    The .45 ACP headspaces on the mouth of the case so trimming to compensate overall length is not an option.
    The cases are only marked 45 AUTO with different manufacturers, i.e. FEDERAL & CCI.
  5. Ruble Noon

    Ruble Noon "Cracker"

    Feb 18, 2009
    Correct. I would suspect that you have encountered some brass from one of the internet guru's that believe that you need to trim all brass. I have argued with several who think it is necessary to trim .45 ACP's despite being made aware of the fact that the .45 cartridge will actually get shorter during the reloading process.
  6. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country

    99% of the time that's true (45acp headspacing on the case mouth). However, someone may have tried to minimize the bullet jump by loading the rounds so the bullet was in contact with the leade. The round would then have headspaced on the leade. By minimizing bullet jump, you can improve the accuracty.

    That said, I'm not sure why they would have to trim the case back unless it was a very unusual projectile.

    I think the big take away from this is to know your brass. I don't normally trim pistol brass; unless I don't know where it's been. Range pickup brass gets run through a Lyman case length guage to cull out those are are too short (don't run into them often) and to trim the ones that are too long (get a few of them).
  7. panhandletex


    Nov 16, 2009
    Is it possible that they were loaded short for some reason for a 45ACP revolver? That is all I can think of.
  8. dudel


    Dec 10, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    Cheap SOB may have cut off the portion of the case that split :supergrin:

  9. willie_pete

    willie_pete NRA Life Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Sunny Fla
    They will drop out of the revolver a little faster. That's why I shoot GAP in my 625. Probably more of a advantage in my mind than a real world advantage. He could be doing the same thing.

  10. JMS

    JMS 02

    May 6, 2007
    If you need 45 GAP brass, see my signature link and let me know.
  11. acolt45

    acolt45 Senior Shooter

    Feb 15, 2003
    Tuscola County, MI
    The more the 45 acp brass is shot and reloaded the shorter it gets. That is normal. It is a good idea to sort brass for its intended use. Match and practice brass.
    The real short brass I use for bad weather in practice that I do not want to reuse.

    Generally regular sizing will hold the bullet in place, if it is really worn, thin walls, it will not retain the bullet position (bullet can be pushed into the case further with your finger), and the brass should then be discarded, after disassembly. This holds true for all brass, the bullet should always fit tight with or without the crimp. A properly tuned extractor will hold the short case (to the slide) and ignition should not be an issue with the 45acp.

    Whereas revolver brass: 38, 357 mag, 44 mag (and others) gets longer and requires trimming to the correct length, the correct case length maintains the proper pressure curve when crimped properly.

    Always refer to the reloaders manual for proper lengths and other important information..

    Skip a simple check and you may get more than smoke on your body.
    Always follow proper steps when reloading - read the manual.