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45 acp & 30-06 bases

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Catpop, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    I noticed on looking through Dillon 550 shellplates that both the 45acp and the 30-06 both take the same shellplate. On going to SAAMI specs they are very close to the same. Same rim thickness and only .007 difference in diameter.

    This led me to ask this question:
    Since both were military cartridges developed in about the same time period- was there a military reason both had similar bases? ie, brass case forming equipment, etc?

    Even further, could s 30-06 case be cut down to repurpose as 45 acp?

    Hey it’s cold and wet outside here on east coast and I’m daydreaming of better times!

    Just curious?
     
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  2. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    It's been common for years to use the same shell holder for both. However, Hornady has a separate shell plate for .45 ACP for the LnL AP.

    The .45 ACP was a commercial cartridge before it was a military cartridge.
     
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  3. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    The .45 acp was designed by John Browning in 1905, and adopted by the U.S. military in 1911. The 30-06 cartridge is based on the older 30-03, so it predates the .45 acp.

    You can't cut down .30-06 cases to use as .45 acp due to the thick wall at the base of the rifle round, and the thicker web area. It would take considerable machining of the cut down case to make it viable in the .45 acp.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
     
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  4. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    Actually, people do take 308 shells and cut them down to make shotshells that fit 45acp guns.
     
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  5. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Member

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    I've done that myself with both .308 and .30-06 cases, but that's different than actually seating a bullet in a really thick case. With the abundance of .45 acp brass, it wouldn't be worth the time and effort to make them work. (Unless it's cold and wet outside, and you don't have anything better to do):)
     
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  6. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    You are correct. I wasn't suggesting that one should seat a 45 bullet in a cut down 308 case. I was just pointing out that the external dimensions are close enough to fit the chamber.
     
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  7. HEAVY METAL 1

    HEAVY METAL 1 Member

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    I have used my Lee Pro 1000 to prime 30-06 and 8MM cases since the case heads are so similar. The speed at which this can be done is limited only by your eye-hand coordination. (It blazes!) Since the plunger primer seater is a ram seater of sorts the primer depths are consistent.
     
  8. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    A little off the subject but I make my .44/.357 Auto Mag cases from picked-up range brass which is mostly .30-06, .308, and .270. And, yes, they need to be reamed internally before a .429 bullet will fit. Going up to .451 for a .45 acp would make a mighty thin case in my estimation, same with a .452, 45 Colt.
     
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  9. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    Interesting. I can possibly see going to the trouble of making 44/357 Auto Mag cases from 308, but like others have mentioned 45acp is so common so why bother.
     
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  10. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    Rifle cases are much thicker. Too thick to be able to seat a bullet of appropriate size for a pistol.
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The .45 ACP is also very close to the case diameter of the .45 Gov't/Schofield, which was what they were trying to replicate in an automatic.
    So, is the similarity to .30-06 a coincidence or an opportunity to use at least some existing case drawing equipment?

    The .45 Rimless Smokeless of 1905, the FA trials ammo of 1906, and the final .45 Auto 1911 are all very similar in length and diameter, but there are differences in extractor groove shape to suit the guns of interest.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    While the ballistics of the 45 Schofield are similar to the 45 ACP, that cartridge was not used in the Thompson/La Garde test. What was used was the 455 Eley, and I think the ballistics of the 45 ACP were closely tailored based on the test results of the 455 Eley.

    There was a previous 200 grain commercial cartridge, though the reasons for its configuration have been lost to history, and who made those decisions is not in any of my documentation. I have looked through Clawson, the decision for the military 230 FMJ bullet and cartridge came out of Chief of Ordnance Headquarters under letter by Brigadier General William Crozier. BG Crozier wrote directives, not philosophical explorations about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

    The why's and wherefore's as to case head diameters has been lost to history.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Like you say, lost in history. But this is the internet, speculation is what we do.

    I wonder what ammo was sent to the Philippines with the SAAs and 1878s to make up for the failings of the .38. Did they have any .45 Schofield left or did they have to send .45 LC?

    I figure the .45 Rimless Smokeless 200 gr 1905 was a Colt/Browning(Winchester?) development based on what the parallel ruler action could be made to handle.

    I have READ that the 1906 .45 (rimless and rimmed) was specified with a 230 grain bullet because they couldn't fit in a 250.
    I wonder why the 1909 New Service was made for a large rim version of .45 LC instead of the official 1906 rimmed cartridge.

    I didn't recall that Thompson and LaGarde shot beeves with a .455 in lieu of a .45. Didn't they also have an old .476 Enfield?
    I am very cynical about those trials. I figure they interpreted the shooting to confirm a decision already made to go back to .45.
     
  14. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I love Wiki, and a quick search shows the 455 Webley (455 Eley) and 476 Eley were used in the Thompson Tests.


    Thompson–LaGarde Tests
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thompson–LaGarde_Tests


    The tests were conducted at the Nelson Morris Company Union Stock Yards in Chicago, Illinois, using both live cattle outside a local slaughterhouse, as well as some human cadavers. To consider different combinations of factors, several different calibers were used during the tests: 7.65×21mm Parabellum (.30 Luger), 9×19mm Parabellum (Germany), .38 Long Colt, .38 ACP, blunt and hollow-point .45 Colt (US), .476 Eley (UK), and the "cupped" .455 Webley (UK).

    But, I learned something, after reading this article from Wiki:

    455 Webley
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.455_Webley

    .476 Enfield

    Despite the apparent difference in caliber name, .476 Enfield was quite similar to the .455 Webley. The .476 had a 0.05 mm (0.002 in) shorter case than the .455 Mark I and could be fired in weapons regulated and marked as safe for the caliber, such as the Webley "WG Army" model. This had a cylinder that was long enough to accommodate the significantly longer cartridge in which the bullet swelled out to .476" beyond the case. It would not chamber in any government-issue .455 Webley Marks I–VI.[3][7] The .450 Adams (1868), .476 Enfield (1881), and .455 Webley Mk.I (1891) British service cartridges all featured a case diameter of .476 inch [12.09mm].

    British service use

    The .476 Enfield cartridge was only in British service for a comparatively short period before it was replaced by the black powder-loaded .455 Webley Mark I in 1887[1] and then by the smokeless powder-loaded .455 Webley Mark II in September 1897.[1] Just over 1,000[2] Enfield Mark IIs were issued to the North-West Mounted Police, and these remained in service until 1911,[2] when the last Enfields were phased out in favour of more modern (and reliable) .45 Colt New Service revolvers.[2]

    476 Enfield
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.476_Enfield

    Using the same bullet as the .455 (11.6mm) Webley Mark I,[1] the .476 casing was 0.05 mm (0.002 in) longer[1] and carried a charge of 18 gr (1.17 g) of black powder, compared to 6.5 gr (0.42 g) of cordite in the .455 Mark I.[1] While the .476 Enfield cartridge could be used in any British-manufactured .455 Webley calibre service revolver, there were issues with the later-production Colt or Smith & Wesson .455 Revolver models, which were liable to have slightly smaller bore diameters.[1]

    Despite the difference in designation, the .476 readily interchanged with the earlier .450 Adams and .455 Webley rounds[2] (the latter in black powder Mark I and smokeless Marks II through VI),[1] as well as the .455 Colt (a U.S. commercial brand for the same .455 Webley round, with slightly different ballistics),[3] which all used the same .455 in (11.6mm) bullet, the distinction being which diameter was measured.[2] Officially, .450 Adams, .476 Enfield, and .455 Webley cartridges could all be fired in the Webley Mark III British Government Model revolver;[4][page needed] although case length, bullet weight and shape, and powder charge differed, all three cartridges featured a case diameter of .476 inch with a bullet diameter of .455 inch, which could be fired in a barrel of .450 inch bore.

    I had always assumed the 476 Eley used a 0.476 diameter bullet. Not so! It was the same diameter as the 455 Webley. It has been years since I read the LaGarde report, but my recollection was that the 476 Eley was judged to be the superior cartridge in terms of lethality.

    I think the 45 Schofield had been in use long enough, and had an inferior reputation to the 46 LC. I found a period web book, and in it a Cowboy/Hunter/Scout commented that the 45 Government cartridge was inferior against game compared to the commercial cartridges. And as we have seen, it was not used by Thompson/La Garde. They used the commercial version.

    On another forum , Mike the Malevolent Moderator claims the 45 Schofield was the basis for the 45 ACP, but based on the cartridges actually used in testing, I don't see that. Instead the board tested current military cartridges, the 9mm, 455 Webley, and the 45 Colt, a couple of commercial cases, to see what worked best. And beyond the 45 caliber recommendation, what was decided later, we don't know.

    As to whether the 45 Schofield was issued in the Philippines or the 45 Colt, I don't know. I do know the Government SAA's were sighted in for the 45 Schofield. Since the pistols could take either, if I had the choice, I would take 45 Colt. It is surprising to find that the logistics system will create strange shortages for our troops abroad. A bud of mine went to the Sandbox 2005-2006. He claimed that during his tour, yes, you could get a 9mm pistol, but, 9mm ammunition was not available! Another active duty bud, based on travel orders, he was not considered a combatant, and there were not enough helmets, flak jackets, or weapons, so he was not given any in his short tour. I think his tour was in terms of months. He was able to find a helmet, don't remember if he got the ballistic vest, but I remember he never found a loose weapon. I guess he carried rocks to throw at jihadies! I can only imagine that the supply chain back in the 1890's was even worse.

    Might have, could have been a bias on the team, we would have had to been on the team to understand the dynamics. I do know the military is very conservative, hates change. They like what they have, they want something better but only a little different, and the user totally rejects revolutionary change. Like going from a 45 to a 9mm, or a 38 caliber bullet. Or going from the field cap to a beret, and the change over from the Army green Uniform to the BDU camo was an unhappy time. Guys who got used to the BDU really hated the ACU. Change is not welcome. Baby likes its rattle and will have no other. Change is usually implemented from above over the objections of the user.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    British cartridge history and nomenclature make ours look simple. The .476 Enfield Mk I and Mk III bullets are indeed .476" diameter. The Mk II with .455" bullet only lasted a year, probably no better performer than the earlier .455 Enfield. Look at the pictures, the bulbous nose is clearly about the same diameter as the case. CotW says .472" I assume from measurement of one specimen.
    http://cartridgecollectors.org/?page=introduction-to-455-cartridges

    I have not seen an Enfield revolver or drawing, but it sure looks like it must have straight chambers like any other outside lubricated ammo revolver.

    Ezell shows an armorers' chart with similarities and differences of Webleys Mks III, IV, V, and VI.
    Bore diameter is .441", groove depth is .004" to .006" so average groove diameter is .451". Wiki calls the .450" groove diameter the "bore" but so does nearly everybody else on the internet so it is futile to resist. it's not important like the distinction between "clip" and "magazine", is it?
    Cylinder throat diameter is nominal .449".
    Ezell says bullet diameter is 11.5mm which = .4527" but for some reason he metricated everything and I don't know what his rounding convention was. .455" = 11.557 mm, so it is close enough for government work and probably was then, too.

    The .45 Colt commercial was clearly more powerful than .45 Gov't/Schofield. The Army loaded .45 Colt down a good deal even before the S&Ws pushed them into issuing everybody the short cartridges. I have seen excessive recoil and failures in proof given as reasons for the reduction.

    The Army appears to have been content with the performance, though. The .45 1906 standards, leading to the .45 ACP were a lighter bullet at higher velocity. The New Service 1909 was not much stouter than the Schofield, not loaded as heavily as .45 Colt commercial.

    ETA: Thompson and LaGarde were shooting low end .45 Colt; a 250 at 720 fps, 220 HP at 700. The .455 was a 218 Manstopper at 800; the .476 a 288 at 729. No wonder they liked the .276.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
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