Ruger .45 acp Cylinder -problem Solved

Help Support Ruger Forum:

bocash3

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Western NC
Model: Ruger Stainless Flat Top .45/.45 Convertible Lipsey model 5.5 inch:


A few weeks ago, I had trouble with stuffing .45 acp into the auxiliary Ruger convertible cylinder while at the cabin.

Most were stopping at about 90% "in" and had to be pushed in with a lot of thumb force........ and some of them stopped so far out that the thumb attempt was useless.

Well, I addressed that today and am convinced that Ruger .45 acp cylinders are exceptionally tight and chamber holes actually tapered near the ends. (At least this one is).

First, I was using Lyman T/C dies I purchased around 1970 and have no idea how many thousands of rounds have gone through them.

So............I decided to replace the nearly 50-year-old Seating/Crimping die with a new RCBS of like character............ordered from Fleabay two weeks ago.

Today, I ran an assortment of 60 brass fired several times and kept a micrometer on the table as I "tuned" that new seating die.

I also took time to fine tune the sizing and belling dies while at it.


SUCCESS!! Here is the scoop:::::::::::::::::::

Factory specs call for the shell diameter at the mouth/crimp after seating to be: Point 473"

I pulled several loaded rounds out of a few boxes loaded earlier, all with the same 200 gr. SWC.

I was getting a diameter of anywhere from .472 to .474" from shells loaded earlier.

I pulled the .45 acp cylinder out of the revolver and placed it on the bench. I would attempt to place previously loaded shells into it. Those that were .474 would go in about 3/4ths of the way and stop - - without thumb pressure. Those that were .473 would go in almost 7/8ths of the way. Those that were between .472 and .473 had to be stuffed "home" with pressure from a thumb.

OK..............so I kept messing with the seating/crimping die until each Newly Crimped shell was right on .471 diameter at the case mouth. THESE would fall out of the chambers of that cylinder when I turned it upside-down. ALL of the others above had to be punched out with a dowel.


Switch gears: I have never had in my memory a .45 acp shell to jamb or NOT go into battery in any 1911 I have had and probably had around 15 over the years and still own 6. This tells me that all of my reloads coming from those Lyman dies are fine for the 1911, even if they are a 1,000th over at the end.......maybe even 2/1,000 over.................

I might could have tuned that Lyman seating die further but lost confidence in it. Besides, it has earned its keep over 49 years.

Now I have around 1200-1500 rounds of loaded .45 acp ammo that may be too fat on the ends to use in this Flat Top Ruger.........but are still fine for the 1911's.

I loaded the 60 brass from start to finish and the end diameters where right at Point 471 - - - 2/1000ths less than factory specs. I am now convinced that this cylinder is not only tighter than specs but also has tapered interior walls.

THEN................. I pulled out 4 boxes of previously loaded 200 swc ammo and ran every one of them through the new RCBS seating die and stopped to measure quite a few of them to make certain they were squeezed down to Point 471.

So now I have 5 boxes I know will feed into the Flat Top and I stuck a bright yellow sticker on each of the 5 boxes that read: "RUGER OK"

I hope someone on the forum will benefit from this experience.

Y'all take care, Bo in western NC
 

Enigma

Hunter
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Messages
2,181
Location
Houston metro area, TX
Decades ago, I was taught to taper crimp .45 ACP ammo to a dimension smaller than .473". It seems like everyone had their personal preference for what the 'magic number' of the OD should be. Some specified as small as .468", although I find that to be a bit too small, personally. Whatever works for you is the correct dimension, IMHO.

Just a thought, but have you measured the chamber throats on your cylinders? Both cylinders on my Lipsey's flattop convertible need to be worked on to get one uniform diameter, as bot cylinders had chamber throats of three different diameters.
 

gunzo

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
1,691
Location
Kentucky
The numbers I have & have used successfully for decades are .468 - .470. This was Bill Wilsons of Wilson Combat recommendation.
And, that crimp should be a taper crimp as Enigma mentions, not a roll crimp.

If your .471 is satisfactory for the Ruger to work, then the cylinder, IMO, is reamed as it should be. And that's a good thing. Enjoy it.
 

NikA

Buckeye
Joined
Nov 2, 2014
Messages
1,534
Location
Yrisarri, NM- high in the Manzanos
It's probably worth noting as well that the .45 ACP cartridge and chamber both have approximately .003 taper over their length, so your experience with partial seating is to be expected.
 

gs50401

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 10, 2017
Messages
32
I had to return mine to Ruger. The 45 ACP cylinder would only allow factory ammo to go in half way in three chambers. The installed a new cylinder.
 

Hondo44

Hawkeye
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
7,825
Location
People's Republik of California
bocash3 said:
First, I was using Lyman T/C dies I purchased around 1970 and have no idea how many thousands of rounds have gone through them.

So............I decided to replace the nearly 50-year-old Seating/Crimping die with a new RCBS of like character............ordered from Fleabay two weeks ago.

Bo in western NC

Outstanding!

Likely the cases that came from the Lyman die when it was brand new would not have fit in your FT Ruger. I highly doubt the carbide die would have worn with brass cases.

I've used Lyman dies exclusively for almost 50 years and never worn out a carbide die. However on one occasion I had a set of .41 Long Colt dies for loading heeled bullets that weren't loading ammo that fit in my gun. I sent them back to Lyman at their request and they came back within a week and loaded properly, at no charge.

For custom ammo loading I've also ground a little off of the mouth of the die so the case could go in farther and therefore resize tighter.

Happy to hear Ruger fixed the problem in your case.
 

rangerbob

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
1,240
A couple of comments, 1, does the Ruger 45 acp cylinder accept factory ammo without issue. 2, I always use a taper crimp die in an extra step with all of the auto rounds that headspace on the case mouth and bullet seat only with the bullet seating die. John Browning designed the 45 acp round with that slight bit of taper so that the round would feed better and he also made the rim the same size as the new 30-03, then 30-06 so as to make manufacturing easier on existing government and commercial machinery. He was a genius. Bob! :wink:
 

bocash3

Bearcat
Joined
Aug 27, 2017
Messages
19
Location
Western NC
Bob and all................... When adjusting the "new" seating/crimping die, seems I did drop
a factory military hardball round into the Ruger .45 acp cylinder and it went home nicely
and dropped out just as well.

My problem was that I was crimping all rounds with the old Lyman seating/crimping die which
fit all the 1911's fine, but just not the Ruger .45 acp convertible cylinder! Yes, that Lyman die was
also a taper crimp, but....................

Since then, I replaced the older Lyman seater/crimper with a new RCBS taper crimper/seater and adjusted it to squeeze the tapered crimp "just a little tighter." Now, I am going back through some 1500 older finished rounds and re-crimping each one.............to fit the Ruger cylinder. Now, I know they will work in either the (6) 1911's or the two Ruger .45 Convertibles I have.

Honestly, I may could have re-adjusted the old Lyman seater to work successfully. I just lost confidence in that die which I purchased new somewhere around 1970. It has paid for itself and I can afford to put it away.

Y'all take care, Bo in NC
 

rangerbob

Buckeye
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
1,240
That's good news. I load all of my handgun ammo on Dillon 550's and usually use either Dillon or Lee taper crimp dies in the final station. They can be adjusted to make finished rounds to match the diameter of ones pistols and revolvers chambers. Now you can redo those bad rounds and shoot away. Bob! :mrgreen:
 
Top