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It seems that the 45 carries a lot of baggage with it. History suggests it's abilities are limited and even what should be respected sources perpetuate bad information. John Linebaugh has been playing with this cartridge for years and I trust his opinions and experience. Following his advice and recipes I believe is perfectly safe. I've loaded 45's wild and mild. Old age and old body parts now prefer mild loads. Still, to say that the brass is weak doesn't make sense to me. I get umpteen loadings with Remington, Winchester or Starline brass. Weak brass tends to suggest that the brass contains the rounds pressure. If that were the case, why a steel chamber? I believe the brass only serves to contain the components and then swell and seal the actual chamber. Can a 45 be over loaded? Yes! Can it safely run up to 44 mag pressures. No, not in most guns including the Rugers and Marlins. It doesn't need to though. Equal velocities with equal weight bullets can be had. The larger diameter 45 bullet has less bearing surface than a 44 bullet of the same weight. That allows the 45 bullet to run to equal or even higher velocities with less pressure. That's the beauty of a larger diameter bullet. Saying all this to say, 45 Colts are misunderstood...Like Forrest Gump might say, "That's all I got to say about that."
 

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I laugh every time I hear that 45 Colt brass is weak. What do you think Dick Casull used to develop his 454?

Maybe when balloon-head cases were the norm, the 45 Colt was the weak sister, but that was a long time ago. In modern brass, in modern guns, the 45 Colt is a small step behind the 44 Magnum, and as you said, doesn't need to operate at the same pressure to get the same results.

But there are some things to be aware of when playing with the 45LC, especially in a Marlin. Many Marlins (and some Winchesters) have generous chamber and bore dimensions, and that needs to be taken into account when reloading for them. Constant expansion in oversize chambers and then serious resizing wears brass out fast, and maybe that's where the myth of weak brass comes in........if it lets go on the third firing, the brass gets blamed, when it was actually the combination of big chambers and too much work-hardening.

Some folks only "neck-size" their 45LC brass to avoid over-working it, others reduce charges to keep from expanding it too severely. Handloading can bring out the hidden potential of the Long Colt, but only if the reloader knows what he's about, and what to watch for. 8)
 

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My Marlin 45 Colt has a generous chamber size, but the barrel is not that over bore, about .4505. The cases do expand some and so far I have been fully resizing because it returns the case length back, that and I can shoot them in either my rifle or revolver. Before I swapped barrels this gun was a 44 magnum and it too had a big chamber, so big that one of my factory winchester rounds split right down the side about 1" long. So far I haven't had any problems with case splitting in the 45 but haven't pushed it much. I think when I do start some heavier hunting/bear loads I will use the brass once and then relegate it to my plinking duties.. Don't want to tempt fate! It is the hunter you know... :eek: ;)
 
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