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38-45 ACP chambered 1911 barrels

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38-45 ACP chambered 1911 barrels Empty 38-45 ACP chambered 1911 barrels

Post by bruce drake on 12/5/2018, 3:07 pm

Does anyone still have one of these old 1911 wildcat barrels or have they all gone into dust trails of history?  CH4D still stocks the die sets and I've already got a 1911 in .400 Corbon that I load 155gr SWC and sized at .401 and use .38 Special load data to shoot it with so I was wondering if anyone had such a barrel just sitting on a shelf already willing to sell to another fellow gun nut.

If they are now just a retired stage in Bullseye history, I can recut a 38Super barrel with a PTG reamer and try to replicate the cartridge over the winter.  Its not going to be a dedicated 1911 Bullseye upper as I know the history behind the cartridge and its limited Bullseye success rate in matches back in the day but since we've advanced in powder and bullet technology, perhaps it might lead to a resurgence....nah, but I still would like to see how it shoots.

Bruce

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Post by LenV on 12/5/2018, 6:51 pm

Bruce, No 38-45 barrel but I have worked up some very accurate loads for the 400 Corbon. There is a round you can play with and get some good results. I have had good scores with both the 180gr LTC and Noslers 135gr JHP. Good luck on your search.

Len
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Post by bruce drake on 12/6/2018, 6:51 pm

Len, 
I do enjoy shooting the 400 Corbon with the light SWC cast lead bullet.  I could zip it up a lot more but I find I like it with some of the "fire" taken off the loading.

I think I'll most likely be re-cutting a 38 Super barrel long before a 38-45ACP barrel does come out from the dustbins of time...

Bruce

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Post by bdrake on 4/18/2020, 11:05 pm

It took a long time (long enough that I had changed laptops and had to restart another account name) but I found an originally chambered 38-45 1911 barrel and dies last week and am waiting for them to arrive in the mail.  I'll try to update this thread with my various loading efforts in the upcoming months.

Bruce

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Post by Roddy Toyota on 4/19/2020, 8:03 pm

Wow, this is a blast from the past.  Way back, I got one of Bo Clerke's 38-45 conversions.  Bo had a gunsmith shop, The Armory, in CA in the 1960's.  Attached are some PDFs of his brochure for the conversion.  I still have the conversion and some RCBS dies and case form die, kicking around somewhere.
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Post by alaronstein on 4/19/2020, 11:00 pm

Talk about strange !!!! I was talking about the 38/45 on Friday with a customer in my office. I had found some old handloads in a box of stuff in the warehouse. I talked to Bo maybe 10/12 years ago(maybe longer-??) - I think. He was living  in AZ or NM as I recall. I think that Casull had tried to come out with a version of the 38/45. I have a few boxes of brass - "38 Casull". I was telling the customer that I had made a lot of 38/45 barrels for a customer in Australia. When their  Gov't banned anything over 38 caliber, the shooters avoided turning in their 45s by converting them to 38cal.  I still have a 38/45 reamer some where in the bldg.- Alan Aronstein

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Post by bdrake on 4/20/2020, 10:41 am

Roddy Toyota wrote:Wow, this is a blast from the past.  Way back, I got one of Bo Clerke's 38-45 conversions.  Bo had a gunsmith shop, The Armory, in CA in the 1960's.  Attached are some PDFs of his brochure for the conversion.  I still have the conversion and some RCBS dies and case form die, kicking around somewhere.
And the page with starting load data in your attachments is most helpful!  Correction - Max recommended loads.


Last edited by bdrake on 4/20/2020, 10:46 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by bdrake on 4/20/2020, 10:44 am

alaronstein wrote:Talk about strange !!!! I was talking about the 38/45 on Friday with a customer in my office. I had found some old handloads in a box of stuff in the warehouse. I talked to Bo maybe 10/12 years ago(maybe longer-??) - I think. He was living  in AZ or NM as I recall. I think that Casull had tried to come out with a version of the 38/45. I have a few boxes of brass - "38 Casull". I was telling the customer that I had made a lot of 38/45 barrels for a customer in Australia. When their  Gov't banned anything over 38 caliber, the shooters avoided turning in their 45s by converting them to 38cal.  I still have a 38/45 reamer some where in the bldg.- Alan Aronstein
Alan,
I intend to keep the loads to the original pressure and speeds.  I don't feel the "need for speed" as some folks may with a 38 Casull loading.  I'm hoping to replicate Dean Grennell's written work on the cartridge and shoot it in at least one match as the Centerfire portion of the 2700.
Bruce

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Post by bdrake on 4/26/2020, 12:21 pm

Post Office package tracking had it out from my local post office for 3 days for delivery and last night it got updated to "Return to sender"  Suspect .

I sent a note to the seller last night to be aware it might be showing back up in his mailbox this week and I sent him the mailing address again in case it there was an error in the address writing.  And tomorrow, I'm making a trip to the post office since I was there Friday afternoon looking for that package and they said to check back in if it didn't arrive in the mail on Saturday.

And folks wonder why the Post Office is loosing money?  This is one reason why I won't be using them as much as I used to.

Bruce

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Post by bdrake on 5/5/2020, 12:29 am

RCBS dies, M Die, barrel and new unfitted barrel bushing arrived in the mail today from the seller who shipped it right back out a fresh tracking number as soon as he saw it had been shipped to my proper address the first time. 

I'll take a jeweler's file to the notch on the bushing so it will fit the bushing cutout in the slide itself tomorrow night.

Tonight was simply an inventory of the items and a test fitting of the new barrel with the donor slide.  the load data in the RCBS Box had them shooting
 the 124gr Truncated cone 356402 cast lead mold at 1100fps.  I'm going to drop the velocity closer to 850fps than to try to heat up the shot.  I have a 400 Corbon 1911 if I want to push an 180gr bullet hot and fast.

Speaking of the 400 Corbon, its resizing die is a perfect intermediate  sizing die for 45 to 400 and then to finish with the  .356" cases.

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Post by bdrake on 6/13/2020, 10:22 pm

so...
Initial shots today now that the gunclub was open finally after the county finally cleared a COVID restriction.

I bought a selection of recoil springs (7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18) and I'm starting with the 7# spring and will work up from there from each desired loading.

All loads were with 5.0gr of CFE Pistol powder and the 7lb recoil spring:

90gr RN Berry plated .380 ACP bullet - no recoil, no cycling of the action.  heavy smoking of the side of the case signifying not enough pressure to fully seal the case.

93gr RN Ideal 356242 mold (another .380 ACP bullet) with polymer coating and sized at .356".  very short bearing surface of the bullet made for a real pain in ensuring the bullet seated squarely even with a properly set M Die to expand the case neck. - no recoil, no cycling of the action.  heavy smoke residue on the side of the case.

There will be no further testing of these light bullets

115gr Winchester silvertip hollowpoint 9mm bullet.  seated nicely and in a 3 round test fire, it cycled, ejected and fed the next bullet with no recoil.   But the two other bullets fired but failed to cycle.   (will increase the powder by .2gr to determine potential for more pressure to fully cycle the 1911 govt. length slide with the 7lb recoil spring)

124gr Lyman 356402, truncated cone mold. polymer coated and sized at .356".  two bullets stove-piped after firing and the third cycled the action and ejected. (will increase the powder by .2gr to determine potential for more pressure to fully cycle the 1911 govt. length slide with the 7lb recoil spring)  recoil was minimal and will be a bullet that will see further testing.

The next set of tests will be more of the 356402 bullets along with a 148gr WC from LEE Precision (a mold for a 38 special WC sized to fit at .356" the formerly chambered 38 Super barrel at 5.2gr with that 7lb recoil spring.)

In addition, I intend to load several cases with Lyman's 358311 mold which is a 158gr Round Nose bullet for the .38 Special. with the ladder test for the CFE Pistol starting at 5.0gr and doing .2gr increments with first 7lb spring and if its is fully functional at the 7lb, I'll swap out the heavier 9lb spring to see if the heavier spring is functional as well.

Lots of experimenting in the future.  lots of fun hopefully and not frustration.

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Post by bruce martindale on 6/14/2020, 12:24 pm

I think Pat was using 3.5 BE

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Post by bdrake on 6/14/2020, 5:37 pm

Thanks Bruce!

Sometimes though, you have to test what you have on hand or what your local shop has to sell.

Best Regards,

Bruce

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Post by flyer898 on 6/20/2020, 12:20 pm

Does anyone have a 38-45 set up they are interested in selling? If so, please send me a pm.

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