Tuesday, March 31, 2015

CFDA Brass

The Cowboy Fast Draw is fun, but like most hobbies, it cuts in to the disposable income.  While I appreciate the fun, and the camaraderie, a dollar I spend on fast draw is a dollar I can't spend somewhere else.  Like all shooting sports, the ammo needs brass, and the CFDA wants 80 cents apiece for their special brass that takes 209 shotgun primers.  That's fine, but casting about for other sources seems to be coming up blank.  There are a few other vendors, but they want something north of 60 cents apiece for brass.

Being a frugal sort of guy I closely examined a piece of CFDA brass.  It's marked CFDA, with a printed star of top of the headstamp.  I suspect that the brass is made for CFDA by Starline, and a call to them should yield some information.  But, I've got lots of brass in my reloading stocks.  I don't have any .45 Long Colt, but I've got lots of .4 Remington Magnum, and wouldn't it be cool to shoot wax bullets with 209 primers in the big .44?

So, I got out some .44 brass and took some measurements, and came up with a plan.  I used a common 1/4 inch drill bit and drilled out the primer pocket.  That shotgun primer slipped in easily, but stood proud of the case head, so I took at 3/8 drill and made a recess so that the shotgun primer would sit flush.

So, I loaded two with wax bullets, dropped primers in the pocket and wandered out into the front yard.  I shot two into a convenient hedge (the neighbors think I'm crazy) and proved the concept.  It works like a champ, easy-peasy.  The pockets would be a lot more uniform if I had a drill press, but it works.  Works fine, thank you.

Now, I have ten (10) cases that I can shoot through the.44 magnum, and I've proved the concept, so I'm not dependent on the CFDA for brass.  I can make it in my shop, for a whole lot less than 80 cents per piece.  I like those boys, but 90 cents per piece is a bit stiff.  I can buy .45 Colt brass for about .25 cents apiece.

4 comments:

Grey Mobius said...

I remember reading about wax bullets in a free 1970's Popular Mechanics encyclopaedia A-B. The flash hole was drilled [I can't remember what exact size] then a 82° countersink to take the flange on the primer. Bullets were made by melting wax 1/2" deep in a cake pan then pressing the case mouth into it. Quite easy.

Old NFO said...

A penny saved... :-) Nothing wrong with that.

Dan said...

Courtesy of a life long John ?Wayne love I found the old west movie prop gun habit of fitting extra cylinders for common calibers allows firing blanks and wax bullets with good usability at normal ranges.Ruger take offs are surpringly cheap.

Dan said...

also 44 mag will chamber and fire in a 45 colt,LOL.