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.45acp Magnums?

5310 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Fernando Coelho
Hello, no not the .45 in Mag which is a whole nuther favorite topic of mine.
Who else has tried the .451 Detonics, .460 Rowland, .45 Super or .450SMC?
Thanks to the online article by John Taffin I switched to AA-7 for all my Super and +P acp loads!
Some years ago i had a customer bring in data for the early Super written by Dean Grenell and Ace Customs. We trimmed valuable .45WM brass and worked up to the published (now UNSAFE!) loads of [email protected] and [email protected], wowsers.
Times and powders change along with better ways to slow the slide down than crazy #28-32 recoil springs which beat the lower barrel lugs to death.
Use a max weight main spring along with the EGW firing pin stop plate that's square to slow things down.
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I have a little bit of background with those cartridges :wink: but I'm curious what others have to say about them.

I'd like to add a little bit of trivia to the original post, if you don't mind...

Who made the brass for Detonics and what was it based on?
What does "SMC" in 450 SMC stand for?
What does "SMC" really stand for?
What is the primary component for a .45 Super conversion and where was it originally used?
Trivia Contest?

Might as well eh?
Detonics brass? I should know but ain't seen that ammo can in years along with the stash of Super-vel .45acp in the same can.
Norma? Cut back 7.62?
SMC = Short Magnum Cartridge? I think Ace Jr calls it the stollen mag cart?
The primary component of the conversion? The 1911?
It aint the thicker brass or the crazy recoil spring weight nor powder specific, how about the reloader/shooter being dumb enuff to load/shoot the 1911 at twice the pressures designed? GRIN!
That was a long time ago, we were doing the high pressure Alcan loads in Mr Clerkes .38/45 about the same time and the Hollywood kit barrels were lacking in chamber support.
My very first Ka-Boom!
Is the .460 Rowland the same case length as the .451 Detonics?
Thanks Fernando!
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.451 Detonics Magnum
Who made the brass for Detonics and what was it based on?
The answer is Winchester. The .45 Winchester Magnum was the basis for the .451 D-Mag.

The .45 Win Mag was trimmed to .945" and given the Detonics headstamp. If you look at the narrow extractor groove for the Win Mag you will see it matches the .451 D-Mag. (note: Starline's Win Mag brass uses the same extractor groove as their .45 ACP) There was an initial batch of 500,000 pieces of brass ordered. In the end that was the only production run of the brass. The problem with .451 D-Mag was the case wall thickness prevented using 230 grain bullets. That is unless you liked inside neck reaming. The powders of choice according to Detonics were Bullseye, Blue Dot, Unique, and WW231. According to the load data Detonics provided with their virgin brass, a 185 grain was good for 1,300 fps. What didn't help the life span of the .451 Detonics Magnum was the fact that no ammo maker ever released a factory loading. Right to the very end if you wanted to carry .451 D-Mag you had to make your own.

.45 Super
What is the primary component for a .45 Super conversion and where was it originally used?
The heavy duty recoil guide rod/spring system from Detonics.

Background: Dean Grennell had come up with the idea of taking .451 D-Mag brass, trimming it down to .45 ACP length, and then loading it to 30,000 CUP. This would roughly duplicate the ballistics of the .451 Detonics while still allowing the shooter to use regular .45 ACP ammo in the same barrel. Problem was 230 grain bullets would bulge the brass and the 1911 was getting a healthy amount of battering when using a 22 lb recoil spring. Dean was short on time so he handed the project off to Tom Ferguson. Tom went to Ace Hindman of Ace Custom 45's with a 1911 in one hand and a handful of .451 Detonics brass in the other. Ace inside neck reamed the brass which allowed the usage of 230 grain bullets. For the 1911 he included a handful of changes. The most significant was the recoil guide rod/spring assembly. He used a Detonics system for taming the recoil. The dual springs were roughly 28 lbs. In the end the rate was increased to 32 lbs. Was the recoil spring rate of 32 lbs a bit much? IMHO, yes. While that may have protected the frame when the slide traveled rearward, it also caused the slide to slam forward. This in and of itself could cause serious bullet set-back issues. If you had the misfortune of letting your friend drop the slide on an empty chamber, odds are the hammer was going to fall to halfcock. Not a good thing. In more recent years when Colt introduced the Delta Elite it is interesting to note that they settled on a dual spring system with a rate of 26-28 lbs. When Triton introduced the first factory loading of the .45 Super the performance was set to a 185 grain at 1300 fps, a 200 grain at 1200 fps and a 230 grain at 1100 fps. Powders that worked well with the .45 Super included V.V. N-350, Alliant Power Pistol, HS-7 and AA-7. Of them all, the best was Power Pistol.

450 SMC

What does "SMC" in 450 SMC stand for?
Short Magnum Cartridge
What does "SMC" really stand for?
See Below

The 450 SMC came about after a dispute between Triton Cartridge and Ace Custom .45's. Ace Custom was now being run by Ace Hindman's son, Gary. He had trademarked the name .45 Super. At the time Triton stepped into the picture there was no .45 Super cartridge. The brass supply all but dried up and no one was interested in trimming/reaming .45 Win Mag brass. Triton went to Starline with specifications for the new brass. After a final version was completed we began to produce the ammo. Later Ace Custom 45's came up with the idea of collecting a royalty on every round of .45 Super ammunition sold. That would be like Smith & Wesson charging a royalty everytime someone loaded and sold .40 S&W ammo or SigArms getting a royalty on their 357 SIG.

After Triton discontinued the .45 Super there was still a demand from its distributors for something like the .45 Super. At a trade show we were approached by the buyers from our distributors. They told us of all their backorders and upset customers but that they understood why we stopped making the ammo. Jokingly one of the Triton staff said, "What if we introduce a new cartridge with a superior cartridge case with the same outer dimensions as the .45 ACP?" The response… "Great!, what's it called?" The response… "The 450 suck my ****." After much laughter the buyer asked what could we really call it. "How about the Short Magnum Cartridge?" From then on, that was the name.

When we loaded the .45 Super there was an issue with primer flow. Depending on which firearm the ammo was shot from, sometimes there would be cratered primers and sometimes there wouldn't. Triton had Starline come up with a case with the strength of the .45 Super but with a small primer pocket. This allowed us the ability to use a small rifle primer, thus eliminating the primer flow issue. Another benefit was the smaller primer made it easier for the reloader to sort 450 SMC brass from .45 ACP brass. With that problem gone we increased the pressure of the load from 28,000 PSI (Triton .45 Super) to 32,000 PSI. That gave us a 165 grain at 1450 fps and a 230 grain at 1150 fps (from a 5 inch barrel).

.460 Rowland

The .460 Rowland cartridge case is longer than the .451 Detonics Magnum. It also pushes the limit beyond what a 1911 or Glock can safely handle. Another problem is the marketing of the cartridge conversion kit. It has been said by those marketing the .460 Rowland that you can safely shoot .45 ACP and .45 Super through the .460 Rowland barrel. While it's true that the extractor will hold the brass in place, that is not an advisable thing to do. Another problem with the .460 Rowland is the length of the cartridge case in relation to the max OAL. It makes it difficult to load a bullet to an adequate profile without going beyond the max OAL. Triton loaded a very small run of .460 Rowland. Roughly 10,000 rounds of 165 grain and 230 grain JHP. We all make mistakes :dunno:
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