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Old 08-31-2006, 09:46 PM
kjhof kjhof is offline
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.45-08 Armco




Anyone ever heard of these? Apparently some guides in Western Canada (and maybe some in Alaska) carry it for emergency bear defense. My understanding is that they cut .308 brass down to .45 ACP length, and ream it out (to I don't know what inside diameter) almost to the web (I also don't know how close to the web "almost to the web" means). Here's a link to some info (you need to scroll down to near the bottom). Here's the text I'm referring to:

Quote:
11/02/02. More news on the .45 ACP "bear Gun" aka the .45-08 Armco. Have been popping out 200 grain hard-cast semiwadcutters at 1450 from a 5" barrelled Para Ordnance. The trick was to use Hodgdon Long Shot powder. I'll tone it down to about 1350 which is lots, but the hot ones were no problem to shoot, even with a stock 18# recoil spring. You NEED a shock buff in the gun! More testing this winter. Too bad the bears are hibernating... I've been reading a bit of Elmer Keith stuff, and have concluded that a good hardcast lead bullet with a flat nose and sharp shoulders is probably the best to use. Gee, that's the one we use for IPSC.

02/05/02. How about the new .45/08 ARMCO pistol wildcat cartridge! This is essentially a .308 case cut down to .45 ACP length and neck reamed to make room for a Nosler 230 grain FMJ flat point bullet (and as much powder as we can cram in behind it. Alternately a 200 grain hard cast SWC bullet beautifully cast and sized by Smart Bullets is used, at higher speeds, of course. Results? So far, almost 1200 FPS from the 230 grain bullet with a 4 1/4" barreled Springfield Armory Defender with a 2 port compensator and a 22 pound recoil spring. That will translate into well over 1200 with a 5" barrel (testing soon) and starts to get REAL close to what you get from a 4" Model 29 in .44 Magnum. 50% (at least) more rounds and twice the controllability. Recoil is absolutely nothing compared to the big magnums, although it IS noticeable! Testing is ongoing and will include a .40Super barrel with 200 grainers at around 1300 FPS. Should be fun. I still like the .45/08 version, and even at the speeds we've achieved, see no excessive pressure signs with Federal 150 (large pistol) primers, which are notoriously soft. The cases, of course, are made to withstand pressures we'll never encounter without actually blowing these pistol primers to smithereens! I really think that a standard 5" 1911 or Para Ordnance, set up with the heaviest recoil springs that Wolff makes, will push 230 grain bullets past 1250, without being anywhere near as punishing to shoot as a hot heavy bullet .44 Magnum load in a Redhawk, a much bigger and heavier gun.

The idea came from the need for a "Bear Gun" for the north where a lot of people who move about in the woods for a living are now getting licenses to carry a handgun. Traditionally it's been a .44 Magnum or bigger, but some of these are a pain to carry comfortably all day, along with a lot of other necessary gear.

I ran into a prospector who insisted on carrying a Colt Officer's Model loaded with 230 grain hardball! Another carries a Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull and has a permanently disabled shooting hand and the biggest flinch you ever saw. Somewhere in between there has to be a gun that has the penetration and sheer bullet weight to take down a bear, even a grizzly, and still be shootable by the average person.

There are, of course, others like this, such as the .45 Super, touted by Ace Custom .45's out of Texas, the .451 Detonics Magnum of some years ago, and the new Triton .450SMC, as well as the .460 Rowland pushed by Clark, and sold only as a compensated gun. It gets to 1300 FPS, but probably needs the comp! All these, by the way, are the same overall length, although case lengths differ. The problem, as we've discovered, is to find a powder that will give us the velocity we want without compressing enough to start pushing the bullet back out. That lets out the old magnum standby, Hodgdon H110, and actually all its contemporaries, such as N110 Vihtavuori, 296, 2400, 4227 IMR, etc. N105 seems to compress at about 1200, so may be OK - and as is usual with this excellent powder, shows no more pressure than an ordinary IPSC load. Others hit the "wall" at 1050 and 1150, and we're currently playing with Tite Group, which is compact enough, and has shown nice results in some reasonable .44 magnum loads.



The plan is to have loads available to test guns built specifically for Bear Defense - hey, let's call them the Armco "BD" models - built around stainless steel .45 Para Ordnance P14-45 "Limited" guns modified with heavy recoil and firing pin springs and the THICK shock buffs made by Red Buff. The customers would be able to purchase ammo such as the .450SMC from Triton, or .45Super, as well as practice with regular .45 ammo by just swapping recoil springs. The guns could, of course, be modified to the customers' specs, with fiber optic sights, checkering, tungsten guide rods, but would basically be stock Paras, able to withstand being carried in all sorts of weather, and available instantly. The repeat shot capability would greatly exceed anything else available, even the trusty 12 gauge shotgun, and if 11 shots aren't enough, fire 10 and save one!
I have absolutely no application for that sort of thing, but I've never let that stop me from wanting something .

I realize that the information in the link I've provided is approaching 5 years of age, but I have talked to a guy in British Columbia who shoots them some in his 1911 (which hasn't blown up yet).
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:57 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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There are some dimensional problems that hindered the 45-08. The rim and the groove above the rim (and the rebate angle) didn't work for the 1911 extractor; by the time you lathe them deeper, you lose some of the precious web depth you're trying to gain. The extra web depth was an attempt to exceed SAAMI pressures without a fully-supported ramped barrel. If you fit a ramped barrel, you don't have to do all that work to the brass. It works to cut the 308 down, but it's a lot of work for minimal gain.

Also, the inside diameter of a 308 is larger than .451" (it's 0.455 inches) so you don't ream it out, you neck it down to fit a 45acp bullet.
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:06 AM
trenace trenace is offline
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Wasn't 45 Super originally made from 45 Win Mag, which itself was cut-down 30-06 in the first place? I guess this differs by being from .308 brass?
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:33 AM
kjhof kjhof is offline
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Thanks, Nick--I hadn't known that.

Trenace, that sounds right, but I'm not familiar enough with this stuff to be sure.
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Old 09-02-2006, 10:35 PM
OD* OD* is offline
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.45 Win Mag is dimensionally and ballistically identical to a cartridge introduced in Canada in 1959 called the .45 NAACO. It was short-lived and was dead and forgotten when Winchester resurrected it as the .45 Win Mag in '79.
The .451 Detonics was basically a .45 Win Mag case shortened to fit in a 1911 magazine. The .45 Super is just a shortened .451 Detonics. So the .45/08 really isn't anything new.
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