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Hi, I am about to buy an antique colt SAA .455 Eley (London Pall Mal stamped, manufactured 1878, exelent contition). I want load blackpowder cartridges, and the .45 colt is the desirable caliber to reload.
The seller (who is not a shooter) claims that it chambers .45 colt perfectly, and it will shoot it fine, though it is manufactured for .455 Eley.

My question is, will it shoot .45 Colt and if so, is it rechambered (will this hurt the value of the gun)?

I'm new here, and i will appreciate any help!

Thanks, Carl

Colt SAA London Colt 45 LC (1).jpg Colt SAA London Colt 45 LC (6).jpg Colt SAA London Colt 45 LC (7).jpg Colt SAA London Colt 45 LC (15).jpg Colt SAA London Colt 45 LC (16).jpg
 

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I have no idea, but I can't wait to see the responses. I am lucky enough to have a nice 455 SAA. I have never thought of shooting it! You are a braver man than I.

Beautiful gun, btw. May I ask the asking price?
 

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It would depend on whether the chambers have the "ball-seat" as it was called back then or if they were bored straight through as was done with cartridges loaded with heel-type bullets like .41 and .38 Colt in their early permutations. If they are bored straight through they would accept .45 Colts but that's not the same as saying they should be fired in it. The "ball-seat" appeared after cartridges were loaded with bullets with their full diameters fitting inside the cartridge case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Skywalker:
He was originally asking $6189, but since he messed up the previous order for another .45 colt, he would step down to $4580. I live in Norway, and antique gun prices are sky high, so I think the price he was giving me was fair. Unfortunately it was not the gun I was looking for at this moment...

MLV:
Thanks for the info, I will make a pass on this one then.
 

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FWIW, a 455 will fit in a 45 colt chamber. The headspace is loose but they fit and fire with lower recoil.
 

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Oh, and as a nice addition, I have a 1911 in 455 with British proofs! I haven't shot it either. Two 455 Colts!

My father was a fanatic for things with British proofs, so we always searched for these items.
 

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Hi, I am about to buy an antique colt SAA .455 Eley (London Pall Mal stamped, manufactured 1878, exelent contition). I want load blackpowder cartridges, and the .45 colt is the desirable caliber to reload.
The seller (who is not a shooter) claims that it chambers .45 colt perfectly, and it will shoot it fine, though it is manufactured for .455 Eley.

My question is, will it shoot .45 Colt and if so, is it rechambered (will this hurt the value of the gun)?

I'm new here, and i will appreciate any help!

Thanks, Carl

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Carl, since you live in Europe why dont you try this guy for a single action, I have bought from Ives in the past , great guy to deal with and very resonable price's .

Wild West Treasures - Home
 

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A .455 has a thinner rim than the .45 Colt so a .45, if the chambers of the .455 are not shouldered, may enter and slide home but the cylinder will not rotate because the thinner head space of the ,455 will not allow it. But, the .455 chambers are most likely shouldered so no go. Fiocchi (?) sells .455 Webley loaded ammo and it should be available in Norway. Reloading dies are also probably available in Norway by special order.
 

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A .455 has a thinner rim than the .45 Colt so a .45, if the chambers of the .455 are not shouldered, may enter and slide home but the cylinder will not rotate because the thinner head space of the ,455 will not allow it. But, the .455 chambers are most likely shouldered so no go. Fiocchi (?) sells .455 Webley loaded ammo and it should be available in Norway. Reloading dies are also probably available in Norway by special order.
I assume those are smokeless rounds? This SAA should be fired, if at all, with BP only. Just a heads up.
 

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I am not aware of any 455 SAAs with charge holes (chambers w/o shoulders or 'ball seats'), therefore if it chambers 45 Colt, the chambering can not be original. The chamber shoulders have been deepened and the rear face of the cyl or the recoil shield have been shaved at least .015" for 45 Colt rims to fit in the head space.

Or the chambers were recessed .015" for 45 Colt rims to fit. If that's the case, the wider rim of the 455 will still allow 455 cartridges to chamber and fire reliably.

Ask if there's a shoulder in the chambers and if the chambers are recessed?
 

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As was mentioned before, the rim of the .45 Colt is thicker, while the rim of the .455 is greater in diameter. Shaving the face of the recoil shield is one way to accommodate the thicker rim, and it works ok if the cylinder is long enough to accept the Colt cartridge. Sometimes, even if the cylinder is long enough, unless bored straight through, the chamber is not. Another method, which i have seen on several .455 New Service revolvers, is to carefully ream the cylinder for .45 Colt. This depens the chamber and results in very slight counterbore on the cylinder's rear face. A revolver so modified will accept and shoot both cartridges. This conversion appears to have been fairly common in the Fifties when Britain was selling guns out of service. Certainly a more elegant solution to ammunition supply problems than the importers of S&W British .38-200 revolvers who reamed them to .38 Special.

 
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