View Full Version : .45 colt balloon head brass

March 25, 2014, 17:08
I recently came in posession of a bunch of .45 Colt balloon head brass.Is there a market for these and if so what would be the value?

March 26, 2014, 07:59
Yeah, I think there is a value. Guys who like to shoot blackpowder like them since they hold the correct amount - newer cases hold less. I have no idea of the value though.

March 29, 2014, 19:49
Yea, thought I would sell them since I don't shoot black powder but don't know what to ask for them .Thanks for the reply.

Retired Bum
March 30, 2014, 00:28
I have a small number of the old U.M.C. head stamped .45 Colt rounds and a smaller number of them stamped W.R.A. I disassembled the worst looking of each make and both of them were balloon head cases. Loaded with black powder of course. Both of these rounds did not have the full 40 grain charge. They were loaded with the reduced 28 grain charge that was offered by the ammo companies back in the day.

There is something to consider when using these old cases. They are not as strong as the newer solid web head cases. If factory loaded with black powder then it is highly probable that these cases were primed with the old fulminate of mercury primers. When fired the mercury in those primers attacks the brass case and weakens it. This is why back when one hand loaded with black powder that the cases would be washed in boiling water to remove the mercury.

Some of the cowboy action shooting crowd uses black powder handloads. But I will wager that they don't fill the case with BP and then compress the charge. Powder puff loads seem to be the name of the game with the cowboy shooters these days. So old questionable balloon head cases aren't really needed IMHO.

And so it goes.

The Retired One