Lee 45-200RF in a 1911


Active Member
This loading is for a Sig Sauer 1911 Target 5" barrel. The barrel has been throated by Doug. I'm casting two bullets so far for this one. A Lee 452-200 SWC(H&G #68) and the 200 RF bullet. I load the #68 at 1.250 OAL and the RF at 1.20. I can plunk the RF at longer lengths, but it won't fit in the factory magazines much longer than 1.20. The RF bullet is .110 shorter than the the SWC so even with the shorter OAL it's sticking down into the case .06 less than the SWC, giving more case capacity with the RF. I've shot over a thousand rounds of each bullet in this pistol with no more than 2 failures to return to battery due to catching on the case mouth. I don't really crimp, just reduce the case bell to .472.
My question is on powder charge and velocity. Due to the short bullet intruding less into the case, I'm getting way less velocity than published loads. I realize the published loads are for the #68 bullet. Hodgdon lists Universal with starting load at 5.8 gr for 889fps, and a max of 6.3 for 962 at 1.225 OAL. I'm getting 734 fps , ES 31, with 6.1 Universal with the RF bullet. Since velocity will increase with deeper seating and lessen with shallower seating, should I increase the powder charge till I get into 900s area of velocity. Really looking for 850-900 fps with this bullet.
As a comparison, the Lee #68 bullet over 5.2 HP-38, seated at 1.25 is giving me 785 fps, but 87 ES.


Well-Known Member
Common situation with the .45 ACP, seating depth makes a huge difference in pressure. I think you're safe to bump the universal up with the 200 until you get 900 fps, that should be getting near the top end of pressure. Weigh your bullets and make sure they're not 210 grains or something like that, mass matters a great deal to the pressure equation.

I have to seat the Lee 230 TC down to 1.208" (IIRC) to feed in all my guns and that makes listed starting loads for most 230-grain bullets over max pressure due to me seating so deep and reducing case capacity.


Well-Known Member
are you just looking for velocity, or for the on target impact zone to be the same?

I think your safe to go up a little also, but I would look at data for a 200gr RN instead of the SWC.
using case capacity is the first place to start, but the bearing length and engraving start needs to be taken into consideration also.
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Active Member
Looking for a little more velocity, I've got adjustable sights so if I decide to use the load for hunting I can zero for it. I thought the same thing about finding a 200 RN listing but in my RCBS and Lyman cast manuals as well as a couple older Lyman books, none list a 200 RN.
Thanks guys