new to .45 acp reloading

NAGANT

Active Member
#1
i have a couple hundred Lee 230 gr. TL round nose bullets but they average 237 gr's. Resized to .252 and they have 2 coats of BBL on them. My idea is 5.5 gr's Unique but OAL is my main concern. 1.270 seems to be nose heavy but that was Lee manual for generic 230 cast, Lyman doesn't list a cast 230 load but a 225 gr at 1.272, their jacketed 230 load is 1.275 . Shooting them in a armscor short barreled 1911, citadel with 3.5 barrel. haven't shot it yet and have 2 box's of blazer brass case jacketed 230 grain bullets i'll run thru it first. Only other powder i have that i can find a 230 cast load for is Trailboss with OAL of 1.200. Unless it sounds wrong i think 5.5 unique AOL at 1.240-1.260 should be best bet for feeding. I'll load up 50 at each length.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
#2
Unique is good. If you shorten the oal at all below the data, back off a bunch. I posted some pressure predictions a while back on the .45 acp showing massive pressure increases for a small amount of oal decrease.

First, make a dummy round and do the plunk test. If you are unfamiliar, ask or google it. If you are short on load data, Lyman #45 tells us to start at 5.0 grains of Unique with all bullets listed.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
#4
The Lee 230 grain RNs have very different ogives than does the Lyman #452374. The "Plunk test" sequence is good advice, with the caveat to start low on the powder amounts.
 
#5
I am pretty new to 45 ACP as well, one thing I encountered was oal had to be just right to feed from the mag, to short would hang up before it would chamber (swc or tc), too long of course wouldn't fit the mag.
 

NAGANT

Active Member
#6
hopefully I'll get out Saturday and break it in. My 20 year old National guard grandson is jonesin bad to shoot it but i need to get a good feeding load before that happens. thanks everyone.
 

CZ93X62

Redlands, Kalifornistan
#7
The 45 ACP is a very lead-friendly autopistol caliber, a thing that cannot be said for the 9mm/10mm/40 S&W calibers. The 45 runs at about half the working pressure of these other monsters, and most 45 ACP barrels have reasonable twist rates that mesh well with castings. Finally, 45 ACP barrels and throats tend to adhere very closely to the .451"-.452" dimensional standard specified by its daddy (John Browning) 100+ years ago. As a "first" autopistol caliber, the 45 ACP is tough to beat for the bullet caster.

My two favorite bullets for the 45s are Lyman #452374 and the Lee 230 grain TC with conventional lube groove. I feed a couple Gold Cups with these--my own (Series 80) and my bro-in-law's practically unfired and totally unaltered Series 70. NICE PISTOL, TOM. As us older cats know, unmodified Series 70 Colts and earlier versions did not always get along well with cast bullets, hollow points, or just about any load other than "GI hardball". It was a pleasant surprise that Tom's pistol ran flawlessly with both #452374 and the Lee TC atop 5.0 grains of WW231. (Note: This load is about 10% under "book" max). OALs were 1.270' for the 374, and the Lee gets my Lee TC seating regimen of ".020" of front drive band above the case mouth, and call it 'good'". A light taper crimp as a discrete die step snugs it all down. (Note 2: The taper crimp/seater die is the invention of the devil. You cannot simultaneously set a precise seating depth consistently while compressing the daylights out of the same bullet's sidewalls, and this goes double for cast bullets. Seat first--then move the assembly to a taper crimp die. Roll-crimping in the same die step as seating can work well if the bullet has a dedicated crimp groove or pronounced cannelure; otherwise, I crimp discretely).

On that same range trip, we found that Tom's box-stock Series 70 would readily digest my agency's carry load, too--the WWB 230 grain JHP. It was a good day.
 
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NAGANT

Active Member
#8
I like the separate crimp myself, especially for switching bullet types in my other cal's. This alloy may be too soft, poured these 3 yrs ago and changed alloys about that time from 12/12 to 16/18 hardness, maybe why the weigh heavy. Lost the records on them and I'd rather herd skunks then break out the LEE harness kit. Have those art pencils on the way:) thanks to checking this forum again.
 

Ian

Well-Known Member
#10
Yep. Just a place to start. Alliant isn't very helpful with their load data online, apparently the marketing dept. runs the ballistics dept., all I could find for 230 rn ball or cast was a powder I've never heard of called "Sport Pistol".
 
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fiver

Well-Known Member
#11
great another new one..
Alliant is a shot shell first and foremost powder manufacturer, you'd never know it by their manual though, it only has like 50 pages of shot shell data and 9 for hand guns.
5.8 is max for a cast 230 BTW.
airc jacketed is like 6.5 for the same 830 fps.
 

NAGANT

Active Member
#12
You'd think 45 acp cast loads would be like decoys at a duck hunting convention. Lee lists 5.8 unique as max load and lyman has 7.3 for a 225 bullet. ( no 230 cast bullet load?) I've got a ancient Hodgdon manual but don't think it lists unique. So will load up a variety pack starting at 5.5 and up to 5.8. Emailed aliant for more info and found this about sports pistol...http://www.alliantpowder.com/whats_new/latest_products.aspx
 

Brad

Administrator
Staff member
#13
Looks like Sport Pistol is aimed at action shooting and coated bullets in particular. Alliant says it is less likely to react with coatings than some other powders.
Kind of interesting how quickly the manufacturers can respond to a trend in shooting sports.
 

RBHarter

West Central AR
#15
I worked with Jon Amonti , I think, several years .....Ben Amoni . Anyway it was for data for a 32 Rem . He took the time , probably to go 10 steps down the hall to the library , to find data in a Lyman book , #10 I think , for it . He was at least in CS with Aliant for at least 6 yr after the name change . I found hid help with that indispensable . A couple of months later Handloader ran an article on the 32 Rem and not knowing it was a 1st cousin then to the 32 WS Speer#12 had data ..... They're not the same but you won't blow up a Rem with WS data.

Wondered off there . Sorry .
Ben Amoni at Aliant email .

I run 5.5 under 250s for the old 1917s and that cheap semi auto rifle . The Colt likes those the Smith prefers 5.5 with 200s .
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
#16
Taper crimp as a separate operation for .45 ACP. Do NOT worry about 'too tight', it is a myth,
at least as any kind of safety or headspace issue. May POSSIBLY get slightly less accy with
more crimp than your gun actually requires, but tight TC ensures reliable ammo.

My recommendation is H&G 68 at 1.250 LOA, over 4.8 to 5.0 gr of TiteGroup of Bullseye.
If you insist on the ledge crimp while seating, you will have less reliability, and an occasional
jammed round from overcrimp rising a ring just below the case mouth.
I was at the local range, hanging out a couple weeks ago when a guy came off the range, told
the counter guy that he was done, Kimber jammed up, couldn't clear it. The range guy knows
I am a 1911 guy, suggested he talk to me. I offered to clear it, so we went back on the
range. Clearing a seriously jammed round in a semi-auto is best done by holding firmly onto
the slide with left hand and smacking the grip hard with palm, thumb on one side fingers on
the other, like reaching for a grip, just max speed. Three hits and it popped open. Overlength
brass, ledge type crimper, overcrimp made a bulge about .040 below case mouth, bright shiny
ring when I examined the round. I recommended that he switch to TC as a separate operation,
and he wondered why, and I explained it again. You can lead a horse to water....

Not my problem, but that IS the fix.

Bill
 
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Ian

Well-Known Member
#17
That has to be a first in the history of the .45 ACP.

That Lee die you sent me is the perfect taper-crimp tool, still use it and love it....even though I opt for .468" instead of the .465" you recommend for ultimate reliability. One Redding "taper crimp" and two RCBS "taper crimp" dies, not to mention two Lee "seating" dies with crimp feature all did it WRONG.
 

Pistolero

Well-Known Member
#18
Over the average case length that you set the die for, NOT over the max allowable. THAT never happens.
I have never, ever seen a piece of .45 ACP brass anywhere near max length. If 98% are around
one length, you set the step type crimp for that, it will seriously over crimp the occasional case
which is .010 or more longer.

Yes, excellent catch, Ian. Old type separate TC die. Old style RCBS TC dies from 70s and 80s did
it right, somewhere along the line they change to a long taper, like 1" long which will just
remove a bit of the expansion flare. You want a die with a TC taper over about 1/8-3.16 of
an inch when you look into it. If you see no particular step, just a long smooth, constant
taper - that is wrong. The very, very long taper type dies cannot provide the proper short
taper crimp you need.

Ian and I went through this over time, and I had several old TC dies in stock, just said - taper crimp,
and Ian kept saying it was impossible to get a TC to .465, can't be done, which I KNEW was not true....
with old style TC dies. New dies are a mess, IMO for .45 ACP. The type of TC die that Lee was supplying
a year or two ago was correct.

Glad Ian jumped it, hate to repeat that mess of miscommunication. If you find an old RCBS die on
eBay in the old style green plastic box, with the little flip over toggle/latch it is likely correct.

The Lee #: 90785 is likely correct, although the die makers keep changing designs, so not 100% certain.
In any case, .467 is .003 tighter than straight case, and I prefer .004 to .005 tighter. Just don't stop at
"just straighten out the flare" as recommended by many sources. It does NOT provide most reliable
ammo. Right, Ian?

Bill
 
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NAGANT

Active Member
#19
Using that Lee TC die. Was mystified by the short once fired brass i bought, you all got me on track thanks. First time auto pistol reloading trip so appreciate all responses.
 
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