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Old February 18, 2013, 03:24 PM   #1
Real Gun
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200 gr FTX (460 S&W) for 45 LC

Since we are in times, when bullet substitutes become necessary, I have to ask whether the 200 gr Hornady FTX @.452 for 460 S&W could be used as a 45 LC, particularly for Taurus Judge or Henry Big Boy, for which OAL is not critical. I note that the new 45 Colt Critical Defense is down to 185 gr FTX in bullet weight and style, so my question seems reasonable to me. I expect it would be a higher velocity round with maybe some special powder considerations. Any advice? Suggested loads? I have Power Pistol, Unique, Clays, Bullseye, Green Dot in sufficient supply to load the 400 bullets in question. Yes, they are double the price of .45 Colt 250 gr XTP.
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Old February 18, 2013, 03:54 PM   #2
Sevens
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We actually had this question VERY recently in this forum though I haven't taken the time to look for it. Was within the last 30 days.

I have very limited experience in .45 Colt but what I've found very early in is that it's a bit of a, well, "situation" when you've got a gargantuan cartridge case and YET, you must stick to a low maximum pressure. You end up with a lot of space to fill and you are limited with how much powder you use to fill that space.

And different powders act erratically when they have too much space to occupy. In some cases, you can get a small charge of a fast burning powder to lay horizontally in the case and there's been years of discussion and conjecture about the possibility of catastrophic failure in this situation. ("Detonation") That's really a whole can of worms and I leave it to you (or others) to futher that discussion. However...I've already found that handloads in .45 Colt with massive amounts of "extra space" in the case has led to erratic on-range performance depending simply on how the gun/cartridges were last "tilted" before dropping the hammer.

And this situation is exacerbated when you use a lighter bullet because that lighter bullet is obviously shorter -- and leaves even MORE space inside. Some folks combat this with a solid or granule-based buffer, but again, that's territory that I'm not qualified to comment on.

This is a great place to use a very bulky and low-energy powder such as Trail Boss to combat the large amount of space. Myself, I've experimented with Titegroup because it's gained a reputation as a powder that's unusually resistant to it's position or place inside a large case. Which is good because it uses a minuscule charge weight!

I haven't gotten far enough in testing to come up with solid results but it's still something to consider.

In your position? I just can't see enough good reasons to spend such high dollars on an obviously expensive bullet for a cartridge that was absolutely designed around a very low-cost lead slug. While lead bullets aren't for everyone, it's awfully hard to argue about how good they are for the .45 Colt.

Big, heavy, take up lots of space and offer much less resistance to being shoved down the bore. And they'd simply cost a FRACTION of what you'd spend on the pricey FTX bullets.

I'm no authority - I'm hoping to learn from this thread also.
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:09 PM   #3
Real Gun
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I can't shoot lead at my indoor range. I only reload practice ammo (in peace time). Most of my bullets are XTP but I do have 500 in RNFP (lead).

Thanks for the thoughts. I have ordered edition 9 of the Hornady book to replace my edition 7. Maybe that will help or a call to Hornady. The question, I think is how Hornady produced a satisfactory Critical Defense round as 45 Colt 185 gr FTX. Their Leverevolution FTX is 225 gr. I see they have a special powder for lever rifle calibers, so maybe they have a special one for pistol that we haven't heard about yet.
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Old February 18, 2013, 04:20 PM   #4
Sevens
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I absolutely understand the "no lead on indoor range" issue, this is quite common. In your spot, I'd be looking for a plated 250gr bullet. That would give you a very good bullet, a proper bullet, and at much less cost than even an XTP, let alone an FTX.

Obviously, these bullets are a bit hard to get right at the moment. Berry's makes a fine one for this application, if you could just find someone that has them. Berry's has basically disabled their website at the moment as they find themselves focused entirely on making product for their largest retailers.

You might find some of them at a Cabela's, as they carry Berry's bullets.

Also, check your PM's.
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Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:22 PM   #5
mattL46
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Real gun , I believe I'm the one sevens speaks of concerning this same question. Maybe I can save you a little time. I spoke with hornady. The act was I'll advised to say the least. The tech I spoke to offered no way around my predicament. (I accidentally bought some before I knew what I was doing. More than a year ago closer to two.) I've been very busy since then and don't remember all that was said but I do remember that there is a low pressure issue (considering these bullets were designed for 2000+ fps) with the bullet expanding to the bore. Wish I could remember more. I actually bought the 200gn and 250gn (the thumper) learned a valuable lesson. Know what your loading. Hope this helped.
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Old March 1, 2013, 11:26 PM   #6
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Oh he also said no data what so ever for those bullet weights concerning 45lc. Even the 9th edition.
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Old March 4, 2013, 05:02 PM   #7
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Wow. Bummer about having a .45Colt and not allowed to shoot lead.

My own Redhawk has never been besmirched with a jacketed bullet.

If I were to say move to another state, I would absolutely look at plated lead bullets around 250 grains for practice and every day carry, with the widest flattest nose possible.

In 45 Colt under 260 grains I would (and do) stick with either Universal Clays and/ or TiteGroup. I have observed TiteGroup's reputation for case position insensitivity to be well earned, and I find Universal Clays to be good enough.
There are many other contenders for this crown. Unique, bullseye I think and 2400 are three I have heard of a lot but have never used. I have two Hodgdon dealers in my town and no need to wander further afield.

I have never loaded 45Colt below 200 grains at all. However, I have launched a few hundred at 200 grains, and several thousand 230gr Truncated Cones so I can go shoot at steel plates with the .45ACP owners.

Tite group is your friend. Over 260gr I really really really like HS-6 too, but I have loaded TiteGroup up to 315gr with pleasure.
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