The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 3, 2011, 04:33 PM   #1
Punkwood2k
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2011
Posts: 5
New to reloading, need specific info?

Hello all...

I am brand new to reloading, as I just inherited a RCBS setup from my grandpa.. I have been doing a lot of reading about this subject, perhaps too much, and I'm in the grips of information overload..

I am looking to reload .45 ACP, for my Taurus PT145 Pro. Looking for specific info, regarding your reload specs (bullet weight, powder type / charge, primers, ect).. I would like to start with a tested combination, because this makes me a little nervous, being new to this.. :-)

Also, My .45 has a short 3.25" barrel, so I am looking for some kind of faster burning powder? Also, how do I know if I need large / small primers, ect?

I havent started any physical reloading yet, and I'm sure some of these questions are plain as day, once I have the components in my hands.. But from just the reading I've done, had created as many questions as it answered..

Thanks!
Punkwood2k is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 05:10 PM   #2
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
You knowing my loads and specifics wouldn't be any better for you than picking one out of a manual. Start in your book, those loads are all 'tested combinations'. It would be wise to stay maybe 10% below the top charges, at least until you get your feet settled. There would be little benefit to loading a max charge in a short barrel handgun anyway, it's not going to fly very fast no matter what else you do.

There is neither need nor benefit to one of us attempting to 'match' a powder burn rate to a barrel length, the burn rate is more related to the bore diameter and bullet weight than barrel lenght and all that's taken into account by the guys who write our loading manuals. Actually, the powder that works best for one length will work best for the other.

The size of the hole in the case head (primer pocket) determines 'large' or 'small' primers. Most .45ACP take large stuff but some makers have gone to small; no advantage to either one.

Good luck and have fun!
wncchester is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 07:47 PM   #3
Adamantium
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 1999
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 992
I reload 45acp as well as other calibers. My first bit of advice is to relax and don't worry yourself too much. When I started reloading I was overwhelmed by information and squinting and turning my head away from my gun the first time I worked up to a very "dangerous" max load. I did it all again the first time I shot my own cast bullets for the first time. Don't get me wrong safety needs to always be taken seriously, but make sure to enjoy yourself as well.

What other equipment did you inherit along with the press? At a minimum you will need the press, dies for the 45acp, a powder scale and a round of factory ammunition (to make your bullets the correct over all length, or OAL for short). Other stuff helps speed things up, but is not required.

Secondly, is there a local store where you can buy primers and powder? If you buy online you will have to pay a $25 hazmat fee, which is fine if you are going to be ordering $200+ of stuff, but most powders suitable for 45acp will give you over 1000 rounds per pound.

Any standard, non-magnum, large pistol primer will work for 45acp. I like Winchester and Wolf. CCI works just as well but costs a bit more. For powder if you are buying locally you probably won't have infinite choices you only need one. Alliant Bullseye, Green dot and Hodgdon Universal is what I use.

For Bullets you can buy locally, but you'll save yourself some decent money if you buy online. http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/ has very good prices and ships quick so that is what I go for. I recommend buying Berry's Plated bullets, either 200 grain RS (round shoulder) or 230 grain RN (round nose) will feed in almost everything. They are cheaper than true FMJ's from the big names like Remington and Winchester.

Here are links for load data...

http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...rs/index.aspx&
http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp
http://www.accuratepowder.com/wp-con...d_data_3.5.pdf
http://www.reloadammo.com/

For 200 grain plated bullets I will use 5.7 grains of Bullseye or 6 grains of Universal. For 230 grain I use 5 grains of Bullseye or 5.4 grains of Universal. You will want to start from the reduced load (90% of max) and work up though, it is a safety rule that is always worth following.

Everyone can tell you their favorite pet load but they shoot slightly differently in every gun. I shoot almost entirely cast lead these days but recommend that people start out with jacketed/plated because they are less messy, have little exposed lead and are more tolerant of oversize bore diameters which are common. That being said the difference between an average and a great load is going to be measured in inches at 25 meters, so unless you shoot from a rest you will probably not know the difference either.
__________________
New gun, same ol' shot.
Adamantium is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 08:14 PM   #4
Slamfire
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2007
Posts: 4,035
In my opinion, Bullseye and a 230 Round Nose. Primers make a difference in velocity, but over my screens, changes in powder charges made greater velocity changes.

The 230 Round Nose bullet will feed through anything, is very forgiving in seating depth. I have shot tens of thousands of 230 LRN and I have transitioning over to Bullseye. Bullseye was the original powder used in the 1910 vintage experimental loads and was the powder used by the military in WWI and possibly WWII. You won’t go wrong with Bullseye. You just have to check for double charges in your loading block.

One of these days I will have chronograph data with Bullseye and 230 FMJ’s, I have been told the ball equivalent is 5.0 grains with a 230 FMJ. Can’t verify that.

I like my 230’s to be clocking just at 800 fps in my 5” barreled M1911’s. That is the 1910 spec value incidentally. Your short barrel pistol will push them out slower, maybe 700 fps for the same load. This is a limitation of shorter barrels.

My data shows that with three different lots, extending from the 60’s to 2005, 4.5 grains Bullseye gives just at 800 fps with my 230 LRN bullets.

I would recommend going with the 230's first, gain confidence in your reloading skills before going to 200's, 185's, etc.

Code:
Kimber Custom Classic 
		


230 gr LRN Valiant 4.5 grs Bullseye lot BE532 (80's mfgr)  Mixed Brass WLP (brass) OAL 1.250" taper crimp .469"
16-May-09  high 83  °F	 
					
Ave Vel =	782.7				
Std Dev =	13.41				
ES =	52.05				
High = 	815.5				
Low =	763.4				
N =	28				
					
					
230 gr LRN Valiant 4.5 grs Bullseye 99' & 2005 mixed lot Mixed Brass WLP (brass) OAL 1.250"  taper crimp469"
16-May-09  high 83  °F	.
					
Ave Vel =	805.2				
Std Dev =	38.07				
ES =	136.9				
High = 	912.4				
Low =	775.5				
N =	24				
					




230 gr LRN Valiant 4.5 grs Bullseye lot 827 (60's/70's powder) Mixed Brass WLP (brass) OAL 1.250" taper crimp .469"
16-May-09	 high 83  °F	
					
Ave Vel =	822.9				
Std Dev =	14.14				
ES =	55.24				
High = 	853.7				
Low =	798.4				
N =26
__________________
If I'm not shooting, I'm reloading.
Slamfire is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 09:14 PM   #5
BDS-THR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2010
Posts: 474
Punkwood2k, I highly recommend you slug your barrel before ordering bullets. My PT145 barrel is very oversized and produced erratic shot groups and leading issues with my reference 200 gr SWC with 5.0 gr of W231/HP-38.

When I realized the groove diameter of the barrel was like .455" instead of .451", I considered ordering larger diameter bullets but decided even larger sized bullet won't provide adequate bullet-to-barrel fit.

I was shooting 18 BHN Missouri Bullet (IDP #1) and ordered softer 12 BHN bullet (Bullseye #1). Guess what? Accuracy returned and leading went away. The softer bullet base was deforming (obturating) to provide better bullet-to-barrel fit.

To test, I even loaded lighter plinking loads of 200 gr SWC and 4.0 gr Promo/Red Dot and this load also produced accurate shot groups.
BDS-THR is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 10:10 PM   #6
Punkwood2k
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2011
Posts: 5
@ Adamantium: I got the whole kit-n-kaboodle from my grandpa. The Press, Full Carbide Die sets for almost every caliber / size of handgun & rifle, (including magnums), scales, powder hoppers, tumbler, case trimmer, lead ingots, molds, ect. Pretty much everything except for brass, bullets, and primers... Hence the massive amount of information I've been trying to assimilate, since I have it all now, and dont need to build it up once piece at a time.. Also got a stack of manuals and pamphlets that I'm only beginning to sort through.. However, many of the manuals are much earlier editions (circa 1970's).. Would most of that info still be relevant? Or has bullet technology changed significantly since then, requiring new information sources?

@BDS-THR... How old is your PT145? Mine is brand new, and I know older Taurus had issues that have been corrected in newer generations...

Thanks for the help guys!
Punkwood2k is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 10:33 PM   #7
Adamantium
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 6, 1999
Location: El Paso, TX
Posts: 992
I would use the current load data from websites but reloading technique hasn't changed all that much and neither has a single stage press or dies. If you have old powder and want to use it (I would if the container kept the elements out and didn't rust on the inside) make sure to start from scratch when you buy new stuff, even for the exact same label, because stuff can change over time.

On the issue of slugging you barrel, I say hold off on that. What that means is to take a soft pure lead slug that is oversized and ram it down your barrel with a wooden dowel and hammer then measure its new diameter. It isn't needed unless you shoot lead bullets. And even then I wouldn't bother unless you are getting poor results. Stick with jacketed or plated bullets while you are learning and it is just one less thing to worry about. There are a few other reasons too but those are the basics.
__________________
New gun, same ol' shot.
Adamantium is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 10:40 PM   #8
BDS-THR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2010
Posts: 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkwood2k
BDS-THR... How old is your PT145?
Mine is SA/DA trigger Mil Pro model bought in end of 2010.
BDS-THR is offline  
Old November 3, 2011, 10:44 PM   #9
Jim Watson
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,982
I would (DO!) load a 230 grain roundnose FMJ with a starting load, 90% of the maximum in the book or www, of a fast burning pistol powder like Win 231, Bullseye, Titegroup, Accurate No 2, VV N320 or something similar. It will be somewhere between 4 and 6 grains depending on the brand.

The roundnose FMJ saves you any worry about feeding odd shapes of semiwadcutter or hollowpoint or about the match between bullet diameter and barrel groove diameter you need with a lead bullet. Good enough for the Army, good enough for most shooting.

A 90% starting load will have enough recoil to function most guns and shoot accurately.
Jim Watson is online now  
Old November 3, 2011, 11:49 PM   #10
Punkwood2k
Junior Member
 
Join Date: November 3, 2011
Posts: 5
@BDS-THR.. Then we would have the same generation PT145. How many rounds have you put through your .45? I also have a Taurus PT111 9mm. It is the exact same gun, the only difference is the Inner Diameter of the Barrel, so I assume break-in should be the same... My PT111 was pretty erratic when I first got it also. It was part my fault (the Heine sights take some getting used to), and partly the barrel had to be broken in I guess. something to do with the Belled end of the barrel, from what I have read.. Anyways, after about 300 rounds, its dead accurate now.... I wonder if the .45 is the same?
Punkwood2k is offline  
Old November 4, 2011, 12:13 AM   #11
farmerboy
Junior member
 
Join Date: May 16, 2009
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 1,343
It's really a shame that you didn't get to learn and spend time reloading from your grandpa
farmerboy is offline  
Old November 4, 2011, 12:51 AM   #12
BDS-THR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2010
Posts: 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Punkwood2k
How many rounds have you put through your .45?
Thousands ... lost count.
BDS-THR is offline  
Old November 6, 2011, 03:18 AM   #13
Lee McNelly
Junior member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2011
Posts: 325
some data

http://www.reloadammo.com/
Lee McNelly is offline  
Old November 6, 2011, 07:52 PM   #14
WESHOOT2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 1999
Location: home on the range; Vermont (Caspian country)
Posts: 14,183
specifics

-Montana Gold, Zero, Winchester, or Remington 230g FMJ-RN
-CCI300 (can substitute Winchester LP)
-5.0g W231
-sized case, new or used
-OAL 1.255" +/-.005"
-crimp to .469--.470"
__________________
.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
WESHOOT2 is offline  
Old November 6, 2011, 08:04 PM   #15
wncchester
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 1, 2002
Posts: 2,832
"Would most of that (70's manual) info still be relevant? Or has bullet technology changed significantly since then, requiring new information sources?"

The books will still be relivant, bullet technology really hasn't changed much so far as loading goes. The major criteria of a load is the powder type and bullet weight, after that the weapon the load is fired in introduces more variables than anything else.

+++ If a powder maker 'changes' a formula, etc, they first make sure it's still the same burn rate if they plan sell it as an etablished powder. If it's really 'different' they will give it a new name; there is no reason to do otherwise. Putting out a different burn rate under an old label would incur a foolish legal exposure for absolutely no logical justification; thus, if your old containers say IMR-4350 it's still IMR-4350, etc.

Last edited by wncchester; November 7, 2011 at 07:58 AM.
wncchester is offline  
Old November 7, 2011, 03:22 AM   #16
BDS-THR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 12, 2010
Posts: 474
Powder formulations do change over time and lot to lot so I recommend using current published load data for currently available powders and always doing a full work up when using new bullet/powder.

I typically reference powder manufactures' load data as if there's any change to powder formulation, it will be reflected first on their load data.
BDS-THR is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:09 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11226 seconds with 9 queries