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Old December 2, 2007, 10:56 PM   #1
G&G
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1st Time Loading 45acp

I've been reloading 9mm for the past year now. I've been saving & polishing 45 brass and I'm ready to start reloading. I'll be shooting a 1911 Dan Wesson Commander Bobtail. What's a good bullet to reload? 230 grain? 200? 185? I'll be using Hogdon HS6 powder. All I have left to get is bullets and primers. Just looking for some insight as I start reloading in a caliber that's new to me.
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Old December 3, 2007, 05:50 AM   #2
314EPW
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bullet?

What are you shooting?Target,plinking,hunting,defenance?Iuse 200 gr lswcfor just general things.I use Barnes for hunting and protection.
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Old December 3, 2007, 06:00 AM   #3
kestak
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Greetings,

I use 230 grains FMJ from http://www.tjconevera.com/winchester-bullets.htmt and 230 grains hard cast lead bullets from kead bullets over respectively 5.0 and 5.2 grains of #5.

Thank you
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Old December 3, 2007, 07:28 AM   #4
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When starting to reload for a new caliber I usually find out what bullet weight is the most common for SD rounds and use that. I'm also about to get into loading .45 ACP and it looks like the 230 grain bullet is the winner here, lead RN bullets for me.

I'm not one of the guys who has multiple loads for one caliber differentiated by intended use, all of mine are pretty much standard power rounds comparable to decent SD ammo.
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Old December 3, 2007, 08:31 AM   #5
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I plan on shooting IDPA. The pistol is still in the break in period and I was having some Failure To Return To Battery when I shot 230 FMJ. (Blazer Brass) I'm still in the process of finding out what the CBOB likes and doesn't like. I plan on reloading about 25 rounds at a time so I don't have a bunch of loads that don't work well in the pistol.
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Old December 3, 2007, 06:51 PM   #6
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I stay with 230 grain in .45 ACP - the bullet I like is Montana Gold CMJ.
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Old December 3, 2007, 07:34 PM   #7
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G&G: Excellent choice for a pistol!

Like all weapons, each is an entity all to itself. You will just have to try a variety of loads and powders. When I had problems with failure to chamber, shortening the OAL usually helped.

Laser Cast lead and Montana Gold jacketed are very high quality booolits. Try a variety of weights.
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Old December 3, 2007, 08:46 PM   #8
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I too just started loading for .45ACP, and in my SA 1911, it choked on my first batch (FTF). They were too long, so I went with the popular length of 1.250" so many use in this gun. Still a bit too long, 1.240' turned out to be perfect. This is a 200gr. LRN over 5.4 gr. of W231.
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Old December 3, 2007, 08:58 PM   #9
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Hard ball...230 45ACP, use a good lead for most, and shoot several copper full metal jacket cartridges (after the lead) before you quit. You can remove some of lead build-up the fun way. Reload both types and save! I've loaded with 231 more than other powders, lately.

I bracket loads for a gun by loading 5-10 rounds with and add a grain and load 5-10 more starting at at the lowest recommended load in a manual and experimenting to see what seems to be very accurate (for that gun) with a specific combination of components. Stay with the same brand of primer and powder, or start over or check accuracy when you change an element. I'll be doing this soon in a new caliber/handgun. It's not that complicated, just requires marking or bagging your rounds and taking notes for the next reloading session.
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Old December 3, 2007, 09:53 PM   #10
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I love HS6 charged at 7.5gr with 230gr FMJ @ 1.230" OAL. This is a great plinking load for my Springer Loaded govt. It provided enough energy to cycle well, yet easy in the joints.

HS6 and Hp38 powders have been my recent favorites. They meter quite well and cleanup is quite painless when switching powders in the powder measure. If you opt to try HP38 and can't find any nearby, pick up Winchester231. It's basically the same stuff. Just test a few rounds to verify similar characteristics...
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Old December 4, 2007, 08:28 AM   #11
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Tuttle8 Thanks for the info. I was using Titegroup for my 9mm with a 124 gr bullet. I decided to move up to 147 gr and was told that HS6 works better for a 147. In the meantime this 1911 CBOB came into my life sooooo, time to order new dies for 45acp. Now I have a brand new container of HS6 so it'll be used for the 45 instead.

Have you ever used Titegroup for 45?
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Old December 4, 2007, 09:18 PM   #12
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Just got some more sample loads worked up the other day. Waiting for the weather here in the midwest to clear up.

In my experience, Titegroup meters quite well. The ad "a little goes a long way" is truth, IMO. You use fewer grains to get similar results from other powders that commands more...generally speaking. The other sample loads I worked up a few weeks ago were satisfactory with these items noted...

1. My loads, given the fact I'm still experimenting, felt a little bit sharper in recoil compared to HP38. This is still in the early stages of what's the best load for my guns...
2. Powder appeared to burn quite clean.
3. You have to pay attention to powder fill in your cartridges. I take extra caution in making sure I don't double charge since it doesn't seem to fill the .45 brass all that great.

Anything else? Forgot, my current experimental load is 4.3gr @ 1.200" with 230gr FMJ. I'm trying a smaller charge with shorter OAL. Be careful when doing this. The pressure curve will rise quite a bit compared to staying with an OAL of a longer length and adding more powder. I'm doing this to test accuracy and feeding. I haven't been able to make any of my guns hiccup yet, but trying to find its limits.

Let me know what you come up with on your recipes...
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Old December 5, 2007, 08:14 AM   #13
Thirties
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This is my first loading . . . I used Rainier plated round nose 230 grain to start with. But I lucked out with it. The powder is W-231, not what you are using, but I offer it to you as a decent load in my colt S70. No feeding problems.



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Old December 7, 2007, 12:23 AM   #14
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G&G,
Consider Rainier bullets.
They are plated lead. You get the best of both worlds, long barrel life because they are lead, (IN fact you use lead bullet loading data) and clean fingers when reloading, and loading magazines.
They are roughly $3 per 500 more than Lead Laser Cast Bullets.
ALSO! They are made in Tacoma WA!
Look into them. I would shoot their 200 gr SWC. Titegroup, Bullseye, Unique.
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Old December 7, 2007, 08:07 AM   #15
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"I would shoot their 200 gr SWC. Titegroup, Bullseye, Unique."

Darren, what is your COL for the 200swc? And what would be a good COL for the 185swc?
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Old December 7, 2007, 08:38 AM   #16
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Laser Cast Oregon Trail bullets are very good in 45 ACP, if you are looking for lead bullets. They are cheap, very accurate, and don't foul the barrel with lead. I have been very happy with them, and like the 200g version best. I usually load it over Win 231. This is a good combo.
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Old December 7, 2007, 12:50 PM   #17
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IDPA Competition

G&G, I've never shot an IDPA Match, but I've competed in USPSA matches many times. If you're matches are held outdoors, one thing to consider when shooting into the sun (or even into bright lights on an indoor range) is the amount of smoke present with cast lead bullets. It can obscure your view of your targets in some cases. If that situation applies to your shooting, you may want to choose a jacketed or copper-plated bullet for your competitions. Much less smoke with those.

I've found a good combination for my .45 ACP's is either Zero or Rainier 230 grain FMJ's over 3.8 grains of Hodgdon's Clays (not Universal Clays - just "Clays"). Accurate load, reliable, and very easy recoil - since Clays is a very fast-burning powder. If you try it, as with any load, start at a bit lighter volume and work up to it, monitoring for signs of excess pressure.
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Old December 7, 2007, 02:32 PM   #18
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I do a lot less ammunition experimenting than I used to. I find loads that are accurate, feed and extract reliably, and the older I get, the less recoil I like. I am tired of storing five different bullet types and six different powders, and I am getting down to just one or two loads per caliber.

For me, I am getting down to Bullseye in the 45 ACP and the 230 Round nose bullet. The round nose bullet feeds the best of them all and is plenty accurate. I know I can reload lighter recoiling loads with the H&G 200 LSWC that are wonderfully accurate, but I just prefer the inherent reliability of the 230. And that includes the FMJ bullet.

I use a chronograph and for my reloads, I want to be at or under 800 fps. The original 1906 vintage ball load was loaded to this velocity, with Bullseye in fact. An 800 fps load is a moderate load, easy on the pistol, easy on the hands. Some loads of mine are under 750 fps and are even easier to shoot.

I think most commercial ball is 850 fps-900 fps.

I do not recommend reloads for self defense, go buy some premium, high tech stuff, and carry that.

OAL can cause troubles. If the bullet is too long it will jam in the chamber throat. At one time I followed the advice of target shooters who would set the OAL of the cartridge relative to the end of the barrel hood. That did not work well when I had jams, because throats varied between M1911’s.

In time I just set my cartridges up so they would function in all my 45ACP’s and found that they were just as accurate when I followed the target shooter’s guy’s advice.

The bullet curvature of GI bullets vary a lot. I found an average OAL of 1.265” (approximately) to function just fine. I had to set the truncated cone 230 LFN deeper than the LRN or the rounds would jam in the throat.

Wilson Combat used to provide recommended OAL and loads. On the data sheet, they taper crimped their case mouths to .469” This is something I have followed and the ammunition feeds and shoots just fine.

230 gr LRN, classic LRN, OAL 1.250" taper crimp .469"

230 LFN Bull-X (a truncated cone type bullet) OAL 1.20" taper crimp .469"

230 FMJ (GI Bullets) OAL 1.265" taper crimp .469”

Since you are not using Bullseye, W231, or Unique, I have no charge data that could be of use to you. I know folks who use Titegroup with good results.
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Old December 8, 2007, 12:26 AM   #19
imdarren
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Thirties,
My Oregon Trail Laser CAst Bullet Manual says . . . .

200gr LSWC COL = 1.250"

It does not list 185 gr, but it does list 180gr (and I bet thats close enough)

180gr LSWC COL = 1.250 (Same as 200gr)

Again, these are from my Laser Cast book, and I have had good luck with these COL numbers.
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Old December 8, 2007, 01:03 PM   #20
Scorch
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Quote:
I stay with 230 grain in .45 ACP
Quote:
I'll be shooting a 1911 Dan Wesson Commander Bobtail
I shoot a Colt Combat Commander, I have owned it for 30 years, and I can tell you from personal experience that 230 gr hardball will not be comfortable or controllable in a Commander. I typically load Hornady 185 gr HP to max load or 200 gr TC-FMJ to just below max. Either bullet weight is preferable to 230 gr.

FWIW, most people I know that shoot IDPA or IPSC load 200 gr lead SWC to about 900 fps.
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Old December 8, 2007, 02:56 PM   #21
Thirties
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Folks, I just measured the COL of a 185g JSWC from Federal (photo below), and it is 1.165 inches -- a short little round, but very accurate.

This item feeds well for me, but I've never seen amy references to such a short round on the various public discussion boards.

What say you to this?



.

Last edited by Thirties; December 8, 2007 at 03:24 PM. Reason: spell well
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