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Old March 2, 2013, 07:04 PM   #1
LOUD
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Is 45 acp hard to reload for ?

Hi folks, I am not new to reloading but am new to the 45 auto . Are there any things that I should be especially aware of or take special notice of ? Any favorite load recipes would be greatly appreciated.....LOUD
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:17 PM   #2
jcwit
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Not hard at all. Only thing I can think of other than being careful to follow the recipes in a reloading manual is to make sure the rounds chamber OK because of the ogive of the bullet you're using.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:20 PM   #3
shootniron
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As jcwit said, very good caliber to load, just make sure that the dies are right for the round to chamber in your gun...then go to it and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:29 PM   #4
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I'll just add, you might find it beneficial to polish down the expander plug so just the bell portion touches the case mouth to bell the case mouth a little. The expander die then won't slightly expand the case and you just might find having the additional case tension on the bullet aids a little in improved accuracy - at least I have found it to work that way with my 1911's.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:31 PM   #5
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one more thing to look out for with the 45acp. some take small primers now, mostly fed. cases, others take large primers.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:34 PM   #6
shootniron
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Also, for some folks, the Lee Factory Crimp Die is a good investment. It does work well...and I actually started my son using one several years ago and he still uses it.
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Old March 2, 2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Easier than even the 38spl! Components are big, and easy to handle. I'm still working on finishing a 4 lb. keg of Green Dot. Bullseye was made for this caliber!
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Old March 2, 2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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Besides there being cases using both large and small primers there are also cases with NT on the head stamp. You have to remove the crimp to be able to put a primer in them. They are just not worth the effort to me. I use the same load data for both small and large primer loads. The difference between them is a few feet per second and most people would not notice the difference. My favorite load is:

185 grain Montana Gold JHP bullet
5.2 to 5.4 grains of Winchester Super Target (WST) powder
Primer is what ever I have available (mostly Winchester)
The OAL will vary from pistol to pistol. This is also why the amount of powder varies. It depends on if I need to load it shorter or not for a particular pistol.

This load also works pretty good with a PD 185 grain JHP bullet.

I have foud there was nothing to gain going over 5.4 grains of powder with this bullet. The groups just start to spread out no matter what OAL I used. I suggest stopping at 5.4 grains of powder.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; March 2, 2013 at 10:01 PM.
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Old March 3, 2013, 12:19 AM   #9
chris in va
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I can't imagine an easier caliber to load for.
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Old March 3, 2013, 08:26 AM   #10
Live45
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I also just started loading for .45acp. Have loaded .357 and .38sp for years. The only tricky part of loading .45 to me is that it pays to take a little extra time to set your expander die. Set it so that you just barely bell the case enough to set the bullet in the case mouth. I don't use a taper crimping die so this is a critical adjustment for me. Remove the barrel from your gun and make sure that a newly loaded round will "drop" into the chamber as far as a factory round and then fall out on it's own when the barrel is inverted. If your rounds do this you should be good to go.
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Old March 3, 2013, 08:45 AM   #11
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I love loading the 45ACP. One benefit I have found is the case life. With few exceptions you can use them till you lose them. It is a low pressure round that is easy on the case. I have many cases that I have lost track of the number of times reloaded.
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Old March 3, 2013, 08:48 AM   #12
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Did you guys notice that our hosts set up a sticky for loading .45 ACP?

LINKY!

But no, it's not especially hard to reload for the .45 ACP.
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:00 AM   #13
Misssissippi Dave
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I don't trim cases in this caliber. I don't clean primer pockets either. I just clean the brass, re-size/de-prime the case bell the case, add powder, seat the bullet and remove any of the bell I created bringing the case to the bullet. No roll crimp. Since it is a low pressure load it is rather forgiving. It is pretty easy to load these compared to any rifle load. It is often suggested to start with this caliber to get into loading because it is one of the easiest to do. I suggest jacketed bullet because they won't deform easily when you crimp them. It just makes thing simple.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; March 3, 2013 at 09:28 AM.
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Old March 3, 2013, 03:19 PM   #14
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Winchester W231, mid load. And a Penn 230 GR lead. Use a taper crimp die and don’t use any of the crimp on the seating die. This makes it a four step process but the round work very well.
There is no problem with crimping lead if you use a taper crimp die. Lead bullets are also very cheep compared to jacketed.
http://www.pennbullets.com/45/45-caliber.html
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Old March 3, 2013, 03:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Besides there being cases using both large and small primers there are also cases with NT on the head stamp. You have to remove the crimp to be able to put a primer in them.
The NT headstamp stands for Non Toxic. These are small primer cases and NT has no bearing what so ever on being crimped. To date I havent seen a crimped primer on a .45 case in either large or small primer varity.
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Old March 3, 2013, 04:00 PM   #16
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Live45 is right on target

Very likely you will not experience any problems at all, but you asked what to watch out for. 45 ACP is probably the easiest semi-auto pistol cartridge to load.

Bullseye is reputed to be ideal for 45 ACP, but Unique is my favorite. I don't usually give load recipes (nor take them) on forums. The powder manufacturers' web sites and my loading manuals are more reliable (that means safer) sources. Anyone can make a typographical error when postingg. (see?)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Live45
Set it so that you just barely bell the case enough to set the bullet in the case mouth. I don't use a taper crimping die so this is a critical adjustment for me. Remove the barrel from your gun and make sure that a newly loaded round will "drop" into the chamber as far as a factory round and then fall out on it's own when the barrel is inverted. If your rounds do this you should be good to go.
The chamber check is sometimes known as the "plunk" test. If the cartridge drops by gravity alone into the chamber it should make a nice, hollow (because of the hollow barrel) plunk as the case mouth stops firmly against the step in the chamber.

Then, ideally, it should fall out of the chamber by gravity when you up-end the barrel.

Or, you can buy a chamber gauge if you don't want to bother with your barrel.

On expanding the case mouth. What has been said about not expanding too much is very important. The bullet is retained in the case by friction more than by crimp. This is vitally important to semi-auto arms in two directions.

You want good bullet tension (retention or grip) so that, upon ignition, pressure builds up inside the case before the bullet starts moving. This is important because smokeless powders need to be up into their optimal pressure range in order to achieve a consistent burn.

In the other direction, you want to be sure that the bullet is not forced deeper into the case as it cycles through the action and chambers. Bullet setback can cause dramatic increases in chamber pressure.

You can test your loaded ammo by measuring its length before and after cycling a round through your action several times. If you get bullet setback, try another (one not having been set back) round and press the nose against your loading bench and see how much force it takes to press the bullet deeper in the case. Adjust your loading procedure accordingly. Primarily, this will be reducing the amount or depth of case mouth flare (even to the point of reducing the diameter of the expanding mandrel with emery cloth). Simply increasing the extent of the taper crimp is not usually helpful.

This advice applies to all ammunition that headspaces on the case mouth (and a lot of it applies to most other ammo, too).

Good luck. Thanks for asking our advice.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; March 3, 2013 at 04:09 PM.
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Old March 3, 2013, 04:11 PM   #17
jimbob86
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Quote:
Is 45 acp hard to reload for ?
Not at all.

Don't expand the case mouth excessively, and crimp the case mouth to .469".

Do that, and don't hotrod the loads, and the cases will last nigh forever.

My 1911 worked best with an OAL of 1.26 ......

I have loaded Red Dot, 700X, V-n340, Power Pistol ......
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Old March 3, 2013, 06:49 PM   #18
jrdavidson
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Plunk test

I use a LE Wilson case gage to plunk test every assembled round - no need to find a round is out of spec when you're in the middle of a range session.

.45 ACP is easy to load, and pretty forgiving on OAL.

And its so satisfying to fire your own 45 rounds for so much less than store bought.

What's not to like?
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Old March 3, 2013, 07:24 PM   #19
JimDandy
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The only round I've ever found I can't load cheaper are the Federal 100 round value packs at Walmart. Of course, re-using that brass feels a lot like stealing...
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:37 PM   #20
LOUD
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Thanks folks , you guys are a wealth of info I drank the coolaid and bought two 1911,s now if I can just find some components. I just cant believe American ammo factories running full blast 24/7 cant keep up with demand,or is it something else............something to think about ?
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:40 PM   #21
chris in va
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Quote:
JimDandy
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The only round I've ever found I can't load cheaper are the Federal 100 round value packs at Walmart. Of course, re-using that brass feels a lot like stealing...

Try using storebought LRN or cast your own. I can make 100 for about $7.
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Old March 3, 2013, 10:34 PM   #22
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The .45 ACP is probably the easiest of the autopistol cartrdges to reload. But be aware that powder charges are small and easy to double-charge if you're not careful. Examine the powder level in every case after you charge them, or collectively in a loading tray.

I use WST powder for very light cast lead loads. I use Ramshot Silhouette for very fast defense loads because it has very little muzzle flash. But my favorite powder for loading any weight, jacketed or cast lead, is Ramshot ZIP. It's similar to W231 but outperforms it and burns cleaner There is very good data here: www.ramshot.com
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Old March 4, 2013, 12:27 AM   #23
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Try using storebought LRN or cast your own. I can make 100 for about $7.
That's a little more apples and oranges to me... biggest reason is I can use FMJ at the local indoor range, can't use LRN without driving for 45 minutes. Second, and mostly by definition, it's not the same bullet, so it's actually like comparing apples and oranges...
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