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Old February 13, 2014, 09:29 PM   #35
Senior Member
Join Date: January 22, 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 3,300
I'd like to add a cpl thoughts to the above excellent posts.

* There are many good bullets made of lead alloy out there, but arguably the best of all is the H&G 68, a truncated SWC type that will feed through virtually any 1911...In the dozen or so that I've worked with, it chambered and gave top accuracy in all ranging from a tricked out Colt Gold Cup, to a WWll Remington-Rand. You don't need a round nose to get good feeding.

* Seating depth for most lead alloy bullets works best for my guns when kept out to around 1.260". For those bullets with a shoulder, I leave the barest hint of the shoulder (of the full dia. lead) showing above the case mouth. This hint of a shoulder (roughly 1/32" or so) cushions the bullet/case mouth junction as it chambers in the the barrel breach. If your 1911 has less than a sterling throating job on the breach, the lead cushion will help prevent jams.

* Case neck tension, not a crimp, keeps the bullet in place during chambering, and prevents setback. Your sizing die needs to be small enough to give sufficient case neck tension. NRA used to recommend 40# pressure, as a test of adequate neck tension. You push the completed round against your bench edge, or a scale and compare OAL measurements before and after.

* Crimping can be done on the seating die, using the roll crimp feature, but only so as to remove the case mouth flare, and perhaps just a smidge more. I do like to seat in one die, then crimp in another (really it's just removing the bell from the case mouth.) My favorite "crimping" die is a taper crimp, and here again, I use it solely to remove the bell.

* I don' t hunt with my 1911's, and don't carry concealed with hand loads. The latter for legal issues if I'm forced to use my carry piece. So...I cast my own bullets for target and practice use, and don't strive for high velocity. I want good 100% functioning, and when that's assured, I strive for top accuracy. I'm critical of my cast bullets, and discard those that show any deformity. My best loads, without in exception, run from 770 to 830 fps with the H&G 68 TWC bullet. I have only one 45 now that will not group under 2" at 25 yds from rest, and with my cast bullets too.

* If you're interested in casting your own, I have found that a Wheel Weight to pure lead ratio of 2/1 is hard enough to prevent leading in my .45's. With a pinch of tin added when necessary to allow good mold fill out. (Usually less than a cpl oz.'s to a 20 lb. melt.) For guns that need harder bullets, you can drop them straight from the mold into a diaper pail of water, quenching them and increasing hardness in the process. Currently (Feb of 2014), I'm paying $20 per 100 lbs. of wheel weights from a local tire shop but the guys there warn me that lead based weights are going away due to OSHA regulations. For that $20 I get about 60 lbs. of lead based weights, 10 lbs. of stick on pure lead weights, and the rest is some other metal: zinc, steel, or aluminum, plus clips etc. That yield allows me to shoot .44 Magnum Keith 250 gr LSWC's for less than a penny a piece. Primers are going for about 4c's now and powder is about 2c's....that's less than 7 cents per shot...cheaper than .22 lr when and if you can find it....yep...casting has it's benefits...some of my molds are over 50 yrs old now so the cost of the equipment is negated over time, plus you can shoot so long as you can get primers, and powder.

* For lube, I use an ancient Lyman 450 sizer/lubricator to size to .452" and apply 50-50 alox-beeswax lube. I do have one .45 that needs an add'l application of Lee Liquid Alox by swirl lubing. Easy to apply, I've added that step to all commercial bullets I buy...finding them overly hard and with granite hard lube that does nothing but look pretty..the LLA cures that and makes them leading free as good as my own castings.

* I don't clean primer pockets anymore with any handgun load. I assemble my loads using a Dillon 550B progressive and just seat the primers while sizing. I've never had a FTFire traced to a dirty primer pocket either and accuracy is superb. I do clean rifle pockets but probably don't need to there either. Winchester Large and Small Primers are my choices but I have used Federals for some auto's that seem to have lighter than normal firing pin strikes.

* I do clean my brass, tumbling it to remove the grit picked up when ejected on the ground. I use walnut media, adding a cut up dryer sheet from my wife's laundry room trash, plus a dollop of NuCar polish to each tumbling session. The dryer sheet keeps the media clean, and the NuCar shines up the brass to some extent. An hour does it...I want it clean but I'm not anal about its looks.

That's about it...HTH's Rod
Cherish our flag, honor it, defend it in word and deed, or get the hell out. Our Bill of Rights has been paid for by heros in uniform and shall not be diluted by misguided governmental social experiments. We owe this to our children, anything less is cowardice. USAF FAC, 5th Spl Forces, Vietnam Vet '69-'73.

Last edited by rodfac; February 14, 2014 at 10:01 AM.
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