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Old May 5, 2005, 12:19 PM   #1
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Will .45 ACP bullets work in .45 Colt cases?

Hello all,

I bought a box of 100 230gr Nosler FMJ bullets (diameter says .451) yesterday on closeout at gun store for $9 to reload for my .45 ACP.

QUESTION: I want to reload for my Ruger Vaquero chambered in .45 Colt. Can I use these 230gr bullets in .45 Colt brass? Are the diameters the same?
In the 48th ed. of the Lyman manual it does not list a reload recipie for a 230gr bullet in .45 Colt. Just 225gr and then skips to 250gr.. What's going on here?

Thanks in advance...
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Old May 5, 2005, 12:41 PM   #2
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You CAN use the ACP bullets in your 45 Colt. I have shot a few in mine. I have a 45ACP/45Colt convertable version. I do find that the heavierColt type bullets are considerably more accurate in my Ruger though. They are not always the same diameter either. The 45ACP is mostly .451 with some manufactures also using .452. Generally the 45 Colt runs .452 (these are jacketed dimensions).
As long as you are using a Ruger, which is incredably strong, you should be safe in using the 225gr loads in it, BUT, I would definatly reduce the charge a grain or so to be safe. I would think that 5 gr of bullet weight would not make that much difference in the Ruger< BIGGER BUT> reduce the charge and work up. Better safe than sorry.
The differences in bullet weights is that the ACP was designed to fire a standard 230 gr bullet for the military, also if the bullet was much heavier it would be longer and would not function in the magazine and the gun. The Colt pretty much started out with a 250 gr. bullet and has remained the "standard" weight. Of course there is now a lot of different weight bullets available. You might search the net and see if there are any other recommendations for the 225. Possibly from the manufacturer of the slug or maybe from the various powdr mfgs. websites.
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Old May 5, 2005, 05:01 PM   #3
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Sure you can use them.Seat them to the depth you want then finnish them with a taper crimp die.
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Old May 5, 2005, 05:13 PM   #4
novus collectus
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The book [Modern Reloading. second edition (Richard Lee)] that came with my Lee Anniversary reloading kit has a listing for 230 grain jacketed bullets but it is just two different powders. I will post them but please check the book for yourself since I may make a typing or reading mistake

230 grain jacketed bullet:
v-N340 start grains 9.4 gr 968 ft/s NEVER EXCEED (the book uses caps) 10.2 gr 1045 ft/s

v-N320 start grains 7.3 gr 897 ft/s NEVER EXCEED (ditto) 8.0 gr 978 ft/s
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Old May 5, 2005, 09:15 PM   #5
N.M. Edmands
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The 230s will work, just keep the load mild. Without the crimping cannalure[sp] heavy recoil can cause the bullits to pull outward, and possibly tie up your gun.

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Old May 6, 2005, 09:45 AM   #6
Master Blaster
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Just my opinion BUT:

The 45 colt case is a big case, lots of volume, designed for black powder. The loads you are using are small charges relative to the case volume. In order to produce consistent velocity with a fast burning powder and a small charge, or even a slow burning powder and a large charge volume, You need a Heavy bullet, AND a real good roll crimp. Thats to make sure the powder burns completely and consistently and you get uniform pressure prior to the bullet leaving the case.

So while you can use the jacketed 230 grainer with no roll crimp/ crimp groove. You will not get consistent velocity or good accuracy. Even with light target charges you are better off with a heavy (at least 250 gr) bullet and a roll crimp.
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Old May 6, 2005, 10:42 AM   #7
Johnny Guest
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Speer manual gives several loads for the 230 gr. bullets in .45 Colt

I've loaded several hundred rounds with a 230 LRN bullet and 8.0 gr. of W231 powder, for approximately 820 fps in my Mountain Gun. This was just a hurry-up deal when I took a notion to shoot the S&W in a couple of IDPA matches. It was pleasant, and adequately accurate at long ranges. Now, this is probably NOT an ideal powder/charge in the big ol' case, but it was what I used at the time. I was seeking for something akin to the old "Scofield" load, and it worked fine.

Speer gives data for the 225 and 230 gr JHP bullets. The above load is well under max with these, too.

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Old May 6, 2005, 11:47 AM   #8
Dave Sample
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Taper crimps are for semi-automatics, ROLL crimps are for revolvers. I have used semi-wadcutters in the 45 Colt loads for years. I like Clays for this work, but will not give any load data that I use for them. You need an aggresive roll crimp so the the bullets will not move forward and jam the cylinder. It also increases pressure a little and makes for a more consistant standard deviation. This is a big problem with Internet advice. If I were a moderator and knew anything about the information posted, I would delete it. 45 Colts are sized the same as 45 ACP at .451-.452& .454 for older Colts from the 1st generation. You should always slug your barrel on a six gun to see what bullet size ( Diameter) you really need. The 45 Colt case is too large for smokless powder and the Schofield's shorter case works better.
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Old May 7, 2005, 06:04 AM   #9
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Lead bullets will cause less loading woes.
Jacketed bulllets can 'jump crimp'; recommend saving them for something else.....

Easiest to use bullets designed for revolver loads.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old May 8, 2005, 09:20 PM   #10
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you could always seat the olgive of the bullet down past the case mout and roll crimp. look on page 409 of the old Speer reloading manual no 11.

I have done this before using 9mm bullets in a 38 case. I seat the bullet on top of the powder charge. I must say the load was not very accurate. The .355 just did not work evey well in my old Colt

My ruger blackhawk is a convertible and it will shoot 45acp as good or if not better than 45 colt.

Now the 45acp runs about 18000cup max. I don't know what the 45 colt runs in a ruger blackhawk or what they would call max cup. With a little research I'm sure you could make this load work.

The old 45 auto rim runs at a lower cup but thats because of the old ballon head cases that still maybe around somewhere.
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Old May 9, 2005, 04:59 AM   #11
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other than epoxy

I have done extensive testing of 45 ACP bullets in 45 Colt, and I found they work great.
Up to a certain level.

Then, no matter what I did (other than glue) I could not secure the bullet; too much recoil (5.5" Redhawk).

But for plinkers-to-moderates they work just fine (but test test test because all guns are different).
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Old May 9, 2005, 11:36 PM   #12
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How can yu 'roll crimp' a bullet with no crimp grooove?

I just finshed loading and shooting some low-level loads using 230rn lead,and for my short-range needs they were great.Since they have no crimp groove I backed off on the roll-crimp die and just squzzzed 'em 'till they lookd right.
this way I could load em longer than normal for less bullet jump,and it improved accuracy in my sloppy-chambered Ubeti s.a.
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Old July 17, 2005, 11:39 AM   #13
Daniel BOON
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200 gr 45 colt loads

I shoot a 45 colt in a N frame smith; one day I thought I would load some 200gr speer "flying ash trays" jhp's. they punch BIG HOLES in ground squirrels; I suppose the speer gold dots would do the same;
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