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Old November 20, 2009, 05:22 PM   #1
StrawDog
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Light 45 target load

I'm looking for suggestions for an accurate, low recoil, clean practice load.
Something with just enough power to cycle the action and easy on the old hand. I'm willing to swap out the main spring etc. Thanks for your suggestions
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Old November 20, 2009, 06:23 PM   #2
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Light charges of Clays, 700X, N310, Zip, or WST.
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Old November 20, 2009, 09:11 PM   #3
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Try 185 gr or 200 gr cast lead semi-wadcutter bullet over appropriate light charge of Win 231 or Bullseye powder.
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Old November 20, 2009, 09:34 PM   #4
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what is the trade-off between bullseye and win 231? How light a charge will work? Which is cleaner?
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Old November 20, 2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
...Try 4.0 grains of W231 under a 200 grain LSWC, for about 626 fps. This load is accurate enough, works the action of my full-size 1911 every time and it shoots to point-of-aim out to about 30 yards. It is an excellent small game load and has dispatched vermin up to about 30 pounds, with authority. Recoil is nil and firing a couple of rounds without earplugs is not unbearable.
Excerpted from Why the .45 ACP?
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Old November 20, 2009, 10:17 PM   #6
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Quote: "what is the trade-off between bullseye and win 231? How light a charge will work? Which is cleaner? "

It's been too long since I used Bullseye to compare accurately but for the last few years I have used Win 231 for my .45 ACP target loads. It measures very accurately and shoots equally well. I am happy with the results and stick with it. Try either or both.
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Old November 20, 2009, 11:03 PM   #7
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It's been a while since I shot Bullseye matches, but I used 4.0 grains of Bullseye with a 180grain semi-wadcutter from Oregon Trail. Very accurate at both 25 and 50 yds. I tried 3.8 grains and it was accurate too but with my particular gun I sometimes didn't get good slide action and ended up with a jam. You could start with 4.5 grains then gradually reduce the load until you find out where the load is just too light for your gun, then bump it back up a bit for a good reliable target round.
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Old November 21, 2009, 12:08 AM   #8
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4.1 gr bullseye under a 200 gr LSW from
http://www.missouribullet.com/

i shoot bullseye with my 5" kimber.

hard lead & low velocity makes for easy bbl cleaning--
rem oil & a bore snake, 3 pulls through.
perhaps not the cleanest powder but it meters excellent and functions all my 1911's.
even shoots best in my defender
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Old November 21, 2009, 01:07 AM   #9
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4.0

4.0 - 4.1 Bullseye is a classic target load.
Note: That 626 fps MV for this load is an awfully low estimate. Any manuals that I have seen that list a charge that low generally have the MV in the mid 700's at least. Both Hodgdon and Lee list 4.0 Bullseye and a 200 gr. LSWC at 790 fps.
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Old November 21, 2009, 01:40 AM   #10
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I think I'm the only one here who typed '626 fps' and that's a chrono reading, not an estimate...powder in my case was W231.

If your reference was elsewhere, please disregard.
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Old November 21, 2009, 02:28 AM   #11
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StrawDog,

I use 231 and BE for the 45. 231 is the best (and I love BE); it's cleaner, produces very low smoke with grease groove hard cast bullets, and meters beautifully.

But even more important is the recoil impulse or "feel", and each powder is different. I have consistently noticed 231 has a softer, gentler push than anything else I have used in the 45. I have tried 231 side by side with Solo 1000, ZIP, BE, Clays, and N310. Clays is nearly identical to 231 in feel.

My pet low speed 45 load is 4.6-4.8gns of 231 pushing a Missouri 185 or 200gn LSWC. It has produced incredible results in my accurized CZ-97 from a bench rested 25 yards:
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Old November 21, 2009, 02:49 AM   #12
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Red Dot gives me the best accuracy in *every* cartridge I load (it does not give the highest velocity in anything.) I do not load .45 ACP so I can't give you tested load data, but I would start with 200 grain cast bullets with a midrange load of Red Dot (or Promo, which is basically the same thing but cheaper)

BTW, Red Dot is large fluffy flakes, so if your powder measure doesn't like flakes you might be better off with Bullseye, 231, or AA#2.
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:12 AM   #13
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Thanks for the info guys. Curious about the MV variation with 231. The bullet weight 185-200 gr would give 7-8% and could the rest be due in part to the crimp & lube? How important is crimp to light loads compared to say standard hardball?
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:21 AM   #14
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a moderate taper crimp. consistantly applied.

though even no crimp still has neck tension in effect.
but neck tension can/will vary with mfg'er and how many times the case has been reloaded.
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Old November 21, 2009, 09:08 AM   #15
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Trail Boss is very clean and meters well. It and AA#2 are my favorite target powders for .45 ACP lead target/plinking loads.
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Old November 21, 2009, 10:35 AM   #16
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Quote: "How important is crimp to light loads compared to say standard hardball?"

For straight walled pistol cases like .45 ACP, the (taper) crimp serves primarily to remove the flaring/belling applied to facilitate bullet seating. Bullet retention is primarily provided by case tension from the resizing operation. All loads in .45 ACP should be lightly taper crimped to remove the case flare/belling. With cast bullets, my loaded .45 ACP rounds measure .469-.471" across the case mouth.
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Old November 21, 2009, 11:46 AM   #17
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Crimping the .45 ACP, generally

Always taper crimp the .45 ACP and do it like you mean it.

You can't determine crimp by outside diameter of the finished round at the case mouth. Neck thickness varies and so does bullet diameter, although cast bullets will invariably be 0.001+ bigger than their jacketed counterparts.

When setting up your crimp die for lead bullets, crank it down until about half the neck thickness is buried in the bullet. Then take a few finished rounds and push them nose-first against your loading bench, like you're trying to move it. Measure with calipers, before and after. A firm crimp will not allow the bullet to move. Not even 0.001".

If the bullet deep seats during the feed cycle, you have wasted inertia and ignored a foundation principle of autopistol design- fixed bullet ammunition of a specific length, within acceptable tolerances. You are also setting yourself up for an over-pressure load.
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Old November 21, 2009, 12:38 PM   #18
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I agree with Sarge. The taper crimp may only remove the flare when seating jacketed bullets, but with lead you want it to bite into the bullet a little. If you don't, you'll find lubricated lead bullets, especially with brass that's been reloaded a number of times, can be pushed into the case with your thumb. That means you are in danger of the bullet seating deeper when if feeds, and that can create pressure problems. The bite into the lead creates a stop so that doesn't happen.

If you are crimping in like that, you don't want to depend on the case mouth for headspace. It will still work if you don't get it below the SAAMI diameter minimum at the mouth (0.4670") of the loaded round, but I find I get better accuracy and less leading if I let the cartridge headspace on the bullet in the throat. Some designs don't feed well that way, but the usual target wadcutters seem to do fine with it (third from left, below).

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Old November 21, 2009, 04:48 PM   #19
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Ouch.

Quote:
think I'm the only one here who typed '626 fps' and that's a chrono reading, not an estimate...powder in my case was W231.

If your reference was elsewhere, please disregard.
Sarge: Please accept my apology. You wouldn't think a person could read "2-3-1" and see "B-u-l-l-s-e-y-e" but I managed. Dain bramage, I guess.
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Old November 21, 2009, 05:43 PM   #20
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Interesting replies, thanks. Seems like a jacketed bullet (or to a limited extent a plated one) would be easier to seat than would plain lead. Lead isn't particularly hard relative to the brass alloy case material. To that end how hard would you want to push the seated bullet before it moved? An extreme case I've hear of but not seen ultra-light revolvers jamming up with very hot loads. The recoil jerks the cylinder full of cartridges apart. More to the point, how much force should it take to pull out a cast lead bullet?
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Old November 21, 2009, 09:40 PM   #21
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No prob, dark...no apology needed and I hope I didn't come off sounding like an azz. May your herds multiply and your springs flow cold and clear
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Old November 21, 2009, 11:31 PM   #22
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I've been shooting 3.7 gr of Bullseye with a 200 gr SWC for a light target load at the indoor range up to 25 yds. You can't believe how light the recoil is. My gun has an 18# spring and it cycles reliably. I have never had a failure with it. The empties just flip out the side and land at my feet.........which makes it easy to keep track of my brass.
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