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View Poll Results: What bullet weight do you prefer for 45 Auto?
230g 62 66.67%
200g 22 23.66%
185g 8 8.60%
Other (please comment below) 1 1.08%
Voters: 93. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 29, 2022, 02:43 PM   #1
Shadow9mm
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45 auto bullet weight

So I'm getting back into 45 auto after a little over 10 years. I hand load and was researching some load data in my speer manual and found a cool side note. Apparently Browning originaly designed the cartridge with a 200g bullet.

Got me thinking about bullet weight. I always defaulted to the 230g because that was what it was designed for and what the military thought best. I know not the best though process, but im trying to fix that.

What weight do you shoot and why. 230, 200, and 185 seem to be the most common, but if you like something else feel free to chime in.
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Old October 29, 2022, 03:22 PM   #2
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I'm not sure I have a preferred weight since I don't load my own any more but mostly I use 230 ball but have also carried 129gr frangible at times.
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Old October 29, 2022, 03:23 PM   #3
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I use 230gr RN (ball or LRN), 200gr swc's (and am hoarding the last of my 200gr Speer "flying ashtrays") and use various 185gr JHP as well.

According to what I've seen, Browning originally designed the round with a truncated cone 200gr FMJ at 900fps.

The Army wanted a 230gr at about 830-850, duplicating the known and established performance of the .45 Govt/.45 Schofield, Browning complied, and the rest is history.

There are other weights available though not very common. I don't know if you can still get them but at one time, Speer made a 260gr JHP that could be used in the .45acp. I believe the intent was for use in revolvers but Speer listed them tested in a 1911A1 with top velocities just over 800fps.
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Old October 29, 2022, 03:38 PM   #4
Red Devil
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9mm/147 gr.
.40/180 gr./
.45 ACP/230 gr.

All are subsonic, with a similar high Sectional Density.

Tend to stay w/ them.




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Old October 29, 2022, 07:18 PM   #5
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I've loaded a 200swc over 7.0gr of Unique for more than 30 years. Keeps all shots in the black on an NRA 50' target, offhand.
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Old October 29, 2022, 08:07 PM   #6
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I like the 200 gr. Tried the CLSWC and when they feed properly, they are accurate; that said, I get flawless performance and good accuracy with a plated 200rn and W231 and Titegroup
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Old October 29, 2022, 09:35 PM   #7
zeke
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230 gn for vermin loads and 200 gn for practice. With semi's not much change of poi between the two at 25 yds, if noticeable at all.
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Old October 29, 2022, 09:37 PM   #8
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Mostly 200 grain for lead/plated or HP’s.

230 FMJ’s if they are cheap.
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Old October 30, 2022, 10:22 AM   #9
Bob Willman
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230 gr FMJ for practice. Hornady 230 gr XTP for CCW,

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Old October 30, 2022, 11:18 AM   #10
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Found some interesting info on a 1911 forum. Apparently they did some work going back to a 200g Truncated cone with a meplat of around 0.25 to ensure proper feeding in the 1911 prior to the adoption of the 9mm by the military. Trying to find some more info into the details on the testing.

https://www.1911forum.com/threads/tr...-point.284000/
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Old October 30, 2022, 12:53 PM   #11
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I use all three. I’ve shot thousands of 185 and 200 grain SWC for bullseye competition, and still enjoy those loads for recreation. I have been shooting a lot of 230 grain hardball, that I bought cheap 2+ years ago. I load Hornady 185 grain XTP’s to around 1050 fps for defense rounds, because for some reason I have a lot of them, probably from an auction. I’m jealous 44AMP still has Speer flying ashtrays, I loved that bullet in the 70’s, and carried them on duty in the 1911.
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Old October 30, 2022, 01:50 PM   #12
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From what I've heard, Speer quit making the "flying ashtray" because the machinery to make them wore out. While I understand that lead time and cost of new machinery can be significant, I never could figure out why Speer didn't get new tooling and resume production of what was a very popular and effective bullet.
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Old October 30, 2022, 02:06 PM   #13
Jim Watson
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That was about the time Speer was going over to the Gold Dot plated hollow points. They probably did not see the point to retooling to keep a JHP in production. They could have made a Gold Dot the same shape as the "flying ashtray", but it was not a good feeder in stock guns, no matter what the gunzines plugged.

Quote:
Apparently they did some work going back to a 200g Truncated cone with a meplat of around 0.25 to ensure proper feeding in the 1911 prior to the adoption of the 9mm by the military.
My recollection is that the Hornady truncated cone .45 (and cast equivalents) was a derivative of the USAF truncated cone 9mm. But that was 40 years ago, so don't depend on my memory.
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Old October 30, 2022, 02:11 PM   #14
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Guess I've been loading .45 since 1989, jeez! Over that expanse of time if I had to make an estimate, it's probably 75% of them 230gr, 23% of them 200gr and 185gr for the tiny leftover balance. Pretty sure that I have never loaded a single round of .45 Auto that wasn't one of these three standard weights.

Most have been Berry's and Xtreme plated, but lots of cast too. Next up will be powder coated.
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Old October 30, 2022, 10:31 PM   #15
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bullet weights

I shot 230 gr slugs for many years, the majority through SIG P220's. Duty issue was best price and it always was either W-W Ranger or Federal Hydra-Shock. Qualification was with the issue JHP, but we shot 230 gr FMJ for training and practice, it was a bit cheaper and it was almost always W-W whitebox.

I loaded for my personally owned SIG, 230 gr LRN, shot it in IDPA and casually for recreation. When Hornady came out with the truncated 230 FMJ, I was a fan, 'cause Jeff Cooper said it was a better round than ball RN for GP and SD use, sort of a general purpose bullet. As the cast equivalents became available, I loaded and shot those too. The SIG fed all of them w/o complaint.


When I retired, I put the SIG on the shelf for the most part, bought a G21 and eventually an import 1911, a Tisas. I read the same material, that the 200 gr slug at 900fps was the original load, and I also read that Cooper endorsed a hot 200 gr LSWC in the early days prior good JHP evolution. I liked the sound of that. Lead slugs were taboo in the poly rifled Glock,and I have not shot it much anyhow. I'll admit though that its hi capacity of 14 big .45 ctgs is a great comfort if carried about. The Tisas was wide open for experimentation with conventional rifling, and I began to load and shoot 200 gr LSWC. To do so reliably, I needed Wilson mags and to pay much attention to OAL and crimping. I've about got it worked out, 1200 rds later, but the Tisas will burp on a LSWC often enough that I will not carry it as a SD load (it won't feed JHP or truncated with all mags either, ball runs fine).
But the 200 LSWC from about any supplier is wonderfully accurate, even in this budget pistol. Running 900 fps + with Unique or Bullseye, it is a serious load, but not unpleasant to shoot by any means. I just don't trust it to feed.
I wish I could find some of the Speer 200gr jacketed SWC to try in the Glock.

All that said, there is an outfit that is producing Coopers last ideas on a general purpose .45acp bullet, a sort of LSWC profile with sharp shoulder, but a more rounded, broader point. They weigh 200 grs and are plated, but are expensive. I'd like to try some in the Tisas.
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Old October 31, 2022, 07:43 AM   #16
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I mostly shoot and reload 230-grain round nose for .45 ACP. However, there isn't a lot of IDPA activity around here and pretty much everyone who competes is shooting some flavor of 9mm. Rather than beat myself up going against all 9mm shooters with a full-house .45 ACP load, I stumbled on an interesting article in the on-line Shooting Times:

https://www.shootingtimes.com/editor...#ixzz5D6mJdC7P

It was especially interesting to me because they used Winchester 231 powder, which is what I use, and the 230-grain and 185-grain bullets are from Berry's, which happens to be where I buy my bullets. So I bought some of the 185-grain hollow-base, round-nose bullets and I've been loading those to basically make minor power factor so I can compare my performance more directly with the 9mm shooters.
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Old October 31, 2022, 08:19 AM   #17
Jim Watson
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I have been loading .45 Minor for some time to spare my joints and nerves from the recoil.
I use Bullseye, it is more consistent in very light loads.
I have settled on a 200 gr coated roundnose at 660 fps or so.

A couple of us started with single stack magazines cut from 10 rounds to 9 so as to fit The Box; then I had a STI frame built out with odds and ends of .45 parts so I could have the full 10+1 of IDPA ESP and USPSA Limited 10.

It was a novelty when we first started but now it suits my available reloading components better than volumes of 9mm.

The other advantage of .45 Minor is the bigger hole, I will pick up a couple of points in a match, Joe once gained six when his .45s cut the lines that a 9mm would not have.
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Old October 31, 2022, 11:43 AM   #18
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I have used 200g HPs for about 10 years now. Either Xtreme plated over N320 (for matches and plinking) or Hornady XTPs over Power Pistol or WSF (for other stuff).

Accurate, complete burning of powder, low flash.
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Old October 31, 2022, 04:16 PM   #19
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230 for me. Been so happy finding a simple load recipe for that bullet that I haven't experimented with 200 or 185. I should, though.

Surprised you're going to .45ACP. I thought you were strictly a 9mm guy.
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Old October 31, 2022, 05:24 PM   #20
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I shot NRA Bullseye Match , now called Precision Match , for 20 years .
It involves a 22 LR , 38 cal and 45 cal handguns , fired one handed in slow fire , timed fire and rapid fire legs at bullseye targets ... the total high point score wins the match .
Did a lot of testing in 45 acp , tuned 1911 was used and much testing showed I posted my best scores with 200 gr. bullets . 185 gr. showed no score improvement and 230 gr. gave excessive recoil for the timed and rapid fire legs ... 200 gr. bullets always got me higher scores .
My favorite bullet is the Lyman #452460 200 gr. SWC , it has proved most accurate in this game .
The 230 gr. may be great for self-defense ... but for paper punching and most other jobs the 200 gr. SWC bullet does well . I think the SWC better than 230 gr roundnose
My AMT Hardballer stays loaded with them and I feel confident they will do the job .
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Old October 31, 2022, 05:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Tuttle View Post
230 for me. Been so happy finding a simple load recipe for that bullet that I haven't experimented with 200 or 185. I should, though.

Surprised you're going to .45ACP. I thought you were strictly a 9mm guy.
Yes, 9mm is my go to for defensive use 100%. I feel it is an effective cartridge and its relatively high capacity and low recoil allow you to get accurate shots on target rapidly. But i wouldn't say strictly 9mm, just the most efficient imho. 357 mag is probably my favorite handgun cartridge. And i love 1911s in 45, hoping to get one again next year.

I would say I'm adding 45, not going to 45.

Co-worker made me a deal i couldn't refuse on a G30. Got the gun, 3x 13rnd mags, 100rnds of ball, and 13rnds of Win pdx1 for $300.
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Old October 31, 2022, 07:38 PM   #22
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I've shot more 200s than all other weights combined, but for carry or nightstand duty, I prefer 230s for full-sized guns, and 185s for compacts.
I don't buy into the need for lighter bullets in short guns, higher velocities often considered better for terminal ballistics, but the lighter weight of a stack of 185s is easier for fast-cycling guns to run reliably.
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Old October 31, 2022, 07:41 PM   #23
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Quote:
My favorite bullet is the Lyman #452460 200 gr. SWC , it has proved most accurate
My experience as well as 200 gr LSWC's offer less recoil and are measurably more accurate than the 230 gr FMJ. I'd estimate that 90% or more of my reloads use one or the other of two LSWC's.

The Lyman 200 gr., LSWC, mold # 452460, was designed to replicate the 230 gr FMJ hard ball's feeding characteristics. Hensley & Gibbs made one as well, (# 68), which in my guns has always been a bit better feeding and also allows better accuracy. It's sports a nose section that's just a bit longer than Lyman's version. While I do cast and use both, the H&G #68 works better for me.

Casting either is about as easy as it gets...I use straight wheel weight alloy, adding only a pinch of tin when necessary to facilitate mold fill out, & size to 0.452" for all of my guns, and use 50-50 (alox to beeswax) lube.

On the rare occasions when I've bought commercial 200 gr LSWC's, I've had great success with Missouri Bullet Co.'s version, but re-lube with either Lee Liquid Alox thinned 30% with paint thinner. This prevents leading which the hard lube used by all commercial casters, is ineffective in preventing.

Loading the above for accuracy and 100% feeding is no real mystery. My practice, is to seat the bullet's top driving band almost but not quite even with the case mouth, leaving just a bit of lead exposed...(about the width of a thumbnail thickness, say 1/32"). This helps feeding as it does not allow the brass case mouth to hang up on the barrel hood/chamber mouth etc. Any more than the 1/32" of lead band however may result in a misfeed. A simple plunk test with the round in the barrel will tell if you've left too much lead showing at the case mouth. BTW, I use 231 or Bullseye for my loads: ~750 fps for target and 850+ for anything else.

Given one choice for target or defensive use, I'd pick one of the two previously mentioned LSWC's or their commercial equivalent...they're accurate, feed well and cut a full .45 cal. hole in paper or game/attacker.

Best Regards, Rod
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Old November 1, 2022, 08:43 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow9mm View Post
So I'm getting back into 45 auto after a little over 10 years. I hand load and was researching some load data in my speer manual and found a cool side note. Apparently Browning originaly designed the cartridge with a 200g bullet.

Got me thinking about bullet weight. I always defaulted to the 230g because that was what it was designed for and what the military thought best. I know not the best though process, but im trying to fix that.

What weight do you shoot and why. 230, 200, and 185 seem to be the most common, but if you like something else feel free to chime in.
"Other, explain below"

I shoot all these weights. All work well. 4.8 grains Bullseye for any of them.
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Old November 2, 2022, 01:41 PM   #25
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What is interesting in this thread is that the poll favors 230 over 200 by a margin of 2 to 1. But when you read the explanations, it becomes evident that the 200 is a better choice than the 230. Just goes to show, following the crowd leads to repetition. Following the facts leads to a road less traveled.
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