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Old August 22, 2012, 09:23 PM   #1
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Question about .45 ACP bullet components

Hello all,

So thus far i've been reloading my .45 ACP with a 230gn Rainier LeadSafe Plated round nose bullets.
Otherwise seen here:

I'm looking for some alternate options for loading my .45. While I love these bullets, I am ready to buy some serious bulk for
loading my .45.

So here are some thoughts for you guys:

What are the pros and cons of using a lead bullet that is not plated?
What about FMJ round?

and most importantly,
Is there another .45 ACP round that I can get cheaper that works fine for target shooting? If so, whats it called and where can I buy it?

Thanks a lot guys! Look forward to hearing what you have to say.

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Old August 22, 2012, 09:32 PM   #2
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I think you would like the accuracy and feeding of a medium hard 230gr LRN. I find those over AA#5 or Titegroup delightful.
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Old August 22, 2012, 09:49 PM   #3
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I prefer jacketed over plated or lead. They are just easier for me to get the load to work right and if I want to I can push them harder without as many problems. I have a light load that works very well for me.

WST 5.2 to 5.3 grains powder
Montana Gold 185 grain JHP bullet
OAL 1.200 to 1.210"

The slight changes in powder or OAL seem to not affect accuracy or how clean they are.

Plated bullets will be cheaper than jacketed. Normally lead bullets will be cheaper than plated. It depends on what you expect from your loads.

Last edited by Misssissippi Dave; August 22, 2012 at 10:10 PM.
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Old August 22, 2012, 11:37 PM   #4
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Plated bullets will be cheaper than jacketed. Normally lead bullets will be cheaper than plated. It depends on what you expect from your loads.

If you are just poking holes in paper or ventilating water bottles, plated bullets are fine. I just finished up the last of my case of Winchester FMJ bullets (bought some years ago when copper was cheap...) and am switching to plated bullets because of cost considerations.

My standard load for about the last 20 years is 6.5grn Unique under a 230grn Winchester FMJ and a CCI or WLP primer in whatever brass I have, and a taper crimp. I will have to reevaluate that load once I start loading the plated bullets, of course.
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Old August 23, 2012, 01:23 AM   #5
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I started out with that load of 6.5 gr of Unique under Lymans excellent 452374 lead round nose. It never has leaded up my gun, though I did switch powders to 231 as my standard 45 load awhile back. I've pushed this 225 gr LRN to over 900 fps and it has never been a problem in any gun I've ever shot the load in which includes a 16" Beretta Storm which achieved 1000 fps or a little more in it.

The pros of lead boolits are the cost. At less than 2 cents apiece it's a no brainer. There cons of lead bullets seems to come into play when you buy them commercially. My somewhat limited experience with commerical cast is that, typically, they are under sized. Then you can expect them to lead your gun and leave you feeling like lead bullets are crap.

You can scour the commercial world for proper sized lead bullets, or bite the bullet and start casting your own boolits. I size my 45's to .452. Lead is supposed to be sized .001 to .002 larger than nominal for caliber. If you do this then there are no cons to cast boolits.
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Old August 23, 2012, 05:37 AM   #6
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To save money, try a 185 grain LSWC. I shoot mine (several thousand by now) over 4.7 grains of Titegroup and they work very well as a light recoiling target load.

I can buy the 185s for 9 cents apiece + tax locally.

Last edited by spacecoast; August 24, 2012 at 08:16 AM.
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Old August 23, 2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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Berrys 45 Cal 230 gr Round Nose Double Struck 1000 Count
$128.00 includes shipping
Precision Delta B-45-230-FMJ Bullets 1000 $130.00 includes shipping
SoftBall!.452 Diameter.45 ACP230 Grain RNBrinell 18For General Shooting
Price per box of 500 Price: $43.00 = $86 per 1000 + $13.75 shipping (will ship 2000 bullets)

Off their web sites right now.
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Old August 27, 2012, 10:28 AM   #8
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I personally prefer the accuracy and economy of the 230g LRN from Penn Bullets over 5.0g W231.
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Old August 27, 2012, 11:38 AM   #9
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I cast my own 230g LRN for $35.90 / 1000 including lube. And load them over 4.5g Bullseye for a great shooting mid range target load.
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Old August 27, 2012, 12:35 PM   #10
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I've had really good results with 200g RNFP's from either Laser-Cast or Missouri Bullet. I load @ 1.205 over 5.4-5.6g of HP-38. 5.4g may not cycle some guns and runs around 780 fps out my Smith 5" 1911. 5.6g is very accurate and reliable and runs at about 800+. I load these 500 at a time for a friend who shoots with a club.

Edit* checked notes, raised fps. Also ran some @ 5.8/ HP-38 for about 820fps.
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Last edited by RWNielsen; August 27, 2012 at 03:51 PM.
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Old August 27, 2012, 01:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Shootest
I cast my own 230g LRN for $35.90 / 1000 including lube. And load them over 4.5g Bullseye for a great shooting mid range target load.
That's my load, although I've never tried to quantify the cost of my cast bullets. However, a good 230 grain LRN and 4.5 grains of Bullseye is hard to beat.

More recently I"ve been using that same bullet and 3.0 grains of Bullseye as my paper-punching load. It cycles our 1911s and M&Ps and is very accurate and economical.
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