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45acp reload question

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by brickman, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. brickman

    brickman Tualatin Member

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    To whomever can help,

    I just started reloading 45 acp and shot a few test loads today with not so good results. Nothing disastrous, but 3 out of 4 test loads wouldn't cycle properly. I have been reloading 9mm for about 3 months and 2500 rounds with great results using a variety of loads and bullets. Is 45 acp that different? I use Lyman's, Hogdon's, and loaddata.com for my references. Here's what I tried for the 45 acp reloads:

    Berry's 185 gr RN DS, CCI 300 large pistol primers, and various tumbled brass on all four lots. OAL = 1.275 on all lots. I loaded 10 rounds each for a total of 40 rounds. The only difference is two different powders with two different amounts for each.

    Lot 1 - Blue Dot 8.0 grain
    Lot 2 - Blue Dot 9.0 grain
    Lot 3 - Bullseye 4.5 grain
    Lot 4 - Bullseye 5.2 grain

    Lot 4 is the only one that cycled okay, no FTE, and no FTL; however, it only threw the brass about 1-2 foot high and 2-3 foot to the side whereas standard factory brass flies about 2-3 feet up and 3-4 feet to the side from a sitting/bench position. These reloads are for plinking and drill practice only so I do not need anything hot at all, but is this still too light of a load?

    After shooting, I made up another couple of test loads with Bullseye 5.3 gr and 5.6 gr that I will test fire tomorrow. I have one other powder on hand (HS-6) that I plan to create a test load or two tomorrow.

    One more thing, I noticed when I check the reloads in my case gage most are not completely flush and seem to sink just ever-so-slightly beyond the head side of the gage. Their OAL is good, just a very slight depression on the head side. When I raise my crimp die by only 1/8 of a turn they do not slide into the case gage without manual pressure, so I feel like I have the crimp die adjusted properly but, does this mean anything? I hope I don't sound too juvenile with these questions. I'm just looking some help from you veterans out there.

    Any advice would be appreciated?
     
  2. beezer66

    beezer66 Salem, OR Active Member

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    Loaded up some 230 grain .45 ACP, with 5.5 grains of Bullseye and CCI primers. No problems.
     
  3. SAR1846

    SAR1846 Oregon Member

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    I've had good luck with unique & 200gr cast swc. Lots of folks love bullseye as well. WST is also another good powder.

    Instead of a case gauge... I like to use a bare barrel (stripped out of my pistol) to ensure it chambers & pops out easy.

    Where is the bulge? near the case mouth or by the rim? for case mouth bulge, its generally caused by a few factors. I find that certain makes of brass are a bit thicker, and need a bit more belling. Bullet alignment is also critical during seating. Last, taper crimping is a good thing to do. I use my calipers to help check for any residual belling not ironed out by the crimp, and adjust appropriately.

    hth!
     
  4. brickman

    brickman Tualatin Member

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    Good advice, I believe I will try a heavier grain bullet next. I see from the books that unique is a popular powder for 45 acp so I may pick up a bottle of that in the near future. I believe the bulge is at the mouth. I will have to mic them to be sure, but like I said earlier, when I increase the crimp by 1/8 of a turn they slide into the case gage fine. Also good point about using a bare barrel. I was beginning to wonder if my brand new case gage was a little bit off. I will check with the 45 barrel to see what it looks like. I am heading to the range in a little while to check the new loads and my wife is anxious to shoot her new G19 gen 4. I'll see how things go and post later.
     
  5. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    An old military duplcation load would be 5.0 gr RED Dot /w 230 gr. LRN bullet: This actual load can be from 4.7-->5.2 grs. for a stardard 1911 style 45.. You can also load 4.8-->5.4 grs Red Dot for a 230 FMJ or Hp jacket bullet.. Start with the low end, and check your cases for pressure signs or a flatten primer. This round should clock at 815-> 845fps. Standard primers work just great. Have loaded and shot many K of this load.
     
  6. Translator

    Translator Gorge Member

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    Hey Brickman,
    1.275?!!
    In my Springfield Champion, that is WAY too long. It fits into the magazine, but feeding didn't suck ... in order to suck, it would have had to exist. Seriously, I recommend trying 1.240 at the most, go under 1.220 if you are in the mood to experiment.
    I later found that my feeding problems were caused by another factor in addition to OAL, namely my recoil spring. I put in a heavy spring and my feeding with all loads promptly improved. I can't say exactly how heavy the spring was; I got it from Midway.
    I just started experimenting with 185 gr bullets, but mine are SWC so I can not compare them exactly with yours. Mine had some failures to feed. A friend at the gun club looked at them and advised me to use a taper crimp (I was not crimping at all) and to seat them to the shoulder of the bullet. This might be elementary knowledge for a lot of reloaders, but it was not for me. That will put mine well under an OAL of 1.210, so there is a comparison number for you for length FWIW.
    I was firing 4.5 gr Bullseye, and it seemed real accurate aside from the feeding issue.
    (EDIT) Note, the Champion functions pretty well with the heavy spring installed, even with light loads.
     
  7. brickman

    brickman Tualatin Member

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    An old military load sounds interesting and thanks, I do always start at the lower end. Red Dot...I'll check it out.


    The 1.275 is what the book called for for those particular loads. (I happen to be shooting a Bersa at this time.) I did see other references with different loads that have a shorter OAL that I may try sooner or later and/or if I have a problem. I am new to this and all I have read says to stay with reputable references specifications. I know there are limits that one can go either over or under on different measurements without problems but I have not found the exact number yet on lengths?

    I did go out today and test the other two loads I talked about in the first post with good success. I only shot 7 rounds of each lot for a total of 14 rounds but they all cycled great. They threw the brass up 1-2' and out 3-5'. The Brass looked pretty clean on the outside and no signs of stress or primer issues that I could see. The hits were consistent from 2 1/2" for the first group to 1 3/4" for the second. No, I am not that good at 25 yrds. I shoot my test loads at 10 yrds on a bench rest and 2" groups are pretty good for me. I wish I was better, but I'm just not.