reloading .45 ACP

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reloading .45 ACP

Post by John on Sat Jul 20, 2013 8:37 pm

Quite a few intresting responses to my suggested discussion on reloading.  Following is my method.

After reading all the helpful advice on reloading an accurate round of ammunition I can see my method does not measure up to what most of the shooters on the Forum would call good reloading techniques!   Target is close enough at 25 yards and plenty of time to shoot timed fire but that X ring is very elusive.

I never clean the inside of my cases or primer pockets, shoot a mixture of brass that has been fired multiple times, do not weigh bullets, use what primers I happen to have on hand,  do not take special effort to make sure the bullet is perfectly  aligned with the case before seating,  taper crimp to .462 ,  but I do weigh powder charge (3 grains of Bullseye) to set powder measure.  I cast my bullets, don't size--lube with Rooster Jacket.   Once the progressive loader is set for the bullet and powder charge there is no reason to do anything else but load ammunition.   Then it is off to the range to try some timed fire and keep the bullets going in the right direction!   I am having fun and may make Sharpshooter some day!  John

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Rob Kovach on Sat Jul 20, 2013 9:11 pm

Sounds like that should work.  As long as your load works for your gun, the rest doesn't matter. 

Does that load hold the 10 ring at the 50 yard line for your gun?

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by John on Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:10 am

3 grains of Bullseye is great at the 25 yard line.  Lots of problems hitting the target at 26 yards.  John

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Rob Kovach on Sun Jul 21, 2013 2:09 am

Try speeding it up a little for the 50 yard line.  I use 3.9 bullseye under lubed and sized Lead SemiWadcutters.  I use that recipe for both 200gr and 185gr.  I am happy with where the 200gr bullets go for the 50 yard line, and recoil isn't too bad.
That recipe is what I use for the 25 yard line also.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by davekp on Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:25 am

.462 is a little tight for crimp. Also, what is the diameter of your unsized bullets? If they are much over .452 that can be a problem. Shooting at 25 yards won't tell much. How do they group at 50 yds?

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by BE Mike on Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:56 am

John wrote:Quite a few intresting responses to my suggested discussion on reloading.  Following is my method.

After reading all the helpful advice on reloading an accurate round of ammunition I can see my method does not measure up to what most of the shooters on the Forum would call good reloading techniques!   Target is close enough at 25 yards and plenty of time to shoot timed fire but that X ring is very elusive.

I never clean the inside of my cases or primer pockets, shoot a mixture of brass that has been fired multiple times, do not weigh bullets, use what primers I happen to have on hand,  do not take special effort to make sure the bullet is perfectly  aligned with the case before seating,  taper crimp to .462 ,  but I do weigh powder charge (3 grains of Bullseye) to set powder measure.  I cast my bullets, don't size--lube with Rooster Jacket.   Once the progressive loader is set for the bullet and powder charge there is no reason to do anything else but load ammunition.   Then it is off to the range to try some timed fire and keep the bullets going in the right direction!   I am having fun and may make Sharpshooter some day!  John

 You .45 ACP load is nothing close to what I settled on, and I have a slide mounted red dot (you don't say). Mine is 4.0 grains of bullseye with a swaged lead SWC bullet. I only crimp to .470". I once made master shooting with that load. I machine rest test at 50 yards. It isn't my loads which keep me from shooting master scores now.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by sixftunda on Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:01 am

The lightest BE load I have used is 3.6 gr with my 160LSWC but at the 50 yard line they did not have enough power. When I was testing them outside it started raining and my shots immediately went off call. 

Using mixed primers and mixed head stamp brass isn't a big deal for the short line.  I did not start getting picky about my long line ammo until I could start holding the black. 

My advice is that you definitely should be cleaning your brass before you reload it. A tumbler and media is not that expensive or time consuming. I use a light timer and let it run while I sleep or work. When I go to reload my brass is ready to go.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Jack H on Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:24 pm

John casts his bullets with a high hardness factor.  That is because if they bounce more than once going to 50yds, the accuracy goes WAY down.  I shot John a 10 on his target one time just help out anyway I could.
 

Disclaimer.  Yes

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by BE Mike on Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:26 pm

Jack H wrote:John casts his bullets with a high hardness factor.  That is because if they bounce more than once going to 50yds, the accuracy goes WAY down.  I shot John a 10 on his target one time just help out anyway I could.
 

Disclaimer.  Yes
How many bounces did it take?Laughing

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by DavidR on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:40 am

I must say after reading this i looked to see who or what was pulling on my leg! but i guess if you have a open sight well worn out 45 its possible to get it to function on 3grns of Be and if it holds black at 25 is a accomplishment in itself, To cast the bullets yet not size them? I find it highly improvable you could seat and crimp one to .462 but it may be able to be done, however if this is what your satisfied with then have fun, i really doubt anyone could ever make it past the bottom tier of marksman with this setup. A slingshot with a good ball bearing as a projectile would be much more accurate IMO. lol!

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Rob Kovach on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:36 pm

45acp is very forgiving.  It is possible that John is making that round work at 25.  A master I know says we could load lubed rocks at the 25 yard line and they could hold the black.  Let's not be to hard on John.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Colt711 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:02 am

Rob Kovach wrote:45acp is very forgiving.  It is possible that John is making that round work at 25.  A master I know says we could load lubed rocks at the 25 yard line and they could hold the black.  Let's not be to hard on John.

 Did he have a recommendation as to the lube, red or blue?
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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:17 am

I'll ask him next time I see him! Razz

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by gimble88 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:34 pm

DavidR wrote:I must say after reading this i looked to see who or what was pulling on my leg! but i guess if you have a open sight well worn out 45 its possible to get it to function on 3grns of Be and if it holds black at 25 is a accomplishment in itself, To cast the bullets yet not size them? I find it highly improvable you could seat and crimp one to .462 but it may be able to be done, however if this is what your satisfied with then have fun, i really doubt anyone could ever make it past the bottom tier of marksman with this setup. A slingshot with a good ball bearing as a projectile would be much more accurate IMO. lol!

John has a Giles-built 1911 in beautiful shape with a dot mounted on the slide. I have watched him put a few in the X at 25 yards with the 3.0 gr load. I'm pretty sure they didn't hit the dirt on the way. As I understand it, the .462 crimp was recommended to him by Giles, maybe I understand wrong but Roddy Toyota also recommended that crimp to me. Roddy has done a lot of Ransom testing on of a lot of pistols that have been known to hold a tight group at 50 yards. I believe John recommended it to Roddy.  John is just trying to get the discussion going for the benefit of all. He is a grumpy old @#$% but he has generously helped a lot of shooters and promoted the sport locally. He does have the ugliest collection of brass I have ever seen, no doubt about that. So LOL all you want.

Spence

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Colt711 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:22 pm

gimble88 wrote:
John has a Giles-built 1911 in beautiful shape with a dot mounted on the slide. I have watched him put a few in the X at 25 yards with the 3.0 gr load. I'm pretty sure they didn't hit the dirt on the way. As I understand it, the .462 crimp was recommended to him by Giles, maybe I understand wrong but Roddy Toyota also recommended that crimp to me. Roddy has done a lot of Ransom testing on of a lot of pistols that have been known to hold a tight group at 50 yards. I believe John recommended it to Roddy.  John is just trying to get the discussion going for the benefit of all. He is a grumpy old @#$% but he has generously helped a lot of shooters and promoted the sport locally. He does have the ugliest collection of brass I have ever seen, no doubt about that. So LOL all you want.

Spence

 Giles did a short article on adjusting the taper crimp die. He did recommend a pretty tight #. I thought it was more like .466. I too know a grumpy old shooter. He probably has the article and I will check for further information. 3.0 grains of BE must have required one of the 200 or 215 grain cast bullets? A tight crimp might help hold the bullet long enough to help increase the pressure.

Offhand I would say a bounce or two will not help much with the pressure buildup.
Ron

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by DavidR on Tue Jul 23, 2013 3:13 pm

Yes giles used a .463 crimp, but that was on a SIZED .452 bullet, and everyone has a different way they read crip, a heavy touch will read more crimp a light hand will read less, the OP says he does not size his home cast bullets, most molds spit out bullets around .454 or larger, add in the case thickness x2 and to squeeze one down to .462 will deform the bullet, Im not saying his way wont work, but its diffidently  not the correct way if you want a little accuracy to go with that  bang.  Laughing

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by gimble88 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:28 pm

I was going to leave this discussion after my last post because I'm hoping to make low marksman in the next few years and don't know anything. But...

John has tried to start discussion about reloading now and then and has mentioned the .462 crimp a couple of times. People just tell him he's wrong.

But, it turns out we have Giles(a pretty good bullseye pistol builder), John (grumpy old @#$% master, maybe high master and long time ransom rest addict) and Roddy Toyota (also an OK bullseye smith and former Oregon state champion) all calling for a crimp that is much tighter than conventional wisdom calls for.

So we can keep telling him he's wrong or we can have a discussion about reloading in which we all might learn something.

I'll start us off. Here is an example of a collegial discussion:

John: "I don't size my cast bullets and I crimp to .462."

Me: "Wow. That's unusual. Are you an experienced reloader or are you just pulling numbers out of your a**. With un-sized bullets you say you are still able to crimp to .462 and get good results? How does that work? Don't you have trouble with bullet deformation?  Have you tested that from a machine rest at 50 yards? What were your results?"

John: "I found that I got an average group size of  X 1/x" at 50yds from my ransom rest using 30 strings of 5 shots each. This is with my butt-ugly, dirty, un-sorted, range brass."

Me: "Hmmmm. That gives me something to think about. I'm surprised that you get those results from brass that looks like it was recently unearthed from a WWI battlefield in France. Damn, that stuff is ugly. You think maybe Sgt. York shot those rounds? I'm gonna try that crimp next time I set up my ransom rest, though. Have you compared it against a more normal crimp with everything else the same?"

See, it's easy. From my example you can see there isn't even any need to be polite. The goal is not to be nice but to encourage, rather than shut down discussion. You don't assume that the OP is an idiot (though I know for a fact he is about some things) and that he doesn't test his loads. You ask, we exchange results. Maybe there is someone else with a successful but unorthodox load that won't bring it up because people will just say it's wrong. Exchange information. Compare results. Ask if something seems to weird to work. It's so easy.

All the best to all concerned,

Spence


Last edited by gimble88 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by DavidR on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Thank you for your input, I hope his loading practices work well for him and im sorry if your offended by the placement of the LOL.  Reloading the 45 should be a discussion on loading the best most accurate ammo we can.As a person who has ransome tested hundreds of loads i can say, that is not the way to build accurate reliable 45 acp target rounds.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Schaumannk on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:04 pm

Considering that as Slocat says, you can throw rocks at the target and hit the x ring at the 25 yard line,  I think getting bent out of shape over the  crimp on short line bullets is misplaced.  

Crimp affects accuracy a little at the 50 yard line, and it definitely affects feeding in sustained fire.  If you pinch those suckers down pretty tight to get them to feed reliably in a tight chambered gun,  I dont find much wrong with that.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Jack H on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:07 pm

John is indeed a top notch reloader and master shooter.

I too subscribe to the tight crimp.  Roddy has built fine guns for me and his test ammo is superb.  I generally copy the dimensions of Roddy's test ammo.  I give my cases a general clean in the vibrator.  The only other case prep I do is to check and clean crud from the primer pocket.  I firmly believe the crud will hold the primer up from seating fully which in turn might cause fire failure on the first strike.  My 550B does not defeat a large primer pocket crud buildup.  Sometimes I use the hand primer.

I set my balance scale at "0" and check with a 5gr weight.  I do not throw ten and weigh for average.  I throw single charges and weigh each.  If 4-5 throws all agree, I start loading.  If the powder measure sits or gets extra bumps, I waste a couple throws and weigh 4-5 again.  I keep the hopper level fairly constant. 

I Minimum bell to accept bullet.  Crimp tight.  I have not seen any 50yd difference between crimps of .468-.463 I even crimp jacketed to about .466.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:21 pm

I was really happy to learn that John is a master shooter who, like me, has observed that mixed brass isn't why you shot that 6.  It was your fault!

I have also seen buddies develop extremely accurate loads with recipes that David R wouldn't agree were worth a darn.  One buddy came up with a 50yard load that was so slow you could easily watch the bullet going downrange and hitting the target.

The thing about load development is this:  NOBODY IS DEVELOPING LOADS FOR THE SAME GUN!!
Every gun locks up a little differently, every barrel and chamber is slightly different, and when you bring those factors together, there is no right answer!

Thanks John for letting me know I'm not crazy for using mixed brass.

Since that mixed brass post, every time I shoot a 6 I tell the scorer that it was mismatched brass' fault.Embarassed

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by DavidR on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:35 pm

Well hearing John is a master shooter and not a novice reloader or a marksman as his post suggested I guess some of us including myself have fallen for the joke he intended. As for reloading topics like this seems everyone has a different idea what a accurate load is and the many different methods used to get them,so on some points I guess we can just agree to disagree.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Rob Kovach on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:13 pm

But you have to admit DavidR, this isn't the first post where you implied that your answer is the only correct one.  That's ok too.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Toz35m on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:13 pm

I think we can all agree we want an accurate load at 50 yds which is aligned to our expectations and maybe classification.  Where we agree to disagree is how we get those loads.

We all should agree we have lots of people just reading this who are looking for data or information to help them improve loading skills.  I think we own it to them to have a good positive discussion backed by data when feasible of what works and does not work.  When I started I just loaded what I was told to load.  4.0 of BE and use a 185gr or 200gr bullet.  Then you read this and other posts and find out it is much deeper and your load could be shooting a 6" group at 50 yds.

I think testing at some level with your pistol is very important and over the years I have learned many things from John at matches and many of the people who post here.

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

Post by Toz35m on Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:15 pm

By the way is there any way to clean up the stickies at the top of the section into one just for loads and not have several

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Re: reloading .45 ACP

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