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Recommendation for .45 acp Semi-Wad Cutter Bullets

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Post by JGW006 12/3/2023, 1:20 pm

I’ve returned to the shooting hobby after ignoring it for many years.  I shoot .45 acp from 1911 pattern pistols.  

What bullet recommendations can I get for reloading?

JGW

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Post by chiz1180 12/3/2023, 2:28 pm

Brazos for hard cast, Zero for swaged
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Post by John Dervis 12/3/2023, 5:41 pm

I’ve been using Zero for the most part for 10 years now.  Their bullets are really consistent. I like their 200 gr swc for 50 yards and their 185 button nose Wadcutter for 25 however they did discontinue the WCBN bullet so once I’m out, I’ll need to switch to something else.  

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Post by Cmysix 12/3/2023, 7:13 pm

Summers bullets look very good for coated SWC, nice prices the more you buy,  I have been shooting DG Bullets 230 grain RNBB no lube groove they shoot very well too! I have some of DG bullets 200 grn SWC just had not shot them yet.  DG is having a hellava sale FREE SHIPPING and 10% off over $150 and 10% off under $150. I really didn't want to spend the $ but at that price I had to buy another 2000.  They have a triple walled box that fits inside a Large  USPS priority box and they ship 64 pounds for $18.00!
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Post by SingleActionAndrew 12/3/2023, 8:24 pm

I have DGs 200gr SWC (green coated no lube groove) from a few years ago and experimented with just earlier this year.  The ones I have are much harder for what that's worth and also have significantly greater variance in weight vs the Zero swaged SWCs.

Edit for clarity: I don't think the DGs are as fit for bullseye as the Zeros


Last edited by SingleActionAndrew on 12/6/2023, 5:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Centerline 12/4/2023, 12:19 pm

My favorites in lead are the Brazos 200 and 160, and the Magnus 185 button nose. I've been shooting the 160s instead of the 185s for a while now. For copper the Zero bullets are beautiful.

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Post by troystaten 12/5/2023, 12:10 am

I have used both Bayou bullets 185 grain hi-tech coated bullets and Brazo's 180 grain hi-tech coated and have been pleased with both.

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Post by JGW006 12/9/2023, 4:21 pm

Thank you all for your input.  

Follow up question - One of my 1911s is a Springfield Range Officer.  Should I expect it to cycle correctly with semi-wad cutters?

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Post by DA/SA 12/9/2023, 4:37 pm

JGW006 wrote:Follow up question - One of my 1911s is a Springfield Range Officer.  Should I expect it to cycle correctly with semi-wad cutters?
Mine does.
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Post by Cmysix 12/9/2023, 5:17 pm

JGW006 wrote:Thank you all for your input.  

Follow up question - One of my 1911s is a Springfield Range Officer.  Should I expect it to cycle correctly with semi-wad cutters?


it should but if your rolling your own, you can experiment with the COAL, IF you have feed problems, If I remember correctly a very knowledgeable forum member suggested .915 +/-.005 at the shoulder of the wad cutter to the base of the cartridge, load a few and go shoot them and see how they cycle, issues? try a little longer
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Post by PhotoEscape 12/9/2023, 5:53 pm

Brand name of the gun isn't 100% indicative of what bullet would be the best.  Or I should say, what loading parameters will be the best!  By default most 45ACP 1911 barrels will shoot semi wadcutter bullet with little or no issues.  Devil is in detail, and the devil is the accuracy of particular barrel with SWC or different bullets.  For one or another reason all previous posts suggest using SWC bullet a priori!  I do not think it is correct approach, and can lid OP in wrong direction.  With that I would argue that using 185gr JHP bullet is one of the reasonable and viable alternatives.  However, IMO the proper selection of the projectile relies on a bit of testing with particular gun/barrel.  This forum has ample of data for loading of ammo with either SWC and JHP projectiles.  It is only matter to load (or procure) and test in that particular firearm.

AP
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Post by JGW006 12/9/2023, 6:28 pm

Other than testing specific bullets with specific powders of specific loadings, are there any general thoughts on using 185 gr vs 200 gr?  Or does it really come down to testing, testing, testing, …..

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Post by JGW006 12/9/2023, 7:04 pm

From Bayou Bullets I ordered 100 rounds of the 185 gr and 100 rounds of the 200 gr.  It seems a lot of places are out of Zero Bullets, and Brazos is on back order.

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Post by chiz1180 12/9/2023, 7:06 pm

185 vs 200 honestly comes down to personal preference. Personally I typically shoot 185, but I have also found that 200s shoot well too. Some old timers claim that the 200s are more accurate, but I have found that 185s in a good gun are also extremely accurate. Recoil may feel a bit different depending on load.
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Post by BE Mike 12/10/2023, 7:34 am

I couldn't get my accurized pistols to function reliably with the 185 gr. "button nose" bullet. They do function well with the 185 gr. "long nose" bullet as Zero has in their 185 gr. swaged hollow point. I was never able to get lead bullets to group as well as 185 gr. JHP at 50 yards, as found in the Nosler and Zero offerings.
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Post by Dcforman 12/10/2023, 8:03 am

Only thing I'll mention is 200 grain SWC and 185 LSWCHP have about the same bearing surface, which is longer than the regular 185 SWC. More than a few people have proposed to me that makes a difference in accuracy.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 12/10/2023, 10:27 am

JGW006 wrote:Follow up question - One of my 1911s is a Springfield Range Officer.  Should I expect it to cycle correctly with semi-wad cutters?

Magazines might make a difference. My RRA ball gun didn't feed SWCs 100% reliable with it's original magazine, but does with the Wilson 47Ds which have different lips. 
https://how-i-did-it.org/magazines2/read-my-lips.html
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Post by bruce martindale 12/11/2023, 12:35 pm

For folks successfully loading the 185 button nose, aka the H&G#130, what was your load? I find much more recoil from them due to their long bearing surface and deeper seating requirements. Bullseye feels violent, perhaps slower powders like wst, green dot or maybe even Unique works better? I do have APs powder through expander for Flat Base Bullets and I LOVE it. Without it, Precision is easy lost by a cocked bullet tipping up and wiping the edge off the base

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Post by PhotoEscape 12/11/2023, 1:28 pm

bruce martindale wrote:For folks successfully loading the 185 button nose, aka the H&G#130, what was your load? I find much more recoil from them due to their long bearing surface and deeper seating requirements. Bullseye feels violent, perhaps slower powders like wst, green dot or maybe even Unique works better? I do have APs powder through expander for Flat Base Bullets and I LOVE it. Without it, Precision is easy lost by a cocked bullet tipping up and wiping the edge off the base
Bruce,

Depending on the gun I use charges ranging from 4.10gr on upper end down to 3.30gr of N310.  Best results were using CCI350 Magnum primers.  Seating at 0.920" base to shoulder (~1.150" OAL), crimp at 0.463" - 0.465".  I load these and 160gr SWC on Star press for there is no need to adjust dies.  Just changing powder charge for 160s.

AP
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Post by DA/SA 12/11/2023, 5:35 pm

bruce martindale wrote:For folks successfully loading the 185 button nose, aka the H&G#130, what was your load? I find much more recoil from them due to their long bearing surface and deeper seating requirements. Bullseye feels violent, perhaps slower powders like wst, green dot or maybe even Unique works better? 
Did you back down the powder charge?

I'm just trying some as well, and backed the charge down initially, but find I need to back down even more due to the reduced case volume. Which was the plan for using them in the first place.

A work in progress, so no details at this point.
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Post by Al 12/11/2023, 5:57 pm

bruce martindale wrote:For folks successfully loading the 185 button nose, aka the H&G#130, what was your load? I find much more recoil from them due to their long bearing surface and deeper seating requirements. Bullseye feels violent, perhaps slower powders like wst, green dot or maybe even Unique works better? I do have APs powder through expander for Flat Base Bullets and I LOVE it. Without it, Precision is easy lost by a cocked bullet tipping up and wiping the edge off the base
3.6 Clays
Win or Fed brass crimped to .465
WLP primers.
Shoots well at 50' and 25 yds. 
Yes, using some variant of the Lyman M die really helps in getting things started straight.

I've never been able to make this bullet shoot well at 50 yards. Tried lots of variances of brass, crimp, seating depth, powder charge. I have no idea how John Giles got his to shoot as well as he did, but he was a lot smarter than me.
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Post by bruce martindale 12/12/2023, 8:04 am

Al wrote:
bruce martindale wrote:For folks successfully loading the 185 button nose, aka the ….snip

I've never been able to make this bullet shoot well at 50 yards. Tried lots of variances of brass, crimp, seating depth, powder charge. I have no idea how John Giles got his to shoot as well as he did, but he was a lot smarter than me.
Al

So far the only inkling of 50 yard success with this has been at high speed, 820 or more llRC.

yet, in jacketed form, as in Federal Gold Medal, Remington, and Winchester, this was the match load. Note that the WW bullet had a superior base structure and tooling was sold off to IMI after the US military stopped buying it 20 - 30 years ago. I wish I knew that back then…

Soooo Im going to venture that higher speed is the answer here. It may not be a good choice for sustained

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Post by DA/SA 12/12/2023, 11:50 am

bruce martindale wrote:So far the only inkling of 50 yard success with this has been at high speed, 820 or more llRC.
This sheds some light on that as well.

Apparently Terry couldn't make them work at 50 either.

Terry Labbe High Master, Sprinfield Pistol Team
4.3 Tightgroup with a Magnus 802 200 gr. LSWC for 50 yards
4.0 Tightgroup with a Magnus 801 185 gr. LSWC for 25 yards
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Post by noylj 12/18/2023, 1:51 am

Zero swaged 200gr SWC.
You can also try Zero 185gr SWC-HP

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Post by JGW006 12/28/2023, 2:39 pm

I’m still waiting for my order from Bayou Bullets to be delivered …. I got tired of waiting so I bought a box of 500 Xtreme .45 acp, 200 gr, semi-wad cutter.

I’m starting with Titegroup.  I’m thinking of loading 15 at rounds starting at 4.2 grains, and moving up in .2 grain increments, up to 5.8 grains.  

Is that a reasonable range to load and test?  Or, am I starting too low or ending too high?

JGW

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