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45 ACP Target Practice Ammo

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JHHolliday
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Post by MkFiji Tue Dec 26, 2023 12:59 am

Hi guys,

I've been shooting Atlanta Arms Elite 45 ACP in my SA 1911 Target Loaded for competition and range practice.  For training I dry fire with intention nearly everyday.

I'm currently on the fence on reloading as I would need to reload 5000 rounds to break even on a cost point.  I don't care to pick it up as a hobby and don't want to spend more than an hour loading hundreds of rounds.  I do want to get better faster and from what I read it's more dry firing and applying it down range.  So I'm looking to see if there's any ammo you guys would recommend for range practice that's more cost effective than $0.66/bullet I'm paying for a case of Atlanta Arms with taxes and California FFL fees.

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Post by DA/SA Tue Dec 26, 2023 3:09 am

MkFiji wrote:I'm currently on the fence on reloading as I would need to reload 5000 rounds to break even on a cost point.  
You appear to be overlooking the fact that the reloading press and dies have resale value.

Typical Dillon resale is about 70%-80% of new value.

If you don't want to spend much time reloading, invest in a Dillon XL750 with case feeder , or a used XL650, and get to work!

Another option would be a Marvel .22 conversion for your 1911 and shoot about 75% .22 when training. If you are new to the sport, there is no sense wasting a lot of .45 ammo if you are not in the black with .22 at 25 yards.
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Post by BE Mike Tue Dec 26, 2023 4:57 am

For a bullseye pistol shooter who wants to advance through the classes, reloading is a necessity unless one has enough wealth to buy target ammo without worrying about the expense. A couple of my favorite manufactures of remanufactured target ammo, Zero (Rose Distribution) and Precision Delta don't list any target .45 ACP loads as being available. Even so, it could be worth a telephone call to each to see if they have a few cases or will load them. Since 2019 the price of reloading components has skyrocketed and availability of has dwindled. That, with the waning of interest in bullseye pistol shooting seems to have had a very negative effect on availability of reasonably priced match .45 ACP ammo. Americans have always had an abundance of everything available and adjusting to shortages is hard to accept. I suppose you can still "have it your way" at Burger King, but that's about it. My advice is to get a used Dillon 650 or new 750 progressive, as suggested by DA/SA unless you are in the upper income group and can afford to continue to buy the ammo you are now getting from Atlanta Arms.
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Post by Allgoodhits Tue Dec 26, 2023 8:47 am

MkFiji wrote:Hi guys,

I've been shooting Atlanta Arms Elite 45 ACP in my SA 1911 Target Loaded for competition and range practice.  For training I dry fire with intention nearly everyday.

I'm currently on the fence on reloading as I would need to reload 5000 rounds to break even on a cost point.  I don't care to pick it up as a hobby and don't want to spend more than an hour loading hundreds of rounds.  I do want to get better faster and from what I read it's more dry firing and applying it down range.  So I'm looking to see if there's any ammo you guys would recommend for range practice that's more cost effective than $0.66/bullet I'm paying for a case of Atlanta Arms with taxes and California FFL fees.

Two things:
As previously mentioned actually make a phone call to ZERO/Roze Distribution in Cullman Alabama. Ask about their remanufactured 185 LSWC or LSWCHP ammo. They also may have this as new brass ammo. Try to speak to Alison if possible.

Winchester has a 185 FMJ in a white box. It is marketed as Practice/Training. This stuff is pretty darn good relative to the price in $.45 per round range. The bonus here is that you end up with good once fired Winchester brass, which you could save for later or maybe sell to offset your future ammo purchases. The spent brass may be enough to mostly pay for your .22LR ammo.
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Post by ermakevin Tue Dec 26, 2023 8:56 am

Some people miss the point about reloading. It’s accomplished to make your pistol shoot at optimum level and allow you to shoot better.

But it should not be a desultory process.  Reloading can be accomplished in steps to be completed over a few days in your free time. You do not have to sit on your bench for 8 hours each day and reload.  

Plus, there are many benefits to reloading besides developing a precise load for your pistol. 

Reloading can be therapeutic, and is considered by most to be a hobby.  creating an item with your own hands is rewarding, this is why people paint, build houses, build cars etc.


once you overcome the initial cost of the equipment it will save you a lot on money.


initially it can be confusing to begin, but you can receive a lot of help on this site.  
Good luck
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Post by Merick Tue Dec 26, 2023 9:03 am

You could contine to shoot Atlanta ammo and sell your 1x brass.

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Post by 1911-45 Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:34 am

Reloading will be cheaper after 5K like you said but more importantly it will be more accurate. If you only load one caliber once you have it set up you can load a lot in a couple hrs!

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Post by JRV Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:08 am

Reloading is time intensive. There is no having your cake and eating it, too. My reloading setup (Dillon 550) long since paid for itself in a single season—my cost per shot went from $0.70 to $0.26. But, that has required the occasional half-day or even whole-day loading session.

I enjoy the routine of reloading as well as the ability to experiment, so it became a bit of a hobby for me. I have also found a nice load that shoots extremely soft in guns with factory or near-factory spring rates; so reloading has allowed me to minimize recoil.

The cheaper solution is shooting .22 with a conversion kit for most matches.

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Post by PhotoEscape Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:11 am

There are plenty of BE shooters in California, who already leaped into reloading.  And most likely you shoot with them.  Hence one more option to consider is cooperating with one of such shooters.  Obviously there are several stipulations and assumptions must be made and addressed.  However, IMO it is direction worth exploring along with suggested by others on this thread.

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Post by chiz1180 Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:36 am

Firstly, I definitely feel for the desire to avoid reloading. In regards to the "you can do it in your free time" argument, only if your free time corresponds to when you are physically located near your reloading set up. The other cost to reloading that people often is ignore is the time/effort it takes to source components. OP specifically mentioned CA, so that also has potential to complicate things. The availability of factory 45 ammo that is up to the needs of this game is a challenge and probably does hurt potential participation.

A 1911 conversion in 22 can be a good training tool, though its not the same as shooting 45. In a similar vein some sort of accurized 9mm (1911, m9, SIG 210, ect.) may be a better compromise, as it is a higher power cartridge than 22lr and ammo is probably more readily available and cheaper than 45. In regards to Atlanta specifically its roughly 25% less. Again this solution could be easier said than done, I am not versed in CA rules.

Reloading is definitely an option to consider too. If your time is of concern, it can be much faster to load jacketed projectiles than lead, as they are more compatible with bullet feeders speed up the process quite a bit. Same with case feeders, speeds up the process quite a bit. Obviously these specific options are at a cost and set up difficulty higher than a simplified process. 

In regards to the desire to get better fast, it takes more than just dryfiring and putting rounds down range. You need to develop a process that works for you that will allow you to incrementally achieve your goals. It is a misnomer that to get good you need to put thousands of rounds down range. It is definitely fun to shoot as much as possible, however the focus needs to be on high quality shooting, not just volume.
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Post by MkFiji Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:59 am

That's what I needed to read.  I appreciate your guys time.  

My ultimate goal is to become distinguished in service pistol, preferably while my 83 y/o Dad is still alive—He became distinguished Rifle while in the Navy and would like to be distinguished in Service Pistol as well.  So intentional training dry firing and on the range has squeezed into my books quite a bit as I feel like I'm on a time crunch.

For those using google to find this thread I changed my mind to reloading for: Inevitable foreseeable cost benefits over time and reloading gear resale value as long as I can reload ammo quickly and well enough

Going to pick up 750XL, Casefeed, Mr Bulletfeed and Redding Comp Pro Dies

Any other recommendations for gear for bullseye reloading?



Few other questions:

1) I'm trying to wrap my head on recoil spring and lower charge loads.  Are people attempting to use their best grouping from lowest charge and then just try lower springs until it works well w/o alibis?  

2) Does the brass casing matter much for recipes? I see a lot of recipes mention specific casings and I want to know if they're interchangeable or should I find a recipe for the casings I have? I have over 700 Starline casings and am probably going to have 2000 in a few months and want to be able to use them well.

3) I know there's the high master pet load list at the top of the ammo forum but I'd like to know what your guys recipe for 45ACP for EIC Service pistol is

4) What brands should I consider for powder for 45 ACP?  So far I've read:

Bullseye
Titegroup
Clay

I'd like to have a list of reputable powders to use as they're not always in stock.  I haven't been able to find a definitive list for BE shooting


Thank you gentlemen, this is incredibly motivating and helpful!

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Post by chiz1180 Tue Dec 26, 2023 12:37 pm

MkFiji,

1)
Generally speaking you want the highest # recoil spring that will function your load. Too light and you will have problems, to heavy and you will have other problems. Yes this is a very simplified explanation, but easier to explain once you have a load figured out. 
2)
Brass generally shouldn't matter. It is probably the the least important component in the system. I would personally prioritize Projectile, powder, primer, then brass in level of importance. 
3)
I shoot 4.6 grains of Bullseye with a Zero 185JHP for my service load. This load is fairly comparable (not exact) to Atlanta Arms. Per the rules you can shoot lead now but I shoot jacketed. Note many would argue this is a warm or even hot load. Some find softer loads are easier to shoot, I personally do not find that to be the case. 
4)
Bullseye, n310, Titegroup, and WST are the powders I keep on hand


The trickiest part of getting distinguished can be getting a hard leg. Assuming you are a civilian you can only shoot 5 EIC matches per year, plus The National Matches. A leg at nationals for a civilian is a hard leg. CA does have some good Service Pistol shooters, definitely reach out to them.
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Post by Wobbley Tue Dec 26, 2023 1:25 pm

Couple of things.  There are custom loaders that can load your brass here in California.  Tell us where you live, roughly, so we can tell you where they are.

If you do want to load, you could buy “Processed Brass” that will allow you to lessen the work some.  They will buy your fired brass at some price.
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Post by BE Mike Tue Dec 26, 2023 1:59 pm

If you have a quality accurized 1911, you should be able to load a 185 gr. JHP bullet from Zero with about 4.5 grains of Alliant Bullseye (it seems to be available now). With an iron sighted pistol (required for service pistol), you likely will be able to use a standard 16 pound spring for reliable functioning. Out of a quality match pistol you should get groups at 50 yards that will be well within the 10 ring. I've shot loads with the same bullet with around 3.7 grains of Bullseye for the short line. That will substantially lessen recoil which is most important for sustained fire. Clays is no longer being produced. Vihtavouri N310 also works well with the 185 gr. JHP bullet.
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Post by JHHolliday Tue Dec 26, 2023 3:26 pm

This "remanufactured" ammo has lower felt recoil than 230 ball and cycles fine in my 1911*:

https://pnrammo.com/product/45-acp-185-gr-hbrn-250-rds/

*though I have not tested for accuracy as usual it shoots better than me

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Post by Allgoodhits Tue Dec 26, 2023 5:34 pm

You mentioned, Bullseye, Titegroup and Clays. Of those and all others, it is hard to beat Bullseye. I like Clays, but have none currently, and haven't seen any for sale for several years. I would add VV N310 & WST to your list as possibilities.
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Post by MkFiji Tue Dec 26, 2023 6:10 pm

Allgoodhits wrote:You mentioned,  Bullseye, Titegroup and Clays. Of those and all others, it is hard to beat Bullseye. I like Clays, but have none currently, and haven't seen any for sale for several years. I would add VV N310 & WST to your list as possibilities.

I found some clays offered online, should I buy them?

Have a recommended load for it?

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Post by MkFiji Tue Dec 26, 2023 6:14 pm

Wobbley wrote:Couple of things.  There are custom loaders that can load your brass here in California.  Tell us where you live, roughly, so we can tell you where they are.

If you do want to load, you could buy “Processed Brass” that will allow you to lessen the work some.  They will buy your fired brass at some price.
 
Custom loaders sound cool.  I'm located in Los Angeles and would love to learn more

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Post by Wobbley Tue Dec 26, 2023 6:42 pm

I’d call these guys. 

https://www.laxammo.com/

https://www.redlineballistics.com/

LAX Ammo is a big commercial ammo remanufacturer.  They might do a custom load.  

Redline is smaller but will load you something custom.  Both of them are busy. I have done some of his brass processing as a job offload from him.
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Post by JHHolliday Tue Dec 26, 2023 6:53 pm

LAX Ammo, located in LA, won't sell to California.

More government please!

RESTRICTED AREAS:
Federal, State, and Local Laws Relating to Ammunition Purchases:
We comply with ALL local, state, and federal laws. The following list of state and local laws is NOT represented to be all inclusive of the 50 states’ numerous firearms, ammunition, and magazine laws. You must be aware of any laws affecting your purchase.
ALASKA CUSTOMERS: No ammunition sales.
CALIFORNIA CUSTOMERS: No ammunitions sales.
CONNECTICUT CUSTOMERS: A legible copy of state issued identification and one of the following is required to purchase ammunition:
A valid CT permit to carry a pistol or revolver OR
A valid CT long gun eligibility certificate OR
A valid CT ammunition certificate.

HAWAII CUSTOMERS: No ammunition sales.
ILLINOIS CUSTOMERS: Must have current copy of FOID card and State Photo Identification, No sales of ammunition and/or magazines to the City of Chicago. No sales of Incendiary, Exploding, Armor Piercing, APIT, Tracer, or SureShot Exploding Targets.
NEW YORK CUSTOMERS: Due to New York State law, we can no longer ship ammunition purchased online to NY residents (we will still ship to FFL's and Seller of Ammunition permits)
NEW JERSEY CUSTOMERS: Firearms/Ammunition identification card & State ID must accompany ammunition orders for first time. No sales of magazines over 15 rounds, or hollow point ammunition.
RHODE ISLAND CUSTOMERS: Blue Card and Photo ID.

"CALIFORNIA CUSTOMERS: No ammunitions sales."

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Post by Wobbley Tue Dec 26, 2023 6:56 pm

They have 4 stores that sell their ammo.  So they DO sell to California residents.
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Post by Allgoodhits Tue Dec 26, 2023 7:39 pm

MkFiji wrote:
Allgoodhits wrote:You mentioned,  Bullseye, Titegroup and Clays. Of those and all others, it is hard to beat Bullseye. I like Clays, but have none currently, and haven't seen any for sale for several years. I would add VV N310 & WST to your list as possibilities.

I found some clays offered online, should I buy them?

Have a recommended load for it?

I don't think Clays is superior to Bullseye, but it is a good alternative. I believe Bullseye and maybe VV N310 are the best for both JHP loads and cast or swaged lead bullets. Where I find Clays best are in soft lead loads. Clays is not as dense as the other powders, so a small charge weight fills the case more than a similar charge weight of say BE or VV N310. I think Clays burns cleaner in soft loads than any other powder I have used..As for recipe with Clays, I like 3.6 - 3.8 gr with a 200 or 185 gr lead or coated bullets. Depending on how your gun is sprung you may be able to go even lower by charge weight.

Availability of Clays has been limited. I would tend to stick with that which you know you can get. BE is hard to beat, if it can be beat. Honestly, between BE, Clays, VV n310, WST and probably a few others, it really doesn't matter under normal conditions with top shooters. I will add that I think VV N310 and WST are a bit more temperature sensitive than is BE.
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Post by rburk Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:23 pm

I live in So Cal also, and the difficulty getting decent ammo for bullseye shooting is the reason I reloaded from the start (I started shooting about 4 years ago).  I load on a Dillon SDB, which is o.k. for moderate amounts of ammo, but it does not have case or bullet feeders.  But it is a full progressive machine.  I see there is a new one for sale from a private party for $500 on the Calguns website, in OC.  I have been happy with mine, it loads good ammo for precision pistol.  

45 ACP is a great cartridge to reload, easy get accurate ammo with a little care.

Although not a complete list, here are some additional items you may/will need:

  • Powder scale.  This is mandatory.  I also have a set of check weights, my Redding beam scale is pretty old. It checks on the money.
  • Primer flip tray.
  • Case tumbler, I use the Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler.
  • Caliper, needed to check bullet seating depth.
  • PhotoEscape powder transfer unit/powder funnel, works better than the Dillon.  See advertisers on this site's home page.

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Post by NYKenn Wed Dec 27, 2023 5:29 am

Reloading is a less expensive option than firing factory ammo, but it is not necessarily cheaper. 
It does however, let you shoot more, for the same amount of money, even when factoring in equipment and components.

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Post by MkFiji Tue Jan 02, 2024 10:25 am

rburk wrote:I live in So Cal also, and the difficulty getting decent ammo for bullseye shooting is the reason I reloaded from the start (I started shooting about 4 years ago).  I load on a Dillon SDB, which is o.k. for moderate amounts of ammo, but it does not have case or bullet feeders.  But it is a full progressive machine.  I see there is a new one for sale from a private party for $500 on the Calguns website, in OC.  I have been happy with mine, it loads good ammo for precision pistol.  

45 ACP is a great cartridge to reload, easy get accurate ammo with a little care.

Although not a complete list, here are some additional items you may/will need:

  • Powder scale.  This is mandatory.  I also have a set of check weights, my Redding beam scale is pretty old. It checks on the money.
  • Primer flip tray.
  • Case tumbler, I use the Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler.
  • Caliper, needed to check bullet seating depth.
  • PhotoEscape powder transfer unit/powder funnel, works better than the Dillon.  See advertisers on this site's home page.



Are you talking about the 45 - HTC PTU from PhotoEscape?

From what I'm reading it's for lead casted bullets that are casted.  I don't plan on shooting lead casted bullets, would you still recommend it?


Also, what does HTC stand for? I've googled and scoured different forums but no one says what it stands for

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