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Hoss

Loading 45 ACP?

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We are talking about having a Wild Bunch match at my local club soon. I've never loaded any 45 ACP. I have loaded 45 Schoefield, and have a bunch of 160 RNFP bullets. Probably not ideal for 45ACP, but will they work? I have Red Dot and Bullseye powder, any recipes to share?

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In order to be legal for Wild Bunch, you need at least 180 grain bullets. Check out the "Reloading For Wild Bunch" forum over at the Wild Bunch Forums.

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I just re-read the handbook, saw the minimum requirement for ammo us 180 grn, so I reckon I'll be bullet shopping.

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Hoss, nearly ALL of the top shooters in Wild Bunch use 230 grain bullets.

+1

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Going to get some 230, ordering dies, loading next week. Will 4 mags be enough? I have 2, need 2 more, and some mag holders for my gun belt.

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Hoss, you don't NEED any pouches. You can stage magazines. I would not go to the line without at least 6 spare mags, plus one in the gun.

There is a Wild Bunch forum with plenty of good information there.

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Going to get some 230, ordering dies, loading next week. Will 4 mags be enough? I have 2, need 2 more, and some mag holders for my gun belt.

230s are fine, many shoot 200s. All you need is 750 fps to meet PF with a 200.

 

Number of mags depends on how your club writes stages. If stages are typically 15 rounds/3mags, 4 will be plenty (one for backup, in case you drop a mag or have a malfunction). Our club typically shoots 20 rounds/4 mags, so I carry a fifth for backup.

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At the Wild Bunch Western Territorial, Winter Range and EOT, several stages have 30-35 rounds of pistol. The local clubs around here usually have at least 25 rounds a stage.

230 grain bullets loaded a little over 700 fps have less muzzle flip than 200 grain bullets.

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I prefer the middle Lyman 230 gr. Bullseye loads. A bit smoky, but cycle stock-springed 1911's without fail. Lighter loads can cause feeding issues.

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Medium loads are best for the 1911, unless you plan to change out springs and 'smith the gun for light loads. Lights loads typically cause very slow slide movement which adds time and can create variations in how the barrel and slide lockup, causing malfunctions or vertical stringing.

185-200 grain load at 850-900 fps has worked for me in several 1911s. Titegroup, W231/HP38, AA5 and Universal Clays are all good these loads.

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Just to keep it simple, I go to the line with 7 magazines. I have six on the belt and one in the gun. Five of the six are loaded with 5 rounds each and one is my Barney. I carry the Barney in the last pouch to the rear. Your mileage may vary.

 

Blackfoot :)

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Most WB shooters I know have quit carrying a Barney Fife mag (a mag loaded with 1 round). WB rules allow you to unload and clear the pistol of any extra rounds. So there is no longer any benefit to a Barney mag. When I go to the line, I carry 1 in the pistol and 6 on the belt (I would say fully loaded but it is just 5 rounds in each).

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Most WB shooters I know have quit carrying a Barney Fife mag (a mag loaded with 1 round). WB rules allow you to unload and clear the pistol of any extra rounds. So there is no longer any benefit to a Barney mag. When I go to the line, I carry 1 in the pistol and 6 on the belt (I would say fully loaded but it is just 5 rounds in each).

And I assure you, at some point, you will need those four rounds. And the other reason I carry all my magazines loaded to capacity is I don't want to grab that one magazine with one round when I need a full five.

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A lot of powder is burned shooting WB. So I've starting reloading using ETR7 a Spanish CSB1 powder at $18 per lb. It meters great and burns clean. I bought 8 lbs when it was$16.50 per lb

At the bottom of the web page is loading data for various 45 ACP bullet weights plus other calibers...

http://expansion-industries.com/etr7-smokeless-pistol-powder-4lb.html

 

I also worked up chronograph loads for 45 Colt

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230s are fine, many shoot 200s. All you need is 750 fps to meet PF with a 200.

 

Number of mags depends on how your club writes stages. If stages are typically 15 rounds/3mags, 4 will be plenty (one for backup, in case you drop a mag or have a malfunction). Our club typically shoots 20 rounds/4 mags, so I carry a fifth for backup.

I shoot the same 200 grain bullets I shoot in my 45 LC loads. We have a power factor but 750 fps isn't all that hard to make. My 1911 won't cycle well much lower anyway.

 

I shoot with Slim. One of these days I am going to snatch that 5th mag out of his belt. :)

 

 

A case gauge was mentioned in the post above. Some people use their barrel (removed from the gun) as a poor man's case gauge. That might be the best way to do it but I use a case gauge. I run all of my 45 ACP rounds through my gauge. I don't have nearly the malfunctions of some of my pards who don't.

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Bart Solo, a cartridge gauge is the only way to go! The barrel does not check 100% of the cartridge.

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I shoot 230 gr rn bullets. While my guns will run fine with lighter bullets there is a different feel to the recoil between 230's and 200 or lighter bullets when loaded to the same power factor. The 230gr recoil is more of a push, the 200's feel noticeably "snappier." A lot of shooters feel they do better with the 230's, I know I do.

 

Ditto on the cartridge gauge!

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If you are new to reloading 45ACP, be VERY careful when crimping 45ACP cartridges. They require a TAPER crimp. Not a ROLL crimp as Cowboy shooters are used to. Do NOT over crimp the cartridge as it headspaces on the cartridge mouth.

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They require a TAPER crimp.

The Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die does an excellent taper crimp ...

http://leeprecision.com/carbide-factory-crimp-die-45-colt.html

http://leeprecision.com/carbide-factory-crimp-die-45acp.html;)

Thanks Jack !

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John Boy, you posted a link to the 45 COLT crimp die. It is not the correct one for 45ACP. That is a different die. I don't know how to do the link thing, but you might want to correct your post.

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Most WB shooters I know have quit carrying a Barney Fife mag (a mag loaded with 1 round). WB rules allow you to unload and clear the pistol of any extra rounds. So there is no longer any benefit to a Barney mag. When I go to the line, I carry 1 in the pistol and 6 on the belt (I would say fully loaded but it is just 5 rounds in each).

Unless the pistol is the last gun fired unloading and clearing extra rounds can add time to the clock.

 

Blackfoot

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I just re-read the handbook, saw the minimum requirement for ammo us 180 grn, so I reckon I'll be bullet shopping.

Get use to using 230gr bullets and loads for'em. You can order range/practice projectiles from Barrysbullets.com, they do free shipping on orders over $70.00 (which is nice considering a 500ct box of 230gr .45acp weighs about 20lbs!) I load for indoor range practice out of a auto pistol so I use FMJ projectiles (I believe you must load lead only, no jacket) You need good virgin brass go to Starlinebrass.com (they have such quality at such a fair price that you will never collect mixed headstamp brass again from the range for reloading) I paid $165.00 for 1,000ct .45acp large primer brass---at Cabellas they sell the same brand in bages of 100ct for $25.00( you almost save half price ordering direct!)....As for loads and powders, the best advice I can give you is buy several reloading books and research the data for the type of velocity and accuracy your looking for and start from thier. 45 auto is a very easy round to reload, very little tapper crimp, the shell cases are nice and big so thier easily manipulated thru out the process. You may want a different powder however, try Hodgdons HP-38, it trickles very even from the powder hopper when your "throwing charges" and offers good ballistics as well!.....Go on to Gunbroker.com and look for amazing deals! I purchased a 8lb container jug for about $160.00, but you must pay a HazMat fee of $28.00 (weather you buy a 1lb or 20lb the fee is the same so stock up on as much as possible at once!) Thier is 7,000gr in 1lb, so you can reload 1,000 7gr loads w/ a lb of powder FYI.....Anyway have fun an enjoy the hobby pard!!

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If you are new to reloading 45ACP, be VERY careful when crimping 45ACP cartridges. They require a TAPER crimp. Not a ROLL crimp as Cowboy shooters are used to. Do NOT over crimp the cartridge as it headspaces on the cartridge mouth.

I'll echo what Happy Jack said......The vast majority of 1911 problems come from bad ammo production.

 

1) Bell the case mouth properly. If you don't you will get small shavings of lead around the case rim and bullet. This will cause leading in the chamber and especially where the case rests on the edge. I've seem a clean gun stop working after 20-40 rounds from this kind of bad cartridge.

 

2) Don't over crimp, Don't over crimp, Don't over crimp! Do I need to say that again? Cartridges that head-space on the shell rim (cartridge mouth) require very little to No tapper crimp. You want to really feel the edge of the brass on a loaded cartridge. I have never had or seen a 200 or 230 grain bullet push back into a properly loaded 45ACP case. Over crimping will also cause Excessive leading in the chamber area/rim where the bullet rests.

 

3) Don't load them to the max length that is listed in the books. That is the "Max"! If your not real experienced with 45ACP, Check your factory lengths and use that length.

 

Regards,

Ringer

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I shoot with Slim. One of these days I am going to snatch that 5th mag out of his belt. :)

 

A case gauge was mentioned in the post above. Some people use their barrel (removed from the gun) as a poor man's case gauge.

Be careful Bart, sometimes I wear spurs! :P

 

I use the "poor man's case gauge" as I have only one 1911 and load only for me. If I had more than one gun, I'd have a case gauge.

 

I pick up range brass and IMHO a Lee Bulge Buster die is far more effective than a separate crimp die as it sizes 100% of the case/round. A separate crimp die doesn't size the base where bulges and feeding issues occur. Since using one, I've never had feeding issues. My RCBS seating/crimp die works great.

 

YMMV. :)

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When I first started shooting 45 ACP I didn't use the bulge buster but I started using one when I started shooting a glock 35 in USPCA. I no longer shoot the Glock 35 in competition but I use the bulge buster to do a full case resize of my 45 ACP cases. Not sure it's necessary but it sure helps when I reload range brass.

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Most WB shooters I know have quit carrying a Barney Fife mag (a mag loaded with 1 round). WB rules allow you to unload and clear the pistol of any extra rounds. So there is no longer any benefit to a Barney mag. When I go to the line, I carry 1 in the pistol and 6 on the belt (I would say fully loaded but it is just 5 rounds in each).

If I have a jam I like to use my Barney,take the shot assuming I only needed 1, and then drop the mag and get back on track with a 5 round magazine. I find that with my experience level I waste more time unloading or I mess up my sequence because I started the next group of 5 in my head, with a magazine with only 4.

 

But that's just me. I go to the line with 7 mags also.

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I shoot modern and this is illegal for a traditional shooter.

 

Since I don't carry a Barney, if I need to shoot one shot (or 2) and move, I will load a full mag (well loaded with 5) and place my support hand thumb under the slide stop. When I fire the one round the slide will lock open and I can move. Or, I can change mags to get back on sequence. There have been times that one round didn't get me back on sequence.

 

I quit carrying a Barney after the match I needed 3 more rounds and my last mag, the Barney, only had 1. I should have quit after the match I got it in the pistol by mistake and had an extra mag change and got off sequence. For me 5 rounds in every mag is the only way to go; other methods for other people.

L

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