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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to start reloading my 45 with cast bullets from Lyman mold #452374. This is a non gas check bullet 225gr.

I slugged the barrel and the grove diameter is .450

My question is what size sizing die should I get? .451 or .452

Thanks
Steve
 

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Suggest you go for the .452" mould. Depending on many factors, alloy content for one, cast bullets may not cast per the manufacturers specs and may come out undersized. Even if your bullets do cast at .452, your barrel will have no problems with them.
 

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SLK,

Did you measure the slug with a thimble micrometer that resolves ten thousandths? If you used a caliper, it is not uncommon for them to be off a thousandth once the jaws are open and they and the beam can flex a little. A caliper reading should be cross-checked by measuring a good grade commercial jacketed bullet as a .451" reference.

Do keep in mind your bore is already handling those .451" jacketed bullets. Swaging down a .452 is no problem and sometimes proves more accurate than an exact .001" over groove, anyway. Depends on the gun. It might even like .453 best? A Lee sizer for your loading press can make them still smaller if need be down the road, and doesn't set you back a lot?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I placed my order today and went with the .452

Also what ratio of lead/WW or whatever should I use for these pistol bullets. I don't want anything hot. I am just having fun with it and shooting targets.

Thanks
Steve
 

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. . . Also what ratio of lead/WW or whatever should I use for these pistol bullets. Thanks
Steve
An all WW alloy has about the same properties as Lyman #2 so you shouldn't have to add any lead at all unless you want softer bullets. Would suggest you add about 2% tin by weight which will help WW alloy fill the mould better.
 

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If I have a mold that will cast them consistently at anything .4510 to .4530, tend not to size them at all and just shoot them as cast. Current favored mold, using the alloy i prefer, drops them at .4522"...so I just leave them alone. Saves time and effort.

to be honest, even after testing, could tell a difference between .452" and .453", but .451" was a little less accurate in that barrel.

Have been a whole lot of .45acp barrels made in the last 100 years (we'll include the early versions of the .45acp as well) from a whole lot of gun makers and afternarket suppliers... seriously doubt if they were all standard bore size.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I measured the grove dia it was with a thimble micrometer.

Someone in the gun shop today suggested a ratio of 20lb pure lead to 1lb WW's. He said he has been using that for years for his 45 auto ammo. Any comments on this????
 

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Way soft. It would be very little different from pure lead unless carefully heat treated, as wheel weights are 95% to 97% lead already, depending where they come from? I'm not sure the arsenic in them wouldn't be diluted too much for heat treating to work, though? I've never tried it with that little in the mix?

Figure the 2% tin Marshal recommended is a good minimum addition to help mold fill-out, particularly since casting is new to you. Indeed, you'll have an easier time with more like 5%, and the bullets will look prettier. The RCBS recommended alloy for their molds has twice that much tin (10%). So, 1 lb to 2 lb of of lead-free solder, which is 95% tin, to 20 lb of pure lead will get you a very serviceable alloy that will work at most all pistol velocities if your gun bores are smooth and have no constrictions. As a precaution, check online for the MSDS for the specific brand of plumbing solder to be sure no zinc is in it; mostly there isn't. Zinc is ruinous to mold fill-out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok I understand now. Thank You

Now what about that Pewter. According to manifacturing specs todays pewter should be 91% tin, 7.5% antimony and 1.5% copper. Anyone tried any formulas with this stuff??

Also I have some 20lb bars of 10SB/90PB Which is 10%antimony/90%lead. What formula could I use for this stuff I have already???

Thanks for being patient with this old man
Steve
 

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.452" is the std sizing die measurement.

Pure lead ? I would doubt they are much chop for any velocity over 750, even then it might be leading the bbl, although the right lube may push the speed up to be good enough for paper punching..

I've never known anyone to use pure lead, it costs too much and is way too soft for most bullets, even steel wheel weights are too soft for anything over 1000 fps, the flat mag wheel stick on weights are more like pure lead.

Wheel weights are fine for fishing sinkers, but to be serious it's simpler to buy the ingots ready made in the mix of your choice.

Remembering the old cast bullet info, soft lead makes heaavy and large bullets, hard lead makes small and light bullets.
 

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I forgot about this thread. That 10% antimony could be diluted with an equal weight of lead to give you 5% antimony which is close to wheel weight alloy. Add 2%-5% tin to get a good alloy. 5% will be Lyman #2. Add 5% pewter instead and it will be a little harder, but still close.
 

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For my Kimber:

- with a 1/20 tin alloy (BHN8), my bullets are sized at .451" (otherwise at .452", I get leading on the begining of the barrel).

- With 50/50 lead-linotype (BHN15), my bullets are sized at .452" (otherwise at .451", I get leading at the end of the barrel).

For both, the accuracy is the same. My mold is a Lee RN 230gr bullet.
 

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Leading near the throat is where peak pressure occurs and with it, maximum friction. The 20:1 is likely getting beat up by upsetting a little too much with your pressure. Your harder alloy isn't having that problem, but leading at the muzzle can be due to too much hardness for the choice of powder and charge weight. It may mean the bullet no longer has enough pressure on its base near the muzzle to upset it enough to obturate the bore. A slightly softer bullet or use of a slower powder may fix that. This is an example of why cast bullets often prefer a slightly tapered bore that is narrower near the muzzle.

The muzzle leading can also be due to the muzzle being wider than the rest of the bore. You can find that out by slugging. Unfortunately, only barrel replacement will fix that, but it isn't very likely in a .45 ACP barrel. Also, your soft bullet would likely have had the same problem. You probably just need an inbetween hardness bullet. Also, try headspacing on the bullet instead of the case mouth or extractor hook. That often reduces leading. Third from left below.

 

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For my Kimber:

- with a 1/20 tin alloy (BHN8), my bullets are sized at .451" (otherwise at .452", I get leading on the begining of the barrel).

- With 50/50 lead-linotype (BHN15), my bullets are sized at .452" (otherwise at .451", I get leading at the end of the barrel).

For both, the accuracy is the same. My mold is a Lee RN 230gr bullet.
Let me understand this properly, you deliberately size cast .45 acp bullets at .451" ?

It would be odd, extremely so, to size a .45 cal lead bullet at anything other than .452" there is no other size, .452" is the only size, with the bullet not fully sealing off the barrel it's likely hot gasses are passing outside the bullet adding to the liklyhood of leading.

As long as the loads used behind lead bullets are correct and not loads normally used behind jacketed bullets all should be fine if the diameter, speed and alloy blend is within spec, its not rocket science.

I've seen 9mm 125g con bullets sized incorrectly .001" undersize and seen them keyhole immediately out of a good barrel, a target at 5m showed most had turned near completely 180deg hitting on the base, so sizing at other than correct size is only asking for added complications.

I've shot more 45 acp bullets than I could ever count, and I've made many light load 44 mag bullets because they just happened to be very accurate, and making your own in some calibers is fine for certain reasons, but for anything other than paper punching speeds its just a waste of good fishing sinkers, projectiles are available with hard dry teflon coatings for stuff all which do not lead at nearly most any speeds, and in my own experience wheel weights are not the best alloy for any bullet shot over 900 fps, buy the correct stuff.

I would have to think I know how to make a good bullet,
 

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Hi Digisol,

indeed I deliberately sized my bullet at .451", because with soft alloy and .452" bullet I got severe leading near the throat. With a .451" bullet, no leading at all.

Unclenick has explained very well the problem.

My loading is not hot, I load with 0,33g (5,08gr) of Vectan A1 (equivalent of the greendot). It is quite soft (around 750fps).

I don't want to use antimony alloy for low pressure ammo, for a simple reason: here in France, it is now very difficult to find linotype. We also can't use WW alloy, with the european norms, it is not good for bullet. So, I keep linotype for magnum ammo only. That's why I use tin alloy, and I think it can work perfectly for .45ACP, and for all low speed and and low pressure ammo (.45LC, .44spl, .38spl ...).

With a 1/20 alloy and .451" bullet, I have no sealing problem, no leading, and the accuracy is perfect in my Kimber.

I also tried a 1/10 tin alloy, and no leading with both .451" and .452" bullets. But, the accuracy seems better with the .452".
 

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10:1 Pb:Sn is the alloy RCBS recommends with its molds. Elmer Keith wound up with 16:1 in the .44 Magnum, believe it or not, so that's another one to try. You're just trying to get inbetween in hardness.
 

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Interesting, although i'm curious as why its hard to find in France, or anywhere in continental europe, surely it can be had somewhere in the correct mix.
By any chance have you seen the leading in just the one pistol, it may have need for a decent bore scope, and on that i've seen both 357 and 44 guns that were shot with handloads from new giving the impression to their owners that they are just average shooting guns, when a good running in not far from a simillar rifle barrel break in, with a minimum of 500 or so jacketed rounds of any speed is likely any unseen rough spots are quickly smoothed out making leading more difficult to happen.
The Beretta is one that needs a good 500 factory rounds to get it working properly, others like Glock are even more fussy with their diet although a quickly swapped out stock barrel for a match barrel not only changes the polygonal rifling construction but also the fully supported chamber missing in the stock barrel.
All that aside it would be worth messing with different bullet lubes, as even then a target load should not lead the barrel even with soft / undersize bullets which will make it hard to get them out the barrel in any gun.
It would be worth tracking down the right lead mix in any case which would eliminate any problems that perhaps can then be avoided.
 

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Linotype was used for printing machines. But now, aluminium is used, so it is very hard to find linotype. So, we need to buy pure antimony and melt it with lead, which is not really easy to do!
You know in France we are only 140000 shooters over 70million persons, so the shooting market is so small that we don't have the opportunity to buy "ready to use" alloy. We have to it ourselves.... That's why, when we find linotype we try to use it cleverly!
Fortunatly, tin is easy to find and to use (but a little bit expensive!).
 

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Let me understand this properly, you deliberately size cast .45 acp bullets at .451" ?

It would be odd, extremely so, to size a .45 cal lead bullet at anything other than .452" there is no other size, .452" is the only size...
This is 100%, completely, and utterly false. Bullet sizes vary by several thousandths of an inch, as do bore diameters. It is VERY common for shooters / casters / reloaders to experiment with several bullet diameters when trying to find an accurate load. Manufacturers make bullets in different diameters and casters use different sizing dies to achieve different diameters. I've seen .45 bullets as large as .454, as small as .451. A lot of folks "slug" their bore to find its exact diameter, then experiment from there.

To say ".452 is the only size" is ignorant, at best.
 

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I am going to start reloading my 45 with cast bullets from Lyman mold #452374. This is a non gas check bullet 225gr.

I slugged the barrel and the grove diameter is .450

My question is what size sizing die should I get? .451 or .452

Thanks
Steve
Seems that your either a troll or just don't bother to read the OP, nevermind the dates of the OP and following replies.

Can't say for others who buy guns that are cheap rubbish, I've always bought quality firearms that have certain trusted measurements which are sized to set standards in that particular calibre, the 45 ACP is no different which shoots a normal sized cast lead projectiles in .452", should anyone have a barrel that requires such radical changes to a projectile which is different to the standards, then by all means cast for your incorrect size bore.

I'd have a rough guess that 99.99% of all 45acp shooters would use a .452" sized projectile, the making of custom lead projectile sizing dies is certainly not a normal practice for an owner of a 45, unless your venturing into full blown BR practices, and even then their bore would be first of a correct common standard size for whatever calibre they are shooting, or they would not have bought it in the first place, and a 45 is hardly an odd or rare special size.

But heh if your personal firearm bore requires bullets .003" - 004" oversize from normal standards i'd bet you would have other size related problems, allthough buying a new barrel which is of correct size would fix a lot of unwanted problems and would be a lot cheaper in the long run.

Have a nice day, really.
 
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