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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been thinking of getting a new 1911, probably a springfield GI issue. How do they handle cast with alox lube? Would wheel wieghts be hard enough for ball ammo? Main use would be plenking and such, with posible home defense use.
 

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Wheelweights are too hard if anything for a .45 ACP. Shipping is the real killer on cast bullets if you can't buy good bullets locally. How much is your time worth?

Bye
Jack
 

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Sometimes we make things too complicated...hope this isn't one of them

Wheelweights might be a bit harder than needed for the .45acp, but they will work fine (too hard is lesser sin, too soft the greater sin). Key is getting the bullets large enough to seal the bore.

Wheelweights are pretty hard..hard enough that .45acp pressure won't bump them up to fill the bore if they start out undersize...so start them out the right size.

This kind of leading shows up at the breech first...just ahead of the chamber. It's NOT from too much speed (after all, the bullet is moving it's slowest at the breech end) but from too small a bullet. IF you get that leading with .452" bullets, try .453".

IF casting yourown bullets, then try some hand lubed at whatever size they fall from the mold...no sizing at all.
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They handle cast bullets just fine...doubt i've fired more than a box of jacketed rounds in a year, even in the years I'd burn up 6 or 7,000 rounds.

In fact...if thre is a semi-auto centerfire pistol caliber EASIER to please than the .45acp, I've not found it. Big bore, low pressure, are the two things that seem to make finding a good cast bullet load easy.
 

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Have been shooting cast bullets through my 1911s for years. Cast .45 ACP bullets work very well in the 1911 with any of the popular lubes. Know of at least one world class shooter who reloaded and used them regularly for practice. At 25 yards, they can shoot as well as factory and that's from personal experience. If you purchase a "GI" type 1911, would suggest using cast round nose bullets to avoid feed problems. SWC bullets may not feed reliably with a service type 1911 unless the feed ramp is polished and the breech end of the chamber is radiused.

Because of shipping costs, would look for a good local bullet caster first. IMHO, cast bullets are accurate, gentle on the barrel, and give you the most bang for your buck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, the reason I'd reload is that while it wouldn't save much, it would save some money. I generaly reload on cold or rainy days where I don't feel like getting in the shop.

I also cast my own and use 6 cavity moulds so I can turn a couple thousand rounds out pretty quik.

Only down side to reloading my own for an auto is not loosing all my brass.

My concern was that the alox would gunk up the feed ramp and chamber. I haven't had this problem with rifles or revolvers, but haven't tried an auto loader yet.

Heck if I could still get millitary ball I'd be happy, but it can be hard to come by down here since the military went to 9mm.
 

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I can't reload 45ACP for the same price as buying loaded rounds more often than not. If I can undercut it (this is buying only deals ect), it is by only about a cent a round. Without a progressive reloader, it takes me an hour to reload about 80-100 rounds of ammo. Not counting case cleaning, priming, inspection and setup. Not worth my time.

Now, 45 Colt, 243 Win, 300 RUM are all worth it....
 

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I have a Springfield 1911A1 and it rarely sees jacketed bullets. I've tried several brands of jacketed bullets and numerous types of mil-surp, rarely do any of these bullets ever measure up to .452", most run anywhere from .450" to .4515" and are not conducive to producing as good accuracy as you can get from properly sized quality made cast bullets.

Rarely will you have a feed problem with a 1911A1 unless you load too light and don't work the slide hard enough. No matter what weight bullet you use, you have to load heavy enough for the slide to function right. Dropping to lighter bullets like the 185gr or 200gr, you must up the powder charge to compensate so you get enough recoil out of them. I polish my feed ramps right from day one before the gun is ever fired, never had to reshape any, just slick them up and they'll feed about anything you stuff in them provided the load power is sufficient.

My sizer die was a tad small for my liking so I lapped it out a little, puts very little sizing on the cases but no chambering issues. I usually shoot the Lee 230gr TC bullet that has a nice bevel base that also makes loading easy, they drop from the mold at .4535" avg w/ strait WW alloy.

I usually load with Bullseye but I got a large volume of Alcan AL-5 a few years ago and I've been using that up lately. Also had good results with Blue Dot, Red Dot & Green Dot too. The 1911A1's have not been fussy on the powder used (with the exception of Unique being nasty dirty) keep loads running at 850+fps and they work fine, I prefer my loads running around 900fps.

Got the brass already, buying primers and powder, adding in the cost of LPG to fire the casting pot and a few extra bucks for the tumbler, media and such, I have at most $50/1000 rounds loaded on my bench. Best I can buy 1000 loaded rounds for is $235 and that's steel cased Wolf....big cost difference.
 

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Speaking as a reloader, want to express my personal thanks to all those non-reloaders out there. Without them, and the once-fired brass they generate, reloading would be a much more expensive proposition.
 

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I Cast 200gr SWC and lube with 50/50 alox/Beeswax mix.
I Cast a 225gr RNHP and lube with Lee liquid Alox.
I use WW with 2% tin added.
I have fired 350+ rounds between cleanings in a couple of different .45 autos without lube buildup ever being a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks guys, that was what I was needing to know. I didn't think there would be a problem with Lee Alox, I've used it in rifles and revolvers with no problem.

Is there a problem using Unique powder in the 1911? I know it's a little dirtier than some others, but would it be dirty enough to bring the springfield to a halt or damage it if you clean between range sesions?

Also this would be my first rimless cartrige for reloading, is it anymore difficult than rimmed?

Basicly I'm going to be on a rig towing it back to the gulf for 5-6 weeks and a new toy is an excuss to remain sane while I'm out there for that long.
 

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Unique is a fine powder for the .45. I personally like WSF or Clays because it's cleaner and doesn't smoke as much but I wouldn't worry about Unique interfereing with the function of
your pistol.

The main difference in loading for a rimless autoloader like the .45 is the cartridge headspaces on the mouth of the case. The bullet crimp is all important. Taper crimp is preferred over a roll crimp. Personally, I really like the Lee Carbide Factory Crimp Die as a final step for all my autoloading pistol calibers. It resizes the entire cartridge and taper crimps the case mouth.
 

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Unique never caused a malfunction but it sure is nasty to clean up after, not much difference in the amount of crud you get from Unique than what I got shooting BP loads in it, BP may have been a little cleaner!

Of all the powders I tried, Bullseye gives you the most loads per pound and is very clean burning. Running similar velocities, I didn't see much, if any, change in accuracy between the powders.

The bullets I shoot fit snug, not tight, in the case and I only apply a very mild taper crimp. I've never had any problems with bullets slipping in the cases. The less you work the brass in sizing and crimping, the longer it will last. Case length is very important to watch, as Rob said above, these headspace off the case mouth. I trim all mine to a uniform length before the first loading.

Another thing to watch for is cases with thicker than normal walls, thinner than normal rims and those where you can see a ring on where the wall meets the base .... any not fitting the normal look, just cull 'em because they will cause problems you really don't want to deal with.
 

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IF Unique is what you have on hand, would use it. Like the others, haven't found it to foul enough to cause a malfuntion, but it is dirtier than some other powders. So what? going to clean the gun after a range session anyway. There are powders that burn cleaner than Bullseye too, but I still use it.

It's an easy round to load for. They mentioned the taper crimp; set the die with a factory load (just run the taper crimmper doen until it's a snug fit on a factory load). Can do little adjustments from there is needed, but that's a good base setting.

Agree with markkw...when you run into an odd-ball case, it's better to just pitch it into the scrap box than to try to figure out what's wrong with it.
 

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ribbonstone said:
Speaking as a reloader, want to express my personal thanks to all those non-reloaders out there. Without them, and the once-fired brass they generate, reloading would be a much more expensive proposition.
My thanks also to those non-reloaders as they have provided me with enough once-fired brass to last a lifetime.

My public pistol range has a graduated distance setup. More likely than not, the new or infrequent shooters tend to congregate at the shortest distance end. Brass pickings have always been good there on weekends especially with the popular calibers.

My local caster offers .45 ACP hardcast bullets for about $27 per 500. At that price and free once-fired brass, it makes a powerful incentive to take up reloading.
 

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I'm with everyone else on the cost issue. Even purchasing someone else’s cast bullets and paying shipping, it is hard for the materials to surpass half the cost of bargain sale commercial ammo. I seldom see commercial ammunition for much less than 20 cents a round, and find it hard to pay more than 10 cents a round reloading cast bullets in the .45 ACP. If you load jacketed bullets, then it gets tougher to beat the inexpensive commercial rounds. You pay, maybe, 12 cents with shipping for 1500 Hornady bullets in bulk. After 5 grains of Bullseye and a primer, the cost is about 15 cents a round to reload, plus amortizing the brass adds another penny, so figure $8.00 a box. For two dollars more I can find commercial rocks at the gunshow, which mean I get brass for four cents on top of my load. Not a bad deal.

Years ago I bought a Dillon Square Deal. It does nothing but .45 ACP and never will. That solves the time issue, to my mind.

As to powder, Unique works, but is less efficient in .45 ACP and needs about 10% extra powder to equal Bullseye’s velocities. 5 grains of Bullseye copies the military’s 5 grains of SR 7970 so closely there isn’t a good reason I know to bother with anything else for hardball. If you are willing to use a little more powder weight, you can come up to it ballistically with between 5.2 and 5.3 grains of Hodgdon Universal Clays and get a cleaner burn than the old Alliant graphite covered powders will do in a 5” barrel. 5 grains of Bullseye burns almost 95% in that barrel, but the Universal Clays load burns 99.4%.

I've had good luck with the Lee TL 6-cavity molds. Fast production and excellent accuracy. In .38 Special, the 148 grain wadcutter from my Smith K-frame shoots groups half the size it gets with Federal match ammunition. This is shot as-cast, which is about .360 from my mold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys, I've still got a couple pounds of Unique powder, all I use it for now is a few 44 colt rounds and for making shot loads for my 45. Since I shoot about 90% black powder in everything, Unquie seems pretty clean to me! It says it's new and improved and cleaner burning but I haven't realy noticed a differance.
 

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If you shoot BP, almost anything else will seem clean by comparison. However, I was able to shoot some Trailboss in .45 ACP earlier this year, and even the inside of the brass was cleaner than what Bullseye normally leaves behind. Not enough energy in the space or else the wrong burning speed for best ballistics, though.

You might want to search for a thread (maybe early last year?) in which the poster wanted to know how to get BP smoke and smell without the fouling?
 

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Nick, I shot many BP loads in the .45acp I don't recall the exact charge used off hand but it was 3F Schuetzen (Graf's) compressed around .2" under the 230gr Lee. Got normal smoke fouling but none of the chunky crud Unique leaves behind. Real fun shooting as long as you don't try using them for a timed match....about the time you get to round 7, it gets kinda hard to see the targets. :D

In light of your suggestion on Universal Clays, I'm going to give it a try since I have a can I got for something a never used. I never worried much about cleaning the .45 brass spotless with smokeless loads, toss 'em in the tumbler for 20 minutes or so to clean up the primer pockets and that's about it. What comes off comes off and what's left beind doesn't matter. BP loads I do run through my normal BP/corrosive cleaning process though.
 

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Mark,

The thread I referred to discussed a mix of black powder and, maybe 4227, IIRC. Apparently the greater temperature takes the soot out? Never tried it and am a little leary of mixing grains of differing shapes and densities for fear of settling that alters the performance.

All my BP experience is with my replica 1858. It could well be that a lot of what I think of as BP fouling is actually Crisco? I know the cylinder refuses to turn easily after 12-18 rounds go through, and even Unique never managed that feat on revolvers I put it through.

I think Unique's large flakes really require enough pressure and time to complete burning. The 5" .45 ACP tube doesn't provide it. The pressure may just be too low to burn it completely, anyway? I've made up light loads in .30-06 with junk 147 grain bullets and around 12 grains of Unique, and I don't recall these having the typical Unique pistol fouling in evidence. Pressure should be about 30% higher, but also the barrel is longer. I don't know which gets credit for the improvement? Maybe neither. Maybe the narrower bore just lets the barrel blow itself out better?
 
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