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Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

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  #1  
Old 07-01-2008, 4:23 PM
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Default First Shot at .45ACP

After careful reading and going through the steps slowly and methodically, I cleaned some pick-up brass, configured my Lee Pacesetter Progressive and tried my first go at making .45ACP reloads. Well, after several "attempts" using bulk 185grn bullets from Midway, I figured I should pick up again another day. I got about 25 nicely seated dummy rounds after learning how to properly set the dies and apply pressure evenly and slowly, one round at a time. It's not easy, and I badly bungled quite a few at first, but it's all part of the learning curve, I suppose.

Using my RCBS Hand Priming Tool, I then primed 200 cases (with CCI Large Pistol). It's really easy to use, and I got the "Universal" model so there's no need for holder for different shell sizes.

I've got four flavors of 185grn .45 bullets, so I figure I'll make 25 of each to see what works best. I'd previously bought a variety of powders but decided to try Accurate #5 for my first batch, using Speer JHP Gold Dots, Prvi Partizan (a cheap SJHP), Barnes (all-copper) and some bulk Midway copper-plated HPs.

Working from the Lee Reloading book, I went with the starting load of 9.2grns of the #5 (the max was 10.2). I then took samples of each to the range with my Springfield XD and S&W 625. I was a little nervous, but they all worked great.

While I don't have chronograph to make any kind of scientific comparison, I was impressed by the accuracy of each. There was also no sign of overpressure or bulged primers.

The whole process was less complicated than I thought it would be, but I just tried to break it down into small steps and then focus on each. After some trial and error, I found that using the hand primer was much easier than using the primer function on my Lee press, which was a little hit or miss, and I could also double-check the seating before the round was finished. Once I get my methodology smoothed out, I'll probably be able to cut production time by quite a bit.

If I get this down and make about 1K rounds, I'll pretty much pay off the investment in the gear.

I'm out of CCI primers at this point but have some Wolf large pistols. Anybody tried them?

Last edited by Full Clip; 07-01-2008 at 4:26 PM..
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2008, 4:28 PM
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Kind of fun isn't it?
I hate production line type work but I love sitting down at the bench and reloading for an entire day. I'm relaxed after a day of casting bullets or loading .223 Rem. One at a time on the single stage or 4-500 an hour on the progressive. Not as fun as shooting them all, but it is fun.

Glad it worked out for you.
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2008, 4:44 PM
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Yeah, and .223 is up next!
Then 30-06 and .303 Brit...
...then 7.62x39 and 6.5mm Rem Magnum...
...and .38 Special.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2008, 8:28 PM
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Don't look at primer appearance as an indicator of pressure in the 45 ACP. The only primer that even begins to flatten-out at 20000 PSI is FC, and you don't get much of a flat primer. CCI and RP look like they failed to fire. If you see a CCI primer flattening out, you are well in the magnum pressure range.
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2008, 8:34 PM
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I was also looking for any bulging in the cases or splits or anything else unusual. And found nothing of the sort. I was using a "starting" load, but I inspected every shell after firing. I don't see much point in bumping up the charge for punching paper, but I'll probably do some more tests.
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  #6  
Old 07-02-2008, 6:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-cat View Post
Don't look at primer appearance as an indicator of pressure in the 45 ACP.
?????????????????????????????????????

I've had factory 230 FMJ, WWB, flatten primers in my kimber 45 auto.
Just loaded a few test rounds at 4.7 to 5.6 gr at 1gr increments using Win 231, CCI primers, Sierra 230gr JHP, and once fired Winchester cases.
Sierra specs are 4.9gr (750 fps) to 5.7gr (850 fps).
If CCI's , as you say, won't flatten as an indicator, What other signs should I look for?
It seems to me that it would take alot more pressure to split a case considering it is encapsulated in the chamber than it would to flatten a primer. Hopefully the primer would unseat before the cases split. Am I correct in this assumption?
I am new to reloading and want all the info I can get. TIA
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2008, 6:20 PM
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I have got to start reloading here soon.
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2008, 7:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diginit View Post
?????????????????????????????????????

I've had factory 230 FMJ, WWB, flatten primers in my kimber 45 auto.
Just loaded a few test rounds at 4.7 to 5.6 gr at 1gr increments using Win 231, CCI primers, Sierra 230gr JHP, and once fired Winchester cases.
Sierra specs are 4.9gr (750 fps) to 5.7gr (850 fps).
If CCI's , as you say, won't flatten as an indicator, What other signs should I look for?
It seems to me that it would take alot more pressure to split a case considering it is encapsulated in the chamber than it would to flatten a primer. Hopefully the primer would unseat before the cases split. Am I correct in this assumption?
I am new to reloading and want all the info I can get. TIA
For a CCI to look the same as a FC, you'll need roughly double the pressure. The CCI primer cup is that hard.

In a 1911, the case is unsupported at the 6 o'clock position. The case will let go well before the CCI primer flattens out.

Your 625 will handle pressures up to 30000 PSI. Anything more and you'll be picking chunks of cylinder out of your face. Still, at that pressure, the CCI primer remains round.

What should you look for? Casehead expansion. Get a micrometer and compare factory ammo using the same brass to your reloads using new, unfired brass.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2008, 9:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saigon1965 View Post
I have got to start reloading here soon.
You can borrow my stuff if you want.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2008, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
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You can borrow my stuff if you want.

You have spares?
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2008, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saigon1965 View Post
You have spares?
I don't reload every day or even every month. So most of the year my reloading gear just sits here.
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Lord, make my hand fast and accurate.
Let my aim be true and my hand faster
than those who would seek to destroy me.
Grant me victory over my foes and those who wish to do harm to me and mine.
Let not my last thought be 'If I only had my gun."
And Lord, if today is truly the day you call me home, let me die in an empty pile of brass.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2008, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue View Post
I don't reload every day or even every month. So most of the year my reloading gear just sits here.

Cool, I'll hit you up.
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  #13  
Old 07-03-2008, 9:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diginit View Post
If CCI's , as you say, won't flatten as an indicator, What other signs should I look for?
Velocity.
Use the reloading manuals as a guide and watch your velocity.
If you are significantly higher than the data suggests, something is wrong.
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Last edited by ar15barrels; 07-03-2008 at 8:55 PM..
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