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.45 Bullet Question

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Mike K P, May 4, 2009.

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  1. Mike K P

    Mike K P Member

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    I've noticed when looking for .45 acp bullets that many times the dia. is mentioned, .451 or .452. What is the sigificance of this? Does it make any difference when reloading or shooting? If no real difference why is it mentioned?
    Thanks in advance for your answers. Mike.
     
  2. WesleyB

    WesleyB Well-Known Member

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    I am certianly no expert..at all... but what i have seen is the lead cast bullets are .452 and the copper jacketed bullets are .451 Why?? I dont know.

    I need some education too on the subject
     
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    It's a fine point related to groove diameter.

    45ACP uses .451 and the 45 Long Colt uses .452.

    My 45LC shoots .451's poorly. It may be in my mind but that's my perception.

    HM
     
  4. ricks1

    ricks1 TS Member

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    Lead is softer and will compress . It fills the groove tighter to keep hot gases from blow by. Copper dont matter and is sized a .451 as standard so it will be safe in ANY gun. Most guns that take a 45 acp round will slug at .451 and most that use the Long Colt will run .452 to .454.
    The standard for cast lead is .452---hope that answers your question
     
  5. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    Well, as a long time pistol shooter and reloader let me try and shed some light. First, as stated before, not all 45s are alike. Colt 1911s usually do best with bullets of .451 dia. 45 single actions run 451-453 or even 454. Shooting under-sized bullets will result in pretty bad accuracy. Now, with cast lead bullets we have another twist. To shoot accurately and to prevent horrendous lead build up in the bore, a cast bullet must be .001-.002 larger than the bore diameter. So to get good accuracy from a lead slug, you have to fit the slug to the bore. In single actions, you actually fit the slug to the chamber mouth so that it doesn't tip or expand as it passes through the gap between the cylinder and the forcing cone. It all sounds kind of complicated and i guess it is in the beginning. Once you learn the tricks though, you can get cast lead slugs to shoot very very tight groups....all other things being equal.
     
  6. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    A lot depends on the gun, the rifling type, The barrel diameters, the type of bullet and whether it's cast, plated, or jacketed. The .45 ACP seems to be set on the .451" diameter for Jacketed bullets with .452 used for a lot of cast bullets. The bullets should be sized to fit the barrel, or possibly the cylinder throat, of the gun it will be fired in. In a .45 Colt Revolver, the .452 diameter is usually better, with a few thousandths more useful in some guns. I had one that shot best with a .454" cast bullet, since that matched the cylinder throats. The same bullets sized to .452" would group around twice the spread of those at .454". Slugging your barrel for determining the size of your cast bullets is an easy way to start. For Jacketed bullets, .451 is usually for the .45 ACP and similar rounds. The .452" is generally for the .45 Colt revolvers. Some barrels apparently should not be used with Cast Bullets.
     
  7. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    A couple of other things to think about....when reloading 45 acp and using a taper crimp die, do not assume that a little crimp is good and a lot of crimp is better...if you overcrimp you will swage those .451s down undersize and they will telescope into the case during feeding.

    In my experience, .451 jacketed bullets work well in most 45 acp and ar guns, .452s are neither better nor worse for most (jacketed) and .452 lead works well in both auto rim and 45 Colt and sometimes, with older guns, 454 is called for. In revolvers, the key is to slug, mike or check the chamber throats (where the bullet exits from the cylinder to the forcing cone in the barrel) and size you bullets as close as you can to the average of these diameters. Some older Rugers, while having a .452 groove diameter in the barrel, ran as large as .455 or even .456 at the throats. Here is where gas cutting and leading begin..if your slug is undersize through the throat.

    Bullets can be cast too hard as well as too soft. I've gotten as much leading with wrong size hard cast bullets as with soft bullets. A good lube (and I don't like the red and blue wax stuff) such as alox/beeswax works wonders to eliminate leading (even though it stinks).

    Stan
     
  8. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My S&W Model 25-5 .45 Colt preferred bullets with a diameter of .454.
     
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