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Question on reloading the .45 ACP

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by K-GUNS, Mar 3, 2013.

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  1. K-GUNS

    K-GUNS Member

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    This may not be a good time to start but a good friend of mine is wanting to reload the .45 ACP.

    To start off what all is needed and what are good brands to buy and what should he stay away from buying / using

    Whats a good press to start with and so on.

    He has loaded shot shells in the past and so have I.
    I may join him in this move so we both are looking for info.

    crab in Pa
     
  2. sterlingworth

    sterlingworth Active Member

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    If you mean what brand of shells to buy so that you can reload them,just about all of them can be reloaded except the aluminun and steel cases.To stay safe buy Remington,Federal,Hornady,all brass cases. As far as reloading equipment,RCBS, you cant go wrong,and if you ever want to up-grade theres always a market for used equipment.As far as components,it basic.primer,powder,bullet.Pick up a Hornady reloading manual and read,some of the best info out there..Good luck,be safe...Ray
     
  3. K-GUNS

    K-GUNS Member

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    I tried to locate the rcbs kit to start.

    I can get the kit but the dies and shell holders are out of stock every where I look so what good is the kit ?

    If I do buy the kit from RCBS will other brand dies and shell holders work with it ?


    crab
     
  4. davidjayuden

    davidjayuden Well-Known Member

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    An old guy once told me that if you reload you don't get to shoot cheaper, but you do get to shoot more.
    One thing to watch for on fired brass is small primers. .45 traditionally uses large primers, but if you scavenge brass at the range you have to sort out the small primed stuff. Also military crimps can be a headache.
    I'm a fan of 200 gr. SWC cast bullets (Missouri Bullet Co.). I use 6.3 or 6.4 gr. of Unique powder and they seem to work well. I never thought I'd be saying this but right now .45 doesn't have to cost much more than .22LR! Let me know if you need any more specifics.
    dju
     
  5. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Any brand dies will work. You are having a hard time finding dies? Wait until you try to find large/small pistol primers and bullets. That's not to mention the powder. Yes, terrible time to jump into metallic reloading.
     
  6. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    The old standby RCBS Rock Chucker IV starter kit is a great starting point. I subscribe to the philosophy of buying more press than you'll need because the day might (make that "probably will") come when you will venture into rifle handloading and that four-inch opening will allow you to load the longest magnum cartridges. Dies, shell holders and the rest of the hardware you'll need are available at your local gun shop or online at places like MidwayUSA, Precision Reloading and Sinclair.

    For my .45ACP reloading, I use Starline brass. It loads nice, primers fit into it easily, is less expensive than the rest and it lasts a long time. I also prefer Missouri bullets but I use their 185-grain "Button" lead semi-wadcutter. Less bullet weight = less recoil and they shoot accurately.

    One drawback to buying bullets online can be the cost of shipping that much weight. Missouri's shipping is inexpensive as they use USPS Priority Mail flat-rate boxes ("if it fits, it ships"). Shipping for the last three-box (1,500 bullets) order I received was less than $14. After he carries it to our door, our mailman tells me he hopes there's gold in that there box.

    I don't handload hot loads, just paper-punching stuff for .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .45ACP. For the few hunting rounds I fire a year, and they're all .44s, it makes more sense to just buy a box of factory loads every five or ten years.

    I use good old clean-burning Clays powder for all my loads - 4.0 grains in the .45 with 185-grain bullets. In fact, right now, I'm taking a break from loading the 100 rounds I shot the other day. The more traditional handgun powders like Bullseye and Unique are filthy by comparison.

    I don't think we're located too far apart - I'm just outside Carlisle. If you and your buddy would like to come to my home for some lessons and practice with my equipment, you're more than welcome.

    Ed
     
  7. wayneo

    wayneo Active Member

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    What Ed said. I like the Rock Chucker too. We have no bullets or large pistol primers around here. But, plenty of shotgun powder, and .45 acp can use most of the faster ones. Good luck, and take your time.

    Wayne
     
  8. K-GUNS

    K-GUNS Member

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    Thanks.......lots of good useful info and Ed, yes the day may come when I need a few pointers and I may call on you. I'm in Schuylkill County,not more than an hour away. Need to call my shooting buddy and see if he is serious about this,maybe we'll bet a better deal buying two of everything ?
     
  9. W.R.Buchanan

    W.R.Buchanan Member

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    No one mentioned that there are 3 die sets for loading strait walled pistol cases and 4 die sets.

    The difference is that the last operation is crimping the bullet into the case.


    With a 3 die set the crimp is done while the bullet is being seated and may result in some material being sheared off the bullet as it is being driven into the case at the same time the case is being crimped onto the bullet.

    The best way to accomplish the crimping operation is to do it as a separate operation. This is what the 4 die set does for you. You seat the bullet in one operation and crimp the bullet last.

    Your reloads will come out better if you do it this way.

    If the guy is really serious, a Dillon 550B is a great way to go as not only can you use the press as a single stage press, you can use it like a Turret press, or a semi progressive press. IE; he can go as slow as he wants or as fast as he needs.

    As he advances in the world of reloading the options will come in handy and he won't have to go buy other presses as the Dillon will do it all. He will be able to load just about any metalic cartridge there is with the exception of .50 BMG's.

    If he only wants to dabble and is not super serious about reloading these rounds I would suggest a Lee Classic Loader tool kit for about $35. It will load cartridges that are as good as any you can do with a machine, it just takes a little longer. The good thing about the Lee tools is that they teach you how to reload in the simplest possible manner, and the initial outlay$ is minimal.

    If he decides to get more involved then he can buy other equipment as he hasn't spent a ton on the Lee kit. He would only be into it < $50 with the Lee kit.

    Lee also make a device called a "Hand Press" which looks like large nut cracker and uses normal dies. It is around $30 and then you'd need the dies for whatever caliber you are loading. The good thing about this method is that it uses conventional dies and is completely portable, and everything is transferrable to other presses. It is the next step up from the basic Lee Classic Loader, and a good place to start as well.

    Hope this helps. Reloading ammo is a great hobby and there is a myriad of tools available to do it. Literally the sky is the limit.

    A copy of Lyman's 49th edition loading manual is a good thing to get up front as it will not only explaing the entire subject of reloading ammo, it will provide the data/recipes necessary to accomplish it. It could help him decide what kind of tools to buy.

    Randy
     
  10. bossbasl

    bossbasl Well-Known Member

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    For just a few bucks more, buy the best and you will be better served in both quality and value. Progressive press: Dillon 550; Dies: Redding (definitely the best); good quality vibratory tumbler (several brands to choose from; powder scale: for balance beam scale, Redding or numerous brands of electronic scales which are more expensive but not necessary: Case Trimmer: Redding (the best); a few other widgets such as primer pocket cleaner, deburring tool, ammo boxes (MTM)and you will be all set. Should you wish to expand to other caliber (handgun or rifle) the 550 Dillon will always meet the need.
     
  11. Old Texas Marine

    Old Texas Marine Member

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    Stay away from Federal Cases. The new one use small pistol primers and you don't want to mix them in with your normal brass. If you are just starting and use exclusively the new Federal brass the small primers work fine.

    YMMV

    HBT
     
  12. Shooting Coach

    Shooting Coach Well-Known Member

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    As a commercial loader, I stay away from S&B, AMERC, and RWS cases in the 45. Small and large primers add to the time and tedium of loading, but small primer 45's are here to stay.

    I use large primer cases in my Hardball gun, small primer cases in my Match Pistol. Seems to be more accurate. No one at my range wants my brass. LOL

    Get the Dillon 550 if you load more than 100 rds weekly. The only time you will regret it is when you pay for it. Every time you use it, you will be glad you bought it. You will quickly outgrow the single stage press if you shoot much pistol ammo.
     
  13. Leo

    Leo Well-Known Member

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    I have one bucket of small primer .45 brass and one bucket of large. I have no problems with either of them. I load small primer cartridges also, so it is not like I have to stock something special.

    Sorted, they really present no problems reloading, and it is not like you have to run two different powder charges for them. I tried the same bullet and powder charge over a chrono, and found a miniscule difference but not enough to accurately report a trend. You'll never see it on the target or in the function of your pistol.

    Of course, sorting them out every time you come home from the range IS one more step. In these days of primer shortages, it is nice to be able to have the option in case you run low of one primer size. Don't throw the small ones away, someone will be able to use them.
     
  14. K-GUNS

    K-GUNS Member

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    I'm a little confused now on small / large primers. So far I have new ammo in fiocchi and aguila -not sure if I spelled them correctly.

    How can I tell what primer size they are-can you tell just by looking at them ? And can these empty cases be re loaded or should a person just buy new brass and stay with one brand ?

    Are the Federal cases the only one using small primers ?
     
  15. Old Cowboy

    Old Cowboy Active Member

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    I don't think anybody's mentioned it yet but make sure when you get a die set that it's got a CARBIDE sizing die. You don't need to use case lube with a carbide die so it'll save you a lot of time and mess.
     
  16. GBatch_25

    GBatch_25 Active Member

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    I'd buy a Square Deal from Dillon. Reasonable price and if you want to change calibers later, you can.

    http://www.dillonprecision.com/


    Powder - I've used Vihtavouri. Yes, it's a liitle more $, but it's fast burning and clean. Wilson Combat uses the N320 or N310 in their test loads. You could also try Winchester 231, Universal Clays or Clays.

    http://www.vihtavuori-lapua.com/


    Bullets - Many places to buy and brands to buy. I like Rainier Bullets from Midway. In a FMJ, they go through my 45 cleanly and are quite good for plinking and accuracy. I've also loaded Berry's Bullets I've bought at Cabela's.

    http://www.berrysmfg.com/


    Primers - Take your pick. CCI, Federal, Winchester or Remington


    Brass - Arguably, Starline makes some of the best brass available, according to many competitive shooters.
    http://www.starlinebrass.com/

    I have a Square Deal set up for both 9mm and 45ACP. These days, finding the components can be a challenge, but I was just at one of the larger stores near me in the West Suburbs of Chicago today and their inventory seems to be a lot better today then it was 2 months ago, including reloading supplies.

    Good Luck, be safe and have fun.

    Gene in Illinois
     
  17. Lovemy99

    Lovemy99 Member

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    I started with a Lee Turret Press about 25 yrs. ago and have never looked back. I buy new turrets for each caliber I want to load. Once I set the dies up, I lock them in to the turret and never have to mess with them again. All I have to do is change out the turret, shell holder, and powder measure disk for the caliber I want to load and go to town.

    The Lee machines are simple to use and easy to maintain. I have never had a problem with the two I own. I can change out a caliber set up in about 5-6 minutes. For the money, I don't think there is a better one out there.

    Scott
     
  18. K-GUNS

    K-GUNS Member

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    For shooting target for accuracy what bullet to use ?

    Is there a special size or are they all the same diameter ?
     
  19. AEST BOSS

    AEST BOSS Member

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    Here are my comments in no particular order:

    Large primer brass only.
    de-cap with a dedicated Lee Classic Cast...then ultra sonic to clean.
    Hornady LNL AP....and use RCBS "lock-out" die after powder charging.
    Winchester WST powder.
    Seat...then crimp. These are separate steps.
    Use a taper crimp....not a roll crimp.

    YMMV
     
  20. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    As far as accurate bullets go, the preferred "match" bullet weight for the .45ACP has been 185 grains forever but 200s have their followers too. The recommended diameter for bullets for the .45ACP is .452".

    I must be lucky as I've never crimped any handgun rounds as a separate step from seating the bullet. I just finished loading those 100 rounds and didn't find any with shaved lead on the case mouths.

    Speaking of crimping, setting up your taper crimp die is important as the case mouth is what the round headspaces on. When I set my die up - it's date-stamped "76", so that was a while ago - I measured across the crimp of a factory round with a dial caliper and adjusted my die until I got the same measurement on my loaded rounds.

    There is a lot to learn about the hobby of reloading but I find it to be a rewarding pastime, especially now that I'm retired and often find myself with nothing to do and all day to get it done.

    Ed
     
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