lead bullet lengths


August 30, 2009, 11:42 PM

I have been reloading using jacketed bullets for a while now, and I am wanting to try out lead. One problem i ran into, I bought a box of Suter' Choice 200 grain Lead Semi-Wadcutter's and i was going to load them using the data from the Speer reloading manual, which i believe said COAL is 1.19, and this ends up being way to deep. My first question is, when adjusting this, how do you know how much to up the powder charge, or are you safe to just leave the powder charge at the starting load and bump up the coal to 1.25 or so? 2nd, would i be able to just use the data for lasercast?...do most manufactures keep their same weight/style bullets the same dimensions. Im tempted to just stop by cabelas tomorrow and pick up a box of the laser cast 200grain lead semi-wadcutters and start with them since i can find specific data on that bullet.

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August 31, 2009, 08:42 AM
Laser-Cast uses the same Magma Engineering moulds as Suters Choice for that bullet.

This is the standard H&G 68-style bullet, which is the criterion SWC in that weight and caliber. We use that same mould set here at Missouri Bullet Company.

I seat mine to about 1.255. Functions great.


August 31, 2009, 11:37 AM
I would suggest that determining the correct OAL with a SWC .45 ACP bullet is best done with the barrel, not a dial caliper.

Seat the bullet only deep enough that the loaded round will fully chamber in the barrel.
Only seat to whatever depth you need to get the front driving band to clear the chamber leade and fully go in the barrel.
Whatever that OAL is, is the OAL you need to use with that bullet.

Different bullet profiles with the same weight make using Speer bullet OAL with Suter bullets a path to failure.
They may all weigh the same, but they are not all shaped the same!


August 31, 2009, 02:23 PM
OAL all depends on how the barrel is chambered. It must feed and fit the magazine also. Leave the powder charge at the starting load.Just use the data for lasercast, start low , work up the powder charge. http://i338.photobucket.com/albums/n420/joe1944usa/OAL.jpg

August 31, 2009, 05:24 PM
Goodness! Manual makers effort's to help newbies with a starting OAL seems to cause MUCH more grief that it prevents!

Everyone should understand that making drastic changes to a PREVIOUSLY developed (MAX) handgun load can be a mistake but small OAL changes, especially when starting to test a new load (including a new bullet!), mean little.

When starting with a new bullet, any kind/brand, first make a dummy round and check it for feeding from the magazine and chambering, OR, from a revolver, see that it chambers and doesn't lock the cylinder. When the dummy work's, load your ammo! Keep the dummy in the die box for a refrerence later. MOST of the time seating to the crimp groove will do fine.

August 31, 2009, 05:39 PM
Auto pistol bullets don't have crimp grooves.


August 31, 2009, 10:03 PM
I load SWC so that about a thumbnail's thickness (0.025") or so of the driving band is showing above the case mouth. That puts my 200gr SWC at about 1.25"

August 31, 2009, 10:46 PM
thanks for all the advice, i ended up purchasing some Lasercast 200 grain semiwadcutters just to make sure, and from what i found they are the same in every way as the suters choice, except for one has a blue strip and one has a green. Both Laser cast and suters choice range anywhere from .639 - .643. I guess thats normal? Also, I have noticed some loads are for lead rounds sized to .451, and I have .452. Can i use these loads interchangeably?

September 1, 2009, 12:52 PM

.451" or .452" lead bullet data can be used interchangable as long as the bullet style & weight are correct.


September 2, 2009, 10:23 AM
Alright, last question...i think. Do all the below loads sound safe for .45acp. I pulled these out of various manuals they are all one grain over the starting load, something i do just because I am worried sometimes my scale/eyes might be slightly off and i dont want to go less than the starting load (not sure if that is good to do or not). Also, I upped the col to 1.225 to fit my bullets, some were at 1.19 and some were at 1.2 so none were lowereing the col. Also, let me know which you think might be the best to go with based on experience. Thanks in advance

1. Accurate Arms No. 5 - 200g lasercast swc(l), 7.9 gr powder, and 1.225 col
2. SR 4756 - 200g lasercast swc(l), 7.4gr powder, and 1.225 col
3. Win231 - 200g lasercast swc(l), 5.3gr powder, and 1.225 col
4. Unique - 200g lasercast swc(l), 5.4gr powder, and 1.225 col
5. Bullseye - 200g lasercast swc(l), 4.7gr powder, and 1.225 col
6. ClaysUniversal - 200g lasercast swc(l), 5.7gr powder, and 1.225 col

September 2, 2009, 01:30 PM
Alliant Bullseye, i start at 3.8gr for my 200 cast lswc @ about 700fps,a target loading. Alliant lists 4.6gr maximum 807fps with a Speer LSWC.

September 2, 2009, 01:33 PM

the data i got was from the hornady book. I see where you are talking about the alliant data, as it is posted online in their reloading book. Is there a reason for the difference? I noticed the hornady lead swc appears to have a bunch of diagnol cuts where it touches the case. Are the speer lswc similar to the Lasercast or sutter's choice lswc?

September 2, 2009, 03:45 PM
Speer & Hornady are soft swaged bullets, not cast. They can not withstand the pressures like a harder cast bullet, would be my guess. Follow data for cast bullets as that is what you will be loading.

September 7, 2009, 05:13 PM
alright, so i contacted lasercast, and they are mailing me load data for .45acp...i did not know they did that, but i figured that will make things a lot easier, and make me feel a lot safer. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

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