Help with bullet decision


September 11, 2009, 01:20 AM
Alright guys, here is my quandry. I already load for the 308 so I have a little experience. I am just now getting around to buying my bullets for the 45 ACP.
I am just wanting good plinking ammo.

The gun is a CZ97, which can be picky.
Hogdon clays is the powder I have available.
I will be using the Lee 4-die carbide set on my classic cast.

I want a bullet that will be reliable, accurate, easy to load, and inexpensive. For now, I want to stick with the 230grn round-nose variety. Now, what are the advantages/disadvantages of lead, plated, and jacketed bullets? If I went with a lead bullet, are there any extra steps (such as lubing or sizing) that I would need to do? If lead bullets won't need any extra attention, I will get an order into Missouri Bullets and start playing with loads. Thanks for the help.

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September 11, 2009, 07:43 AM
I have been shooting 45 ACP's for over 40 years and have been using Speer 200 gr LSWC bullets for both competition and plinking. Lately I have started using Oregon Trail's "Laser Cast" lead bullets in the same weight. They are much harder, slightly more accurate, without leading and easier clean up after a shooting session. Clays would be suitable with either bullet using a starting load of 3.6 gr to a max of 4.3 gr of Clays. You would load lead bullets almost the same as jacketed ones except you need to flare(expand) your cast mouth slightly to seat the lead bullet w/o shaving it. Your expanding die (die #2) is used for that purpose; not much flare is needed, just enough to start bullet into the case cleanly. My powder preference however is W-W 231 for target/plinking loads, but YMMV. :)

September 12, 2009, 01:41 AM
Some 1911's don't feed well when using lead bullets. Some shooters don't like to use a lead bullet for one reason or another. I use 230gr LRN bullets all the time in my Springfield 1911A1 GI and never have a problem with them feeding correctly.

If you would rather use a jacketed bullet but don't want the added cost you could use a plated bullet instead. Unfortunately plated bullet now days cost no less than jacketed bullets and sometime cost even more. Your best bet would be lead IMO.

There are many good sources of lead bullets.
Some of those sources are:
Tennnessee Valley Bullets (
Missouri Bullets (
The Bulletworks (
Mastercast Bullets (
Chey-Cast Bullets (
Meister Bullets (

And the list goes on and on. I have either bought from or shot the bullets from all the above suppliers and all were very good bullets. Some sell very hard cast bullets which are good for Magnum applications and others sell softer bullets which are great for target ammo but all are good. The first 2 on the list are the best IMO because they are great people to deal with. (not that the others are bad to deal with)

Steve Marshall
September 12, 2009, 05:50 AM
If you buy the lead bullets, they are ready to load. Lead bullets tend to be less expensive. For practice they are fine.

September 12, 2009, 07:49 AM
Any .45 ACP that will not feed 230 Gr Lead RN bullets has a gun problem, not a bullet problem.

Clays will work just fine.

If you go plated, the Berrys 230 Gr RN is the best out there I have tried. Cheap as any, cheaper than most, proper profile, accurate, feed great.

September 12, 2009, 12:03 PM
Just ordered a batch from Missouri. Thanks for the help folks.

September 12, 2009, 02:57 PM
Berrys, Zero's, Montana Gold, Rainer the list goes on.
Any .45 ACP that will not feed 230 Gr Lead RN bullets has a gun problem, not a bullet problem.
I agree.

You did good with Missouri, I have heard nothing but good about them.

Clays will work just fine. I used Clays for a long time but then I discovered N320...


Jim Watson
September 12, 2009, 09:27 PM
Missouri has a good reputation.
Commercial cast bullets come sized and lubed.
They will run .001" or so larger than jacketed, so you may have to flare your case mouth a bit more to keep from scraping up lead and wax. Then taper crimp back down.

I finally got to where the smoke from smoldering bullet lube was affecting my rapid fire, so I now shoot mostly moly coated lead from Billy Bullets, Black Bullets International, or Precision bullets.

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