Casting for .45ACP....


December 6, 2010, 10:11 AM
Nice! I cannot believe I can finally type that topic!

Ok, so I have ordered my first 1911 pistol and I want to get geared up to reload for it.

I will be using the same dies I use for everything else (Lee 4 piece pistol dies)and I am hoping that the .45ACP lends itself to cast boolits. My limited knowledge is that leading is a problem at high velocity, and that the .45ACP is a pretty low velocity.

I admitadly have not cracked open my reloading manuals to the .45ACP page yet but I read stuff :)

I currently cast for other lower velocity rounds like 38/357, 9mm and 7.62x39 and I have no issues with lead.

This will also be by first experience with LP primers.

Will unique and universal clays be a good powder for the .45ACP or should I consider something else?

I am excited.

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December 6, 2010, 10:33 AM
I am hoping that the .45ACP lends itself to cast boolits
They go together like peanut butter and jelly, or even better, peanut butter and chocolate.

W-231 would be my first choice, then Bullseye (the classic), WST, or AA #2 for target plinking loads with lead, but Unique and Universal are good ones.

I have never experienced leading in a 1911 .45 with commercial or home cast bullets. Hard to screw it up. :)

December 6, 2010, 11:15 AM
Hard to screw it up.

I love a challenge!

What sized/shape mold do you use?

December 6, 2010, 11:30 AM
I used a Redding Saeco 4 hole 200 Gr SWC mold. Lots of good choices though. The Lee tumble lube designs are real easy and will work without sizing 99% of the time. Saves buying a lubrisizer. Of course you can use the Lee size dies in your press and lube with Liquid Alox or Rooster Jacket and save the cost of a lubrisizer as well. I have a Redding lubrisizer and it is real nice. Have not cast in years though.

December 6, 2010, 11:39 AM
You simply can't go wrong with a 230 grain round nose mold. (Lyman #452374, or RCBS 45-230-RN)

However, 180 and 200 grain wad-cutters make great target ammo.
If your gun will feed them.

I do recommend you get a Lyman (#452630, or RCBS 45-201-SWC) 200 grain wad-cutter mold though if you go the SWC route.
Lee just hasn't quite got the SWC nose shape figured out on those yet.

I also bought a Lee 230 TC-FP mold, and those bullets have given me more problems in two match chambered 1911's then I thought they should have.

I guess I'm just a Lyman & RCBS mold guy at heart!


December 6, 2010, 11:41 AM
I use a two cavity Lyman 452460 200gr SWC mould for my M1911. I use a Lyman lube and sizer, and originally sized my bullets to .452". This proved to be too large for my Gold Cup's chamber, so now I size them to .451". Walkalong is correct in that you need a slightly faster powder than the two you mentioned, although they will work.


December 6, 2010, 11:47 AM
Awesome, thanks guys!

December 6, 2010, 11:51 AM
Nutten fancy in bullet casting alloy is needed either.

Pure wheel-weights work just as well as any fancy high dollar alloy mix.


December 6, 2010, 01:00 PM
When I started casting for my 45 ACPs, I was very concerned about the alloy/hardness and leading. No need, my loads of W231 and Unique don't lead with just about any lead I cast (Lee 230 TC standard lube grooves, and Lyman 225 RN). I've got some "range lead" boolits ready to load and I don't think they'll lead either. BTW, I shoot a RIA 1911 and Ruger P90.

December 6, 2010, 01:48 PM
Here's the one I use most.

I've used it as-cast, with lee LLA tumble lube, and after sizing in a Lyman 450 with Tamarack 50-50%. Accuracy and small groups are standard, with boring regularity. The 6 cav. makes a pile of bullets in little time. 5.5 W-231 in mixed brass, shot in my Springfield Arsenal 1911.

I also have the Lyman 225 RN, it's as basic as it gets, the 4 cav. mold also makes a lot of bullets in a short time.

As RC said, the lead can be very soft, no need for hard stuff. As long as there's enough tin in the alloy for good fillout, you should have no leading.

I also just bought the lee TC-230-TL. I haven't had much of a chance to run load workups with it yet.

December 6, 2010, 05:52 PM
I use a two cavity Lyman 452460 200gr SWC

I use the same one only mine is four cavity. It makes great bullets. My go to powder for 45 with the 200 grain LSWC is WST. Accurate, very clean and mo leading for me.

December 9, 2010, 04:44 PM
No telling how many hundreds of pounds of WW's I've poured thru a Lyman 452460 200gr mold. Shoot it in both revolvers and semi's. Favorite load is 4.5grs of Bullseye under it, but have had good luck with W231 and AA#5 also.

December 9, 2010, 10:23 PM
I've used the Lee 452-228-1R round nose with good success.

Sounds like lots of good choices to choose from.

December 9, 2010, 11:16 PM
Take your pick!
From original H&G #68

Saeco #496BB

I had the Lee 228gr mould. It cast bullets so big and out of round that I had to seat them super deep in the case just to get them to chamber in my M625JM. No thanks.

One caution though, hardness. Straight clip on wheel weights should be OK for most 1911s. You may have some trouble if yours has a week or light spring though should your bullets be too soft. What happens if they are too soft is that they jam on the nose as it enters the chamber because it dents instead of slides.

I made an alloy of all stick on wheel weights and cast them up for a 1911. Almost every one of them jammed on entry into the chamber. When I cleared the jam, there was a huge dent on the top side of the bullet. If stick on wheel weights is all you have, add a bit of tin, lead free solder, to make them just a tad harder.

Casting for the 45ACP/AR is a BLAST! (Pun intended) It is extremely rewarding too.

Have fun and be safe!

December 9, 2010, 11:44 PM
I had the Lee 228gr mould. It cast bullets so big and out of round that I had to seat them super deep in the case just to get them to chamber in my M625JM. No thanks.

Yes, I agree.

I ran my through a .452 sizer die and they worked just fine.

I also have a hollow point version. It appears that Lee does not make that mold any more, but I might be wrong. I don't think it would expand anyway.

December 10, 2010, 03:26 PM
I picked up the last two pounds of W-231 yesterday at cabelas along with the dies, etc....

Now I just need to order my molds. I had to buy a box of ammo to try my pistol. I hated it... buying the ammo that is, loved the pistol!

December 10, 2010, 05:31 PM

Lee moulds in stock.

December 10, 2010, 06:51 PM

I am using the Lyman 230 grain round nose mold. W231 works well, but I can't always find it locally, so I use quite a bit of Unique too. I am using wheel weight metal with a bit of solder added.

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