.45 ACP bullets that are .454 and .455?


February 7, 2012, 11:10 AM
Well I've got a few hundred 9mm and 5.56 rounds under my belt at this point, and a friend brought over some .45 ACP dies as we are both getting .45s in the near future and want a source of ammo.

These things are awesome....I can see why people love .45s so much just looking at them!

But I'm having a lot of trouble getting the bullet to seat without shaving off some of the lead (these are cast lead bullets). I've got the seating die backed way out and still it wants to shave off part of the bullet. I can't seem to flair the case enough (without destroying it... did that three times) for it to accept the round easily by hand.

So then I measured the lead rounds and they are all at least .454 and a few are slightly larger. :eek:

I'm no expert but I don't think they are supposed to be that big! The label on the box says they are .452, which is standard for a .45 as I understand it. I'm concerned that these may be to large to shoot safely even if I can get them loaded.

So can I just get a sizing die from Lee and size them down to .452? Or is there something I'm missing here? Thank you for any help!

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Jim Watson
February 7, 2012, 11:15 AM
An oversize cast bullet is not really dangerous IF you can get it in the case and the loaded round will chamber FREELY. Sounds like these won't.

First choice would be to return them to the vendor for correct diameter bullets or cash refund.

If you can't do that, then the Lee sizing die would take them down to .452" which is the usual cast .45 ACP diameter. I haven't used one and don't know if you would have to use their dip lube or not. Do you have enough to be worth the trouble? It might pay to just start over with some good bullets.

I suggest you not load many .45s until you have a .45 gun to chamber check the first few in.

February 7, 2012, 11:23 AM
Older S&W and Colt 45 ACP revolvers had .455" cylinder throats. The bullets you have were prolly meant for that application.

The reason your shaving lead is because your sestet/crimper die is too tight inside. You bell and bell and bell some more, but the die unbells the case before the bullet starts to move.

Get some correctly sized bullets or a S&W 25-2 ;)

February 7, 2012, 11:32 AM
It sounds to me like somebody used an old empty bullet box to store his cast bullets in before he sized & lubed them.

Do they have bullet lube in the grease groove?

If not, they are "as cast" and haven't been sized & lubed yet.

Or they could be .45 Colt bullets in a .45 ACP box.

Have you weighed them to see what the weight is for sure?


February 7, 2012, 12:41 PM
As RC said, IF those bullets have lube in the lube grooves, then you can easily size them in a lee sizer. The sizer die simply screws into the die hole in your press, then the punch takes the place of a shell holder to poke the bullets through the die. If they're NOT lubed, then you'll have to tumble lube them before sizing. The lee sizer die comes with a bottle of the liquid alox, so all you have to do is tumble them, let them dry overnight,(about 8 hours), then size them.

February 7, 2012, 10:50 PM
Thanks guys! These have lube in them and are from a commercial manufacturer AFAIK. They certainly look commercial with the bright blue hard lube and all. I haven't weighed them... will do.

Yeah I think I will eventually tumble lube them and re-size them.

918v I think you are right about that... is that just because the bullet is to large or because I need to back the die out still more?

February 7, 2012, 10:55 PM
Oh and my friend has a .45 now, so I should be able to test and see whether they chamber well or not.

February 8, 2012, 09:43 AM
Backing out the die won't help. The inner diameter is just too small. An older 45 Colt seated die might work though.

February 13, 2012, 07:38 PM
Ok, I have some new bullets that are .452 diameter and I'm still having the same problem, just not as bad.

So I measured the flair that the flair die is putting on these bullets, and it turns out that it really isn't putting a flair on them at all. I keep adjusting it and keep adjusting it, but it's always the same: no flair, no flair, no flair, case crushes.

Then I took my 9mm flair die apart and looked at the expander part of it. It has the flaring portion before it "steps up" to the diameter of the die. Sticking the flaring portion of the expander part into an unflaired 9mm case, it stops about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up, way before it hits on the stepped up part.

Did the same thing with the .45 die and the case "swallows" the flaring part! The case bumps up against the top of the piece, where it steps up to the diameter of the die.....man I wish I had my camera software....

Anyway I measured the max flair portion and it is .408 inches. I'm thinking that someone at Lee put an expander part for a .40 S&W into a die marked .45 ACP....going to contact them about it tomorrow. Thank you all for your help! :)

February 13, 2012, 07:40 PM
Yep, thats what happened all right.


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