1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

SWC for Semi-automatics

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by JimGun, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. JimGun

    JimGun Well-Known Member

    This evening I was at the book store reading a magazine on Handguns by Massad F. Ayoob. He wrote a review of the Ed Brown Signature series .45 ACP 1911. In the article he states that he tested it with among other shells, a box of 200gr SWC from Blackhills.

    Recently, I was trying to reload berry’s 200gr SWC and was told that SWC are not used in semi-automatics. Has anyone ever used 200gr SWC from Blackhills? Is there something unique about them? Has anybody loaded 200gr SWC for a semi-automatic?
    Thanks for any information.

  2. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    Been reloading 200gr SWC 45ACP for the past 15+ years with very happy and accurate results. Makes the biggest clean round holes on match targets bar none.

    JimGun, now get ready for the onslaught of SWC supporter comments. :D
  3. 918v

    918v Well-Known Member

    Who told you SWC are not used in semi-automatics? That person needs a beating!
  4. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    I use Semi-wadcutter bullets in 9x19, .38 Super, .40 S&W, 10mm, .400 Cor-Bon and .45 acp. I've been loading them for as long as I can remember and they shoot just fine, as long as the pistol is set up for them.

    Hope this helps.

  5. kestak

    kestak Well-Known Member


    The secret is in the COAL....

    I was an avid Lead Round nose in all my semi-automatics because I had so much feeding issues with SWC until a friend showed me the light! And the light was the right COAL....:D

    Thank you
  6. angus6

    angus6 Well-Known Member

    Buddy that builds High dollar Custom 1911's uses a 185lswc as his main test bullet. He will mix 3/4 differnt rounds to a mag but says as a rule if it'll run 185 lswc it'll run everything
  7. JimGun

    JimGun Well-Known Member

    if the "light" is the COAL, what is the COAL for Berry's 200 gr SWC .45?

  8. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "if the "light" is the COAL, what is the COAL for Berry's 200 gr SWC .45?"

    My gun isn't your gun. For your proper OAL you need to do as most of the rest of us do, make a dummy round that looks too long, test if for feeding from the magazine. If it won't go, seat it deeper until it does.

    Some pistol feed ramps will not tolerate some SWC flat points while they will others. All we can do it try what we have and see.
  9. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    That depends on the gun/barrel you use. Make a dummy round (no powder/primer) at the normal OAL for 45ACP (1.25") and check to see if the feeding/chambering from the magazine is reliable.

    If not, gradually seat the bullet deeper until you have reliable feeding/chambering - I normally seat my 200gr SWC with the lead shoulder showing slightly less than 1/16" above the case neck. Depending on the bullet profile, you may need to increase the OAL for reliable feeding/chambering.

    Check out walkalong's excellent thread for determining max OAL - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678
  10. robctwo

    robctwo Well-Known Member

    Now you know one thing for sure, the guy you heard from knows next to nothing about guns. Thousands of 200 gr swc through my .45 autos over the past 5 years. I load them so that the shoulder is about a thumbnail thickness above the rim.
  11. stork

    stork Well-Known Member

    robctwo is right on the money. ("I load them so that the shoulder is about a thumbnail thickness above the rim.") If you load your SWC bullets so there is 1-2 thickness' of lead exposed above the mouth of the case you won't have any problems, provided of course your pistol is set up to run SWC's.

    I've run nearly 50,000 45 ACP SWC's through my wad gun in the last 10 years and the only times I had problems was before the above hint was shared with me.

  12. ReloaderFred

    ReloaderFred Well-Known Member

    Some pistols won't shoot SWC bullets, since they're made as "service" pistols, and as such are made to feed round nose or hollowpoint bullets. My .45 acp XD is one of those and I don't even try to get it to feed a bullet it wasn't designed to digest. On the other hand, all my Witnesses will feed them, along with my 1911's, as long as the OAL is correct.

    Hope this helps.

  13. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    That probably explains why my best groups at 25 seldom measure less than two inches...unless I use the bench.
  14. jhansman

    jhansman Well-Known Member

    See for yourself. Just about everything I read online said my XD45 would not feed SWCs. Just for $%#* and giggles, I tried some Bear Ck. molys in it, and they fed like butter. Who knew?
  15. JimGun

    JimGun Well-Known Member

    it was an .45 XD I was loading for. I never tried them in my Colt 1911. I am a newbie at a lot of this, but isn't a 1911 a "service" pistol, as well?
  16. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    I think the 1911 has performed more "service" than any of them.

    Go to a bullseye match and see if you'll find any other bullet besides a SWC.
  17. jhansman

    jhansman Well-Known Member

    I should add that my XD will not feed uncoated SWCs, so if I want to shoot that bullet, it's gotta be pretty slick. Otherwise I load RN or RNFP lead, which feeds fine. The 1911 I once owned ate everything I fed it, as long as the OAL was just so.
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    I have been loading 200 Gr SWC's of various makers at 1.260 to 1.265 with good results. It would be a good starting point at least for the Berrys, which I have not used. Still have plenty of other .45 bullets.
  19. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Well-Known Member

    In the 1980s when I was shooting and re-loading a lot, I put endless rounds of plain or soft Alloy Lead Semi-Wads through my 1914 Colt Model 1911 .45 ACP Commercial, and, through my Sporting Model Colt .38 ACP...never had a feeding issue once far as I recall.

    It is a good idea make up some Dummy Rounds, no powder, no Primer, light crimp, to test what an individual Pistol likes best for the OAL with a specific Bullet...which probably is what I did...

    Of course, when Loading Lead Bullets for Autoloaders, always inspect finished Rounds for any accidental Lead shavings clinging to the Cartridge lips...as these, if present, can occasion an inconvenient or embarassing Jam with a stuck short-of-Battery Slide, in the Lead shaving preventing a full chambering of the Round.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2010
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    When I set up a pistol I make sure it will feed an empty case. If yours will do that nothing will trip it up.

Share This Page