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.45 ACP +P reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by GettinOld, Dec 1, 2009.

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  1. GettinOld

    GettinOld Member

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    CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information. That being said...

    My objective has been to develop or discover a handloaded .45 ACP cartridge using a 225 grain lead bullet to 900 fps or more, if possible. I'm not concerned so much with pistol longevity as I am with maximizing the power potential. (Rational: $500 pistol / 10,000 rounds = $.05 per round.) I don't have a chronograph or pressure testing device, so I'm dependent on your testimony for guidance.

    Here's where I'm at: I'm using a Ruger P345 loaded with Hunter hard cast 225 truncated cone bullets and 6.6 grains of Unique and CCI 300 primers. The fired primers look just fine, the P345 functions just fine (with a Wolff 17 lb recoil spring), the cases are totally reusable, and I can't detect any leading after 400 rounds of this stuff. From what I read and from observing the dust thrown up behind the targets, I'm already beyond the 830 fps standard for 230 grain hardball round, and maybe above 900 fps. This is will be good enough, if I'm within safe limits.

    My question is, if I can't tell that I'm over pressure by checking the fired cases and the way the gun behaves, what else should I look for?
     
  2. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    Are you related to Elmer Keith?
     
  3. jfh

    jfh Member

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    What else should I look for?

    A load manual and a chronograph.

    added on edit: over at Ammoguide, a respected reloader shows 7.2 gr. of Unique under a 225 cast bullet (Lyman 452374) as the MAX for a .45ACP+P load, with a (max) velocity from a 5" barrel (presumably a 1911) of 972 fps.

    I have no idea of the nominal fps-gain-per-one-tenth-grain-change-increase for Unique in a 1911--but, at least at this point your recipe would probably not be over pressure in his pistol. But, for velocity--well, there's only one way to sort that out: buy or borrow a chronograph.

    Note that this Ammoguide recipe indicates it is a max +P load, and therefore not exceeding such pressures. Nonetheless, I'll add the caution-- This post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information. That being said...

    Jim H.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    6.6 Grs of Unique should be fine with a 225 Gr cast bullet. It should be getting close to 900 FPS.

    That said...

    Yep - AC
     
  5. USSR

    USSR Member

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    +1.

    Don
     
  6. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    With .45's, .38's and other low pressure cartridges you need to follow information from the manual. The only non objective way to determine if you "may" be over pressure is to see how far your cases are being tossed when compared to factory ammo. If the cases are being flung a lot further then you are likely over pressure.

    While your load is likely running faster than 900 fps since its a lead bullet and jacketed runs right around 900 fps with 6.6grs of Unique it is unlikely not over pressure. Check the Lyman data and I'd bet their loads run 6.6gr of Unique or higher but since I don't have my data handy I can't say for sure.
     
  7. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

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    That same brass and primer you are looking for pressure signs on at 45 +P levels will show nothing amiss at 44 Mag pressures. (23,000psi vs 36000 psi) The old "signs" we looked for in the past are proving to be very misleading in some cases. Then too it may not be the cartridge that is the weak link but the firearm itself.
    I`d stay within the manuals recommendations and get a crono, you can`t guess velocity. It is different in every gun, even the same loads from the same box. You might think you have a grain or two to go and already be over your target speed, or not...
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep. By the time you see pressure signs in a low pressure round like .45 ACP, you are way over.
     
  9. kart racer

    kart racer Member

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    unique

    I shoot 6.6 of unique with 230 grain alliant lead rn as practice rounds a bunch in my norincos.
     
  10. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Member

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    If you are trying to achieve +P loads you might want to switching to +p cases. They have a thicker web in the case and can handle higher pressures. Or you may want to start working on 45 Super loads. The 45 Super requires a different style of gun that is designed to handle the higher pressures.
     
  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Don't know about a Ruger, but you can positively tell when you loads are too hot in a M1911.

    Its called frame peening. The slide hits the recoil plunger which then deforms the front of the frame.

    When it gets bad, you replace the frame.
     
  12. 243winxb

    243winxb Member

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    Play it Safe- Stay Away from Maximum Loads.

    Signs of over pressure can be expanded brass web area of .001" or more, or a bulge if the brass is unsupported. The brass case wall/sides will look different. The brass will not spring back as it is ejected from the auto. Using a 225 gr lead cast bullet Lyman lists 7.2gr maximum using Alliant Unique. Speer list a 225gr lead cast bullet at 7.0 gr. of Alliant Unique. I have not been able to go this high on the powder charge when i loaded the Lyman 225gr bullet. Starline 45 acp+P brass is more heavy/thicker to handle maximun pressures. THIS DATA IS FROM VERY OLD MANUALS, THE POWDED HAS WENT THRU CHANGES OVER THE YEARS I THINK?:confused: I'll add the caution-- This post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information. [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] :scrutiny:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  13. justashooter in pa

    justashooter in pa member

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    for real fun with the 45ACP, get an N frame S&W. you can get 255 grain keith style hard cast up to 1150 fps with blue dot.
     
  14. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    If you are trying to achieve +P loads you might want to switching to +p cases. They have a thicker web in the case and can handle higher pressures. Or you may want to start working on 45 Super loads. The 45 Super requires a different style of gun that is designed to handle the higher pressures.
    __________________
    NRA Member
    26 year Reloader

    actually .45acp +P brass is the same dimensions as the 'regular' brass it is just stamped '+P' to indicate the heavier load.
    .45Super brass is thicker web however, and I load that data for my S&W 625, shoots good and packs a wallop too. power pistol and 185gr Golden Sabre slugs.
     
  15. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I don't have a clue what it is you are trying to achieve with the .45 ACP by hot-loading it with a TC bullet.

    If you want better bullet performance, stick with standard pressure loads and switch to a better bullet design like a SWC, RN-FP, or JHP of some sort.

    A TC bullet is just a high-speed drill that will perform no better in a live target, if as well, as the old GI RN-FMJ design.

    rc
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    My Hodgdon #26 Manual lists +P loads for the .45 ACP that are well over 900 fps with 225 and 230 grain bullets.

    Example: 225 grain bullet and 9.4 grains of HS-6 is rated at 1040 fps. With a 230 grain bullet, the charge is cut to 9.3 grains for 981 fps.

    Both these loads are below 20,000 CUP.
     
  17. KAB55

    KAB55 Member

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    Actually, the Starline 45acp +P brass is heavier, check their website. It's the 9mm +P brass that is the same, except for the marking. I have purchased the 45acp +P from them and the capacity of the +P case is less.
     
  18. Randy1911

    Randy1911 Member

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    From the Starline website:

    [QUOTE
    45 AUTO +P (Large Pistol primer) .892"-.897" O.A.L. (Backordered expected availability: 01/15/2010 )
    The 45 Auto+P is a strengthened version of the 45 Auto with the same external dimensions. A thicker web and heavier sidewall at base strengthens the case in potentially unsupported areas. This case has approximately 2 grains less internal water capacity than the standard 45 Auto.

    ][/QUOTE]

    Written by Marlin 45 Carbine:


    actually .45acp +P brass is the same dimensions as the 'regular' brass it is just stamped '+P' to indicate the heavier load.

    There is a differendce with the +P brass.
     
  19. Gryffydd

    Gryffydd Member

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    That sounds more like a under-sprung problem than a pressure problem. You could get that effect with too light of springs with standard loads and you could not get that affect with extremely heavy springs and an overpressure load.
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    My Colt Combat Elite peened its frame out in under 3000 rounds. Maybe have been even less.

    I used a 22 Lb recoil spring, shok buffs, but it peened out. My loads were not hot, it was an issue with dwell. The barrel simply unlocked too early in the pressure curve.

    I sent the pistol back to Colt, they replaced the frame, but I only had a one year warranty. The thing came back with a new frame but Colt had done nothing to fix the unlock issue. The returned pistol was peening the frame again.

    I sent the pistol off to Wilson combat for a new barrel, sights, beavertail grip, frame tightening.

    The guys at Wilson combat know what the heck they are doing, unlike Colt Customer Service, and the pistol runs great now.

    Incidentally, spring tension is an insignificant factor compared with pressure, or mistimed actions.

    [​IMG]
     
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