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.45 ACP question, new to reloading

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by cloyder, Jan 7, 2013.

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  1. cloyder

    cloyder Member

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    Hello. I am new to reloading and have a few questions. I am loading .45 ACP with the Hornady Classic Kit and manual. I am shooting them in an XD45. My first load was the starting load in the Hornady manual for 230gr FMJ with HS6 powder, overall length of 1.230" and no crimp. The result was every round stove piped. My second try I increased the powder to the step below the max load. These worked, but felt a little lighter than similar factory loads. Also, instead of ejecting out the side every round went straight back over my head or in my face. I noticed powder burns on one side of the cases.

    Is this under loaded? Should I try a different powder that I can load higher?

    I also tried a mid load with the Hornady 185gr. JHP XTP set at 1.225". This load also ejected over my head and in my face. Several of these had problems feeding. Even loading them individually they had problems chambering. They would hang up just before the slide was all the way forward.

    I suspect this one is also underloaded, but should I be playing with the overall length to get them to feed better?

    The manual lists a maximum overall length. Then it lists an overall length for each bullet type, which I take to be the recommended length for that load. Every similar factory load I look at is quite a bit longer than my loads.

    Do I have to use the flaring die? I seem to be able to seat bullets just fine without it. When I use it I just barely have it touching the case, otherwise it will ruin it.

    Also, there is an extra seating stem in the 3-die set with a flat bottom. The instructions don't say what it is for.

    I apologize for all the questions, but have been unable to find any answers in my manual.
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    HS-6 is a pretty slow burning powder for the .45 ACP.

    With light bullets especially..
    It loves max pressure high performance loads, or won't do so hot.

    In this case, you need to either Go Big, or go get another can of powder with a faster burn rate.

    Best feeding is usually with the bullet seated as long as you can, while still missing the rifling leade.

    Seat one real long then do the "plunk test".
    Keep seating shorter until the load will "Plunk" in your guns chamber and fall back out of it's own weight.

    The flat seater is sometimes used for JHP bullets that don't fit the RN seater stem correctly.
    Sometimes pushing on the sides of the JHP cavity caves the HP in on itself.

    So you might use the flat seater stem to push just on the front of the bullet nose to keep from deforming it.

    You don't have to use the expander & bell, if you can seat bullets without case damage.
    But it should not damage cases if you do want to bell for lead bullets.
    Perhaps it is too big?

    The expander for straight wall pistol calibers really should just barely touch a sized case.
    All it should do is guide the stem in the case to keep the bell section centered with the case mouth.
    I would want it to be a few thousandths smaller then bullet dia so the bullet itself expands the case when seated.
    That will give you maximum case neck tension and prevent bullet set-back during feeding.

    Measure it, and if it is bigger then .449" or so, work it down with a drill & a strip of emery cloth.



    rc
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
  3. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    I'll add a few issues I've had with COAL.
    Cartridge loaded to fit chamber, but length reduced my mag capisity by one (strange, but it happened).
    Cartridge loaded to fit chamber, but wouldn't feed properly from mag.
    Cartridge loaded to fit chamber, fed well, but too long to eject loaded cartridge (longer than opening in slide). This one was a pain in the rear! :)
     
  4. USSR

    USSR Member

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    First, the stove piping that you first experienced was the result of too low of a powder charge weight with a slow burning powder. Second, ejection into the face (ouch!) indicates a physical problem with the firearm that should be looked at by a gunsmith. Thirdly, a proper overall length varies from one handgun to the next. You need to either remove your barrel and do the "plunk test" (google it), or get a Wilson case guide like I use, to determine the proper overall length for your handgun, which will vary according to what bullet you are using. Regarding a flaring die, it makes life so much easier when you are using flat based bullets. I heartily recommend the Lyman Type M die for that. Lastly, as already mentioned the flat bottemed seating die is for SWC bullets. Hope that helps.

    Don
     
  5. 918v

    918v Member

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    230 FMJ should be loaded to 1.260". 1.230" is too short. It screws up the feed angle.

    HS-6 should be loaded to the max for best performance in the 45.

    XTP should be loaded to 1.225"

    Use the flaring die. It uniforms the case mouth, making it free of dings. Semi autos ding cases. You'll crush a case one of these days if you don't use one. Flare the case minimally, just enough to not crush the case during seating or shave lead off the bullet. This means an almost invisible bell for jacketed bullets.

    Crimp minimally as well, to something like .471". People who crimp to .469" are overcrimping.
     
  6. cloyder

    cloyder Member

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    Thanks for the help guys. I appreciate it
     
  7. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Member

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    As posted, I'd go with a faster powder. I use Hodgdon Universal much of the time with the 45 acp. Any of the 'medium burners' would be a better choice, win-231 & a host of others.
     
  8. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I agree, a faster powder is better suited for the .45 Auto.

    Give W231/HP-38 a try. I'm sure you will like the results better than with HS-6. I'm a fan of HS-6 but not in the .45 Auto. Lengthen the OAL a bit too, to at least 1.250" with a 230gr FMJ bullet.

    You also said you are using no crimp. While a very heavy crimp is no necessary toy should at least be sure any flare caused by inserting the bullet is removed. A light taper crimp is a good idea with the .45 Auto.
     
  9. XD 45acp

    XD 45acp Member

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    I do 230 fmj with Bullseye. OAL of 1.26 - 1.25. The XD needs a crimp on the loads as it will shove the bullet in upon feeding. I have used Red Dot before too will good success, but it was dirty. The Bullseye was my final choice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  10. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    Currently own a bakers dozen .45 ado pistols in every size from compact to comp gun. Over the years have owned more 1911's than can count on all my little piggies and tootsies. From 30 plus years with these and a four year serious stint with IPSC where I shot 500 rounds per week minimum to train then competitions on weekends. The weekends with no match to shoot would often blow through over 1,000 rounds. Out of all this I have developed pet load that have yet to find a pistol that does not like it.

    It starts with a 185 grain hard cast semi-wadcutter bullet. I set my trim length to 0.888 Cases for range.ammo only get trimmed every half dozen cycles unless my cases get contaminated with those of someone else. My O.A.L. is set at 1.25. I use federal primers and my charge of Unique is set to average 875 fps out of a 5" barrel. This puts my loads on the very low end major power factor. Will make major on most days, still comfortable to shoot and 110% reliable. I hesitate to give charge data but with a couple of books you can figure approximate for 875%. May have to bump charge for this velocity from the books about 5% to get there. I like the Dillion 4 die set for .45 loading.
     
  11. 918v

    918v Member

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    Most 185gr LSWC cannot be loaded to 1.250" and still chamber. Which one are you talking about?
     
  12. Flt Simulation

    Flt Simulation Member

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    I have had cycling problems in the past with various 1911s that I have owned while using wad cutters, semi-wad cutters and some hollow point bullets, so all I load now in my Gold Cup is either lead, coated or FMJ 230gr RN.

    I just don't want to take any chances on this Gold Cup with anything but RN ball.

    BTW ... If you want .45 ACP FMJ, the best price I have found lately is:

    'Precision Delta' 230gr FMJ RN for $132 (shipped) per box of 1000

    As of yesterday, they were still in stock.

    ___________________________________

    Here is the load I use with these for my Gold Cup:

    OAL: 1.25"

    This OAL of 1.25" gives a bullet seating depth of 0.29" since the average .45 ACP case length is 0.89" and the Precision Delta bullet length is 0.65"

    Primer: . . . . . . .. Winchester (small)
    Powder / Load: . . Winchester 231 / 5.2gr


    I guess you could say that W-231 is a medium burn rate powder (good all around powder for the .45 ACP)
     
  13. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Member

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    I have a XDc in 45 and I have found that it shoots most any thing but SWC and bullets with shoulders. I have never used the powder you are using. There are quite a few that work well for that gun, I have settled on casting my own 230 grain flat nose and just under 6 grains of Unique.
     
  14. Hagen442

    Hagen442 Member

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    45ACP Reloading

    Just Another Old 2 Cents
    A Few Suggestions From The Past
    Past Experience with XD/XDMs: Better Feeding Results with Round Nose Bullets
    Also Factory Mags are Perferred by these Rascals.
    OAL Gauge Will keep you honest with OAL Issues regardless of Bullet Used.
    Suggest a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Well Worth the 12-15 Bucks for making Rounds for Bottom
    Feeders.

    Hope This Helps

    00
     
  15. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

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    One thing I noticed with my ver first .45 reloads, fired fron gov modell sw1911. Firing singles worked fine, so did 2-3 round strings. All chambered, fired, ejected just fine. First time i tried loading more than 3 in the mag they got stuck in the mag. Same rounds worked fine in mag and gun after i got em out and seated a lil deeper. So now i test both cyclicg through gun, withou firing of course, and mag fit before taking to the range.
     
  16. 2bfree

    2bfree Member

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    Like FLT I load the Precision Delta' 230gr FMJ RN the same powder load but an OAL of 1.230, I load the Extreme plated 230's with the same load but 1.260 OAL. They both work well in my SR1911.
     
  17. cloyder

    cloyder Member

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    Thanks for all the help guys. I will be trying some of the things you suggested including, a different powder, different overall lengths, and doing plunk tests. It looks like my seating die has a roll crimp so the best I will be able to do crimp-wise is take the flare out of the case. One follow up question:

    Won't changing the overall length change the pressure? How much can I safely change the overall length without creating a dangerous load
     
  18. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

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    Just make sure u stay at or over book min oal, especialy working at or near max loads.
     
  19. cloyder

    cloyder Member

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    My Hornady book doesn't show a minimum. It has a maximum on the first page of each cartridge type where it shows case dimensions, then for each bullet listed in the load data it states a C.O.L. I assume this is the length they used for that particular load. Should I use that as the minimum? I think I should probably get a second load book.
     
  20. 918v

    918v Member

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    No, because that is the max OAL for the round in general. What specific projectile are you talking about?
     
  21. cloyder

    cloyder Member

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    For example, C.O.L. 1.225" is listed for the 185gr. XTP, C.O.L. 1.230" is listed for the 230gr. FMJ RN. On the first page where it shows case dimensions for the .45ACP it states a "Max C.O.L." of something longer. I don't have the book with me but I think it is something like 1.360".
     
  22. 918v

    918v Member

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    It is 1.270"

    Your typical 230 FMJ RN should be loaded to 1.260"

    Your typical 230 FMJ TC should be loaded to 1.230"

    Your typical JHP of whatever weight should be loaded to 1.200" especially the 185s which do not have much of a shank to sit inside the case.
     
  23. hueyville

    hueyville Member

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    918v,
    My cast SWC design will chamber in any .45 auto have ever tried which is a huge number over the years. The bullet/mould design I use is 4 cavity proprietary design made by a local machinist that had his own commercial reloading and cast bullet company for over a decade. When he retired I bought his stock that his kids didn't want. I found this mould in the pile and have loved it ever since. It is a modified Himmelwright design but with a slightly flatter nose. (Do I hear the Google servers catching another gear looking up Himmelwright Wadcutters???) Hahahaha. It is what it is and it works so very well. Nothing better than having something that is unique and that actually works.
     
  24. 9w1911

    9w1911 Member

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    the .45 was made to feed the round ball, so wad cutters with funky OAL will prob lead to feed issues, as well as some uncharged rounds(Ive had cycle issues one day testing some plinkers) also I have had work down to the feed ramp on my 1911 by Gene Shuey so it will feed just about anything now.
     
  25. Hagen442

    Hagen442 Member

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    Reloading 45ACP Rounds

    Now That A LArge Can Of Worms Has Been Opened Up, And Now We Are Talking
    All Mfgs And Types Other Than Just The Springfield XDM .

    Here Is Another 2 Cents.
    I only Load 180 Gr SWC Cast Bullets for my 45 ACP Stuff and have Zero Issues.

    But I No Longer Own a XD , XDM As This Thread Originally Referred.

    00
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
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