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Underwood .45 ACP and .45 Super Hard Cast in Clear Ballistics Gel

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by 5pins, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. 5pins

    5pins Member

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    34usmtfl.jpg

    Test Gun: Colt 1911.
    Barrel length: 5 inches.
    Ammunition: Underwood .45 ACP +P and .45 Super 255gr Hard Cast.
    Test media: 10% Clear Ballistics Gel.
    Distance: 10 feet.
    Chronograph: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2.
    Five shot velocity average: 891, 1078fps
    Gel Temperature 70 degrees.

    The second installment of the Underwood hard cast woods load we take a look at the .45 ACP+P and the .45 Super. Both of these loads use the same 255gr hard cast Hi-Tek coated bullet.

    I got a five shot average velocity of 891fps with a high of 902fps and low 888fps. Underwood lists their velocity of 925fps for this load.

    icN0h7Dl.jpg
    Ten yards offhand five shots .45 ACP +P

    With the .45 Super load, I got an average velocity of 1078fps with a high of 1082fps and a low of 1073fps. The advertised velocity from Underwood for this load is 1075fps.

    jNzQDpNl.jpg
    Ten yards offhand five shots .45 Super

    I used the same pistol with both of these loads even though the pistol is not set up for the Super round. I did have one failure to feed.

    n3pX0vSl.jpg

    The .45 ACP didn't show any sign of excessive pressure even though it's listed as +P. The .45 Super, on the other hand, flatted primers and primer flow into the firing pin hole.

    lWcp04vl.jpg

    Starting with the +P loading the first round had a velocity of 873fps and penetrated to 53.5 inches. The recovered weight was 247.8 grains. The second round hit the gel block at a velocity of 895fps and penetrated to 50 inches. It's recovered weight was 247.6 grains.

    re3GIhll.jpg

    The first round through the sheet metal had a velocity of 906fps and penetrated to 21.25 inches. It's recovered weight was 247.6 grains. Round two had a velocity of 920fps and penetrated to 18.75 inches. The recovered weight of the second round was 249.3 grains.

    rF7WlxPl.jpg

    With the Super load, the first round in the bare gel had a velocity of 1072fps and passed completely through all four gel blocks and was not recovered. I really didn't expect that much penetration so I didn't put a piece of body armor behind it. Learning from the first shot, I put the armor behind the last block and shot another round into the bare gel. It also passed through but bounced off the body armor and was found on the floor next to me. It's velocity was 1075fps and the recovered weight was 251.3 grains.

    nkgQdt1l.jpg

    Through the angled sheet metal the first round had a velocity of 1059fps and penetrated to 28.5 inches. The recovered weight was 242.8 grains. The second round passed through the sheet metal at a velocity of 1061fps and exited the side of the block at the 24 inches mark.

    qZY7ypAl.jpg

    These loads exceeded my expectations by quite a bit. The .45 Super round is only the third round to pass completely through all 64 inches of gel. Sharing that title with the Underwood 147gr hard cast and the Double Tap 200gr FMJ 10mm.

    The +P version was also the winner in the .45 ACP department with a max penetration of 53.5 inches, about 11 more inches then the next best, the Cutting Edge solid at just a little over 42 inches.
     
  2. Ohen Cepel

    Ohen Cepel Member

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    Thanks! I'm still on the fence about the 45Super but this helps to sway me.
     
  3. murf

    murf Member

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    any case head swelling with the 45 super load? glad your stock 1911 survived the 45 super load.

    murf
     
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  4. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I have some of the +P .45 (though my aren't coated in the hi Tek) I've had around for years, use them in my 1911s as a woods load. Originally bought them for my Glock 21 but my lone wolf barrels throat is too tight to feed em.
     
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  5. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    Thank you for your testing. It looks like the .45Super does give better performance.
     
  6. 5pins

    5pins Member

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    No case swelling.
     
  7. murf

    murf Member

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    good to hear. those starline 45 super cases are tough as all getout. I used them in my 45 super tests, in my g30, using a stock glock barrel. the case head didn't start to swell until I got to 45 super pressure levels.

    murf
     
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  8. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    Have you done anything to your G30 so that you can run 45 Super, or are you just running it bone stock?
     
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  9. murf

    murf Member

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    I put a 21 lb. wolff recoil spring in it before I started the test. after the test I installed an alpha wolf barrel (fully supported chamber).

    my self defense load is a 230 gn. xtp @ 1060fps, my "heavy" load is a 265 gn. lswc @ 850 fps.

    both function well in that gun.

    murf
     
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  10. BAMASUPER45

    BAMASUPER45 Member

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    I tried the Underwood 255 HC, and the "hi-Tek coating made the bullet stick in chamber. I use the Buff. Bore Super 255 gr now. BUT, I had to do some work on the chamber(leade) by reaming, until the round would pass the "drop" test. And had to change the mag springs to the 460Rowland mag springs.
    Gock 21 Gen 4
    Barrel, 5.2" threaded Alfa Wolf, with 460R Comp.
    RSA, 20lb Captured, Tungten Guide Rod
    Trigger, Zev Tech Ultimate, Adj 3.25 lb pull
    Mag, 13rd with 460R spring(10 rnds with 460R mag spring)
    Sights, Trijicon Tall Suppressor Night Sights, Trijicon RM06 3.25 MOA, Auto Adj.
    Talon Grips(Had to used a little plumb cement-ha).
    All Extended Slide Lock, Slide Release,
    Brass Stacker Pull Ring
    Note: Been looking at the Lehigh Xtreme 45 Super 120 gr.
     
  11. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I have a lone wolf barrel that won't feed the under woods either, Gen 4 Glock 21. The OEM barrel Chambers them just fine.
     
  12. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Standard springs in the Colt?


    Todd.
     
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  13. Lucky Derby

    Lucky Derby Member

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    Thanks for the info. I've been considering that Super Load for a woods load in my 625. Anyone know how much velocity I would lose in a 3" Revolver barrel vs a 5" auto loader?
     
  14. BAMASUPER45

    BAMASUPER45 Member

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    I took my drill and started out with 100 grit and worked up to 400 grit. Took my time, but now the Buffalo Bore 45 Super's drop in the chamber just like the 45 ACP's. I just "sanded" the inside rim of the "leade" (lands?). When I first put the BB inside the chamber, I noticed it would not set as low as the regular acp's, so I dropped the BB round in and twisted it, and saw the mark on the lead bullet. I have another G21G4 exactly like the avitar, but it's black. I will sand the chamber, just like I did the other one. I have (7) G21 Gen 4's. I'm only going to sand the two. The other (5) G21G4's, I will use other ammo for them. I'm looking at the Lehigh Xtreme Defender 45 Super, 120 gr (1600fps, 694ftlbs). I'm going to get a box($37) and try them out. In my book, I believe in penetration. If the XD's penetrate (solid cooper) and hold together, then that's a go. My brother and I did a test with his 357 Mag, on 10 water jugs and I was impressed with what the 357 did with 125 gr. (Wish I could find 45 Super 185 gr hard cast). Note: Tried Underwood Super 255 gr, and the coating was thick, on the bullet, and would not pass the drop test, and I had some FTF at the range, and I wasn't going to sand my chamber again, so it's Buff. Bore for now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  15. LaneP

    LaneP Member

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    Wow that's some powerful stuff. Thanks for the report.
     
  16. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I have read, from writers who had balloon head cases, that the original 40 grain Blackpowder with a 255 Lead, 45 Long Colt load clocked just above 1000 fps. So, based on your results with the 45 Super, I would say, the original Cowboy loads were great.

    eH7wq2Y.jpg


    A 230 grain bullet clocking 925 fps out of a 45 ACP shows excellent penetration and does exactly what its designers wanted. It is not a maximum load, they were not looking for the most powerful round, but they were looking for the most effective bounded by the limits that weight and recoil impose on a general purpose service weapon.
     
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  17. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I have a 6” .45 Super V-16 is like to try those Super loads in, how much do they run?

    Stay safe.
     
  18. murf

    murf Member

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    I had a problem with my alpha wolf (same company) barrel, too. the top of the chamber was rough as a cob. I spent half a day with a round stone smoothing out the chamber top and all the rough edges on that barrel. i'm going to look into smoothing out the chamber lead. thanks for the tip.

    welcome to the high road,

    murf
     
  19. JeeperCreeper

    JeeperCreeper Member

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    Thank you for the results and testing!!

    I carry both of these loads in Alaska in a pawn shop Springfield XD.

    Much cheaper than a 10mm but similar performance.
     
  20. Richard Jay King

    Richard Jay King Member

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    For those that might want to recreate the .45 super load rather than buy ready made ammunition Lee makes a 200 grain mold (part 452-200-RF) and a 255 grain mold (part 452-255-RF) that make a bullet that looks very similar to the Underwood bullets used in the test. Both bullets shoot well and do not lead the barrel of my gun even though mine are lubed and not powdercoated. Factory load Super velocites can be matched by using PowerPistol and Longshot powders.
     
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  21. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Do you know anyone selling the 255gr RNFP at an economical price? Plenty of people selling similar boolits at almost jacketed price. I can find SWC's all day at reasonable prices, but would prefer the RNFP.
     
  22. Richard Jay King

    Richard Jay King Member

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    I do not....I cast my own from old wheel weights and some tin solder...This bullet is a great deer killer and is worth the cost of purchase for readymade or worth the trouble of casting..
     
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  23. Richard Jay King

    Richard Jay King Member

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    As a side note for those folks that may decide to try shooting .45 Super in their .45 acp guns...If you do the physics you will find that the mass of the barrel/slide unit has significantly more impact on the velocity of the slide when it hits the stop than the spring rate of the recoil spring. In 1911 guns the non beveled firing pin retainer is a good idea but going from a 20# to a 28# spring only increases the return to battery speed of the slide making misfeeds more likely and making a stronger mag spring necessary. I use an 18# recoil spring in my S&W 4506 and it works just fine and I use stock mag springs. If you want to do the math start with conservation of momentum and subtract out the energy of the recoil spring once it is compressed to come up with before and after slide impact velocity...Point is don't worry yourself to death about recoil spring rates...
     
  24. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I already put that mold and a Lee pot on my Christmas list last night. Been meaning to get into casting for awhile now.
     
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