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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2013 at 10:37
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Chief Sackscratch

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Ok up until now I've used factory bought ammo for my pistols.  I've got all the dies to load for them just never tired.  Now I am going to try my hand at it. especially 45 for my 1911.  I have a good source of .452 lead bullets, both RB and SWC.  I've used his loaded RN with good results and for plinking I think I'll stick with it for now. 
 
What tips can you tell me about loading for a handgun that aren't used with rifle loading?
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2013 at 14:23
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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forget trimming the brass - ever
revolvers are far less likely to create an easter egg hunt for the brass
Use Carbide dies so you dont have to use lube at all.
pistols have a 3 die set where rifles are typically a 2 die set.
  1. resize and remove primer   (clean the primer pocket if desired )
  2. expand the mouth of the case  - just enough so that the new bullet will not catch the edge of the brass and crush it. Too much expansion will ruin the case you wont get it into the seating die.
   3.  seating die  -----then you are done.
 
Note: pistol cartridges is where the progressive Dillon   presses really are neat to have.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2013 at 15:13
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I agree with Urimaginaryfrnd.  I prefer a taper crip seating die as opposed to a roll crimp.  Most of the RCBS carbide dies I use come standard with this.  If your 45 doesn't have a feed ramp sometimes the roll crimp dies if your crimp is set too severely can cause a slight bulge at the chamber and disrupt smooth feeding.  The only auto I load for is a .38 super auto lightweight commander, and this method has worked well for me.  If you do have to use lube, I prefer the hornady one shot - it doesn't chemically interact with the powder if you get some on the inside of the case.

I too use a progressive for my handguns - a hornady l-n-l.  I do appreciate their bushing system that allows you to maintain your dies' relative position to the plate between calibers.  Hope this helps, G.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2013 at 20:14
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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As others have said...

"JUST BARELY" expand case- it's possible to make it look like you used a plumber's flare tool, but case life increases the less you flare. I use a separate taper crimp die. It isn't necessary, but I like the way Lee die works... "JUST BARELY" crimp to the point you think you'll have reliable feed/ grip on bullet.

I have a Lee classic turret press that makes good ammo.  One gives up a bit of precision with any kind of turret/progressive versus a "C" press, but the gains in time are well worth it.


WW231(HP38) and Unique are great powders for .45acp...  many powders work well in .45- did I mention Bullseye? "Clays" is about the same burn speed as Bullseye, but I can't recommend "Clays" for .45acp as it's pressure curve just isn't right- it works ok with light weight bullets, but only reaches "major" at max pressure for a 200gr. SWC and doesn't work well at all for 230 gr. Hardball. I do like Clays for some things and it is really clean burning, but wrong in .45acp (for me). The Hodgdons are probably growling at me, right about now.

The Lee "Pro Auto Disk" is a marvel of precisely thrown charges with flattened ball powder like 296 or 231, but is a little less precise when using a flake powder like Red Dot.


Lee makes an "adjustable micro- charge bar" accessory for the Pro Auto Disk, but the charge bar is dangerous as hell, in my humble opinion, as it will short- charge randomly with coarser type powders, causing a bullet to be stuck in barrel... you can see how that can get you into a thrilling situation right quick.
Some out there have detailed their "riggin' fixes" for the micro- charge bar, but why take a chance?

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2013 at 21:19
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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More thoughts on loading .452...
You'll probably split it or lose it before it gets too short, but toss the shorties.
Didn't used to need to sort .45 brass by headstamps, but now there is .45acp brass with small primer pockets, so you have to sort brass... why not use it? SAVE your SPP brass!!! Some have reported that ammo loaded with SPP may even have better ES/SD than standard ammo. 
I load and shoot it- found brass is treasure.

Glock pistols are infamous for producing a bulge in cases which might not be corrected by full- length resizing - depends on amoo/pressure. Glock bulge can extend below where FL dies can resize correctly. Glock brass has a distinctive rectangular print on the primers, so it can easily be sorted at same time as SPP brass. Other brand pistols may also produce "guppy" brass if their chambers/feed ramps have been hogged out for feed reliability- the cases won't be supported at that point (like Glock chambers) and guppy bulge will result.
Redding and Lee both make dies to remove the bulge and all my newly found brass gets run through a bulge die, since pistols with tight match chambers have had chambering issues with bulged brass. That Glock bulged brass WILL FIT in chamber guides, as made by L.E.Wilson, etc.  but can still be a problem and is just one more damn thing to look out for, when loading for autos. There is more commentary about "the Glock Bulge" on the web in case you start to run into some goofy feed problem. You may never have an issue...
Case gauges are fine for generic loading, but your own barrel(s) are your best gauge.

C.O.A.L. can get you in trouble if you load way too short at max charge... pay attention to OAL as given in manuals... again, toss short brass (for autos) or compensate powder for diminished case capacity for revolvers or other handguns.
Most .45 acp pistols shoot Hardball (230 gr RN-FMJ) the most accurately when it is loaded around 835 fps, which just happens to be most factory ammo specs- that's why they load at that speed. HP38/WW231 just happens to have an exact load for 835 fps. at optimum pressure.

If you shoot your stash of lead at an indoor range, make sure they have excellent ventilation... otherwise, somebody might get the idea that you are shooting FFFg.

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2013 at 23:39
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Good quality .45 ACP brass loaded to standard pressures lasts and lasts for many reloads.  Most damage to cases is on the rim from improperly fitted and polished extractors.  When loading your semi wad cutters adjust seating depth so that a couple thousands of an inch of of the lead bullet body is above the case mouth.  This aids smooth feeding and helps prevent the edge of the case from hanging up on the barrel throat caused by the dramatic transition to the conical bullet tip.  I keep several hundred matched lot cases separated for competition.  Otherwise I don't bother sorting brass by head stamp or age for practice and play.  I have not had good luck with Remington brass, all other major brand cases have worked well for me.  When I buy virgin brass it is usually Starline or Winchester.  Newer small primer pocket .45 ACP brass is a potential hazard on progressive presses so be careful to keep small and large pocket cases separated if you use a progressive.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2013 at 23:43
Urimaginaryfrnd View Drop Down
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http://www.midwayusa.com/product/231187/redding-g-rx-carbide-base-sizing-die-kit-40-s-and-w-357-sig-10mm-auto
 Redding makes a push through size die that can resize the Glock 4O sw  brass.  So far I have not seen one for .45
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/17/2013 at 11:21
Alan Robertson View Drop Down
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Originally posted by Urimaginaryfrnd Urimaginaryfrnd wrote:

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/231187/redding-g-rx-carbide-base-sizing-die-kit-40-s-and-w-357-sig-10mm-auto
 Redding makes a push through size die that can resize the Glock 4O sw  brass.  So far I have not seen one for .45
Could have sworn Redding made one for .45, too... must have been in the old steel non-carbide model... or maybe I just imagined they did...
Here's Lee's version:
http://www.midwayusa.com/product/882261/lee-bulge-buster-base-sizing-kit-380-auto-40-s-and-w-45-acp
Those dies really help to clean up nicks and gouges in the rim, also.
This is an extra step, but can really increase the functional reliability of reloads in an auto.
First consideration for autoloader handgun reloads is 100% function, then accuracy, then power (adjust up/down as needed).

Rainman,  I second that great tip about loading SWCs with shoulder extended just past the case mouth- that really helps them feed.

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