Handloading 45 ACP Cast Bullets for a Revolver

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    Tennessee Jed
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    Handloading 45 ACP Cast Bullets for a Revolver

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:07 pm

    I'm about to embark on a new handloading venture, cast bullets in 45 ACP for a Ruger Blackhawk convertible. 45 Colt is fun, but 45 ACP cases are enormously more prevalent. And the shorter cases are faster to pop out of the cylinder and faster to load into the cylinder.

    Have any of you handloaded 45 ACP cast bullets before? I've got recipes, an article by John Taffin on the subject, a sturdy Blackhawk, a refreshed supply of Unique powder, and a bag full of 45 ACP cases. About to order some 230 grain cast round nose bullets. I'm just curious if there's any load in particular that anyone here prefers.

    In an ideal world, I'd like to get a 230 grain cast bullet travelling around 900 fps.

    Thanks.

    NotThe10thMan
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    Re: Handloading 45 ACP Cast Bullets for a Revolver

    Post by NotThe10thMan on Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:51 pm

    I've got nothing that hot for you. I'm running 5.0 grains of WW231 sized at 1.200 out of my 4" 625 and barely eeking out 815 FPS shooting a Missouri Bullet Works 225 grain TCFP. It's an accurate middle of the road load for me. I could run a fair bit hotter, but I share my ammo with weaker platforms, such as Glock and Sig.
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    Tennessee Jed
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    Re: Handloading 45 ACP Cast Bullets for a Revolver

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:46 pm

    Thanks Not10. Yeah, I don't own a semi-auto in 45 acp, so I don't have to deal with that aspect. Don't have anything against 45 acp semi-autos, just never got around to replacing a 1911 I sold.

    I can see already that handloading 45 acp for revolvers is going to be a little odd, but a worthy pursuit. I'm already surprised what can be done with the cartridge when one isn't concerned with a slide going back and forth.
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    Cornmastah
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    Re: Handloading 45 ACP Cast Bullets for a Revolver

    Post by Cornmastah on Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:53 am

    TJ, I am using about 6 gr Unique with my powder coated 230 gr cast (which are weighing in at about 235ish) in 45 ACP.  It cycles my autos and works fine in my blackhawk and vaquero.  I haven't chrono'd that load though, but might be able to next time I go.  I have decided that I don't "love" shooting 45 ACP out of revolvers.  I much prefer the ol .45 colt cartridge due to the rimmed design--easy in, easy out.  I find that with the 45 ACP case, after shooting a few times, it gets harder to push them into the cylinder all the way. I am not sure if it is caused by fouling of the cylinder or stretching of the brass--the same rounds will chamber easily in my 1911's, SIG P220, and HK45. I do not trim my 45 ACP brass.
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    Tennessee Jed
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    Re: Handloading 45 ACP Cast Bullets for a Revolver

    Post by Tennessee Jed on Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:15 pm

    Thanks Corn, very interesting point I hadn't considered. Based on that info, I'll take it a little slowly, maybe handload, fire, repeat 30 or 40 cases several times before jumping in with both feet.

    My 45 acp cases have only been handloaded a couple of times so far, so I'm going to see if that's an issue for my Blackhawk.

    I am morally opposed to trimming handgun cases (if I'm going to go through a lot of steps for handloading something, it will be for high powered rifle ammo). If that becomes a prerequisite, I'll pass on 45 acp.

    My 45 acp experience so far is somewhat limited, 230 grain fmj and Power Pistol powder. The good thing about having a convertible Blackhawk is, if 45 acp doesn't work out, I'll be more than happy to stick with 45 Colt.

    NotThe10thMan
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    Re: Handloading 45 ACP Cast Bullets for a Revolver

    Post by NotThe10thMan on Thu Dec 18, 2014 3:13 pm

    I'm Happy to read Corn's experience on shooting .45 ACP out of revolvers, as they're close to my own. I had wondered if I was the only one, and what the heck is wrong with my loads, since no major review sites ever seem to mention that.

    I remember one day at the range, my son was shooting his Webley Mk6 in .45 ACP, and I was shooting my Freedom Arms 97 with the conversion cylinder on it. Due to the tightness of the FA, I found it to be inoperable within a couple dozen rounds while my son kept happily banging away with his Webley. I learned a few lessons that day.

    I do love my S&W 625 at the range. I keep about 200 rounds loaded up on moon clips, wander off to the range, bang away and then come home and take my time pulling the brass from the moon clips, which generally beats the heck out of picking up brass off of snow, or digging through gravel, cigarette butts, and other odd range trash to get my brass back.

    I do very much enjoy the versatility offered for the cartridge through the .45 ACP revolver. round nose, flat point, hot loads, fu-fu loads... 260 grain loads...they don't care. I've thought about sending my 625 cylinder to Clarke to have it reamed out to accept .460 Rowland. Not that I have a real hot interest or need in that cartridge, but I would be curious to see if that saves me the hassle of the sticky cartridges.

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