The quest for assembling 25 ACP ammo has taken many twists and turns. But, it's also put me in touch with a number of CastBoolits friends who have been very generous and helpful.
It all started with a friend of mine getting a Sundance 25 ACP semi auto pistol which, as it turns out, didn't work so well, even with quality factory ammo. I sought out a way to acquire the means for assembling my own 25 ACP cartridges.
I was able to find a Lyman mold in near new condition:
However, I missed that opportunity. Fortunately, ncbearman came through with a like-new 2 cavity Lyman mold, 252435 for a reasonable price.
I was able to buy a 25 caliber Star sizing die from Chris (Lathesmith)
The bullets drop at .252", and the sizing die I bought sizes to .251". I cast with something close to Lyman #2. And, lube with my home made "Best Lube". PM me if you want the recipe.
I needed some brass, and was able to secure a good amount of brass:
I bought a set of Lee carbide dies for 25 ACP
I then had an amazing moment that happens once in a while. One of the RSO's at my gun club was asking me about my reloading classes. He was interested in taking the class, but was having an issue with raising the $200 fee that I charge for the full day rifle and pistol class. While telling him about how much I reload, I mentioned that the smallest thing I reload is the 25 ACP, and that I was actively looking for a Beretta 21a pistol. That pistol was the only one that everyone seemed to indicate worked well with this cartridge. The RSO lit up, and had a big smile on his face. Turns out, he had a Beretta 21a, with some ammo, in the original box, paperwork and all. Would I be willing to trade it for my reloading class? Hmmm. DEAL! So, I now had something to really work with as a test platform.
I researched several discussions for loading this tiny thing. Thanks to all who provided guidance. I needed/wanted some self defense type bullets, so I could have some of those:
I acquired a bunch of Gold Dot bullets in a brass for bullets trade.
I assembled a bunch of test rounds in a single station press, and was pleased with the results. Both the cast boolits and the tactical bullets shot well, and the Beretta 21a worked like a Swiss watch.
Next step: Automate the assembly for my Dillon 550b press.
I did some research, and found that Dillon once made a conversion set for the 25 ACP. However, when the cartridge fell out of favor in the 80's they dropped this from their offerings. I am aware that the dial plate for the 25 ACP would also work with the somewhat recent 5.7 X 28 FN brass. So, while the 25 ACP isn't on Dillons radar, I hoped that they would have interest in the 5.7 X 28 needs. Not so.
I did find a company that makes a dial plate assembly for the 5.7's:
However, that doesn't supply me with the powder drop funnel for the 25 ACP.
I went on a search for a conversion kit.
(To be continued next post)