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Thread: Wad or no wad for 45 acp shotshells?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Wad or no wad for 45 acp shotshells?

    Just picked up some 45 dies here from another member, thank you.

    I know the loads originally called for using a .410 wad. I've also seen people not use wads and load shot straight on the over powder wad.

    Just wondering who has loaded both ways and what was your experience.

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Patterns are much better with the .410 shot cup and then shot don't lead your barrel. Without the shot cup you get doughnut patterns with weak centers and a leaded barrel.
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  3. #3
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    Try two over powder cards. Works well with #9 shot to 10-12 feet. After that, pattern opens up too much. The problem with a shot cup is that it takes too much room in the case and the shot cup takes the rifling and leaves the barrel spinning, making for really bad patterns.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPRNY View Post
    Try two over powder cards. Works well with #9 shot to 10-12 feet. After that, pattern opens up too much. The problem with a shot cup is that it takes too much room in the case and the shot cup takes the rifling and leaves the barrel spinning, making for really bad patterns.
    That has not been my experience. In the .45 ACP in extensive firing tests I got better center density and effective bird and rabbit killing patterns to 20-25 ft, using the shot cup and was able to regularly break clay birds with them at skeet stations 1, 7 and 8, including doubles. I've been loading and shooting these for 40 years.

    The .410 shot cups are substantially smaller than .45 bore diameter and are spun less by the rifling than a full case of shot which contacts the bore.
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  5. #5
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    Our experience differs. Significantly.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPRNY View Post
    Our experience differs. Significantly.
    These patterns are in .44-40 rifle and .45 Colt revolver, rather than a .45 ACP, but assembled with the same load and components in the Starline 5 in 1 blank case.

    Attachment 212473Attachment 212474

    D1C repair center is 10 inches square with 4 inch inner ring and 8 inch outer.
    Large photo at left is pattern from Marlin 1894S .44-40 at 25 ft.
    Pair of patterns at right from .45 Ruger 4-5/8 Blackhawk at 15 ft. and 25 ft.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
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    With Winchester WAA410HS wads I get better patterns than any other method I have tried.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Thank you all for sharing your experience.

    I'll be making a trip to the store to buy some wads to test out the difference in my firearm.

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  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    I have only loaded mine using the WW410HS wads and #9 shot as that was the smallest I had. I was using the RCBS 45 Shotshell dies that I found at a gun show several years ago. Instead of trying to manufacture cases from 308 cases, I went ahead and bought some Starline 45 Win Mag cases and trimmed to length after sizing the cases. I had to tweak the length and powder charge to get reliable function in my 1911. I need to load up some more for “back forty” skeet.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Different caliber but i had cut .303 Brit cases as shot cases in my 44 magnum (revolver only ) and the initial loads leaded my bore terribly. I cured the problem and got better patterns by using a wood dowel to make two turns of wax paper around so it just fit in case mouth , the wax paper was folded over the dowel end dowel and paper placed in case and dowel removed. The wax paper cup in the case was then filled with shot to proper level extra wax paper pushed over shot and a thin cardboard wad put over and seated . My tests gave good consistent pattern from my model 29 and i had no more lead in rifling. I tried the same in 45-70 in my rifle oddly the pattern density was similar to the pistol but MUCH larger i forget the specifics i think pattern was six feet wide at 15 yards!
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check