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Thread: Looking for 45 ACP 185 gr swc load for Bullseye

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Looking for 45 ACP 185 gr swc load for Bullseye

    I'm looking for load data for a powder coated lead hollow base 185gr SWC over Alliant Bullseye that will reliably cycle a Government sized 1911 with an 18.5lbs recoil spring, but has minimal recoil. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    4.1 Grains of Bullseye

    and you can work up, if needed

    http://www.alliantpowder.com/reloade...1&cartridge=35
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Agreed. I use that powder charge in my 1911 with everything from 154 grain SWC to 230 RN.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    I use 3.5 of Bullseye with a Lyman 185 grain target wadcutter, but have to put in a light spring to get it to cycle reliably. (From memory I think a Gold Cup spring is 16 pounds instead of 18.5?)
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevH View Post
    I'm looking for load data for a powder coated lead hollow base 185gr SWC over Alliant Bullseye that will reliably cycle a Government sized 1911 with an 18.5lbs recoil spring, but has minimal recoil. Any suggestions?
    I just realized Alliant does not list Bullseye for 45 acp for a 185g

    From rcbs cast book # 1
    185g cast bullseye start 3.8g -685 fps to 4.3g -772 fps

    The 45acp is one of the easiest to load for

    Make a couple of dummy rounds and do a "plunk" test
    Go to
    ht tp://www.hodgdonreloading.com/data/pistol

    and Pick a powder you can make a few (make 5-10) and try

    if function is bad or cases are very black work up till you get good function and good accuracy
    Last edited by Ford SD; 01-31-2020 at 08:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The standard recoil spring for an M1911A1 service pistol is 16 pounds.

    The recoil spring in the Colt Gold Cup wadcutter gun was 14 pounds.

    I don't know why you are using an 18 pound spring?

    With the standard 16 pound service spring using the 190-grain H&G130 or 200-grain H&G 68 for 25 yards timed and rapid fire 4 grains of Bullseye, 452AA, TiteGroup or WST should cycle reliably.

    Using the 14 pound Gold Cup wadcutter spring you should be able to cut the charge to 3.5-3.8 grains of the above powders to reduce recoil if that is dersired, but my experience has been that the 4 grain charge is more accurate for 50 yards slow fire and shoots clean scores at 25 yards timed and rapid.

    Using an 18 pound spring for IPSC or IDPA to meet a power factor you will proably need 4.5 grains of these powders to cycle, and probably will need about 4.8 grains to meet velocity and power factor, depending upon the state of barrel wear how calibration is measured at your range.

    5 grains of any of those powders with a 200-grain H&G 68 is considered a full charge load and will reliably cycle the M1928 and M1A1 Thompson or M3 SMG with 230 LRN bullets such as #452374.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 02-01-2020 at 12:49 AM.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I like the 5 gr charge of Bullseye for both weights that I use(200 & 230). I’ve used it for decades but I’m not saying that anyone else should.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post

    I don't know why you are using an 18 pound spring?
    I'm a police officer and this is my duty gun. Our duty load is Federal 230gr HST which is on the hotter side. The gunsmith that built the gun for me years ago said to use an 18.5lbs spring and that's what I've always done and it has worked well for me for over a decade. I don't really want to change to anything else.

    I'm asking about the load because I developed tendonitis last year in my right arm and I'm looking for a lighter recoiling practice round rather than the normal 230gr ball I've always used. A few people had suggested the 185gr bullet so I bought a bunch. I also have a healthy supply of Bullseye sitting around.

    My goal is to have the lightest recoiling round that will still cycle the gun so I can practice without pain.

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I am not certain the 4.1 grains of Bullseye load will function with an 18.5lb spring. I also don't have a heavy spring to test so I can't help much.
    I know it runs in my 1911 with a 16lb spring and it runs in my Springfield XDm with stock springs.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    If I May submit my answer i will but if I may not I will delete it.
    Anytime you put a heavier recoil spring in a given autoloader it will be harder for the slide to be pushed back to the point that the gun will operate correctly. So, with that being said the powder charge may need to be boosted upward enough to get the slide to work correctly with the heavier spring compared to a gun with a lighter spring.
    But that is not the real question. The question is in a autoloader with an 18.5 lb spring with a given bullet requires, for example only, 4.3 grains of XYZ powder to fuction correctly and the same gun with a 16 lb spring requires 4.0 grains of the same powder with the same given bullet to operate correctly will the very slight difference in recoil actually make a difference? The difference will be so very slight I would have to say if it makes a difference I dont understand it. Not saying it doesnt but, I myself only, cannot see it. And I have shot every thing from loads that will drop cases just immediatly to my right to loads that are +P.
    But who am I to say? Hope I provided some practical help in looking at the situation.
    Last edited by 44MAG#1; 02-02-2020 at 10:07 AM.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Recoil sensitivity will be a very personal thing. The OP has tendonitis in his shooting arm so will be more sensitive than most.
    I, myself, have arthritis in my wrists and fingers. While it is a different deal than tendonitis, there is still some pain involved when a certain level of recoil is reached.
    I fully understand his quest for a low recoil load for his weapon so he can practice without pain.
    Pistols make their own rules. The only way to be certain a particular load will function in your pistol is to load a few and see if they work.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I can easily understand his problem. I try not to shoot any thing with heavy recoil very much as I dont want to cause any problems with myself. Keep in mind I must be careful on how I word anything so as not to cause misunderstanding and upset.
    But, dropping down to 185 gr will lessen recoil to begin with. Also dropping down in powder charge will help some also. All I was saying is, and as I said previously, I have shot loads from 3.5 to 4.0 gr of Bullseye to much heavier charges of other powders I gave found that .3 to .5 grains change in powder charge with a given powder and bullet to be very minimal at most. Probably to the point that if he is in that much pain in a very minimal recoil difference I would be going to a doctor or some joint specialist to check myself. My ex shooting buddy at one time had tendonitist and he started shooting left handed till he got over it. That may not be an option, I dont know.
    I was just giving an opinion of mine that was mine and mine only. That is probably all any of us can do as we are not the individual and we dont dont know all the particulars. Only what he revealed. It may be in his best interest to stop shooting anything with recoil for a while at least till he can get over it. No use to keep aggavating the problem no matter how little that may be.

    Quote Originally Posted by tazman View Post
    Recoil sensitivity will be a very personal thing. The OP has tendonitis in his shooting arm so will be more sensitive than most.
    I, myself, have arthritis in my wrists and fingers. While it is a different deal than tendonitis, there is still some pain involved when a certain level of recoil is reached.
    I fully understand his quest for a low recoil load for his weapon so he can practice without pain.
    Pistols make their own rules. The only way to be certain a particular load will function in your pistol is to load a few and see if they work.
    We Know Mass Cannot Be Weighed But It Has Newtonian Weight And That Is Derived From Kilograms And Kilograms Can Be Converted to Pounds. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed. But How is the kilograms obtained? Can Kilograms Be Weighed? Evidentally Yes It Can. But, Still Mass Cannot Be Weighed So Kilograms Must Not Exist. Funny Isn't It.
    One good thing out of this the next time I'm at the doctors and they want to weigh me I'll tell them mass cannot be weighed.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    For a duty gun with full pressure loads some do use 18.5 RS . I prefer to fit a small radius FPS & use a 16 RS . All that said my BE wadcutter guns these days have slide mounted 30mm UD & I use a 10 RS . A 185 with 3.9grs BE or 4.2grs WST will work just fine . Open sights or Bomar rib & 14 - 16 RS 4.0 -4.1grs BE . I'd start at 4.0 & bump charge .2grs at a time until you get functioning . The 160gr H&G S242 will function in my BE guns with 4.3grs BE @ 25yds , 50yds needs 4.5 to group , but @ 50 185 - 200gr works better . If only shooting short line a 200gr H&G 68 with 3.5grs BE will also function in my BE guns . Sorry not much help , no experience trying BE loads with a 18.5 RS .

  14. #14
    Boolit Bub 1006's Avatar
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    6.5 Bullseye with a 185SWC is the hottest load I have used in a 1911, but I used a 16 pound recoil spring and a compensated barrel.

    As others have said: just change the recoil spring.

    All of the springs need to be setup properly for the 1911 to run correctly with a given load. That includes the mag, hammer spring, and recoil springs. The radius on the bottom of the firing pin retainer also plays a role in the spring selection. Most factory 5 inch guns use 16pound recoil springs and everything else is setup around standard factory ammo. If you changed just your gun’s recoil spring to 18.5 pounds and changed nothing else, you have narrowed the range of your choices in standard type ammo.

    I believe that the 1911 can take more abuse when the slide travels aft and is stopped by the slide hitting the guide rod flange against the frame than it can when the slide travels forward and stops against the upper and lower barrel lugs. The heavier recoil often causes more problems than a lighter recoil spring. You just need enough spring to pull the bullet from the mag and chamber it.

    I understand the use of an 18.5 pound spring in a duty gun shooting full power duty ammo, with bag guys shooting back at you. So, no disrespect intended.

    Working with what you have: I would try 5.5 Bullseye, and see how it works. You can go up or down from there.
    Last edited by 1006; 02-02-2020 at 04:59 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44MAG#1 View Post
    My ex shooting buddy at one time had tendonitist and he started shooting left handed till he got over it. That may not be an option, I dont know.
    I was just giving an opinion of mine that was mine and mine only. That is probably all any of us can do as we are not the individual and we dont dont know all the particulars. Only what he revealed. It may be in his best interest to stop shooting anything with recoil for a while at least till he can get over it. No use to keep aggavating the problem no matter how little that may be.
    The opposite hand shooting is a good idea. Also the need not to aggravate the issue any more than necessary. Tendon/muscle damage can be hard to get over when you need to keep using the limb in question.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    In my old age, I too suffer joint diseases that makes shooting a .45 problematic. I bought an STI Trojan in 9mm and can shoot 2-3 times more rounds than a .45 before my body tells me to put it down. An added advantage is that a 9mm with a 12# recoil spring and light load is ideal for starting youngsters off on shooting full size guns.

  17. #17
    Boolit Bub
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    @tazman @44MAG#1

    Thanks for the replies guys. I went to the orthopedist in July and did the whole physical therapy thing. I'm almost back to normal now.

    Since taking nearly a year off from shooting any more than what the department mandated (I used to shoot at least every other week) I need to practice and get back to normal. I just want to go easy so I don't re-injure myself.

    I think I'm going to start with 4gr of Bullseye or Hogden Clays under a 185gr SWC and work it up or down from there. We will see what works.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Ouch, got a bad case of tendonitis that last for months when I started shooting 10m Air Pistol. Shorter practice times but upped in frequency got me through the worst of it.

    I run 18.5s in my builds as I get 2-2.5k out of a spring and re duces the possibility of a failure to return to battery on a duty gun. I also run a slightly larger ejector, (basicly an extended Wilson cut back to the rear of the mag well to I sure consistent ejection with alot of various ammo.

    If I were you, I'd pick up a lighter 14, 16 or both and work with those for practice with a shock buff then switch back to an 18.5 sans-serif the buff for work. The reason would be alittle smoother operation and less muzzle dip when returning to battery. I generally run a 230 LRN @ 850 but occasionally run the 200 H&G with 6.0 of 231.

    Got N assortment or 185s and 200 loaded up for the Gold Cup but just haven't had the time to focus on that pistol in a few years.

  19. #19
    The Army AMU and Marine Corps load is 4.1 - 4.3 gr. N310 under a 185 gr. Nosler or Zero JHP seated to 1.20 COL. Seems to work well in their guns.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I use the 452389 sized to 452 with 3.5 gr Bullseye. The 1911 runs flawlessly with the springs it came from the factory with.

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