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Thread: New to loading 45 ACP SWC's...does this look right?

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    New to loading 45 ACP SWC's...does this look right?

    It's been a long time since I've reloaded anything and I never have reloaded SWC rounds in a semi auto.

    My friend gave me a Dillon 550B and I am trying to get it setup. I made this dummy round (no primer or powder) using a Bear Creek 185gr HBSWC 45 ACP round.

    This is what I have so far:





    Cartridge Overall Length is 1.220



    Crimp is right around 0.472 to 0.473 depending on how I rotate the round.

    They drop freely in and out of a Lyman case gauge.

    It'll feed in from a Wilson 47D in three different guns I tried them in if I slam the slide closed. It'll feed slowly into two different custom Colts without any issue, but jams in a stock Colt if fed slowly.

    Does it look right? Anything I need to adjust before adding powder and going to the range?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Take the barrels out of the guns in question and make sure the round fits correctly with no protrusion of the case above the barrel hood. If they do so load up a small batch and try them for live fire.

    I prefer the taper crimp to be less than .472” to ensure all mouth flare is removed.

  3. #3
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    Chamfer & deburr all cases BEFORE loading. That way there are no sharp edges to catch on Anything.

    Bullet depth looks good. Taper Crimp .472 is my way too.

    Do a "plunk test" on at least the first 5 out of each batch, I load in Batches of 50-100. If the first 5 "plunk" okay, you should be good to go.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master
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    These reloads need a good factory crimp otherwise you’ll have chambering issues. Order a Lee Factory Crimp Die. Key to a good crimp - run your finger over the crimp and if it is not smooth, need to tighten it
    Regards
    John

  5. #5
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    I've found the key to these SWC's is to expose only a 'fingernails thickness' there on that front drive band. In a chamber that has not been throated they will never give you any grief by not going 100% into battery.
    I like a .471" crimp because I think that gets me a wee-lil-bit better starting pressure and burn.
    Other than the case mouth prep already mentioned...they look just peachy!
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  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    UPDATE

    Well, I just lengthened the OAL to 1.226 and tightened the crimp to .470 and...what do you know...the dummy round feeds smoothly in everything.

    Now it's time to figure out what powder load works best.

    Thanks everyone.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Using Dillon dies I crimp to .469 because thats what my guns prefer. As far as powder goes, I use 4.0 grains of bullseye on 185 and 200's. That is a target load.

    Tony

  8. #8
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    I use W231 in 45ACP. I never shoot anything lighter than a 200gr LSWC, the 185 is basically a lightened LSWC so you can load it to mouse fart power level for target work only, and you usually have to set up the gun with a lighter recoil spring to tune it to the lightweight 185gr boolit. The 200gr loaded to normal power will cycle the slide with a stock recoil spring.

    AVOID the Lee factory crimp die with the carbide ring in the bottom. These will swage down the loaded boolit in the case making it .451" or less, so if you want to shoot a .452" which most would prefer, use a taper crimp die.

    Quote Originally Posted by KevH View Post
    UPDATE

    Well, I just lengthened the OAL to 1.226 and tightened the crimp to .470 and...what do you know...the dummy round feeds smoothly in everything.
    Now use a kinetic boolit puller and pull the boolit from the dummy and mic it. For example, crimping to .470" with brass that is .011" thick will only leave .448" inside the case if you do the math, so this will swage the boolit down below groove diameter and will promote severe leading, keyholing, and shotgun style patters at short range.

    In a perfect world, you'd like to pull a .452" and it mic .452" once pulled from the case, this way you know for sure you are presenting the boolit to the bore as intended, not sized down by the case and the crimp.
    Last edited by DougGuy; 02-10-2020 at 09:54 AM.
    Got a .22 .30 .32 .357 .38 .40 .41 .44 .45 .480 or .500 S&W cylinder that needs throat reaming? 9mm, 10mm/40S&W, 45 ACP pistol barrel that won't "plunk" your handloads? Shoot me a PM! Also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cylinderhone-756429174391912/

  9. #9
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    Now your going to get 100 different ideas on how much crimp to use and the finished OD. I use minimum crimp. I measure the OAL and then push the bullet against the side of a countertop and remeasure the OAL. If it moves slightly I apply more crimp. I then try out 5 or 6 in the magazine to make sure the bullet isn't hitting the magazine. Insert I run length slightly longer. I then remove the barrel from the gun and insert a round into the chamber and visually check the length to make sure the round isn't too long. The plunk test it chambers correctly. Never had a problem this way and it eliminates too much crimp and leading. To each his own.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I find OAL can be dictated by the gun, not the loading manual. I prefer a taper crimp for auto cartridges, just enough crimp to smooth the edge. I don't care for the Lee Factory Crimp for handgun cartridges as it might 'resize' your boolit. They Lee Factory Crimp works well for tube-feed rifle cartridges, not so much for the straight handgun rounds.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    Chamfer & deburr all cases BEFORE loading. That way there are no sharp edges to catch on Anything.
    Not going to happen on pistol brass. I've never seen the need for one and second I load them in 1000 round batches. If you want to sit around and chamfer and deburr 10000 9mm cases then good for you.
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  12. #12
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    I run Red Dot in my target loads for 200gr and under. One 8 LB keg will go a long ways.
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I shoot the a Lee 452-200 SWC that I milled the bevel off to make it a flat base, weighs @ 190 grs out of range lead (my favorite alloy). I use 3.1 grs of Bullseye but this is in a SA Range Officer set up with a 10# recoil spring and 19# hammer spring. This is a low recoil load that plays well with my arthritis. The same bullet in a standard RO needed between 4.0 and 4.5 grs of Bullseye to function reliably.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Just a thought on OAL. If you change bullets, expect a change in OAL. Even though the bullets are the same weight, one may have a flatter nose, a more tapered front section, etc. stick with one bullet from one supplier, and you won’t have this problem.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
    Just a thought on OAL. If you change bullets, expect a change in OAL. Even though the bullets are the same weight, one may have a flatter nose, a more tapered front section, etc. stick with one bullet from one supplier, and you won’t have this problem.
    There is a SWC seating part for the Dillon powder measure. It indexes on the shoulder and not the nose. Once it's set it will work any any SWC bullet you throw at it.

    http://www.uniquetek.com/product/T1561

    Of course you need Dillon dies to make it work.
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  16. #16
    Your load looks good from the pictures. You can seat them out a bit farther, say 1.24", and it may help out with feeding issues. I would recommend a tighter crimp - .467-.469". Those Bear Creek SWCHB area great bullet and very accurate. I use them in bullseye competition. The rosin coating makes them slippery, so the extra crimp helps you get a good powder burn. Try 3.8 gr. WST. WST is my "go to" powder for lead boolits, and N310 for jacketed.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Fingers View Post
    There is a SWC seating part for the Dillon powder measure. It indexes on the shoulder and not the nose. Once it's set it will work any any SWC bullet you throw at it.

    [url]http://www.uniquetek.com/product/T1561

    Of course you need Dillon dies to make it work.
    Good to know. I wasn't aware of those. Thanks.

    ETA: this is such a brilliant idea, I just ordered one. Thanks again.
    Last edited by scattershot; 02-10-2020 at 11:08 PM.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master Burnt Fingers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
    Good to know. I wasn't aware of those. Thanks.

    ETA: this is such a brilliant idea, I just ordered one. Thanks again.
    No problem. I'm a bit of a collector of odd bits. That Uniquetek site has cost me a lot of money over the years. I also have the custom powder funnels for the powder measures that act like Lyman M dies.
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  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonp View Post
    I run Red Dot in my target loads for 200gr and under. One 8 LB keg will go a long ways.
    What charge weight would you run for a 185gr SWC? I keep hearing that Red Dot is dirty at low charges. Is this your experience?

  20. #20
    Boolit Master scattershot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnt Fingers View Post
    No problem. I'm a bit of a collector of odd bits. That Uniquetek site has cost me a lot of money over the years. I also have the custom powder funnels for the powder measures that act like Lyman M dies.
    Another great idea! I can see that I’ll be spending time (and money) on that site, as well.
    "Experience is a series of non-fatal mistakes"


    Disarming is a mistake free people only get to make once...

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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