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Thread: Casting for 45ACP - Jumping in

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

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    Casting for 45ACP - Jumping in

    A few months back, I came to CB looking for buckshot casting information. I got a lot of great advice and have made this a regular hangout.

    With the recent acquisition of another 45ACP pistol (Baby Desert Eagle) I have started looking into casting 45ACP bullets. The family of a friend at work casts and shoots a lot. He was recently telling me of how they powder coat bullets and had found that the PC remained intact after firing based on recovered bullets in their sand trap. It apparently handles the grooves of the rifling quite well. Leading of the barrel was a concern.

    So, with .451 plate bullets running close to 20 cents apiece, I am moving into the bullet casting realm.

    The 2 molds of interest are. I am leaning to the 230 grain mold as my defense reloads are 230 XTP.
    90310 - 6 Cavity Mold 452-200-SWC
    90289 - 6 Cavity Mold 452-230-TC
    90350 - 6 Cavity Mold TL452-230-2R (Micro Band)

    For faster velocities and higher pressures, it sounds like gas checks are mandatory but I am not sure if they are needed for 45ACP pressures and velocities.

    Of course I will get a sizing die as well as wax to get started.

    Anything else that I should keep in mind?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Ozark mike's Avatar
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    Id forget about gc for that cartridge just a waste of money and time. Get a case trimmer and watch out for the roll crimp
    Those who would trade freedom for safety deserves neither and will lose both

  3. #3
    Boolit Master daloper's Avatar
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    My favorite mold for my 45 ACP is the Lyman 452460. That is a good 200 gr mold. My Rock Island loves that one. PC them and you are good to go.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I cast both the 200 swc and 230TC for my 1911. The swc get used in light loads for paper punching and the 230 for more serious work. My barrel has been throated so I can seat them out a bit. Both shoot great.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I don't powder coat, size and lube the old way. Have used the Lyman 452460 and now use the Lee 452-200 SWC and both shot well in several SA 1911's. Some 1911's don't like to feed the SWC design but the only way to know is to try them, but have not seen any reports that the 452-230 TC had feeding issues. Almost any alloy will work in the 45 ACP, have used range lead, COWW, COWW with 1% tin, and an alloy that approximates COWW + 1% tin, all with good results. COL and crimp can be an issue so you may need to experiment a bit.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Thumbcocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daloper View Post
    My favorite mold for my 45 ACP is the Lyman 452460. That is a good 200 gr mold. My Rock Island loves that one. PC them and you are good to go.
    Plus one on this mold. Shoots well in every .45 acp I have tried it in.
    You'll go far providin' you ain't burnt alive or scalped."

    Will Geer as Bear Claw in "Jeramiah Johnson"

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    The tl452-230-2r microband is what I switched to for powdercoating and how the nose steps down allows perfect function regardless of coating thickness. I had woes with powdercoating the 452-200-rf. But greased was a fine boolit.

    I also have the 452-200swc but I havent loaded any. I can send ya a sampling if you wish of these 3 designes.

    I dont gas check, nor ever needed to trim my cases. I also get my best groups with titegroup. Ymmv.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm not familiar with the Baby Desert Eagle. I owned a .357 Eagle way back when, and was under the impression then that cast bullets through it were not a good idea. I recently read another thread here where it was again stressed not to use cast in the DE, but I believe that was discussing the standard DE. Basically, the concern is lead buildup in the gas port that could leave the gun unable to cycle and no reasonable means of removing the lead.

    Is this still a problem with the Baby DE, or is the design different enough to allow the gun to use cast regularly? If so, I may be in the market for one. I realize that harder alloys might minimize the problem, but I wouldn't shoot cast if there's a fair chance that it's going to mung up the gun.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Ozark mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BamaNapper View Post
    I'm not familiar with the Baby Desert Eagle. I owned a .357 Eagle way back when, and was under the impression then that cast bullets through it were not a good idea. I recently read another thread here where it was again stressed not to use cast in the DE, but I believe that was discussing the standard DE. Basically, the concern is lead buildup in the gas port that could leave the gun unable to cycle and no reasonable means of removing the lead.

    Is this still a problem with the Baby DE, or is the design different enough to allow the gun to use cast regularly? If so, I may be in the market for one. I realize that harder alloys might minimize the problem, but I wouldn't shoot cast if there's a fair chance that it's going to mung up the gun.
    Use a gas check if you experience lead buildup
    Those who would trade freedom for safety deserves neither and will lose both

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I never GC any pistol rounds (except mabe in the past) for my 44MAG. Even with no GC's, I get no leading because I PC everything.

    I really do not see need for a GC on a little ole 45 ACP hand gun round unless you do not have the proper fit to the barrel and get leading.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    When a new reloader/caster is starting on a new undertaking, I suggest a tried and true load/bullet for starters. My first 45 ACP bullet was the Lyman 452374, 225 gr. LRN. Many loads/powders listed and this bullet is easy to cast and feeds quite well in my 3, 45 ACP guns. The key to good shooting cast bullets is bullet to gun fit and a decent lube. I have my "Mystery Metal" for general casting and at a BHN of around 12 they shoot quire well, no need for anything harder. I have branched out to other designs my second, favorite is a H&G 68 clone running close to 200 gr with my MM (but one of my guns won't digest it consistently)...

    Powder coating is fine, but for my 45 ACP guns/handloads is of very little advantage, just cleaner handling (but they are purdy!). I get very little leading, good accuracy and acceptable velocities with my nekkid cast boolits...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bakerjw View Post
    A few months back, I came to CB looking for buckshot casting information. I got a lot of great advice and have made this a regular hangout.

    With the recent acquisition of another 45ACP pistol (Baby Desert Eagle) I have started looking into casting 45ACP bullets. The family of a friend at work casts and shoots a lot. He was recently telling me of how they powder coat bullets and had found that the PC remained intact after firing based on recovered bullets in their sand trap. It apparently handles the grooves of the rifling quite well. Leading of the barrel was a concern.

    So, with .451 plate bullets running close to 20 cents apiece, I am moving into the bullet casting realm.

    The 2 molds of interest are. I am leaning to the 230 grain mold as my defense reloads are 230 XTP.
    90310 - 6 Cavity Mold 452-200-SWC
    90289 - 6 Cavity Mold 452-230-TC
    90350 - 6 Cavity Mold TL452-230-2R (Micro Band)

    For faster velocities and higher pressures, it sounds like gas checks are mandatory but I am not sure if they are needed for 45ACP pressures and velocities.

    Of course I will get a sizing die as well as wax to get started.

    Anything else that I should keep in mind?
    Not sure how the BE feeds so I would go RN design.
    No gc are not required for most handgun loads, even magnums. Alloy & size & lube take care of most leading issues.
    If you are going to size, 0.452" is the minimum.
    EVERY GOOD SHOOTER NEEDS TO BE A HANDLOADER.
    NRA Cert. Inst. Met. Reloading & Basic Pistol

  13. #13
    I just recently bought the 6 cavity Lee 230TC mold. I don't PC so I got the one with the lube groove. If I were to PC I'd use the tumble lube mold. It feeds great through my Springfield 1911, as do 200gr XTP's and this mold has almost the exact profile of the XTP. I also size to .452". I use a fairly soft alloy and I have run up to 1400fps with this alloy(in other cartridges) without any leading issues. With a hard alloy you should be fine up to around 1600fps without a GC. A .45acp carbine won't even get that fast with a 200-230gr bullet so your fine with your pistol and no GC.

    Take your time, read alot, and enjoy!

    CS

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    The 200 SWC and 230 RNs have been a favorite since back when Moby Dick was a minnow.

    For what you want from them, I'd lean towards the 200 TC-SWC, powder coat, forget the gas checks, and be happy.
    FAIR WARNING:
    As often as not, I offer sarcasm rather than advice.

    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    I agree that 45 ACP does not need a gas check, just a slow low pressure cartridge that really doesn't need it. First mold was a Lee 452-228 1R which was lubed with Javalina. Funny how I now have more 45 molds than any other caliber, even though my favorite is the first. Tried the Lee 45-200 SWC and shot it some, but went back to the RN. I have a Lee 450-200 1R for my 1858 Rem copy which is a tapered conical. The boolit casts fat at .452 and so shoots well in the SA 1911. I also found a Lee 450-1R HP mold which had sat on a shelf in a 'mountain man' BP store. The price tag was from the mid 1970s, and I was told by the store owner it sat there on the shelf about 10 years. It also casts fat and shoots well in the 1911.

    Some years ago, I picked up a 45 Colt carbine and so picked up some more molds. Still, I had to try the carbine with some 'hot 200 RN' with plain based gas checks. Those soda can checks were perfect for the slightly tapered conical boolits. They were zinging out of the 20" carbine using loads intended for Ruger SBH or Contender barrels. Then I started ASBBPC and haven't lubed a boolit since. They still zing without leading.

    I also played with loading 452 RB boolits in the 45 ACP. the 1911 fed and fired them reliably. The most fun has been loading the RBs in the 45 Colt, fired from an Old Model Ruger Vaquero, and the carbine. Mouse poot loads gave me 900 FPS out of the carbine that hit to the sights at 100 yards with surprising authority. Quiet like a 22lr, and hit like a hammer. Soft RBs destroy wooden grading stakes and punch 1" holes in the side of a 1950s era car body, you know, when they were made of thicker steel. Tumble PCd RBs do not lead, period. I wonder what they would do with more velocity . . . another range day in the future.
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  16. #16
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    90310 - 6 Cavity Mold 452-200-SWC will fit in most guns, is very accurate and hits hard -- 200 grain SWC = flat tip

    Unless you recover all your lead the 200 is less lead to throw away

    I cast 45 ACP between 8-10 bhn

    all the 45's I've been around size at .452

    I PC everything, didn't want have a lube for all weather conditions, gunk up my dies and worry about leaving lube on the base that could cause a squib

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I’d go for the 200 grain SWC. It’s probably the most common 45 ACP style out there. Load data and related reloading advice will be easy to find.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Gas checks are not required ... unless you are loading hot-hot-hot ...then go J-word.

    200 grains is a good all around weight .

    I like SWC or Truncated Cone profile .

    Lee #452-200-SWC would be a good place to start . Next I would get Lee #452-230-TC if you want a 230 grain boolit . I shoot way more 200 grain boolits than 230 grain ... in fact I don't remember the last time I loaded any 230 gr. loads ...seems like the 200 SWC does it all .

    I don't care for the tumble lube micro groove designs ... to me the conventional lube groove work better and they can be tumble lubed , pressure lubed or coated as you like .
    I lube all my boolits with a Lyman Lube/sizer with Lithi-Bee soft lube . size them .452" .

    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy

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    I personally use the 200gr SWC , powder coated , 5.5 gr Win. 231/HP38 my Kimbers like an over all length of 1.250 . Have casted and shot many thousands of these in competition and for fun . Good luck and enjoy !
    Keep your powder dry and watch your six !!

  20. #20
    I would like to know if any of you are casting 45 with the LEE TC mold and not having to size?

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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