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Reloading .45acp Questions

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G'day Pards,

Been loading for WB using my Lyman Turret press, bit the 'bullet' so to speak and just ordered all the necessary Dillon parts to load on my XL650 as its just too tedious on the Lyman (loading for myself, wife, two sons and two daughter in laws) pretty pricey in Oz and its been a long time waiting for the gear to finally be in stock, but a large shipment has arrived from the U.S.

I've ordered Dillon .45acp dies as well, I've been using Lee dies on the Lyman.

Had a LOT of issues to start with, pistols are Ruger SR1911's and load is 3.9grs WST and 230grn pill.

A mate was casting and Hitek coating pills for me using a Lee 452-228-1R mould...I had to reduce the overall COAL a LOT so that the pistol would go into battery (even though rounds went into a Dillon case gauge).

Ended up using a Lee 452-230-2R and straight away issues went away and I could seat longer.

Using the Lee three die set I had to buy the Lee factory crimp die to get the rounds to chamber nicely, could feel the LFC really working as the rounds went in and out.

Will the Dillon .45acp dies be better than the Lee dies?

Always appreciate advice, thanks. 

Chrono results -


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I never have had a problem loading lead bullet .45 auto ammo for Wild Bunch with the Dillon dies that are properly adjusted.   IMHO - Don't seat bullet based on COL.   Seat to leave no part of the bullet shank (the full diameter section) sticking forward of the mouth of the case.  1911s have a VERY short, almost non-existent throat between chamber and rifling.  COL is so very dependent upon bullet shape, and it's not common to find the exact COL value published that YOUR gun will need.

Check your finished taper-crimp diameter - should be 0.470 to 0.472".  If larger, feeding will be funky.  If smaller, and you have buried the case mouth into the bullet during crimping, you have lost the headspace ledge on the cartridge (which is the mouth of the case).    So, be picky about the finished crimp.  

You should not need to worry about getting the case sized, but if you find some loaded rounds that won't chamber, and you know the bullet seating and crimping is right, check the diameter just ahead of the extractor groove.  If any of that is over 0.473" you have bulged base areas.  Lower than what most sizing dies will reach.  That can be fixed with a Lee bulge buster kit and that Lee FCD die that you already have.  I shoot a lot of range pickup cases, and it is amazing how about 20% of those cases have bulged bases from shooting hot loads and in non-supported or submachine gun chambers.  (But reloading Wild Bunch powder level cases I've previously reloaded - almost none ever have a fat base).  The Lee bulge buster provides a push-rod that pushes the .45 auto case completely through the Lee FCD carbide sizing ring, reducing case and extractor rim down to 0.473" and it cures any failure to chamber due to large bases.

Your load looks like it meets powder factor nicely.   It's kind of the standard load for a 230 grain slug in .45 auto.  Some loose guns need a tenth or 2 more powder to make it.

A loaded round checking gauge is very important to making highest quality .45 auto ammo, and it is so much easier than using a barrel that you have to remove from a gun.

good luck, GJ

Edited by Garrison Joe
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