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Thread: Loading 45ACP

  1. #1
    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Default Loading 45ACP

    Ok fella's, I done some horse tradin and got me a set of 45ACP dies and thought I would load a few since ammo has been a bit scarce...

    I loaded 10 rounds for a trial run and had some function issues in a glock that usually eats everything!
    I could not get them to feed, eject, and most took more than one strike to fire the primer.
    Here is my data : good clean once fired cases, WLP primers, 6.0 gr Universal pdr, 185grn HP bullets... COL 1.25 / 900fps
    My thoughts are I over crimped them thus allowing them to go to far into the barrel causing light primer strikes, not exactlty sure why that would cause ejection problems unless depth was so far the extractor could not get a good hold?
    I had 3 diff manuals all calling for diff COLs for this bullet from 1.16 - 1.22 - 1.27 good grief!
    Any thoughts before I try another batch? I was runiing the case completely into the die which I think is too much taper and crimp. Still learning on these taper boolits...
    I woulda called old EKC, but he woulda razzed me and called me a Gomer!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member .338-06's Avatar
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    .45 acp, like a lot of auto rounds headspaces on the case mouth. I'm sure you've heard this and the way you're going, cranking back on the crimp, is what I'd try. The different COLs are dependent bullet shape/feeding issues. If your thumb nail can catch on the case mouth, it should work in your gun.
    I may be slow, but I get where I'm going!

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by .338-06 View Post
    .45 acp, like a lot of auto rounds headspaces on the case mouth. I'm sure you've heard this and the way you're going, cranking back on the crimp, is what I'd try. The different COLs are dependent bullet shape/feeding issues. If your thumb nail can catch on the case mouth, it should work in your gun.
    Thanks 338-06, I am with you. I got the dies without any instruction booklet, but since I have loaded tons of other type rounds without a taper I figured I could wing it and then ask for help if I hit a snag. I bought the bullets from a retailer and they were generic in a bag so had to reference diff manuals and take my best guess for a starting point.
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member Ryan J's Avatar
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    Probably what .338-06 said. I use the Lee FCD very lightly and that works well. I've also had to play around with bullet seating depth as well. I had one load that was jamming onto the lands even though the book said COL was good. I'm assuming once fired brass is still where it needs to be for case length.

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    Member JoeJ's Avatar
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    I take it you only have the resize, expander and seat dies??

    If so, remove the expander plug, if you can, polish down the plug until only the belling portion touches the case - this will give the greatest amount of case tension to the bullet.

    You really don't need to crimp but it doesn't hurt anything - just taper crimp to take the slight bell from your case when seating the bullet - measurement at the tip of the case mouth, should be 0.468 to 0.471, with 0.468 being the tightest taper crimp you want and 0.471 basically having no taper crimp.

    Try an OAL of 1.200 - I would think that would work in a Glock but do a plunk test just to be sure.

    If your striker spring is getting weak, which is a remote possibility, switch over to federal primers and see if that cures the primer problem - if it does, your striker spring needs replacing.

    As for the ejection problem - When using commerical ammo - do you have the same ejection problems? If not, try going up on the powder a tad and that should solve the problem, as you might have a strong recoil spring, which some Glock 21's have and they need a little more pressure to work the slide with 185 and 200 grain cast/plated bullets. Some go to an aftermarket rod guide with a 15# spring for reliable slide function when using 185 grain reloads and that setup seems to feed 185's without a hitch. Good Luck.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Thanks Joe,
    I have a 3 die Lee set and the expander die is also a powder thru die.... The Glock has only had maybe 200 rounds thru it ( all factory ) and they all functioned fine. I considered the chg/bullet weight may also be a bit of the ejection issue but at 900 fps it should be enough energy to do the job...
    I see you mentioned cast bullets - I thought that was a no no for glocks due to the rifleing? I will build a few more this weekend and report back! Gotta take a youth on his first turkey hunt so may not get much range time, and gotta plant some more garden!
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    The 45acp Glocks will usually handle cast without problems. Crimp just enough to remove any belling and then no more than half the thickness of the case mouth and it should head space properly. As far as oal, just make sure the bullet is not ramming into the leade and it will still fit in the magazine. 6grs of universal is a fair load and should operate things nicely.

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    Member JoeJ's Avatar
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    Smokey – There’s a few Glock 21’s out there that have really strong recoil springs and unless you’re reloading 230 grain at 850/900 fps the slide just doesn’t seem to perform adequately with 185/200 grain bullets unless you really push them. I don’t know the reason for it but I’ve seen it in 2 out of 3 Glocks that I’ve reloaded for and they all had more than 500 rounds down the pipe. With those two I couldn’t get a 185 grain plated (Berry’s bullets) to work the slide adequately with 5.2 , 5.4, 5.6 grains of WW231 and those loads work great in about any 1911 out there. Now one Glock shot 5.8 grains of WW231 while the other wasn’t reliable until I went 6.0 grains of WW231.

    All three Glock’s worked just fine with VV N310 – maybe the burn rate has something to do with it, as N310 is very fast. Going with an aftermarket rod guide and different weight springs solves a lot of problems quickly and changing out springs is a snap (lighter or heavier) but you probably want to use 222 locktite as opposed to the “blue” locktite, as the purple works great and always comes loose with a little pressure using a screwdriver, but the blue usually takes a little heat to break loose with small screws.

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    Dont forget to remember that you are using a pretty light boolit for a 45acp. I usually run 230gr lead boolits at almost 900fps which equates to a little more recoil due to the powder building a slight amount more pressure to achieve that speed but still within spec. Last time I was running 185gr boolits I had to push them to 1000fps to get reliable ejection from my 1911. With lead it helps to have a lee push thru sizing die to run the boolits thru. Alot of commercial loaded boolits will not all be the same exact size. I bought some bulk lead a while ago and they were anywhere from .450 to .454 which isnt helpful to a reloader. I pitched the smaller diameters as my gun like .452 to .453 so I sized them all .452 with a lee push thru sizer and that made a huge difference. I cast my own now so its a none issue as I check each one. You may have to switch to a different powder. Also your load is under suggested starting load which is not good. Hodgdon suggest 6.5Gr as a starting load for the 185gr boolit and 7.2 as a max load for 993fps at max load. I would say the ejection problem is your load is under what it needs to be to function properly.

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    Smokey...you're getting lots of good responses to your situation.

    I would start simple and assume you're putting too much crimp on the case mouth. Back off the crimp a bit and try it again. I use a LFCD, which works great...but I use a very light crimp just to keep the bullet in place and I have no problems. However, the bullet, powder, and charge combo I use has the bullet resting pretty much at the powder level (spherical/ball) when fully seated, so no bullet pushback to worry about when feeding.

    I run 45acp through my Dillion with 7.7 grns of AA#5 and Magtech 230 FMJ's seated to 1.244 +/-.001 OAL. I'm shooting a 1911 and my son shoots a Sig...I'm not a Glock fan, but they are bomb-proof for sure.

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    Member Smokey's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys for the tips. I loaded 5 rounds to very tight specs last night and think the too tight of sizing was the main issue. Will test them out asap.
    The powder is Clays Universal and 6.4 is the max for that load I have found, I loaded 3 at 6.0 and 2 at 6.4 to test...
    Spring has hit here so busy in garden, got some plot farming to do and may be a couple days before I get a chance to reply. To top it off it is time for the 10 year space exploration to "Uranus" this week and had a few routine tests run first and Dr said EKG showed I had had a heart attack and 2 partial blocked arteries - so may be in for some down time soon??? Good Grief...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Good luck to you Smokey...sounds like you're keeping up with your routine health care, which is a good thing. Have a safe "trip", although you'll sleep all the way there (the work is in the packing for the trip...correction, that should be "unpacking").

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