The good & the bad reloading 45 ACP brass question

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by Gary Wiant, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Gary Wiant

    Gary Wiant

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    I am going to be picking up my first 1911 - in 45 ACP and I typically reload for all my firearms so I wanted to get a head start on some brass & my daughter's boyfriend & i split 1000 once fired brass (mixed headstamp) and we sorted them out last night. We got more Winchester & Blazer then S&B, Federal & F C. As well as a few of other head stamps but these were the head stamps with enough to load with.

    My question is will I have issues reloading any of these brass?

    Does sorting pistol brass by headstamp make as much difference as it does in rifle reloading?

    I notice mainly on some of the Blazer brass looks like it is either small pistol primers or they are military primers?
    Thanks in advance
    Gary
     
  2. ebb

    ebb

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    Due to lead in the indoor ranges, manufacturers have made lead free primers, thus far to my knowledge they only make the lead free in small pistol primers. So unless you are very lucky some of the cases will be 45acp with small primer pockets. When priming cases and have the priming tool set up with large primers it is a brick wall when you try to prime a case with a small pocket. Sort them out and save them in a lot unto themselves. When you have enough you can load them also, or get rid of them so they don't get into the works with large primers.
     
  3. mr45man

    mr45man

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    Also, check the flash holes.
    I have found some Large primer with small flash holes
     
  4. joshb

    joshb Gold $$ Contributor

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    The only separation I do is the primer size. Don't bother with headstamp. The biggest problems with reloading the 45 is closing the mouth and bullet choice as it affects feeding. Be VERY persnickety when setting up your dies. Expand the mouth of the case as little as you can and still get the bullet seated without shaving. Then set up your seater/crimper die to "straighten" the case wall. If you leave the slightest flare, you'll have feeding issues. I mean the slightest "can't see it with my readers on" flare. They are easy and even fun to reload because it goes so much faster, BUT getting to the range and having feeding issues with your son and friends waiting to shoot is a bummer! Ask me how I know.
    I have one gun that hates semi wadcutters. It only likes roundnose bullets.
     
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  5. watercam

    watercam Silver $$ Contributor

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    I found that different brands require their own crimping setting. I sort by headstamp once the bullets are seated and set the crimp die for each brand. Other than that I have had no issues. When I am motivated I will drill flash holes to the same diameter but for blasting ammo I have not seen a huge difference there either. Take a look at 7gr. of 800-X powder with 230 gr. bullets - Ken Waters loved it and so do I.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  6. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie

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    I reload a lot of 45ACP. I use only the large primers although there is a movement towards the small. But the majority of brass that I pick up is all large so I stick with it.
    As for the 1911, this is my favorite gun. It can be finicky when it comes to cycling a round. I use the Rainier Leadsafe 230gr Round Nose. I have never had an issue with feeding and as they are plated, I don't have to worry about the range turning me away because of exposed lead. I have had issues with some of the flat nose and the special protection rounds.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/5...iber-451-diameter-230-grain-plated-round-nose

    For powder, my likes a lighter load than heavy. These kick enough as they are, but the lighter loads cycle just fine, have good accuracy out to 75 feet, and will allow you to come back on target much easier. Also, when I go to the range I fire between 100 and 200 rounds, so the lighter loads makes the day a little easier on the body.
    By the way, there is no crimp on these 45ACP the interference fit will hold the round in place just fine. Only the rounds with the crimp line require crimping.
    One thing that is important if you conceal carry this, every time you cycle a round into the pipe, the bullet will seat very slightly further into the case. We are talking thousand of an inch. This is not an issue as most people will fire that round and there is no big deal. But for those who carry, especially LEO, cycling the same round into the chamber, day in and day out can cause a compression of the powder. To get around this, I switch rounds that I cycle into the chamber so that it is a fresh load each time. Most of the time, I go from carry to the box without unloading as the protection is for personal and home, so it is not an issue.
    Just a FYI
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  7. NA Woody

    NA Woody Silver $$ Contributor

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    The most valuable tool I have found for loading 45acp or 9mm semi autos is the Wilson max cartridge gauge. Cost around $20. If your reloads drop into the gauge properly they will fit your chamber. Run every round through the gauge and your ammo will be much less likely to jam. They also make these gauges with multiple openings that will speed up the process if loading larger quantities.
    Good luck!
     
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  8. TIMO

    TIMO

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    All the brass is good, just clean and sort based on primer size and also inspect cases for damage if it is range pick up. All of my loads I run through a chamber checker to ensure they will chamber in my 1911's, (if you do not have one, remove your barrel and use it as a gauge). Bullet type and seating seating depth will also need to be addressed to ensure proper feeding. The powder I seem to always stick with is Winchester 231, works well with a variety of bullets.
    Hope this helps a little

    Tim
     
  9. Steve Ladino

    Steve Ladino Silver $$ Contributor

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    The 1911 is a Great choice.....different headstamps do not matter although some brass (IMI) in particular is a little hard. Taper crimp dies are a good choice for eliminating the flare on the case mouth which can cause failure to chamber issues.. Metal Form magazines are a very good option for wadcutter's or round nose's. To get reliable function the .45 ACP / 1911 needs to be stiff armed. The most authoritative and complete gunsmithing / ammo dimentions with excellent picture illustrations on the .45ACP 1911 is by Jerry Kunhausen.
     
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  10. watercam

    watercam Silver $$ Contributor

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    By saying that cycling the action pushes bullets deeper should tell you that they do, in fact, need a taper crimp. Pushing the bullet deeper reduces case capacity and potentially increases pressure thus negating your light load a bit. Just sayin'. If the AMU crimps (and they do) then I do as well.
     
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  11. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie

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    This is an issue with factory rounds and hand loads. Only rounds with the crimping band should be crimped.
     
  12. 2506

    2506

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    You only use a taper crimp with 45 ACP. The best thing I have come across to stop all my functioning problems was to get a Lee Factory Crimp Die. After the rounds are loaded you use this die and it puts everything into the proper speck and my malfunctioning problems went away.
     
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  13. texasbilly

    texasbilly

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    Everything others have said are good. The only thing that I would add is for you to stick with Remington, Winchester, Federal, and Military brass (with large primers). Avoid, trade, or toss Blaser, S&B, and odd foreign brass. Avoid steel brass.
    Best wishes for happy reloading.
     
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  14. divingin

    divingin

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    I toss all the small primer stuff (or give it to a friend who stockpiles it for later.)

    The only brass I have had problems with is S&B. Seems they like *really* tight primers - tight enough that it's really hard to seat into them on my Hornady AP.

    I've gone to Starline exclusively for my bullseye ammo, but use mixed brass for plinking and the odd times I shoot the comp gun.
     
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  15. riflewoman

    riflewoman

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    I would only separate the large and small primers (some Blazer and some Winchester) and load it all up. Only Bullseye shooters need to segregate by make and even then only for 50 yard line. A good light load that usually functions well is 4.2 of Bullseye powder and a 200 grain cast lead SWC.
     
  16. Zero333

    Zero333 Gold $$ Contributor

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    If you're shooting for groups then sorting brass will help a little (if you're a good shot to begin with), and only beyond 15 yards.
    For practicing drills it's a huge waste of time to sort brass, besides the obvious sorting by primer pocket size.

    I do emphasize on checking the once fired brass over very well. I've found some that would of been dangerous to shoot.
     
  17. mikehotel

    mikehotel

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    I've reloaded a lot of 45ACP. Throw the small primer stuff away.
     
  18. Twoboxer

    Twoboxer Silver $$ Contributor

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    IME the 1911 can be more fussy about COL depending on the bullet profile. For me it has been best to make a few dummy rounds and manually test cycling before making any rounds for load testing.

    Before I started reloading for 45ACP, I had bought a case or factory Blazer Brass rounds . . . and saved the brass. So I wound up with 1,000 once-fired small primer cases. Learned two things: Blazer brass is good brass, and I don't have to change the primer mechanism when switching from 380 or 9mm :)

    Even now, buying new brass and that first reload with 230gr PRN would cost about the same as buying factory Blazer Brass ammo and shooting it. Plus I know where the brass came from, and how many firings it has: One.
     
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  19. dttheliman

    dttheliman

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    Headstamp ... don't care - small primer chuck the in a box when you get a couple of hundred load them / shoot the and ditch them - any large pistol primer - buy xtreme 230 rn in bulk - 5.0gr titegroup - the lee factory crimp die (its a taper) + your favorite pistol dies (hornady work for me) and a case gauge check your oal is right (1911's are fussyish with oal) check each loaded round drops into the gauge and go shoot until your arms are sore. - .45acp and 9mm are the easiest rounds ever to load for - its a once a year job for me 2000 of each and I am done for the year - have fun and remember with titegroup and some other powders you can easily double or triple charge the casing.
     
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  20. Geronimo Jim

    Geronimo Jim Gold $$ Contributor

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    ANother member here to advise you to get a case gauge to check your rounds!
     

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