Posts Tagged ‘45acp’

Pistol Brass Prep Basics

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Anyone who’s reloading needs to think about brass prep. It’s kind of like prepping your car before a paint job- if you don’t take the time to do prep right, you will not get the desired result. The first step is getting your hands on some brass. You can buy new brass, buy once-fired brass, pick up brass at the range, or shoot factory ammunition and save the brass. Unless you’re reloading brand new factory brass, you’ll need to prep the brass. This post will give you a 411 on that process.

Let’s get this sorted out…

One of the first things you’ll need to consider for brass prep is inspecting and sorting your brass. If you have a bag of once-fired 9mm brass, this includes taking out all of the 380 auto that might be mixed in. You don’t want that 380 auto getting lodged in your sizing die (rim doesn’t catch on shellplate in that case :) ). At this time, you’ll likely separate nickel plated brass from bare brass, and also look for damaged brass. If you’re picky (or loading for competition) at this time you may also sort by headstamp.

Make sure it’s Clean

In order to ensure that you don’t scratch your dies, and to avoid a mess, you’ll need to start by cleaning the brass. There are several ways to get this job done including vibratrory tumblers (shakers), wet tumblers, and ultrasonic cleaners to name a few. When you’re done with this step, your brass will be ready for lube.

Lube Job

Case lube for pistol loads is required if you are not using a carbide sizer die. But what about case lube when you are using carbide sizing dies? I tend to use case lube on all pistol loads. Light film lube (like Hornady One-Shot) does not require much effort or post-loading cleanup, and it does make the press operate more smoothly. A smooth press is a happy press, and it allows the operator to “feel” when something goes wrong more easily.

Other prep steps

There are some other brass prep steps that can be performed for pistol brass, but these are not usually required. These additional steps include:

  • Depriming and cleaning primer pockets
  • Trimming brass
  • Removing primer pocket crimp (for military brass)

Tips

Like most reloading tasks, brass prep is a personal thing. What one shooter finds important will not necessarily be important to another shooter. Enjoying brass prep is all about workflow for me. Here are some tips that will help you be an efficient brass prepper:

  1. Bag up your brass at the range and label it. This will help you decipher what is what when you get home.
  2. Tumble brass in separate lots if needed. I have a bulk quantity of Starline 357 Magnum brass, and a bulk quantity of mixed headstamp 357 magnum brass. I keep these bagged separately and tumble them in separate lots to avoid the need for sorting after the cleaning process. This saves me time.
  3. When sorting/inspecting, make yourself comfortable. I tend to sit on the couch with my bags of brass and some Akro bins while sorting. My wife appreciates it when I put a towel in the bins so that the plinking sound is minimized when I toss them in. :)
  4. Store your brass in clearly labeled bins that stack. Partially transparent bins can be helpful so that you can see how much brass is in each bin. It’s like a quick-glance visual inventory system. If you have special notes for a bin of brass, write it on a piece of paper and place it on top of the brass (lubed, trimmed, etc).
  5. Stage your brass prep. I tend to save up lots and do bulk quantities of cleaning, sorting, etc. This can help increase your efficiency.

How about you? Do you have tips or techniques to share? Please drop a comment!

Thanks,
Gavin

45 ACP “Pet Loads” – Please Share Yours!

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Recently, I solicited your ideas for and eBook that I’m working on related to 45 ACP reloading. I got a lot of great ideas, and appreciate your feedback! Now, I’d like to ask you all a pointed question: what are your favorite “pet loads” for 45 ACP? Why are these your favorite loads? What is the application (defense, training, competition, etc)?

I shoot 45 ACP mostly in my 1911 (Standard 5″ barrel). Some of the considerations that I like to focus on are: Accuracy, shootability, powder metering, and also “standard charge” loads are a plus. What is a “standard charge” load? This is the ability to use a single powder and charge weight for multiple cartridges and loads. In fact, I have a Winchester W-231 powder charge that I can use in 9mm, 38 Special, 44 Special, and 45 ACP! It shoots well in all these applications, meters very well in my progressive powder measures, and for that reason it’s my favorite 45 ACP load!

Gavin’s “standard charge” load for 45 ACP: (use load data at your own risk)

  • Hornady XTP 230 grain jacketed hollow point bullet
  • 4.3 grains Winchester W-231
  • Winchester WLP primer

*Note that a 4.3 grain charge is below the Hornady manual’s recommendation of 5.0 grains starting, so you should validate that this charge is sufficient if loading for an automatic pistol

So what’s your favorite? Please leave your name and location (State, City) and perhaps I’ll use your load in the eBook!

Thanks,
Gavin

 

UR Essential 45 ACP Loading Guide – Need your feedback!

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Hello all- I wanted to let you know about a project that I’m working on. My first eBook! That’s right- in conjunction with Northwest Gun Magazine, I’m putting together a 45 ACP reloading guide book. The idea is to distill for the reader/loader all of the essential information about reloading 45 ACP. This won’t be a guide on “how to load pistol ammo”, but rather a condensed guide for a single cartridge: 45 ACP.

Here’s what I’m planning to include:

  1. Load data!
  2. Cartridge specs
  3. 45 ACP reloading equipment summary (shellholder/shellplate reference, dies and die sets, etc) – both a buyer’s reference and a reference for equipment setup
  4. Powders and powder selection – relative to barrel length and desired application
  5. Bullets and bullet selection
  6. Special considerations (defensive ammo, etc)

What do you guys think? What would you add to this list? Please leave your suggestions as comments!

Thanks,
Gavin

Cool 1911 Animation – Learn how it works!

Monday, November 28th, 2011

There are a lot of great resources available online related to firearms. During a detail strip of my 1911 pistol recently, I found this cool animation that shows how the 1911 pistol functions. The cool thing about it is that you can choose what parts of the pistol are visible, and even toggle some to be partially transparent. This kind of visualization is VERY helpful when learning about such a piece of machinery!

Animation by STI international on m1911.org showing internals of 1911 in action (click to see on m1911.org)

You can see this animation in action HERE at m1911.org. One of the interesting things to note when you watch it is how the link lowers/disengages the barrel *after* the bullet leaves the barrel. This is how you can have a very accurate semi-automatic pistol without a fixed barrel.

There you go- if a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s an animation worth? :)

-Gavin

45 ACP Progressive Reloader Roundup

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Hello all- In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Colt 1911 pistol, I thought I would put together a post that showcases various progressive reloading presses cranking out 45 ACP ammo! This caliber is very versatile, and continues to be a favorite for both target shooters, law enforcement, and self defense. There are plenty more resources related to 45 ACP here on UltimateReloader, but this will give you a taste of loading this great cartridge on popular equipment!

Loading 45 ACP on the Hornady Lock-N-Load with the Hornady Bullet Feeder

Loading 45 ACP on the RCBS Pro-2000 with the RCBS bullet feeder

Loading 45 ACP on the Dillon XL-650

Loading 45 ACP on the Lee Loadmaster

Here, we see everything from a 4-station steup with hardcast lead bullets on the Lee Loadmaster, to loading jacketed bullets on progressive reloaders with bullet feeder attachments. There’s definately more than one way to load 45 ACP ammo, and each system has its strengths and weaknesses! (just like any type of machinery). Got a favorite 45ACP loading setup that you’d like to share? Please post a comment!

Thanks,
Gavin