TESTED with 45 ACP: Berry’s 185 grain HBRN Bullets

We recently showed Kyle Shields loading .45 ACP on the Dillon XL-750 with the Double Alpha Academy Click-Adjustable Powder Knob. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the bullet we used—Berry’s .45 ACP 185 grain hollow base round nose bullets


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About the Berry’s 185 grain HBRN

Berry’s 185 grain hollow base round nosed bullets are optimized for .45 ACP and are lower-recoiling than your typical 230 grain bullet.

The HBRN design helps the bullet to conform to the rifling for better accuracy. Use a taper or roll crimp with these bullets, but be careful not to over-crimp them as they are plated. Plating makes them more economical than copper-jacket bullets and a favorite among competitors.  The bullet OAL is 0.5860” with a max velocity of 1250 fps, making it ideal for subsonic loads. We planned to use a suppressor on the 1911, but had an issue with an O-ring in the piston. 

From Berry’s Mfg.

Berry’s Superior Plated Bullets® are the finest bonded copper-jacketed bullets available today. Starting with a swaged lead core, they are electroplated with copper to their final weight, leaving no lead exposure. They are then re-struck to precise specifications, ensuring a solid bond and providing consistency with every round. Indoor range safe and unbelievably accurate, Berry’s Superior Plated Bullets® are the choice of shooters everywhere.

Lab Measurements

To test consistency, we weighed a sample of 10 bullets and measured the diameter of each.

The average weight was 184.804 grain with a diameter of 0.4512”.

We were especially impressed with the diameter consistency and very happy with the weight consistency as well. 

.45 ACP Load

We loaded 185 grain Berry’s HBRN .45 caliber bullets over 5.9 grains of CFE-Pistol in new brass with a Winchester WLP Primer. COL was factory 1.235”. We used Hodgdon’s Reloading Data Center as a reference. 

Equipment Overview

Check out our .45 ACP loading video for an overview of the equipment we used! 

We added a few accessories to the Dillon XL-750, including a KMS Squared UFO press light.

Both guns we tested, a GLOCK 21 and 1911, functioned 100% with these rounds. 

Chronograph Results

The 1911 has a barrel about an inch longer than the GLOCK 21’s and this showed in the results.

Rounds through the 1911 averaged 791 fps while rounds through the GLOCK averaged 759 fps. 


Kyle and I loaded eight rounds in the 1911 and eight in the GLOCK for a friendly “competition” on steel targets with varying results.

Kyle still favored the 1911 with Hogue grips over the GLOCK.

I loved both guns. 


We were especially impressed with the consistency and quality of Berry’s 185 grain HBRN bullets. Berry’s also does a great job of keeping them in stock! Also stay tuned for my upcoming Cerakote and red dot install project on the police-trade-in GLOCK 21!  

Get the Gear

Berry’s .45 ACP 185 grain Hollow Base Round Nose Bullets from Midsouth Shooters Supply

Dillon XL-750

DAA Low Powder Sensor 

DAA Click Adjustable Powder Knob 

KMS Squared UFO Press Light

Inline Fabrication Ultramount – at InlineFabrication.com or Midsouth Shooters Supply

Hornady One Shot Case Lube 

PrimaFill from Double Alpha Academy

Hodgdon CFE Pistol from Midsouth Shooters Supply

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Gavin Gear

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