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Posted: 6/18/2002 10:07:31 AM EDT
I am about to buy a lee progressive press, a set of .45 dies (4), a tumbler, 1000 CCI primers, and some powder. Since I have never reloaded, Im not sure what kind of powder works best for .45. Any suggestions. Also, I assumed I need "Large Pistol Primer"? Does this sound like everything an amateur needs to start off?

BTW, Midsouth Shooters Supply has some good prices on this stuff from what I can tell.

Link Posted: 6/18/2002 10:11:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2002 10:16:07 AM EDT by ken_mays]
You'll want to pick up a set of dial calipers to measure, among other things, the crimp on your case when you're adjusting dies. You can easily make do with a $20 imported set.

How about a powder scale? The digital scales are much easier and faster to use than the balance beam type.

If you don't have a reloading manual, I suggest getting the Lyman one. The Lee dies come with load data, but you may find that the data doesn't include the bullet or powder you have. The Lyman manual is good because it has plenty of bullet and powder combinations, and it will give you a good set of reloading instructions as well. The Speer manual is also good. Buy them both, they have slightly different load data.

A hammer type bullet puller will allow you to recycle components when you make mistakes.

Large pistol primer is correct. I like Hodgdon's Clays for .45, but I don't really have a favorite.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 10:18:13 AM EDT
A powder scale is important.

Yes, the primers you need are "Large Pistol". Some manufacturers make special "Large Pistol Magnum" primers, which are not a good idea for .45 ACP. Others (such as Winchester) make primers designated for "standard or magnum loads", which will work fine.

Hodgdon Titegroup is a good powder that's a little more versatile than Clays.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 10:25:45 AM EDT
For 230 FMJ I like to use either Hodgdon Universal or Alliant Unique. 6.0 grains of either one works for me.

I have always had good results in 45ACP using CCI large pistol primers (not magnums).

Link Posted: 6/18/2002 10:44:29 AM EDT
Vihtivori (sp?) N310 is my favorite but is hard to find locally.

Next would be Clays.

After that Bullseye.

I usually only load 200 grain SWC's.

Unique is probably the most versatile but is very dirty.

Do you know how to get close to a rabbit? Unique up on him!
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 10:49:16 AM EDT
What is the "Auto Disk Powder Measure"? It comes with the Lee Deluxe Pistol Kit. I dont have a ton of cash right now but would like to be able to at least clean/size/prime some empties for when I can buy some powder and bullets.

Thanks for all your responses. Does anyone recommend a specific powder measure?
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 11:05:05 AM EDT
.45 Auto....Bullseye or W231
.45 Colt....Unique
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 12:37:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2002 12:43:38 PM EDT by Getsome]
45 ACP is a low pressure round that uses a fast burning powder. The two most popular powders for reloading the .45 auto are Bullseye and Winchester 231. Both are older than time, dirty but work great. I use 231 myself but move over to the reloading Forum for all reloading issues. There is a lot of great knowledge for the taking.

BTW, don't forget to purchase a bullet puller as mistakes will happen.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 12:49:29 PM EDT
You need a caliper and a scale. I use Winchester 231 in the 45ACP. It is a very old recipe, but works great. Watch-Six
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 1:19:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2002 1:21:59 PM EDT by ura_baddog]
Go check out A Dillon Press Square deal it is the best for the money and easy to use.10 years on one.

The auto disk is a automatic powder measuring device. That makes it easier and faster to drop the powder in to the shell.

Get a scale.

If you are not going to be setting up for a bunch of different kinds of shooting and or guns. Go for a beam its cheaper and if don't change the weight of the powder often it is just as easy to check the charge with every so often than spend 3 times as much with a digital.

Check out the reloading section on this site

Be slow, be careful and double check everything until you are sure of what you are doing.

Remember baby steps, Don't make a a lot of rounds at first. Make small batches until you get a system down.

Luck has nothing to do with reloading. If something goes wrong it was most likely you.

My reload is 230gr with 3.8gr of bullseye.
Dirty and low powder for IDPA and Ipsic
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 1:34:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By btdrygulch:
.45 Auto....Bullseye or W231
.45 Colt....Unique

I second that.

Bullseye is about the most cost effective and easy to find but I think 231 is cleaner and maybe a bit more accurate.

VitaVouri powders are great but hard to find.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 1:51:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2002 2:25:39 PM EDT by noah]
I like the Lyman manual, and I would recommend getting either the Speer or the Hornady manual as well, for a "second opinion" and a different perspective. Before you do anything, buy the manuals first and read them. Also, talk to other loaders (check out reloading boards) ands friends that relaod if any, for recommendations. The NRA had a great book of reprinted articles assembled together entitled HANDLOADING by William Davis. It may be out of print now, but you could try looking it up in Amazon.com and a great used book site, www.abebooks.com and use the search features. If a friend reloads, ask if you can watch next time, or if he (she) can show you how it is done. Hands-on will help.

Do the education thing first, and you may just want to buy a different press; nothing against Lee, I love their dies.

Always wear safety glasses when reloading, and be careful when handling primers! NEVER DEPRIME A LIVE PRIMER. When you become experinced, fire a primed case at the range some day and see just how much of an explosion takes place from that little bitty nickel plated cup.

I've loaded 45 ACP and Auto Rim for over 25 years using WW231 and Unique. I don't much like Bullseye because of the small amount needed and the greater chance of a KB due to a double. Hard to tell a double from a single charge of Bullseye at a glance in a .45 ACP hull. Other than that, Bullseye is a great powder in the ACP. Unique is also a flat flake, but a bit easier to discern a double charge since more Unique is used per charge as compared to a Bullseye charge.

I would start by loading the 230 grain jacketed round nose first, to GI Ball velocities (855 FPS) because it is very forgiving in a press and in the weapon. Pay attention to the overall length. Bullets seated too deeply will hang up during cycling and may raise pressure to or above the Yikes! point. Too long and they won't fit the mag. For every bullet that you end up using regularly, make a dummy cartridge without a primer for use in setting up the machine. Place the dummy in the seating or seating/crimping die, raise the ram, and adjust the die body, stem, and locknut to the point of contact. Mark the side of the dummy with a fine point indelible marker.

Keep a notebook of your loads, and use some kind of lot numbering system like the bullet manufacturer bullet number followed by the date of reloading followed by the powder and primer number. Record this in you book and on a label on the box of cartridges. Example: 1/3-H1127-18Jun02-W231-F150 standing for: 1st of 3 boxes loaded with Hornady 1127 (bogus number, don't look for it) bullet, date assembled, Win 231 powder, Federal 150 primer. In your loading log book you can record the lot numbers of the bullet, powder, and primer along with the home-grown lot number that you choose to use.

continued at next responding post . . .

Link Posted: 6/18/2002 2:25:05 PM EDT
continued from post above . . .

Once you get going, if you load a lot, try to buy you powder in larger quantities so that there is a longer period of time between different lots of powder. When you need to switch to a new lot of a chosen powder, load up six with about 5% less powder and try them, look for primer condition and other signs of pressure. Chances are that with today's manufacturing process, lot to lot variation is lower than that of 25-30 years ago. Best to play it safe. Also, try to use cases from one lot of ammo. If you mix cases, you will get mixed and possible dangerous results. Not all case walls and heads are the same thickness, and a fixed charge of powder in cases of varying capacity will result in wider groups and possible high pressures in low capacity cases. IF you don't believe me, obtain cases of a given cartridge from different manufacturers and weigh them!

If you use once fired military brass, you will need a primer pocket swaging tool to remove the crimp. You could use a primer pocket reamer, but those take a bit more time than a properly set-up swaging die. For cleaning primer pockets, simply use a small slotted screwdriver, like one of those giveaway advertising ones with the magnet in the handle end. One twist and the residue is gone.

I'm probably reaching 3500 words which is easy for me to do, so in closing, get the manuals first and read the sections on the basics first, BEFORE spending a cent on equipment and components.

Best of luck!

Link Posted: 6/18/2002 4:56:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2002 4:57:35 PM EDT by Maddock]
Noah and the others are right on the money.
My two cents worth:
1) Get a bullet puller – it’s like an eraser for reloading mistakes that allows you to reclaim some of the components. This will lower your costs, deal with the problem of what to do with the mistakes, and help you avoid the urge to try to shoot them.
2) When starting out to develop your skill and work up the best load for your pistol - work in small lots, measuring and testing as you go.
3) In .45ACP 230grain round nose cast to duplicate military ball is about the easiest to start with and has the fewest critical variables.
Reloading is an aspect of the hobby that some people really enjoy, some tolerate for the benefits (the group I am in), and some hate. I can reload .45ACP for $75.00 a thousand (or less) to the quality of generic ball. This doesn’t really save me any money, but it does almost triple my shooting.

Link Posted: 6/18/2002 5:08:42 PM EDT
I use Hodgdon Clays. I find it to be pretty clean.

I have also used HP38, HS6 and Bullseye.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 5:16:14 PM EDT
Another vote for 231.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 5:18:48 PM EDT
I'm tossing my .02 in for Clays... it's clean burning and measures extremely well in my Dillon 650
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 5:31:11 PM EDT
Win 231,clean, drops uniformly, easy to see
possible double charges (KB!),good price, little
bit goes a long way,easy to find. Oh yeah,
go back and reread Noah's post-He's been there &
done this-safely (still alive). If in doubt,
don't force it. Regards & good shooting.
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 4:25:21 AM EDT

Also, try to use cases from one lot of ammo. If you mix cases, you will get mixed and possible dangerous results. Not all case walls and heads are the same thickness, and a fixed charge of powder in cases of varying capacity will result in wider groups and possible high pressures in low capacity cases.

This is good advice for rifle reloading but it isn't very applicable to .45 ACP. As long as you screen out the non-reloadable cases (Blazer, Wolf), the out-of-spec ones (AMERC), the ones with crimped primer pockets and possibly some of the +P and .45 Super ones, you can mix and match the other types of .45 brass without hurting the performance of your reloads.

Cleaning primer pockets is another processing step that isn't needed for .45 ACP reloading.
Link Posted: 6/19/2002 5:49:31 AM EDT

The people on this site are great. I appreciate everyones posts.. I cant wait to get started. I'm going to start out slow as suggested. There is an expereinced reloader at the range who I think will guide me through the first few rounds.

once again I appreciate the help

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