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V.I.P. Member
Posts: 972
(10/1/01 11:45:47 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del All 45ACP reloading question
Ok, I'm now to the point of setting my seating and crimping die. The Speers book says the max total length shoud be 1.275. I set it at that using a 230 Gr. .451 FMJ-FP bullet. I then took a 230 Gr. ball loaded round and checked the overall length and it measured 1.256.
What should I set the over cartrage length to?
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Posts: 940
(10/2/01 5:28:11 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: 45ACP reloading question
As long as you do not exceed the maximum overall length, you'll be fine. Load the same as the factory round. You want to make sure you have enough of the bullet inside the case to provide adequate tension to hold it there, but not so much as to limit your powder capacity.

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Posts: 1010
(10/2/01 8:07:58 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: 45ACP reloading question
Shorter than 1.275 is OK....what you're looking for is consistancy in overall length.

When you're starting out, it's a good idea to measure and trim all your brass....then measure every third or fourth time you reload it. Auto cartridges don't stretch as much as rimmed cases do, but you do want to keep the case length consistant.

Also, when you're loading a bunch, try not to mix manufacturers....try to load all Winchester, or Remington, or whatever. Personally, I prefer US military brass. If you ever get the chance to buy a bunch of US military brass, same make, same year....BUY ALL YOU CAN!

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 558
(10/2/01 8:25:22 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: 45ACP reloading question
Like the military brass myself, except for the primer pocket generally need reaming some to be able to seat the primers easy.

Steve, remember the deeper you seat the bullet, the more pressure goes up. If you are loading hot loads this could cause pressures to be exceeded. As the old saying goes "Start low and work your way up." Every time you change the OAL remember this.

On 45 ACP, with the powders you are considering using, the OAL should not cause you any powder capacity problems other than pressure considerations.

"Think safety and have fun!"

V.I.P. Member
Posts: 91
(10/3/01 1:16:57 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: 45ACP reloading question
1.275 is a MAX length. A little shorter / same as factory is fine (as stated above).
Totally different OL for SWC of course.

Also, watch the crimp!
I ran through several hundred reloads last year, paid attention to everything I thought (loading IPSC match practice rounds), and lo and behold, I had my crimp die improperly set.
Got SEVERAL failures to fire, as the over-crimped rounds went too far into the barrel (.45 headspaces on the mouth of the casing) and the firing pin barely made contact with the primer. Sloppy/worn firing pin to safety stop fit also didn't help.
Ended up setting the rounds aside for plinking / newbies to shoot.

And on brass stretch, is it really an issue with a wide-mouthed moderate-pressure round like .45ACP?? (I thought it was only really an issue with bottle-necked rifle carts., and Magnum handgun rounds) (and thought I've read a few articles that state the crimp is contributory to case-stretching, too?)?
Like to explore this brass stretching topic much further, think I'll fire up a new topic for it .


Posts: 6
(2/24/02 11:26:35 pm)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: 45ACP reloading question
I've been loading .45 acp, .45 colt, .357,.38 sp., .45 scholfield for years, and have yet to trim cases. I don't shoot max loads, I'm a cowboy shooter, and a plinker. If you are into hot loads, then you'll probably have to trim the cases, otherwise not.

Big R
Posts: 3
(12/4/02 12:41:23 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Case stretching
The mildest cartridge I have ever worried about trimming were full power .44 mag hunting loads.

Anything lower pressure has never been an issue

*TFF Staff*
Posts: 2820
(12/4/02 9:04:51 am)
Reply | Edit | Del Re: Case stretching
Same here, JBBooks. Never had to trim handgun cases, but them pesky .223 need a lot of overall trimming and their necks too.

An easy way to set the seating die is to place a factory loaded round into the die and gently turn the seating stem down until it touches the top of the are all set.

Now, if your die does the crimping too, first step would be to gently set the crimp to match the loaded round and then set the seating stem. (some seat the bullet first in another die then use a crimping die for follow up)

You are done...load away.

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