I’ve always been fascinated with heavy bullets in 45 ACP. I like the idea of doubling-down on what makes the caliber special: big and slow slugs.
Here’s what I’ve tried.
240 grain JHC (Sierra #8820)
Sierra 5th Edition has loads for their 240 grain JHC (#8820) SportsMaster bullet. It’s an accurate bullet, and their data goes up to 900fps, but it hasn’t tickled my fancy. It’s less than 5% heavier than standard ball, but has a 22% worse BC. I don’t know if it will expand at 45 ACP speeds. For now, it’s on the back-burner. A while back I shot starting loads with Bullseye powder, but this was before I had a Chronograph so all I can say is that they functioned fine, and didn’t feel or perform different on paper vs 230 grain ball.
This bullet has a worse BC (0.117) than standard ball, but it leaves big clean holes in paper and feeds OK so far. You can stamp patterns into the nose of the bullet, which is fun. Recoil is noticeably higher.
I used Speer #14 data for 45 Auto Rim and their 250 grain LSWC (#4684). It says: Test gun 6.5″ barreled S&W Model 25-2, Remington 45 Auto Rim cases, CCI300 primers, 1.24″ OAL
- 7.4gr HS6 for 700 fps (45AR not 45ACP)
- 7.8gr HS6 for 787 fps (45AR not 45ACP)
In 45 ACP, the start load chronographed 100fps faster than indicated! Turns out 45AR isn’t as interchangeable with 45ACP as I’d thought. Even though the Auto Rim has a lower maximum pressure than 45ACP, it has more internal capacity. Plus, many 45AR loads I’ve seen floating around are actually higher pressure than 45ACP, because they’re intended for modern revolvers, which have more fully-supported “chambers” than any autoloader.
I also did Hornady +P brass, Rem 2.1/2 primer, #29≈5.7gr True Blue, 1.24″ OAL, LabRadar S142: 769 fps avg (763, 785, 773, 768, 766, 776, 756, 764), ES 29 = 785 – 756, StdDev 8.86 (8x).
👎 To chamber reliably it had to be seated very deep. Deeper than I had load data for, and that made me very nervous about pressure. I measured the OAL of the bullet as: 0.6140 to 0.6125. It feels very slick. It has big meaplate. It has a flat base. It’s very visible with the right lighting conditions when shot.
Western Powders Load Data says, Fed 150 primer, REM case, 5″ barrel, 1.2″ OAL, True Blue Powder: 5.7gr @ 731 fps, 6.7 @ @ 839 fps and 20,889 PSI.
I did 1.2″ OAL, R-P brass, Rem 2.1/2 Primer, 5.7gr TrueBlue. This would only plunk in a HOT barrel, only sometimes. From a 5″ LesBaer I got Avg 665fps, ES 41 = 685 – 644, Std Dev 17.25 (8x), Labradar Series S133.
👍 perfect so far. A little longer than the Berry’s Bullets, and feeds and chambers fine. They have a dished base (like Gold Dots), I have no idea if this helps the base obturate and seal the barrel and/or deforms and harms accuracy.
Western Powders Load Data says, Fed 150 primer, REM case, 5″ barrel, 1.212″ COL
Start: 5.8 grains True Blue for 739 fps
MAX: 6.8 grains True Blue for 854 fps at 20,863 PSI
I did: 1x fired brass, Rem 2.1/2 primer, 250gr Rainier FN seated to 1.2175″ OAL:
|Grains True Blue
|#29 ≈ 5.7gr
||31 = 765 – 734
|#32 ≈ 6.3gr
||60 = 809 – 749
250 grain Oregon Trail RNFP (Untested)
Handloader #310 Had some data for 45 ACP + 250 Oregon Trail RNFP. They used an OAL of 1.200″, new Starline brass, CCI 300 primers, PowerPistol and a 5″ Wilson Combat 1911 as their test-gun.
|5.8 Power Pistol
|6.2 Power Pistol
||+P Pressure and/or velocity
|6.5 Power Pistol
||+P Pressure and/or velocity
250gr RNFP, HiTek coated
I used Cowboy #1 (#HT-452250CB) from Missouri Bullet Company. It’s a softish Brinell 12. They also cast the bullet at a harder Brinell 18 specifically for 45 ACP pin shooting: PinBusters! (#HT-452250M).
These bullets have to be seated somewhat deep to feed and chamber, around 1.2″ or less. I generally seated further out, to the point that the rounds would not chamber in all my guns. I did this to reduce pressure by increasing internal case capacity. They are a tight fit in the chamber. I haven’t seen evidence of pressure spikes from “seating into the lands”. But it’s hard to know with a low-pressure straight-walled case.
These bullets looked the same as the “Oregon Trail RNFP”, so I used the data from Handloader #310 — I did not actually buy a box of Oregon Trail bullets and measure them, so beware!
I did 250gr RNFP, HiTek coated, 1.205″ OAL, Rem 2.1/2, Nickel Win Brass, #36.75 (3BRP)≈5.4 grains PowerPistol. Avg Velocity
762.58 fps, ES 18.5 = 774 – 755.5, StdDev 6.31(6x), LabRadar S134.