The “Geezer Load”

While looking for very soft-shooting 45 ACP loads, I saw “The Geezer Load” recommended a few times.

“So, here’s the scoop on the Geezer Load. Using mixed cases, with Winchester large pistol primers, and
Berry’ 185gr. HBRN bullet, a charge of 4.3-4.4 grains of Hodgdon’s Clays gives a velocity 758fps. The finished
rounds are loaded to an OAL of 1.250” and are crimped to .468”. The load is as close to 100% reliable
as it can be in my full size 1911 Government model pistols when they are run with 16lb. recoil springs.”
John Markwell

I double-checked a second source for safety. Hodgdon says that a Fed 150 Primer + Winchester brass + 185 GR. HDY JSWC + COL 1.135″ gives:

4.5gr Clays 855fps @ 14,500 CUP

4.9gr Clays 981 @ 17,000 CUP

I did: Mixed “Brass Guys” brass, Winchester WLP, 4.3 grains of Clays (first individually weighed, then #45 on the Redding 3BR), Berry’ 185gr. HBRN, OAL of 1.2650″, to match the OAL of Magtech 230 grain hardball. I used a lighter crimp. I figured that I could always seat deeper or add more crimp later if needed.

Firearm: Les Baer 5″ 1911

Date/Location: 5/13/2017 at approx 7:30 PM at Sunnyvale Rod & Gun Club

LabRadar Series: 92

Velocity: 755 fps avg (777, 713, 742, 776, 755, 739, 691, 797, 762, 733, 808, 773)

Spread: 808 – 691 = 117fps

StdDev:33.9 (12 shots)

Notes: Did cycle the the firearm, although I may try a shorter OAL next time, since with some magazines the feel of letting the slide down could have been smoother. Somewhat dirty — I will consider upping the charge for a better chamber-seal if there is gas blow-back. Power-factor looks about equal to 9mm. The spread is unfortunate. Pretty neat that my average speed was so close to Markwell’s figure.


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