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Old 01-20-2009, 07:28 PM
FlyinAg FlyinAg is offline
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Location: Del Rio, TX
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.451 vs .452

So, please clear up my massive confusion. I know .45 ACP uses a .451 dia bullet.... or is it .452?! The Hornady book has .451 listed for jacketed bullets, and .452 for lead. The Lyman's #49 says don't use bullets on .451 dia. ***O? I need to buy some bullets for plinking/target shooting. My buddy swears by colorado casting. Are they any good?

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Old 01-20-2009, 07:35 PM
skipsan skipsan is offline
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Location: Arizona
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Lyman V48 says the same thing. Guess I missed that. I've been using Oregon Trails .452 lswc without issues (that I know of). Several different pistols. The Lyman book alludes to "chamber" dimensions driving the limit on bullet dia. I don't know how that drives their restriction on bullet dia. I'll be following the input to the O.P. question.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:38 PM
rehoppe rehoppe is offline
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Hornady knows bullets.
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Old 01-20-2009, 07:38 PM
flycaster flycaster is offline
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Posts: 243
.451" is the standard for FMJ's, and .452" for lead and plated bullets. Because the lead and plated are softer than a full copper jacket, the extra thousanth inch gives it a better "bite" in the lands, which a .451" fmj couldn't do. I don't know about the Lyman thing- most/all fmj's I've seen are .451- so there you go!

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Old 01-20-2009, 10:56 PM
Buffboy Buffboy is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 74
Don't have any experience with plated. I've always wanted to try them but never got around to it. Now they are almost as expensive as jacketed and I have a private source of good cast bullets that shoot as good (or better) than most jacketed loads (I've ever made) at way less so it will still be a while.

As others have said, jacketed, you're best off with .451. You can use .452 jacketed but they aren't for the acp, they're usually for 45 colt and they don't usually feed well because of shape. They are also generally more expensive so there's no gain.

Lead, depends on the hardness of the bullet. If you're using a swaged lead bullet, get it .452 because it's soft or you'll get leading. The idea there is to get a little extra resistance to the pressure at the start to get the bullet to bump up to completely fill the bore so the high pressure gasses don't "cut"(think cutting torch) the easily damaged bullet base and slag lead into your barrel. Damage to the bullet base is death to accuracy, never mind the leading. If you are getting a hard cast bullet you can (usually) get along fine with them sized .451 without leading. Most commercial casters still size them .452 to hedge their bets and avoid leading but most are usually plenty hard for the smaller diameter.

The cast bullet I use most for practice is sized .451 and I usually get great accuracy. I have never had a problem with leading with it in several pistols but it's a hard little bugger. As a bonus I seem to have fewer feeding problems than with other .452 sized cast bullets.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:26 PM
leecreekkid leecreekkid is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ark
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The basic rule of thumb is that you shoot jacketed bullets at the true diameter of the bore and lead bullets .001" over the bore diameter. With 45 ACP the normal bore is .451". All of my jacketed bullets are .451 and I shoot lead at .452. With lead you want the extra .001" diameter to help seal the bullet in the bore.
Kimber 1911 Pro Carry II 40 S&W, Sig P232 380 acp,S&W 1911 45 Acp, Browning Hi-Power 9mm
If you can fix it, fix it. If you can't, don't worry about it.
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Old 01-20-2009, 11:41 PM
2MoreChains 2MoreChains is offline
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It's all good. Just bell the cases a little more when loading lead to prevent lead shavings or weird bulges in the case. Once you play around with it a little (or a lot) you'll find a good setting for your expander die that works well with the lead bullets.

Personally, lead is all I shoot for competition, and I would say that it's mainly a cost thing. Accuracy is on par with any FMJ or plated bullet I've ever shot, but I don't shoot Bullseye or silhouette.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:55 AM
WESHOOT2 WESHOOT2 is offline
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case neck tension

I use lead, plated, and jacketed bullets.
I use bullets that range from .4505" up to .4535".
I ensure sufficient case neck tension (by use of different sizing dies mated with the different diameter bullets).

Then I test them in my gun(s).
Some guns prefer, for better accuracy, different diameter bullets; I use those.
"all my ammo is mostly-retired factory ammo"
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