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Finally! A .45 ACP load that works.

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 28,069 Senior Member
After my multiple frustrations with factory Federal ammo in .45 ACP (230gr HS / 230gr Classic HP / 200gr Classic HP), I ordered some 185gr Speer Gold Dot and decided to roll my own. 

I cut corners and cheated. I looked at all my manuals and found the highest max load for a 185gr bullet and Longshot Powder. Hornady won with 9.1gr so I rounded it to 9.2gr and loaded 8 rounds. 

Not sound practice.......but I’m not very sound. I wanted a warm load and nothing less. 

Hit the range just now and set up the bench and chronograph. 



Glock 41
6” KKM Barrel
Williams Sight
185gr Speer Gold Dot
Perfecta Case
CCI-300
1.225” COAL
9.2gr Longshot
.749” @ 25 yards
1,125 fps


Penetrated 3 jugs @ 7 yards left star impression from expanded bullet deep on front of 4th jug. 









.743” Expansion
184.5gr Retained Weight




I am a VERY happy camper. I believe I have a viable and reliable hunting /defensive round. 

Now to load up some lore and test them in my 1911s and Glock 36. 
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Southwest PAPosts: 2,907 Senior Member
    I'd say that will work.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Panama City, Fl.Posts: 8,689 Senior Member
    I see a hog autopsy in your future!! B)
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    You could likely back that load off a hair without a loss of performance.

    Or not.....

    If its for carry, an over pressure failure could disable the gun beyond reach of a quick clearing procedure. Things like using new cases could help prevent that just as well as a more conservative powder charge. CCI primers are said to have a bit harder cup. Maybe a good thing for such loads.

    Good bullets. 
  • mitdr774mitdr774 Member Posts: 1,774 Senior Member
    I may have to look into some of those to try.  I would have to check my load for my M&P shield, but it only likes 185gr bullets so far.  My CZ97B eats a steady diet of cast lead since its set up for paper punching, but once I get around to putting rounds through my 97BD I may look at a warm to hot loaded 185gr.

    Do you have any Sierra 185 JHP to try out?  If not would you like some to try for science?
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    After my multiple frustrations with factory Federal ammo in .45 ACP (230gr HS / 230gr Classic HP / 200gr Classic HP), I ordered some 185gr Speer Gold Dot and decided to roll my own. 

    I cut corners and cheated. I looked at all my manuals and found the highest max load for a 185gr bullet and Longshot Powder. Hornady won with 9.1gr so I rounded it to 9.2gr and loaded 8 rounds. 

    Not sound practice.......but I’m not very sound. I wanted a warm load and nothing less. 

    Hit the range just now and set up the bench and chronograph. 



    Glock 41
    6” KKM Barrel
    Williams Sight
    185gr Speer Gold Dot
    Perfecta Case
    CCI-300
    1.225” COAL
    9.2gr Longshot
    .749” @ 25 yards
    1,125 fps


    Penetrated 3 jugs @ 7 yards left star impression from expanded bullet deep on front of 4th jug.



    .743” Expansion
    184.5gr Retained Weight

    I am a VERY happy camper. I believe I have a viable and reliable hunting /defensive round. 

    Now to load up some lore and test them in my 1911s and Glock 36. 
    That's got piggy test all over it.
    Let's see. I'm guessing you get about 12-14" of penetration in Jell-O. A PF of 208! And expansion that's roughly the same size as your group size at 25 yards.
    Yeah, I'm thinking that'll work for what you want it to do.


    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • zorbazorba Senior Member Merrritt Island, FLPosts: 25,221 Senior Member
    What fun!
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
    )O(
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    You could likely back that load off a hair without a loss of performance.

    Or not.....

    If its for carry, an over pressure failure could disable the gun beyond reach of a quick clearing procedure. Things like using new cases could help prevent that just as well as a more conservative powder charge. CCI primers are said to have a bit harder cup. Maybe a good thing for such loads.

    Good bullets. 
    I am conservative in most things political.  When it comes to ammo, I’m off the reservation. 😎
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Big Al1 said:
    I see a hog autopsy in your future!! B)
    I’m trying to get up the desire to go after them tonight. 

    If I don’t have a home for the body.....maybe some corpse testing. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    Let's see. I'm guessing you get about 12-14" of penetration in Jell-O. A PF of 208! And expansion that's roughly the same size as your group size at 25 yards.
    Yeah, I'm thinking that'll work for what you want it to do.


    Testing a 1911 and the G36 tomorrow. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    mitdr774 said:

    Do you have any Sierra 185 JHP to try out?  If not would you like some to try for science?
    I do not. Never really tried any Sierra handgun bullets. Not overly interested unless you just really want to see them handloaded. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    On a side note, Longshot meters VERY well in my RCBS Chargemaster. 

    Better than most anything else. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Between Ft Lauderdale and MiamiPosts: 12,561 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Spk said:
    Let's see. I'm guessing you get about 12-14" of penetration in Jell-O. A PF of 208! And expansion that's roughly the same size as your group size at 25 yards.
    Yeah, I'm thinking that'll work for what you want it to do.


    Testing a 1911 and the G36 tomorrow. 
    Very interested in your 1911 results
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Diver43 said:
    Zee said:
    Spk said:
    Let's see. I'm guessing you get about 12-14" of penetration in Jell-O. A PF of 208! And expansion that's roughly the same size as your group size at 25 yards.
    Yeah, I'm thinking that'll work for what you want it to do.


    Testing a 1911 and the G36 tomorrow. 
    Very interested in your 1911 results
    I don’t have enough jugs to test both the 1911 and G36. 

    So, I’ll get a penetration test on the G36 as there is only 1” difference in the G41 and 1911 so I would suspect there to be minimal difference in their penetration. 

    I’ll get the accuracy on both. But, penetration will be the extremes. Long and short barrels. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    Looking forward to the results. I've always had good results with Longshot. Makes for a nice Boom 👌 also.

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    That’s basically my carry load.  185gr Gold Dots +P.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,698 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    You could likely back that load off a hair without a loss of performance.

    Or not.....

    If its for carry, an over pressure failure could disable the gun beyond reach of a quick clearing procedure. Things like using new cases could help prevent that just as well as a more conservative powder charge. CCI primers are said to have a bit harder cup. Maybe a good thing for such loads.

    Good bullets. 
    I am conservative in most things political.  When it comes to ammo, I’m off the reservation. 😎
    Hee!  Nice!

    Early makes a good point though.  I have had an unpleasant case web failure with a 1911 that I would estimate the cause of to be the 1911's unsupported 6:00 case head, random range-scrounged brass with some abrasions, or maybe a combination of the two.  The stock Glock barrels are largely the same way, though I understand most of aftermarket barrels like you use solve this.

    Good brass is a helpful thing.  Thicker .45 Super brass with a lighter starting charge would be another option to solve this.

    I think you're on the right track with Gold Dots for the light/fast approach - it is effectively a bonded bullet - they aren't going to unravel on you.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Dead pig. But, he’s edible and wanted by a friend. Not gonna put more holes in him. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,698 Senior Member
    Yes boys and girls, he works fast! :D
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Bigslug said:
    I think you're on the right track with Gold Dots for the light/fast approach - it is effectively a bonded bullet - they aren't going to unravel on you.
    I really like the GD in most everything I use it in. 

    62gr .223 Rem
    63gr .223 Rem
    225gr .338 WM
    124gr 9mm
    165gr .40 S&W
    200gr .44 Spl
    185gr .45 ACP

    Guess I need to get some for my .357 Mag/.44 Mag/.45 Colt to try. 

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,698 Senior Member
    I'm not exactly sure what their marketing guys were thinking, but CCI is loading the 200 gr Gold Dot in aluminum cased Blazer .45 Colt.  Kind of a gutless preserve-Grandpa's-Peacemaker loading, but it might be a start.  I probably should have thought to mention that when you were looking for mild Redhawk loads (insert facepalm).  The've also got the same thing in a 200gr .44 Special.  Wins the cheap and easy award, if nothing else.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    edited November 2019 #22
    Bigslug said:
    I'm not exactly sure what their marketing guys were thinking, but CCI is loading the 200 gr Gold Dot in aluminum cased Blazer .45 Colt.  Kind of a gutless preserve-Grandpa's-Peacemaker loading, but it might be a start.  I probably should have thought to mention that when you were looking for mild Redhawk loads (insert facepalm).  The've also got the same thing in a 200gr .44 Special.  Wins the cheap and easy award, if nothing else.
    That’s what I load my Mountain Gun with when I CC it.  .44 spl aluminum cased 200gr Gold Dots.  Shot one at a watermelon.  NOT a gutless load.  Mild recoil, spectacular results.  It’s meant as a “street load” for Ruger .45 Colt and .454 revolvers.
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,928 Senior Member
    Ive carried that CCI gold dot 44 load in my model 29 for hotel stays. Switched out to the real thing for trail and camp. Ya its light, but it gives the versatility revolvers thrive on.
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Dead pig. But, he’s edible and wanted by a friend. Not gonna put more holes in him. 
    Let's see, 38 grains heavier and roughly 125 fps faster than 9mm 147 grain +P load. Expands like a mutha! Penetrates nicely. It's gonna work. 👍
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Spk said:
    Zee said:
    Dead pig. But, he’s edible and wanted by a friend. Not gonna put more holes in him. 
    Let's see, 38 grains heavier and roughly 125 fps faster than 9mm 147 grain +P load. Expands like a mutha! Penetrates nicely. It's gonna work. 👍
    Faster than the 9mm?


    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    I was comparing your load versus a 147 grain+P load. I have a box of Winchester Defender 9mm +P loads with a listed velocity of 1000 fps. HST's run a bit faster at 1050 fps listed.

    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member South DakotaPosts: 2,040 Senior Member
    Good hustle Zee! I love working up new loads.
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Coooool. 

    Tested the 1911 and G36 today. Will post later. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • SpkSpk Senior Member Posts: 4,772 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Coooool. 

    Tested the 1911 and G36 today. Will post later. 
    Post Later?! 😥
    :D
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience -- Mark Twain
    How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again! -- Mark Twain

  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Springfield Armory TRP

    Velocity: 1,085 fps
    Penetration: 3 Jugs (bounced off 4th and flew 10’ right)
    Expansion: .715”
    Weight Retention: 183.2gr
    3 Round Group @ 25yrds: .691”

    Result:



    Slightly less “curl” on the expansion. But, effectively the same, I would suspect. 




    Jugs were a bit dramatic. 



    I rarely, if ever, carry a 1911. More of an HD gun for me.  While I don’t like the elevation offset at 25yrds, it’s still probably the best defensive choice I have for the .45 ACP. 

    Honestly, all my 1911s reside in a safe currently. So, probably not an issue. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 28,069 Senior Member
    Glock 36

    Probably one of my favorite Glocks to carry. I’ve had her shelved the past few years due to a disenchantment with .45 ACP ammo. Being the same size as a 19/23, it a shoe in for carry. When I found the right ammo. 

    I might have. 


    Velocity: 957 fps
    Penetration: 3 Jugs (broke back of 3rd)
    Expansion: .744”
    Weight Retention: 184.5gr
    3 Round Group @ 25yrds: 3.12”
    The XS Big Dot sights I have on the 36 are VERY fast and easy to acquire. But, with the short sight radius and being an express sight.......not the most precise. The load is obviously accurate. I just ain’t up to par with the gun/sight combo. As compared to the other two platform. Do I think it has defensive capability in this gun?  Yes. 
    Results:


    Less curl on the expansion than the other two platforms. But, weight retention was spot on if not better than one. I wouldn’t want to be shot with it. 


    Similar results on the water jugs. 

    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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