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The .45 ACP cartridge is considered one of the simplest cartridges to reload. It’s also immensely popular, along with the time-honored 1911 pistol that chambers it. If you’re new to reloading, or handloading for handguns specifically, reloading .45 ACP ammo is the ideal cartridge with which to begin. This download will cover the basics of the cartridge — its parts, safe practices and expert tips for accuracy and reliability in handloading. In this download you’ll learn:
• The steps to reloading .45 ACP
• How to sort and clean .45 ACP brass
• Reloading tools and press selection
• The reloading process and reloading guide
• Cartridge inspection and testing
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Here’s a Sneak Peek Inside Your Free .45 ACP Reloading Guide:
.45 Automatic Colt Pistol Reloading Case Prep
In rifle reloading and with some handgun magnum calibers and applications, you measure cases. But when reloading .45 ACP, don’t even bother reaching for those calipers, Bub. Does the headstamp read .45 Auto? Then you’re good to go. Measuring, or God forbid, measuring and trimming, is a colossal waste of time. It is such a waste of time that I’m not even sure any Bullseye shooters do it, and they will do anything to scrape a few more points out of the targets. Nope, sort, clean and get ready to load. That’s your case prep when you’re loading the .45. Didn‘t I say this was easy?
Press Selection for Reloading .45 ACP Ammunition
From here, you’re going to need a press. To load in volume, you need a progressive press. Just how fast a model you buy is a decision between you and your wallet. In that regard, presses are much like racing cars, motorcycles, etc.: how fast you go depends on how much you are willing or able to spend. For reloading, it also matters in how many different calibers you reload. Your choices in press brands come down to: Dillon, Hornady and RCBS. They all have strengths and weaknesses. Hornady and RCBS offer a single progressive model each, but they are very capable models. Dillon offers an array of presses, so I will use them as an example of press feature selection.
If all you ever want to do is reload .45 ACP, you’ll never need another caliber, and if you won’t be tempted by others, you can get all you need with a Dillon Square Deal B. It has an auto-advance; that is, it rotates the shell plate in the proper timing so you simply have to push in cases and bullets and pull the handle.
You get that simplicity (and relative low cost) at a price, however, as changing calibers is a hassle. Also, you have one choice in sizing dies, and that is through Dillon. The SDB uses proprietary dies, and Dillon is the only one who makes them.
Considering the hassle to change calibers, if you ever do want to add another caliber, simply buy another SDB for that one. However, low cost brings another minor shortcoming, and that’s low pressure. If your second caliber is going to be a .44 Magnum, don’t get an SDB. The press leverage won’t like the .44 expanded cases, and you’ll have to really muscle the lever. The tipping point is between two and three calibers or adding a Magnum caliber. If you do that, jump up to the 550B.
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