Load Up

As I have mentioned in previous installments, I also use Lee equipment for loading all my .45 ACP rounds. I have been reloading .45 ACP rounds for over 60 years and since I have switched to the following method, I have excellent results and no problems with feeding and chambering rounds except in those very rare cases where a particular pistol simply does not like the bullet profile being used.

I always sort my brass by head stamps and then, using the RCBS RockChucker single-stage press, each case is sized and de-primed with the Lee Undersized Carbide Sizing Die. After this I use the Lee Universal Expanding Die to just kiss the mouth of the case enough to allow the bullet to enter. Using these two dies ensures the tightest possible bullet-to-case fit. This is especially important with .45 ACP loads as there is no crimping groove.

After priming, each case is charged with powder, bullets are seated and then separately taper crimped with the Lee Factory Crimp Die. Powder-coated bullets and jacketed bullets are quite slippery and the use of the Lee Undersized Sizing Die, Lee Universal Expanding Die and the Lee Factory Crimp Die produces ammunition as perfectly as I can make. It also prevents bullets being pushed back into the case during feeding, thus raising pressures. By chronographing each load and watching the results I know this does not happen.

Let’s look at some of the results using Acme Powder-Coated, or “Lipstick” bullets as they are called due to their red color. If you prefer to produce your own powder-coated bullets, you have a choice of several additional colors including black, gray, blue and green. I have been using Acme bullets for the past year in weights of 185, 200 and 230 grains. The 200-grain version is available in three profiles: round-nose, flat-point and semi-wadcutter.