Die Hard

The use of the Lee Undersized Sizing Die, Lee Universal Expanding Die and the Lee Factory Crimp Die accomplish two problems encountered with .45 ACP loads. In semi-auto pistols we have to watch out for bullets being pushed back into the case, thus raising pressure, while in revolvers the problem is just the opposite as the bullets can move forward under recoil. The use of these three dies, even though it requires one extra loading step, prevents either one of these situations occurring.

The John Browning-designed 1911 Government Model and the .45 ACP cartridge did not arrive at the same time. In fact, the cartridge first appeared in the John Browning-designed Model 1905 and used a 200-grain bullet. When the military adopted the new semi-automatic pistol, the 1905 version became the 1911 version with one of the main changes being an angled grip frame. The new version of the .45 cartridge used a 230-grain bullet at 825 fps, a dead ringer for the .45 Schofield black powder cartridge used by the military since 1877 in both the Colt Single Action Army and the Smith & Wesson Model #3. As adopted by the military in 1911, the Colt Government Model .45 would last as the official military sidearm until 1985.

Today, for many of us dinosaurs, there are only two semi-automatic pistols — the 1911 and all others.