Which to shoot my reloads out of

This is a discussion on Which to shoot my reloads out of within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; Happy Friday everyone! Okay, I've now made 4 sets of reloads-- 5 rounds per set of reload. Each is a different grain and 1/2 are ...

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Thread: Which to shoot my reloads out of

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array pscipio03's Avatar
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    Which to shoot my reloads out of

    Happy Friday everyone!
    Okay, I've now made 4 sets of reloads-- 5 rounds per set of reload. Each is a different grain and 1/2 are using Bullseye with the other half using HP-38. I won't be shooting any soft lead, just two different grains of XTP, and two different grains of hard cast.
    Here's my dilemma- I've never shot my personal reloads, and while I gave the process 100% of my attention, I'm a very pragmatic person. I used my Lee Classic Turret as a single stage just to make sure. But, you always have the 'What if'. I'll be shooting all rounds left handed just in case something bad were to happen. Can't lose my check writing hand or my wife will leave me.
    Now, that being said, here is my quandary, which gun do I use? All are .45ACPs, but I hesitate on each for a reason:
    1. Kimber full size. Will probably be my most accurate. But I love this thing and can't bear something tragic happening to it. I also have a feeling it'd be my most 'safe' gun in case there was a bad event.
    2. HK45 full size. My second choice and would probably be the one that would be easiest to repair of the two full sizes. The only reason I hesitate with this one is that it was a present from my wife and is normally my home defense choice. Might actually be able to take a double round in the bbl better than the Kimber, but not sure. Plus, it's a poly bbl which I've been told can make a different in leading even with hard cast. Not sure if I buy it, but better safe than sorry.
    3. XDm 3.8 compact. Hate to ruin such a nice bbl, and not sure I want a compact, but of the two compact choices, this might be the one I use. Cheaper than the HK and Kimber.
    4. Glock 30sf. I don't buy into the no-no on reloads on Glocks-- I see guys do it ALL the time at my gun club. However, there's just something about the trigger that I think would boil my finger off if there was an over-pressure gas escape. Might be paranoid.

    Those are my choice. If I thought I could talk one of the guys into shooting my rounds through their pistol, I would. Just kidding.

    I would appreciate your feedback.

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  3. #2
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    Any should be fine if you were diligent in your loading specs and took your time. You did start on the low end of the loading table for powder weight right?
    Skip shooting lead bullets in polygonal rifled barrels however , unless you are using a aftermarket barrel. I know loading for the first time is scary, however it isn't rocket science.
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    If you're that concerned about the safety of your reloads, don't ever attempt to make dynamite.

    As long as your loads are within specs, you used diligence to make sure there were no double loads (difficult with many powers), you'll be fine. IMO, reloads with either jacketed or lead bullets is a non-issue in my G30 with the factory barrel. I've yet to find any more or less leading than any other pistol make or rifling style. I checked, frequently, and have found nothing of significance. I shoot lead exclusively in my poly-barreled CZ-82 with no evidence of lead whatsoever.

    My current .45 ACP reloads are 5.0 grains of HP-38 under 230 LRNs (hardness=18), a mild load that functions fine in my G30. I've gone up to 5.6 grains but found no relative improvement, just used more powder. I also use them in my S&W 4566, but that sucker feeds anything, even empty cases. It's a tank in stainless steel clothing.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Have confidence in your work. I don't remember if I seconded guessed myself when I started loading. I probably did. Just shoot them. You were probably just as concerned when loading the ammo, which would lead me to beleive you paid attention and followed directions. It is a safe hobby.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Member Array relsiswb's Avatar
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    When I shot my first reloads, I was a little apprehensive. I was more concerned with a squib load than a hot one though. So I shot each round very deliberately to be sure I didn't fire a round into a plugged barrel. After a few rounds I felt more relaxed and confident in my reloads. Don't be overconfident though. Always be aware of a round that doesn't quite sound right.

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    I think you're over-doing the caution. Granted, you want to be careful, but let's look at it analytically. The .45 ACP is a low-pressure round to begin with. I just checked the cookbooks and about 5-6 grains is a max load of either powder you're using, regardless of bullet type or weight. So let's say you're careless and throw a double charge. At the worst, you'll get something less than double the pressure, but it won't destroy the gun. The .45 is fully supported in the 1911, so if the case ruptures it would blow the rim end of the case off, but that's not likely. Much more probably is you'll get a sizzling smack in your shooting hand and your slide stop (and possibly the slide stop holes in the frame) will take a beating. But the .45 case is pretty big, and if you're a complete doofus you might actually get a triple charge of powder in there, but I doubt you'd be able to seat the bullet. That big a load might just overload your barrel at the breech end.

    What is far more likely and potentially more dangerous is shooting a squib round - one with an undercharge or no powder - leaving you with a bullet lodged in the barrel. That's OK by itself, until you fire the next round and the fresh bullet with a full charge meets the barrel obstruction. In the case of 1911s in .45 is that you end up with a bulged barrel. The bulge may be so slight your fingers can barely detect it, but you'll see a ring in the barrel ID once the bore is clear. But I've never heard of a 1911 barrel in .45 ACP blowing up. .38 Super and 9x23 - different story, as those are high-pressure rounds.

    With regard to your question of which gun, I'd say use the Kimber, for no other reason than 1911s are a rugged design to begin with, and if the worst happens it's the most "rebuildable."

    Good luck and let us know what happens.
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    As an added note, I've had a grand total of two duds since I began reloading in '75. I've had more than that with commercial loads. How often do you read a thread of someone complaining about misfires with commercial loads versus those with reloads? Far more often.

    Simple precautions will ensure reliable reloads. I probably closed my eyes when I fire my first reload, you may also, but about shot number three--you'll get over it.

    Enjoy your new hobby!
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    If you don't trust your ammo don't fire it.

    I don't see why you would worry about it if you did your homework on it and did not cut any corners on the process.

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    Ex Member Array pscipio03's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. In the great city of Atlanta right now, but when I get back, I'm heading out to test em. The squib round is the primary concern for me. So, I'll just fire slowly to make sure.

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    Senior Member Array FLSlim's Avatar
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    Shooting your first reload is always a test in faith. We've all gone through it. But is sounds like you were very diligent, so you should be fine and return home with all the fingers.

    Good luck and a squib isn't a problem if you pay attention to each shot. A squib will, obviously, be much softer and quieter than a load with powder, the slide probably won't cycle, and it won't put a hole in the target. In the event of a squib, don't pull the trigger again, remove the mag, clear the chamber, and remove the barrel to inspect it for an obstruction. If you have the bullet lodged in the barrel, tap it out with a dowel (or a cleaning rod if you are careful).

    If it were me, I'd use the HK or Kimber. I found my Glock 30 to be fussy about light loads, i.e., the slide won't cycle reliably. The same loads run fine through my 1911s.
    Chose a weapon that goes bang EVERY time!

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