"Favorite" loads for SAECO #58 215gr. SWC in .45 ACP

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Kosh posted this 3 weeks ago

I am in search of input concerning particularly good loads for the above projectile in .45 ACP. The firearm(s) of interest will be a 1911A1 or a Ruger alloy-framed Commander analog. 

Before I am entreated to consult/go buy a manual, I already have consulted many, and can find no data specific to this bullet weight/configuration (still chasing down a newer Lyman manual, though). I am hopeful that someone on here besides me likes this bullet enough to have worked up a few good loads for it. 

I am also aware that using starting data for the heavier 230 gr. projectiles is one point of departure, and I have started working up batches in 0.1 or 0.2 grain increments. Even so, I am convinced that the necessarily more sedate charges used in the 230 gr. projectiles do not bring out the full velocity potential of this bullet. I am not inclined to use the heavier charges listed for the various 200 gr. bullets with this heavier slug. Further confusing the issue is my realization that with certain projectiles & propellants, the starting & max loads are the same for 200 gr. & 230 gr. weights. This makes interpolation a non-answer. 

Propellants of interest are Alliant Bullseye, Promo, Unique, BE-86, & Herco, and Accurate #5. I'm not averse to trying something not on this list (Power Pistol, maybe?), if I can obtain it, and if it has delivered particularly good results for someone more experienced with this bullet than me. 

Lastly, I am without pressure-measuring equipment, but I DO have a chronograph. If I see a velocity increase that's well out of proportion to the change in charge increment, I know to back off. I'm also aware that minimal or negative velocity changes with increasing charge weight are signs to back off and I'll do so forthrightly and without embarrassment. 

 

Thanks in advance.

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Bud Hyett posted this 3 weeks ago

I've shot this bullet four decades ago in Bullseye competition and have done well. The reason to go heavier than the H&G 200 grain semi-wadcutter was for reliable functioning in my particular .45. This bullet also shot better from a Ransom Rest at fifty yards, possible a good matchup of bullet and barrel.

I wish I still had these records, but I recall the load was Bullseye with a 4.5 charge weight to assure proper functioning. The load had slightly more recoil than a 200 grain, this did not affect the performance on the target. 

Today for both the .45 ACP and .45 Colt, I shoot the SAECO #954 for general purpose loading and the H&G 200 grain semi-wadcutter for strictly target. The RCBS 45-230-RN in .45 Colt with 8.0 grains Unique for the long-range Elmer Keith Memorial Match. I do not know why, but I score better with this bullet beyond fifty yards.   

Country boy from Illinois, living in the magical Pacific Northwest

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Kosh posted this 3 weeks ago

Thanks for the reply!

I've always felt that the 200 gr. SWCs were a little light for non-target work, but I never found a 230 gr. SWC that I like, either. The SAECO #58 splits the difference, and the wide meplat almost certainly improves terminal performance. Like you, I can tell a difference in recoil between the 200s and the 215s, but I also agree that the change is negligible. Your 4.5/Bullseye/215 load sounds like a valid starting point. I think I will end up trying to push the 215s somewhat faster than you did, but I have LOTSA Bullseye, and need not worry about running out of powder from working up TOO gradually!

For the longest time, I had settled on the 225 gr. LEE truncated cone projectile in .45 ACP, and .45 Colt (revolver AND carbine). When I found a ready and reasonably prticed source for the 215s, I jumped on them for my ACP. I'm not sure how they'll behave in the .45 Colt revolver, and I probably won't even try them in the carbine.

Like you, I am a fan of the 8.0/Unique/whatever load combination in .45 Colt. I haven't found a projectile weighing from 200 gr. to 292 gr. that does NOT work well with this powder charge, in revolver OR carbine. 

Thanks, again!

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GBertolet posted this 3 weeks ago

I had come across a Lyman 45266 mold. A 215 gr SWC bullet. For bullseye shooting, I have found that 4.2 gr of Bullseye or 4.8 gr 231, shoots exceptionally well with this bullet. I think this range of powder charges should work well for you also, with your bullet.

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Wayne Dobbs posted this 3 weeks ago

I recall Jeff Cooper writing about using the Markell 215 SWC in .45 ACP as a service load. He always liked things heavily loaded and cited his load as 7.5 Unique for over 1000 fps.  If I recall correctly, Larry Gibson did a pressure test of this load recently, but I can't find the data.  I would think this would do just about anything doable with a service pistol!

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delmarskid posted this 3 weeks ago

I use data for 230 grain bullets. Works great, I start low and move up .2g at a time until the cases come out clean .

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Kosh posted this 3 weeks ago

I think Cooper's old load was 7.5/Unique/215 SWC, and he claimed 950 f/s. If it was ever used in what he referred to as "social work", it must have been capable of stopping people who thought they were freight trains. 

MY aims for this projectile are two-fold:

1.) I'd like to find a nice, consistent 800 f/s load for IDPA/USPSA competition.

2.) I'd like to find another load that just exceeds 1000 f/s for...well, OTHER uses. 

I've looked closely at the stellar velocities wrought by Hodgdon CFE-Pistol for 200 gr. LSWCs in .45 ACP & thought of working up a load for this projectile with it. Perhaps later. 

The suggestion to use 230 gr. data is not lost on me, though finding a 230 gr. projectile that mimiks this projectile in reloading behaviour is challenging. I'm fine with erring on the side of safety, but I'd also like to see what its peak potential might be.

 

 

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Wayne Dobbs posted this 3 weeks ago

Kosh,

For your 800 fps load, I'd try 4.5 Bullseye and see what you get.  That charge weight has worked very well for me in both 200 grain SWC and 230 grain (and came as a recommended load from Ed Harris).  

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delmarskid posted this 3 weeks ago

I have also used plus p 230g. data with 215's. They kick. 5.2 AA2 is a good load with 215s. It was accurate, appeared to have decent power and was controllable . I have three different 215 molds and they all feed well through my 1911 with a polished ramp.

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Kosh posted this 3 weeks ago

WAYNE DOBBS and DELMARSKID thank you VERY much for your input! Like you, Wayne, I am inclined to take Ed Harris' advice VERY seriously, and will try the 4.5/Bullseye/215 load. 

DELMARSKID, I think the use of 230gr. +P data may be the safest way to approach 1000 f/s with a 215, if it's possible at all. I think the key determinant of pressure will be seating depth. It'll be important to try to seat the 215s no deeper than the 230s, which may be something of a task, given their different bullet profiles. I don't currently have AA2, so I'll be using AA5 initially. If I get no joy from it, I have BE-86 and CFE-Pistol to try next. As you mentioned, I'm expecting that these loads WILL kick. I have an 18# slide spring and a shock buffer on the trial pistol. I'd try for a 20# or higher spring, but I don't really know what else I'd have to switch out, to do so. 

 

Bottom line, thanks to everyone for all the guidance! It is very much appreciated!

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delmarskid posted this 3 weeks ago

I am using a heavy hammer spring and a square bottomed firing pin stop along with a buffer an 21# recoil spring for the heavy loads. I switch to a 16# when I'm thinking straight . AA5 is my heavy load powder at this point. Power pistol is said to make good speed with lower pressures. I don't think you will have any trouble getting this bullet to shoot well.

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