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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  09:23:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
to me at least.

I should preface this with saying that it is not my intent to recommend hand-loads for self defense here, and my mission in this particular case is a general purpose "field" load as I have a lot more use these days for wandering around in the woods (as opposed to blundering around in the city).

I've been waiting for this bullet all my life and someone finally makes it - it is called the ".45 Express Bullet" from Missouri Bullet Company and is a coated lead SWC with a very wide Meplat - like .35"!

It weighs 215 grains. 40 years ago I loaded and shot the standard Keith 260 gr. (nominally 255 gr. from #2 Alloy but I used wheel weights with some tin and it weighed more) loaded to right at 1000 fps in my .45 auto - amazingly it fed like butter - but I suspect it was way too hot and was running in the same league pressure wise as the later ".45 Super".

I never had a problem (other than it turned over the pendulum at one of the early IPSC matches) but I decided that it was probably putting too much stress on the gun.

I had NEI cut me a mold for a 240 gr TC bullet but the meplat was only about .27 or so.

If I cannot have a full wadcutter I want as large a meplat as I can get within reason (this is not about anything that will show up in a data base - they simply make a bigger hole than the bullet in flesh and don't skid off bone - which is sorta hard to achieve)

I always thought for the 5" .45 Auto a 215 to 220 gr. bullet with a large meplat at around 1000 fps would be just about perfect for the critters in my part of the U.S.

I've only loaded a couple dozen so far but they feed in my 1911 flawlessly. I'm also looking to load it for one of my 3" .45 Colt revolvers that shoots the 260 gr bullet too high.

My use is probably not for everyone and again, I'm not urging anyone to adopt it for self defense - but then again I would not want to get in the way of one

If you do have a use for it, buy a bunch, since when they find out I like it they will quit making it [:9]

Jim H.

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Edited by - Jim Higginbotham on February 06 2017 09:26:50 AM

pistolero
Junior Member

237 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  10:20:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jim H.,

What OAL do you load it to? This could be a decent bullet for bowling pins.
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  12:04:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pistolero

Jim H.,

What OAL do you load it to? This could be a decent bullet for bowling pins.



I'll have to check. On my Progressive (a "Clyde" it has a lyman seating die for a RN and when I substitute a bullet it often just loads it to the right length automatically - causes the edge of the ogive to hit the feed ramp the same place a round nose would - which is handy.

The only time this messes up is with an SWC with a small meplat and short nose - then the full diameter cutting shoulder drives too deep into the leade of the chamber.

This one is just perfect - the full diameter shoulder is just barely visible at the front of the case.

I'll try to measure it the next time I load some - which should be fairly soon.

Jim

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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2556 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  1:13:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jim your aware of Cirillo's slotted Wadcutter bullet aren't you?

Allowed full wadcutter profile to feed in autos with nose cap.

In paper they made wadcutter type hole.

But in anything where they expanded it opened up with two large petals, kinda like a two blade propeller.

Edited by - Dov on February 06 2017 1:13:50 PM
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2556 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  1:14:53 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
He patentented it IIRC, and sold or leased design to some real small ammo company that marketed them under Felon Grabber line IIRC.
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2527 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  1:52:41 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I too will not encourage anyone to use handloads for self-defense. My buddy Mas Ayoob has some solid reasons for not doing that. And it's not about load performance and reliability. It deals with 'courtroom issues".

With that said, a SWC loaded to full power from a 1911 is nothing to sneer at.

The first whitetail buck I ever harvested with a handgun was in Maine in 1969. I was stationed at NAS Brunswick... borrowed a .45 hardball match pistol from the armory (I was authorized)... and made a handload with a 215 H&G hardcast SWC with a 'moderately outrageous' charge of Unique. Didn't chrono, but it had to be busting 1000 fps. (And it wasn't my gun so I didn't care, let the Gunners Mates deal with it.)

It blew through both shoulders of a 140 pound Maine buck from about 30 yards. He dropped in his tracks (Jim would be proud)and the Weapons Dept had a BBQ!

A big meplat is nice. But that sharp shoulder behind it is gonna cut a 1/2 inch hole. Add the 'smack' of that .45 flat face whacking the shootee on impact and life gets good.


Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.

Edited by - Chris Christian on February 06 2017 1:54:50 PM
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Dov
Advanced Member

USA
2556 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  5:13:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Chris there is fairly easy experiment one can do, Veral Smith came up with it first AFAIK, where you put sand in gelatin and mark Tip and shoulders of bullets with marker

Your coating front e d of bullet to see what the "wear points" are on front of bullet. .

You'll find that it's only meplat that gets marker worn off, the shoulders don't have any real input at least at speed. Might be a transition zone at some slower FPS, I wouldn't be surprised if 300-400 for behaved differently for example.

Believe Veral covers that in his book, which I still haven't gotten, my understanding was he was surprised by this result, he thought like Elmer Keith did, that the shoulders of Keith bullets did a lot of the work.

Believe this actuall experimentation is part of how he developed his LBT bullets.

My understanding is that the meplat pushes material away in a bow ware or snowplow effect that is farther than diameter of bullet shoulders.

That bow wave effect is bigger if either meplat is bigger or velocity is higher.

So it might require a small block with sand at front, for high speed zone, then regular dived blocks with no sand to capture built and avoid scrapping shoulder areas at low speeds.

I'm no engineer but I think this has to do with fluid dynamics (in physics the group liquids and gases as fluids).
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Chris Christian
Advanced Member

USA
2527 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  6:32:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not being a .45 fan, that buck is the only 'live testing' I have ever done with the .45 ACP round. But, the buck was 'suitably impressed', even with the small meplat on the H&G 215 bullet. I'll leave it to wiser heads as to explaining the how... but the NAS Brunswick NAS Weapons Dept fired up the grill and we all had a good time.

One deer. One round. One cook out

Chris Christian
There are those who make things happen. There are those who watch things happen. There are those who wonder What The Heck happened! Pick one.
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zeke
Junior Member

231 Posts

Posted - February 06 2017 :  9:27:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Montana Bullets also have 45 acp lbt 230 gn lfn-pb. Basically a wide flat nose lrnfp with out cannelure, but not coated. Excellent heavier bullet for 45 acp comes from Lee's 255 lrnfp. It has a wide flat in front plus a reduced diameter in front. This allows for some adjustments to col, and better compatibility with the slide release. Loaded to 850 fps, it be like old 45 lc round?

A low velocity wide flat nose may make a more controllable practice round for those small 45 acp's, while being able to penetrate the target board.

Edited by - zeke on February 06 2017 9:29:30 PM
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - February 07 2017 :  08:16:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by pistolero

Jim H.,

What OAL do you load it to? This could be a decent bullet for bowling pins.



I checked last night. The OAL is 1.180 - which seems short for a .45 Auto OAL but the meplat is wide and it hits the feed ramp at the right spot.

Jim

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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - February 08 2017 :  09:13:52 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

Not being a .45 fan, that buck is the only 'live testing' I have ever done with the .45 ACP round. But, the buck was 'suitably impressed', even with the small meplat on the H&G 215 bullet. I'll leave it to wiser heads as to explaining the how... but the NAS Brunswick NAS Weapons Dept fired up the grill and we all had a good time.

One deer. One round. One cook out



I think that bullet is the Markel (spelling?) design that Jeff Cooper carried back in the 50's and 60's.

I have a Lyman 215 mold but alas the nose is very rounded. I never shot anything with it but, while the thing worked well, it had too short a nose and you could not load it any hotter than a 230 anyway.

It was however accurate.

Jim

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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - February 08 2017 :  09:20:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Chris Christian

I too will not encourage anyone to use handloads for self-defense. My buddy Mas Ayoob has some solid reasons for not doing that. And it's not about load performance and reliability. It deals with 'courtroom issues".

<snippage>





There are two reasons I will not recommend handloads for self defense (that does not mean I'm totally against the idea in some locales - it just means I'm not going to recommend it to folks - I don't recommend a lot of stuff anyway).

#1 is the same as Mass, and I respect his opinion a lot.

#2 is that about 90% of the hand-loaders I know do not know how to craft ammo that is as reliable as the factories. Mind you there are exceptions - it took me a decade or more to learn but my first class hand-loads (I have more than one class - most fall into the rapidly produced cheap practice category).

Now that I'm retired and the agency has no say, nor responsibility, for what I carry, I'm not to worried about it myself. But if I lived in the big city I would worry about it.

As it is I normally carry factory anyway, but now that I more frequently vist my remote property and the odds of shooting either game or a 4 legged varmint are so much higher than an armed human attacker I have less reluctance to carry hand-loads.

Jim

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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - February 08 2017 :  09:26:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
As some here know, Bill Allard (Jim Cirillo's often partner) carried a Colt Gold Cup and loaded it with 200 gr SWC hand-loads and shot quite a few people with that - A friend of mine interviewed him for his book on Jim.

Allard conveyed the opinion that there wasn't much that worked better than that load but then again he may have been less than objective, who knows?

I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that both he and Jim knew how to place bullets and were cool under fire.

Jim H.

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Evan
Administrator

33820 Posts

Posted - February 08 2017 :  09:39:29 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Jimmy was a good friend and Allard deserves a lot more attention than he ever received. Jimmy and I shared mutual events that will never get published!

I loaded a 250 gr swc for bowling pins but the fastest time I ever got at Second Chance was with a light weight commander with 230 grain ball.

"The greatest thing a Father can do for his children is to love their Mother."

Harold B. Lee

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Dave Williams
Starting Member

USA
30 Posts

Posted - March 19 2017 :  06:00:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
National Bullet used to make a similar bullet. I purchased some because of Jeff Cooper's affinity for it, and it functioned fine in my 1911s. Good find!
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - March 19 2017 :  09:18:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dov

Jim your aware of Cirillo's slotted Wadcutter bullet aren't you?

Allowed full wadcutter profile to feed in autos with nose cap.

In paper they made wadcutter type hole.

But in anything where they expanded it opened up with two large petals, kinda like a two blade propeller.



Boy have I not been paying attention! I missed some of the posts.

Yes, In fact I have some Evan gave me in .44 Spl but I have not tested them.

Jim

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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9097 Posts

Posted - March 19 2017 :  09:34:57 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Williams

National Bullet used to make a similar bullet. I purchased some because of Jeff Cooper's affinity for it, and it functioned fine in my 1911s. Good find!



Back in the 70's after reading of Rick Miller's success with it I started sizing down the bullets I cast for .45 Colt (the classic Lyman 454424). Normally for revolvers I did them in .423 but I sized them down to .451 for the auto.

I seated them to just where the full diameter band came to the case mouth.

They would not work in Federal or Remington cases IIRC since the case was getting thicker where the base of the bullet rested but they did work in Winchester. I bet today I could use a Lee factory crimp die and they would work.

I shot perhaps 1000 of these loads through my Colt at 1000 fps (I used to use heavy springs in them anyway).

I finally started shooting so much that it was a cumbersome process to load a thousand rounds a week and the commercial 250 gr bullets had short noses and even more bullet down in the case.

The load was probably a bit too hot for the auto anyway.

Today I have a couple of lee 6 Cavity molds that throw a truncated round nose with the same size meplat - I load that in .45 Colt and .45 Auto Rim (with the bullets seated out further) and it has worked great on deer and wild boar.

The meplat on this 215 SWC is slightly wider - I have hopes for it as a field bullet. But so far it is not as accurate as the ones I cast.

Jim H.

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