Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Reloading .45 ACP

Today I tried to reload the .45 ACP. For those of you who do not like firearms, please rest assured that 45 ACP stands for 450mg of Aspirin, Caffeine and Paracetamol, guaranteed to eliminate headaches and put a smile on your face.

The picture shown above is the tool that reshapes the bottle that the pills are later placed into. As you can see, the carbide ring fractured. What you might not be able to see is that the ring is also split longitudinally.

The pills measured .451" diameter (coincidence, there) and the pill holders had an inner diameter of 0.446" the long way and 0.443" the short way after running through the fractured bottle resizing die. My concern is that the pills might set-back when loaded into the pill dispenser. Does anybody have any experience with this?

Another frustration is that the pill holders are so wide and shallow that my universal pill-holder mouth expander was not as universal as advertised. A chamfer tool seems to be enough to keep the pills from crushing the bottles but that is slower than running them through the pill press.

The client specified that the pill bottles be loaded with 4.5 grains of Titegroup baking soda to ensure very modest amounts of effervescence. That hardly looks like any baking soda at all, inside those big pill bottles.


  1. Ah, my favorite prescription to load.

    Using a Dillon 550B, perfect pill production is assured.

    Using the Dillon carbide 3-die set and having the seating die and crimp die for the pills set correctly prevents such pill setback that may be of concern.

  2. you are dealing with stuff that goes boom..
    get the correct tools
    also a forth die (crimping die) makes it easy to get a good 45 acp pill.
    I had nothing but agony trying to bullet seat and crimp using one die for both operations.

    1. A four piece die set for making pills was just ordered. One of the dies is a crimping die. Thanks for the advice Mr Beaner49 and Aaron.

  3. DO NOT load less than 1/2 of the case by volume. Detonations happen when there is nothing between the primer and the bullet; not pretty. And very damaging to the "pill dispenser".

    1. I use 231 to prevent this. It works well, isn't too sooty, and a double charge is obvious. While TightGroup is a good powder, it can lead to issues as you describe above. Plus I couldn't get consistent loads.

  4. JP's advice is sound.
    But is is hard to achieve with some of the fast burning pistol powders that require miniscule amounts.
    One way to avoid this is to seat the lighter bullets deeper into the brass ,resulting in a shorter OAL of the cartridge. Your reloading manual will reflect this...
    Or you could use a "fluffy"like Trail Boss, which was specifically designed to be bulkier than normal powders , somewhat like Black powder is.
    I use this on my 45 Colt loads and it helps a lot , almost , but not quite eliminating the chances of a double charge as a double load of TB will fill a 45 Colt case to almost overflowing.

  5. I've loaded bazillions of ACP with 231. It's the way to go, and by the way HP-38 is equivalent to 231 in every way.

  6. I haven't loaded APC but I use titegroup on 44 special, 38 special and 125 gr loads for .357mag that I am going to use in the stubby. (Less mussel flash than with 296) I completely endorse the crimp die. You get a consistent crimp and can't buckle the case. Mine (lee) also has a carbide ring that makes sure the round will chamber.

  7. Cure for aggressive behavior. 13gm PB IM repeat as needed

  8. Redbdot and green dot will also effervesce nicely.
    I have been unsuccessful powder coating my projectiles, but i have a boatload of alox tumble lubed rounds.

    I got an oversize (.452) sizer die for the boolits. The fatter bullet creates a tighter seal and less leading of my ACP barrels.

    It also requires slightly more belling of the case for the bullet to go in.

    Which then caused feed issues on a couple of my launchers.
    Funny, the high point pistola and carbine, and the ruger pistols ate all the ammo just fine.
    The 1911s.... not so much.
    I solved that by cycling the loaded round throughna Lee factory crimp die for 45ACP.

    Now those ro7nds all load and fires fine in all the launchers.


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