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.45 ACP bullet recommendations


BobS761

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I'm plenty new to the 1911 platform. I have no idea what I need in terms of bullet profile /weight. All I know is I need major PF and will mostly shoot 3 gun HM and maybe dabble in single stack. So, will it be the man sized 230 grain RN, or is there something better?

Thanks, B

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My pistols love 200gr and 230gr bullets, but I prefer 200gr because I'm back on target quicker. I use LSWC for bullseye, but LTC bullets for competition. Even though I chamber check each round used for competition, I still get a very occasional failure to feed with the LSWC. That has never happened with the Truncated Cone bullets.

Since 45 is a low velocity round, I don't bother with anything other than lubed lead bullets. At 860fps I get zero barrel leading.

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For plated I really liked Berry's 230gr RN. For lead my 1911 likes the 200gr SWC's that I cast with a Mihec Mold. For some reason, I've found Witnesses don't like the 200gr SWC, but did like the 200gr. RFN bullets also casted with Mihec mold.

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I am one of those who just loves to experiment a lot with loads and different types of bullets to find the best combination for each individual firearm. One observation that stands out is each pistol likes something different, even if they are the same platform and feed system.

For instance, my Kimber will not feed Berrys 230 RN, but my RO Springfield runs them fine. I tried the Blue Bullet 185 coated of a semi wadcutter design, and the Kimber simply hates them. In addition to bullet type, certain powders change the accuracy in a dramatic way also.

From a pure bullet viewpoint, Montana Golds are superb. And you will certainly pay for that performance. Shooting the 230 grain HP is almost double a plated or coated design bullet. Following that bullet, I really like the Extreme 230 HP. The Bayous were average in 230 grain, and I just ordered 250 Blue Bullet 230 grain to see how they work.

I have yet to try 200 grain rounds, but there is plenty of time left...........

Powders???? Since the big shortage I have had to try new ones, and found 800X to be really a great .45 powder IF you can get it to meter right. I finally found WST, which works great too. WSF is not bad, but again, it is the experimental and trial and error that will find what works well for your particular firearm.

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Only trial will prove what your gun may prefer. Here's a couple of my favorites:

200 grain SWC, 4.6 grains of WST. IF your gun feeds it, the 200 SWC is hard to beat. Coated is always better than old school lead and red/blue lube. If you can scratch it with your fingernail.....run the other way. Been true for the past 30 years!

225 Bayou TC, 4.3 grains of WST

Zero 230 fmj, 4.7 grains of WST

I prefer either a coated bullet or a FMJ. Not a fan of plated bullets. YMMV

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I like the Bayou 225 TC for my Glock or 1911. Haven't tried the SNS bullet yet.. VihtaVuori N310 works great and WW 231 does pretty good but doesn't burn as clean. With the powder situation sometimes you have to make do with what you find. Hopefully that will change soon.

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my suggestion is buy a variety and test them. I would have thought for sure that 230gr would feel the softest of the bunch, but through my testing, for me, I like the 200gr bullets bettter. They seem to shoot much softer than the 230gr. Currently my go to load for 45acp is 200gr BBI SWC/RN 4.7gr WST. my 1911 has no issues with SWC, so I shoot them, but the 200RN shoot great also.

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I've been really impressed with the 200g lswc from precisionbullet "the black bullet" no smoke whatsoever, accurate .451 in size and out of over 5,000, I've gotten one round that was mis-shaped.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have been shooting and using Dardas 200 Grain LSW for quite some time. They shoot great in all of my 5 inch 1911's, 4.2 inch 1911 and S&W 625 revolver and my little Springfield Armory XDs. I also use his bullets for 9mm and 38/357 with no problems.

I have slugged all of the barrels for these pistols and I do have to buy different diameter bullets to match the guns barrels diameters. That is why I buy my bullets from this vendor.

I have purchased bullets from different companies and had problems with the lubrication. One problem was the red lubricant had fallen out of the lubricant ring so there was less than 80% lubrication on the bullets. I had to pick up the lube in the bottom of the box and press the lubricant into the groove. Out of my order of 6,000 bullets there were at least 1000 that I had to do this with. It was a PITA. I never ordered from them again.

I had a lube problem from another vendor that is well named on the forums. I criticized his bullets because they were a mess with too much red lubricant making me stop and clean the seating and crimping dies a lot until the 3,000 rounds were made. Once again I never purchased from them again. I will not mention vendor's names. I made that mistake once and I received email and phone calls from him. It was worse than breaking up with my first girl riend.LOL.

Good luck. Once you find a vendor and bullet you like. I would stick with them. It is not worth saving a few dollars and having a big headache. Every time I have price shopped in the past it has caused to many problems.

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