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45 ACP and OAL for different bullets

Hi All,

First post here and hope I can tap into the vast knowledge pool here. I've been reloading 45 ACP for a few months (a bit over 1,000 rounds) and I'm running into a problem. Measuring OAL.

I currently use Montana Gold FMJ 230 bullets and measure the OAL to the tip of the bullet, which isn't ideal (ogive is better). But I'm planning on switching to the JHP to reduce the lead exposure. But this means that measuring to the tip of the bullet is going to be even worse due to the uneven tip. So I've been looking for an adapter for my Hornady Lock-n-Load for 45 ACP, but the closest they have is 458 which would swallow the bullet.

What do you guys use to measure the OAL to the ogive on a 45 ACP that is reasonably priced?



  • perry shooterperry shooter Member Posts: 17,390
    edited November -1
    I have been loading match grade 45ACP for over 40 years and more than
    350,000 Rounds. I use two things to determine OAL # one it has to fit in the magazine & # two it has to fit in the chamber of the barrel I intend to shoot it in . I remove barrel from the pistol and adjust seating die so the cartridge head sits .005 -.010 below flush to the back of the barrel hood extension. I taper crimp so case mouth is .469
    inch Se reloading forum Sticky "thoughts on loading for semi auto pistol. "PRAISE THE HARD-BALL GUN"
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    Thanks perry, that will get me started on the JHP. I guess I'll drill out one of the smaller adapters to use on a 45 if I really want to know the actual length to the ogive.
  • CheechakoCheechako Member Posts: 563 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Just a comment from an old M1911 shooter - why would you want to know the COAL or the length from base to the ogive??? If you decide to load some SWC, how would you measure them??

    It's a 45 ACP for gosh sakes. A good hardball or softball pistol will shoot just about any ammo you want to feed it, and probably shoot it beyond your ability to hold on and jerk the trigger at the right time. Don't make it more complicated than it has to be.


  • bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,379 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Load it to fit the magazine and use common sense in not making the bullet too deep. If it is WAY too deep the pressures will rise to the point it becomes an issue. Follow Perry Shooters advice he is a wise, skilled and experienced old coot.

    Lead exposure is insanely over rated. I have cast literally TONS of lead bullets. Back in the day I smoked, ate dinner seldom washed my hands, shot more than I care to admit and had lead tests done every year or so. It NEVER showed above background lead.

    The EPA has folks thinking CO-2 is a pollutant and handling lead sinkers will kill you.

    Common sense needs to prevail with lead, it has unique properties that avail it to making fine projectiles
  • dcs shootersdcs shooters Member Posts: 10,969
    edited November -1
    I've been loading and shooting 45acp for over 30yrs { not quite as long as perry shooter} and load COAL to fit mag. Perry's advice is the best there is, take it [;)][:)]
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,649 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Don't rely on overall length data, from any source.

    Only use Perry Shooter's bullet in chamber test, from the specific barrel your going to use.

    I was loading a bunch of 250 grain bullets recently, for a Beretta Cougar. Book data was something on the order of 1.240 minimum. What a joke! Using the barrel chamber test. It wouldn't chamber anything over 1.185.
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    I believe Perry's advice is the way to go also. Makes great sense. Thanks ya'll.
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