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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It has been 20 or more years since I last cast bullets for a .45. I just dug out my moulds and what not for the .45, and thought I would cast for it again. I have both a .451 and .452 sizer die. Can't for the life of me remember why I have a .451. Does anyone size their .45acp bullets to .451? I may just try a box sized .451 to see how they shoot.
 

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Its not for 45ACP, unless you were using a tight barrel for some reason. Were you casting for something else?
 

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You want to match lead bullet diameter to bore diameter. Slug your barrels and see what the bore sizes are. Select the right lubrisizer die to match the bore. It may be 451 or 452, you'll know when you slug. (Get a fishing sinker because they're soft, use a plastic mallet or wooden dowel to jamb it in the muzzle tight, then carefully push it back out without distorting it. Measure the largest outside diameter, that's the part that went into the grooves. That's the bore diameter to match bullet diameter.)

If you're like me, you collect stuff when it's available cheap, whether you need it or not. And once in a while you buy something by mistake but you keep it just in case. So maybe you got the extra die for no particular reason at all. But don't get rid of it. Some 45acp bores are .451" and that would be the perfect size for lead bullets.
 

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You want to match lead bullet diameter to bore diameter. Slug your barrels and see what the bore sizes are. Select the right lubrisizer die to match the bore.
Yep, just like Nick said. An under sized bullet will lead the barrel.
 

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You want to match lead bullet diameter to bore diameter. Slug your barrels and see what the bore sizes are. Select the right lubrisizer die to match the bore. It may be 451 or 452, you'll know when you slug. (Get a fishing sinker because they're soft, use a plastic mallet or wooden dowel to jamb it in the muzzle tight, then carefully push it back out without distorting it. Measure the largest outside diameter, that's the part that went into the grooves. That's the bore diameter to match bullet diameter.)

If you're like me, you collect stuff when it's available cheap, whether you need it or not. And once in a while you buy something by mistake but you keep it just in case. So maybe you got the extra die for no particular reason at all. But don't get rid of it. Some 45acp bores are .451" and that would be the perfect size for lead bullets.
I believe you want the lead bullet to be slightly larger than bore diameter. IIRC, its about 0.001 more. Which is why most commercial lead bullets are 0.452, as most 45acp barrels are 0.451.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess I just picked it up "just in case". I have had only 2 .45's, both series 70 Colts. One a Gold Cup and the other a Commander. I will size bullets to .452" like most are. Thanks;)
 

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Another thought on the subject:

Sizing of cast bullets, whether done in a tapered die (which swages the bullet to desired diameter) or in an older shear-style die (which removes metal to achieve desired diameter), always damages the bullet to a certain degree.

For best performance, a bullet cast to groove diameter (or 0.001" greater) is much preferred.

I use lubricator-sizer dies 0.001" larger than the as-cast diameter of my bullets. In effect, I am using the tool simply to lubricate (although I also seat gas checks in some) the bullets uniformly.

Also, the alloy used to cast your bullets will have an effect on as-cast diameter. The harder alloys shrink far less than those having higher lead content.

Finding the optimum combination of mold, bullet alloy, lubricant, etc, etc, etc, can be difficult enough. The damage caused by sizing will doom any efforts toward achieving an accurate load.
 
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Another thought on the subject:

Sizing of cast bullets, whether done in a tapered die (which swages the bullet to desired diameter) or in an older shear-style die (which removes metal to achieve desired diameter), always damages the bullet to a certain degree.

For best performance, a bullet cast to groove diameter (or 0.001" greater) is much preferred.

I use lubricator-sizer dies 0.001" larger than the as-cast diameter of my bullets. In effect, I am using the tool simply to lubricate (although I also seat gas checks in some) the bullets uniformly.

Also, the alloy used to cast your bullets will have an effect on as-cast diameter. The harder alloys shrink far less than those having higher lead content.

Finding the optimum combination of mold, bullet alloy, lubricant, etc, etc, etc, can be difficult enough. The damage caused by sizing will doom any efforts toward achieving an accurate load.
Depending on your needs Lee makes 6 place molds that don't require sizing. Just tumble lube in some liquid alox and let dry. They exhibit great accuracy in my pistols. To your question my sons Para Tac-Four likes .451 as does another one I know of. I am trying .451 myself in my 1911s to see if there is a noticeable change in accuracy. As said earlier some barrels are tighter than normal.
 

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As several have pointed out, the bullet must be at least as large as the bore diameter or you will get leading and a lot of frustration. You might get even better results by using the largest bullet that can safely be chambered. This applies to both handguns and rifles when using cast bullets. I have a 9mm that permits the use of .358" diameter bullets due to an oversize chamber. Using bullets that are sized smaller than .358" results in leading just forward of the chamber, I assume due to gas cutting that occurs before the bullet even begins down the barrel. If you go this route just be sure the loaded rounds will chamber without resistance. If there isn't enough clearance to allow the bullet to release chamber pressure will get really interesting in a hurry.
 
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