When people say "a 45," it is a pretty general term for a number of pistols and some rifles too. Is it a 45 ACP (Auto Colt Pistol), a 45 GAP (Glock Auto Pistol), a 45 Colt (and some people say Long Colt), a 45-70 (45 caliber,.458 diam., not discussed here), or a few others. The pistols all use the same 45 caliber bullets with a diameter of.451 or.452, but the weights vary.These bullets typically have diameters of.451 and.452 and can be used interchangeably.The majority of copper-plated and lead bullets are.452, while the majority of copper-jacketed bullets are.451.The ACP and GAP bullet weights are usually from 155 to 230 grains, with 230 grains being the most common. However, the 45 Colt weighs in at 135 to 395 grains, with 250 grains being the most common.
Common 45 ACP projectiles are Round Nose (RN) and Hollow Points (HP), with many variations on each. For example, Berry's Bullets manufactures both a Target Hollow Point (THP) and a Hybrid Hollow Point (HHP)). Hornady manufactures an eXtreme Terminal Performance (XTP) and the Hornady Action Pistol (HAP). For self-defense and small game hunting, a Hollow Point bullet is preferable for expansion and knockdown. For plinkers, however, a plated bullet such as Berrys or a lead bullet works well, and gives you the best bang for your buck. Literally.
Slower burning powder works well with 45 ACP bullets because of their relatively low velocity (800–900 fps). Tightgroup, Clays, HP-38, HS-6, LongShot, CleanShot and CFE Pistol powders are a few that reloaders use when reloading the 45. When reloading cartridges, remember to ALWAYS follow your data guide and stay within the standards listed, as well as under the SAAMI maximum pressure of 21,000 PSI.Always check and follow your reloading data manual as specs change and some cartridges, such as 45 ACP +P have higher (23,000 PSI) or 45 Colt have lower (14,000 PSI).
Below are some products for reloading your .45 brass casing, ranging from once-fired brass cases to bullets and various powders.As with all reloading, ensure you check your OAL (overall length) when seating and crimping your ammunition. It's a good idea to load only a handful before safely checking them in your weapon. You don't want to be caught at the range with hundreds of cartridges only to find out they won't chamber!
For you new reloaders, 45 ACP brass casings come in both small pistol primer (SPP) and large pistol primer (LPP). Many of us recall first seeing the small pistol primers in the early 1980s, but others claim to have seen them earlier.Everyone asks, what is the 'normal mix' of SPP to LPP? Well, it varies by range and the date. If someone comes in with five friends and they all shoot a bunch of 45 SPP, then that range will have more than normal, could be up to a 50/50 mix or higher. Recently (10/03/2022) we randomly checked a bucket from an indoor range, and it was 23% SPP. A few months ago, a different range was around 11%, so as you can see, it varies greatly.
Also, some of our new and once fired 45 ACP brass (.45 casing), 45 GAP brass, and 45 Colt brass, as well as bullet tips (bullet heads) for those 45 calibers are shown below, too. Only currently in-stock items are shown below.