I love my new hobby, Reloading ammo for my .45 ACP

I am a recreational target shooter, a paper puncher and clay pigeon buster, there’s nothing better than a nice relaxing day at the Rod and Gun club, punchin’ paper, I predominantly shoot my Ruger 10/22 .22 carbine rifle, my CZ-75B 9mm pistol, and my current favorite, my Kimber Custom II .45 ACP 1911 pistol

Of all three firearms, my favorite is the .45 Kimber, there’s just something visceral about punching almost-half-inch holes in targets, the only real downsides to the .45 is that I tend to go through plywood target supports rather quickly, after 100-150 rounds, the plywood support I staple the paper target to tends to take on the appearance of swiss cheese, and there’s also that horrible, stabbing, burning sensation in my wallet every time I pull the trigger, the .45 is loads of fun, but is also rather expensive to shoot ($30 for a box of 100 Winchester rounds at wally-world)

About a month ago, I picked up a used Lee Progressive 1000 reloading press already set up for .45 ACP, and have slowly been building up both my knowledge, and my reloading supplies, and today, I took my first major step into the reloading hobby, I took my first batch of reloads to the range

to say I was apprehensive about firing them would be an understatement, visions swam in my head of underpowered squib loads, inaccurate, keyholing bullets, or even my gun blowing up on me because I got the formula “wrong”

I loaded a single round into the Kimber’s mag, loaded the gun, braced myself, and fired my first reload…

It worked brilliantly, the first round was dead-on-target, and the load had a nice, controllable recoil, and a quieter report than the factory Winchester ammo, it was a far more pleasant round to shoot than the Winchester White Box (WWB) ammo

I then proceeded to use up the Winchester ammo so I could get back to my reloads, before firing off my last batch of reloads, I put up a fresh target, and fired the reloads, the results were pretty impressive, to say the least
Shots were taken from 22 feet away, bracing my arms on the shooting bench, and bear in mind, these are my first reloads, and I’m also new to the Kimber Custom II as well, I’ve had it about two weeks, and have only got out to shoot it three times so far (two times last weekend, and today)

Needless to say, I’m quite happy with this load, it’s got a nice, pleasant recoil, and reasonably quiet report, and it’s quite accurate to boot

And the best part is that that stabbing pain in my wallet has greatly reduced itself to almost ignorable levels, I’ve got plenty of .45 brass, so all I need is the gunpowder, primers, and bullets

Primers; $3 per pack of 100
Powder; $20 for 1LB (good for approx 1300-1400 bullets at a 5 grain load, and I’m loading 4.5 grains)
lead round nose bullets $22 for 200

the powder will last the longest of the above supplies, the main recurring expenses will be the primers and the bullets, the brass is basically free, and since I’m shooting a low pressure, subsonic target load, the brass should last basically forever, and the wear-and-tear on the gun itself will also be greatly reduced thanks to the lower pressure rounds

Congratulations on your new hobby!

I haven’t gone to the range in a decade, but at the time, I was reloading .38 special ammo and shooting it out of my .357 Magnum.
As I said in another reloading thread, I really enjoyed the process of methodically sizing, capping, loading, and crimping the cartridges. I would easily do a couple of hundred in a sitting, and I never went to the range with less than 200 rounds ready.

I too liked the fact that I could make exactly the round I wanted (I preferred light charges with full wadcutters).


I hate to pop a hole in your proverbial balloon, but my Kimber .45 won’t feed worth a damn in a single magazine.

I’ve got a BP Ten II, and a pal of mine went out, switched out the springs, and took it out plinkin’. She jammed on factory ammo, his reloads, and some other dude’s reloads. When I cleaned her, I could feel some burrs on the feed ramp. I compared mine to his Rock Island .45, and could see the difference in the milled (and fired) feed ramps. . .

I hate to throw this at you, but I have to–you’ve got a Kimber .45. Are your loads working better in yours? Have you noticed anything weird? I’d prefer to ask before I write the company.

Concerned Kimber owner.

Tripler, so far, I’ve put about 250-300 rounds through my Kim Custom II, and it’s been 100% reliable, I did buy it used but in great shape, so I’d imagine the previous owner got all the bugs worked out of it, I’ve got 4 mags for it, a Wilson Combat 8 rounder, 2 Chip McCormick 8 rounders, and a Mec-Gar 7 rounder, all mags feed 100% reliably

I traded a Glock 21 for the Kimber, and so far, the Kim has been just as reliable as the Glock, the G21 was too wide for my hands, and the slim single-stack 1911 fits my hand far better

If your Kimber is new, generally speaking it’s reccomended to run about 500 rounds of Ball ammo through it to “break it in” before you judge the reliability, personally, that sounds like a load of bull droppings, and if you’re having problems feeding ball/round nose/FMJ ammo, it might mean your gun has an issue, also, bear in mind, your Kimber is a double-stack 1911, and mine is a single-stack 1911, the “traditional” 1911 design is a single-stack design

oh, I forgot to ask;

are your jams Failure to Feed (FTF), Failure to Eject (FTE), or “Stovepipes” (spent case sticking vertically out of the ejection port, like a chimmney stack)

from my limited autoloader experience, common causes with these jams are;

FTF; weak magazine spring, not pushing the rounds up far enough, or without sufficient tension, or a weak recoil spring, not pushing the slide back into battery fully, solution, try stronger springs

FTE; ejector claw may not have sufficient tension, if it’s an external ejector (visible on the side of the slide), the ejector spring may be weak, if it’s an internal ejector, it may need to be adjusted somehow (not sure if internals are spring-loaded), or the ejector may be too tight/strong and not allowing the spent casing to be kicked out of the gun, the recoil spring could also be an issue here too, maybe it’s not allowing the slide to travel fully back and kick the spent shell out

Stovepipe; the slide may be cycling faster than the casing can leave the gun and trapping the ejecting case, or the ejector claw may be releasing the casing prematurely, allowing it to sit on top of the round waiting to be chambered, recoil spring might be too strong, snapping the slide closed faster than intended

I did some quick off-the-cuff figures comparing the per-round cost of factory loads vs. handloads

Factory loaded .45 ACP; $30 for 100 rounds, each round costs 30¢

Handloaded ammo (per round);
Brass casing; Free (scrounged from range or previously fired by me)
Primer; 3¢
4.5 grains of powder; .013¢ (lets round down to .01¢)
230 Grain lead bullet; 1¢

total cost per finished round; 4.13¢ (round down to 4¢)

cost per 100 rounds; $4.00

Heck, that’s only marginally more than the per-round cost of a $15 brick of .22 (3¢ per round)

Joy!, it’s actually cheaper to shoot my .45 with my handloads than it is my .22

I figured out the other reason I love reloading, it mixes in some of my favorite things;
cooking (well, mixing recipie ingredients)
Science (high precision weighing, micro measurements)
hand tools (the reloading press, the Auto-Prime primer tool)
dangerous metals (lead)
and EXPLOSIVES! (primers, smokeless propellant - “gunpowder”)

what’s not to love :slight_smile:

Don’t use plywood. Use cardboard target backers in a wooden frame. That’s what I’ve always shot at.