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American Handgunner Nov/Dec 2012 Digital Edition - Page 28
HANDLOADING sAGe ADvIce FroM tHe HANDLoADING GUrUs JoHN tAFFIN “ FActory ” the lower recoiling test loads showed good accuracy and reliability. 45 AcP loAds? I . low recoil it works! b uffalo Bore went with Hardcast Flat Nose bullets at 180- and 200grain weights, and to make sure they would work in factory 1911s Tim used three test guns with 20-pound springs. The loads work perfectly in all three of his test guns. In my Kimber Custom CDP II and Lightweight Commander, these loads clocked out at 895 fps and 769 fps respectively, while the shorterbarreled Commander registered them at 818 fps and 728 fps. Recoil was quite mild and should not be a problem for anyone with any kind of experience shooting 1911s. DoubleTap went with a 200-grain JHP. In the Kimber this load clocks out at 771 fps, while the Commander came in at 692 fps. I also tested all three loads in a full-sized, all steel current production Colt Gold Cup National Match. Muzzle velocities were very close to those experienced with the Kimber, and just as with the Kimber and Colt Commander, functioning was perfectly flawless. All three .45s had standard production recoil springs, no light springs allowed. So, it seems it’s possible to come up with low recoil .45 ACP loads, which are quite comfortable to shoot in alloyframed .45s, while still providing accuracy and reliable functioning. Ever shot much hardball in one of the Compact .45s? That certainly is not much fun either and these loads could be the answer for those little big bores. All three loads tested are prototypes to see if they would actually work. The next step may be to develop thinnerjacketed 185- and 200-grain HP bullets to aid expansion. However, when compared to .380s/9mms, .45s are not only heavier — they are already pre-expanded! If you are interested in having Buffalo Bore and DoubleTap offer Low Recoil .45 ACP loads contact them with your wishes. If they hear from enough folks they will take the next step. For more info: www.americanhandgunner. com/buffalo-bore, (406) 745-2666; www. americanhandgunner.com/doubletapammunition, (866) 357-1066 f we live long enough every- Doubletap’s test load proved reliable, like the Buffalo Bore loads provided, with both showing solid relithing, and I do mean everything — changes. This was ability in the test guns. Shown with a lW commander. brought home to me dramatically with an e-mail we received from a reader. He related he was about to turn 67 and found he had lost a lot of muscle mass. Tell me about it! I’ve got 6 years on him. He also said 30 years ago he could handle his S&W and Ruger Flat-Top .44s as well as his Lightweight Commander. He wanted to still be able to carry his Commander, however he found himself barely able to handle 200grain cast bullets at about 825 fps — with the emphasis on barely. There was a time I was like the second baseman who plays every game. Now I’m more like the pitcher. He can only throw that hardball so many times and then he needs several days rest. I have no doubt the problem related by the reader is widespread. What can be done about it? The question for us was could we come up with low recoil .45 ACP loads that would also be accurate and function perfectly. Most current factory loads for the .45 ACP tend to higher muzzle velocities, and I don’t want to shoot 300 +P loads in one session. Would it be possible to tone these down (even the “standard” loads) and still have reliable performance? l f irst I went to the loading bench with WW231 as my powder of choice. Trying 4.0, 4.5, and 5.0 grains with 185-grain JHPs and a variety of 200-grain bullets I found 4.5 grains was the lower limit for perfect functioning and 5.0 grains yielded 720 to 800 fps. For my test guns, since the query was about comfortable loads in the Colt Lightweight Commander, I went with my 45-year-old Lightweight king for loads Buffalo Bore’s Prototype loads were tested in a colt lightweight commander, and this lightweight kimber cDP ii. All test guns had standard weight recoil springs. Commander and a 5" Kimber Custom CDP II with an alloy frame. I found the 200-grain loads over 5.0 grains of WW231 quite comfortable, and felt like I could shoot as many rounds as I wanted to without having to spend several days resting my hands. While I don’t want to get into the argument concerning carrying handloads in a self-defense pistol I felt factory loads should be an option. I carry handloads in the field but factory loads on pavement. Would it be possible to come up with factory low recoil .45 ACP loads, which would reliably function in a standard 1911 or Commander — without replacing the recoil spring? To this end I contacted Tim Sundles at Buffalo Bore and Mike McNett at DoubleTap. Both men agreed to see what they would come up with, although they were skeptical about the possible results. Both men also went the extra mile, and I thank them both for their willingness to work with us. * 28 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER2012