Four Favorites For The .45s

From Lee Precision

There’s nothing like casting your own bullets for a sense of freedom and satisfaction.

If you’ve been around for a while, you know I love casting my own bullets! Casting bullets provides a sense of freedom and self-sufficiency akin to what our forefathers did out of necessity for their muzzleloader. I also love all things in .45 caliber. And lastly, I love inexpensive bullet molds.

When it comes to affordable bullet molds, Lee Precision is king! Their 6-cavity molds are the best bargain around. Casting a pile of bullets takes no time at all with the 6-banger molds. While I love custom molds, Lee Precision proves affordable molds can have good designs, allowing you to load excellent custom handloads. I’ve done it for years.

By now, you know I have an affinity for the .45 Colt. Despite “Duke” saying it sucks, I’m quite fond of our original brass cased .45 caliber. However, I do agree with “Duke” on the greatness of the .45 ACP and Auto Rim (AR). Their versatility cannot be denied despite shortcomings of overall length.

While their compactness is great for light and medium loads, they’re lacking for what the .45 Colt excels at; Turbo Charged loads capable of propelling heavy 300-plus grain bullets in excess of 1,200 fps. These loads are more powerful than the coveted .44 Magnum. Hell, in large-framed shooters with five-shot cylinders, the .45 Colt comes damn near .454 Casull velocities.

Here’s Tank’s well-used stack of Lee .45 caliber molds.
Some are over 30 years old and still dropping slugs as good as when they were new.

The Molds

One of the first Lee molds I obtained was their .45 255-grain radiused flat-nose bullet. It is very close in profile to the Lyman 454190 slug. Loaded over 8 grains of 231 in my large-framed Rugers, it gives me just over 900 fps and is one of the most accurate handgun slugs I’ve ever shot. It also can be used in the .45 ACP/AR cases. Loaded over 7 grains of Unique, it closes in on 900 fps.

These purple powder coated poppers are perfect for .45 Colt, ACP/AR.

Big Boy

The next .45 Colt mold I got was their 300-grain radiused flat-nose slug with gas check. The nose is very wide — wide flat-nose wide. It hits hard, too! When cast of wheel weight alloy, my slugs drop at 330 grains. Loaded over a stiff charge of 22 grains of H110, sparked with a magnum pistol primer, it exceeds 1,200 fps. I’ve taken a few whitetails with this load, and it is a hammer. It is one of my favorite loads using home cast slugs from an inexpensive mold.

The Lee 230-grain Truncated Cone bullet feeds great in most every 1911.
It’s a popular and good choice bullet.

For the Shorties

My favorite .45 ACP bullet is the Lee 230-grain Truncated Cone (TC) bullet. It feeds like corn through a goose in most 1911s and is very accurate. Using 7 grains of Unique, or 5.3 grains of 231, velocity runs over 860 fps. I’ve even used it in the .45 Colt in a pinch, and it shoots great.

I can’t tell you how many hundreds of pounds of this bullet I’ve shot out of my .45 Colt revolvers.
It may be the most accurate of all my handgun molds.

The last bullet is the Lee 200 radiused flat-nose design. It is great for light loads in the .45 Colt and great for lighter recoiling loads in the .45 ACP/AR. Loading over 5-6 grains of 231 allows you to find the sweet spot for your gun with velocities running from low 800s to high 900s fps. I often use this bullet for gallery type, or lighter loads in the .45 Colt.

The Lee 300-grain wide flat-nose is a sledgehammer of a bullet!
Being almost full wadcutter design, it hits hard!

The Lee 300-grainer is plenty accurate too, as this 25-yard target shows.
The gun is a Mag-Na-Port custom by Ken Kelly.

This is a minimalist of tools needed to load good ammunition — all from Lee Precision.

Tank first bought a two-cavity mold of this design to “try it.”
A six-cavity mold soon followed, as the bullet shot so well.
Pictured from left to rights — bullet as cast, powder coated, sized and gas check crimped on.

Give ‘Em a Try

If you want to experiment with casting, I’d give Lee Precision a try. They make affordable equipment, especially their double cavity molds. Don’t be surprised if some of the molds become your favorites.

Lee Precision makes affordable casting pots too. Here’s a 10 lb. pot Tank uses
for quick, short casting sessions.

With this line up of Lee slugs, you can pretty much cover all your .45 caliber needs.

Subscribe To American Handgunner