Lead... Why not? - Pistolsmith

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Old 07-07-2005, 02:16 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 35
Lead... Why not?

After many years of shooting 230FMJ and various 185 to 200gr JHp I ran 6 boxes of 200 lead SWC through a Springfield 5 inch and and Colt LWC. Great groups for both at 7 15 and 25 yards. Ammo functioned without a hitch. Any data or thoughts on this lead SWC as a carry or even small game to deer hunting round.Velocity stated to be 900fps. The paper sure hand nice round .45 holes and doubt penetration would be a problem.[/code][/url]
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Old 07-07-2005, 04:18 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Virginia
Posts: 964
Lead is great in the 45 ACP. I've never hunted with the 45 ACP, but I would think that a 200 grain LSWC at target velocity (about 700 to 800 fps) would be fine for small game, but for deer you will need a lot more engergy. For a carry round it might be ok, but I really expect it would perform more like a FMJ flat point at best and again, for defense you will want more energy, say 950 to 1000 fps. The 200 grain LSWC is often an incredibly accurate bullet in the 45 ACP, but sometimes will not feed with 100% reliability.
Old 07-21-2005, 11:28 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 231
I have fluctuated between 230, 200, 185, and 152 grain bullets through the years with my 1911s. I'm too cheap to by cartridges or jacketed bullets, so I have plenty of time with lead. First, you can get the velosity a bit higher with the right powder and bullet combination. I have honestly found the 200/230gr bullets to be the most controllable at factory power levels. The 152/185gr bullets tend to get a by snappy with their higher velocity levels.

Accurate Arms provides 1000 fps+ loads in the 45ACP+P category for 200gr XTP bullets. That should be more than plenty.

The only times I've had functioning problems with my 1911's is when I tried to download the cartridges to get that "competitive edge" in USPSA competition (failures to feed). Once I bumped back up closer to the factory level (near max load), the pistol became 100% again.
Old 10-09-2008, 07:59 AM   #4
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 248
Re: Lead... Why not?

In non-expanding bullets the damage done is by tissue displacement caused by the bullet meplat (flat tip area). The H&G 68 200 grain LSWC has a fairly small meplat. I would not consider this to be a "good" defensive bullet. It might work and certainly is better than a .32 ACP but not ideal.
Old 10-23-2008, 07:27 AM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 313
Re: Lead... Why not?

I exclusively load a 200 gr LSWC for my 45. I've loaded that round for many years. The old "favorite" was 5.0gr of Bullseye behind the 200 LSWC and it will tear a ragged hole at 25 yards. I, myself, also questioned the use of that load for anything other than target shooting many years ago when I started reloading. I've owned several different pistols in 45, and carried each on a daily basis. When I wasn't competing or target shooting, at that time I chose to carry ammo that had a little more "UMPH" than a simple target load. I happened across several articles in some of the outdoor magazines that specifically addressed "hunting" with lead bullets. I don't remember the author's name, but he was a well know and respected writer and avid shooter. His findings were that the "soft lead bullets used by most reloaders have the same basic effect on target as quality hollow point ammunition". In that article, he talked about the different types of casting processes, lead hardness, etc, etc. But, what caught my attention was something that was said about recovering some of your soft lead bullets from the range. I shoot a lot of steel and some paper on my range. I started paying attention to what happened to the bullet and also started recovering some bullets from the berm. I was amazed at the performance of the "soft lead" 200gr LSWC. If you doubt your load, perform this simple test.

Place a 3/4 or 1 inch pine board in front of a 1 gallon milk jug. The board simulates a bone or heavy hide. SEE what happens to the milk jug filled with water! And, if at all possible, try to recover some of the spent rounds and see how they performed.

I will tell you this......a few years after I performed these type test (for my own personal knowledge and putting my mind at rest), I made a mistake of taking Corbon 185 JHPs on a hike to recover a wounded deer. As it turned out, we ended up in a "thicket" and the wounded animal (an 8 pt buck) practically at our feet. When we made the eyeball to eyeball contact (quite unexpectedly) and each realized the other was there, he wasn't as "dead" or "wounded" as the hunter led me to believe. Or, he was making his "stand" in one last effort. Anyway, as the horns came up and he launched from the ground where he was laying (ambush came to mind), my instincts took over. My buddy that was there had to tell me what happened. I didn't know. I simply reacted. In a split second, I knew one of us was about to "eat" a lot of horns! I apparently drew my 45 and placed two rounds through his neck with absolutely ZERO effect, and fell back to the shoulder and placed one through there. That ended the confrontation. Upon recounting the event during the skinning and dressing, it was quite evident what happened. The first two 185s did absolutely nothing. Made pretty round holes through and through, including some of the neck vertebra. The shoulder shot did the same, but broke both shoulders and THAT is what stopped him.

Since that time, I've put several critters down with the LSWC 200gr. Each time I was able to recover a bullet, it was just as the article I read depicted.....a large, flattened out chuck of lead that transferred it's energy on target. If it hits anything solid (such as bone), it will fragment and cause a severe wound cavitation. Several years ago, I quit carrying a 45 and now carry a 9mm on a daily basis. We've discussed this on "Wild" Bills part of this site. I've posted some results there.

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