.45 Super

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by ChrisG, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Hi all,

    I have converted my Springfield XD 5" .45 ACP to shoot .45 super. This is the gun that is going to be in my chest holster for following up Black Bear. What I can't find is much load data for the round. Does anyone load a 250 grain bullet in this cartridge and what powders do you recommend. Currently I have Blue Dot and a little bit of Power pistol. Should I be looking for faster powders?
     

  2. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    No one?
     

  3. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I’ve never messed with the 45 Super but I do load for the 45 Win Mag. I wouldn’t consider myself under gunned packing it.
     
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  4. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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  5. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    charleslabounty and ChrisG like this.

  6. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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  7. H-Marlin

    H-Marlin New Member

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  8. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Just did my first load testing, here's what I arrived at:

    New Starline. 45 Super brass
    CCI large pistol primer
    7.1 grains Alliant Power Pistol (.45ACP+P load for a 240 grain Nosler HC) WORK UP TO THIS LOAD!!!
    .452 250 grain LRNFP


    Fired through a Springfield XD 5" .45 ACP with a fully supported chamber and a 20 lb Wolff Recoil spring and solid steel guide rod (for weight for shift POI)

    I will be carrying this while bear hunting this fall in case I have to go root a wounded bear out of thick honeysuckle. Haven't had to do it yet, and Lord willing, I will never have to, but an easy to manuever semi auto works a lot better than a 9lb 38" .375 H&H in thick stuff. And a heckuva lot better if the bear ends up on top of you. :Nailbiting:


    20180519_203052.jpg 20180519_202758.jpg 20180519_203121.jpg View attachment 230184 20180520_112325.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2018

  9. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Fanatic

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    Did you just change the spring and guide rod, or did you have to do more to the gun. I did a 460 Rowland conversion to a 1911. So I’m wondering what you need to do for 45 Super
     

  10. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    You really only need the spring actually. You can just fire it stock but i isnt recommended you make a steady diet of it. The guide rod just brings the point of impact back down to the sights because it adds a few ounces to the front of the gun. You would need to swap the barrel too if it is unsupported. I may eventually go to a ported .45 acp barrel just to slow the slide down and put less wear on the gun. But it also shoots standard .45acp and runs like a top with both rounds!
     

  11. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Chris, just asking a question here, is the 45 Super more powerful than say a 41 or 44 Mag revolver with a similar length barrel? I realize that you will have 8 shots instead of 6 but in the sort of situations you envisioned I doubt you'd be able to get off more than 3 anyway, regardless of the platform.
     

  12. CTDolan

    CTDolan AH Elite

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    Both the 41 and 44 Mag are more powerful than the 45 Super (the 44 Mag considerably so). That said, I’d have no concerns carrying a 45 Super on a black bear hunt.
     

  13. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    Thank you for asking this so politely. Most forums would see some guy coming in who had never seen a bear let alone hunted one, recommending that I "File 'dat frunt sight off yer .45 Sooper cuz 'dat bear gonna shove it where 'da Sun don't shine." Then proceed to tell me that anything short of a ".500 S&W Maggum" will simply bounce off a new born bear cub's placenta.

    No the .45 Super isn't quite as powerful as a big bore revolver and I prefer it that way.... let me explain why:

    I have put a HUGE amount of consideration into this and it is, for ME, the best, and most efficient choice. I understand that there is a mentality that a bear can only be stopped by a howitzer. I find this position has some merit in that, yes I would rather hit him with everything available on earth, than end up with him on top of me. That said, I hunt mainly black bear, which are neither heavy boned, thick skinned or all that tenacious. Coastal browns are a different story I hear. However, a 200 lb black bear will make a mess out of you if you get inside his personal bubble and he's wounded.

    I have owned and shot almost every "normal" magnum handgun from .357 through .454 Casull. I would challenge anyone who thinks that they can carry a pistol projecting between 3 and 5 times the energy of 45 acp, from a gun with no recoil attenuation (reciprocating slide) to put more rounds on target and more accurately, than if they were firing a striker-fired semi auto. Sure, the auto-loader will undoubtedly produce less energy but it is easier to shoot and much faster unless you're Jerry Miculek. Not only that, but in my experience, the extra recoil and blast of a magnum never scales to a proportionately more profound impact on the animal.

    The 45 Super will hit with a heavier, larger bullet than a .357 and it is easier to shoot accurately under stress and hits just as hard or harder with less perceived recoil (talking strictly energy here). The .44 outclasses it in bullet weight, but unless using boutique loads, the energy of a .44 mag out of a carryable package like a 4" gun isn't all that much higher. (Most of my REALLY hot handloaded .44 rounds with a max charge of H110 or 300MP came in between 600 and 800ft.lb out of a carryable firearm not the 1,300-1600fpe most would claim). Most revolvers are a 1 to mayyyybe 2 shot maximum on an incoming animal. If one of those misses and the other potential shot is marginal, you may as well have not shot him at all. I will take a faster handling, lighter recoiling, easier to shoot gun in what some would consider a "marginal" caliber over a cannon I can't shoot as well or as fast. More potential hits and more probability that the bullet will hit more or less where I wanted them to. Striker-fired semi-autos just aren't as sexy in the bear woods though...

    This is a pretty good video of what I mean by the practicality of a bear gun:


    Not scientific, but at least he did a good representation of the difficulty of using a revolver in that scenario.

    Let's face it, a hard cast 147 grain 9mm+p will punch through the skull or body of almost any black bear living or dead. And I mean ALL THE WAY THROUGH. A .45 super will do it even better in all scenarios. If I could shoot a revolver with it's 3-foot-take-up, 10 lb trigger pull, better than I could shoot that XD45, I would. I love revolvers, but they are not the most pointable, easiest guns to shoot under stress, especially with any sort of speed unless you train extensively with them. Which few ever do, despite their bravado on online forums. I don't know a single person who shoots a big bore revolver, double action, better than a simple, boring, semi-auto. Not to mention the ferocious recoil and concussive blast for what amounts to, in practicality, an almost insignificant added impact to the animal.

    I will stick to my .45 super and hopefully never need it. It is a compromise on weight, packability, capacity, shootability and recoil. I just don't think, PRACTICALLY, that it is that much worse than a .41, 44, .454 etc. It works when I need it to go bang, hits where I point it and follow-ups are lightning fast. IMO that means a lot more to me than 150 foot-lbs or 50 grains of bullet weight.

    Any of the calibers above penetrate adequately and that is really the only qualifier for a handgun to me. Handguns don't create shock, they don't break bones well, and they don't create stretch cavities. The best you can assume is that they will penetrate where they need to go and break anything in their way. .45 super does that with gusto. Guys will argue over the added "X% more surface area on a big bore vs. .357". Let's face it, the difference between the .357 and the .500 is only slightly more than 1/8". That's nothing when comparing it to the size of a bear.

    This is all by no means an affront to you @Shootist43. I respect your position and your vastness of experience beyond mine. I feel the "suitable sidearms for black bear defense" discussion becomes a totally and unnecessarily complicated debate very quickly. It needs to penetrate through a bear. That is the only qualifier to me.

    However, if I can get a bear in close (like bow range) this year, I will maybe take a crack at him with the 45 Super and see how it goes. I'll post pics if I get him!(y)
     

  14. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Your reply was not an affront at all. I am an avid pistol competitor. I shoot a 45 and or a 22 twice a week. When I carry I generally pack a 40 S&W. It is considerably more potent out of a 3.5" or 4" barrel than a 45 ACP. I normally shoot Bullseye but do support my club's annual PPC match. One of the courses of fire for that match is 6 shots starting from a holstered position in 8 seconds. I understand the need for speed.
     

  15. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Chris, have you ever had a failure to fire because the primer was a dud? I have, for that reason the firearm I use for household protection is a revolver. There is no way anyone is going to clear a round faster than I can pull a trigger. Just saying....
     

  16. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    I understand. Have you ever had a revolver lock up because a factory piece of brass was too annealed and the crimp didn't hold the bullet in place after the first shot sliding it out of the cylinder front?... there's no clearing it without tools. I guess the point is that all firearms, no matter how reliable are mechanical devices that rely on some basic physics and chemistry to work properly. It's all just weighing the odds. I've actually only had 2 CCI primers fail to fire that i can recall. And I've put tens of thousands of them through handguns and rifles. (Its why I strictly use CCI.) That's a pretty acceptable failure rate. Everyone's gotta choose what they deem acceptable I guess. I'm not gonna condemn a revolver shooter for their view... because I sympathise with it.
     
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  17. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ChrisG, I totally agree that both types of failures are rare but possible. One of the best features of AH is that its' members /contributors can have respected differences of opinion. My fondest wish for you is that you never need to use your 45 Super for this purpose, but in case you do, I hope it works as you intended.
     

  18. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    You and me both!
     
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  19. Scrumbag

    Scrumbag AH Fanatic

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    Interesting. I used to shoot handguns quite a bit (when I lived in a county that allowed them). I'd have always thought something like a Glock 20 would be the thing in Semi-autos. (Guessing Corbon or Buffalo boar would make something suitable)
     
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  20. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

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    I had a 1911 in 10mm. It was heavy and I am a judicious handloader. It used to throw brass into the next county so I would constantly be purchasing replacement brass. The .45 super will do everything the 10mm will with a bigger, heavier bullet, lower pressure and less lost brass (It throws brass about 6-9feet). That load I have listed above is a starting load and I would guess based on the fired case measurements that I might be somewhere around 24-25,000psi. I can push it up to 28,000 and in a pinch, for a few rounds, I wouldn't beat the gun up if I took it all the way to 32,000psi. the Starline .45 super brass is the same thickness and structure as .460 rowland which is a 40,000psi cartridge. The XD platform handles that with aplomb. I could load up to a 300 grain bullet, probably to somewhere around 950 fps.

    And at the end of the day, when you just want to practice, it shoots standard .45 Auto just as reliably. It just hits a little lower. Now don't get me wrong, I like the 10mm cartridge, and in fact, I still have about 250 pieces of brass and bullets for it, but the .45 super is just so much more versatile in terms of the loads you can fire and practice with! It's like the best of both worlds and all I needed was a heavier recoil spring, with an eventual barrel swap to a 5.5" ported barrel (just to slow the slide down a bit.) In fact, once the ported barrel is installed, I could potentially load the super rounds right up to Rowland ballistics and get .44 mag ballistics from an otherwise standard .45 pistol. I think it is one of the most overlooked cartridges for medium game hunting with a pistol, or just general outdoor use.
     
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