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Discussion Starter #1
A month or two ago I was at a gun show and a local ammo reloading company had a display table with various calibers of ammo reloads. They looked very good and the prices were relatively low so I picked up some in 45 ACP.

I went to the range this weekend and finally shot off some of those reloads. They fed just fine and all fired no problem.

However, when I shot these they kicked HARD. I liken the feeling in my hands to bracing a 2x4 while someone is hammering a large nail in with as few strokes as possible. It was actually a bit painful.

Anyway to know if these are too hot to shoot? Are they likely to damage my gun or are they just more powerful than what I'm used to? Should I be saving these for the zombie apocalypse?

I'm looking for thoughts from people that have had reloads they thought were maybe a bit too hot....
 

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Should I be saving these for the zombie apocalypse?
I don't reload yet, but everyone knows that what you really need for the Zombie Apocalypse is a .22LR pistol and a (gasp) silencer!...
 

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Do you know someone that owns a chronograph? Some velocity data may be helpful. You won't be able to measure the actual pressures being exerted using a chronograph, but knowing the velocity, barrel length, cartridge OAL and bullet weight would help determine whether you are approaching dangerous territory.

Bullets are fairly easy to remove from a cartridge. Pull one of the bullets and get a weight in grains. If you know someone that reloads, they will most likely have a scale capable of this measurement.

Without knowing which powder is used in these rounds, a weight of the powder will be fairly meaningless.

SAAMI does have a +P rating for 45 ACP. It is possible these are loaded to +P levels and you are comparing to a standard pressure round which may, in fact, be watered down to even lower pressures.
 

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Are there any signs of extreme pressure on the spent case? Are the primers being flattened out? Cracked/ruptured brass? In an auto pistol, as long as you are not having FTEs as the case expands in the chamber, they are 'probably' ok to shoot. Just mistakenly using magnum primers when it calls for regular primers can increase pressure to dangerous levels.

You are brave buying reloads from someone you don't know and trust.
 

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I shoot mostly handloads...but they are ALL mine.

The "local company reloads" description is one I never use to describe my ammo because I won't shoot the stuff.

Look, big ammo companies screw up from time to time and they do, by and large, stand behind products all the way to indemnifying the buyers if something goes awry.

If I was you I'd just pull all the bullets, toss the powder and work up a new load and RE-reload them myself. Yes, I've even done that {had to!!} with some factory ammo.
 

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It wast underwood by chance? I know they load their stuff hot.
 

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A month or two ago I was at a gun show and a local ammo reloading company had a display table with various calibers of ammo reloads.
I'd call that "local ammo reloading company" and ask them what that ammo is loaded with, then I'd check it against several loading manuals.
 

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That was my initial thought as well. They load their ammo hot but I believe they stay within the SAAMI specs. However, Underwood is located in WV, Craw is in GA. Not too local in my estimation.
georgia arms maybe? I have never used their stuff so I have no idea if it's hot or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the good input folks. I feel a little better about it.

I'm not sure what "pancaked" primers look like, but the spent shell casings looked fine, no deformation or weird marks and the primers were still well-seated with a clean dent right in the middle from the firing pin. They were getting ejected pretty hard though.

I don't know anyone with a chronograph or reloading equipment unfortunately...I think I can dig up a phone number for the company and ask them though.

I guess I've learned my lesson about buying reloads :) but these guys seemed pretty professional and the rounds look very good (and I didn't have any failures at least).
 

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In this picture, you can see a progression of pressure on the primers. To the left is a primer under normal pressures. As you progress further to the right, you will notice more "pancaking" of the primer. Notice how the nice radius around the perimeter of the primer is gradually disappearing. As the pressure blows back into the primer, if expands the primer more and more into the primer pocket, until this radius fully disappears. Under even more pressure, you will start seeing actual holes blown through the primer or the case may rupture, depending on the support provided the case in your firearm.
 

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MC, that is an excellent documentary display, especially for rifle.

OP: you will not get the warning of flattened primers in a .45 due to the very low {relatively} operating pressure of the cartridge compared to rifles. Rounds operating below 40,000 cup or so often do not show primer cratering in spite of being overloads for that particular gun mechanism firing the round. End result is the primers may look OK but the ammo is too hot and battering the gun excessively anyway.

In addition, with the fast powders used in pistols, especially the low-pressure .45, a small increase in powder can bring a safe load into the catastrophic failure range easily.

Be safe.
 

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Here's a picture of a burst 10mm case I had a few months ago from shooting a hot round through my Colt Delta Elite. But this occurred not from the pressures of the round, necessarily, but rather, the fact that the Delta Elite does not have adequate case support.
 

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Whom ever pulled the trigger on that 300 Weatherby Magnum round certainly had a wake up call! My 10mm case rupture made me leave a spot in my shorts, I can't imagine what that would be like!
 

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Are the 10mms and .40S&Ws through Glocks unsafe for reloading because of their loose chambers, then?
 
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