45ACP D&L Ammo Testing: Dave Lauck and Col Cooper Design

45 ACP Cutting Holes Like A Wadcutter

Fellas I thought you would appreciate the below for us avid reloaders.

During a 1997 big game hunting trip Col. Cooper and Lauck discussed creating something better as an all-around load and bullet for the .45 ACP 1911 pistol. Both Col. Cooper and Lauck recognized the issues of concern with ball ammo in tissue; bullet ‘push through’. They also recognized inconsistent performance and failures with HP and SP bullets when fired at .45 ACP velocities. Turning up the velocity for better performance could be mechanically dangerous, and disrupt the excellent balance of speed, power, and accuracy that the .45 ACP provides. A full caliber cutting shoulder on a 200 grain .45 ACP bullet at a reasonable 850 – 900 FPS velocity would be a logical solution. (History tells us that Mr. Browning initially developed a 200 grain .45 ACP loading at 900 FPS for the Model 1905 before it morphed into the 1911 pistol. It was reportedly the U.S. military who requested the bullet weight be increased to 230 grains to be closer to the .45 Colt load that the cavalry was using. Mr. Browning’s contributions to arms development has proven to be so significant that his thoughts cannot be overlooked.)

Col. Cooper’s comments about bullets were consistent with observed field performance. “I do not have use for JHP/SP bullets in handguns. At typical handgun velocities bullet expansion is inconsistent at best, and sometimes completely non-existent. Sometimes the penetration of JHP/SP bullets is very limited, and so is the effect of the wound. Worse is the functional unreliability that they can cause. Shooting into gelatin is not the same as living tissue because there are more things involved than just consistent physical resistance. Bones also have to be considered. The semi wadcutter is a very good bullet shape. If you take a .45 ACP and load it with a SWC bullet you are going to take a radical jump in stopping power. In my personal view, what causes the increase in stopping power is the ‘cookie cutter’ effect. When SWC bullets are driving through tissue they are not bending muscle and nerve tissue out of the way, they are chopping it like a cookie cutter. We see this effect in the wounding when using a sharp shoulder on the bullet. A cookie cutter bullet plows its way through, chops its way through. It is a very good wounding effect.” – Col. Jeff Cooper


I can’t wait to get some of the true revolver bullets for testing.

45ACP D&L Ammo Testing: Dave Lauck and Col Cooper Design 4

Two bullet designs are available for the widest range of functional reliability and performance. The auto pistol bullet is on the left and the revolver bullet is on the right. Be sure to select the correct one for your needs.


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Were you shooting one of the wad-cutter types in this vid? The first .45 ACP I reloaded was jacketed 200 grain SWC, but I hadn’t learned to crimp yet, so I had lots of bad results with squib rounds. I might go back and look at a SWC again, now, if I can find a good mold.

Jerry 1911
Jerry 1911

I might have to look into this ammo. I shoot almost exclusively 200gr in my .45acp, in a combination of semi wadcutter and rnfp, and my Kimber seems to like it all. The round nose design of these should be a walk in the park for my slab side. Thanks Mr. Revolverguy for the history lesson and the demonstration.