Favorite Powders/Loads for .45 ACP?


December 7, 2004, 05:02 AM
This has probably been covered like crazy in the past, but perhaps it might be good to bring it up again for newbies and those who have a hard time searching...

What do you guys like for powders and loads for .45 acp?

I'm about to start loading my own in .45 and have a bunch of 230 gr Golden Saber bullets and some PowerPistol powder. Was thinking about trying 7.6 gr. of PowerPistol for the 230 gr. Golden Sabers... would this be a pretty close clone of the factory load performance wise? Thinking about also trying Universal Clays as well. What do ya think?

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December 7, 2004, 07:38 AM
For bullseye shooting in my Gold Cup, 185 or 200 gr lead SWC and 3.4 gr Bullseye is great.
For defense gun practice, 185 gr plated bullet and 9.0 gr Accurate #5
For carry, 230 gr Golden Saber and Accurate #5, can't recall the charge just now.

I've also used Win. 231 and Unique with very satisfactory results for both target, carry practice, and carry. Haven't tried the others you mention.

December 7, 2004, 09:24 AM
I haven't experimented a whole lot, I pretty much stick with what worked the first time: 6.0 gr of W-231, Rainier 230 gr copper plated, 1.260 OAL. Gives me about 810 fps which is plenty for IDPA, and more closely resembles a hotter 230 gr JHP round like Federal Hydrashok or Winchester SXT.

December 7, 2004, 10:07 AM
WST is a reasonably priced powder that meters well, pretty clean and I've "read" is one of the most accurate 45 powders.

Overall, I think it's a very good powder for the 45. But, there are other good ones too. :)

December 7, 2004, 10:09 AM
Ive used unique
231 and titegroup

All work good titegroup seems to burn the cleanest right now

December 7, 2004, 10:12 AM
6.5 Unique w/200gr cast SWC

December 7, 2004, 10:36 AM
Power Pistol is THE powder for stout 45 acp loads. The downside is flash, it has quite a lot of flash. 231, Universal, Unique and 4756 are good powders too for full power loads, Universal also has almost no flash at all. Universal will easily make factory defensive load speeds, Power Pistol will make speeds a bit higher without pressure problems.

I use a lot of Bullseye, Clays, Universal, Power Pistol and 4756 in 45 acp. BE and Clays for light loads and target loads, Universal for full power loads, Power Pistol for hot loads and fun flashy loads, and 4756 for full power loads.

December 7, 2004, 11:05 AM
I've tried Titegroup, Accurate (AA)5 and Accurate 7 but I swear by Bullseye.

It's extremely clean burning and the burn rate is second to none.

Two downfalls on it: 1. more detail to loading is required to ensure you don't double load the cases due to the small amount used and 2. although it's a flake powder it doesn't measure as consistantly as I'd like it in my RCBS Uniflow measurer.

December 7, 2004, 11:19 AM
I still cling to the old standards Unique for my heavier loads and Bullseye for the light ones.

December 7, 2004, 11:19 AM
WST. If it's good enough for the USMC pistol team, it's good enough for me. ;)

December 7, 2004, 11:26 AM
185g Berry's Plated Hollow Backed Round Nose + 5.8g Tight Group and CCI 300 primer = 915 fps - power factor 169,275 (5" 1911)

December 7, 2004, 03:46 PM
Excellent... thanks for the info.

I'm be looking for an even metering (I use the powder hopper in the Dillon 550B progressive), fairly clean burning powder to clone Remington's factory 230 gr. Golden Saber ammo. It's a 230 gr. JHP travelling at 875 fps.

Seems like PowerPistol is ideal for this in all respects except FLASH.

Perhaps Universal Clays might be a tad better suited to this application because of the lower flash. Not sure how evenly it meters in the Dillon hopper though. And it's probably not quite as clean burning as PowerPistol, but not bad either, right?

December 7, 2004, 04:06 PM
With a cast 230 grain round nose, I use 4.8 grains of 700-X. It's clean and consistent, and meters through my Dillon SDB smoothly. Velocity out of my 5" Les Baer is around 840 fps.

The powder is a little slower than Bullseye. I started using it when I was shooting a lot of trap and skeet, as it's good for shotgun target loads. It's cheap when you buy it in 12 lb. kegs.

When I load warmer ammo, I usually use SR4756. It's similar to Unique (do NOT interchange data!!) but meters well and burns a whole lot cleaner.

December 7, 2004, 05:09 PM
Is there a powder recommendation specifically for low-flash?

December 7, 2004, 06:10 PM
Dhart, Power Pistol and Universal both meter very well in my 550B's.

rbernie, the lowest flash powder I have used for full power 45's is Universal. For loads slightly lighter there are a slew of powders with little or no flash.

December 7, 2004, 07:32 PM
HSmith... I'm starting to get the impression that Universal might have the edge over PowerPistol for .45 acp due to even metering, similar power, and fairly clean burning, and less flash than PowerPistol. Having used both, do you prefer Universal to PowerPistol?

December 8, 2004, 06:49 AM
I like 4.9 grs. of Winchester 231 and a 230 gr. lead round nose.

December 8, 2004, 07:29 AM
DHart, for normal power ammo it is a pretty even match if flash doesn't bother you. If anything, Power Pistol meters a little better. If you don't like flash Universal is the way to go.

For top end loads Power Pistol is THE powder in 45 acp, you can get some real snorting loads with it.

I actually prefer Power Pistol of the two. The flash doesn't bother me in the least.

Black Snowman
December 8, 2004, 09:26 AM
The low flash powders I have found are Tite-Group, Universal, and AA #7. I'm always on the look-out for more.

Sam Adams
December 8, 2004, 12:14 PM
FYI, the Sierra Manual lists Titegroup as having the most accurate load for 230 gr. .45 ACP (I don't remember the amount of powder offhand). That is also the case for 115 gr. 9mm, btw, so when I run out of W231 I intend to get a can of Titegroup to test it out.

December 8, 2004, 12:36 PM
Is cheap and I like it!
3.5 gr with 200gr LSWC
4.8 gr with 230gr FMJ
with Fed150 primers
mixed cases!

December 8, 2004, 03:10 PM
I've been using Power Pistol with Winchester 230 FMJ. Nice load. There is flash, but I take that in trade for the good metering consistancy, the faster velocities with equal or lower pressure, and at least for me, in both .40 and .45, it has been an extremely accurate powder.

December 11, 2004, 09:24 AM
Best i've tested (and some others) has been 3N37.

December 11, 2004, 04:59 PM
5.0 grs Bullseye under a 230gr cast tc or rn bullet

December 13, 2004, 09:07 AM
A light load for my star PD:
6.0 grains unique, 200 grain hornady XTP-hp, CCI 300 primers.
Knocks down dem steel plates every time.

December 13, 2004, 10:15 AM
Titegroup IS a good powder and you use less of it compared to most others but I find it a tad dirty burning.

If I'm not mistake the burn rate is somewhere around 60 on the burn rate scale????

But, in addiiton to Bullseye being very clean I also first tried it sometime back after talking with competative shooters saying they endorse it highly. So do I.

Post edit: out of 103 top brands/makes/styles of powder Titgroup is ranked #8 from the fastest so my '60' figure is off.....sorry.

Calif. Hunter
December 13, 2004, 07:49 PM
I use 1 load in all 3 of my .45 ACPs - 4.8 gr of Titegroup under a 200 LRNFP. Reliable, clean, economical and accurate. The powder flows like water through the measure of my Dillon 550. (Okay - for defensive use, I load 200 gr GDHPs over the same charge.)

December 14, 2004, 06:34 AM
Currently use V V-N350 for full power 230 gn jacketed loads. It does not meter as well as some other powders. When testing loads at the higher listings, am weighing the powder charges individualy. V V pistol powders seem to have much less flash than others tried. They burn extremely clean, although expensive and mail order proposition in my location, currently.

When loading the 230 Rem GS am using thicker brands of new or once fired quality brass, lee undersize die down to bottom of where bullet will be (after full length sizing using regular dia die for once fired) and a heavier Lee factory crimp. Have also insured the expander plug dia is reduced. These bullets seem to like being seated slightly shorter than most, for better accuracy.

Black Snowman
December 14, 2004, 09:23 AM
I just used some Tite-Group in 185 gr loads of various bullets in my Taurus 455 revo and it worked very well. Groups were good for the light gun at 25 yards and velocities were where they should be and pretty consistant. No signs of over-pressure in the +P loads in Starline +P brass with WLP primers.

I used 185 gr MagTech Guardian Gold and Hornady XTPs in the +P loads. The MagTechs had a little bullet pull and would stick if I tried to eject the rounds with 1 left. The XTPs did not seem to stick or pull. Probably be a moot point in an auto or a heavier revo. The 185 gr Berry's SWC worked great @ about 850 FPS.

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