HS-6 and the .45ACP?


PDA






Sharps Shooter
February 7, 2007, 02:10 AM
Is HS-6 powder not a good choice for the .45ACP? Iíve used it for years in .38 Special and .357 Magnum loads, but just recently bought myself a 1911 .45ACP and started loading for it. HS-6 and Unique are the only two handgun powders I have on hand that are listed in my loading manuals as suitable for my new .45ACP. So I put 7.8 grains of HS-6 behind 230 grain Hornady FMJ bullets in 10 cases and 7.9 grains of Unique behind the same 230 grain Hornady bullets in another 10 cases. With the HS-6 loads, velocities were all over the place. The velocities averaged 800fps, but they varied from 757fps to 860fps giving me a SD of 39.8. On the other hand, the Unique loads produced somewhat lower velocities, averaging only 772fps, but the SD was only 12.1.
I was using mixed brass Ė Winchester, Lellier & Bellot and Speer. So Iím pretty sure that would account for some velocity variations. But I used the same mixed brands of brass for both the HS-6 and Unique loads. I taper crimped all the cases the same, just barely removing the bells. And I used CCI Large Pistol Primers in all the loads.
The truth is, Iíve never shot any of my HS-6 .38 Special or .357 Magnum loads across a chronograph, so maybe Iíve been getting 100fps velocity swings with HS-6 powder all along. It just seems like a lot to me seeing as how those HS-6 .45ACP loads only averaged 800fps. Am I being too finicky? Do you think the fact that with the .45ACP I used only a light, taper crimp on the cases could cause velocity swings with HS-6 powder? I mean the .45ACP bullets are not held as firmly as say .38 Special bullets where I put a good, firm roll crimp on the cases when using HS-6 powder. Thatís just a guess, so please tell me if I'm all wet.:confused:
Thanks for your help.

If you enjoyed reading about "HS-6 and the .45ACP?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Steve C
February 7, 2007, 03:35 AM
So I put 7.8 grains of HS-6 behind 230 grain Hornady FMJ bullets in 10 cases and 7.9 grains of Unique behind the same 230 grain Hornady bullets in another 10 cases.

:eek: First of all I can't believe you loaded 7.9grs of Unique behind a 230gr bullet and only got 772 fps. 7.9grs of Unique in the .45 acp is a VERY heavy overload. Hornady says 6.2grs of Unique is maximum with both their jacketed and lead 230gr bullet. The most any of the data I have says 6.8grs is maximum with a 230gr jacketed bullet and 7.3grs for a 225gr Lyman #452374. 6.1gr loads I've chrono'd at 852 fps average from a Gov model 1911.

HS-6 is a much slower powder than Unique. 7.8grs should have been close to .45 ACP military ball plus a little at over 850 fps. Hodgdon lists 7.0grs as start and 8.0grs as maximum while Hornady lists 8.3grs as maximum load.

Don't know where you got your data from but check your load data from several sources and for heavens sake pick a start load not something at the maximum. If you where loading using a volumetric measure like a Lee disc or dipper then you probably where loading a lot lighter than you thought, as they generally throw lighter than their chart indicates. That's the only thing to have given you such low velocities and perhaps saved your pistol from damage. You need to use a scale to set your load weights or at least check what your measure is throwing.

HSMITH
February 7, 2007, 08:04 AM
Agree with Steve and will add that HS-6 is a very slow powder. It wants a LOT more pressure than you will ever get safely in a 45 to be consistent. 9mm pressures are where HS-6 starts to clean up and become consistent.

Lennyjoe
February 7, 2007, 11:06 AM
I tried HS-6 in .45 ACP loads and didn't like it. Unique is much better.

OTN, I have since settled in with W231 for the .45 ACP.

As for the HS-6, it works great in 12 guage heavy field loads and that's where I use it.

Sharps Shooter
February 7, 2007, 12:42 PM
"First of all I can't believe you loaded 7.9grs of Unique behind a 230gr bullet and only got 772 fps."

Sorry Steve - that was a typo. I put 5.9 grains of Unique behind a Hornady 230 grain FMJ.

"7.8grs should have been close to .45 ACP military ball plus a little at over 850 fps."

I don't know about the velocity of .45 ACP military ball, but the velocities I stated were the ones I read on my chronograph. Perhaps the reason they are a bit slower than what you claim military ball to be was because my 1911 only has a 4" barrel. Or maybe it's because yesterday here in eastern Idaho outdoor temperatures were near zero. Who knows? My chronograph is accurate. My question wasn't about lower than expected velocities. It was about velocity variations with HS-6 powder.


"Don't know where you got your data from but check your load data from several sources and for heavens sake pick a start load not something at the maximum."

From my original post - HS-6 and Unique are the only two handgun powders I have on hand that are listed in my loading manuals as suitable for my new .45ACP.
That's manuals - the "s" makes it plural.

I really am sorry about the typo Steve. But I do get sick and tired of stating my reloading qualifications and experience - it's over 30 years by the way. But it seems like if I don't state them, every time I ask a question on this forum, there's always someone like you ready to tell me to buy some more loading manuals or risk blowing myself up. For hell sakes, read my post. Does it really make me sound like I need to be lectured about not starting out at maximum when I'm working up loads for a new gun?

Thanks for your reply anyway. Have a nice day.:)

Sharps Shooter
February 7, 2007, 01:04 PM
Thanks HSMITH and Lennyjoe. That's what I suspected about HS-6. I've heard many times that HS-6 burns more consistently if you put a good, firm roll crimp on your cases to raise pressures.
I'll just stick with Unique for my new .45ACP until I get to town and pick up something else. I'll probably try some W231.:)

Steve C
February 7, 2007, 04:35 PM
That clarifies things pretty well. Sorry if I came on as a little heavy handed. Living in AZ all my chrono testing is done at temps over 70 deg F so the low temps probably had a good deal to do with the lower velocities along with a slightly shorter barrel length. The .45 doesn't seem to be affected by small changes in barrel length. My Gov model and Commander shoot identical velocities +/- maybe 10 fps and the Commander isn't always the slower.

If you buy a 9mm you'll find good use for that HS-6 but as mentioned with low pressure cartridges it's not the best.

Sharps Shooter
February 7, 2007, 06:14 PM
No problem Steve. I'm a bit of a hot-head and I'm sorry I snapped back at you the way I did.
My wife has a 9mm but doesn't load for it because no more often than she shoots it factory "remanufactured" ammo is cheap enough. I mostly use HS-6 for +P .38 Special loads.

HSMITH
February 8, 2007, 09:03 AM
Try some plain Clays for your 45. Clean and I mean CLEAN, accurate, soft shooting, economical, and bulky enough to easily see in the cases.

231 shoots good, shoots with a bit more snap in the recoil, and is quite dirty, but it shoots well. I just don't like it for 45.

BigSlick
February 9, 2007, 02:19 AM
I've used a lot of HS-6 in 45 ACP over the years.

It is a tad dirty at ACP pressures, but with the right bullet it has proven to be very accurate.

8.2gr with a 230 plated or jacketed works well. Spreads aren't single digit, but for plinkers it works.

It is better suited to 9mm pressure levels, but WSF is better in 9mm so I don't use HS-6 there at all.

If you have some HS-6, use it up.

As stated, for a clean load, straight Clays or one of the VV powders are a fine option.

If you enjoyed reading about "HS-6 and the .45ACP?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!