Cleanest 45 acp load


November 21, 2007, 11:07 AM
I'll be getting a 1911 (STI Spartan) in a few weeks and will be reloading for it. I'd rather be shooting my pistols, not cleaning them, so please post your cleanest 45 acp loads. I'm impartial on bullet weight, but please limit bullet shapes/brands to round nose, Golden Sabers, and Gold Dots. Oh, and no VV powder either, I'm cheap. :)

Thanks in advance, gents.

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November 21, 2007, 11:39 AM
Regular Clays, not Universal or International, is probably cleanest after the VV line. I'd guess WST as next; haven't tried the Ramshot powders but a few have good comments.

Loads depend on bullet weights, design, OAL, purpose and the gun's preferences.

November 21, 2007, 12:36 PM
Hodgdon's (regular) Clays!
Clean, Soft Shooting and Clean.
Eventualy, we all have to clean.

November 21, 2007, 12:39 PM
After N310 & N320, Ramshot Competition. They don't have data for it with the .45, but it is excellent for it. Very accurate and clean. WST is very clean as well.

November 21, 2007, 01:32 PM
I'm very happy with Clays after switching from Titegroup.

I use Clays for light .357 and .44 Rem Mag loads as well.

Clays needs to be weighed though.

November 21, 2007, 01:33 PM
i just loaded up and tested 10 rounds of .45 using 4.5grs of titegroup pushing a 230 FMJ pill with a COAL of 1.272 shot really lightbut dirty, had a few flakes of soot or unburned powder so I plan on adding a tenth of a grain of powder of two and see if the increased preasure and all that will give me a more complete burn. also the sides of the cases were pretty dirty.

rounds shot out of a 5" springfield loaded 1911 with the AI frame.

November 21, 2007, 02:50 PM
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't notice Clays being cleaner than many others I've used.

Mark whiz
November 21, 2007, 04:26 PM
WST has been the cleanest powder I've tried to date out of my 1911-A1.
WST is also pretty light on recoil and power as well - great practice rounds.

The Bushmaster
November 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
I really haven't found any powders that burn clean. Some are a bit cleaner then others. When I get through with a days shooting on the range all my guns are dirty so I really can't judge that much. We need some one to do a "one shot test" and tell us which one is the cleanest. Until then I will continue using W-231, as it preforms best in my .45 ACP, 9mm X 19 and .38 Special...And after 50 or more rounds all I find is grey/black soot. Big deal... Wipes off with a cloth. All the bores have is a copper coating (I only load copper jacketed). Hoppe's Benchrest #9 takes care of that...

November 21, 2007, 05:21 PM
I'd rather be shooting my pistols, not cleaning them

I use Bullseye and plated bullets. What little soot is left by the powder wipes off easily.


November 21, 2007, 06:00 PM
What ever Win NT rounds are loaded with:D

I too, like Clays:)

November 21, 2007, 08:27 PM
Another vote for Clays. It's really clean.

November 21, 2007, 08:33 PM
Find an old can of Unique. Load up a box or two, shoot them, then anything else is a hundred times better. I use reddot and its not bad.

November 21, 2007, 08:38 PM
Forget the old can of Unique. Get a new can and imagine what the old stuff was like considering the fact that the label isn't lying when they claim it's "cleaner burning."

Clays does burn clean. It's not like the Win-Clean ammo (I swear, the cases a guy showed me looked like they came straight from a bag), but I've never had any problems cleaning after using it. Wipe down, maybe two brush strokes, a dry patch, and the thing is clean.

November 22, 2007, 03:16 PM
Another vote for WST. I had never used the stuff before, and then I was short 100 shells at a trapshoot. I bought some shells from a guy I knew there. He loads WST. I was impressed at the cleanliness. I use Green Dot normally, and get alot of black. His shells were WAY clean.

November 22, 2007, 04:28 PM
I have yet to run a powder cleaner then VV N320 ,330, 340 they seem to be the cleanest poweder but also more $ then most of the other powders listed.

November 22, 2007, 05:04 PM
Yet another recommendation for Clays.

November 22, 2007, 05:28 PM
Most powders will be dirty if you are using a light load. Clays can be very dirty if you load it light but when up near the Max recommended load it's VERY clean. The same can be said for most, but not all powders.

November 22, 2007, 07:59 PM
Another vote for ordinary Clays....3.6 grains behind a 200 grain .45ACP LSWC.

Compared it to Bullseye, Unique, Titegroup, W231 and Universal Clays (not the same as ordinary Clays) and ordinary Clays seems to be the cleanest.

November 22, 2007, 09:15 PM
ArchAngel- you may be on to something, I only load my .45ACP 230gr Berrys with 3.8gr of Clays. I might just try some hotter loads to check that out.

evan price
November 23, 2007, 09:20 AM
I load .45acp 230-gr with 4.7 of Titegroup, gun looks fine but cases are sooty.

November 23, 2007, 10:32 AM
Thanks for the suggestions guys.

As for the type of load, I reload so I can plink. That being said, I don't necessarily want/need powder puff loads. For 9mm and such, I tend to settle in the middle of the range (1100fps according to the manuals). Light loads aren't worth it for me since they may not cycle and tend to be dirtier. I'm not into hot loads either since I like my wrist and see no reason to punish it (or my gun).

I've been using a ton of Titegroup lately for 9mm and like it. I'll pick up a pound of Clays and try the two of them side by side.

November 23, 2007, 07:30 PM
WST and Ramshot Competition are both made by Primex. I'm not saying they're the same exact powder, but their burn rates are close enough to suggest that it's possible. I don't use Clays and can't remember if it's spherical or flake, but the burn rate of all three are very, very close.;)

November 23, 2007, 07:40 PM
WST and Ramshot Competition are both made by Primex
I have tried them both in .45 ACP and they perform similarly, but not the same. ;)
Where ya been?

November 23, 2007, 08:42 PM
I should point out another case where 2 powders are very close. W-231 and Ramshot ZIP, which is cleaner. ZIP is made in Belgium; not by Primex.

kinda busy lately.;)

November 23, 2007, 09:15 PM
I load .45ACP using the following:
Win 231
All powder is dirty, so enjoy your shooting and clean you dam guns! When I go to the range come home with around 300 empty .45APC brass. Dirty brass goes into the tumbler gun gets stripped down to the frame and cleaned, relubed with WS.

Lloyd Smale
November 24, 2007, 07:02 AM
gun power leaves residue no matter what your using. I cant see working up a load for a gun worrying about it. I want my guns to hit what im shooting at and accuracy is my main consern when loading not whether i can shoot 100 or a 1000 before it needs cleaning. Bottom line is that if in a normal day at the range your gun gets so dirty that it becomes unreliable that gun needs work. Ive taken out of the box 1911s and put a couple thousand rounds without cleaning through them with powders like unique that are known to be dirty and cast bullets which you will never get to run clean. If the gun is used for self defense it should be cleaned and oiled everytime you shoot it anyway so what are you gaining.

November 24, 2007, 09:51 AM
Don't worry about folks who just tell you to, just clean your D*** guns. If you want cleaner loads, then by all means strive to get them, as long as the accuracy does not suffer. This can be done in the .45, of course.

If you don't care, which is just fine too, then there are lots of accurate loads out there for the .45 that are plenty dirty enough for all those who just love extra cleaning.

I am looking for a couple of different things in my .45 loads.

1. Accuracy

2. Good velocity for recoil ratio

3. Good numbers (ES & SD)

4. Cleanliness

It is possible to get all these together. It is fairly easy to get 3 out of 4. It is pretty easy to get 2 out of 4. It is not particularly hard to get accuracy only.

November 24, 2007, 11:41 AM
Clean your damn guns is automatic isn't it? The items that Walkalong has ranked 1 - 4 are not, and I believe he's on the money. At certain times, 1 and 2 could reverse and the same can be said for 2 and 3, but on the whole, I believe he's hit the nail right on the head!;)

November 24, 2007, 10:54 PM
Don't worry about folks who just tell you to, just clean your D*** guns. If you want cleaner loads, then by all means strive to get them, as long as the accuracy does not suffer. This can be done in the .45, of course.

Oh, I'm not worried about them. I reload for economy (there's an oxymoron), accuracy is just a pleasant by product. Considering almost anything I load will be more accurate than cheap bulk pack WWB, UMC, or Wolf, I figure I may as well get something clean too.

They're probably the same people that say "Buy a 1911" when someone asks about Glock 17s and Beretta 92s. :)

November 24, 2007, 11:10 PM
I shoot a revolver S&W 625, 200 grain Lead round nose. 4.7 grains of WST with a winchester WLP primer. I have never had a problem with unburnt powder causing problems. IMO revolvers are more fussy on powder residue then many semi's. During low light shoots the WST is great. I have had comments on the lack of flash.

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