.45 ACP question


December 28, 2007, 11:44 PM
Hey there everyone,
Ive been browsing this forum for a while and have a pressing question to be answered. I just started loading 45 acp (pretty much just started reloading altogether after a few years of just not getting around to it) so i broke out all of my old equipment and went to our local shop today and picked up the required equipment. I didn't even think to check the loading data, but thought i would trust the salesman instead. It has possibly proven to be a foolish mistake, and now i am stuck with 230gr LRN bullets and blue dot powder. it seemed good enough. that is until i broke out the old manual and no blue dot for 230 gr LRN. OK, OK this book isn't all inclusive, lets check the net.:uhoh: nothing, i have found nothing. There's plenty of data for FMJ and JHP but no LRN.:confused: Any help would be appreciated. i guess what i'm really asking is if blue dot can even be used with 230gr LRN and if so what weight of powder. A link to info would be nice.

thanks a buch for any help

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December 28, 2007, 11:51 PM
What are you trying to accomplish with the load? That would help greatly, thanks.

Jim Watson
December 28, 2007, 11:57 PM
Lyman No 47 shows bullets cast in their 225 gr RN mould and a MAXIMUM of 10.7 grains of Blue Dot. Most places recommend a 10% reduction for a starting load, but Lyman goes clear down to 7.5 gr Blue Dot with that bullet.

With normal reduced starting load precautions, I doubt the 5 grain difference in bullet weight would be noticeable. Compare vs jacketed data.

Blue Dot is kind of slow for .45 ACP but it will go bang well enough for you to use up what you got stuck with.

December 29, 2007, 12:01 AM
simply a plinking round

Mark whiz
December 29, 2007, 12:15 AM
I did some searching myself and found very little data for using Blue Dot and lead bullets of any type or weight. Blue Dot is typically preferred for rounds like the .357Mag.

What I did see was a max charge of 8.5gr when using 230gr jacketed bullets on Alliant's website. Based solely on that info, I'd have to say 8.0gr would definitely be as high as you would want to try loading with for those LRNs.

I dug out my old MidwayUSA LoadMap and it shows nothing for 230gr bullets but shows loads of 8.5gr up to 11gr for 250gr jacketed bullets - which sure doesn't seem to jive with Alliant's data.

Unless some others here has some personal experience with it, using that Blue Dot will be a tough call.

December 29, 2007, 12:28 AM
As Mark mentioned, it's used more for magnum loads because of its slower burn rate. Unless you want really stout plinking rounds, using blue dot for that will either make the gun recoil more than you want, or if you load it really light, it will soot the gun up bad because of low pressures and thus incomplete combustion.

December 29, 2007, 12:34 AM
thanks alot guys i'll probably wind up going for some other powder tommorow maybe one of these? bullseye, win 231, #2, #5. thanks again

December 29, 2007, 12:36 AM
I have lasercast data that I have scanned of I will e-mail it to you if you would like. It has bluedot on it but Im one of those that wont type out load data for safety and that way I know that Im not typing you bad info. Shoot me a PM with your e-mail and I will send it to you.

Mark whiz
December 29, 2007, 12:42 AM
AA#5 would be my 1st choice, and then Win WST or 231. Red Dot has also worked pretty well for me on some bullets, including plated 230gr Raniers - which would load very similarly to your LRNs.

December 29, 2007, 12:51 AM
I use VV N320 to get some nice light 170 pf loads.

December 29, 2007, 01:29 AM
I have used Blue Dot in the 45 ACP for years. In my 1911, 9.5 gr. Blue Dot behind 200 gr. LSWC is the most accurate load I use with those bullets. One positive note with Blue Dot; it is impossible to get a "double charge" with a practical load of 8.5 to 10+grs. The case will not hold it. It really fills up the case. I view that as a positive. BUT, it take a whole lot less powder with Win 231. So it is more economical than Blue Dot. My next favorite is, you guessed it, Win 231. Don't know why Blue Dot isn't more popular.

Prof. A. Wickwire
December 29, 2007, 01:33 AM

I have had very good luck using Bullseye in .45 ACP. Using anywhere from 4.0 gr to 5.5 gr per round (depending on the bullet) a pound seems to last forever. Bullseye also seems to burn pretty clean in my pistols and revolvers.

The only downside I have heard of to using Bullseye is that a double charge might be less noticeable. At least that is what others have said. Personally, I have never run into that issue.

Good luck and safe reloading.


Prof. A. Wickwire

December 29, 2007, 01:35 AM
8.5 gr Blue Dot 230 gr FMJ

December 29, 2007, 02:04 AM
Captain A,
Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that store dealer gave you bad information.

What ever you do don't use Jacketed bullet data for Lead bullets. The charge is usually lighter for Lead bullets than Jacketed ones. If you are working up near the Max you can over-charge. That's not always the case depending upon what powder you are using but it's more likely with a slower powder (like you have) than with faster ones.

I would really suggest buying a different powder and not go through all the trouble of trying to work up a load using a powder that's really not suited for what you are loading. W231 is a great powder for loading .45 ACP Lead rounds.

The Hodgdon site has a lot of data for 230gr Lead bullets for the .45 Auto.
Here (http://data.hodgdon.com/main_menu.asp) is the link for Hodgdon's Load Data Site.

Here is part of the data available on their site:
Powder W231
Bullet 230gr LRN
Bullet Dia. .452"
C.O.L. 1.200"
Min. Charge 4.3 gr
Velocity 699 fps 12,200 CUP
Max. Charge 5.3 gr
Velocity 834 fps 16,900 CUP
(5.2gr W231 with a 230gr LRN bullet makes a great light plinking load)

HP-38 is the same powder as W231 so if you can't find W231 get that. Clays also works well for the .45 Auto as does HS-6 though HS-6 is a little better with Jacketed bullets than Lead.

December 29, 2007, 02:35 AM
sounds good, ill probably go with some 231 if available. So instead of making rounds i made some dummy rounds and they were having a real tough time cycling in my bare bones colt 1911-a1. The lead kept jamming, so i made about 15 dummy rounds to no prevail. what could possibly be the cause? i tried different expansion from to little to too big. i tried mostly different bullet seating heights and lead was folding over and scrunching up. i dont know what to do. im going to pick up some FMJ bullets tommorow but any suggestion would be appreciated. maybe my 1911 wont eat lead ball? this really has me discouraged. thanks again

December 29, 2007, 03:00 AM
In my opinion, Blue Dot is a too slow burning powder for .45 ACP. Better for the magnum revolver rds. A 230 gr LRN cast bullet and 5.3 grs of 231 is one of my favorite loads in .45 ACP. Will feed in almost any gun and although it doesn't cut the nice clean holes in paper like the SWCs it is very accurate. As far as lead rds jamming, you might check your overall length. Most of the LRN bullets I buy use a shorter OAL than FMJ.

December 29, 2007, 03:25 AM
Don't get discouraged, it's all part of the learning process. I'm no expert but usually when you have a feed problem in a 1911 and you are using Ball ammo which should feel easily the OAL is too long. If you shorten the OAL just a little you will probably get better results.

December 29, 2007, 08:50 AM
While it would not be most peoples first choice for lead bullts in the .45 it will work, so you have not wasted your money. You will probably choose something else when you replace it though.

Blue Dot is good for full loads with jacketed bullets in the .45, but with recoil and flash to go with it. WSF or AA #5 would be a better choice.

Bullseye is a classic choice in the .45 with lead and hard to beat for accuracy.

WST, W231, AA #2, & AA #5 would be excellent choices as well.

Welcome to THR

December 29, 2007, 11:16 AM
Bullseye, 231, AA#2... Just what the doctor ordered for accurate midrange plinking loads, with about any cast bullet in 45 auto in my experience. These same propellants can also reach "GI Hardball" velocity with little fuss, so versatility, and economy are excellent with them as well. Solo 1000 is another propellant that has worked well for me, and is exceptionally clean burning.

45 auto and cast bullets has always seemed very forgiving to powder choice if kept reasonably fast, and I think it's harder finding a faster propellant that won't work well in 45 auto using cast, than will. For me, AA#5 has excelled at higher velocity cast and jacket loads. A few 230 grain cast loads I have run over a chronograph using AA#5 are:

8 grains AA#5, CCI 300 LPP:

SIG P220 avg 822 fps
1911A1 avg 851 fps

8.5 grains AA#5, CCI 300 LPP:

SIG P220 avg 867 fps
1911A1 avg 891 fps

Load density is extremely low with AA#5, and it meters exceptionally well from most measures.

If given the choices you mentioned, it would be in preferred order:


Good luck, and happy reloading!

December 29, 2007, 12:07 PM

December 29, 2007, 01:50 PM
Cap'n A

What firearm are you shooting? I have had trouble with lead rounds in my XD .45 (230gr lrn). Occasionally they don't fully go into battery and they, for lack of a better trem, "lock up" the slide. Ie. the slide is VERY hard to pull back. Those same rounds work flawlessly in my Kimber target and 2 Springfield champions. Rainier plated bullets work perfectly in both guns. Long story short it may be your firearm does not like that particular lead bullet.

December 31, 2007, 10:01 AM
I use 10 grains of blue dot under a 230 gr LRN in my 1911 on the 4th of July. Try it... or you could just trade me for a pound of the best 45acp powder available...hodgdon titegroup.

John C
December 31, 2007, 12:32 PM

Where are you located? Perhaps someone here is close by and would trade you for a more suitable powder. You generally can't return powder or primers to the store.

Good luck!


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