Powders for .40 & .45


catfish wilson
March 8, 2008, 09:07 PM
Who has a good powder to load both .40 and .45 ACP ?

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March 8, 2008, 09:17 PM
Do a search or deep dig through the reloading section and you may find something. I have seen many powder as hot as Red Dot in a 45 BUT have cautioned in using anything anywhere neaer that fast in a 40 SW. Currently I am using Power Pistol in 40 with decent results. Red Dot is good for 45 and 38/357, shotgun but I would not recommend it for 40. Way too fast, is possible to double or triple charge and that would not be good at all.

March 8, 2008, 10:29 PM
Catfish, I have been searching for the same answer. Unfortunately I do not have an answer yet. But you might want to let people know what you want to use as far a bullet, since the weight and style of bullet will change some behavior of powders. Also the barrel length will have an affect on how the powder behaves. I've been shooting 180 grain 40 cal Rainers for a few years but I am thinking of changing over to the 165grain in the 40 and running a 200 grain in 45.

What I have found is the following:
Unique is a fast powder in the 40, too fast for me when loaded behind a 180 grain Rainer plated flat point. The recoil is very snappy even when loaded for a slow muzzle velocity. For example 5.6 grains of Unique, 180 grain FP gave me 832 FPS on the chrono. I can get the same velocity out of 8.3 grains of Accurate #7 (AA#7) behind the same bullet but it does not recoil as violently. Both of these powders have been extremely dirty in my Sig P229, they are old lots though.

I actually just got back from the range after trying out a load of 8.5gr AA#7 Rainer 180gr FP CCI primer. This is the max load that Accurate suggests for this bullet. I was only able to get about 840 FPS. Since I"m looking for a clean powder that will make major power factor (about 920 FPS) in a 180 grain bullet, so I will delegate this load to a target load. Did I mention that this load is filthy. I had partially burnt powder all over the inside of the weapon. :banghead:

I've found HS-6 to be a moderately clean powder in the 40, but not as clean as some of the factory loads. HS-6 also has some decent Standard Deviations. A bit slow for the short barrel 40, it still leaves partially burnt powder behind. The recoil is a bit sharper than the AA#7 since it is a faster burning powder.

I know this isn't what you where hoping for but I do hope it helps some. I am not set up to load 45 yet so I have no information on these powders in 45 yet. I should be starting that next weekend. I have a feeling that most will be dirtier in the 45 since the pressure is less even behind a 230 grain bullet.

I'm hoping to get fed up enough to pick up a pound of Vihtavuori N340 or Winchester WSF tomorrow.

Hodgdon's burn rate chart might help confuse the issue even more;
http://www.hodgdon.com/data/rel_burnrate.htm :evil:

March 8, 2008, 11:17 PM
You didn't specify your needs, are you looking for a light load, general target load, self defense load or something else?

For general purpose loads I've found Universal and Unique work pretty well in both 40 S&W and 45 ACP, both have been fairly low flash.

Unique tends to perform a bit better but doesn't meter as well and isn't as clean.

March 8, 2008, 11:34 PM
I use bullseye in both.

March 8, 2008, 11:56 PM
Don't have a .40 but I've run a lot of Red Dot thru my .45's.

March 9, 2008, 12:02 AM
catfish wilson,
Welcome to the forum...

Unfortunately the .40 S&W and .45 Auto aren't really as similar as many think. The .45 Auto and .38 Special can share a powder and work very well and the .40 S&W and 9mm can share the same powder. There are a few powders that will do both with acceptable results though. If you are using only FMJ bullets I would suggest Hodgdon's Longshot. If you are using a Lead bullet in either round or both I would suggest Hodgdon's Universal Clays instead of Longshot.

I'm sure you will be satisfied with either choice.

evan price
March 9, 2008, 12:11 AM
I load both with Titegroup but then I load everything with Titegroup...
I load 180 .40 S&W AND 230 .45 ACP with 4.7 grains and let them fly.

Win231/Hodgdon HP38 are also possibles.

XD-40 Shooter
March 9, 2008, 12:24 AM
I have found Unique to be an excellent performer in 165 grain and 155 grain Ranier's and XTP's. I like Unique in the 40 so much I bought 16lbs of the stuff.:D 6 grains of Unique behind a 165 grain Ranier is my pet target load, chrono's 980 fps out of my 4" XD, very accurate load, mild recoil.

Will Learn
March 9, 2008, 01:46 AM
I use 5.4 grains of win 231 behind 225gr round nose cast bullets, CCI primers mixed head stamp brass. loaded to 1.23 OAL.

March 9, 2008, 08:29 AM
I only load 40 S&W and use Hodgdon powders, Longshot, HP-38, Titegroup and Universal.
I like Longshot best for 40 S&W 165 and 180 grain bullets.
I use a load of 7.3gr for both, starting load for 165gr JHP's and medium for 180gr JHP's.

March 9, 2008, 08:38 AM
WSF & Universal Clays in the .40 and WST and WSF or AA #5 in the .45. That is one that will do double duty here well.

As ArchAngelCD pointed out, the .40 and .45 are not similar at all and if you want the max potential out of both you will end up using two powders I would think.

March 9, 2008, 09:36 AM
I like titegroup and Ramshot Competition. Small charges and pretty good accuracy, not too much recoil.

231 is another good choice.

March 9, 2008, 09:53 AM
Bullseye, the original 45ACP powder and meters well. Does okay in 40 also, though I wouldn't say it's great. Unique is as flexible as powders come. Titegroup and some of the other recommendations above.

March 9, 2008, 10:18 AM
Power Pistol gets the job done in both calibers:)

catfish wilson
March 9, 2008, 02:45 PM
Thanks for the info, I shoot 230 gr in .45 and 180 in .40. i was looking for a fix all...guess that I will use different powders. I have been loading 4.5gr of Bullseye in the .45 just started with the .40. How about Blue Dot or HS-7 ?

March 10, 2008, 12:00 AM
Unfortunately, HS-7 is a discontinued powder so when you use up your supply I doubt you will be able to replace it. The good news is HS-6 is fairly close in burn rate and performance so it will be a suitable replacement. The additional good news in HS-6 can also be used for the .45 Auto so you just might be able to get that one powder you are looking for. It's not the perfect powder for each but it's not too far off the mark. (especially since you already like HS-7) It is an accurate and on the clean side kind of powder.

If both bullets are FMJ you can give Longshot a try too but Longshot will produce full power rounds whereas HS-6 will be a little lighter, not very light but high middle.

March 10, 2008, 11:25 AM
I use Red Dot for all my pistols and for all my bolt rifles. In pistols .32, .38,.357,.9mm,.40,.45,.44,.44 mag.

For .32: Walther PP and a 1922 Browning

For in 9mm: two P38s, one Luger, one Radom, one CZ75, and 2 BHPs.

For .45 acp: 1945 remington 1911A1, Series .80 1911A1

For .40: Beretta 96

For .44/44 mag: Western Marshall Revolver

4.7g of Red Dot for all above except the .32. Thousands of rounds, no problems. Use 124g for 9mm, 158g for .38.357, 180g for .40, 230g for .45s
240g for .44/.44mag

March 10, 2008, 12:38 PM
I run 4.5 grains of red dot with 230 rainiers in my Glock 21 and love it....slightly sooty but combat accurate

March 11, 2008, 07:26 AM
I'm a big fan of Clay's (NOT Universal - just "Clay's"). I use it for 230gr 45ACP and 155gr 40S&W.

I also use it for my 44Mag and 45Colt Cowboy loads.


March 11, 2008, 04:52 PM
I'm a big fan of Clay's (NOT Universal - just "Clay's"). I use it for 230gr 45ACP and 155gr 40S&W.

I also use it for my 44Mag and 45Colt Cowboy loads.


I'd second the kudos for CLAYS (not Universal Clays). I recently worked up a load for a S&W 610 with 5 grains of CLAYS, WSP primers and some Precision Delta 180 grain RNFs. I was chronographing them, so I was concentrating more on not shooting my chrony, but the 4.6 grain and 5 grain groups really tightened up. The 5 grain group was about the size of an orange @ 10 yards and chronographed @975fps average (15 rounds). This was the max load in my Sierra manual, but there was no sign of excess pressure. I'll work it up again when I get a conversion barrel for my Glock 20.

The CLAYS was VERY clean. I'm impressed. Also metered well out of my Square Deal.

March 11, 2008, 05:05 PM
I like Tiegroup, Red Dot, Bullseye, Unique, Power Pistol and 231 in .45 and I use them in 9mm. They all work fine. Just experiment to find what works best for you.

March 13, 2008, 12:13 PM
Universal probably isn't the best choice for multiple calibers but I use it for .380, 9mm Largo, .40, and .45. I load light target loads and get good accuracy in all the above calibers. I'm not looking for match grade accuracy out of my loads just something that will shoot decent groups to help me practice. I use either Berry's FMJ or Rainier FMJ bullets for all of them. It is hard to find just one powder for multiple calibers but it can be done, it all depends on what you want out of your reloads.

March 13, 2008, 12:42 PM
I use Bullseye and W-231 in both with better than acceptable results!

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