USPSA: Reloading 45acp to meet major caliber


July 14, 2008, 05:12 PM
I'm curious as to what everyone is shooting for single stack in USPSA. I like 230gr bullets for some reason and switched from bullseye to red dot when sportsman's ran out and I had to get loaded for the next day. When I looked through my little on caliber book I didn't find very many loads for 230 gr rn fmj's using red dot, the one I did find showed that the max was 5.3gr's and I had been loading around 5.6gr's but haven't noticed any high pressure signs. I'm currently shooting a 1991a1 commander, so I'm having to up the loads to make 749 fps. Recoil is not noticeable so I haven't been too worried about hitting major right on the nose, but I think I may be getting too much powder for "SAAMI" standards.

What I'm wanting to know is what you guys are loading for IPSC and if I should consider different bullet or not. For the most part, these have been my jack-of-all-trades loads.

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July 14, 2008, 06:14 PM
5.1 gr W231, 225gr LRN and WLP primers.

If I get chronographed I hope its on a hot day.

July 14, 2008, 09:22 PM
People in my area like Clays with 230 weight bullets. The Winchester Hogdon web sight has loading information.
I have loaded up several hundred 3.9 grain with Federal primers and shot some at my indoor range and they had little smoke with a poly coated Billy cast bullet. I shoot a revolver and a clean burning powder is important to prevent binding.
The load worked my 1911 just fine.
I was using WW 4.7 grain WST with a 200 grain. The 230 seems more accurate. A bigger push, less blast.

July 15, 2008, 07:48 AM
230 Precision or Rainier W/ 3.9 Clays @1.250= 172 PF

July 15, 2008, 10:52 AM
I found 230g bullets to 'push' too much in recoil. I prefer a snappier, faster recoil that I got with 200g swc's. My load of choice is:
-200g SWC from Bear Creek (moly coated lead)
-4.9g WST
-Winchester large pistol primers
-Whatever brass I've picked up
This easily makes major for me, hot or cold days. Usually around 171 power factor.

I like WST over the others I've tried (Bullseye, Clays, Tightgroup) because it meters so consistently in my Dillion 650 and I like the 'feel' of WST best. Runner up for me was Tightgroup.

July 15, 2008, 11:22 AM
Don't remember what my charge of Red Dot was, but I liked the lead 185 gr SWC loads the best. It was either 4.5 or 5 gr IIRC. The 185 gr worked best in both my 1911 and the old Comp'd wheel gun. It made major and the recoil felt better to me than the recoil from the 230 gr load.

July 15, 2008, 01:39 PM
In .45 Auto you will not necessarily see high pressure signs until it is too late and there is no reliable way to read "pressure signs" anyways.

My current load is 185 grain Berry HBRN (1.23 OAL) with 4.9 grains of Clays. It just barely makes major and I am not sure if I like the recoil. I will definitely be looking into heavier bullets.

July 15, 2008, 02:53 PM
230 lead rn on top of 4.0g clays

beautieeful load.

July 15, 2008, 03:33 PM
Thanks guys. It looks like I may be trying Clays next.

July 21, 2008, 10:24 PM
+1 on Clays. I use 3.9 gr/ 230gr montana gold jhp / 1.25 oal / 170pf

July 21, 2008, 10:42 PM
5.0 grains of Red Dot, Bullseye, or American Select should be a great load.
You also might like 6 to 6.5 grains of WSF.

(I don't load .45ACP yet, but I use all these powders in other cartridges at similar pressures)

July 21, 2008, 11:16 PM
25 pages of 45 cal load discussion for USPSA major

Bottom line is dichotomous: a snappier 200 SWC with nice round target holes or the 'more of a shove' feel from a 230 RN. Personal preference. Those not choosing to pay for the Vihta powders cluster around Clay's (plain, not International or Universal), WST and Titegroup with some voicing a preference for American Select or Solo. Loads of data on the link, much of it w chrono readings.

July 21, 2008, 11:24 PM
With a .45, isn't it hard *not* to make major power factor? Especially with heavy bullets? I thought the formula was:

weight (grains) x velocity (fps) >= 165000.

So 720 fps with a 230 grain bullet makes it with a little room to spare.

July 22, 2008, 12:09 PM
With a .45, isn't it hard *not* to make major power factor?
I was loading 5.4gr of red dot behind a 230 gr fmj for my 1991a1 commander. Recoil was a non-issue, but I looked at the reloading manual and it looked like I was exceeding the max load. I realize that a 4.25" bbl isn't exactly ideal for competition, but it's my competition/carry/truck/trail gun, also my only pistol at the moment.

Anyhow, I was thinking I wasn't making the minimum velocity but I haven't checked it on the chrony. I bought a pound of clays, so I'll test the stuff I have loaded with red dot and do a test run of clays.

Thanks for all the input guys.

July 25, 2008, 09:31 PM
Go here for some baseline info. I like the 185gr SWC Lead the best. Still make major but recoil seems more like my G-35 shooting 180 gr in 40 S&W. Makes major and works great in the comped guns also.

July 25, 2008, 09:51 PM
Clays is very popular in USPSA for .45acp.

I use 4.2gr Clays under a a 200 SWC to make ~170PF.

I'll be switching to 230 LRN soon though, too many hickups with the lead SWCs.

July 29, 2008, 10:01 PM
For my gov't model, I use hollow point 230s (XTP or Zero) at 1.230 on top of 4.9 of 320 with WLP. Work it up as the pressure is achieved though a shorter OAL, however it gets about the same velocity as a max load, so I do not consider it to be dangerous, but your mileage may vary, and you have been warned.

July 31, 2008, 10:02 PM
Ditto on clays...

3.9g Clays ( plain ol' clays )
CCI LP primer
Range brass
230g Ranier plated RN

Out of my 5" Kimber this makes 168 PF at about 70ish degrees here in Cen Tx, and close to 170 as the temp goes up. :)

4.0g would be the sweet spot for those that don't like to gamble muahahaha!!!

Sweet, sweet load and has been reliable as sunrise in my gun with ZERO stoppages in over 3k rounds.

August 2, 2008, 03:46 AM
Remember too, if you have a comp on the piece, a lighter, faster, bullet with a lot of powder will rock your world...

August 2, 2008, 10:17 AM
I had always used 5.0 grains of Bullseye with 20 grain FMJ bullets. Recently I switched to 4.0 grains of Clays and the load seems softer in recoil. I still use Bullseye but probably load more Clays now.

August 2, 2008, 10:24 AM
The Clays is cleaner.:)

August 2, 2008, 10:59 AM
You know, Tarvis, you can generally go to the powder manufacturers web sites for specific load data.
Alliant lists a load for 230 grain jacketed bullets as Red Dot 5.3 grains max, 1.260" length, giving a velocity of 839 feet per second. At 192 power factor, that's way way higher than major. You can drop that Red Dot load down 10% and still be at major PF.

August 3, 2008, 10:32 PM
So let me get this right, I can shoot 230G RLN at 720 FPS and still make major.

this afternoon, I cronod the following:
230 Raineers, VV N320, WLP, 1911 Sti

4.8 N320 gave me 781 fps and had a decent kick
5.0 N320 gave me 804 fps and had a harder kick.

Im trying to find a light load for steel. The minumum is stated at 4.8 grains. What would happen if I loaded 4.5 to give me 720 FPS?

August 3, 2008, 11:57 PM
If you are shooting steel I am assuming you are using a minimum PF of 125.

I shoot stock 45 with a 200 grain RNFP lead bullet with 4.1 grains of Bullseye. Velocity is 730 fps in my gun, yielding a PF of 146. It actually recoils softer than my 9mm 1911 with 115 grain fmj at 1200 fps.

August 4, 2008, 12:34 AM
So 730 Fps is adequate for steel? Prior to this I was shooting steel with my CZ 9mm at 1150 Fps. I would have to load N320 below the min load but I want as little recoil as possible.

August 4, 2008, 09:44 PM
230 gr @ 730 fps is plenty for steel, assuming stock pistol.

Same velocity for 200 grain bullet is cool too if you are shooting with a 125 minimum power factor

August 4, 2008, 09:47 PM
You can't shoot minor PF and be competitive in SS. The 45 dominates the SS division for a reason.

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