Need help with a clean-burning 45 ACP load


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Lone_Gunman
November 15, 2008, 10:05 PM
I am unhappy with my 45 ACP reloads. I am using a 230g FMJ over 5.8g of Unique. This load works well, cycles reliably, and is accurate, but the gun seems to get a whole lot dirtier than when I shoot other ammo.

I think Unique is the problem.

Does anyone have any powder and load recommendations for a clean 45 ACP load? I want to use 230g FMJ, and would like a velocity between 750 and 800 fps. I will be mainly shooting 1911s.

Any clean loads would be appreciated.

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Quoheleth
November 15, 2008, 10:20 PM
I like both AA#5 and Universal for 200 grain LSWCs. Both are clean and economical. I want to try some Titegroup one of these days.

Q

schmeky
November 15, 2008, 10:25 PM
I have just what you're looking for; try ZIP made my Ramshot. This stuff is cleaner than WW231. It's only good for light to medium loads. I use 4.4 gns behind a 200 gn LSWC, mild, accurate, soft, and very, very clean.

Probably the cheapest powder per pound as well.

zxcvbob
November 15, 2008, 10:51 PM
You might try American Select powder. It's the cleanest burning stuff I've ever used. (but I don't load .45ACP)

Steve C
November 15, 2008, 11:09 PM
Since your shooting fairly mild loads try 5.5grs of W231 with those 230gr FMJ bullets. Good for about 750 fps which is about what you should be getting from your Unique load.

D. Manley
November 15, 2008, 11:12 PM
All the below seem very clean to me:

Clays
Solo 1000
American Select
WST
Zip
Any of the VihtaVuori powders
Competition**

**Load data for Competition is not currently listed on the Ramshot site however, it is available on request. This is an extraordinarily clean powder with charactericts very similar to WST...minus, the "black pepper smell". I've attached a .pdf file of load data sent me by Ramshot.

Otto
November 15, 2008, 11:47 PM
Vihtavuori N310...clean, soft shooting, very accurate and meters well. The only negative I can think of is that it's expensive compared to other powders. N320 is also good.

lev83
November 16, 2008, 09:17 AM
5.5 gr. of w231 or titegroup and a 230gr Hornady JHP have worked well for me.

Lone_Gunman
November 16, 2008, 09:20 AM
I just checked my reloading shelf, and I have a pretty good bit of Titegroup that I bought a while back and forgot about. Does anyone have some good loads with it? Is it very clean?

The Bushmaster
November 16, 2008, 09:58 AM
Another vote for W-231...Every time I try AA #5 or AA #7 I wind up with dirty chambers due to poorly or unburned powder. In my Colt .45 ACP it really doesn't matter, but in my Kimber it will cause failure to go to battery problems due to rounds jamming about 3/4 of the way in.

Walkalong
November 16, 2008, 12:43 PM
All the below seem very clean to me:

Clays
American Select
WST
Zip
Any of the VihtaVuori powders
Competition**
Agreed. Add to that 700X, AA #2, and AA #5.

I had worked up some loads on my own with Competition and D Manley is right, it seems a close cousin to WST. Very good stuff for light to medium loads in.45. I made it go faster, but the pressure was probably over the limit. Hmm... After reading the PDF, my top loads would seem to be. I thought they were.

D. Manley
November 16, 2008, 03:42 PM
I had worked up some loads on my own with Competition and D Manley is right, it seems a close cousin to WST. Very good stuff for light to medium loads in.45. I made it go faster, but the pressure was probably over the limit. Hmm... After reading the PDF, my top loads would seem to be. I thought they were.

FWIW, I shot the first test rounds last week in .40 S&W using 180 grain Zero JHP's and 180 grain Rainier FP's, both loaded at 4.0 grains of Competition. Very nice shooting load with acceptable (though not the best) accuracy. At 4.0 grains, Competition should barely make major PF using lead so plated & jacketed should fall just short. It seems *most* using it in .40 for a major load go to 4.5 loaded long using jacketed. I have loads of 3.2, 3.5 and 3.8 grains loaded up to test next trip using the Rainiers...even the 3.2 should make minor to spare and should be really sweet. I think this is going to be a great powder for minor games and just general plinking...my G-35 looked virtually unfired after 50 rounds of the 1st batch.

Galil5.56
November 16, 2008, 04:41 PM
The loads I made up many years ago with Scottish made Solo 1000 and Nosler 230 TC bullets were exceptionally clean and very accurate. I also use cast bullet loads I worked up (no published data for this caliber) with INTERNATIONAL Clays, and they are extremely clean as well even though mildly double base. IMO, single base flake loaded to pressures toward the max is your best bet for optimal cleanliness.

presspuller
November 16, 2008, 05:31 PM
I used Titegroup and like it. I don't have my book here at the moment to see what load I use.

D. Manley
November 16, 2008, 05:46 PM
The loads I made up many years ago with Scottish made Solo 1000 and Nosler 230 TC bullets were exceptionally clean and very accurate. I also use cast bullet loads I worked up (no published data for this caliber) with INTERNATIONAL Clays, and they are extremely clean as well even though mildly double base. IMO, single base flake loaded to pressures toward the max is your best bet for optimal cleanliness.

Absolutely right. Accurate acquired S-1000 from Scot Powders and its great with 230 grainers in .45, one of my favorites. I can't believe I forgot to put it my (now edited) list above.

Quoheleth
November 16, 2008, 07:15 PM
I ran some sample .45 loads tonight. All use Missouri Bullet's 230 LRN, and all loads are start loads per Lee's manual.

-4.0 gr of Bullseye
-4.0 gr of Titegroup
-4.5 gr of Universal.

If I get the chance, I'll make some with AA#5 as well.

I plan to get to the range this week and let you know how they shoot. I cleaned my 1911 tonight, so after each box of 50, I'll field-strip it and note observations. If I can get the wife's camara and if I can get it to work (and then if I can figure out how to upload pics) I'll include those.

Q

Walkalong
November 16, 2008, 07:18 PM
I can't believe I forgot.....Solo 1000

Ditto. Very good stuff. It came in second in accuracy to W-231 for me 20 years ago when we had fewer choices. Very clean.

It is still hard to beat W-231 for accuracy with lead bullets in the .45.

jeepmor
November 16, 2008, 09:09 PM
Unique burns cleaner at the stout end of the loading data. I'm pretty happy about 3-5% under max loading in my short barreled 45.

Steve in PA
November 16, 2008, 11:38 PM
I love Unique in my .45acp loads. I've put several hundred rounds through my pistol and don't find it dirty. Maybe my version of dirty is different than theirs.

230gr Rainier RN over 6.0gr of Unique is my pet load.

joneb
November 17, 2008, 12:18 AM
Another vote for W-231...Every time I try AA #5 or AA #7 I wind up with dirty chambers due to poorly or unburned powder.
Bushmaster, I agree with your assessment of AA#7 for standard .45 acp loads, but I have had good results with AA#5 in hot loaded 185 grainers in a carbine and warm loaded 230 grainers in a 5" 1911. But W-231 is my favorite .45 acp powder :)

earplug
November 17, 2008, 12:38 AM
Revolver shooters like Solo and Clays for major power factor with 230 grain bullets. This would be around your stated velocity goal.
I use clays and it burns nice and clean with a Billy Bullet brand 230 LRN.

robctwo
November 17, 2008, 12:43 AM
My friend uses Titegroup all the time for 230 gr fmj, I do not remember the load, but he uses the data from the Hodgdon site.

I've been using Universal Clays with the 230 gr fmj Zero bullets for shooting bowling pins. 5.7 gr at the low end and 6.1 gr at the top end. Some books have over 6.1 and some say that is over max. I'm comfortable with it in my guns, but you should start with 5.7 and see how you feel if using that powder.

I have also had good luck with WST and 230 gr fmj. 4.4-4.6 seems to work well.

Both are very clean.

All loads for 1.25 OAL.

I really prefer softer shooting rounds, and normally was using 200 gr lswc and 3.9 to 4.1 Clays. Recently have been running some 155 gr lswc with 5.0 gr Clays with great success.

357mag357
November 17, 2008, 07:07 AM
Clays and Power Pistol.

The Bushmaster
November 17, 2008, 09:45 AM
I would also have a look at WSF too.

pilot teacher
November 17, 2008, 10:16 AM
I tried VihtaVuori 310, 4.3 gr under 230 gr. It burns so clean I rarely need to clean my Goldcup. Bullseye is the worse for cleanliness.

VV N-310 uses a different composition in it's formula and is clean.
But be caustious because it is not only faster burning, but is one of the fastest. LOL

Walkalong
November 17, 2008, 11:17 AM
Yep. N310 & N320 are super clean in .45. pilot teacher is right about N310, go slow.

jfrey
November 17, 2008, 01:45 PM
I personally use Unique in all of my .45 ACP loads. The accuracy is great and that to me is an equal trade off for a little soot in my pistol. I load 6.1 gr. under a 200gr. Berry's bullet and it shoots great in all my 1911's. There are certainly other powders, but nothing as versatile as Unique for all my loading needs.

Lone_Gunman
November 17, 2008, 01:56 PM
I don't think Unique's versatility makes up for its unique dirtiness.

ilbob
November 17, 2008, 02:32 PM
Unique is a good powder for a lot of calibers but every load I ever used it in shot dirty. I switched to bullseye. Its maybe not quite as versatile, but for what i shoot it works well and is noticeably cleaner.

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