45 ACP load for 185 gr JHP + Red Dot?


January 26, 2010, 07:26 PM
First a note: I'm getting ready to load my first rounds - I'm a newbie.

The brass is cleaned, trimmed, all within specs, primed. I've set 4 bullets to just below the O.A.L. in blank brass and hand cycled them through my 1911. All is good so far.

I have 230 gr FMJ and I have a good receipe there - everyone seems to agree on a powder load there (Lee, Lyman, Hornaday, Alliant). All agree to a starting range of 4.9 - 5.1 grains using Red Dot

I also have 185 gr JHP for plinking and I'm very confused. :confused: I'm using Red Dot also but checking various receipes for this bullet I'm finding a variety of recommended loads. For this bullet here's what I find for starting loads:

Lee 2nd Ed. - 5.6 gr
Lyman 49th - 3.5 gr
Hornaday - 5.3 gr
Alliant - no info on their site for this bullet

Reading that too little powder can be as bad as too much - how can there be such a difference? The Lyman load is 35% smaller. Please correct me but that seems like a HUGE difference. Comparing different powders listed for this bullet Lee and Hornaday seem to basically agree and Lyman seems to a good deal lower on some and a bit higher on others.

And I want to be clear - I'm NOT trashing or questioning Lyman. I don't have enough experience to do so. Its a great book and I've learned a lot from it. I have some wonderful Lyman equipment - I'm very happy with it.

I'm looking for some feedback from all the wisdom out there. I want to keep all my fingers, eyes and my gorgeous 1911 from harm.

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Mark whiz
January 26, 2010, 08:15 PM
Well, my best 185gr JHP load (using Remington Golden Saber bullets) with Red Dot powder is with 6.0gr with the round OAL of 1.245". I can shoot this load into a 2" group at 15 yards offhand all day long with my Springer 1911-A1 GI Model.

Steve C
January 26, 2010, 08:32 PM
Attached is the prior on line Alliant data page for the .45 ACP with load data for 185gr JHP and Red Dot.

Since JHP's are a defense and hunting bullet I use Unique and a charge of 7.8grs that with the Remington bulk 185 gr JHP leaves the muzzle of my .45 ACP's at around 1,050 fps. In general a slower powder like Unique will give you better velocities but Red Dot is fine for target loads and may do OK for standard factory defense load equivalents.

January 27, 2010, 01:14 PM
Alliant used to list 6.1 grains Red Dot/200 JHP as a max load.

A 10% reduction would give a starting load of 5.5 grains.


January 29, 2010, 01:43 PM
Wow...thanks. THR is truly a great place to get smarter about everything firearms.

Marlin 45 carbine
January 29, 2010, 02:17 PM
I have used R Dot with good results for .45acp jacketed but it really shines with cast slugs IMO. cheap too.
I've had better results with jacketed over a mid-range powder like Power Pistol or Unique and such.
good luck and good shooting.:)

July 20, 2013, 12:10 PM
New to reloading !
Im looking for reload data for a 45 acp using hollow points cci 300 primers, and alliant bullseye powder.
Im having a problem with my OAL , for the bullet to work in my ruger p97 the oal has to be 1.212, anything longer and it doesnt work, jams everytime.
I think 6.4 grains will work but would not sure .
Help me if you can,I dont want to lose a few fingers

July 20, 2013, 12:44 PM

July 20, 2013, 12:54 PM
jriddle- what bullet weight and type are you using? if using a 185gr hollow point, my lee book lists 6.4 as the MAX with bullseye. start at 5.6 and work your way up .2 gr at a time and note accuracy, recoil, reliability etc to find your best load. better yet, go buy a reloading manual or two so you dont blow your fingers off...

July 20, 2013, 03:34 PM
The Lyman data might be for a target JHP (like the excellent Nosler) and might be going for far lower velocity. Might even require a light spring to get the gun to function.

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