What's a good powder to use in .45 Colt and.45ACP?


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JohnnyB
January 27, 2010, 03:38 PM
Hi all,
I just recently started to reload my own ammo for my .45 Colt SAA replica (Uberti), and my Colt 1911 .45ACP. I researched online and found that Hodgdon H6 seems to give good velocities for both loads. I have sinced used up most of the pound that I bought and was wondering if anyone has any better ideas for which powder to use. Due to financial constraints, I need to use one powder for both. I had pretty good luck with H6, but was just curious if there is a more efficient or economical powder that would do as well or better than H6. I Usually use 250 gr lead or Hornady XTP jacketed bullets
Note: I also have a Uberti Yellowboy '66 in .45 Colt, so I shoot my loads in that rifle too.

thanks,
JohnnyB

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Marlin 45 carbine
January 27, 2010, 04:03 PM
never used HS-6 but BullsEye or Red Dot will do fine for the cast slugs in both, cheap too.
there's better choices for jacketed though specially if you .45Long is a long barrel and/or you load heavyweight slugs.
welcome to the handloading page some real experts here.

Walkalong
January 27, 2010, 04:05 PM
Dual purpose for full load .45 ACP and .45 Colt?

Unique.

Light loads?

Bullseye. AA #2.

rcmodel
January 27, 2010, 04:10 PM
Unique.
.45 Colt = 250 Keith SWC over 8.5 grains.
.44 Spl = 240 Keith over 7.5 grains.
.45 ACP = 230 JRN or JHP over 6.5 grains.

It's easy to remember so I like it!

What is this "light load" of which you speak? :D

rc

MichaelK
January 27, 2010, 06:12 PM
Blue Dot? I don't have a .45 LC, but I use it in 44 magnum and .45 ACP.

Walkalong
January 27, 2010, 06:16 PM
Blue Dot is not a good option.

zxcvbob
January 27, 2010, 06:22 PM
Alliant "Promo" (bargain basement version of Red Dot)

wildcatter109
January 27, 2010, 06:42 PM
A lot of good powders except blue dot, but unique, red dot, 231, hs-6, hp-38, all will work I personally think unique is the most versatile, a little dirty, but hard to beat for general loads in most handguns!!

Steve C
January 27, 2010, 07:07 PM
Unique is the most versatile with low pressure cartridges like the .45 ACP and Long. Data is plentiful for any bullet you want to load and it will do mild to heavy for those pressures.
For a case filling powder for cowboy action level loads in the .45 LC try Trail Boss. Bullseye, Red Dot, Promo, Green Dot, HP38, W231, Clays, AA#2 are all fast powders that are good for target level loads but watch for double charges in these powders as a little bit is all that's needed and a double charge will not fill or overflow the case.

SlamFire1
January 27, 2010, 07:18 PM
Unique. My favorite 45LC powder. An old staple in 45ACP.

W231 will work well in both.

Floppy_D
January 27, 2010, 07:19 PM
Unique.
.45 Colt = 250 Keith SWC over 8.5 grains.
.44 Spl = 240 Keith over 7.5 grains.
.45 ACP = 230 JRN or JHP over 6.5 grains.

What the man said. :D

DWFan
January 27, 2010, 07:58 PM
Nobody mentioned Titegroup. Any reason why? It appears to work well in both according the Hodgdon's website.

zxcvbob
January 27, 2010, 08:08 PM
Titegroup is overrated. It is dark colored and takes a small amount and it's dense. So it kind of disappears in the bottom of large cases and it's hard to detect an overcharge by eyeballing it. And it burns really hot, scorching the outside of your brass and makes a smoky mess out of cast bullet lube.

It's probably great in some small cartridges using jacketed bullets.

atlanticfire
January 27, 2010, 08:21 PM
I like clays but since I was able to pickup a case of trail boss super cheap I've been shooting that.

running iron
January 27, 2010, 08:29 PM
I like WST, 231, AA#5 and have found Auto Comp to also be a good one for me. Of coarse Unique too. Anything with those burn rates should work with the right amount of trial and error as far as recipes goes. Just got to put in the time to try a bunch of different loads to find the ones your gun shoots best.

Jesse Heywood
January 27, 2010, 11:39 PM
In the 45 Colt I have been shooting Titegroup, 3.3 grains under a 250 grain LRN. I haven't had problems with scorching cases or excess smoke. It is a very accurate load in my 6.5" model 25.

Another load I like is 3.1 grains of W231. Not as accurate as the Titegroup, but it is a good shooter. Neither powder seems to be position sensitive in the .45 case.

And, yes, you must be careful not to overcharge the case. With either powder you can get about 4 charges in a case. I don't want a kaboom.

Walkalong
January 28, 2010, 07:22 AM
Neither powder seems to be position sensitive in the .45 case.Test the 3.3 Grs TG in .45 Colt powder completely back and powder completely forward. Get the numbers and you'll be surprised.

1911Tuner
January 28, 2010, 08:03 AM
For years, I've gotten along nicely with only two pistol powders. Unique and 2400. If I had to choose one to live with for the rest of my life, it would be Unique without hestitation.

delta53
January 28, 2010, 11:15 AM
I use surplus HS-6 to load everything from 45acp 45colt to 38,357 works great for all above

jfrey
January 28, 2010, 02:13 PM
Unique! That's all I use.

ArchAngelCD
January 30, 2010, 04:10 AM
I mostly use W231/HP-38 for loading both the 45 Auto and 45 Colt. I have also used AA#5 for loading both and it also works very well. AA#5 is a slower powder than W231 so the ammo is a little hotter. Both work well with lead bullets as well as jacketed bullets. HS-6 is great in the 45 Colt but not so great in the 45 Auto. (even though I'm a huge fan of HS-6 especially when it was still available as W540)

huntershooter
January 30, 2010, 06:56 AM
If you're "shooting" for upper end loads in both calibers it will be hard to beat HS-6.

delta53
January 30, 2010, 06:42 PM
your right about the W540 when ever you see it grab as much as you can afford last time I bought 4x 8-LBS and still have 24LBS it will last longer than me

Blacklabelz
January 30, 2010, 07:51 PM
Unique is awesome for almost everything. Just be prepared to look like you got in a fight with a pepper shaker after shooting.

crusty81
January 31, 2010, 09:01 PM
i have been loading with hog. clays for both rounds also, it is a very clean burning powder works good for lead or hp loads,very little blow back when firing cowboy loads from my comanchee 45 colt ,my judge 45 colt and my tauris thunderbolt 45 colt. have fun!

243winxb
January 31, 2010, 09:24 PM
:scrutiny:Has anyone said Alliant "Unique" :D ;)

Ridgerunner665
January 31, 2010, 09:27 PM
Power Pistol...if sheer velocity is what you want, nothing else will beat it. (not in my guns anyway...Ruger Blackhawk 45 Colt, and a Baer 1911)

ArchAngelCD
February 1, 2010, 01:28 AM
Power Pistol...if sheer velocity is what you want, nothing else will beat it. (not in my guns anyway...Ruger Blackhawk 45 Colt, and a Baer 1911)
While Power Pistol will deliver good velocity so will HS-6, Universal and maybe Longshot and without all the flash that Power Pistol generates. I like Power Pistol but I find it hard to get past the excessive flash.

FROGO207
February 2, 2010, 10:28 PM
I am having good luck with Trail boss in the upper third of the loading with 230 grain lead Laser Cast FN.

five.five-six
February 2, 2010, 10:42 PM
ok... alittle OT but I am looking for a powder to load both .45LC and .44 magnum to the upper limits... I did load up some mild .45LC with bullseye (I load all my .45ACP with bulseye) last week and it shot fine.... but I am afeared of running it up real hot, and I definately want to run some hotter loads in my anaconda


******edit*******


yea, OK ... unique

Clark
February 2, 2010, 10:51 PM
The most power for 45 acp will be with Power Pistol.
The most power with 45LC will be with H110.

For wimpy loads, a couple dozen different pistol powders will do for 45acp.
For wimpy and highly accurate wimpy loads in 45LC, I find Unique to make tiny groups.

ArchAngelCD
February 3, 2010, 12:47 AM
OT but I am looking for a powder to load both .45LC and .44 magnum to the upper limits...
If you want to load up some .45 Colt rounds in the T/C-Ruger only range you can use whatever powder you use for loading your .44 Magnum ammo. If you want to use lead only I would suggest using HS-6, Universal or similar burn rate powders.

five.five-six
February 3, 2010, 01:32 AM
no, I have an Uberti, I am not interested in loading that hot, as a mater of fact, for as much as I shoot it, bullseye works just fine, so i should more focus on loading the anaconda



BTW, anyone else notice that .Colt and .44 magnum brass looks almost identical?

Clark
February 3, 2010, 09:46 AM
five.five-six: no, I have an Uberti, I am not interested in loading that hot, as a mater of fact, for as much as I shoot it, bullseye works just fine, so i should more focus on loading the anaconda

CAUTION: The following post includes loading data beyond currently published maximums for this cartridge. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Neither the writer, The High Road, nor the staff of THR assume any liability for any damage or injury resulting from use of this information.

~ 8 years ago I paid $255 for this early 1970's Iver Johnson imported Uberti Cattleman 45 Colt that is really beat up.
I normally drive harder bargains than that.
It is beat up, but I have really enjoyed it.

Virtually all the rounds I have fired were the same:
250 gr. XTP, 24 gr. H110, 1.603" heavy crimp into canalure:
1215 fps 22,000 psi Quickload prediction that matches chronograph.
That revolver locks up on each chamber as tight as the day it was made.

It kicks really hard, but no pain because of the well designed grip.
It does shoot a foot high, and I TIG welded some more front sight material.

I also have a Ruger Blackhawk that I have fired one shot of the same ammo. That revolver needs some serious work to be as good as the Uberti.

five.five-six
February 3, 2010, 11:27 AM
^ :eek: wow that is a hot freaking load, but yes, round here Uberti has quite a fallowing with the SAS crowd. I paid $300 for my catalman, which included a holster, 120 rounds and the 30 casings the guy had shot in it... times are tuff there are some great deals out there if you have grn backs


BTW, I really like your elevation adjustment... that is very cool, and rather authenticish

cz85cmbt
February 3, 2010, 08:35 PM
For target loads clays is cheap, accurate, and very clean and efficient, most powders of lower capacity tend not to do so hot out of a rifle though. You can't do it all perfect with one powder. I would buy an economical powder like clays for target/practice loads and something like unique for the xtp's in the long run it will save money. Walkalong, why no love for bluedot? I've used it in 9mm and .357 and like it for medium and heavy duty loads, just not a good choice for the large colt's cartridge capacity?

ArchAngelCD
February 4, 2010, 05:23 AM
five.five-six,
For "normal" .45 Colt loads I would suggest using W231 or Uinversal. Yes Unique is usually the powder most people would recommend but I find it too dirty to use. Back when there were very few powders Unique was the powder for the .45 Colt mostly because there were hardly any other powders. Today there are a lot of good choices on the market that equal and surpass Unique, Universal (Hodgdon Universal Clays) is one of them...

five.five-six
February 4, 2010, 07:19 PM
range report:

today I worked up a few loads. I use a rockchucker and a lil' dandy to throw powder... I work up loads to go with the lildandy... I am not real interested in adjusting hundreds of charges

for the .45LC I tried 1 charges in my Uberti Cattleman 45 both with a 225 grain FN cast plated (very thin plating) and trail boss WLP primer, the trail boss is a great powder for a beginning loader in.45LC as a double charge would spill over on to the table (I tried this just to check) it also give the nice slow "push" recoil one looks for in a LC SA revolver

5.3 grains from a lil' dandy #20 turret... light recoil, casings fell out without the push-rod, grouping was in a vertical line

6.4 grains from a lil' dandy #23 turret.... moderate recoil, full case expansion, group cloverleaf at 20 feet


and I did load up some of the same components with bullseye from recipes I found on the interweb,

lets say I do not recommend this load, especially for a beginner, because you could easily throw 5-6X the charge, and 3X charge would not be noticed with a quick visual, also the charge fills so little of the case that i worry about irregular burn rates...but I needed some .45LC for a shoot last week and bullseye was all I had

6.3 grains bullseye, recoil was moderately strong to strong and "snappy" primers were fully flattened

I am fairly new to reloading but I don't think I am going to try 24 grains of h110 behind a 250.... that just seems dangerous to me

and even though this is the wrong thread.. here is my data from the .44 mag I worked up today

240 grain JHP speer #4453, WLP primer 2400 powder

17.7 grain LDT 21... light recoil.. accurate! put 5 in 1 hole with 1 (i jerked) flyer touching that hole
18.8 grain LDT 23 ...moderate recoil
19.2 grain LDT 24 ... moderate recoil controllable
20.1 grain LDT 25 ... heavy recoil hard to control, favorite heavy load
21.4 grain LDT 26 ... a little too hot, primers staying in but flat, big fire ball

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