Favorite powder for 45 acp


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grubbylabs
April 10, 2010, 04:29 PM
I have been using power pistol but another thread got me thinking. I am new to all of this and was just wondering what you all liked to use.

I am loading a 230 grn GDHP or a plated round nose or HP from RMR.

Thanks for all your replies.

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TonyAngel
April 10, 2010, 04:46 PM
I've been a big fan of the .45 since I started shooting 15 or 20 years ago. I started reloading for it soon after because of the cost of ammo. I've tried a lot of powders and then learned a lot when I started shooting limited USPSA with the .45. With those big heavy bullets, I tend to keep away from the slower burning powders. I think that the power pistol is better suited to high pressure calibers, like .38 super.

For .45 my absolute favorite has been Accurate No. 2. A pound goes a long way, it meters really well and isn't super dirty. I guess my liking for No. 2 runs neck and neck with Winchester 231, but 231 has been hard to get where I am, so I've been using the No. 2.

Of course, I'm talking about loading for a 1911. If I'm loading for something else that doesn't run well on the fast powders, I'll just go for No. 5, which is a bit slower, but still considered a fast powder.

Generally speaking, running a faster powder will also shoot a bit softer. Just don't go trying to load any hot rod loads with a fast powder. If you get to around the max charge and still want more, then go with a slower powder.

grubbylabs
April 10, 2010, 04:50 PM
I mostly carry the gun for self defense and for woods carry. I don't do a ton of target shooting so when I do shoot I want to shoot what I normally carry. I am not stuck on the 230 grn I am willing to try other bullets at well.

So I guess what would be a better question is, what is your favorite 45 load for self defense and carry in the woods. My biggest concern in the woods are wolves.

The Bushmaster
April 10, 2010, 05:00 PM
W-231 for mid range ammunition and WSF for those rounds you want to speed along their way. Both powders meter well and burn clean at the upper charge weights....

For a little higher velocity and about as much hitting power you might try 185 grain HPs I load 7.7 grains of WSF under a 185 grain HP/XTP with 850 fps from a 3" Kimber UCC II...

Ala Dan
April 10, 2010, 05:19 PM
I worked up a load for my .45 ACP's, using Universal Clay's; commonly
referred too as just "Universal"~! Good stuff ;) :D

Hangingrock
April 10, 2010, 05:26 PM
W231 or Unique

dogrunner
April 10, 2010, 05:35 PM
I'm old fashoned, I like Bullseye..............hell, you get 110 miles to the gallon when you use the stuff.........an 8 pound keg will nearly last a lifetime, and it performs superbly as well!

ScratchnDent
April 10, 2010, 06:05 PM
I use Unique for 90% of my loads. I like AA #7 for maximum velocity loads.

ruger1228
April 10, 2010, 06:08 PM
I have used both Hodgdon Universal Clays andHodgdon Clays. They are both very accurate, meter well out of my Hornady LNL Powder measure, and are pretty clean.
I load and shoot mostly S&S Casting LRN 230gr and S&S Casting SWC 200gr.
thom

buck460XVR
April 10, 2010, 06:09 PM
W231 or Unique


Same here.

Mr.Revolverguy
April 10, 2010, 06:31 PM
I have always wanted to try accurate but shops around here don't order it. There is plenty of W231 available and never seem to run out of it which is my primary powder. Loaded 20 rounds with Hodgdon Clays and with my 1911 shot the center out of the target at 15 yards. So I am going to load more to try in my CZ97.

Steve in PA
April 10, 2010, 06:39 PM
Nothing but Unique since I started reloading the .45acp.

bds
April 10, 2010, 06:41 PM
For plinking/practice/match loads - W231/HP38 (same exact powder) with 5-5.5gr for 200/230 gr bullets. 700X/Ramshot Zip also have same burn rate for substitution if hard to find W231/HP38.

For max loads - WSF/HS6 (recoil is less snappy and more "push").

Walkalong
April 10, 2010, 08:31 PM
Many powders work well in the .45 ACP. Some mentioned already that I have had excellent luck with are AA #2, AA #5, W-231, WSF, and Universal Clays. I also like N310, N320, Competition, & WST.

Favorite? N310 & N320. Next? AA #2. Full speed stuff? AA #5, WSF, or Universal, with no favorite.

ljnowell
April 10, 2010, 11:23 PM
Target loads: AA#2, Bullseye, 700c
Full power: Power Pistol, AA#7

bluetopper
April 10, 2010, 11:29 PM
Bullseye, Clays, Red Dot, American Select, & 231 fit the 45acp like a glove.

chunk
April 10, 2010, 11:53 PM
bullseye for .45

Mags
April 10, 2010, 11:58 PM
HP-38 for plinking loads and I like Universal and Shillouette for defensive loads.

Bongo Boy
April 11, 2010, 12:10 AM
Although I'm fairly new to handloading, it seems clear that "it depends" is a great answer. I've only tried 3 powders so far: Clays, Universal and Trail Boss. Clays and Universal meter very nicely at low charges, Trail Boss does not. Universal seems to work best at the upper end of the spectrum of load, Clays works well at low-pressure, low velocity loads. Clays also works well for me with the big 250gr bullets...doing quite well at the minimum-load end of the range or even lower than minimum. Some folks find it smoky, I do not.

I like Clays, but am seeking out something that might produce even less variation in bullet velocities. Not sure if powder will provide the solution, but Accurate Nitro 100 and Accurate #2 will be next up in the exploration.

bds
April 11, 2010, 12:22 AM
but am seeking out something that might produce even less variation in bullet velocities.
If you are looking for precise consistency, I found accuracy (variation in bullet velocities) "depends" on several variables:

- bullet type/weight (should be less than 1 grain variance)
- powder charge (should be less than 1/10 grain variance)
- case dimensions (should be the same head stamp and similar length/weight - new cases are even better)
- OAL (should be very similar/same)

Powder selection alone will not produce consistent velocities.

Powder burn rate will also affect consistency. In addition to your selection of powders, do consider WSF/HS6 for 45 ACP.

doing quite well at the minimum-load end of the range or even lower than minimum. Some folks find it smoky, I do not.
Better consistency in powder ignition comes from proper chamber pressure. Mid to near max load data will usually produce more consistent powder ignition which in turn produce more consistent velocities. IMHO

MattTheHat
April 11, 2010, 12:36 AM
I've been using TiteGroup lately. For whatever reason, I seem to shoot TG group reloads better than the ones I do using 231.


-Matt

jfrey
April 11, 2010, 12:37 AM
Unique and nothing else for .45

lgbloader
April 11, 2010, 12:53 AM
I have tried all the powder's listed here above for the most part and have had good results with a few of them. I have used many including Clay's for a while as well as Unique, W231, Bullseye, #5, Titegroup ( my least favorite), TrailBoss, power pistol, and most recently N310 which I really liked alot ( Walkalong, I bought a can thanks to you!!) but I keep reaching for N320.

Side note: I will say that I found some rounds I assembled back in 2007 with Bullseye which I fired last weekend and they received the nod.

LGB

Gryffydd
April 11, 2010, 01:14 AM
I also like Longshot for warmer loads.

JDGray
April 11, 2010, 01:19 AM
I love PP in hard hitting 45 loads! 7.0gr under a 230gr XTP shoot so well out of my 3" Kimber, I'll never look elsewhere. 231 is my second place powder for a little softer shooting target load. Clays for air soft velocity, one ragged hole girly man loads:D

paralaska
April 11, 2010, 01:40 AM
I like the following powders in order:
W 321
Bullseye
True Blue
Unique

jhansman
April 11, 2010, 03:47 AM
Bullseye and 231. Can't miss with either.

cheygriz
April 11, 2010, 12:48 PM
HS-6 or Power Pistol

RustyFN
April 11, 2010, 04:54 PM
My new go to powder for 45 auto is WST. It's accurate and very clean. No more Titegroup for me.

ricehombre
April 11, 2010, 09:13 PM
+1 wst

BsChoy
April 11, 2010, 09:17 PM
red dot...less than 5grs for a 230gr hardball load and a pound makes almost 2000 rounds!

TheotherMikeG
April 11, 2010, 09:39 PM
With a 200 gr lswc:

4.5 gr Bullseye
5.2 gr Titegroup

cvo
April 11, 2010, 09:49 PM
230 gr FMJ with 231 or PP.

Ateam-3
April 11, 2010, 10:15 PM
Winchester Super Lite (WSL)

I know it is no longer produced and sold, but I will keep enjoying this until my supply is gone. Its the most accurate I have found. As far as a powder that is still being manufactured, easy - Unique.

mjbike
April 11, 2010, 10:31 PM
Bullseye

maxthedog
April 11, 2010, 10:31 PM
I use Bullseye.

LeonCarr
April 11, 2010, 10:36 PM
WST or W231 for target loads, WSF for "defense load equivalent" loads.

Just my .02,
LeonCarr

more forty fives
April 12, 2010, 12:07 AM
Has been Bullseye and Titegroup but I tried some powder I never heard of before REX2. So far it may win the battle.

Bongo Boy
April 12, 2010, 12:15 PM
Thanks for the tips bds. It's a matter of degree, I suppose. I'm not looking for anything like bullseye match consistency...I have loads I've worked up that have extreme spreads that are 25% of the average velocity and standard deviations that are nearly 8% of the average. I have even worse loads I've tried.

I'd just like to have maybe 96% of all rounds to be within say 10% of one another. Single digit standard deviation is something of an elusive dream for me, apparently.

I think it's all about taking the time to properly troubleshoot.

lkbenson
April 12, 2010, 10:22 PM
I use VihtaVuori 320 for most of my cast reloads and HS-6 for all others. Seems that cheygriz is the only other shooter to mention HS-6. I have to add that I was in Cheyenne (guessing that is where you got your name) yesterday. Small world.

TooTaxed
April 13, 2010, 02:01 AM
I used to use a lot of Bulleseye, Herco, and Red Dot...then got to looking at all those expensive cans on my shelf and started researching the reloading manuals to see what works for all the cartridges I reload. Settled on Win 231 for all pistol from 9-mm Mak to .45 Colt...buy in bulk and laugh all the way to the bank!:neener:

Also settled on IMR 4895 for all rifle from .223 up to light bullet loads in .300 Win Mag. Still have to buy other powder for .45-70 and .300 Win Mag heavy bullet loads.

Sure, a lot of powders work well in individual cartridges...but why bother if you can standardize? For one thing, I never have to wonder what was left in the powder measure...though I label the tubes anyhow!

bds
April 13, 2010, 02:38 AM
I'd just like to have maybe 96% of all rounds to be within say 10% of one another. Single digit standard deviation is something of an elusive dream for me, apparently.

I think it's all about taking the time to properly troubleshoot.

Bongo Boy, I do not go for extremes for my range/match loads. I use mixed headstamp, no trimming of case, and occasionally clean really dirty primer pockets. I am lazy, and do the least I can to get accurate loads. :D

I use about quarter sized 3 round shot groups at 7-10 yards as my "Match Load" standard. About 2" shot groups at 15 yards and I am happy. These are with jacketed/plated bullets that have less than 1 grain variance between bullets and charge loads with less than 1/10 grain variance.

To my surprise, while shooting some test loads for different OALs for MBC lead bullets, I came back with several 1" shot groups at 7-10 yards. I have weighed some random sample bullets before and most were within 1 grain of the stated bullet weight. I am thinking about doing further test loads with bullets weighed the same.

iblong
April 13, 2010, 10:10 AM
Standard target loads 5.5 231/hp38 ,hotter loads unique.

rklessdriver
April 13, 2010, 12:33 PM
I currently use WW231 or HP38.

When I first started re-loading I used AA#5.

All 3 powders have given me great results.
Will

James2
April 13, 2010, 06:01 PM
Unique and W231 work well for me. I have only been loading for 45 ACP for about 2 years. These are the only powders I have tried. Its interesting to see what others have said in this thread. Around here lately, it is use what you can find, and Unique is the one powder that has been always available through these grim times.

Jeff H
April 13, 2010, 10:10 PM
Bullseye has been giving me good results but recently it hasn't been the easiest to find so I picked up a few pounds of HP-38 to try if I run out. Oddly enough, there is HP-38 on the shelf, but no Win231 :confused:

bds
April 14, 2010, 01:00 AM
Oddly enough, there is HP-38 on the shelf, but no Win231
This will often be the case because W231 is a more widely known/popular powder, but the two are exactly the same powder now!

And HP38 will very often cost less than W231. :rolleyes:

No complaints here.

TooTaxed
April 14, 2010, 01:35 AM
BDS is quite correct! They are the same.

berettashotgun
April 14, 2010, 04:20 PM
I have loaded thru 50-60 lbs of shotgun powder& about the same on rifle loads, but only loaded 300 45acp rounds so far.
I used Power Pistol with a 185 nosler custom competition HP over 9gr.
VERY:cool: tickled with the results, but I'd like more economical powder for loading 5-10K worth of ammo.

charlie-6
April 14, 2010, 05:09 PM
VV n320
titegroup
clays

kk0g
April 14, 2010, 05:58 PM
4.0 grains of Bullseye behind a 230 grain cast bullet, it's literally the only thing I load for .45ACP. It's cheap and it works.

newrugersafan
April 14, 2010, 10:11 PM
I just shot up 100 rounds of 230 grain LRN with 4.5 grains of 700X, showed promise. It is a bit dirty at that charge, I may bump it up a bit and see if it cleans up. Lyman #49 shows 5 grains as the max with 225 grain lead round nose.

Mike

Jumping Frog
April 14, 2010, 11:57 PM
Most of my .45 ACP shooting is target shooting, since I do not hunt with that caliber, and I haven't had to fire actual self defense rounds in anger.

I tend to use Clays the most because it meets my most important powder criteria:
Inexpensive
Accurate
Meters well
Burns cleanly
Readily available
At some level, I continue to load with Clays because that is what I am comfortable with since it has given good, consistent results. There are other good powders that I like as well, such as Titgroup, WST, WSF, Ramshot Zip, and Accurate No.7, but none of them are as inexpensive as Clays. I've got a lb. of Bullseye to try one of these days, but I haven't loaded it yet.

However, it is also quite instructive to look at the cost per hundred rounds for various powders, because the costs really vary a lot.

This is what I posted in a previous discussion in .45 ACP powders.

I updated an analysis where I looked at powder cost per hundred rounds for 200 gr LSWC bullets in .45 ACP. Powder prices were updated this week at Powder Valley, Inc. (http://www.powdervalleyinc.com/index.html), and reflect the largest size cannister sold (4#, 5# or 8#).

Sorted from least expensive to most expensive. These cost calculations assume MAXIMUM published loads for powder charge/round (worst case scenario -- actual cost should be less assuming non-maximum loads).

Cost/100 = $0.77 Alliant Red Dot ---> 4.5 grains; 831 fps.
Cost/100 = $0.79 Alliant Bullseye ---> 4.6 grains; 807 fps.
Cost/100 = $0.80 Ramshot Competition ---> 4.3 grains; 896 fps.
Cost/100 = $0.83 Hodgdon Clays ---> 4.3 grains; 888 fps.
Cost/100 = $0.93 Alliant Unique ---> 5.4 grains; 790 fps.
Cost/100 = $0.98 IMR 700-X ---> 5.3 grains; 921 fps.
Cost/100 = $0.99 Accurate S1000 ---> 5.3 grains; 952 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.00 Hodgdon Titegroup ---> 5.4 grains; 957 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.05 Winchester WST ---> 5.1 grains; 910 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.08 Hodgdon HP-38 ---> 5.6 grains; 914 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.09 Accurate No.2 ---> 5.8 grains; 939 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.16 Winchester 231 ---> 5.6 grains; 914 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.28 Hodgdon Universal ---> 6.3 grains; 962 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.29 Vihtavuori N310 ---> 4 grains; 892 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.31 Ramshot ZIP ---> 6.2 grains; 997 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.34 IMR Trail Boss ---> 5.5 grains; 816 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.38 Winchester WSF ---> 6.7 grains; 970 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.45 IMR PB ---> 5.7 grains; 915 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.46 IMR 800-X ---> 7.7 grains; 958 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.49 Winchester AutoComp ---> 7.2 grains; 914 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.64 Vihtavuori N320 ---> 5.1 grains; 958 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.65 Ramshot True Blue ---> 7.8 grains; 990 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.78 Ramshot Silhouette ---> 8.4 grains; 1071 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.78 IMR SR 7625 ---> 6.9 grains; 952 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.79 IMR SR 4756 ---> 8.2 grains; 966 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.80 Accurate No.5 ---> 8.7 grains; 1025 fps.
Cost/100 = $1.87 Hodgdon HS-6 ---> 8.4 grains; 907 fps.
Cost/100 = $2.12 Vihtavuori N340 ---> 6.6 grains; 1039 fps.
Cost/100 = $2.38 Accurate No.7 ---> 11.5 grains; 1022 fps.

BTW, just because a powder is expensive doesn't mean it is "better". I've used a lb of AA #7 in the last year in .45 ACP and it was less accurate (for me) than Clays.

Ky Larry
April 15, 2010, 09:14 AM
I like AA#2 and #5. I've used most of the powders listed and they all work fine. The .45ACP is not a picky round. Most any listed powder will work just fine.

ljnowell
April 15, 2010, 10:48 AM
I just shot up 100 rounds of 230 grain LRN with 4.5 grains of 700X, showed promise. It is a bit dirty at that charge, I may bump it up a bit and see if it cleans up. Lyman #49 shows 5 grains as the max with 225 grain lead round nose.

I love 700x for its accuracy potential in 45acp. I used a metric butt-load of it before I switched. I tried Bullseye and several other poplar powders before I settled on AA#2. The only complaint I ever had with 700x is that a pound can isnt really a pound, and that it does not meter well at .45acp charge weights in many powder measures. I found myself dropping weights that varied by .3gr at times. I think that if you have a powder dispenser with scale like the RCBS, it is a perfect powder for .45.

I like AA#2 and #5. I've used most of the powders listed and they all work fine. The .45ACP is not a picky round. Most any listed powder will work just fine.

Amen to that brother. I have found that most .45s will shoot pretty darned well with just about any appropriate powder, and without much work. However, I recently found the wonders of AA#2, as you mentioned also. I am running 5.2gr of AA#2 under a Missouri Bullet 230gr LRN(Softball) and have great accuracy out of a stock barrel glock, a SA XD45, and my 1911. It even shot good out of a Kriss!

frankge
April 15, 2010, 04:32 PM
I use Bullseye and AA#2 the most.

newrugersafan
April 16, 2010, 05:35 PM
I did notice that the 700X did vary a bit more then I'd like. I set my powder drop a little light so at 4.5 grains I'm really at about 4.45 most of my drops were within .1. I did have one at 4.8 but that was the worst.

I loaded up another 100 rounds with 4.5 of bullseye. It meters very well with very little variance. I have AA#5 so I'll give that a try also. I may pick up a pound of AA#2 and give it a try.

Mike

Prion
April 16, 2010, 05:37 PM
Unique 6gr 230g fmj 1.25 oal

JGrelle
April 16, 2010, 08:02 PM
VV N320,N330, N340 depending upon bullet weight & desired velocity. very clean & low flash

schmeky
April 16, 2010, 08:22 PM
For mild to mid-range loads, I can't find anything that can beat 231. I also use Clays and Bullseye, but 231 is my 45 go to powder.
http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/6577/82f8c00a.jpg

grubbylabs
April 24, 2010, 09:05 PM
Well I tried some Blue Dot since I had some for loading shot gun and it did really well. I loaded 8.1-8.4-8.8 and it did really well with all of it. Thanks to for your help.

Marlin 45 carbine
April 25, 2010, 12:02 AM
RDot for cast slugs because it's clean, bulky and cheap.
Power Pistol for jacketed because it's clean, meters/dips well and is good for 'power' loads.

Noveldoc
April 25, 2010, 01:37 AM
Very happy with Titegroup for target.

Tom

frankge
April 25, 2010, 02:09 PM
I have power pistol too but have not used it for .45, isn't it too slow burning, I thought the .45 liked poweders at the faster end of the spectrum.

bear375
April 30, 2010, 02:34 AM
i've burned a lot of 700-X in .45 acp, now a days i'm using universal for the hardball loads

230g HB, 4.5g 700-X, CCI 300, 1.25" OAL

230g HB, 5.7g Universal Clays, Rem 2 1/2, 1.25" OAL

230g Speer GDHP, 5.6g W231, Rem 2 1/2, 1.200" OAL

slamfirev10
April 30, 2010, 04:02 AM
1 more for universal

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