.45 ACP & w231


Ryan Williams
October 9, 2010, 03:35 PM
Hello all,

I am looking for a "Standard" .45 ACP load to setup on my Dillon 550 for general Target and IDPA shooting. I'm planning to using a 200-230gr FMJ bullet and I will defiantly be using Winchester 231 powder and CCI LP primers.

What recommendations do you all have for bullets and powder charge?

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October 9, 2010, 03:50 PM
4.8-5.2 grains and 200gr jpf or 230gr fmj work fine for me.........:)

October 9, 2010, 03:54 PM
Ryan -
You're going to like 231 in the 45ACP. And you're going to like measuring 231 in your Dillon powder measure. I manually cycle the first 10 powder drops back into the hopper. After that, very near zero variation with the small PM bar.

All the best.

Steve C
October 9, 2010, 03:58 PM
I use 5.5grs of W231 with Remington 230gr FMJ and Ranier 200gr FP's which delivers right around 800 fps with the 230gr FMJ bullets. Not a light load, pretty close to factory standards. For a lighter load that still knocks down steel targets I load 5.0grs behind the 200gr plated or lead.

A and O
October 9, 2010, 04:02 PM
defiantly? LOL, Think you meant definitely. The 45 is probably the most tolerant of the broad range of powders available. 231 is the most commonly sold powder for the 45acp. Great choice.

October 9, 2010, 04:18 PM
My Speer book says 5.6g min 6.2g max 231 with 230gr tmj rn. I load 6.5 231 for my springfield xd...

October 9, 2010, 04:29 PM
I have my Dillon 550 set up to run 200 gr LSWC bullets over 4.6 gr of 231 in my Colt Gold Cup. This is my basif bullsye and practice load. It maybe a grain or two light for a standard hard ball 1911 but it does work well for me. I usually do what RFWobbly does and run about 10 cycles through my powder measure prior to loading to settle the powder down(I don't ever keep powder in my measure when not loading). For serious work I load a 230 gr JSP under a healthy dose of Unique.

October 9, 2010, 04:35 PM
I conducted load development with 230 LRN bullets and W231. My M1911 functioned and has functioned well even with the lowest loads of 4.6 grs W231. These light loads are quite powder puff and are surprisingly accurate.

I try to push a 230 FMJ to 800 fps as that was the original 1910 cartridge velocity with a 230 FMJ. My load of 5.5 grains with a 230 FMJ is accurate out to 50 yards.

I think I could cut the 200 LSWC, which is a H&G 68 type bullet, a bit and still have excellent accuracy. My current 200 LSWC with 4.0 grains Bullseye clocks at 740 fps is very accurate and has very little recoil.

Kimber Custom Classic

200 LSWC 5.6 grs W231 Mixed cases Fed 150
11-Sep-05 T = 88 F

Ave Vel = 854
Std Dev = 21.21
ES 87.61
High 907.1
Low 819.5
N = 32

230 LRN 4.6 grs W231 Mixed Brass WLP OAL 1.250" taper crimp .469"
4-Sep-05 T = 92 F

Ave Vel = 732.5
Std Dev = 10.72
ES 40.15
High 752.1
Low 712
N = 32

230 LRN 4.8 grs W231 Mixed brass WLP OAL 1.250" taper crimp .469"

10-Jul-05 T = 84 F

Ave Vel = 767.3
Std Dev = 14.03
ES= 52.69
High = 793.4
Low = 740.7
N= 32

230 LFN Bull-X 5.5 grs W231 Mixed brass CCI300 primers
OAL 1.20" taper crimp .469"

30-Dec-04 T = 60 F
Ave Vel = 797.8
Std Dev = 32.2
ES 154.2
High 858.2
Low 703.9
N = 32

230 FMJ RN W/W 5.0 grs 231 R-P cases WLP
10-Jul-05 T = 84 F
Ave Vel = 755.7
Std Dev = 17.23
ES 64.39
High 784.8
Low 720.4
N = 22

230 FMJ (GI) 5.5 grs W231 Mixed Brass WLP
OAL 1.265" taper crimp .469
4-Sep-05 T = 92 F

Ave Vel = 782.5
Std Dev = 22.64
ES 87.93
High 822.9
Low 735
N = 28


October 9, 2010, 06:02 PM
Yup, hard to beat W231 in 45ACP load. BTW, it is the same exact powder as HP38 which cost less.

My Speer book says 5.6g min 6.2g max 231 with 230gr tmj rn.
I didn't see OAL's mentioned. I typically load 230 RN to 1.25" and 200 SWC to 1.25"-1.27" with good feeding/chambering in the 1911/45 pistols I used, but it would depend on the pistol you have.

I think 5.0 gr is a good starting point for you to work up your loads.

October 9, 2010, 07:22 PM
I charge 5.5gr W231 under a 230gr FMJ or LRN bullet. Both are my favorite .45 ACP loads.

Ryan Williams
October 9, 2010, 07:27 PM
Great Info everyone... thanks!
How about bullets? any favorites? Berry's Plated, Rainier, etc...

October 9, 2010, 07:35 PM
I'm not a big fan of plated bullets. I like to use lead bullets because of the price. They shoot well with the charge I recommended above with no leading as long as you use the right bullet. (not too soft or too hard) If I buy FMJ bullets they are usually Zero Bullets.

October 9, 2010, 07:36 PM
If you are looking for match grade 200-230 FMJ RN, check out Montana Gold bullets (https://secure3.mooseweb.com/montanagoldbullet.com/pricelist.tpl). They are brass jacketed instead of copper, but has very consistent weight variance bullet-to-bullet (usually less than 1 gr) and been a long standing national match bullet of choice by many teams. It's been my designated match bullet for the past 15+ years.

I have used Rainier Ballistics copper plated bullets for practice with great results and now recommend Berry's copper plated bullets as well or over the Rainier. As ArchAngel posted, plated bullets have not been as accurate as Montana Gold jacketed bullets (the bullet-to-bullet weight variance is greater than 1 gr). The exposed lead base of MG FMJ bullets allow you to remove a bit of lead shaving for that exact "match grade" bullets with matching weights. The exposed lead base also allow obturation of base to seal against the rifling of the barrel as the primer ignites the powder to produce more consistent shot groups.

My recommendation would be try a box of each and let your shot groups be the judge.

October 9, 2010, 10:59 PM
How about bullets? any favorites?

Look at Precision Delta, Zero & Magnus.

October 10, 2010, 05:00 PM
I cast H&G #68 and a Saeco #456BB RN bullet. I use HP-38 to push them and 4.5gr has never failed me yet. In fact, I used to shoot PPC with a guy that used a M625. He regularly kicked my fanny using just that load!

At any rate, this data is well within published specifications. Still, use it at your own risk! ;)

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