.45 ACP w/ 230gr Rainier and Remington Primers


December 5, 2010, 03:20 PM
I'm getting ready to work up a .45 ACP load. I have 230 gr. Rainier plated round nose bullets, once-fired Winchester brass, Remington #2-1/2 large pistol primers, and Unique, Power Pistol, and Bullseye powders at my disposal.

Based on load data gathered from Speer #14, Lyman 49, Alliant's website, and Midway's RainierBallistics document (Speer TMJ RN, Rainier RN, and Speer LRN bullets), I conclude that the following ranges are a conservative place to start:

Unique 5.5 - 6.5 grains
Bullseye 4.0 - 5.0 grains
Power Pistol 6.4 - 7.2 grains

Does this seem reasonable? With Bullseye and Power Pistol, the loads with Remington primers call for quite a bit less powder.

Thanks for any guidance.

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December 5, 2010, 03:50 PM
I would not call the top loads you listed exactly consertive.

To match GI mil-spec or commercial 230 grain FMJ-RN:
4.6 Bullseye.
6.5 Unique.

With plated bullets, I would probably go 6.0 Unique, or 4.5 Bullseye and call it good.

Can't say about power Pistol, as I have never used it.
But I would guess 6.8 - 7.0 grains would be about right.

The brand of primers you use will have no bearing on what powder charge to use.
Lg Pistol primers is Lg Pistol primers as far as I can tell.


December 5, 2010, 05:06 PM
Here's what I find for 230gr Speer TMJ RN bullets and Bullseye:

Speer #14 with CCI primers 5.2 - 5.7
Lyman #49 with Remington primers 3.8 - 5.3
Alliant website with CCI primers 5.1 - 5.7And for 230gr Speer TMJ RN bullets and Power Pistol:

Speer #14 with CCI primers 7.0 - 8.1
Lyman #49 with Remington primers 6.4 - 7.2
Alliant website with CCI primers 7.3 - 8.1And for 230gr Speer TMJ RN bullets and Unique:

Speer #14 with CCI primers 5.5 - 6.5
Lyman #49 with Remington primers 5.9 - 6.6
Alliant website with CCI primers 5.9 - 6.5Midway's Rainier data for 230gr RN with Remington primers is:

Bullseye 4.0 - 5.6
Unique 5.3 - 6.9My inclination was to work up ten rounds of Unique at 5.5, 5.8, 6.1, and 6.4 and run them over the chronograph, inspecting the brass as I went. Is this the right way to approach it? I do want to be sure that my thinking about this is in order.

That said, I'm quite happy to avail myself of your experience and go directly to loads of 4.5 Bullseye and 6.0 Unique. Thank you. :)

December 5, 2010, 05:25 PM
From the Load Map you quoted with Bullseye and Unique. (I'm looking at it)

Use extreme caution when loading in the Yellow or Red zones.

For Bullseye I would consider that 5.2/5.3 and up. (From the color code on the chart)

For Unique I would consider that 6.4/6.5 and up. (From the color code on the chart)

I think rcmodel is spot on with his advise.

December 5, 2010, 05:45 PM
I see we have moved on from your quest for THE perfect 32 caliber load! Good for you!

It just so happens that with either the Berry or Ranier 230gr PRN you have found an EXPERT on the subject! :)

Aren't you lucky! :rolleyes:

All kidding aside, this is one of my favorite loads to load and I have shot them for years and years in a gallery PPC league.

Here are some results:

Several folks that shoot with me have chosen this load. It is with my favorite handgun powder ever, Bullseye. The load is 4.7gr and the OAL is 1.260" with the taper crimp at .470" to .471".

I also have another load that is superb to crank out on the Square Deal B, which is the same press you have if memory serves me correctly. It uses AA#2 powder and is another great load. 5.2gr to 5.3gr and you will be in 45ACP bliss.

Both of these loads duplicate Fiocchi's "range" type ammo and delivers the same velocity, 790fps or so.

Just to put things in perspective with the targets you are looking at. They are, on the left, 12 rounds, 1 reload @ 21' in 18 seconds. The one on the right is 18 rounds @ 20 yards (furthest you can get inside) in 70 seconds, 6 standing, 6 kneeling, 6 sitting with 2 reloads. Possible score is 300 30x. Now these targets aren't that they are kind of close @ 296 12 or 15x. Not too bad for a Taurus, stock out of the box with military surplus magazines!

At any rate, those are the two loads I use and I usually am in the top 2 or 3 in my PPC league. Folks that beat me have tuned guns, mouse f**t 180gr 650fps loads and such. I never have swung that way! :D

Here is my new bullet "love" in this caliber:
This is a 225gr Saeco #496BB bullet that I cast myself. It drives the cost of a box of reloads down to the $3.50 or less level for 45ACP! Not too shabby if you ask me!

I'm not sure what firearm you are going to shoot them out of but, should you want some bullets to try, send me your address in a PM and I will send you 100 to try. If you are shooting a Glock or H&K, I don't suggest trying them.

Well, anyway, there you have it! Search no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:what:

December 5, 2010, 05:47 PM
p.s. I have done it for others on the Smith and Wesson forum. If you go there, you can ask about me! :D My handle there is smith crazy!

December 5, 2010, 06:35 PM
What Load Map are you referring to, Walkalong? I don't have anything with yellow or red zones. ??

Hey, there, Skip. Yup, SDB. These rounds are for my friend's Kimbers. She plans to purchase a SDB soon herself, but I jumped the gun and got set up for .45. I needed an excuse to get another gun, and now I have it. :)

I'll crank out some of those Bullseye loads to try at the range this week. Thanks for sharing!

December 5, 2010, 06:40 PM
Just to let you know, I shoot against a fellow that has a Kimber. He is real proud of that gun, at least he was until my lowly Taurus spanked him real good in competition! :D

We both shoot the same load though. He has a SDB too and is very reluctant to change. He is a reloader, not a handloader. There is quite a difference.

Those Bullseye loads will be just the ticket to make tennis balls jump all over the berm at the range. Cheap reactive targets too!

Oh, by the way, you do need a new gun! At least that's what I tell my male friends when we talk about it! Don't want to be a "chauvinist"! ;)

December 5, 2010, 08:26 PM
What Load Map are you referring to, Walkalong?

This Load Map.

December 5, 2010, 09:23 PM
Thanks, Walkalong. I had not seen the Midway Rainier data presented in that way.

I think my instincts about how to approach working up a load were ok (i.e., carefully :)) While I might make up a group of cartridges that are getting up into the yellow range, I most certainly would exercise caution in deciding whether or not to fire them. I see no shame in bringing homes loads that I disassemble.

I'll start out with some Bullseye at 4.5 and 4.7. The goal is to find a nice load for practice. And then to do just that.

I am still curious about the differences with CCI and Remington primers...

Thanks for the help, guys.

Oh, and Skip...

My goal right now is to be a competent reloader, and to help my friend get there, too. But I see where this leads.

My local gun shop has a Springfield Champion Loaded SS that felt very good in my hands. I'm tempted...

December 5, 2010, 09:34 PM
rcmodel--I stated things wrongly. I meant to say that those ranges were where I would carefully tread, espeially on the upper end.

Am I approaching this with a right mind?

timer--Thank you. I'm not working for a hot load, and I appreciate your advice for if and when I do.

December 5, 2010, 09:42 PM
The Springfield Champion is a great firearm. One thing about that little gem, and I had one of the GI ones, it takes a pretty stout load to get everything to work in that platform. The spings are pretty stiff, at least in the one I had and it needed at least the 4.7gr load to work consistently.


It sounds like you have a great reloading sense to you. I am impressed. I know lots of fellas that think they are still driving their '69 Chevelle when it comes to handloading. You will do fine. Use the head God has given you, seems like a pretty good one if you ask me. (Of course, you didn't ask! :) )

December 5, 2010, 10:07 PM
But I see where this leads.

My local gun shop has a Springfield Champion Loaded SS that felt very good in my hands. I'm tempted...Yep, it's a disease. :D

If you happen to have some W-231 or HP-38 powder, 5.0 Grs with that Ranier 230 Gr RN bullet will be just the ticket. Not hot at all and very accurate. Nice plinking load.

rcmodels recommendations with Unique and Bullseye should work equally well.

December 5, 2010, 11:21 PM

I think I'll run down to the fun shop Tuesday. If that Springfield is still there, it might have my name on it.

I was going to stop with my last purchase...

My friend (??) thinks I should get a rifle. LOL.

I'm having fun and learning loads.

Thanks for the legs up!

December 6, 2010, 01:38 AM
It's too bad the OP doesn't have W231 on hand. A charge of 5.5gr under a 230gr bullet is my all time favorite load! It's an extremely accurate load with all 320gr LRN, FMJ and JHP bullets.

December 6, 2010, 02:35 AM
I'm making notes.

December 6, 2010, 06:09 AM
His dyslexia kicked in again, make sure you note that he meant "230gr LRN, FMJ" not "320 LRN, FMJ"! ;)

"Legs up", isn't that a "horse person" term?

December 6, 2010, 07:28 AM
I was going to stop with my last purchase...
Classic denial. :D

After a while we just quit telling ourselves that. It's not a matter of if, but when.......... :)

December 6, 2010, 08:35 PM
"After a while we just quit telling ourselves that. It's not a matter of if, but when.......... "

Boy, aint that the truth!!

December 15, 2010, 02:37 AM
That Springfield did indeed have my name on it.

After a testy first acquaintance (sliced open the palm of my hand while taking her down for a cleaning), she and I sent 100 factory rounds downrange with no hiccups. Followed that up with half a dozen reloads (4.7 Bullseye behind a 230gr Rainier RN).

I went to the range yesterday and exercised my Glock 19 (#2, for those who are following) with 100 reloads. I had some feeding problems. I followed that up with a box of MagTech to decide if it was me or the ammo. The MagTech was perfect. I didn't have Glock #1 with me, so that's something to try on the next outing. I loaded up a bunch of 9mm, so I hope it's GTG with Glock #1. If not, I'm going to get some more practice with FTF. :)

I wrapped up with 90+ rounds of .45 reloads, as above. The last 8 or so rounds went single-handed, right-handed first, and then the last two left-handed. The last round of the day stove-piped. I guess I limp-wristed it.

I'll start my next day at the range with left-handed shooting.

I like the approach of setting up the press before acquiring the firearm. Where should I go from here?

Thanks again to you all for your feedback and guidance.

December 15, 2010, 07:37 AM
Sounds like you had a great time. Where should you go from here? Load more bullets. Go shoot them. Try different things. That is part of the fun of reloading. :)

December 15, 2010, 05:10 PM

I have loaded thousands of the Rainier 230 grain FMJ bullets over a charge of 5.0 grains of Bullseye.

It is very accurate. Until recently it had been my favorite 45 ACP load but I am currently enamored with Winchester AutoComp. But that is for another thread!

The 5.0 grains of Bullseye will easily cycle my 1928 Thompson, my Reising Model 50, two different 1911's, a Glock 36, and some others that I know I am forgetting. It is a great all around load!

Give it a try, I think you will find you like it.

December 15, 2010, 05:20 PM
I did have a great time. Just finished loading up my meager supply of .45 brass. The clouds appear to be lifting a little, so perhaps a quick run to the range to get some chrony data is in order.

When I asked, "Where should I go from here?" I was thinking calibers. :)

December 15, 2010, 05:58 PM
.357 revolver.

Load it anywhere from light to full tilt boogie. Lots of fun. Lots of really cool .357 revolvers out there too. The hardest part will be deciding which one.

or .45 Colt. Great caliber. You can even shoot your Ranier 230's in it if you want.

Two of my favorite range guns are a 6" Trooper Mk III & a 6" S&W 25-5.

December 15, 2010, 07:46 PM
Power Pistol at 7.0gr will be a hot load! In my 3" Kimber, 7.0gr would give me 816fps shooting 230gr fmj, pretty snappy, but one ragged hole accurate. 230gr fmj, 3.9gr Clays, is a very accurate load in all 45s I've shot them in, a great powder if your others dont work for ya.

December 16, 2010, 12:02 AM
I really wanted to try W231. Might have to run down to the gun show this weekend and grab a pound. I currently use xtreme 230 gr rn plated with 4.8 gr bullseye.

December 16, 2010, 01:15 AM
I'm sure you will like the results you get with W231 in the .45 Auto. It's a very good powder for that application as is Bullseye.

December 16, 2010, 10:32 AM
Thanks since I started on this forum my powder list is now has gone up. I usually get 800x and 700x for shotgun and just bullseye and 2400 for pistols and revolvers. Now I added unique & w231.

December 16, 2010, 10:47 AM
Two of the best all around powders.

December 16, 2010, 11:17 AM
Thanks since I started on this forum my powder list is now has gone up. I usually get 800x and 700x for shotgun and just bullseye and 2400 for pistols and revolvers. Now I added unique & w231.
Like Walkalong said, two of the best all around powders.

My favorite pistol powders are W231 (HP-38), W540 (HS-6) and W296 (H110) even though I use at least a half dozen others for special applications. (like replica loads)

I could easily get along with W231, HS-6 and W296 as easily as others can get along with the other "powder trinity", Bullseye, Unique and 2400.

December 19, 2010, 10:01 PM
I finally got some chronograph data this afternoon:

Rounds: 34
High: 740.5
Low: 689.2
ES: 51.3
Avg: 715.7
SD: 11.8

The rounds were once fired Winchester brass, Remington 2-1/2 primers, 4.7gr Bullseye, and Rainier 230gr PRN. Just checked what's left of that batch and they're mostly 1.270" OAL, so maybe a little long. They chamber and cycle fine in my SA Champion Loaded, and I believe my friend ran some through a new Kimber this week with no problems. (I need to keep better notes.)

The brass wasn't too badly scattered or far flung, but it also didn't fall into a neat pile. A few of the cases hit me in the cheek. I noticed no pressure signs--still, I'll toss the cases into the tumbler and give them a close look in the morning.

My inclination is to load another batch at 5gr, shortened to 1.260" OAL. I've also got 1.260" 4.7gr that I haven't chronographed. In addition to better notes, I need to do a better job of defining my goals before going to the range. I was going to do some single-handed shooting, and then didn't. OTOH, I'm having fun with the new pistol and managed to drill a hole in the black dot today.

I came home from the gun show this weekend with Rainier 230gr PHP, Trucast 180gr SWC, and Trucast 230gr RN. I'll be playing with those over the next couple of weeks.

I threw a tennis ball out on the range this week. My third shot was a good one, and the ball bounced over the berm. Bummer. I thought it was a pretty dead tennis ball, but evidently not. Do you load them up with pennies before shooting them? I like aluminum cans--they jump pretty good if you hit them right.

Legs up... I think I learned that expression from my grandfather, who was a big horseracing fan. God bless him... his nickname was Riskit. He was a beautiful soul. He also loved golf and soccer. Thank you for prompting very nice memories.

December 19, 2010, 10:24 PM
Baseballs, harder to knock em clean over the berm. ;)

December 20, 2010, 03:34 PM
I think I would take one smaller step before going to 5.0gr of Bullseye. Shorten the OAL to 1.260" with the 4.7gr then do the same thing with a 5.0gr loads, 1.270" and 1.260".

What you will learn is just how OAL (really, seating depth) affects pressure and velocity. Now, since this is from a 4" tube and not the 5" Government model, that is why you got a little less velocity than I did. 1" of barrel length with Bullseye is equal to about 30fps, depending.

Really, if your bullets feed at the longer OAL, I would leave it there as long as it doesn't hit the lands of the rifling. Getting bullets to feed in the 1911 has caused some folks to loose their hair. You must be doing something right! Congrats!

As for calibers to go to from here, any pistol caliber carbine would be a good choice. 357Mag, 44Mag or even one of the Marlin semi automatics in 45ACP.

Then all you will need is a companion revolver and ....... you will be good to go! (until the next "need" arises!)


December 20, 2010, 04:14 PM
My inclination is to load another batch at 5gr, shortened to 1.260" OAL. I've also got 1.260" 4.7gr that I haven't chronographed.
I agree with Skip_a_roo, try the 4.7 ones before loading 5.0.

December 22, 2010, 11:27 AM
Went to the range yesterday and fired 4.7gr Bullseye 1.260" rounds:

Rounds: 40
High: 741.0
Low: 700.4
ES: 40.6
Avg: 724.1
SD: 8.3

I thought they felt a tad snappier. They also consistently struck the target below where I aimed.

I then shot a magazine each of 1.260" (this batch) and 1.270" (from the batch mentioned earlier) rounds using a support. The 1.270" rounds seemed to be more accurate.

Would you tinker with this further, and if so, how?

December 22, 2010, 12:45 PM
The numbers I look at when building/working up a load are the ES and SD numbers. Here is what I do to "pick" a load to start with. I have a bullet chosen first, that gives me a weight to start with. Then I look for a desired "normal" velocity. After that a powder that will produce that velocity in the middle range of it's load data.

Usually, most powders work best at the top of their data. Bullseye is one that will work well all the way through it's, again, usually. If I get single digit SD's, I am good to go.

Now, after that number satisfies me, I look to accuracy, not highest velocity. After SD, accuracy. If accuracy is good then I go to velocity. If it is below what I want, I will still have room to work up, again, usually. It may be that I have pressure signs at the middle and I have to work back down, not usually. :)

At any rate, the shorter barrel of your Champion is the culprit for the different points of impact, a little velocity, a little less dwell time in the barrel........usually a bit more recoil......may mean a lower strike on the target.

How does the load satisfy you? Is it what you want in a handgun load? How are follow-up shots? Does your hand hurt after a range session? Is this load combat accurate or tack driving accurate? Can I keep all of my shots in the 10 ring on a B27 target at 7 yards? Does the firearm function reliably with this load?

Just some of the things you can ask yourself as you work up loads, especially for self defense or self defense "games".

Personally, I think you have found the perfect load for your firearm. Of course, it is the perfect load I use in mine too! :)

Enjoy and be safe!

December 23, 2010, 01:27 AM
I think as far as where to go next skip a roo hit the nail on the head, get yourself a nice lever and a nice six shooter in the same caliber and have some fun down at the range.

December 23, 2010, 04:52 AM
For a cross-reference on the other data, here is Sierra's data on those powders at the 230gr bullet weight (from 5th edition):

5.2gr 700fps
5.6gr 750fps
6.0gr 800fps
6.4gr 850fps
6.8gr 900fps

4.0gr 700fps
4.3gr 750fps
4.6gr 800fps
4.9gr 850fps
5.2gr 900fps

Power Pistol
5.4gr 700fps
5.9gr 750fps
6.4gr 800fps
6.8gr 850fps
7.3gr 900fps

I've loaded a few thousands of them, via Dillon 650, metered, to .2 below max on both Bullseye and Unique before. I've loaded each to max on those powders when weighed individually by hand. I never load to max when metering on either the turret or progressive presses, flake powders tend to be +/- .2 grains on my Lyman powder tosser depending on how much powder is in the hopper pushing down on it. The Dillon is a bit tighter, but still, I see no reason to take a chance so I always err on the side of caution. I'm a programmer by day, so I need my hands to remain pretty. :)

EDIT: I've found as a general rule of thumb, starting lighter than the mid-point on Sierra's book will typically result in failure-to-eject stoppages on most semi-autos, so don't load up a big mess of light loads or you may have a frustrating day at the range. I've always skipped to the half way point in their book to start with, but that's my own decision.

I've never used power pistol, can't comment there.

December 23, 2010, 05:03 AM
I threw a tennis ball out on the range this week. My third shot was a good one, and the ball bounced over the berm. Bummer. I thought it was a pretty dead tennis ball, but evidently not. Do you load them up with pennies before shooting them? I like aluminum cans--they jump pretty good if you hit them right.

If the ground ever freezes where you live, and there's nothing in the way for a LONG way out, try tossing some golf balls out on the frozen ground; 15 yards out or so, you don't want to be shooting close to you, bullets hitting ice do very weird things. We're out in the country here, and the shallow part of my lake has a nice 80' hill behind it, with nothing but trees for miles behind.

For summer time fun, a sheet of plywood on the ground will give the balls something to bounce off of when they are hit, to much the same effect.

Those balls fly FOREVER. The bullet goes in, but doesn't come out the other side (we've found a couple, bullet inside). The golf ball captures a huge amount of the kinetic energy, the ice keeps it from burying itself in the ground... just all around good fun.

Tiger woods ain't got nothing on a well placed 45 ACP. :)

December 23, 2010, 10:17 PM
I appreciate the thoughtful responses. Thank you.

How do you determine the desired velocity for a given bullet?

The only information I've seen about desired bullet velocities was in Ayoob's Concealed Carry, where he talked about what's been effective for LEO in various calibers. That's all well and good, and advice taken to heart, but it doesn't help with what to shoot for with the 180gr LSWC I brought home this weekend. (I ordered a copy of Lyman's cast bullet manual, and I get that I've got the cart before the horse...)

My friend loaded some of these up with 5gr Bullseye at 1.275" and we ran them over the chronograph. We were getting good SD readings, but shooting too few rounds--it was late afternoon and the light was running out. They were difficult to load in the magazine, so a little shorter.

None of this sends me home with a sore hand and it's all been good cycling the slide.

I like pretty hands, too. Although, as I look at my hands, they're pretty neglected.

And now I must devote my attention to hosting my family for Christmas.

Have a very merry, everyone. Peace be with you.

January 1, 2011, 07:17 PM
How do you determine the desired velocity for a given bullet?

Depends on what I am going to shoot it out of and the desired results.

Usually, I am trying to duplicate factory ammo; weight for weight and velocity for velocity.

Sometimes I am just trying to get that ornery cast boolit to put a nice hole in a piece of paper or move a tennis ball around a bit.

Maybe I am trying to slay that fire breathing dragon (read deer or hog) with a one shot drop.

I guess what I am trying to say is, depends! :) (Lots of help, ain't I! :) )

I do have a funny story pertaining to a 45ACP load though; goes like this:

Work, work, work! Man, that is all I have done in the past year, WORK!
It was getting in the way of my hobby, friends! :mad:
Well, I decided I was going to end the long dry spell of sending magnitudes and magnitudes of projectiles downrange!
So, the other day, I made a trip by the indoor range and gun store just to say "Hey" and let them know I was still alive. Talked with a bunch of the guys there and when I went to leave, one of the younger fellows hollered: "Hey, what kind of brass do you need?"
I tried to be humble and said: "Awe, I haven't been here in awhile and.... you don't need to do anything special and..... I have all I need and........." He said: "Wait a minute."
So, trying not to be rude, I did just that when low and behold, he came out with this:
Well, what could I do at that point? Let me ask you what you would do! Proudly proclaim: "I said I didn't need any brass?" Well, brothers and sisters, not me, I just said: "Thanks, thanks a lot!" and left.
What do you do when you get gifted about 1000 mostly once fired 45ACP brass? I'll tell you just what I did. I sent the wife out on a mission to find me something new to shoot it out of!
Since I had to work so much, I thought I would do some phone shopping and found just what I wanted:
This is a Glock 21. It is the "SF" (short or slim frame) variety. I have had another G21 but it was the regular grip style and I had a hard time shooting it well. I wanted to try the smaller, different angled grip of the "SF" version.
This one was bought used. It has Glock night sights too and all for just a bit over $450 with tax.
Thursday night, I took it, son #2, son in laws #1 & #2 to the range with me and we "let fly" with some bullets! OH WHAT A TIME!
And this thing is a tack driver! Shooting the same loads out of it that I do my PT1911 and get great groups too.
Well, let me qualify that a bit, 4.7gr of Bullseye under a 230gr TMJ (Berry's).
I am not a big fan of striker fired handguns, I just don't usually shoot them well. This one I shoot almost better than my PT1911! (Not any of my wheel guns though! ;) )
Need to clean this baby now and look for an after market barrel so I can shoot my cast boolits out of it!


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