.45 ACP reloading recipes/powder suggestions


July 17, 2011, 02:43 PM
Hello, I am new to reloading (fired my first handloads a 3 days ago:)) and am currently focusing on my 1911 for my first reloading venture. I bought a used kit from a guy and had a little powder and some primers that I was able to use to get started. That supply is about up, and I am getting ready to buy more powder and primers (I'm pouring my own 200 grain SWC bullets). The stuff I got was Unique powder and Winchester LP primers, which performed alright enough for my first time out of the gate (used only 5.4 grains of powder). I was curious if this is a fruitful road to go down, or if I should give something else a shot, and if so what would you suggest. The purpose of my reloading venture is to eventually work up loads that are good for competition (I don't compete, but would like to start at some point, but am having a hard time finding anything going on in NE Ohio). Your thoughts, experience, and recipes would be much appreciated.


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July 17, 2011, 03:29 PM
You should be good with what your using. I use Bullseye and H. Universal powders with winchester primers. I think Unique is very close to H. Universal.

I use Bullseye for light practice rounds and Universal for hotter loads.

Welcome aboard and have fun at the range.

July 17, 2011, 03:39 PM
The neat thing about the .45ACP is you can use virtually any suitable powder and almost always get good results.

I load for IDPA power factor and have found powders that need between 4.5 and 5.5 grains to get 850 - 875 FPS with a 200 cast work best.

July 17, 2011, 03:45 PM
I have found that WST to be the best powder for using in my 45. I have worked up to 5.1 gr of WST 200gr Berry's FP with a OAL of 1.225". WST is a high loft ball powder so it meters very well. Where Unique being a flake powder does not is some dispensers.

July 17, 2011, 03:48 PM
I like 4grs of Bullseye under the 200 SWC.

July 17, 2011, 03:52 PM
Welcome to THR and reloading!

Although Unique is popular, many like Bullseye (4.6-5.0 gr for 200 gr SWC).

My favorite target load is 200 gr SWC with 5.0-5.5 gr of W231/HP-38. Very accurate load.

My favorite plinking load is 200 gr SWC with 4.0 gr of Promo/Red Dot. Accurate mild recoil load.

July 17, 2011, 03:58 PM
I have tried W231, Titegroup, HS-6, Bullseye and WST with my own cast 200 grain SWC. I like WST best.

July 17, 2011, 04:59 PM
45ACP Powders
I have used several over the years,but have been Loading AS for last few years.
The Black Sub is a New Adventure in a Colt 1911 .
Both Powders are Topped with a 180 Gr SWC.( My preferred 45 ACP Bullet for Bottom Feeders)
Smokeless - American Select
Black - American Pioneer FFF


Marlin 45 carbine
July 17, 2011, 05:32 PM
Welcome to The Forum.
you're good with what you have, but BullsEye or Red Dot (cleaner and more 'bulk') are better w/a 200gr cast SWC. just IMO. makes power factor too.

July 17, 2011, 06:09 PM
As EddieNFL posted, the .45 ACP with lead 200 Gr SWC's is very forgiving in regards to powders. Many work well.

AA #2, AA #5, WST, W231, WSF, Zip, Competition, N310, N320, N340, Bullseye, American Select, & Unique can all give suitable service. We all have our favorites of course. Use the faster powders for light target loads and the medium powders for stouter stuff.

918v's suggestion of 4.0 Grs of Bullseye under a 200 Gr SWC is one that shoots well in my guns, among other loads.

I have more than suitable light target loads with all of the fast powders I listed.

Some folks who have used nothing but Unique for years upon years, so you could do a whole lot worse.

July 17, 2011, 07:40 PM
I use Rainier 185 jhp(cheap) and 6.6 gr Unique with OAL 1.2 Great load with very little crimp. All my 45's like it. Happy hunting!

July 17, 2011, 07:44 PM
Ben -
Welcome aboard !

You're going to enjoy reloading.


Miata Mike
July 17, 2011, 08:24 PM
I have been very happy with WST with 200 grain LSWC. It is in my go to plinking load.

July 17, 2011, 08:43 PM
WST is fantastic if you can find it. I'd need to check, but I don't think I go as high as the 5.1 grains mentioned above. I think it's 4.something for me.

July 18, 2011, 11:05 PM
Thanks for the advice. You are all very generous.


Ky Larry
July 18, 2011, 11:15 PM
As was mentioned above, it's hard to find a listed powder that doesn't shoot well in the .45 ACP. I like Trail Boss. It's very clean, accurate, and meters well.

July 19, 2011, 12:41 AM
There are so many good powders for the .45 auto and none listed in this thread are a bad choice. I'm a big fan of W231 for target loads using 200gr and 230gr lead bullets.

For more "aggressive" loads I like HS-6 and AA#5.

July 19, 2011, 09:46 AM
Bullseye, W231, WST all work GREAT for me in 45ACP, Universal is my Go-To powder, but never really had much luck with it in 45ACP

July 19, 2011, 12:44 PM
I've used Bullseye, Unique & AA#5 in various loads. All worked well. Maybe it's just me, but I think nearly any appropriate powder will give you good results.
My most common load these days is 4.6 gr of Bullseye w/ a 230 gr MBC Softball.

Kevin Rohrer
July 19, 2011, 11:44 PM
6.0gr of Unique w/ any lead bullet from 200-230gr works fine.

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