Clays vs Winchester ST for .45ACP


October 19, 2011, 01:47 PM
I recently switched my .40 S&W powder from Clays to HS6. This was outstanding. I have more velocity and less recoil. Really loved it.

I had someone suggest that I switch from Clays on my .45 ACP to Winchester Super Target for the same reason as sited above. I checked the stats at Hodgdon and that is correct.

Does anyone have any practical experience with the ST vs Clays?

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October 19, 2011, 05:33 PM
I've used both and liked both in .45ACP. The Winchester stuff is hard to beat, especially if you buy it in 8lb containers.

Just my .02,


October 19, 2011, 05:39 PM
Those are by far my two favorite powders for .45ACP. You really can't go wrong with either one. And they're much more similar than they're different.

You _might_ have a powder measure that prefers WST, as Clays has larger flakes, but for whatever reason Clays meters a lot better than it looks like it should.

Assuming they meter equally well for you, you _might_ find that WST is really in its element as a medium-velocity powder while Clays is best for the really light stuff. I can definitely say that if they were the only two powders I had and I wanted to cook up some medium-velocity loads, I'd go for WST.

This is kind of like an Ed Brown vs. Wilson 1911 choice. :)

October 19, 2011, 11:12 PM
Thanks for the info. I use a RCBS powder drop. So far, I have not had any bridges or problems...but there is always a turd in the punch bowl I tend to be very careful and inspect each casing before stuffing a round over the load.

October 19, 2011, 11:15 PM
The folks at Penn bullet were saying that they liked the Winchester for better velocity. They said that when they use Clays, they use the upper end of the accepted load range.

October 20, 2011, 09:22 AM
Another vote for WST. Good stuff for the .45 ACP.

Just my .02,

October 20, 2011, 12:14 PM
Thanks for the input folks. Those of you that use the WST, what weight powder are you using and for what bullet? I have the Hodgdon data site information. I am just prying. I will be using the powder on a LSWC 200 gr fired through a Kimber CDP Pro II.

October 20, 2011, 02:49 PM
That bullet profile is the pretty similar to Berry's Plated 200gr FN, which I just finished up the first 1000 down range through my Kimber SS Ultra TLE II. I was using 4.8 gr of the WST. I loaded a 0.1gr hotter on the first 200 rounds. 4.8 gr in in the middle of the road and is a soft shooter. I now have 185gr HBRN and 230gr RN to use. If your gun is new, I would recommend running the upper in or factory ammo for the first 200 rounds before starting on reloads.

October 20, 2011, 02:52 PM
Thanks Blue. The pistol is not new....It has had about 2,000 rounds run threw it.

October 20, 2011, 03:28 PM
I don't have it right in front of me, but I believe I use around 4.4 grains under a 200-grain plated SWC. It turns out to a tiny bit more than Clays, which I think I do under the same bullet at 4.1 grains.

October 20, 2011, 04:15 PM
My records show that 4.5 grains WST under a 230gr RN plated bullet and 4.8 grains WST under a 200 lead or plated SWC provide the better paper target accuracy in my 1911.

Out of WST, so now experimenting with Clays, atarting out in the 3.6 to 4.0 grain range.

October 20, 2011, 04:20 PM
WST by a narrow margin ... meters better than Clays and, if you try for some full power loads, Clays is much less forgiving - "just a little more" can lead to pressure spikes more readily than WST.

I'm also an old time vote for Bullseye in 45 ACP ... reasonably cheap, meters well and its name says it all. All the rumornet babble about it being "dirty" is nonsense - you won't clean or need to clean your guns any more or less with any of them. Lead vs jacketed bullets make a cleanliness difference.

October 20, 2011, 11:55 PM
John, when firing a 230 gr., I was using 3.7 Clays and it was a little more accurate than the 3.6. However, the 3.6 sure did feel better in this old man's hand.

October 21, 2011, 07:25 PM
If you are only interested in accuracy, then Clays would be my choice of the two. WST is uniformly inaccurate in all my .45s and TiteGroup isn't much better. I hear about Bullseye shooters using WST and TiteGroup and I wonder what the difference is in their guns from all my 1911s in .45.
Other powders that are extremely accurate in .45ACP are AA2 (general the best in all my .45s), Solo 1000, Bullseye, Red Dot, and Unique. Powders that simply don't work for me are N310, WST, TiteGroup, and WSF.
I plan to test Competition and Zip.

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