first 45acp workup?


November 4, 2012, 06:45 PM
anyone here use aa#5, or care to share your workup process?

x-treme 230grain RN plated bullet .452"
cci 300 lpp
magtech brass (new)
OAL 1.264"

load1: 7.7grains aa#5
load2: 7.9grains aa#5
load3: 8.1grains aa#5

crimp is .471". (same diameter as seated section of brass)

the dimensions are equivalent to a magtech factory round, except diameter is .002" wider (fatter bullet).

hdy/speer/accurate all list conflicting max loads between 7.8 and 8.7.

if this seems way off base please let me know before I go pickup my new rock island 1911 tomorrow! The gun you save could be mine :-). I'll have a chrony, and would like to work up to 850fps.. Will cci primers show any pressure signs in a 45acp? Max is pressure is only 20K psi right? Much less than 44 special/mag.


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November 4, 2012, 09:42 PM
Looks like you will be fine. I have gone up to 8.5 Grs AA #5 with a 230 Gr jacketed bullet. It gave 859 Avg FPS.

November 4, 2012, 10:07 PM
generally with plated bullets, you'd want to use lead bullet data..

but you'll be OK.

I use 5.0 grains of Clays Universal if you're wondering..

November 6, 2012, 08:59 PM
8.1 to 8.3 grains of aa#5 still left severe powder fouling today in the 230grain 45acp. One in thirty to failed to go into battery. Thumbing in rounds met gritty resistance, and the rounds wouldn't fall out with gravity alone.

I'm hearing good things about hp38 and wst? Hp38 has a low maximum speed, and wst isn't in my hornady manual. Target fps is 850fps.



November 6, 2012, 09:34 PM
Good starting points. I think you'll find a load you like from 7.9-8.1 grains of AA#5. I've loaded up to 8.3 with 230 jacketed and don't care to go any higher. My loads at 8.2 shoots well with no issues in Glocks and Sigs. Might try seating a little deeper like 1.250". Could your bullets be contacting the rifling? Pull your barrel and do the "plunk" test to see if they will fall into and out of the chamber with ease. Never have thought AA#5 to be a dirty powder. Check out the 5th post here for pics of using your barrel as a case gauge.

November 6, 2012, 10:25 PM
thamks for the hints! All cartridges passed the plunk test on a clean chamber, even rattled a little bit, and fell out on their own... I seated deeper to 1.244" with 8.1grains of aa#5. Lots of unburned powder. The one that ftrtb was 8.3grains at 1.264". It almost works, but I can't go any higher with aa#5. :-(.


November 6, 2012, 10:43 PM
I use 4.5 grains of 700X with the 230 grain X-Treme plated bullets and they are accurate and clean in all my 45's. I just have 3 5LB kegs of it to use up.:) YMMV

November 7, 2012, 07:15 AM
If you are getting "lots of unburned powder" at 8.1 Grs of AA #5 under a 230 Gr plated bullet, double check your scales. Something is wrong.

November 7, 2012, 10:23 AM
I'm with Walkalong, something else is wrong...#5 works VERY cleanly at the upper loading ranges.
I use a lot of lead in my Firestorm, fact is, I've got over 10k through it, all lead.
I've used quite a bit of #5, and it is sweet through the measure. Much of the #5 I've used went over my Chrono(an Oehler M33) and I've tried RP #2 1/2, Magtech #2 1/2, WW WLP, and Fed 150 primers...the CCI 300s seem slightly less powerful. Other powders don't rank primers the same, tho'.
Have fun,

November 7, 2012, 03:23 PM
Yah, i was surprised how dirty aa5 was in 45ACP. It works great in 40S&W, which is a higher pressure cartridge. My scales seem legit as the rounds are chrony'ing at the prescribed speeds.

In retrospect, I wish I read this thread first, as it confirms AA#5 causes powder fouling in 45ACP.

In all my searching, I can't seem to find a 850-900fps load that has a 100% burn rate. HP38 might get me close with a max load.


November 7, 2012, 05:46 PM
N340. It will get your 850 and be clean as a whistle.

November 7, 2012, 11:52 PM
In all my searching, I can't seem to find a 850-900fps load that has a 100% burn rate. HP38 might get me close with a max load.

You can safely get there with HP-38/W231.

November 8, 2012, 07:25 PM
Try Ramshot ZIP, it is about the same burn rate as 231/HP-38 but has a little better performance and burns cleaner. True Blue is also a good choice and is very similar in burn rate to AA#5 except that it burns a little faster in .45 ACP. Either powder will get you to 850 - 900 FPS. ;)

Hondo 60
November 9, 2012, 01:07 AM
With a lead 200 gr RNFP my go to load is 8 gr of AA5

November 9, 2012, 10:06 AM
Further research indicates that I have a perfect storm of bad components.

Chamber in 1911 is tight by most standards, plus,
bullets sized at .452 are big, plus,
brass i'm using is unusually thick (CBC/magtech), plus,
unburned AA#5

All together, there's no room in the chamber, and I get failures to return to battery now and then. I can swap powders and brass, but don't want to ream my chamber, nor go with a more expensive bullet. Xtreme makes a .451 bullet, but it's a flat point - which may or may-not feed in an RIA 1911. Rainer makes a .451 round nose, but the cost goes up 30% ($79/500 vs $58/500).

If I can keep the chamber clean, and I mean immaculate, I'm sure I'll get 100% reliability. I just loaded with HP38, which supposedly has a calculated 99% burn rate, vs AA#5 which is reported to be 80%. One of the best features of AA#5 however was the fine granularity which has less of a chance of stacking up and fouling a chamber. HP38 is more of a flake/dot (reminds me of bluedot, which fouled my 40S&W chamber, which is why I switched to AA#5 for that application).

I've also reduced the crimp to the point where it tears the plating, then backed it off .001" - which puts me at .470 (factory ammo is .468 which feeds fine).

If football is a game of inches, then reloading is a game of thousandths :)

thanks again for all the hints! If HP38 fouls the chamber and prevents full battery, I'll switch brass, if that fails, I'll try the .451" diameter flat noses and hope they feed, but I'm hoping somebody here has gone through this and might offer something I'm not thinking of.

November 9, 2012, 09:20 PM
What does it look like when it fails to return to battery? What I mean is what does the jam look like and how far does the case go into the chamber. What you described sounds to me like an length problem. I read where you shortened them to 1.244, but then you said that "The one that ftrtb was 8.3grains at 1.264". It almost works, but I can't go any higher with aa#5. :-(". How well does the ones at 1.244 feed and cycle in your gun? And what did you mean by "it almost works, but I cant go any higher"? I bought some gun show special plated bullets once. I dont know who made them, but I had to seat them around 1.235 IIRC to get 100% reliable feeding. When I do the plunk test, I press on the chambered case a little to see if it catches on somthing. If it catches then either the round has way too much crimp, or the bullet is engaging the rifling or throat.

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