.45 ACP Pet Loads


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Hard_Cast
February 5, 2013, 06:05 PM
Hi guys! Im shooting a Colt Series 70 1911, and am getting respectable accuracy, just under 3" at 25 yds. Currently using remington and winchester brass, as well as some picked-up mixed range brass. Can't currently tell sorting brass is helping, may discontinue in the future.

My load is using RCBS- 45-200-SWC and they cast at 205 gr.
Sizing at .451 and lubing with White Label BAC
Powder selections so far have settled on 5.1 gr TiteGroup and 6.4 gr. Unique
Primers are WLP.

Anyone using Colt 1911's, stock, and getting any better results with other loads? I have, but yet to try, Power Pistol, 700x, HP-38, Hodgdon Clays, and Accurate #5.

What are some load suggestions for Cast, 200 gr., accurate loads?

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Loc n Load
February 5, 2013, 06:35 PM
I have been shooting cast bullets from the 1911 platforms since the early 70's.... I competed for years in bulleseye, PPC and IPSC....I ran a 200 gr cast SWC over 4.5 of bullseye and ran the 230 gr RN over the same charge for IPSC major....back in the day Bullseye was one of the "holy trinity - Bullseye, Unique & 2400".....if you are shooting 3" groups at 25 yds....that is very good.
I have shot over 50,000 rounds of these 45 acp loads thru a trio of Colt 1911's and a couple of Smith N frames....they group comparably to what you are shooting....they will cut the "X" and ten ring out of bullseye target if the shooter is doing his or her job. I also have shot thousands of Lee 190 gr 45 SWC's through these guns with the same results....this bullet looks like a hockey puck with a small dome on the business end, but it shoots good.
I have also had very good performance from Unique in a variety of calibers.
Good shooting.

Hard_Cast
February 5, 2013, 06:50 PM
So is 3" all you can reasonably expect? Its not like I'm doing it all day, they open up some times. I was hoping to find a somewhat more consistent load. The TG has an edge up close, but opens to 4-5" from 25 yards. I have stayed away from bullseye thus far, but am willing to give it a try. The LGS and Bass Pro are both pretty cleared out of powders for the moment. I think Power Pistol might be a good place to start, but have yet to load any. AA5 left lots of unburnt powder, and I discontinued loads, but I might have been premature on that decision as it burned cleaner in ever other caliber I loaded it in at higher pressures. HP 38 might have some promise as well.

Lj1941
February 5, 2013, 07:52 PM
My favorite is 4.5 new Red Dot with a 200 SWC. Works good in my 1911A1 and my M&P. I say new Red Dot because the old stuff is too dirty. 4.4 Tightgroup is dead on with 230 LRN. I use Winchester Primers and Federal/ATK brass.

Canuck-IL
February 5, 2013, 08:14 PM
Classic Bullseye 45ACP, 200gr cast loads ... posted a few years back on the BE forum.

4.2 Titegroup (best groups)
4.0 BE (next best)
4.2 WST (tied with BE and Titegroup)
3.9 Clays
3.8 VVN310
4.2 VVN320
4.6 W231
4.2 AA#2
3.8 BA10
4.5 HP38
4.2 S1000

And a host of others!
OAL: base to shoulder .928" +.002"
Primers: CCI, Federal, WLP (WLP and CCI were more consistent)
Crimp: .469" -.002" (set with the tallest case we could find)
Cases: Starline

I use Ba-10 myself but my stock is just about done and it's no longer imported. BE will be my next choice. Clays is great but doesn't meter particularly well.
/B

Hard_Cast
February 5, 2013, 08:18 PM
Thanks! Im going to check out the HP 38, as I have it, and will get some BE as soon as it comes available. I hope this craziness doesnt go on for a year....

hueyville
February 5, 2013, 08:55 PM
Unique has always been my go-to powder in 45. I have been buying by the keg for decades. I found a deal in single pound cans of HP-38. Out of curiosity I worked up some loads with my favorite cast bullet. Very happy with performance but seeing that I have around 12 pounds of Unique in stock will keep shooting it. When I bust the seal on the last keg I will order a backup. Too old to switch from something that has done so well for 35 years.

Loc n Load
February 5, 2013, 10:06 PM
If you really want to get down to "tong & hammer" on accuracy, then a ransom rest is in order....if you want to see what accuracy the gun/load combo is really capable of without the human factor. You didn't elaborate on how you were shooting from 25 yrds......but if you really really want to see what the gun/load combo will do...then you need to eliminate the human variables. But for my money...3" groups from a stock 45 acp at 25 yds is quite acceptable.

ArchAngelCD
February 5, 2013, 10:34 PM
My load is using RCBS- 45-200-SWC and they cast at 205 gr.
Sizing at .451 and lubing with White Label BAC
Powder selections so far have settled on 5.1 gr TiteGroup and 6.4 gr. Unique
Primers are WLP.

What are some load suggestions for Cast, 200 gr., accurate loads?
I would suggest you size those 200gr SWC bullets to .452" instead of .451". that size works better with cast bullets whereas the .451" sizing works better with jacketed bullets.

Thanks! Im going to check out the HP 38, as I have it, and will get some BE as soon as it comes available.
Even though a lighter load was suggested i get very good success with a charge of between 5.2gr and 5.5gr of HP-38/W231 with a 200gr SWC bullet. I don't know why the above list shows different charge weights for HP-38 and W231 since they are the same exact powders, confirmed by Hodgdon.

bds
February 6, 2013, 07:16 AM
Classic Bullseye 45ACP, 200gr cast loads ... posted a few years back on the BE forum.

4.6 W231
4.5 HP38
I don't know why the above list shows different charge weights for HP-38 and W231 since they are the same exact powders, confirmed by Hodgdon.
Winchester and Hodgdon load data were different until 2006. In 2006, Hodgdon was licensed by Winchester to sell their powders and since then load data show the same charges for W231 and HP-38 - http://www.hodgdon.com/history.html
In March 2006, Hodgdon Powder Company and Winchester® Ammunition announced that Winchester® branded reloading powders would be licensed to Hodgdon

My reloading mentor was a Bullseye match shooter and some of their custom tailored loads reflected the use of lighter than factory recoil springs that worked with lighter charge loads. IMHO/E, unless you are running reduced rate recoil springs, 4.5-4.6 gr of W231/HP-38 may not reliably cycle the new factory recoil springs of many semi-auto pistols, particularly compacts with stiffer rate recoil springs. Also note that recoil springs should be replaced on a regular basis and your loads should work reliably with new spring rates. Of course, if you never replaced the recoil springs in your pistols and you have 5000-10,000+ rounds through your pistols, you may have reduced rate recoil springs by few pounds. ;)

For me and pistols I have shot, 4.8-5.0 gr of W231/HP-38 have been the minimal charge range that worked well with 200 gr SWC bullets while producing very accurate shot groups. Some pistols may require 5.5+ gr of W231/HP-38 with 200 gr RNFP bullets (which has shorter bearing surface and shallower seating depth) to work reliably.

YMMV

huntershooter
February 6, 2013, 08:11 AM
Standard "practice" load of mine is:
230 gr. FMJ (Hornady, Winchester)
Win. Brass
WLP primer
4.3 gr. WST
1.265" OAL
800 +- FPS, 1.5" @ 25 yds.

200 gr. H&G #68
Win. Brass
WLP primer
5.5 gr. 231
1.255" OAL
850+- FPS, 2" @ 25 yds.

mbopp
February 6, 2013, 08:44 AM
With a 200gr cast SWC, 3.7gr of Bullseye is a soft, accurate load that still cycles my 1911 Springfield. 5.6gr of W231 / HP38 is my everyday load. I got a deal on some Unique, 6.0gr was OK but not as accurate as the other 2 loads but plenty good for USPSA.

the Black Spot
February 6, 2013, 09:20 AM
5 gr of bullseye with a 230 gr bullet

Hard_Cast
February 6, 2013, 01:06 PM
Thanks for the replies, it looks like I will be loading a full range of loads in HP-38 and testing this weekend. I looked in my notes and used 5.8 gr of HP-38 behind 200 gr jhp in the past, I don't know why I didn't do more testing with it and the lead. Interesting about the recoil springs, I had not thought about that. Probably have reduced tension as it is... the springs weren't new when I got it and I have put at least 3k+ rounds through it myself. I am thinking more and more abut getting a .452 sizer, waiting to see if a component change will help any accuracy wise. I'm not getting heavy leading even at .451

judgecrater
February 12, 2013, 12:08 AM
I too would recommend sizing to .452 for lead. My best load is 6.2 gr of Universal with a 200gr SWC, OAL 1.250. Or try 4.8gr Bullseye. Hard to beat.

ljnowell
February 12, 2013, 01:32 AM
My favorite loads with 200gr LSWC are as follows:

AA#2 5.5gr
AA#5 8.4gr

and for the ultimate pop gun round, with brass falling two foot to the right of me:
700x 4.6gr

Shmackey
February 12, 2013, 09:59 AM
I'm no slouch in the slowfire department, and I'd be very happy with 3" if we're talking about shooting offhand.

To answer the question, size those to .452 (most likely) and stack them on top of 4 grains of Clays or WST. Maybe down a tenth for Clays or up a tenth for WST, depending on how you feel that day.

TonyT
February 12, 2013, 12:06 PM
When I shot the 200 gr. Speer LSWC it was with 3.6 gr. Clays, WLP for ca 730 fps an accurate bulllseye pistol load for 25 yards. My favorite is 3.8 gr. HS-700X, Rem LP behind the 185 gr. LSWC at ca 720 fps - very mild and accurate bullseye pistol load for 50 ft and 25 yards. For 50 yards with the 185 gr. LSWC I use 3.8 gr. VV N-310 at ca 790 fps.

PJSprog
February 12, 2013, 01:47 PM
I haven't shot any lead through my RIA 1911 Tactical, but I've been getting excellent performance from 5.0 gr HP-38 under a 185-gr XTP with CCI primers in new Starline brass.

michaelnel
February 13, 2013, 11:26 AM
So far my best with my Les Baer TRS .45ACP was 0.63" @ 25 yards from a Ransom rest. That was with Nosler Custom Competition 185gr bullets, 5.4gr of Titegroup.

http://michaelnel.smugmug.com/Category/Les-Baer-Thunder-Ranch-Special/i-btmcPTt/0/O/3groups-nosler185.jpg

Catpop
February 13, 2013, 09:49 PM
3 inches all you can expect? I've just shot my first 1.375 inch 25 yard hand rest 5 shot group after many different combinations and hundreds of rounds fired (Kimber Classic Royale, 230 Rainer/5.0 gr. Red Dot/1.275) and I'm tickled to death! I knew the 1911 was capable if only I could do my part. I'm gonna stay at it until I get a 1 inch group.:)

thecarfarmer
February 13, 2013, 11:22 PM
My gun is a G21; I've used 4.5gr of bullseye w/ 230gr. FMJ ball. I tried to run 185gr. JHP with the same load; found that in my particular gun, that it takes at least 4.7gr of bullseye to reliably cycle the action w/ the lighter bullet... not that it's exactly the same as what's needed to cycle a Colt - thought I'd mention it, so if the OP ever goes to a lighter projectile and finds an intermittent fail to extract/eject, going up slightly on the charge can be the answer.

-Bill

ArchAngelCD
February 14, 2013, 07:38 AM
So far my best with my Les Baer TRS .45ACP was 0.63" @ 25 yards from a Ransom rest. That was with Nosler Custom Competition 185gr bullets, 5.4gr of Titegroup.
Do you actually think a Les Baer Custom 1911 would shoot anything buy very well no matter which powder you use within reason? That's what they are supposed to do when you spend $1980 for 1911.

Dean1818
February 14, 2013, 07:55 AM
4.2 grain of Bullseye with Missouri Bullet 200 g cast

Excelent load in my M&P 45c

Captaingyro
February 14, 2013, 09:08 AM
As some others have pointed out, try reducing your TiteGroup load to somewhere between 4.0 and 4.5 grains. Sometimes you don't get the best accuracy at the higher muzzle velocities. An added advantage that will aid your accuracy is the reduced recoil.

Searcher4851
February 14, 2013, 11:16 AM
4.3 gains of bullseye behind a 200 gr LSW sized to .452, Winchester brass and primer has been my target load for many years. Worked to that load in a series 70, and found it works just as well in my R1.
3" group at 25 yards offhand is fine.
Without a Ransom rest or other similar device it's hard to tell the difference between load differential and shooter differential. jmho/ymmv

michaelnel
February 15, 2013, 07:21 AM
> Do you actually think a Les Baer Custom 1911 would shoot anything buy
> very well no matter which powder you use within reason? That's what they
> are supposed to do when you spend $1980 for 1911.

The accuracy of mine varies quite a bit with different powders thank you very much. Sometimes 2" groups at 25 yards, sometimes .63". That's why I am testing it with the Ransom rest, to find out what loads the pistol really likes and what loads it doesn't.

SlamFire1
February 15, 2013, 10:16 AM
Hi guys! Im shooting a Colt Series 70 1911, and am getting respectable accuracy, just under 3" at 25 yds. Currently using remington and winchester brass, as well as some picked-up mixed range brass. Can't currently tell sorting brass is helping, may discontinue in the future.

So is 3" all you can reasonably expect? Its not like I'm doing it all day, they open up some times. I was hoping to find a somewhat more consistent load. The TG has an edge up close, but opens to 4-5" from 25 yards.

When I got my Colt Series 80 Combat Elite, back in the 80’s, I called Colt and asked about factory accuracy. M1911’s were shipped if they shot around 3.5 inches at 25 yards. The NM were only a little better.

I am of the opinion that modern M1911’s made to much tighter tolerances will do better, (my Les Baer Wadcutter is amazing) but if you are shooting 3 inches at 25 yards that is very good and will be very hard to improve. I don’t see how you are going to do better if the inherent accuracy of the pistol is less than your accuracy goals.

HighExpert
February 16, 2013, 03:07 AM
A Les Baer is worth the money. I have a Premier II that was accurized by Les and will shoot 1.4" at 50yds all day long. It is not nearly as finicky as some .45s are about loads but does require consistency to be competitive. My uses 12# springs with an Ultradot sight and the load I use is as follows. The Nationals are still leftover from when National built bullets well and actually delivered them. I bought 25K and still have plenty left.

.45ACP w/Red Dot Sight
SWC 200gr (National)
3.9 Bullseye (5.7)
1.241 OAL
700FPS

OR

.45ACP
JHP 185gr (Star)
4.3 Bullseye (6.0)
1.176 OAL
710 FPS Match

michaelnel
February 16, 2013, 10:10 PM
-> A Les Baer is worth the money.

I'm sure glad I bought mine. I never dreamed a 1911 could shoot this well for the price. I bought mine barely used (appx 75 rounds through it) at a nice discount too.

jjjitters
February 17, 2013, 07:27 AM
I shot thousands of my own cast H&G#68(200gr swc) over 4.8-5.0gr HP-38,was always an accurate load. Just for S & Giggles I loaded some up with SR7625 since I was getting great accuracy with that powder in other calibers and loadings. The SR7625 rounds actually beat the HP-38's !!!

Every gun/barrel will have its favorite powder/bullet combo (harmonics?) even the pricey guns, though some bullets just are the perfect design for a caliber and does well with a huge # of different powders.

DC Plumber
February 17, 2013, 08:56 AM
I just started shooting 200g LSWC out of my Sig 1911s. I started with 5.0g of Universal and they are cream puffs and cycle the gun with a standard 16 lb. spring no problem. Accuracy seems to be there, but I haven't gotten too serious yet. Plenty good for plinking.

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