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Clays and .45 acp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by candt, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. candt

    candt Well-Known Member

    Hello everyone....new member here, and new reloader. I just picked up a pound of Hodgdon clays to reload .45 acp with. I will also be using the precision 230 gr round nose. These are lead bullets with a polymer coating on them. I believe I need to use lead data with these bullets. Anybody have a recipe with the above that works well for plinking at the range? Just want something light. Thanks for any help.
  2. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

    Clays is a great powder for loading light .45acp's with the 230 RNL, as many IDPA revolver shooters have discovered. It burns clean and quite consistently down to very light loads. Assuming you're not shooting them in a revolver, you'll have to find out what exactly is needed to cycle your bottomfeeder; but to give you a baseline, I can tell you that I get quite decent accuracy and clean burning, and about 600 fps from a 4" revolver, using 3.1 grains (under a swaged 230 RNL from Zero).
  3. candt

    candt Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the help. The gun I'll be firing out of is a Sig P220. I have had some good luck with Alliant Unique, and AA#5 out of the Sig, but both are very dirty for me. The AA#5 moreso than the Unique. But that was at a light load, so Im guessing if I loaded a little heavier, that the dirtiness would go down a little. Im looking forward to trying out the Clays for the light range rounds. Any other recipes that people have had success with? I'll be using Remington 2.5 primers, although I also have some CCI 300.
  4. ChristopherG

    ChristopherG Well-Known Member

    You're very welcome, candt--and let me say (belatedly), Welcome to reloading, and to a great forum! There's a ton to learn here, and someone will be along soon, I'm sure, to share more relevant experience with you. That's what I love most about THR--the amazing wealth of personal experience it represents, and the generosity of those who have it in sharing it. It's a remarkable testimony to the basic cooperative and sharing impulses of people who, for the most part, have nothing to gain from one another. So again, welcome and good luck.
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Greeting's All-

    I have a receipe for use with the 200 grain L-SWC in the
    .45 ACP. It calls for 4.9 grains of Hodgdon Universal Clays
    with the WW large pistol primers, in assorted MIL-COM
    once fired cases. Its a light target load that seems to
    work pretty well in the WW-II MIL SPEC Springer, as
    well as the West German SIG-SAUER P220A.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Caution, candt

    Ala Dan has given a load for UNIVERSAL Clays that would be excessive with plain Clays. Read the label. Hodgdon has done us no favor by selling three powders with "clays" in the name. For some reason it seems to be more confusing than the Alliant "dots"

    Clays is very fast burning. Go with the starting load, 90% of whatever Hodgdon shows as maximum and check for function. I think you will be ok.
  7. candt

    candt Well-Known Member

    Good catch Jim. I believe that Universal Clays is a slower burning Hodgdon powder, and if I were to put 4.9 gr of straight clays in a case, it may cause problems. I went to Hodgdon's website, to take a look at thier data, and the closest thing I can find is a recipe that uses a 230 gr. Hornady FMJ FP bullet with 4.0 gr of Clays as the max load. So, a starting load for this would be around 3.6 gr, but since I am shooing lead, maybe 3.4 or 3.5?
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    The Hodgdon annual (magazine format manual) shows specific data for a 230 grain LRN.
    4.0 grains Clays maximum for 793 fps,
    3.5 to start at 716 fps.

    Universal is commonly compared to Unique.
    Clays is even faster burning than Bullseye in pistol ammo.
    There is hardly any pistol data for International, only shotshell.

    I only use Clays for the very light revolver loads Chris describes. I will be trying Titegroup when my present supply of 452AA (discontinued) runs out. If that does not suit, I can always go back to 700X which I prefer for 12 gauge and have used for a lot of pistol ammo.
  9. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Well-Known Member

    Hopefully HSMITH will see this thread and respond. Otherwise, you may want to shoot him a PM, since I know he's done a lot of work with Clays and .45ACP.
  10. candt

    candt Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jim! Just what I wanted. I think I will pick up that magazine too. Thanks Trapper, I will PM HSMITH as well.
  11. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Well-Known Member

    I've reloaded some with 230gr RN from National Bullet and Star, and with 230gr TC from Valiant Bullets in TN. I found that there was a great deal of difference in velocity between bullet types,even assuming identical seating. I also found it necessary to either seat deeper than listed, or crimp heavier to get my Glock 30 to cycle. You'll definitely need to experiment for function if you're shooting a semi-auto. The max load of 4gr under a Star 230gr seated to it's "lip" and crimped only enough to remove the bell gave me velocities in only the 600-650fps range from my G30. Crimping heavily moved me up to around 750fps and allowed the pistol to function to slidelock about 90% of the time. Seating deeper (much deeper than I would with similarly shaped 230gr FMJ) had similar results. It's much more predictable with FMJ for me. YMMV
  12. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    Greeting's All-

    I'm sorry, but I misread the thread; by not paying careful
    attention that this was related only to Hodgdon Clays. I
    have only used Hodgdon Universal Clays with the
    .45 ACP round.

    PS: Good looking out there Jim!

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
  13. stans

    stans Well-Known Member

    I tried Clays (not Universal Clays) when it first came out. It is a very fast burner and requires small charges. At the time I was very strapped for cash and trying to play the IPSC game, so I thought it would be a very economical choice. I quickly found that the tiny charges required for 45 ACP would not meter consistantly from my RCBS Uniflow powder measure. I ended up going back to Bullseye, then switching to WSL (now discontinued :( ). I have heard good things about Universal Clays and my opinion of that line of powders may have been quite different if I had tried Universal first. I do agree that giving the name "clays" to different powders was a poor decision on Hodgdon's part.

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