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Clays for 45acp?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by bomb dropper, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. bomb dropper

    bomb dropper Well-Known Member

    So far my only 45 loads have been 5.0 or 5.3 of unique under a 230 lead round nose. They have worked great, besides for the freckles.

    I just ordered 1000 45 button bullets from MBC to try out for the price and their reputation on here I thought Id give them a try.

    I noticed on my bottle of clays that I keep around for 12ga that it listed load data for a 45acp so after a little research I’ve found some use it with good results.

    Now I wouldn't stray away from unique except for the fact that a local store has clays for almost half of what unique is going for and with a min of 4.5 and max of 4.9 it is way more economical then unique which list around 8grs

    So do any of the good people of THR use clays? If so do you mind giving out some recipes?
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Lots of folks like Clays in .45 ACP. It won't get top velocities if you are looking for that, but does very well at light to medium range, or a little more.

    Like rcmodel posted, Hodgdon has lots of data, so you can easily get an idea of what it can do.
  4. bomb dropper

    bomb dropper Well-Known Member

    I looked at thier reloading center. thats one of the reasons I want to use clays is I saw that they listed less powder for thier max load then what my current unique load was for unique. Im not looking for any kinda bullseye performance just something to punch holes in paper and knock down steel plates.
  5. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    I just had an older fella at the gun club recommend clays to me the other day for .45 acp. He runs it in target loads in .45 colt also. Supposed to be a real economic powder for target loads.
  6. Brian10

    Brian10 Well-Known Member

    I'm loading Clays for both 45 and 40 right now, and will probably load it in 9mm too. I'm using the loading data from Hodgdon's site. You won't get the best performance/velocity from clays, but it is good enough for general shooting range tasks.
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I've used Clays in the .45 Auto and .38 Special. It produces good ammo but I like the way W231 meters and shoots too so I'm sticking with W231 over Clays. Clays won't meter well at the extremely light charges associated with the .38 Special but you should have no problems with the .45 Auto. (2.5gr in the .38 Special)
  8. Jumping Frog

    Jumping Frog Well-Known Member

    First priority for me is Clays meters quite well compared to Unique (although it doesn't meter as well as other small ball pweders like W231, AA, or Ramshot Zip).

    Clays doesn't get the highest velocities, but I have found it is one the my most accurate powders for .45 ACP.

    The other advantage in my mind is very light charges of Clays still burn quite cleanly, especially compared to Unique (which I have always referred to as "combustible dirt").

    Not sure what your local pricing is, but I updated my powder cost per hundred rounds analysis last April using Powder Vally prices and 200 gr LSWC bullets in .45 ACP.

    Cost/100 = $0.83 Hodgdon Clays ---> 4.3 grains; 888 fps.
    Cost/100 = $0.93 Alliant Unique ---> 5.4 grains; 790 fps.
  9. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    When I had a 45 big enough for target shooting, I loaded tons of 230gr Rainier plated bullets with 3.9gr Clays. Very soft shooting, very accurate, very slow(<700fps) Load carefully, its fast and unforgiving!;)
  10. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    I've loaded thousands of cast 200gr SWC with Clays. Yes, very soft shooting, accurate, and economical. It's the powder of choice for a lot of competition shooters. It's great for low pressure calibers such as 45 and 38.

    I don't recommend it at all in high pressure semi auto calibers.....from experience.
  11. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    You might also want to consider their Universal Clays. When I ran out of Unique, I switched to it for everything from 32ACP through 357, including 20 and 28 gauge - works well, meters nicely, burns cleaner than Unique ever could
  12. schmeky

    schmeky Well-Known Member

    Clays is excellent in the .45 ACP. I have managed some 1.25" groups from a rest at 25 yards. Only 231 is a "little" better based on my experience. The picture is 40 rounds at 25 yards using Clays with a 200 LSWC from MBC. Very soft, and very accurate.

  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Quit showing that pistol Schmeky. I am lusting for one bad enough as it is. :D
  14. schmeky

    schmeky Well-Known Member


    Well, quit lookin' at it :neener:
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with the above concerning Universal. If you like Unique you will definitely like Universal BUT, you won't get the same economy as with Clays since Universal and Unique run almost identical in charge weights. Universal would probably be a better choice for the .45 Auto though...
  16. transtech

    transtech Member

    Clays in 45ACP = very, very good choice. Much, much cleaner than Unique, lower charge weights, very accurate. For 45ACP I load more rounds with lead & plated bullets with Clays than any other powder. Many other powders are good in 45ACP also, like VV N320, Win WST, Red Dot, Titegroup, Win 231, but Clays is on the claener side of the list.
  17. bomb dropper

    bomb dropper Well-Known Member

    At first I was mostly excited about the difference in charge weights but now I like hearing about how clean it is. I've tried zip and tight group but haven't really found that magic set up. In fact this will be the first time I've loaded swc into 45acp.

    So I guess part 2 would be is what do you think about the 45 button bullets MBC sells
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    N310 & N320 is as clean as it gets. WST, Clays, Competition, Red Dot, American Select are also very clean.
  19. bomb dropper

    bomb dropper Well-Known Member

    So after some research I cant find any loads for 185gr lswc they are all for plated or jacketed. I loaded a couple up with 4.5grs and set to an oal of 1.135. Ill now sat how they do but can someone give me a sanity check


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