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Favorite powder for 45 acp

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by grubbylabs, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Well-Known Member

    I have been using power pistol but another thread got me thinking. I am new to all of this and was just wondering what you all liked to use.

    I am loading a 230 grn GDHP or a plated round nose or HP from RMR.

    Thanks for all your replies.
  2. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Well-Known Member

    I've been a big fan of the .45 since I started shooting 15 or 20 years ago. I started reloading for it soon after because of the cost of ammo. I've tried a lot of powders and then learned a lot when I started shooting limited USPSA with the .45. With those big heavy bullets, I tend to keep away from the slower burning powders. I think that the power pistol is better suited to high pressure calibers, like .38 super.

    For .45 my absolute favorite has been Accurate No. 2. A pound goes a long way, it meters really well and isn't super dirty. I guess my liking for No. 2 runs neck and neck with Winchester 231, but 231 has been hard to get where I am, so I've been using the No. 2.

    Of course, I'm talking about loading for a 1911. If I'm loading for something else that doesn't run well on the fast powders, I'll just go for No. 5, which is a bit slower, but still considered a fast powder.

    Generally speaking, running a faster powder will also shoot a bit softer. Just don't go trying to load any hot rod loads with a fast powder. If you get to around the max charge and still want more, then go with a slower powder.
  3. grubbylabs

    grubbylabs Well-Known Member

    I mostly carry the gun for self defense and for woods carry. I don't do a ton of target shooting so when I do shoot I want to shoot what I normally carry. I am not stuck on the 230 grn I am willing to try other bullets at well.

    So I guess what would be a better question is, what is your favorite 45 load for self defense and carry in the woods. My biggest concern in the woods are wolves.
  4. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Well-Known Member

    W-231 for mid range ammunition and WSF for those rounds you want to speed along their way. Both powders meter well and burn clean at the upper charge weights....

    For a little higher velocity and about as much hitting power you might try 185 grain HPs I load 7.7 grains of WSF under a 185 grain HP/XTP with 850 fps from a 3" Kimber UCC II...
  5. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    I worked up a load for my .45 ACP's, using Universal Clay's; commonly
    referred too as just "Universal"~! Good stuff ;) :D
  6. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Well-Known Member

    W231 or Unique
  7. dogrunner

    dogrunner Well-Known Member

    I'm old fashoned, I like Bullseye..............hell, you get 110 miles to the gallon when you use the stuff.........an 8 pound keg will nearly last a lifetime, and it performs superbly as well!
  8. ScratchnDent

    ScratchnDent Well-Known Member

    I use Unique for 90% of my loads. I like AA #7 for maximum velocity loads.
  9. ruger1228

    ruger1228 Well-Known Member

    I have used both Hodgdon Universal Clays andHodgdon Clays. They are both very accurate, meter well out of my Hornady LNL Powder measure, and are pretty clean.
    I load and shoot mostly S&S Casting LRN 230gr and S&S Casting SWC 200gr.
  10. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    Same here.
  11. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Well-Known Member

    I have always wanted to try accurate but shops around here don't order it. There is plenty of W231 available and never seem to run out of it which is my primary powder. Loaded 20 rounds with Hodgdon Clays and with my 1911 shot the center out of the target at 15 yards. So I am going to load more to try in my CZ97.
  12. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Well-Known Member

    Nothing but Unique since I started reloading the .45acp.
  13. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    For plinking/practice/match loads - W231/HP38 (same exact powder) with 5-5.5gr for 200/230 gr bullets. 700X/Ramshot Zip also have same burn rate for substitution if hard to find W231/HP38.

    For max loads - WSF/HS6 (recoil is less snappy and more "push").
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Many powders work well in the .45 ACP. Some mentioned already that I have had excellent luck with are AA #2, AA #5, W-231, WSF, and Universal Clays. I also like N310, N320, Competition, & WST.

    Favorite? N310 & N320. Next? AA #2. Full speed stuff? AA #5, WSF, or Universal, with no favorite.
  15. ljnowell

    ljnowell Well-Known Member

    Target loads: AA#2, Bullseye, 700c
    Full power: Power Pistol, AA#7
  16. bluetopper

    bluetopper Well-Known Member

    Bullseye, Clays, Red Dot, American Select, & 231 fit the 45acp like a glove.
  17. chunk

    chunk Well-Known Member

    bullseye for .45
  18. Mags

    Mags Well-Known Member

    HP-38 for plinking loads and I like Universal and Shillouette for defensive loads.
  19. Bongo Boy

    Bongo Boy Well-Known Member

    Although I'm fairly new to handloading, it seems clear that "it depends" is a great answer. I've only tried 3 powders so far: Clays, Universal and Trail Boss. Clays and Universal meter very nicely at low charges, Trail Boss does not. Universal seems to work best at the upper end of the spectrum of load, Clays works well at low-pressure, low velocity loads. Clays also works well for me with the big 250gr bullets...doing quite well at the minimum-load end of the range or even lower than minimum. Some folks find it smoky, I do not.

    I like Clays, but am seeking out something that might produce even less variation in bullet velocities. Not sure if powder will provide the solution, but Accurate Nitro 100 and Accurate #2 will be next up in the exploration.
  20. bds

    bds Well-Known Member

    If you are looking for precise consistency, I found accuracy (variation in bullet velocities) "depends" on several variables:

    - bullet type/weight (should be less than 1 grain variance)
    - powder charge (should be less than 1/10 grain variance)
    - case dimensions (should be the same head stamp and similar length/weight - new cases are even better)
    - OAL (should be very similar/same)

    Powder selection alone will not produce consistent velocities.

    Powder burn rate will also affect consistency. In addition to your selection of powders, do consider WSF/HS6 for 45 ACP.

    Better consistency in powder ignition comes from proper chamber pressure. Mid to near max load data will usually produce more consistent powder ignition which in turn produce more consistent velocities. IMHO
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010

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