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45 Auto, Longshot VS Universal Clays

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Redd Orion, Jan 27, 2012.

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  1. Redd Orion

    Redd Orion Member

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    I have been loading up 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 Auto with Longshot for over a year now. It is very consistent, develops lots of velocity and seems to keep pressures normal. However, I am reading that Universal Clays is supposed to burn a tad bit cleaner.

    Since I am shooting 45 Auto mostly at the moment (trying to break in a couple new 1911s and keeping one other feeling loved :D ) my question is primarily aimed at those who load and shoot 45 Auto, and who have used both powders in question. Does Universal deliver a cleaner weapon after 100 rounds versus Longshot? If so, I am willing to try it despite the fact that it's top velocity is substantially less than what I can get with Longshot. It would be good enough-ish for practice sessions.

    I do not intend to try third options for the 45, and yes, I do use several different kinds of powders for my different loads. Those other powders are primarily BlueDot and Lil'Gun for the bigger pistols, and lots of extruded ones that all start with H- for the rifles.

    Speaking of Longshot, why no love from it's company, Hodgdon?? I noticed in last year's and the new 2012 Hodgon magazine that it's not even listed in the tables of pistol powders. That's odd because it's listed in lots of popular handgun recipes where it generates top (or nearly so) velocity. I know it's plenty accurate, as I've poked more/less the same hole at 25 yards from a bench while sighting in the laser sight.... was just curious if anybody knew what the deal was with it not being listed as a "pistol" powder. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  2. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    For 45 ACP I prefer the faster powders such as WST, American Select, VV N-310 or Clays although Bullseye and W-231 also provide excellent accuracy. At fairly low pressures the Universal Clays will burn cleaner than Longshot but not as clean as the powders previously mentioned. I would never use Longshot in 45 ACP.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I have no inside information.

    But generally, if a powder manufacture doesn't list a powder they make, or stop listing it in certain applications?

    Something Came Up in testing or customer complaints to make them not list it, or change their mind.

    Long Shot is a little slow burning for the .45 ACP, and I could see it causing timing problems or battering in certain firearms over time.

    rc
     
  4. Redd Orion

    Redd Orion Member

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    Why would you not use Longshot in 45? Too slow burning?
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Well myself personally?

    If the manufacture doesn't list current data for a power they sell in a certain caliber, but do list data for 15 other powders they sell?

    That right there is what I like to call a Clue.

    rc
     
  6. Redd Orion

    Redd Orion Member

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    Hodgdon does list it extensively in the recipe portion of their manual. It is also listed by Hornady in their manual. My curiosity was piqued because it was not listed in the Pistol Table of powders just prior to the recipe section. However the website says it is good in 357 sig and 40SW.

    If it is too slow for 45 Auto (and I do load near the top rating for pressures), is Universal a better bet? I started using Longshot nearly a year ago due to the fact that it comes closer to filling the casing than lots of other powders when loaded with it's proper recipe. I know, given the lower pressure of the 45 that might be faulty reasoning. I blame the rifles for getting me started with that habit. :p
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  7. LightningMan

    LightningMan Member

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    I only use Longshot for +P loads for the .45 acp, otherwise I use Longshot mostly for Jacketed .40 S&W ammo. I use PowerPistol for hot 9mm ammo, as I've heard it was developed for the 9mm in mind. Works for me, do what works for you. LM
     
  8. Redd Orion

    Redd Orion Member

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    Thanks for the input, all. I picked up a pound of Universal Clays to try with the 45 Auto (100 rounds this loading), and I will finish it off on about 15,000,000 rounds of 32 ACP for me little Seecamp critter.

    :banghead: Guess I'll be using the teaspoon & scale method for said 32 ACP.

    So, I am looking for a little insight from those of you who would know. How would using Longshot for max (just under +P) loads beat my gun? I use 18.5# Wolff springs and Wilson buffers, and I don't "feel" any undue recoil. Am I messing up my weapons?? I'm always looking for What Where or How, as long as there's a Why attached to it. :D
     
  9. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    Let me throw a comment your way. Just under +P means exactly that. You are right at the next power level step to take. So my analogy it is like your family car. Is it going to last longer if you never drive it over 80 on the highway or if you take it to the speedway and drive it at say 118 mph (assuming a 120 mph "max speed"). You are below the max speed right? No problems right?

    Well maybe and maybe not. My experience is that running things closer to the "red line" tends to wear them out faster and this is why your longshot load will work, but it might not be best.

    Now if you only plan on shooting a couple of thousand rounds a year out of the gun, why worry about it. You wont shoot it enough to wear it out in the period of time you will worry about the costs of replacing parts.

    This is the mode I am in. I generally don't put more than 1000 to 2000 rounds per gun per year so I don't worry as much about wear. Realistically few of my guns will get much above 25,000 rounds fired out of them in my lifetime due to me keeping on buying more guns. Those same 20,000 rounds I fire in an average year get spread over more guns, so less wear. If you are like that, then why worry about wear.

    From a different standpoint, I think from my experience, it would be easier for me to develop an accurate load for the 45acp with universal than longshot. Universal has more breadth of variability for me to optimize the load. Longshot you need to be right on the edge to get a good burn for consistency. It is really better for slightly higher pressures in my opinion.
     
  10. Redd Orion

    Redd Orion Member

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    Thanks for the insight, Peter. I'm really not happy with the Universal, but I think I'll look into 231 or something for everyday usage to keep from running just the high pressure Longshot rounds through my 1911s. I try to go out and shoot two hundred rounds a week, so that translates to about 10,000 rounds per year. If most of those rounds are spread pretty decently over four calibers and quite a few pistols, no issues... but it's definitely food for thought. This past year I got bit pretty bad by the 1911 bug so I mostly am shooting 45 auto. Thanks again.
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Redd Orion,
    If you like Longshot in the .45 Auto but not Universal you will probably like the results you get with AA#5. Accurate Arms developed AA#5 specifically for the .45 Auto. It meters very will and it's very clean in that caliber. My favorite powder in the .45 Auto (and most other handgun calibers) is W231 and if you use it you will be happy. (but W231 is not like Longshot) The .45 Auto is a low pressure round and W231 is great for that use but so is AA#5 in a slightly different way.
     
  12. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    What did you not like about the Universal? I ask, because I have 8# but haven't gotten around to trying it for the .45acp yet. 99% of what I load in that cartridge is 230gr LRN.
     
  13. Redd Orion

    Redd Orion Member

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    My message was truncated (and I was given a warning by our Administrator about verbage :( ) regarding Universal's abysmal metering...that's why it looks like it's an unfinished thought. I do not like having any powder running a +/- .4 grains. That's a total spread of .8 grains. To me that's 100% unacceptable. The performance at the range for the first batch was not bad, but the pressures felt just like I was using Longshot, and my MC Operator ended up just as sooty at the end of the session.

    On the other hand, one of the things I like about Longshot is how smoothly and accurately it meters. It actually functions flawlessly in the 45's so far (three 1911's and one Glock 21) at the higher end of the pressure spectrum, depending on which manual you look at. What caused me to start the thread in the first place was the fact that Longshot burns a tad dirty in the 45's, but is quite clean in .40 and 9mm.

    So, it looks like I should look hard at W231 and AA#5 (thanks to ArchAngelCD for more input). If there are better, cleaner powders to use that I don't need to run at high pressures, so much the better. I don't need to shoot my weapons into oblivion :D
     
  14. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

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    W231 for 45ACP you can't go wrong.
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Another vote for 231 in the 45 ACP. I figured this out after using up 8 LBS of Blue Dot first.:banghead: I am much happier with my loads now.;)
     
  16. robctwo

    robctwo Member

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    I've loaded a few 10s of thousands of .45ACP over the past few years. i do use Universal for a bowling pin load with 230 ball. Right at or over the top of the chart. A few rounds to sight in, a few rounds for the pins. Strong recoil spring. Les Baer 1.5" PII tank.

    For everyday hundreds of rounds at the range I've settled on 4 gr Clays, 200 gr sec. Bullseye, 231, WST are all good.
     
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