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.45 load for 16" barrel??

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Viking88, Jan 3, 2007.

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  1. Viking88

    Viking88 Member

    Dec 31, 2006
    Anyone reload .45 acp specifically for use in 16" barrels. I have an oly arms .45 conversion for my Ar-15. I would like to work up some loads that carry a little farther than store bought ammo. I am not new to reloading but was wondering if there is a powder that is specifically made for this type of thing. Maybe a little slower burning for the longer barrel??? Any insight is appreiciated! Thanks

  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    I have a .45 carbine (CCU). I just test loads in my pistol and when I get a good one I shoot it in the carbine to see if it shoots well in it also. I do not specifically load for the carbine. I try to get a load that will shoot well in both. If you are just interested in loaded for the carbine iI would suggest trying the slower powders for it. Power Pistol, Blue Dot, AA # 7 etc.
  3. joneb

    joneb Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    I've had good results in my Marlin Camp 45, with Nosler 185grn JHP's over 7.2-7.7 grns of Unique WLP or Fed 150 . I'm still working on a load with Blue Dot for 200grn SWC(plated) and 230grn Gold Dots .

    I think Hodgdon's Longshot may do well, some day I may try it.
    Velocity gains in a 16" barrel are not real impressive, With a 230 grn slug 900 fps may be tops, but a 185 grn will go around 1,250 fps.
  4. TN Shooter

    TN Shooter Member

    May 12, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I've got a Marlin Camp 45 and I have done some experimenting with slower burning powders to get higher velocities. I thought Blue Dot or Longshot would be the best but I've gotten the highest velocities with Power Pistol and Unique. The fact that the Camp 45 is a blowback has a lot to do with these results.

    I was able to get above 1300 fps with 200 gr. XTP's using Power Pistol powder, but before trying this in a Camp 45 I would recommend that you replace the hard plastic factory recoil buffer with one of the Blackjack buffers and put in the heaviest-duty Wolff recoil spring.

    To try to answer your question, I think your best bet would be to experiment to find out what your particular rifle likes the best. You could probably get higher velocities with slower burning powders in a gas-operated semi-auto.

    Good luck and please keep us informed with what you find out!


    TN Shooter
  5. Brillo

    Brillo Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    Northeast Indiana
    I don't have any first-hand experience with longer barrels for the 45 ACP but I will throw out some suggestions based on my experience with 44 Rem mag in my 9 inch Super Redhawk and 20 inch Win. 1894. Using an upper end load of Unique I find almost no difference in muzzle velocity between the two firearms. Unique is fast enough burning that the extra barrel length doesn't buy you anything in terms of muzzle velocity. But when I use an upper end load of H110 I can get over 500 fps greater MV with the Win 1894 using this slower powder. So if you're looking for improved down range performance I would suggest the following. Using a 200 or 230 gr. jacketed bullet, try working up a optimal load using a slower powder.

    I would suggest one of the following powders; Win WSF (the fastest burning of the group), Viht N-350 (the most expensive of the group), HS-7 (which I understand is being discontinued), or AA No. 7 (the slowest burning of the group). The heavier bullet will likely give a clean, more complete burn in the longer barrel. Provided you have a tight, complete chamber coverage of the cartridge and your firearm is in good shape you should be safe with these powders at the upper end of the loading range for a pistol. For a 230 grain bullet the Speer manual has the following loads: N-350 - 6.3 to 7.1 gr, HS-7 - 8.5 to 9.5 gr., and AA #7 - 8.6 to 9.6 gr. Carefully work your way up and keep an dilligent eye out for signs of over pressure.

    I hesitate to say the following but I have seen 45 ACP rifle loads with a 200 gr. bullet using as much as 12 gr. of AA #7, 7.9 gr. Viht N-350, and 7.3 gr. WSF. For the 230 gr. bullet 11 gr. AA #7, 7.6 gr. Viht N-350, 10 gr. HS-7, and 7.0 gr. WSF. Do not start at these loads. Also, I have no information on the external ballistics of these loads. Remember you are limited by both the strength of the chamber/barrel and the 45 ACP case. The 45 ACP case is not all that strong!
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