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Favorite .45ACP powder

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Dudemeister, Oct 6, 2012.

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  1. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Member

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    As the title says, What is your favorite powder for .45ACP.

    I just started loading this particular caliber, and tried some of the powders I already had. I was using 200gr. hollow base round nose lead from Bear Creek and tested a few rounds today.

    5.0gr. Unique.

    • Pros: Very consistent, meters well through my Layman #55. Very accurate at 15yds. reliable cycling and light recoil
    • Cons: Dirty. Nearly every shot got some powder residue blow-back on my hands and sometimes my face

    5.0gr. Titegroup

    • Pros: Much cleaner than Unique, reliable cycling, a bit more recoil than Unique, but still pretty easy on the hands.
    • Cons: Does not meter well, has a tendency to "gum up" the Layman measure. Inconsistent drops vary as much as 0.3-0.4gr. which translated into inaccurate shots and variable felt recoil.
    4.5gr. Trail Boss

    • Pros: Very consistent, meters well, and nearly fills the case which makes it impossible to double charge (unlike Titegroup which you can easily double charge and not even notice). Reliable cycling and light recoil. Accuracy is OK, but not as good as unique
    • Cons: Cleaner than Unique but not as clean as Titegroup, occasional random shot flier

    So what is your favorite powder load? I'm looking for a relatively mild load to use with lead bullets, but I want it clean and accurate.
     
  2. srtolly

    srtolly Member

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    I don't use lead at this time but I use 5.5gr of Unique with a Berry's 200gr hp.
     
  3. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Member

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    Did you find it to be dirty?
     
  4. gunlaw

    gunlaw Member

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    Try AA#5. Bulleseye and HP-38 work well also.
     
  5. bds

    bds Member

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    5.0 gr W231/HP-38 with 200 gr LSWC

    Very accurate, milder recoil, fairly clean burning, no unburnt powder residue on face/hands, meters very consistently.


    4.0 gr Promo/Red Dot with 200 gr LSWC (using 2004 Red Dot target load data as indicated by Alliant)

    Very accurate, light recoil, fairly clean burning, no unburnt powder residue on face/hands, can meter less consistently depending on powder measure used.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
  6. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    VV N310. (target loads only!)
    Superb accuracy, white glove clean. I get extreme spreads of only 10 to 15 fps using charges thrown from my Redding 10X. Not as bulky as Unique, but better than Titegroup.
    It's faster than I like, but I got a great deal on a couple pounds of it, so I use it in my SWC loads.
    Would love to try N320 as an all around .45 auto powder.
    Titegroup is fantastic with jacketed loads IME.
    I visually confirm every powder charge, so I don't fuss over load density much in the .45 acp.
     
  7. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    No wonder. Your load pressure is way too light for Unique (or most any powder) to burn cleanly. If you seated your bullets to 0.275", your pressure is only 11,000 psi. If you seated any shallower, you may be down in the 8,000 psi range. My first loads were about 4g Unique under a 230g LRN bullet and I had the same problems. When I got the loads (and pressures) up to where they belong, the Unique burned much more completely and the cases expanded to seal off the blowback nicely. You could also see an underpressure load when you get sooty cases.

    If you want light recoil, use a faster powder like Trail Boss, Clays, Red Dot. They build up pressures quickly, burn completely and produce low velocity low recoil rounds. Slower powders like Unique/Universal/Power Pistol are meant for full pressure, higher velocity loads. The nice thing about Clays is that even at underpressure loads, it still leaves very little residue although virtually any pistol load is enough to burn Clays completely. The downside is when folks try to get the bullets to go faster, Clays builds up to max SAAMI pressure before you can get the bullet to move very fast.
     
  8. gspn

    gspn Member

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    I guess i need to branch out. The first powder i ever used was bullseye and i dont think i ever tried another powder.
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    W231/HP-38 and the .45 Auto are a match made in heaven IMO. (the powder I use most times)
    or
    AA#5 was specifically designed for use in the .45 Auto.
     
  10. bds

    bds Member

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    BTW, OP wants mild lead loads that are clean and accurate. ;)
     
  11. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    accurate arms #5 is perfect for .45 acp. HP38 and I no longer get along after an overcharge batch. it is easy to overcharge.
     
  12. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    I've only used W231, Unique, and Bullseye so far. Unique with a good charge is still mild on recoil, burns pretty clean, and is very accurate. Bullseye seems to give a more snappy recoil, burns a little cleaner, and is slightly more accurate for me with slow aimed fire but seems less accurate during rapid fire. W231 for me has kinda been in the middle of those as far as cleanliness and recoil but I don't find it as accurate as either. I'm personally going to use up what Bullseye and W231 I have left and stick with Unique after that, at least until I find some other powder I like better. And with Unique the residue that is left on the cases is removed quite easily compared to the other two. It almost doesn't need to be tumbled, more like wiped off quickly.
     
  13. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Red Dot for me. I've gone through 5 lbs now. Love it.
     
  14. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Unique for lead. Power Pistol for jacketed/plated.
     
  15. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    Favorite 45 acp powder

    I have been using WIN 231 for several years. It is clean, drops good, low recoil, and very accurate for me. I use 4 1/2 to 5 grains of WIN 231 WITH 230 GR lead or jacketed bullets.
    My Son and I buy WIN 231 in 8 lb bottles. We both like it. ken
     
  16. Dudemeister

    Dudemeister Member

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    I am seating these bullets down to 1.24". If I seat the bullet down to 1.275" OAL, the bullet hits the grooves in the Sig 1911 barrel and doesn't seat properly. The grooves in the Sig 1911 barrel start very abruptly, they have almost no bevel.

    The cases are not particularly sooty. I will try to up the load. According to the Lee loading data, 5.4gr. is the max. load for Unique, and I'm trying to stay away from max loads.

    I already tried Trail Boss, and it wasn't bad, but I liked the Unique accuracy better.
     
  17. rsrocket1

    rsrocket1 Member

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    I think it was bds who did an extensive round of testing with Alliant Promo (cheap alternative to Red Dot). That powder will burn clean at low recoil velocities. I also do recommend Clays.

    As for me, I am happy with Bullseye gspn, it produces good strong loads and burns completely at about 20% less weights than Unique.

    By 2 standard powders for pistols are Clays for light loads and Bullseye for normal loads. I save the Power Pistol for full strength loads and when I want to make a nice bright muzzle blasts.
     
  18. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I can load just about anything in 45acp with two powders, AA#2 and Power Pistol. AA#2 for all my lead loads and light jacketed and Power Pistol for max effort jacketed loads.
     
  19. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

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    W-231.
    It takes care of most needs.
     
  20. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I have had good results with Bullseye, W231 and AA#5 in 45acp. When the Bullseye runs out I will try AA#2, I think #2would be good in 45acp and 38spl for target loads.
     
  21. bds

    bds Member

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    Well, I did some load testing (but I don't think extensive ;)) as some in my "group buy" wanted to see how Promo did in 9mm, 40S&W and 45ACP.

    2004 Alliant Red Dot load data for 200 gr LSWC (Missouri 12 BHN Bullseye #1) with 4.0 gr Promo using M&P45 with a trigger job - http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=578444

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    This is with tumble lubed 200 gr SWC and 4.0 gr Promo off my range bag. 0.5" center-to-center initial 3-shot test group at 7 yards and 1.5" 5-shot group at 15 yards using Sig 1911 TacPac.

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  22. Shimitup

    Shimitup Member

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    One of my pet loads is 5gr W231, also Bullseye at 4.5gr. Both with Missouri Bulleye #1 with excellent results.
     
  23. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    Great choice, I load a Missouri Bullet 23 softball over 5.5gr AA#2.
     
  24. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If we are talking pet loads, I charge 5.5gr W231 under and 230gr bullet, both lead and jacketed. That is my goto load for the 45 Auto. I charge either the same 5.5gr W231 or 5.6gr W231 under a 200gr SWC bullet on the rare times i use a 2000gr bullet...
     
  25. ljnowell

    ljnowell Member

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    I see you are up late tonite to ArchAngel. I gotta ask man, what kinda COAL are you loading those 2000gr SWCs at? You must have one heck of a long leade going into the rifling!
     
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