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Favorite .45acp powders & loads

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Bulletski, Aug 11, 2020.

  1. Bulletski

    Bulletski Member

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    Hi all:

    I recently got a Kimber Custom 2 in .45 acp. I'm a long time reloader but not for .45.
    I'd like to get feedback from those that load for .45 as to which powder/s are their favorites. I've already loaded up some CFE Pistol with 200gr bullets and they shot nicely, but would still like to get opinions on other powders.

    So, dive in, if you will.
     
  2. drband

    drband Member

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    There are multiple threads on this topic.

    With that said, it's hard to beat Bullseye! I also use Red Dot/Promo and AA#2 with great results. Good luck in your quest!
     
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  3. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    My cast plinking loads are simple. 5.0 gr of Unique regardless of whether it's a 185, 200, or 230 gr bullet. I prefer the 185 gr SWC, though. Soft shooting and accurate.
     
  4. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    5.0 unique. 6.0 power pistol
     
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  5. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    I believe there are more powders that Will work in the 45acp than Will Not work.

    My favorites are AA#2 and Ramshot Silhouette. HP-38 if loading cast lead.
     
  6. TfflHndn

    TfflHndn Member

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    What are you loading for? Target shooting, defense, plinking? I load mainly for bullseye target shooting, with 200 grain SWC bullets and WST or Bullseye powder. I have a light recoil spring, and load them down a bit for a soft recoil while maintaining function. If you're loading mid- to full-load rounds, there are a lot of powders that will give you very good results. A few I particularly like are Red Dot, Green Dot, TiteGroup, AA #5 and SIlhouette. The .45 is one of the easiest cartridges to load for. Just make sure to plunk test your loads to make sure the bullet profile/length works. I have a Blackhawk that has very tight cylinder holes and won't take many of the loads that my 1911s gobble up.
     
  7. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    Target loads.

    Cast 200 gr SWC and 3.6 gr Clays, or 3.8 gr of Red Dot or IMR Red.

    Hornady 230 gr XTP and 6.6 gr CFE Pistol.

    I've used over 30 different powders loading 45 ACP. The above loads are the ones I use the most.
     
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  8. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    My .45s both seem to like 4.7 or 5.0gr of HP38 (W231) with a 230.
    5.0 shoots maybe a hair better, 4.7 is softer.
    HP38 is my go to powder for .45 practice loads.

    AA#2 and N320 have also shot well for me.
     
  9. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    SNS 200 grain coated LSWC over 4.2 grains WST.
    Bullseye, Clays, N310, W231 also work well.
     
  10. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    Load Bullseye with 200gr LSWC or 230gr LRN.
     
  11. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    5.0grns of Bullseye and 230grn.FMJ will give you about 830fps. from a 1911. This is the old standby. Its is the first loading I ever used (40years ago) and I still use it. There are many but this one works well.
     
    Mike L. and nofendertom like this.
  12. 2bfree

    2bfree Member

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    5.2 HP 38 230 FMJ
     
  13. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    MBC LSWC BE #1(185gr) & #2 (200gr), WST 4.1-4.2gr soft shooting. WST burns supper clean at these reduced loads.
     
  14. Bulletski

    Bulletski Member

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    I'm loading for Target AND defense - again, with 200gr heads. Can't think of a reason to go to 230s.
     
  15. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Since your question is specific to a Kimber Custom, you might get better input asking at https://www.kimbertalk.com/forums/ammo-can/.
    In other words, what shoots great in a Springfield, Wilson or CZ may not perform the same for a Kimber since all guns are different.
     
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  16. kmw1954

    kmw1954 Member

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    Just received about 5.5lbs of an 8lb jug of Hodgdon Clays so I'll soon see what it can do too.
     
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  17. Waterboy3313

    Waterboy3313 Member

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    I have a Kimber TLE 2. I mostly use it for plinking. I use 4.5gr titegroup for 230gr RN plated bullets and 4.7gr for 230gr RN FMJ. I use factory SD loads for carrying. All of which I mentioned shoots good.
     
  18. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    IMO, for lighter target loads, faster burning powders tend to deform/bump the bullet base better to seal with the barrel to produce more efficient powder burn and more consistent pressure build.

    To me, W231/HP-38/Sport Pistol fall right at this juncture and this Shooting Times article tested several faster burning powders for bullseye match shooting - https://www.shootingtimes.com/editorial/loads-for-the-bullseye-shooter/99418#:~:text=The powders used by Bullseye,45 ACP.

    Sport Pistol is a newer clean burning powder that meters even better than W231/HP-38 (Think N320 that's cut thinner and more consistent than flattened ball W231/HP-38 as shown below) and meters with around .05 gr variance for me while W231/HP-38 meters with around .1 gr variance. IMR Target is another faster burning newer powder that's been producing smaller test groups compared to other popular powders - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/powder-shape-and-burn-rate.852012/#post-11144164

    [​IMG]
    I shoot railed Sig 1911 XO and with "harder" 18 BHN MBC 200 gr SWC (IDP #1), 5.0 gr of W231/HP-38 is my reference 45ACP load.

    For lighter target load, especially using "softer" 14-16 BHN Z-Cast 200 gr SWC or 12 BHN MBC 200 gr SWC (Bullseye #1), 4.0 gr of Red Dot/Promo have produced accuracy with softer recoil and is a dream to shoot in Sig 1911/M&P45 and particularly compact PT145.

    Groups produced with Sig 1911 and Promo - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...blended-promo-for-more-accurate-loads.841097/

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2020
  19. maddmaxx11

    maddmaxx11 Member

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    I like HP38 for my 45 with 200gn extreme RN. It meters great and its easy to get a good load in 45 and 9mm.
     
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  20. Fishin4guns

    Fishin4guns Member

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    For target loads I like CFE Pistol at 6.1gr with a 230gn RN FMJ and a col of 1.245
     
  21. Toprudder
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    Toprudder Contributing Member

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    I like 200gn plated bullets (mainly RMR) and like Clays for reduced recoil loads, and BE86 for hotter loads.

    The long time benchmark for 45acp is Bullseye. I’ve had good luck with AA#2 and #5, as well as Shooters World Auto Pistol (same as AA#5). Red Dot (and Promo) work well. Lots of powders work well, but 45acp is a relatively low pressure round, and powders generally burn cleaner at higher pressures, so I prefer to load at the upper end of the charge range in 45, and pick powders with faster burn rates for lower velocity loads.

    Now it may be just me, and I expect to be challenged for saying this, but two powders that I don’t like for 45 are HS6 and Sport Pistol. HS6 would foul up my gun enough to prevent rounds from going into battery after just a few mags. Sport Pistol gave very wide extreme spreads, was case position sensitive, and showed wide variations between different primer types. (I started a thread about this).
     
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  22. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    I almost exclusively shoot a 200 grain coated swcs. 4.5 grains of bullseye for target loads, 7.0 grains of unique for a full power load.
     
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  23. wbbh

    wbbh Member

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    Nosler 185 grain JHP; 4.1 grains of Vihtavuori N310 to a loaded cartridge overall length of 1.20”, the Dorman load.
     
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  24. lordpaxman

    lordpaxman Member

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    I like Clays, Target, WST, or N320 for light loads. I’ve yet to try N310 just because I haven’t placed an order in a while. Hopefully when the component situation calms down I’ll try that as well.
    I can load those for major PF as well.
    For mid to full loads 244 all the way to CFE Pistol all work good. Like others have said, tough to find a powder that doesn’t work. Good luck!
     
  25. slickracer

    slickracer Member

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    4.4 grains of Clays with a 185 LSW or 4 grains of Clays with a 200 LSW.
     
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