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Good powder for 44 Special and 45 ACP

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by iScream, Jan 10, 2010.

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  1. iScream

    iScream Member

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    Hey Guys,

    Is there a good powder that will work well for both 44 Special and 45 Auto?

    I'm pretty happy with my W231 for 38 Special and it looks like there are plenty of recipes out there for it once I get setup to load 9mm. It will be a while before I get a 45 but if I happen to catch some bulk powder in stock it would be nice if I could use the same thing for both calibers.

    At this point I can't see my self shooting anything other than 38 Spl, 9mm, 44 Spl and 45 ACP in volume so I think stocking up on W231 and something for large pistol loads would serve me pretty well.

    I see several loads for 44 and 45 using W231 though my hornady manual doesn't show it for a couple of the 44 Special bullets. Maybe I should just keep life simple and stock up on what I have now plus HP-38?

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2010
  2. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Unique will work well in both cartridges.

    I prefer pushing a 230 just at 800 fps in my M1911's, so I would use a load of 5.5 Unique.

    A M624 is an N frame Smith. The loads I have attached I have fired thousands of rounds through my N frame Smiths and a couple of hundred through my Lipsey 44 Spl Ruger Blackhawk.

    I would not use anything heavier than the 6.5 grs Unique with a 240 in a lighter revolver, like a Charter Arms.



    Code:
     Kimber M1911 Custom Classic
    
    230 LRN Valiant 5.5 grs Unique lot UN331 1989 Mixed brass WLP (brass)	
    16-May-09	 high 83  °F		OAL 1.250" taper crimped 0.469"
    Ave Vel =	827.4				
    Std Dev =	17.63	 	 		 
    ES =	85.68				
    High = 	871.6				
    Low =	785.9				
    N =	31				
    					
    					
    230 LRN Valiant 6.0 grs Unique lot 6/21/1998 Mixed brass WLP (nickle)	
    16-May-09	 high 83  °F		OAL 1.250" taper crimped 0.469"
    Ave Vel =	885				
    Std Dev =	16.79	 	 		 
    ES =	67.26				
    High = 	917.8				
    Low =	850.5				
    N =	30				
    			
    					
    					
    230 LRN Valiant 6.5 grs Unique lot 6/21/1998 Mixed brass WLP (nickle)	
    16-May-09	 high 83  °F		OAL 1.250" taper crimped 0.469"
    Ave Vel =	908.6				
    Std Dev =	14.52	 	 	 	
    ES =	47.01				
    High = 	932.6				
    Low =	885.6				
    N =	13 





    Code:
     4" M624   			
    					
    240 LSWC Valiant  6.6 grs Unique thrown,  lot UN364 3/9/92 Mixed cases, Brass WLP
    			 	T = 70 °F	4-Apr-09
    		 			
    Ave Vel =	859.6				
    Std Dev =	21.7				
    ES =	77.85				
    High = 	878.4				
    Low=	800				
    N =	10				
    					
    240 LSWC   7.0 grains Unique,   Midway cases, WLP (brass) 	
    				T= 45-50 °F	15 Dec 2002
    					
    Ave Vel =	902.8				
    Std Dev =	21.49				
    ES =	81.76				
    Low = 	859.8				
    High = 	941.6				
    N  = 	33				
    					
    					
    240 LSWC Valiant  7.5 grs Unique thrown,  lot UN364 3/9/92 Mixed cases, Brass WLP
    			 	T = 70 °F	4-Apr-09
    		 			
    Ave Vel =	965.8				
    Std Dev =	23.15				
    ES =	65.28				
    High = 	986.3				
    Low=	921				
    N =	12				
    					
    					
    240 JHP  6.5 grs Unique thrown,  Midway Brass WLP		
    		Accurate	 	T = 64 °F	25-Feb-07
    		 			
    Ave Vel =	791.4				
    Std Dev =	34.78		 		
    ES =	114.5		 		
    Low = 	845.6				
    High = 	731.1				
    N =	9	
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Your W-231 will work just fine for both. Unique will too, as will others. 700X, AA #2, etc.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have shot some stout loads in my 21 ounce Bulldog. Very stiff recoil. ;)

    The Pachmyar rubber grips were a must. It is a great shooter.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    I second Unique for both those rounds.
     
  6. Jumping Frog

    Jumping Frog Member

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    I updated an analysis where I looked at powder cost per hundred rounds for 200 gr LSWC bullets in .45 ACP. Powder prices were updated this week at Powder Valley, Inc., and reflect the largest size cannister sold (4#, 5# or 8#).

    Sorted from least expensive to most expensive. These cost calculations assume MAXIMUM published loads for powder charge/round (worst case scenario -- actual cost should be less assuming non-maximum loads).

    Cost/100 = $0.77 Alliant Red Dot ---> 4.5 grains; 831 fps.
    Cost/100 = $0.79 Alliant Bullseye ---> 4.6 grains; 807 fps.
    Cost/100 = $0.80 Ramshot Competition ---> 4.3 grains; 896 fps.
    Cost/100 = $0.83 Hodgdon Clays ---> 4.3 grains; 888 fps.
    Cost/100 = $0.93 Alliant Unique ---> 5.4 grains; 790 fps.
    Cost/100 = $0.98 IMR 700-X ---> 5.3 grains; 921 fps.
    Cost/100 = $0.99 Accurate S1000 ---> 5.3 grains; 952 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.00 Hodgdon Titegroup ---> 5.4 grains; 957 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.05 Winchester WST ---> 5.1 grains; 910 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.08 Hodgdon HP-38 ---> 5.6 grains; 914 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.09 Accurate No.2 ---> 5.8 grains; 939 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.16 Winchester 231 ---> 5.6 grains; 914 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.28 Hodgdon Universal ---> 6.3 grains; 962 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.29 Vihtavuori N310 ---> 4 grains; 892 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.31 Ramshot ZIP ---> 6.2 grains; 997 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.34 IMR Trail Boss ---> 5.5 grains; 816 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.38 Winchester WSF ---> 6.7 grains; 970 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.45 IMR PB ---> 5.7 grains; 915 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.46 IMR 800-X ---> 7.7 grains; 958 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.49 Winchester AutoComp ---> 7.2 grains; 914 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.64 Vihtavuori N320 ---> 5.1 grains; 958 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.65 Ramshot True Blue ---> 7.8 grains; 990 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.78 Ramshot Silhouette ---> 8.4 grains; 1071 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.78 IMR SR 7625 ---> 6.9 grains; 952 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.79 IMR SR 4756 ---> 8.2 grains; 966 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.80 Accurate No.5 ---> 8.7 grains; 1025 fps.
    Cost/100 = $1.87 Hodgdon HS-6 ---> 8.4 grains; 907 fps.
    Cost/100 = $2.12 Vihtavuori N340 ---> 6.6 grains; 1039 fps.
    Cost/100 = $2.38 Accurate No.7 ---> 11.5 grains; 1022 fps.

    Now these loads are .45 ACP, but if reloading costs matter to you, then at least it identifies low cost candidates for you to look at their .44 SP loads. For example, two low cost standards include Bullseye and Clays, and there are .44 SP loads for both.

    BTW, just because a powder is expensive doesn't mean it is "better". I've used a lb of AA #7 in the last year in .45 ACP and it was less accurate (for me) than Clays.
     
  7. sheepdog

    sheepdog Member

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    I'm a sissy...

    ...and when I had one of the original Bulldogs in the 70s, I loaded 5.0 gr. Unique and thought that was plenty hot for me...these loads...wow!!! I like all the pain to be on the other end!!!:eek:
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I shot some loads of 13.9 Grs of SR-4759 and Magnus 240 Gr SWC's in mine way back when. Talk about stout!

    I do not recommend this load. I have no idea if it is even safe.

    700X proved to be by far the most accurate powder I had with lead bullets in .44 Spl back then.

    My two favorites were home cast 208 Gr WC's & 215 Gr Magnus SWC's using 4.2 to 4.8 Grs of 700X. Pictured above.

    Check load books before using any of those combination's.
     
  9. Marlin 45 carbine

    Marlin 45 carbine Member

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    don't load for the .44spcl (sort of wish I had one) but R Dot does great with all cast slugs I load includeing 9mm and .45acp. it's better to use a dipper IMO for it.
    I have loaded target loads to about 1000 fps that shot great with 158gr cast in my GP Ruger .357 Mag.
    and 124gr TC cast to about the same fps for my 9mm 5906. tighter groups and cleaner than BEye.
     
  10. joneb

    joneb Member

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    I use W-231 for .45acp, .38spl and .44spl with excellent results.
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    7.5 Unique under a 240 LSWC for .44 Spl.
    6.0 Unique under a 230 LRN for the .45 ACP.
    6.5 Unique under a 230 RN-FMJ for the .45 ACP.

    All are old-time standard loads for the calibers.

    rc
     
  12. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    Depends on whether you want plinkin loads or full-house loads. Personally, I use Bullseye in both for plinking.

    4.0 Bullseye with a 200 gr SWC in either works fine.

    Some good Unique loads have already been mentioned if you require more velocity.
     
  13. nulfisin

    nulfisin Member

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    I use HP-38 for all of the above. It is the same powder -- or a very similar powder -- to Win 231. (Same owner who will tell you that you can use the same load data. There are several posts on this topic.)
     
  14. tlen

    tlen Member

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    Herco will work fine as well.
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I'm not sure but from what you said it seems as if you don't know W231 and HP-38 are the same exact powder. The only difference is the label on the bottle. (verified by Hodgdon/Winchester)

    I mostly use W231/HP-38 for the .38 Special, .45 Auto and .45 Colt. I also used W231 for the 9mm when I was reloading it. I have used other powders too but if you are looking for one powder W231/HP-38 will do a good job. Sorry, I'm not a big fan of Unique for several reasons.
     
  16. iScream

    iScream Member

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    That's what I was trying to say, but I can see how it wasn't very clear. You guys taught me a few months ago that the powders are the same and I checked out some load data from Hodgden to see that both are the same.

    -Chris
     
  17. iScream

    iScream Member

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    I wrote a thank you reply last night but maybe I forgot to hit the button or something since it isn't here.

    Anyway, thanks to everyone for all the help and advice.

    -Chris
     
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