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Newbie .45 load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sammy, Feb 16, 2008.

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  1. sammy

    sammy Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    Concord, CA
    Hello all, I have gotten into IDPA, USPSA shoots at my local clubs and am now addicted. My new found hobby has gotten rediculous on my wallet as well. I have read everything I can about the subject of reloading and decided a Dillon 650 to be the press I am going to use. In checking around other forums Brian Enos is the guy to buy from. I would go for the 550 but I love the idea of a powder check to help prevent any errors. The extra $150.00 as I see it is cheap insurance.

    My question is what primer, powder, bullet do I start with? I am shooting a bone stock Kimber Stainless Target II in .45. I know their are endless combinations out there but I don't know where to start.

    Thanks for all your help, Sammy
  2. cp1969

    cp1969 Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    I'm not sure they even make WW231 powder any longer but my .45 load I used for bowling pins, plates, etc, was 5.0 gr WW231 with a Winchester Large Pistol primer with a 200 gr LSWC. Another load I used was 6.5 gr. Universal Clays instead of WW231.

    These are not full power loads but will cycle the action and thump pins and plates.

    edit: FWIW, I do not recommend a novice reloader start with a progressive press. Maybe it's just my uber conservative nature but I think there is a lot to be learned from a single stage press before taking on a progressive.
  3. wally

    wally Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    6.0gr Unique, any .45ACP bullet, any large pistol primer has worked very well for me for over 20 years, This way I never have to mess with the XL650 powder measure after the initial setup.

    IMHO you made the right choice with the XL650, add the case feeder when you can and you'll really crank out the ammo.

  4. lordgroom

    lordgroom Member

    Dec 19, 2007
    New Jersey
    I only shoot target, no competitions yet. I use 200 grn SWC cast bullets over 4.2 grains of Bullseye from a Taurus Pt1911 and I am very pleased with the accuracy.
  5. jfh

    jfh Member

    Aug 28, 2003
    Maple Plain, MN
    On a club competition level, my "barely major" load was about like cp1969s. I also used WLPs--for matches, I used (used) startline cases; for practice, mixed brass. Sorting by headstamp should get you both good accuracy and consistency; if you're good enough you may want to eventually trim your carts to a consistent LOA occasionally--but there should be no need for it.

    FWIW, at 4.9 gr. of 231, I'll bet I have some cases that have been reloaded over fifty times--the headstamp is about gone, but the neck tension is satisfactory and they reload just fine. Try 4.9-5.2 grains of 231 under a 200-gr LSWC.

    Either slug your barrel, or try both .451 and .452 dia. bullets and find which weight and diameter provides the sweet-spot load for your particular 1911. Set up your LOA for good feed and don't worry about tweaking LOA. I would suggest getting a variable-strength (Wilson, Wolff) spring; you won't need a strong one.

    If you want to go up in fps, try either WSF or AA#5. Both will run faster nicely, and #5 probably is one of the better max load powders for .45ACP.

    All three powders should meter just fine for you--but I would start with 231.

    Jim H.
  6. fourrobert13

    fourrobert13 Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    S.W. Ohio
    Bullseye is a good powder choice for 45 acp. It is a cheap powder, and IMO is good powder for beginers. I would recommend Winchester primers, and their are a ton of bullets to choose from. You just have to try them and see what works best for your gun. Good luck, and enjoy the fun of reloading.:D
  7. jeepmor

    jeepmor Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    Be careful with powders like Bullseye, they can usually double charge and still fit the case without spilling. This is not an issue with a powder like Unique, a double charge will spill and make a mess and you'll know pretty quickly you've had an error.
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    "...the guy to buy from..." You can buy directly from the nice people at Dillon. Mr. Enos is a retailer. www.dillonprecision.com
    4.5 grains of Bullseye with a cast 230 grain RN or FP is a great target load. Don't think it'd make 'major' for the shooting games though.
    "...usually double charge..." Not if you pay attention.
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    W-231, Clays, or WST for soft lead loads for "major". Can't go wrong with what works for so many. I don't shoot IDPA, although I'm toying with trying it, but those are the powders I hear used most and they have worked very well for my range plinking loads. Competition works real well too, along with N310.
  10. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Northern Indiana
    You'll drive yourself nuts trying to find "the perfect load". Guys here just list what works for them. It's kinda like buying tires for your car. You have a hundred options and they all work.

    Mid-range load of AA#5, Universal Clays, 231, etc. 200 or 230 lead bullet. RN feeds easier than LSWC's. Watch your OAL and use a decent crimp and you're good to go. Once you get a little practice, it's way easier than it sounds.

    When you start, load one round start to finish at a time.
  11. bluetopper

    bluetopper Member

    Dec 17, 2005
    Northeast TX
    My pet target load is 3.9gr of Clays (not Universal Clays) powder with a 200gr. lead semi wadcutter bullet. VERY accurate and light recoiling.
    You can bump up the powder to 4.3gr if you so desire.
  12. 1911NM

    1911NM Member

    Jan 3, 2008
    Northern NM
    I am reloading for USPSA with both W231 and Clays (not universal clays). Loads can not only perform differently with different guns (barrels), but also in relation to outside temperatures. Yes, it is a hobby that will drain a bank acct. in a heartbeat, but dang it's fun. I really would advise picking up a Chrono and design what works for your purposes.
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