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Old July 22, 2010, 11:42 AM   #1
BigJimP
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Hodgdon Universal in .45 acp

Looking for input on "cleanliness" or any issues with Universal in .45 acp.

My primary powder is TiteGroup / but I'm working with a new reloader and he has 8 lbs of Universal so he wants to use that. In looking at the tables Min is 4.5gr, 703 fps, 11,400 CUP -- Max is 5.4gr, 857 fps, 16,800 CUP / we will load a 230gr CMJ RN Montana Gold bullet. He will shoot the loads in a 1911, 5" barrel .../ CCI large pistol primers.

I think we'll target his loads for 5.1gr / around 800 fps ....but before I suggest that ( and I'll test a few before we run a couple thousand rounds ) ...but any input for me on the low end of the powder range / or on the high end ...on how dirty or smokey it was / did you get a lot of unburnt powder at the low end ??

My experience with Universal is in shotguns ( and its really dirty in a 20ga load at 14gr at 11,900 psi, 1200 fps/ but real clean in a 28ga load at 13.8gr and 11,500 psi and 1200 fps ) ...so I use it for 28ga and not in the 20ga. There is a lot of unburnt powder in a 20ga load / but almost none in the 28ga ....yet the specs are pretty close in both gagues ??

so I'm curious about your experience in .45 acp / thanks, in advance, for your input .
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Old July 24, 2010, 02:34 PM   #2
chris in va
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Sorry, I only used it in 9mm but it burned clean at most charges. I'll probably go back to it after my Bullseye is used up. Hopefully it works as well in 45 as that's my other major caliber.
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Old July 24, 2010, 02:58 PM   #3
Unclenick
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Universal is often suggested as substitute for Unique because it is cleaner and meters more consistently. I find it a little faster than Unique but slower than Bullseye; in between. In some chamberings it needs the same charge as Unique, while in others it needs 5% less or so.

I've run a lot of 200 gr. LSWC"s over 4.8 Grains of Universal in .45 ACP for general practice. Worked fine. Functioned guns with full power springs just fine.
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Old July 24, 2010, 04:00 PM   #4
Mal H
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Universal is my favorite powder for .45 ACP. Since the question is on its cleanliness, I feel it is pretty much ideal in that respect, especially when compared to Bullseye or Unique. It's neither dirty nor smokey in a wide range of loads, but as you wondered, it does tend to leave some unburned powder when used with low pressure loads. But, it's clean unburned powder!
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Old July 24, 2010, 06:30 PM   #5
cryogenic419
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I have used it for .45 for in the mid to higher loads and it works fine. Not too dirty during warmer months but when weather gets colder it seems like a totally different beast. Colder temps seem to leave unburned powder and its very dirty. I am not sure if all powders do that to some extent or not in cold weather (40F and below). As far as smokey I do most of my shooting outdoors so as long as theres a slight breeze its not an issue. Indoors its really no worse than any other powder
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Old July 25, 2010, 09:50 AM   #6
Mr Kris
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I use Universal in 45ACP, shooting 230gr plated bullets at 830fps or so.... basically a replicate of factory WWB or UMC loadings.

Shooting 50 WWB rounds through my full size 1911 pretty leaves visible soot along the first 1.5" of the muzzle end of my gun. Shooting 200 rounds of my reloads leaves visible soot around the first quarter inch of the muzzle. I'm very happy with the cleanliness of it.
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:14 AM   #7
BigJimP
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Thanks for the input uys ....I'm going to load up some test rounds at the upper half of the published recipe - and see how they perform.
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:32 AM   #8
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Always start at the bottom end of the load range and work up, one step at a time, even if you just load one round of each step. I recommend 0.3 grain maximum steps in the .45 ACP. While it is highly unlikely to be a problem in this case, I've twice encountered manual starting loads that were already at above SAAMI maximum for the guns I fired them in. It costs little to make those single weighed charge test rounds. It will ensure there is no problem with the published load data range in your gun before you make up a pile of them that you have to pull down later if you learn they are too warm.
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Old July 26, 2010, 11:54 AM   #9
BigJimP
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You're right unclenick,

although I agree, I think the risk is minimal in a .45 acp case as well ... I was going to load about 16 rds at 4.6gr, about 16 rds at 4.9 and 24 at 5.2gr ...just to make sure there are no problems on the loads ( and to check for progressive cleanliness ..).

You and I have both been doing this a long time / but people of all experience levels read these discussions.... My mistake..../I should have phrased it differently !

I'll be shooting my test loads in a Wilson CQB, 5" barrel ...its a fully supported chamber .../and my buddy ( I'm mentoring, will be shooting a Springfield loaded TRP? 5 " / or a Wilson CQB 5" as well ...) and I have no worries about the barrels.
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