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Old March 1, 2012, 03:05 PM   #26
kfarmerk
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+1 for 231 and Unique. I use 231 for 9mm, 40 and 45. Flows well too!
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:10 PM   #27
Kevin Rohrer
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This question has been asked so many times.

The powders traditionally used are Unique, Bullesye, and 231. More modern powders are Universal and Power Pistol, to name a few.

The "best" powder is one that fills the case at least half way so you will know if you get a double charge.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:19 PM   #28
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Win 231 and 200gr.Hornady XTP. . Me and two Glocks luv it..
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:25 PM   #29
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I've settled on Bullseye for .45ACP. Tried other powders, but had the best luck so far with it. Note I shoot .45 ACP in revolvers.
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Old March 1, 2012, 04:29 PM   #30
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Unique is great shooting and universal powder but I am done with its due to its metering issues.
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Old March 1, 2012, 08:03 PM   #31
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Not saying this to be mean or start a pewter fight but this has always bothered me.
Quote:
This question has been asked so many times.
The guy has signed in to ask this question. He probably has read some posts here and figured it was a good place to ask. No he probably didn’t use search most people don’t. Give them a break if its something that has been ask a 100 times you don’t have to post a reply just grin and keep on trucking.. Be nice . And it’s not just you and it’s not just this forum you see it I think way to often. I’m just saying posts don’t have to start this way. And I bet there was a time you didn’t know what powder to use either.
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Old March 1, 2012, 08:31 PM   #32
dunerjeff
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W231/HP-38,AA#5,WSF,WST,N320,N340,N350,Power Pistol,HS-6,Sillhouette,AA#2,SR4756,Auto Comp,Longshot,SR7625,Bullseye,Unique,Blue Dot,and Universal are the best for 45 ACP. I probably forgot one or two though.

Unfortunately any powder "we" like or works for us, may not work for you. Every gun is different.

PS. when I started loading,I looked through several loading manuals,they almost always say what was their most accurate powder. I then picked what powders I wanted to try. That is how a person learns things. While yes,it is rude to complain, but just look back the last four pages,the answer IS in there five or six times. Lately it has been getting bad.

My $.02
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Old March 2, 2012, 10:34 AM   #33
Edward429451
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Quote:
works for us, may not work for you. Every gun is different.
I've been hearing this a long time, and I'm not so sure that I buy it anymore, in a practical sense. A good load is a good load and many many times, a load that shoots good in my gun will also shoot good in my other guns or someone elses gun.

If this (myth) is true then how can they sell Match ammo without people grumbling that they can't hit anything with the it? People whine over anything nowadays, and ammo is expensive. Where's the threads calling Federal Premium Match junk?

So many well known and established loads are used and referred, and again confirmed after trying it. For example;

44 Mag 245gr/8.5 Unique
44 Mag 245gr/19.0-20.0 2400
45Colt 255gr/8.5 Unique
45ACP 225gr/5.5 WW-231

These are well known loads and work great for me and for a lot of others. Perhaps the occasional gun has a quirk which makes it not like some ammo, but for most part, good ammo is good ammo.
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Old March 2, 2012, 11:14 AM   #34
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Where's the threads calling Federal Premium Match junk?

I don't know a single bullseye or benchrest shooter who would buy his match ammo. They all load their own, for exactly this reason.

The benchrest guys re-load on the spot, at the match, to use the same case.

Go to a match, there's a lot to learn, even if you don't enter.
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Old March 2, 2012, 01:09 PM   #35
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Edward ; I will agree with you on the fact that "some" loads are quite good in many guns,that there is. Not a whole bunch and generally with lead bullets,but good "standards".
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Old March 2, 2012, 03:31 PM   #36
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The results are in!

The OP asked for opinions on the best all around .45 ACP powder. So I decided to count the times in this thread that a given powder was mentioned as a good choice. Here are the results from the above posts:

Powder Times mentioned
231 16
Bullseye 10
AA #5 6
Unique 5
Power Pistol 3
Universal 1
Universal Clays 1
Clays 2 (same as above?)
WST 1
AA #2 1
Bluedot 1
HS-6 1
Tightgroup 1
AA #7 1
Red Dot 1

So, It appears that the majority of those who have posted an answer to the OP's question believe that 231 is the most versitile .45 ACP powder available! One of the Worlds' mysteries has been solved!
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Old March 2, 2012, 05:49 PM   #37
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Add another one for 231. :-)

Come to think of it, I use 231 for most of my pistol loads except the magnums.

--Wag--
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Old March 2, 2012, 05:54 PM   #38
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Man, is that count off...
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Old March 2, 2012, 06:25 PM   #39
Strafer Gott
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I started with Unique and it's still pretty good, but AA#5 brought my plain jane
1911 into the modern era, performance wise.
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Old March 2, 2012, 08:42 PM   #40
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I like Clays for 45 ACP. It is clean, inexpensive, and soft shooting...Illini
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Old March 2, 2012, 10:30 PM   #41
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Geese, I'm ready to try WST.
I like W231 because it crosses over well with other cartridges I reload for
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Old March 3, 2012, 12:01 AM   #42
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i use unique mostly because I can use it for my other loads (there are decent .32 acp, .357, and .380 loads).

I haven't noticed it being any more dirty than winchester white box or remington/umc. Some people say it is. I may try universal when I run out of this lot, just because I hear it compared favorably.

My 1911 LOVES 185gn FMJ over 7.5 gns of Unique. Im not sure why, but my XD eats 230s better.
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Old March 3, 2012, 12:30 AM   #43
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Quote:
My 1911 LOVES 185gn FMJ over 7.5 gns of Unique.
I have a Marlin Camp 45 that shoots extremely well with Nosler 185gr jhp's with 7.5gr of Unique. My 1911 also does well with it.
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Old March 3, 2012, 04:57 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jammer Six
The differences I've noticed are two: older powders tend to be much dirtier, but have a huge following because back in the day, they were all there was. So 231, Unique and Bullseye have hordes of folks who swear by them.

But Titegroup is, for my jacketed stuff, cleaner, faster and more accurate.
Titegroup is not an "all around powder" for 45ACP. It is a "Specialty" powder. Just because many match shooters use it to make power factor they could not with other powders does not mean it's a good powder for a new reloader to start off with. Titegroup burns fast and hot with spikey pressure curve and narrow load range. Is it accurate? Oh heck yes for my 9mm/40S&W loads in my pistols/barrels but I spent a lot of time getting to those loads and I would not recommend to others due to pressure variations in different pistols/barrels.

You'll often see me recommend W231/HP-38 (same exact powder but HP-38 costs less) that is moderately fast burning but slower than Titegroup with broader load range that's more forgiving for a new reloader. Even at lower mid-to-high range load data, W231/HP-38 will produce accurate target loads and burn relatively clean (compared to other powders in the same mid-to-high load data range). It is cleaner burning than Bullseye with less recoil pulse but Bullseye loads are accurate. It is a flattened small ball powder and like other ball powders, meters very consistently (particularly in Lee Pro Auto Disk with less than .1 gr variance). Unlike flake powders (Bullseye/Unique), W231/HP-38 is coated which also help lubricate the Auto Disk operation surfaces.

For 200 gr Lead SWC bullet, 5.0-5.5 gr of W231/HP-38 produces very accurate loads and is like bread-and-butter, peanut butter-and-jelly, etc. I like clean burning and accurate WST for 45ACP also, but if you are loading other calibers like 9mm/40S&W, W231/HP-38 is hard to beat for producing accurate and moderately recoiling target loads.

For me accuracy is everything and holes on target speak volumes.

From Hodgdon load data - http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
Quote:
155 gr Lead SWC W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.230" Start 6.0 gr (998 fps) 13,400 CUP - Max 6.7 gr (1112 fps) 17,100 CUP

155 gr SFIRE W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.220" Start 5.6 gr (944 fps) 13,800 CUP - Max 6.2 gr (1057 fps) 16,700 CUP

180 gr Lead FP W231/HP-38 .452" OAL 1.140" Start 5.0 gr (778 fps) 11,300 CUP - Max 6.0 gr (950 fps) 16,800 CUP

185 gr Hornady JSWC W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.135" Start 5.0 gr (762 fps) 12,000 CUP - Max 5.9 gr (906 fps) 15,800 CUP

200 gr Lead SWC W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.225" Start 4.4 gr (771 fps) 11,000 CUP - Max 5.6 gr (914 fps) 16,900 CUP

200 gr Speer JHP W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.155" Start 5.2 gr (794 fps) 12,700 CUP - Max 5.9 gr (906 fps) 16,700 CUP

230 gr Lead RN W231/HP-38 .452" OAL 1.200" Start 4.3 gr (699 fps) 12,200 CUP - Max 5.3 gr (834 fps) 16,900 CUP

230 gr Hornady FMJ FP W231/HP-38 .451" OAL 1.200" Start 4.2 gr (751 fps) 13,800 CUP - Max 5.3 gr (832 fps) 16,800 CUP

For economy, although Promo's larger than Unique flake size doesn't meter that well, 200 gr Lead SWC with about 4.0 gr of Promo also produces very accurate and mild recoiling yet clean burning target loads (I said "about" 4.0 gr as my Pro Auto Disk will throw with .2-.3+ variance. As to load data, Alliant states to use Red Dot load data by weight). For me, Promo is also becoming a good general purpose powder as it has produced very accurate 45ACP/9mm lead loads using 2004 Alliant Red Dot load data.

Last edited by BDS-THR; March 3, 2012 at 05:07 AM.
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Old March 3, 2012, 03:13 PM   #45
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Quote:
I may try universal when I run out of this lot, just because I hear it compared favorably.
I used to use Unique in 8lb containers like there was no tomorrow. But after hearing guys suggest it enough on this forum, I finally decided to give Universal a shot and have never looked back since. It meters better, burns cleaners, and fills virtually the exact same role as Unique in my needs.

That experience also taught me the value of challenging the old "If it ain't broke don't fix it" mantra I'd said so many times. It might not be broke, but that doesn't mean it can't be improved. So now I'm a little more open to trying new things, at least to see if there is a benefit to be gained. In some instances there's no real benefit to me, so I return to what I know. But I try at least to not be so narrow minded so as to not even consider that there's still some things I can learn and ways I can improve.

That said, 231 is a powder I keep coming back to no matters what else I try. It meters exceptionally well and is also so versatile that it's hard to beat. Not that there aren't other good powers out there, but I've yet to find anything fill the same void as 231 and improve on it at all.
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Old June 6, 2012, 04:23 PM   #46
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Bullet Manufacturer

Hello All,

The reload data for a specific powder also lists specific bullet makes. Accurate, as an example, lists three makes along with three types. The only match for my .45 ACP bullet, a 200 gr, JRN from Power Bond Bullets, is just the bullet weight. Neither the type nor the make match. Same goes for the W231 load data, which lists only two types for a 200 gr bullet, a JHP and an LSWC.

My question then is, does the make and type matter when reloading? If so, I guess that means I have to find a powder that lists those details. I would think that as long as I use the reload data for my bullet weight and make sure the overall length is correct, that I would be ok.

My second question regards the primer type. After reading about them for about a week, it would appear that the only thing that matters is the size. All my brass takes a small primer. I also noticed that the Accurate reload data lists a Federal 150 as the primer make. How important is it to use this listed primer? Am I able to use any small primer or must I use the type that is listed in the reload data?

Thanks very much. Please be gentle, I am a first time reloader.

Last edited by ThisIsMySig; June 6, 2012 at 04:35 PM.
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Old June 6, 2012, 05:26 PM   #47
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The only component I substitute (and then it's like for like) brand names is bullets.

Brass, primers and, obviously, powders all make a difference in both pressure and velocity between manufacturers.

I don't like 231, and recommend Titegroup across the board in .45 ACP.
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Old June 6, 2012, 06:21 PM   #48
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Thanks for the reply JammerSix.

So if I understand, you are saying that I can substitute any bullet for any brand as long as I use the load data for the weight of the bullet. Is this true even though the load data is for a 200 gr JHP? My bullets are JRN.

And, that I can use any small primer with any powder.
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Old June 6, 2012, 06:55 PM   #49
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In loading manuals, there is usually a number called a ballistic coefficient.

That number is used to compare the flight characteristics of one bullet to another, and is, in my opinion, the best way to compare one bullet to another. (Assuming the material, lead, jacketed or plated is the same.)

Smaller companies (like a lot of the one or two man companies that produce lead bullets) frequently don't produce either data or manuals, and then the best way (again in my opinion) is to measure the weight, diameter and length of the bullets, and keep styles and type (jacketed, plated, lead) the same.

For .45 ACP, there's not going to be any problem finding data for a 230 grain JRN-- it's probably the most common round loaded. The other super common bullet would be the semi-wadcutter. (SWC). You can find all sorts of listings for those in 200 grain, in plated, jacketed and lead.

The last method I would use would be to substitute styles. I might do it when I've made a hard search, but so far, I've always managed to find the same style-type-weight, particularly in .45 ACP.

Sometime you might need to buy a different manual, and if, for instance, you're loading Hornady bullets, then the Hornady manual is guaranteed to list exactly the bullet you're loading.

Another approach is to buy one of the big manuals (Hornady, Speer, Federal) and then buy exactly the right components to match one of their listings. That's probably the most conservative approach, but in reloading, conservative habits are good habits in my book.

And no, I said that changing brands of primers or changing brands of brass changes both pressure and velocity.
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Old June 6, 2012, 08:34 PM   #50
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I'm going to purchase a Lyman manual. Hopefully I'll be able to reload my 200 gr bullets.

Thanks very much for all the info.
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