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Old March 21, 2012, 07:36 AM   #1
Uncle Buck
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Please recommend a .45 ACP powder

I finally bought a .45 ACP and now I will need to reload for it.

I will be shooting mostly, almost 100%, jacketed bullets.

What powder do you guys use in your reloads for this round and why?

Once I get your recommendations, I will buy some of them, try it out and then start purchasing the powder in either 4 or 8 pound jugs.

For the record, it is a Stoeger Cougar, barrel length of 3.7 inches.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions/recommendations.
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Old March 21, 2012, 07:37 AM   #2
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I use W231 for my .45 ACP loads because it's what I was advised to use when I started reloading the caliber. And it still just works for me.
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Old March 21, 2012, 08:08 AM   #3
Mike Irwin
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I've used WW 231, and only 231, for all of my .45 ACP reloading.

I've never seen the need to try any other powder it works so well.
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Old March 21, 2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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All I've ever used for .45 ACP is Bullseye. I understand that some other powders may have application in the caliber, but Bullseye has always worked for me.
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Old March 21, 2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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Clays.
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Old March 21, 2012, 08:42 AM   #6
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I would think it would depend on the use. Since the OP stated 100% jacketed, I'm thinking defensive/tactical app.
When I was shooting NRA Bullseye, I used 3.5 grains of Bulls eye with a 185 lswc for an easy shooting load.
Of course you could always go the other direction

http://tinyurl.com/6r8843z Not for the faint of heart.

I would imagine a +P load would flip that smaller gun right out of your hand.

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Old March 21, 2012, 08:46 AM   #7
TMD
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First choise is W231. Bullseye is a close second and Titegroup isn't too far behind.
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Old March 21, 2012, 08:54 AM   #8
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Another vote for W231. It give good velocity and meters well.
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Old March 21, 2012, 09:20 AM   #9
Mike38
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Titegroup!
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Old March 21, 2012, 09:28 AM   #10
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Unique. I have used it with great results in just about every common handgun cartridge, from light target loads to mid-range magnums. It is ideally suited for 45 acp loading where you can assemble anything from target wadcutters, military hardball or fast 185gr hollowpoints and get solid accuracy, good speed, and safe pressure. The detractors will say that the powder grain is annoyingly large and results in imprecise metering, and that it burns more dirty than other powders. You may or may not think these are concerns. I certainly don't, based on more than 20 years of using Unique. It's not the only powder on my shelf, but I always get more when I run out.

Last edited by 8emem; March 21, 2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Old March 21, 2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Unique is good. AA #5 is too.
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Old March 21, 2012, 09:51 AM   #12
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I shot up more "estate sale" W231 with FMJ than any other powder, and it shoots very well in M1911's.

I do like Bullseye, it is the original powder used in the 1910 development cartridges and was used by the military, well I don't know if the military ever stopped using Bullseye.

Your velocities will be less than mine as I shot these in a 5" barrel.

Code:

230 gr FMJ (R-P) 5.0 grs Bullseye 99' & 2005 mixed lot Mixed Brass WLP (brass) OAL 1.265" taper crimp .469"

12-Dec-11 T= 53  °F			
					
Ave Vel =	793.5				
Std Dev =	18.92				
ES =	61.99				
High = 	817.4				
Low =	755.4				
N =	16				

230 FMJ (GI)  5.5 grs W231 Mixed Brass WLP			
OAL 1.265" taper crimp .469					
4-Sep-05 T = 92 °F						
						
Ave Vel =	782.5					
Std Dev =	22.64					
ES	87.93					
High	822.9					
Low	735					
N =	28
		


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Old March 21, 2012, 10:26 AM   #13
abber
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Power Pistol is what gives me my most accurate loads with 230 grain fmj bullets, out of 2 1911 govt. size pistols.
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Old March 21, 2012, 10:30 AM   #14
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W231 & HP38 (same).
Also try Green Dot as a backup.
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Old March 21, 2012, 11:07 AM   #15
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I used to like v-N340, but it got hard to find locally (and hazmat fees are outageous) .....now I shoot far more 9mm than .45, and found that Power Pistol works well in both of them..... that's what I use.
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Old March 21, 2012, 11:18 AM   #16
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Bullseye. Worked the best for me with all the powders I've tested. Although AA#5 looks really good too. Have some Ramshot Silhouette loaded for testing as I write this....
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Old March 21, 2012, 11:20 AM   #17
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Most any fast powder will shoot in the .45 ACP. Bullseye has the longest history, since the cartridge started with it, but also probably has had more match ammo loaded with it than any other. The military switched to something called SR7970 at one point, which seemed to be close to Vihtavuori N320 (the operative word there is "seems" because that's just based on reading performance specs). I think that was a DuPont creation, though, and I don't know whether it might still be made in Canada with the formerly DuPont IMR powders or not.

If you want a powder that's a little more modern in that it meters well and burns cleaner, Hodgdon Universal Clays is a good choice. It is sort of between Bullseye and Unique in performance.
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Old March 21, 2012, 11:29 AM   #18
wingman
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I use AA5 due to the type recoil it gives in 45 and 40, second choice in 45acp
for target rounds in volume/cost savings is Titegroup.
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Old March 21, 2012, 11:42 AM   #19
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I started with Bullseye, back in the day, and am still using it. A buddy suggested Titegroup, I thought I'd give it a try, but couldn't get any locally (was lucky to replenish my supply of Bullseye).
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Old March 21, 2012, 11:49 AM   #20
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The list of appropriate powders that won't work well is probably shorter that the list of those that will.
What are you trying to do?
High velocity or mild?
For mild target loads, I use Bullseye.
For warmer to max loads, Unique or HS-6. I have used AA#5 as well.
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Old March 21, 2012, 02:12 PM   #21
Uncle Buck
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It will be mostly for target shooting. I do not ever see me using it for a competition or much of anything other than "Lets go punch some holes in ...."
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Old March 21, 2012, 02:50 PM   #22
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Personally, I lot my 45acp on the warm side because I want my "target shooting" to be like "saving my life shooting". If your views are similar, then I recommend AA#5. It fills the case, easy to spot, low/no flash, and gives top velocities. Silhouette is also very good. Power Pistol is great but flashy.

Now if you just want poofter loads for your target shooting, I would suggest Clays. It fills the case, very easy to spot, burns very clean, and a jug will last you a very long time. But don't expect top velocities from it.

I don't like Titegroup because it hides in the case - reloading safety. But it does burn clean and works good for "target" loads.

Unless you want to use the powders endorsed by Abraham Lincoln, pass on Bullseye and Unique.
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Old March 21, 2012, 03:02 PM   #23
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Have used both Bullseye and Unique. Bullseye seemed to work a little better for me.
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Old March 21, 2012, 04:14 PM   #24
rclark
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Quote:
A bit more modern .... Unless you want to use the powders endorsed by Abraham Lincoln
You know, I never have understood this reasoning... If a powder works very well and gives good results ... why do we care if it is 300 years old or 3 minutes old. All that really matters is the 'end' result... Ie... Is is accurate and consistent and finally is the velocity where I want it to be.
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Old March 21, 2012, 04:20 PM   #25
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Promo might be worth a try. It's still less than $100 for 8 pounds, and 8# goes a *long* way. Use Red Dot load data.
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