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Old June 3, 2013, 08:11 AM   #1
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Developed a .45 ACP load over the weekend

You won't find this combination in any book (at least that I'm aware of). The recipie was gained from extrapolating data from Sierra using the same projectile weight and from discussion with Hodgdon.

185g Hornady XTP JHP
Hodgdon Universal Clays Powder
CCI #300 LP Primer (because that is the box that was on top of the stack, no other reason - would feel comfortable with Winchester, Remington, Tula or Wolf primers on any of these loads)
Mixed brass
OAL: 1.225"
Platform: Metroarms American Classic II full sized 1911 (5" barrel)

All rounds were fired at 7 yards (I don't often shoot more than 10 or 15 as it is). I fired 24 rounds of each charge weight – 2 mags of slow aimed fire and a single mag of rapid fire. Zero FTF’s or FTE’s. Worst group was probably about a 6” spread in rapid fire. All slow fire groups produced single ragged holes, more or less.

6.0 grains – too light. Great for plinking, or even teaching the missus or a kid the joys of shooting, but overall too light for my particular comfort on an SD load. I suppose one could make the argument that it would be a great reduced velocity load in the confines of a house, but I would be worried about penetration in the bad guy, honestly. Felt like a medium weight 9mm round shooting – so recoil was non-existent. Accuracy was great.

6.2 grains to 6.4 grains – My opinion is that this is the optimal weight powder charge. Produces velocities from 850 fps to 900 fps, excellent accuracy and extremely manageable recoil. At 7 yards in rapid fire, I put all 8 rounds inside a 4” circle. I chose 6.3 grains as my go to load. Should produce a theoretical velocity of 875 fps, which is more than enough to open up the XTP in soft tissue.

6.6 grains – good load, but I didn’t see any advantage in accuracy to justify the additional recoil. I also started to see some unburned powder at this charge weight, so that tells me that I’ve passed up the optimal pressure/powder charge combination for a 5” barrel in a 1911. Still a good load, and still produced excellent accuracy, so it is something that one could load up without any issue.

Although the book tells me I can go up to 6.8 grains, I opted not to. I would feel comfortable in doing so as none of the loads I tested yesterday showed any signs of pressure on either the brass or in felt recoil/firearm operation. All fed and extracted perfectly through my ACII 1911.

And on a semi-related note, whomever decided to start making .45 ACP brass with small pistol primer pockets, I hate you. Makes life a pain when trying to reload. Why would anybody do such a thing is beyond my capacity for thought.

Last edited by schmellba99; June 3, 2013 at 09:54 AM.
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:15 AM   #2
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Frankly, I would try 6.8 ad my best accuracy is usually at book max...
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Old June 3, 2013, 08:23 AM   #3
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What book is that? Hodgdon shows a range for a 185 jacketed bullet at 6.0 - 6.4
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:07 AM   #4
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What book is that? Hodgdon shows a range for a 185 jacketed bullet at 6.0 - 6.4
Sierra's manual shows a load for 6.8 (max load) for a 185 JHP. Not the XTP though - slight differences in the projectile they have listed versus what the XTP has in terms of sectional density and ballistic coefficient.

I emailed Hodgdon asking about H. Universal Clays with the XTP as they don't list that combo on their website or in their book, and they sent me some data. I used a combination of the two pieces of information to come up with what I loaded up.
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Old June 3, 2013, 09:50 AM   #5
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On the other hand, with the component shortages, it might come in handy to have .45 brass in both primer sizes.
Being able to use large or small primers gives three choices, instead of just one.
Walt Kelly, alias Pogo, sez:
“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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