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Information and Education => Reloading and Handloading => Topic started by: xsquidgator on October 30, 2008, 09:31:31 pm

Title: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: xsquidgator on October 30, 2008, 09:31:31 pm
Since I cast bullets, pretty much all I ever shoot in my handguns are my cast lead rounds.  So for 45, I shoot the Lee cast 230LRNs since they work in my 1911 and the SWCs don't.

What's your favorite 45 load for practice, plinking, or whatever?  Looking at Hodgdon.com for 45ACP 230LRNs, anywhere from 4.5 to 5.3 grains of W231 are ok, with COL 1.260".    Maybe the Speer was higher, don't recall for sure; I did read in one guide that 5.7 W231 was ok but I don't have my Speer guide in front of me.  WARNING- some of the loads here might be slightly in excess of published max loads, neither I nor WeTheArmed is responsible for what you do with this information. 

I worked up to 5.6 grains of W231 and here's what I got with my PACT chrony and a 4" Smith M&P45.  But I usually load at 5.3 W231.
4.3 W231 --> 653 fps
4.6 W231--> 711 fps
5.0 W231--> 750 fps
5.3 W231--> 794 fps
5.6 W231--> 875 fps

Accuracy seemed best between 4.6 and 5.6 grains of W231, I couldn't really tell a difference between those loads.  95% of the time when I'm making a couple hundred 45 for the range or practice, I'll make the 5.3 grains of W231 loads since I figure that's 230 grains going 800 fps and ought to be pretty close to the 830 fps Hodgdon says is standard speed for jacketed 230 grain bullets.
Title: Re: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: MarshallDodge on October 30, 2008, 10:15:12 pm
I tried Unique, W231, and Clays years ago and Clays came out the winner for target loads.

My favorite is 4.0 grains of Clays under a 200 grain LSWC (lead semi-wadcutter).  It shoots and runs good in all of my 1911's using Chip McCormick Shooting Star mags.

Another one I like for shooting pins is 4.0 gr. Clays under a Rainier 200 gr. plated hollow point.
Title: Re: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: Jim147 on November 01, 2008, 12:03:11 am
I use the Lee 230 TC over 4 grains of Red Dot for my normal target round.
Title: Re: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: Oohrah on November 02, 2008, 03:42:15 am
Both with the 185gr cast 1 to 10 (tin to lead) and Speer 200gr
Gold Dots, and also with my 40 S&W, 180gr. Gold Dots I have
been using 800X.   Seems pressures are low and velocity good.
Clean burning is also a plus.
Title: Re: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: Valkman on November 03, 2008, 05:31:32 pm
I use nothing but W231 and usually load 5.2gr with a 230gr bullet.
Title: Re: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: Fred Garvin on November 03, 2008, 05:43:51 pm
I called tech support at IMR and they said a MAX Load for Trail Boss was 4.5 gr with a 230 LRN bullet. This would give velocity of 761 fps in .45 ACP.
 Max load for a 200 gr LSWC bullet is 5.5gr Trail Boss at 816 fps.
 Since these are max loads, back off 10% and go from there. Trail Boss is very clean and accurate.
Title: Re: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: mike40-11 on November 08, 2008, 05:32:02 pm
Last few thousand I've been sticking with hard cast 200 gr RNFP over 5.1 gr of Unique.  Around 800 FPS or a little less out of my 5".  Nice and tame to shoot, you can burn through a few hundred without feeling like it's beating you to death.  I started with Unique because I had a bunch on hand from loading shotguns and just stuck with it.  Works well for me and doesn't seem to be much dirtier than anything else, unless you load very light.

I load a few 185 SWC with 5.8 gr and like those, but some of my pistols don't like to feed them.
Title: Re: Favorite .45ACP handloads?
Post by: Powderman on January 22, 2009, 05:44:43 am
I use my own cast .45 bullets, dropped from a Lee 6 cavity mold.  These are the 200 grain LSWC Hensley and Gibbs design, sized to .452 in a Star lubrisizer, and lubed with Javelina Alox.  My favorite loads are 3.8 of Clays for practicing Bullseye shooting, and 4.5 of HP38 for practice from my duty gun.  Works well, and is clean shooting, too!

For jacketed bullets, I will use 6.5 of Power Pistol under 230 grain ball, and 6.8 of Power Pistol under 185 grain JHP bullets.  Great for ringing steel targets or all around shooting.