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  #1  
Old 02-19-2011, 11:04 AM
cballman cballman is offline
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Default 45 acp reloads

I just reloaded a box of ammo for 45acp. I used 6.0 grains of unique. My son took the ammo and shot it. He said that the loads seemed a little hot with the recoil and muzzle flash. I am using 230 grain lead round nose. I am looking for a mild load that I can shoot in my 4586 semi and 1917 pistol. I really like using unique in my 357 so I have a little left. I purchased the load book for the 45acp and these are my first reloads for this cartridge. The smallest load I see for a mild round is around 5.5 grains. I wish I was a lot more knowledgable on the use of gunpowder but since I am not here I am. I use 4.6 grains in 38special with a 158 grain LSWC. Would the 4.6 grain work in the 45 auto and be able to function? I know a lot of questions in one thread but I need to know.

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Charlie
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:41 AM
Sully Sully is offline
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6.5 grns of Unique gives ya about 870 FPS...

5.2 with a 230 gr LRN is only good for 584 FPS. Any slower than that and you can run on ahead and catch the slug!!
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:55 AM
Murdock Murdock is offline
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Getting up around 6.0 grains of Unique with a 230 bullet is getting a bit warm in the .45ACP. My Lyman manual lists 5.0 grains of Unique as max for a 225 grain lead bullet.

The traditional high-end hot load for a .45 ACP 200 grain SWC is 7.5 grains of Unique.

I'd suggest Bullseye in the 4.0 - 5.0 grain range for your heavier bullet, although I'm sure quite a few members will chime in with other, more modern powders that they prefer for one reason or another. I use 5.0 grains of Bullseye with a 200 gr SWC because Jeff Cooper said that it duplicated the recoil of GI ball in a good practice load.

I like Unique too, but for practice loads Bullseye burns cleaner for me than Unique.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:16 PM
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FWIW...I have used 6 grains of Unique in my .45ACP for many years and with good success. My point of aim and point of impact stayed the same as hardball ammo and they ejected to the same spot. (This was before I owned a chronograph.) So for MY useage it seems to replicate hardball closely.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:21 PM
Rule3 Rule3 is offline
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Perhaps you should look here:

5.8 is a max load for the Speer lead bullet that Alliant used for their test, it may or may not be softer than your bullet but regardless you are "starting" at a over max load.
Drop it down to say 5.0 gr.

Do you have any other manuals besides "Loadbook"???

Alliant Powder - Reloader's Guide
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:25 PM
Jellybean Jellybean is offline
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Different variables from what the load manual used and what you are using will creat different results. If you feel the load is too hot reduce it slowly until you get to where it feels better.

Loading manuals usually list their minimum load with the lightest load that will cycle their test firearm. Using a different bullet or seating to a different seating depth can change the pressure you are getting, either up or down, so you can adjust as needed. But be careful and watch for bullets getting stuck in the barrel.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:31 PM
Treeman Treeman is offline
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I flipped open the Hodgdon 26 manual that was in reach and found 6.0 Unique with a 230 grain Jacked listed as testing at 16,200 CUP and yielding 898fps from a 5 inch barrel.
Therefore I have no real fear that the load is excessive....but it is a fullblown .45acp loading.

One thing that many loaders who see lesser charges as "max" with lead bullets should keep in mind is that MANY data sources do not develop maximum pressure loads for cast lead bullets. Instead they load swaged bullets to a "maximum" performance level beyond which barrel leading is likely to be a problem and stop load development.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:43 PM
cballman cballman is offline
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The only other manuel I have is the Hornady Third edition. It list a 200 grain LSWC starting at 5.4 and max of 6.9. The 230 grain FMJ starts at 4.8 and a max of 7.3. The load book shows two differnt loads one mine is a little high but starts at 5.3 and max of 5.8. The other starts at 5.1 and max at 6.3. This is why I have chose to attempt a middle range load but looks I should have asked first. I have not shot much seems like my son shoots more than me by far and we are not looking for a tack driving load just a good shooter. Guess I need to find another powder to use. I am not worried about a cleaner powder I will clean the gun for my son and enjoy it.

Thanks for the quick replys

Charlie
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:59 PM
boatbum101 boatbum101 is offline
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Lyman # 48 shows with #452374 225gr RNL starting load 5.5grs = 695fps & max load 7.3grs shows 905fps . This is with Unique with R-P brass & Rem 2 1/2 primer. This is with universal reciever & 5" barrel . So 6grs should be safe but not snappy . OAL 1.272" which seems long to me but they show max as 1.275". I usually load my match ball rounds @ 1.265" .
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2011, 03:41 PM
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FWIW, if you are considering another powder, try W-231 / HP-38 (they are the same powder with a different name). I have been loading 5.0 grs. of W-231 with a 230 gr. plated RN for quite some time. Very accurate, and comfortable to shoot.

With that lead bullet, you could easily go down to 4.6 - 4.8 grs. of the W-231. That would be a nice mild load. You just have to make sure it cycles your gun properly. The empty cases should eject at least a few feet. I have seen guys shoot loads so light that they barely fall out of the ejection port! Swapping out recoil springs is always an option


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  #11  
Old 02-19-2011, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cballman View Post
The only other manuel I have is the Hornady Third edition. It list a 200 grain LSWC starting at 5.4 and max of 6.9. The 230 grain FMJ starts at 4.8 and a max of 7.3. The load book shows two differnt loads one mine is a little high but starts at 5.3 and max of 5.8. The other starts at 5.1 and max at 6.3. This is why I have chose to attempt a middle range load but looks I should have asked first. I have not shot much seems like my son shoots more than me by far and we are not looking for a tack driving load just a good shooter. Guess I need to find another powder to use. I am not worried about a cleaner powder I will clean the gun for my son and enjoy it.

Thanks for the quick replys

Charlie

You do not "need" another powder although there certainly are a lot that can be used. Unique is fine.

As you state you are new to gunpowder (actually smokeless powder) it's better to start at the low end and work up. Every manual is going to differ as JellyBean mentioned, bullets are different, Lead data is usually not the same as FMJ and usually requires less powder.

You should not compare FMJ loads to Lead loads, two different animals. If you stick with the Powder Manufactors loads for now you will be good to go. A lot of times less is more as in better accuracy, less recoil, less money.

As long as the load will cycle the semi auto try the 5.0 grs.

Load up 10 or 20 and try them.

What OAL did you use? That matters a lot more, especially in high pressure loads like 9mm and 40SW.
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2011, 04:04 PM
smokinwoody smokinwoody is offline
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I use W231 at 5.2gr w/230gr LRN

also use it w/200gr LSWC..same powder

extremely accurate..
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  #13  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:16 PM
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I've been loading .45ACP since around 1974 and have used most of the appropriate powders. Nothing wrong with Unique but my current favorite is Winchester WST. I use 4.5 grains behind most any bullet. It is clean, economical and soft shooting.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:39 PM
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I have been using Clay's powder and it is fantastic for 230gr LRN. If any of you are interested in a new powder, check it out.
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:48 PM
cballman cballman is offline
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Got back from the range a little while ago. The new load is going to be 4.6 grains of Bullseye. Not a bad load with the 230 LRN bullits. Mild recoil and nice to shoot. Now another question. Do you tumble the brass before or after sizing and depriming?
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Old 02-26-2011, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cballman View Post
Got back from the range a little while ago. The new load is going to be 4.6 grains of Bullseye. Not a bad load with the 230 LRN bullits. Mild recoil and nice to shoot. Now another question. Do you tumble the brass before or after sizing and depriming?
You can do either/ or.

Most do it before depriming. If you deprime first then all the crud gets on you dies and then with the empty primer pocket your media may stick in the hole.

I clean first then reload.
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Old 02-26-2011, 08:28 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OCD1 View Post
You can do either/ or.

Most do it before depriming. If you deprime first then all the crud gets on you dies and then with the empty primer pocket your media may stick in the hole.

I clean first then reload.
This is just what I do.
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  #18  
Old 02-27-2011, 11:39 AM
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Alliant Powder - Reloader's Guide That is the reloaders guide for using Unique powder in the 45acp cartridge.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:11 PM
m1gunner m1gunner is offline
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My 1911A1 is set up for 6 gr Unique under a 230 gr LRN bullet. The recoil spring is balanced for this load, and the fixed sights are regulated for this load at 25 yds.

This load has served me well for 25 years.
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:40 PM
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The 45 ACP is like the 38/357 clan. You can just about close your eyes and reach for a powder and not go very wrong. I'm not a big fan of Bullseye but can testify that powders like AA#5, HS-6 and 231(as well as Unique if you like smoke) have given me the best groups from either the 45 or 357. 4.5 gr of 231 will consistently give me quarter size groups at 10 yards in the 38 Special case in the 357 and 5.5 gr of Universal is the same in the 357 case.

The 45 ACP gives superb result with 8.2 gr of HS-6 with the 230 gr FMJ. Not much of a way to pick a bad powder for the 45 ACP, IMHO
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Old 02-27-2011, 11:48 PM
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I used to have a source for 230g truncated cone, flat-point cast bullets. For a number of years I loaded them over 5.8g of Unique. When I finally got my own chronograph I was kind of surprised to see how much variation there was. I switched to 231 and have used it for the ACP ever since.

These days I'm down to two hand loads for both the semi autos and my 45 ACP revolvers. One is a duplicate of military Ball with Berry's 230g RN over 6g 231. It averaged 834 fps from a 5" Government Model the last time I tested it and that matches the specs for Ball when I was in the Army (Vietnam era).

For the revolvers I load Berry's 200g RS bullet over the same charge of 231. Depending on barrel length it runs from 885 fps to 905 fps.

I never saw the need for +P loads in the 45 ACP. It made its reputation with Ball and the guns last longer and most folks can shoot better with that level of recoil and blast. YMMV!

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