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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I ordered a set of Lee carbide dies for the .45acp

Basically looking for some good clean burning powder that can propell a 230gr bullet to about factory specs. Nothing fancy, just for target shooting at 50ft and under.

I have a bunch of winchester once-fired brass, and will probably use CCI primers. Midway has some Rainier bullets in stock that I'll probably order, unless someone knows of a good bullet for cheaper (1000 for $140).

Thanks for the input!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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The Lee die kit will come with an abbreviated loading listing. Can't go wrong following it.
 

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Depending on my mood at the time, I've used Unique, Bullseye or 700X. The 700X burns the cleanest, the Bullseye will give you the most rounds per pound.
 

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Basically looking for some good clean burning powder that can propell a 230gr bullet to about factory specs. Nothing fancy, just for target shooting at 50ft and under.
Loading to "Factory Specs" is a fine goal, but without some fairly sophisticated equipment, it's a tricky one to hit.

Most powders get "cleaner" as pressures go up, some are better than others, some are easier to work with. I've had very good results with Unique, Herco, Universal, and W231. If you have a chronograph, and a lb of any of those, you can probably get real close without having problems. If you haven't selected a powder, something like "Power Pistol" would be easier to get top speeds, with less stress.

With a .45, pressures should run lower than almost any other round, so anything that looks like a hot load, flattened primers, expanded case heads, is way, way hot. Sort brass by headstamp, mixing brass on hot .45 loads is a problem waiting to happen. Like a complete moron, I ruined my first .45 by loading hot. It didn't take long.

.45's loaded to 80-90% last way longer than .45's loaded at max or +P levels. Very few people could tell the difference at either end.
 

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IME, not only do "sensible" loads result in extended case life, accuracy also improves especially with the .45 ACP. IMO, unless a shooter is looking for a SD or hunting load or just enjoys heavy recoil, avoid maximum loads.

Some of my best .45 ACP targets come from 4.0-4.5 gr. of Bullseye pushing 185-200 gr. cast LSWC bullets through an accurized Colt Goverment Model.
 

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For a 230 grain LRN bullet, I'd suggest 5.2 grains of Hodgdon Universal Clays for a commercial ball level load. It performs similarly to Unique, but burns much cleaner and and meters much more consistently.
 

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My dies set for 45 ACP is a mixed manfacture set, Plus I use a really good profile taper crimp diw. It took me time to find the right combination of dies. I use WW 231, bullseye and Universal Clays behind a 230 grain LRN, I cast from a Lyman 4 C mold. # 452374. I think this molds specs at 225 grains with Lyman #2 alloy, I use WW alloy for my casting.

Certain powders burn differently, so a couple of my 1911s use other than my standard load which is 5.6 grains of WW231. Those pistols are tuned for target shooting, so I experimented with different loads and different powders to find the best performer for the range.

It will take a little time for you to find the right combination of powders and die settings.

Good Luck!

Jerry
 

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Been using 4.5 grains of Bullseye with a 230 grain bullet since Hector was a pup...works fine for me in all
.45 ACP platforms. You can go up to 5.0 but there is no good reason to.
 

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Most factory loads are fairly warm and while OK some new reloaders have made the mistake of using jacketed loads with lead projectiles, no inference, just a note FYI, leading of the barrel is the negative result, that plus harsh use of brushes to remove it makes an added amount of wear which can be avoided.

I have owned three .45's, my last a much modded Colt Gold Cup Nat Match and while my only purpose of any was to punch holes in targets using lead 200g SWC projectiles, changing simple thigs like extended mag release, extended safety, return spring and slide release makes an easier functioning pistol, no matter what else is done to it or it's purpose, creature comforts don't ever hurt anything, sear mods even on stock guns are a must no matter the gun, rarely is even the best gun 100% ready, get it done by a pro.

Always chamfer the case mouths to an even amount on all cases (use all the same brand too), the swinging link design means any case mouth sharp edge will certainly catch eventually and always in competition when feeding, so it pays to do the small basic things and do them properly, the use of different primers makes makes an insignificant difference so buy whatever you prefer or what is cheaper, Win, Rem, CCI or Federal all much the same in the .45.

I have shot maybe 50,000 rounds or more from my Gold Cup 45, I love the thing, there might be better but a good 45 is hard to beat, Used Win 231 powder for a while but found it to have a slightly sharper recoil but was more touchy to even the slightest load difference, the Red dot load of 4.2g was the most accurate 45 load I ever found, 2 1/4" at 50 yards in the Colt was common place, Win 231 might have topped out at 3", still good but it's all about having it shoot where you point it, I had a 9mm race gun that would easy shoot 2" at 50 yards but it had the works done to it so it was expected, and the .45 from the bench with open sights, I see some shooters that are happy with 5" off the bench at 50 yards, should be able to manage that freehand with a good 45.

My all time favourite go to load was always 4.2g of Hercules Red Dot behind the 200g bullet, this load is by no means heavy, and as such the main spring needs changing out to a slightly lighter version, or jams will be virtually certain, check the mark made to the case by the ejector, this will help making spring choice.

Another load I found very accurate was 4.9g - 5.0g ADI AS-50 behind a 200g SWC lead bullet, same gun and similar accuracy, at 25 yards was easy 1.5" these loads were used with more rounds that I can remember, but cases were replaced a few times, usually when headstamp was impossible to read, very good service from Speer cases BTW.

The 230g stock load was one I never really bothered with, but having a hundred rounds of Hornady 185g XTP JHP rounds at 4% off a max load was a serious bad guy stopper, for sure to spoil his day no matter where the round landed, and keeping a mag of these XTP's handy was a good security option.

Happy shooting.
 

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I've had great luck with 4.4 gr of Hodgdon Titegroup with a 230 gr fmj. I would also recommend using a crimp die. Another good load is 8.0 gr of HS-6 which will push the 230 to about 800 fps. These are target loads. Good luck.
 

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I use Titegroup as well, for 230 grain Rem FMJs and 200 grain LRNs. Its a versatile powder. I also use Red Dot, but its a little dirtier.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wow, some excellent input. Thanks!

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=242098

That's the set I bought, and I definitely plan on using the crimp die. I couldn't believe how cheap this carbide set was...

I bought some Bullseye powder, and I think I'll go with some 200gr bullets and just keep the load reduced. This is only for short range target practice, and my .45 only has a 3.25" barrel.

Whenever I get a 1911 I'll start working on some accuracy loads for 25yds+
 

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I like the 230 gn LFN with 4.0 gns. Bullseye for my 25yard target shooting. It works well in my full size Springfield.For carry I keep 200gn.XTP-HP with 6.0 gns.Bullseye. You can make a bunch of bullets with a pound of that stuff.
 

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My dies set for 45 ACP is a mixed manfacture set, Plus I use a really good profile taper crimp diw. It took me time to find the right combination of dies. I use WW 231, bullseye and Universal Clays behind a 230 grain LRN, I cast from a Lyman 4 C mold. # 452374. I think this molds specs at 225 grains with Lyman #2 alloy, I use WW alloy for my casting.

Certain powders burn differently, so a couple of my 1911s use other than my standard load which is 5.6 grains of WW231. Those pistols are tuned for target shooting, so I experimented with different loads and different powders to find the best performer for the range.

It will take a little time for you to find the right combination of powders and die settings.

Good Luck!

Jerry

Jerry - if you don't mind saying, what ARE you using for a profile taper crimp die? I'm using a Dillon 650 and was thinking of staying with the Dillon re-sizing die, but going to the Redding bullet seating die and crimp die.

I figured on using W231 for powder, but want to load "as low" as I can safely go. Strictily paper shooting so I have no need for "knock down power". I want the loads to be as easy on the gun and me as possible.

Anyway, was just wondering about the dies you are using and have good luck with.
 

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I have had great results with 5.5gr W231 and a 200gr SWC not full house but plenty of power accurate and pleasant to shoot.
 
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