powder for .45 acp

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Harold2689, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Harold2689

    Harold2689 Shooter Charter Member

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    Well, I'm finally getting ready to, "bite the bullet" and actually start working up a load for .45 acp. I have a Springfield Armory XDM 45 (full-sized w/ 4.5" barrel) and my wife and I each have Springfield Armory XDS 45's with, (I think) 3.3" barrels.

    I'll be using X-treme 230 gn RN FMJ bullets, & once-fired (by us) Federal brass.

    I have 4 powders on hand: Bullseye, Unique, Titegroup and HP-38. I was leaning towards trying the Bullseye.

    Of the four powders I believe any of them will work well with .45 acp.

    Any recommendations or "favorites" among you guys, and why?

    Thanks.
     
  2. B00ger

    B00ger Who farted? Charter Member

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    Unique was always my favorite. Big and fluffy and easy to see in the cases. Used it for 9, .45, and .38


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  3. 11B CIB

    11B CIB Low-Reg Low-Life Staff Member Charter Member

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    I use Titegroup. No issues in 1911s or the XDM .45 4.5" model
     
  4. Beef15

    Beef15 Lousy C Charter Member

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    All great powders, I've used the first three with easy success, but I use Bullseye the most in .45, 5gr seems to be accurate with any 200 or 230, it is a stiff load though. Can be loaded much lighter. TG probably stays cleanest when loaded light. BE and Unique will belch unburned powder when reduced.

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  5. Crunchy Frog

    Crunchy Frog Happy to be here

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    All of them will work. I loaded a fair amount of .45 ACP with Winchester 231 which is the same powder as HP-38 so that would probably be my first choice. I had the impression that it produced a little less smoke than Bullseye but I use mostly lead bullets and the lube creates smoke of it's own so it's sometimes hard for me to tell how smoky a powder is.

    Unique is a very versatile powder. It's been a little hard to find in recent years. Hodgdon now makes "clones" of the Alliant powders that I have seen on the shelf at Cabelas at good prices; the Bullseye equivalent is "Target" and the Unique clone is "Unequal".

    To me, Titegroup seems to produce a snappier recoil impulse and a sharper report than other powders with similar burn rates so that would be my last choice of the powders you mentioned. I have an unopened container of it on my shelf.
     
  6. Combat Diver

    Combat Diver Active Member

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    What type of powder dispenser are you using? HP-38/W231 believe meters the best. My most used powder I use is Unique. Handles .32 ACP to .44 Mag. Powder I use now for my .45 ACP loads. AA#5 is another good ACP powder.


    CD
     
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  7. Catfish

    Catfish *wink* Charter Member

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    All will work but I favor Unique because i inspect every charge and Unique is easy to see right from wrong.
     
  8. Gazengine

    Gazengine Happy to be here Charter Life Member

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    I have always used Unique in my 45 ACP loads, all my 38 loads and my 12 ga skeet loads.
    When it got hard to get, I changed to WW231 for the 45 ACP setup in my Dillon press. It seemed to burn cleaner. Still use Unique in 38 and 12ga.
     
  9. Harold2689

    Harold2689 Shooter Charter Member

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    The Dillon Powder measure on the 550B. I've been threatening to set the XL-650 up for .45 so I won't have to keep changing the primer feed system when changing from 9mm to .45acp. I've never used the 650 yet so it may be time to jump in and get it going too.





    You may call me anal about that, but being so new to reloading, I visually check the level of the powder in EVERY case before I set a bullet into it. I periodically pull a charge and check it on the scale. I also randomly check COL to make sure that's still within tolerance of where I set it. After the complete set is loaded, I fire up an Excel spreadsheet I created. I measure every COL, and weigh each completed round. The spreadsheet gives me max, min, difference between them, and average values. I especially pay attention to the "difference" between max & min weight. I know it isn't exact, but I figure that if the difference is at or less than my charge weight, then I most likely haven't missed a charge, or worse, double charged any rounds. I know that there are variations in individual case and bullet weights, so it's not exact. I just use that to see if anything really "sticks out" of the set. After I'm satisfied with that, I enter the bottom line numbers into an Access database that I created, and those numbers become permanent records for that set. From that database, I can generate reports on each set, what sets I used each powder on, etc. I also use it to print the ID tag that goes with each set, which contains all the load details for that set. I want to expand it to include inventory control so whenever I buy more primers, bullets or powder, I can enter that information, and the database will keep track of where it all goes, and even generate a "shopping list" for me when supplies drop below my preset stock levels.

    Thanks for all the input from everyone else too. From what y'all are saying, any one of the powders I have will work fine for .45, I just need to try them all and decide for myself. I'm ok with that, and at least no one has said, "Stay AWAY from such-and-such powder because..."

    I still consider myself very much a "novice" reloader. What I know, I learned from reading everything I could, and asking lots of questions. Other than that, I pretty much taught myself. Safety is my MOST IMPORTANT part of reloading, and I figure as long as that remains at the top, then that clears the way for FUN.

    Amen.
     
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  10. Toprudder

    Toprudder Be vewy vewy qwiet.

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    The downside to Titegroup is low case fill, which means it is possible to fit a double charge and still seat a bullet on top. Since you check every case before you place a bullet, that should not be a problem for you.

    Of the four you mentioned, Unique is one that does not meter that well. The others meter very well.

    Bullseye burns a little sooty compared to the others, but it performs very consistent for me. In my opinion, Titegroup burns the cleanest, particularly at the lower end of the charge range. I would use TG if loading for reduced recoil.
     
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  11. Toprudder

    Toprudder Be vewy vewy qwiet.

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    I've heard the same thing, so I bought a pound of Target to try. I have not loaded anything yet, but the appearance is nothing like Bullseye. Target is a flake powder that looks more like Unique.
     
  12. Harold2689

    Harold2689 Shooter Charter Member

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    Isn't that also true for Bullseye? I was going to start reloading 9mm with BE, because I have so much of it (two 8 lb. jugs.) I was cautioned to start out with something else BECAUSE it only requires so little, it becomes very easy to double charge a case if you're not careful. Then, after I gained experience, and learned more what I was doing, use the BE if I wanted... I took that advice and started using HP-38. It has worked well for me in 9mm, but I wanted to try some of these other powders I have.

    I tried the BE with a 9 mm load I worked up for those coated lead bullets, and had no problems metering it, or with its performance. I had problems with the coated lead bullets fouling our barrels. We shot 100 rds, 25 each in our G26's and 25 in each of our G43's. Lead deposits in all 4 barrels. I blame that on the bullets, not the powder. Other than lead fouling, I had no other problems with the BE.

    I'll go with the advice and recommendation, and start with the TiteGroup. Since I have plenty of bullets of the exact same configuration, I can later try BE and with all else remaining the same, I can make a comparison.

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  13. spittinfire

    spittinfire Well-Known Member Charter Member

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    I've got A LOT of Universal in my 45s. I know it wasn't on your list but I've used it with good success. It's easy to see in the case, meters well and shoots clean.
    I wouldn't be afraid to use Unique if you've got some. I use that a lot for other calibers just not 45 and it performs well but tends to be a little dirtier.
     
  14. ECNC

    ECNC Member

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    I have used Unique quite a bit, but switched over to Win 231. I like the way it meters and now use for 9 and 45. Have had no problems with it at all.
     
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  15. Meckmeister

    Meckmeister Member Charter Member

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    I've used WST with good success for mild loads in all weights, as well as VV N340 (pricey, ugh).
     
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  16. Harold2689

    Harold2689 Shooter Charter Member

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    HP-38 is the ONLY powder I've used since I started reloading. I've been told that Win231 and HP-38 are the exact same powders. When I bought my presses, The powders I mentioned along with a pound of HP-38 (and a whole bunch of other goodies) came as part of the deal. I started using HP-38 and I really like it. As you say, it meters and performs well. But I wanted to "expand" my experience by trying some of these other powders I have as well. I know a few others here could open a powder museum with all the different brands they have. I figure, "Why have all these different powders if I'm not going to at least try them?"

    Actually, I just told a lie, I did work up a load with Bullseye for a box of 9mm, 126 gr, coated lead bullets. It metered and performed well enough, but I didn't like the lead fouling from the bullets. I blame that on the bullets, not the powder. Now that I'm actually ready to start loading .45 acp (X-treme 230 gr RN FMJ), I would have no problem using Bullseye or HP-38 for that too. But I figured I'd ask those who know more than me, if there were any reasons for or against any of the other powders I already have on hand. I'll take the advice given, and start with TiteGroup, and see where that goes.

    Whatever I use, I'll always start low and work the charge up gradually. I tend to load on the light side, so I should be ok. I do appreciate all the responses, opinions, and suggestions.
     
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  17. ECNC

    ECNC Member

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    I
    Actually, I just told a lie, I did work up a load with Bullseye for a box of 9mm, 126 gr, coated lead bullets. It metered and performed well enough, but I didn't like the lead fouling from the bullets. I blame that on the bullets, not the powder. Now that I'm actually ready to start loading .45 acp (X-treme 230 gr RN FMJ), I would have no problem using Bullseye or HP-38 for that too. But I figured I'd ask those who know more than me, if there were any reasons for or against any of the other powders I already have on hand. I'll take the advice given, and start with TiteGroup, and see where that goes.

    Whatever I use, I'll always start low and work the charge up gradually. I tend to load on the light side, so I should be ok. I do appreciate all the responses, opinions, and suggestions.[/QUOTE]

    I use Bullseye for my 38 special. Love it for that. Just hate the way it meters.
     
  18. Toprudder

    Toprudder Be vewy vewy qwiet.

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    You could probably double charge with Bullseye, but you might be able to triple charge with TG in some cases. I think if you did double-charge with Bullseye, it would be more obvious, though.


    Huh? I have absolutely NO idea what you are talking about.

    image_zps0qfqd0zq.JPG
     
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  19. powwowell

    powwowell Located in Deep Run, NC Charter Member Benefactor

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    HP-38/Win231 works for .45ACP, .45 Colt,, .380 and 9mm. It really meters well with smaller loads, for .380. I have used some Titegroup. Seems to smoke a lot with lead bullets. I have a little bit of Unique for 45 Colt and .357 mag. Seven grains of HP-38 works pretty well for .45 Colt. HP-38 meters more consistent than Unique. From now on, if I load it, it will be with HP-38/Win231.
     
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  20. OldSchool

    OldSchool New Member

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    Bullseye and W231/HP-38 have always been my go to powders for .45. They meter well, are reasonably clean and typically used loads that were just over half the case, so a double would overflow if I screwed up.
     
  21. Starkherz199

    Starkherz199 Professional Contrarian Charter Member

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  22. nbkky71

    nbkky71 Member

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    I use Win231 nowadays, but I had good results using AA #5 in the past.
     
  23. OldSchool

    OldSchool New Member

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    Another vote for W231/HP-38, meters well, reasonably clean, good range from light to heavy loads. I also load .380, 9mm and .38/(light) .357 with it. I found Unique just as good but dirtier and love Bullseye, but like Titegroup, the smaller load adds a bit of risk for a double.
     

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