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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my first .45 autoloader and am trying to match some factory speeds. I got and average of 839 fps out of some Blaser 230 fmj and an average of 828 out of Remington 230 HP. Tried getting to these numbers today using Hornady 230 gr hp, cci 300 primers and Unique. Started at 5 grains and worked my way up to 6.1 grains and the best average I can get is 784 fps. The last step from 5.9 to 6.1 only gained me a 1.4 fps on average. The good news is they all grouped very good. I am using a 5" S&W M&P. Have shot and reloaded wheel guns for years and never seemed to have this problem. This is my first venture into semi land! Any suggestions or favorite loads?
 

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If you want to push 230 grain bullets to peak velocities try using Hodgdon Longshot. The maximum load of Longshot will drive a 230 grain at 900 fps.

Hodgdon Universal and HS-6 are good powders too. You can push 230's to 825 fps with HS-6 and 845 fps with Universal.
 

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I haven't looked at a loading manual - how do these powder charge weights stack up for suggested -vs- maximum??

Typically, when you get only a small increase in speed you have it the maximum on the power curve for that recipe.

Are you checking for excessive pressure signs?? - Flattened primers, wildly belled casings, extreme ejection (brass landing very far from you)?
 
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You'll need a bit slower powder. I had a friend who liked Unique in 45ACP. It's a powerful & accurate load as you said.
+1 on Jim's recommendation of Longshot and HS-6. I used HS-6 when I was shooting bowling pins years ago in a race gun.
I mostly shoot 200g LSWC now for paper punching and only load 4.5 gr WST.
 

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Another vote for Longshot........if you can find it. Been absent here recently.


WEIGHT230 GR. HDY FMJ FP
ManufacturerHodgdon
PowderLongshot

Bullet Diameter.451"
C.O.L.1.200"

Starting Load
Grains6.3
Velocity (ft/s)848
Pressure14,100 CUP

Maximum Load
Grains6.8
Velocity (ft/s)908
Pressure17,200 CUP
 

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I've found AutoComp powder to yield good accuracy while metering consistently for my 1911s in .38 Super and .45 ACP. High velocity is not a concern for me but accuracy and cleanliness are - AutoComp satisfies both. I only use 125-grain semi-wadcutters in the Super and 185-grain semi-wadcutters in the .45.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #9
HSLDS....I have seen no signs of pressure as of yet. I have 3 different manuals I refer back and forth and cross reference and thus far all within the safe loads. The Lyman manual gives a max charge of unique with a 230 gr bullet at 6.8 grains with a pressure of a tad over 16,000 and 900+ fps. The Speer manual recommends all .45 loads to stay under 19,000 on the pressure so, in theory, I am still ok. But I was thinking the same thing you mentioned in that an increase in powder charge only yields 1.5 fps that I may be up against the wall already.
The good news is the way to solve this dilema is to load more and shoot more!!!!
Thanks to all who answered and am open to any and all ideas.
 

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Bob,

Not trying to scare you there - I've just never used Unique in a 45 round so I wasn't sure of the weight - the 1.5 fps change caught my eye though...

I would say, that if 'Max' is 6.8 you might squeeze some more out of it yet... food for thought.

I am still working on the 'best' powder for the 45 ACP - I have a progressive machine dedicated to it, and I keep wanting to 'dial it in' once and forget it - of course I keep playing with it - just one more time...

Good luck with your project,

David
 

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My pin load is 6.8 grains of Longshot behind a 230 grain Hornady HAP. It takes them off clean if I do my part.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guess I better see if I can find some longshot to try. In the meantime, Red Dot, Bullseye, Green Dot are already sitting on the shelf! :)
 

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Long shot is very good in 45 acp. I've go had very good results with Hodgdon CFE also. The Hodgdon site shows 815 staring and 934 max FPS wit 230 gr. Good accuracy too. Very little flash and clean burning. I haven't loaded a lot of CFE yet. Summer is trap season. I get a little more flash with Longshot vs CFE.
Blue dot will perform too, but will have a lot of flash. Should see it in 357 sig. Wow.
I load longshot with sierra 185 hp for defense in my Walther ppq45.
200 lswc with 5.2 gr red dot for target and competition. Been shooting this load for 35 yrs. very accurate in my 1911 colt race gun, my two new 1911s (Taurus), and my colt 1911a1.
George
 

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Bob, if you go past your last load, the chances are you will see a large velocity jump. I've experienced the same thing you describe working up loads using various powders (all weighed charges). I can't explain it. I'm curious, but it doesn't bother me. Personally, I don't see the need for 230gr bullets in 45. 200gr in various configurations do everything I need from bullseye , through plates and pins, to action. BTW, I'd second the use of Autocomp. It is a splendid powder and will give you what you want.

HSLDS, perhaps I can help. I've tried a boatload of powders for 45. I'll say that almost anything works, so let me define what "best" powder for 45ACP means for me. Accurate and clean burning with low or no muzzle flash. Meters well and needs reasonably small amounts to achieve the desired velocities. No or very little temperature sensitivity and consistent performance with SDs in the single digit range, and nothing over 12.

I've found two powders that meet my criteria. They are e3 and Solo 1000. I use e3 for my bullseye loads, plus plate and pin loads. e3 will make Major Power Factor if you like, but for some reason I prefer Solo 1000 for those loads. My very favorite Major load is Mixed HS brass, CCI 300 or WLP, 5.0gr Solo 1000, 200gr LTC for 860fps or 172PF. SDs are consistently in the 7-8 range.

You can use Clays data for e3. It has been ballistically tested and found to perform the same, but without the pressure spikes Clays exhibits at higher pressures. I use e3 for loading 40sw to Minor and Major for Limited. So that is another reason I've standardized on e3. If I were to be limited to only one powder, it would be e3. It is excellent for 7/8, 1 and 9/8oz Trap loads, plus 45 and 40. It has zero temp sensitivity, meters very consistency and produces excellent accuracy.
 

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The .45 acp is not really a round you want to push for high vel / high pressures. The faster burning powders actually do what you are looking for quite well. Try HP38 (ww231) . You can get into the 900 fps range with 230 grain slugs quite easily. Also the copper plated projectiles will allow you to get a bit more velocity than jacketed bullets due to lower friction.

What you will find with extended shooting using the slower burning powders like unique or longshot or HS6 is a lot of powder fouling in the action which will eventually lead to malfunctions.

If you are just looking for a fun plinking type load try a 200 grain copper plated bullet (SWC or RN) over a modest charge of HP38 at around 800 fps.
 

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why do you want to shoot a full bore load in the gun. The 45 was never designed to shoot a 230 gr. bullet. When introduced to the govt. it was with a 200 gr bullet and the Army thought they needed to be 230 gr. and it was changed to
the 230 but the frame is still for a 200 gr. load. I have a Les Baer race gun that has 175,000 rounds through it
using 5.3 gr Win. 231 and it still shoots 1.5 inches @ 25 yds. Now they have a new CFE Pistol powder that is supposed to give you the results you are looking for, I have never tried it though. I have gotten a little soft in the hands in my 70's
and really don't like the recoil of the full bore loads. But if you are going to shoot a lot of shells the gun needs to be able to handle the load for continued use. By the way listen to wolfram he is telling you the facts.

Mac
 

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The .45 acp is not really a round you want to push for high vel / high pressures. The faster burning powders actually do what you are looking for quite well. Try HP38 (ww231) . You can get into the 900 fps range with 230 grain slugs quite easily. Also the copper plated projectiles will allow you to get a bit more velocity than jacketed bullets due to lower friction.

What you will find with extended shooting using the slower burning powders like unique or longshot or HS6 is a lot of powder fouling in the action which will eventually lead to malfunctions.

If you are just looking for a fun plinking type load try a 200 grain copper plated bullet (SWC or RN) over a modest charge of HP38 at around 800 fps.

I have always just done 5.0 HP38


DGH
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mac1. To answer your question, I bought a couple boxes of factory shells just to see what they did so i could use these as a reference. Since they both shot very good groups and were quite comfortable to shoot, I thought I would try to get close to them. As I said earlier, I have shot and loaded for revolvers for 35 years but this is my first major auto and my first adventure with loading for it. Hence the request for input.
Never too old to learn!
Btw, I am already shopping for longshot!
 

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zzt,

I scored 35 pounds of DuPont 7625, so I will be aiming to load with that...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, 35 lbs!? That should keep you going for a while! I usually buy pistol powder by the pound. Only buy red dot to feed my other bad habit in volume like this! :)
 
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