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Thread: 45ACP, 200 gr SWC, what powder?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    45ACP, 200 gr SWC, what powder?

    I got out of the 1911 game before I started casting. The majority of my 1911 experience was with jacketed bullets or commercial cast bullets with a small amount of factory cartridges in the mix. In those days WW-231 was my primary powder and WSF was the secondary.

    The 200 gr SWC (H&G #68 or one of the clones) still seems to be "The" bullet for most folks that shoot cast bullets in the 1911.

    So, with a SAECO #069 or a RCBS 45-201-SWC, what would be the powder of choice for a 45 ACP load?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Titegroup, 4.8-5.4gr s

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    Boolit Buddy wddodge's Avatar
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    This is a question that you'll get 20 different answers to and all of them will work very well. I've used 3.9 gr of Clays for many years and probably will never try anything else.

    Denny

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I'm OK with a lot of answers

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I use bullseye and unique with boolit in question.
    I have used others but their numbers escape me.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    All the time, everytime and any time the powder for the 45 ACP is Bulleye. This was the original powder used in the round and countless billions of arsenal and commercial ammo makers have been loaded with it.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by wddodge View Post
    This is a question that you'll get 20 different answers to and all of them will work very well. I've used 3.9 gr of Clays for many years and probably will never try anything else.

    Denny
    I agree with you. When I did accuracy testing at 50 yards, 3.7-3.9 of Clays was very good for the 200 SWC from the Springfields and 4.1 with hardball but that load was just okay from the Dan Wesson which liked VV310 better. WST did well in everything and was the best tested with 200 SWC. Bullseye shot good but was behind the other 3 powders when it came to best accuracy.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    All the time, everytime and any time the powder for the 45 ACP is Bulleye. This was the original powder used in the round and countless billions of arsenal and commercial ammo makers have been loaded with it.
    That's strong endorsement, thanks

  9. #9
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    All the time, everytime and any time the powder for the 45 ACP is Bulleye. This was the original powder used in the round and countless billions of arsenal and commercial ammo makers have been loaded with it.
    Agree. There are lots that work but BE is the standard.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  10. #10
    Boolit Master OptimusPanda's Avatar
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    A 5 grain charge of green dot below a 200 grain swc has become a favorite of mine.
    It's only hubris if I'm wrong.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    That's strong endorsement, thanks
    Original doesn't mean best.. It means best they had, back then.

    I'm sure spears used to be the 'best' way to kill a mastadon so the tribe coil have a BBQ... But its not 'still the best' way.

  12. #12
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    AA2, BE, Red Dot, Unique and many more will work well.
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    Original doesn't mean best.. It means best they had, back then.

    I'm sure spears used to be the 'best' way to kill a mastadon so the tribe coil have a BBQ... But its not 'still the best' way.
    "Original" was only part of the answer. The answer also included "....and countless billions of arsenal and commercial ammo makers have been loaded with it".

    If something significantly better has come along, it doesn't seem to have pushed Bullseye completely out of the picture.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    All the time, everytime and any time the powder for the 45 ACP is Bulleye. This was the original powder used in the round and countless billions of arsenal and commercial ammo makers have been loaded with it.
    I agree, the original load of 5.0 Bullseye with a 230 FMJ was the standard. From what I've read on the net (so it has to be true!!) 5.5 BE in 1911 was nearly immediately reduced to 5.0 during the military trials. My load of 4.0 BE with a 200gr cast or swaged lead is the most accurate combination I've come up with. Been using it since the 70's. I've played around with the Dots, Unique, Herco, PB and likely some others I've forgotten. Nothing so far beat the shot to shot accuracy of 4.0 BE with a 200 gr lead slug.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master

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    4.2-4.6 of red dot is my current go-to. Also burned a lot of unique 5.6 at a time.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    "Original" was only part of the answer. The answer also included "....and countless billions of arsenal and commercial ammo makers have been loaded with it".

    If something significantly better has come along, it doesn't seem to have pushed Bullseye completely out of the picture.
    I didn't say if it wasn't best it had to be pushed out either.

    A big part of the discussion involves a large variable, IE individual guns. I can take 2 guns, ladder test them and find different powders working 'best' in different guns.

    There are common and safe answers, I doubt a universal, best in all guns is a point that can be nailed down. Its a unicorn.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Fair enough Soundguy, but I'm a BIG fan of long track records.

    "we've always done it that way", doesn't necessarily mean it is the best way to do something.

    HOWEVER

    "we've always done it that way" can mean that we've tried other things and keep coming back to what is known to work.

    Sometimes we stick with the old ways because we're stubborn or dogmatic and sometimes we stick with the old ways because they work and we haven't found anything better.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    Fair enough Soundguy, but I'm a BIG fan of long track records.

    "we've always done it that way", doesn't necessarily mean it is the best way to do something.

    HOWEVER

    "we've always done it that way" can mean that we've tried other things and keep coming back to what is known to work.

    Sometimes we stick with the old ways because we're stubborn or dogmatic and sometimes we stick with the old ways because they work and we haven't found anything better.
    IMHO if t ain't broke don't fix it. My however is, there have been numerous new powders introduced the past 20 years. Published loading data has been downsized especially with pistol powders to leave a margin of error for progressive presses dumping charges that are not individually weighed and probably liability reasons for stupid people. There are likely some better, safer and more accurate combinations but one will never know the until he experiments. For me, I'll stick with my pet loads.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    ".......Published loading data has been downsized especially with pistol powders to leave a margin of error for progressive presses dumping charges that are not individually weighed ..."

    Are you saying load data has become more conservative due to the abundance of progressive presses?

    I find that to be a bit far fetched.

  20. #20
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    Bullseye, Red Dot, 231 are the 3 I use
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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check