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Thread: AA5 185xtp 45acp dirty

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    AA5 185xtp 45acp dirty

    Have a few hundred hornady 185 xtp to reload using AA5 for my colt commander. Using Wesrerns reloading data 9.2 grains min 10.2 max oal 1.210. Getting unburnt powder residue (big nasty hard yellow flakes) to the point that it restricts feeding with in 3 rounds. I have read that this powder needs to be loaded near max to clean up. My last attempt was 9.9 grains in new starline +p 45 acp cases with fed 150 primers. Do not want to go much hotter as I donít have a chronograph yet and the reduced capacity of the +p cases has me a little leery. Also the slide is not locking back with this load but recoil seems on par with 230 grain ball. Any ideas thanks.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thats not exactly the best combo as your finding out. 45acp does best with fast burning powders and #2 would be much better in this application. Plus your shooting light bullets so that doesnt help neither. I dont know if I would push this much more 9.9gr sounds like a lot but i'm at work and I dont have any loading data with me. I would switch powders if possible because i dont think you will get complete burn with this combo.

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks marek I may have to give it up with #5. My western manual doesn’t list for aa#2 for that particular bullet but I do have some on hand that I may try this week.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thats strange because most 45s are shot with fast powders and in your case with your short 4.25 barrel and 185gr bullets sounds like fast powder is the only way to go. Now if you had 5 or 6" barrel and shot 230gr then you might be able to get #5 to burn completely but not in your case. I like to try all kinds of powders and as it was suggested to me here Hodgon WST is very soft to shoot in 45 and it burns very clean plus its fluffy so it fills the case enough to prevent double charge. That would be my choice in your case but #2, TG, BE, and anything around that fast burn rate should work well too.

  5. #5
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks will have to try wst if I can find any. Will try some aa2 for now if I can find some data for the 185 xtp. I loaded some pretty warm berry’s 230 grains with the #5 a week ago and they burnt clean enough to function just a little dirty but not action jamming filthy.

  6. #6
    BULLET WEIGHT
    185 GR. HDY JSWC

    Starting Loads Maximum Loads
    Manufacturer Powder Bullet Diam. C.O.L Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure
    Winchester 231 BUY NOW 0.451" 1.135" 5.0 762 12,000 CUP 5.9 906 15,800 CUP
    Winchester WST BUY NOW 0.451" 1.135" 4.4 794 14,100 CUP 4.9 866 16,500 CUP
    Hodgdon Clays BUY NOW 0.451" 1.135" 4.5 855 14,500 CUP 4.9 981 17,400 CUP
    When I started out Clays was my go to powder for many pistol cartridges.
    Have used 231 will be trying WST

  7. #7
    Boolit Mold
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    So the consensus is I need a fast powder for this bullet. Will get some data rounded up for the fast powders I have on hand. AA2, Red dot, 700x. Thanks for the input only manual I have right now is Western powder book.
    Last edited by Duck45LC; 02-01-2021 at 07:29 PM. Reason: Forgot details

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    reddot the way to go 4to 6 gr range just hot enough to cycle gun most likely 5grs

  9. #9
    Boolit Mold
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    Will have to try red dot. Was hoping to find a pretty stout load for these expensive 185 xtp bullets. Like to sneak up on 1000 FPS safely. Looking for a defense/woods load as I have other components for paper punching. Thanks

  10. #10
    Boolit Master metricmonkeywrench's Avatar
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    Don’t forget about Bullseye, I’m still learning the .45 as this is new cartridge for me. My last load was with Red Dot and it gunked up the gun pretty good but shot well.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    I’m new to 45 acp as well. Been loading 45 colt for several years and other revolver loads first foray into auto loaders. Haven’t used many jacketed bullets before either still learning.

  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck45LC View Post
    Will have to try red dot. Was hoping to find a pretty stout load for these expensive 185 xtp bullets. Like to sneak up on 1000 FPS safely. Looking for a defense/woods load as I have other components for paper punching. Thanks
    If your looking for defense/woods load then I wouldnt use that bullet neither. I'm not a hunter but from my understanding for a bear load xtp bullets are not ideal neither because of lack of penetration on larger game such as bears. I would much rather have my own hard cast SWC over XTP bullet in that situation. You can absolutely use slower powders in 45acp for max velocity but your limiting factor is that short 4.25 barrel. That limits your powder options as you noticed. I'm not sure how much velocity you can get out of it but I'm sure its not as much as 5" or even better 6" hunter barrel would get you obviously.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    those 185s should top 1000fps safely
    iam getting 1100fps outta 160gr boolits and still not in the +p catagory

  14. #14
    Boolit Master pjames32's Avatar
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    I use AA5 for a lot of my pistol rounds and don't find it to be dirty. With that said, I do load mostly heavy for caliber bullets. AA2 is a lot like Bullseye and works great for 38 special wadcutter loads.
    NRA Benefactor Member

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I think pjames is right about bullet weight. I loaded some 230 berrys rn at full standard loading with AA5 and they were clean enough to operate in my shorter commander. I have some aa2 I would like to try with the 185xtp but no data listed for it in my western powder manual. Definitely going to try some faster powder for these lightweight bullets. Just got a pound of WST as well that I would like to try but only data I have found is for hornady 185 jswc.

  16. #16
    I load 9.1-9.6g of AA#5 with a 185g Nosler HP. It is not dirty burning, and I have shot many thousands of rounds in many 45's. I am wondering if you have ever shot bullseye or 231 as a comparison? I also shoot AA#5 in a 40 S&W because it is so clean burning.

    Nosler manual lists 9.6g of AA#5 as their accuracy load with 185g hp.

    I have only seen yellow flakes in AA2400.

    I am wondering if you have a bad lot# or you have little to no taper crimp on the bullet causing incomplete ignition of the powder? Strange to hear of anyone claiming that AA#5 is dirty burning!!

    If you want to see what "dirty" is, then try some Win 231 or Bullseye...like dumping charcoal out of your outdoor grill in your pistol.

    I would add that if your AA#5 is burning as dirty as you say it is, the powder is contaminated...get rid of it. AA#5 is one of the cleanest powders you can shoot.
    Last edited by ackleyman; 04-27-2021 at 03:18 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    I would not trust whatever scale you're using. Unburned powder and the slide not locking back suggests low pressure.

    All powders need to be loaded to the pressure for that cartridge to burn efficiently. Even the dirtiest powder will clean up with enough pressure.

    AA#5 is the first powder I ever used and it's great for middle of the road loads in a lot of pistol and revolver cartridges.

    Quote Originally Posted by marek313 View Post
    Thats strange because most 45s are shot with fast powders and in your case with your short 4.25 barrel and 185gr bullets sounds like fast powder is the only way to go. Now if you had 5 or 6" barrel and shot 230gr then you might be able to get #5 to burn completely but not in your case. I like to try all kinds of powders and as it was suggested to me here Hodgon WST is very soft to shoot in 45 and it burns very clean plus its fluffy so it fills the case enough to prevent double charge. That would be my choice in your case but #2, TG, BE, and anything around that fast burn rate should work well too.
    All the powder that is ever going to burn in this kind of gun is burned in the first 2" or less of barrel. Faster and slower burning powders exist to load to different velocities, not for barrel lengths. A longer barrel will produce more velocity regardless of burn rate way beyond anything within reasonable pistol dimensions.

    Most factory .45 ACP is probably loaded with something similar to #5, although for target use, I agree with you that faster burning powders are preferable. If he's loading +P cases and nearly 10 grains of powder, I suspect that's not what he's after......although I also don't know what good 185 grain .45 ACP ammo would be regardless.

  18. #18
    I have some +P loads with 185,200, 230g Speer gold dots with AA#5. They are very, very accurate, more so than the lighter loads. I run 24-26 lb springs in my Kimber for these heavy loads.

  19. #19
    Even to hint that AA#5 is dirty burning is FALSE, and I have been loading pistols since the late 60's.

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    i load 45acp with AA2 primarily, but use a lot of AA5 for 9mm and I don't find it dirty unless I'm way on the low end of pressure.

    Though there is some conflicting load data using AA5 in 9mm. Never got a satisfactory answer why either (same source of material, different versions).

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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