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  #1  
Old 05-26-2020, 05:54 PM
Sergeant Pork Sergeant Pork is offline
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Powder for .45 ACP: Anything Stand Out for Accuracy?

I just shot a few .45 ACP loads I made, and I shot much better with the ones made from new Starline brass than the ones made with brass I found lying on the ground at gun ranges.

That got me thinking. Maybe I should be putting more thought into the supplies I use. Is there a particular powder which is considered to be particularly good for making consistent .45 loads? I'm using Unique right now.
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  #2  
Old 05-26-2020, 05:59 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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They don't call it Bullseye fer nuthin! Long the standard for .45 target loads. W-231/HP-38 works too.

I've always found Unique a bit too slow for good accuracy. Dirty too.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:01 PM
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Unique.

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  #4  
Old 05-26-2020, 06:06 PM
Sergeant Pork Sergeant Pork is offline
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I'm thinking about the ammo, not the gun.
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  #5  
Old 05-26-2020, 06:19 PM
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There's nothing wrong with Unique for 45acp. When I started out I bought a pound of Unique and a pound of Bullseye. I started developing loads with accuracy as my main goal. The Bullseye loads always edged out the Unique loads. As I learned more about 45acp & accuracy, I learned the best accuracy seemed to come in the 725-775fps velocity range when using 200gr LSWC's. That led to to using (relatively) small charges of a fast burning powder. I've used Bulleye, Clays, VV310, Titegroup, Red Dot, Promo and WST. They were all very similar to me. Decided to standardize on Promo when I could find it, and Titegroup when I couldn't. Twenty+ years later TG is still my most commonly used powder in 45acp and 9mm.
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  #6  
Old 05-26-2020, 06:25 PM
Sergeant Pork Sergeant Pork is offline
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I see a site talking up Vihtavuori N320. It must be very good to cost about twice what other powders cost.
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  #7  
Old 05-26-2020, 06:32 PM
flechero flechero is offline
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I'd say N310, Bullseye and Clays for actual scoring on paper... But if you don't have a ransom rest or a REALLY steady rest, you will have a heck of a time seeing too much difference at normal distances.
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:58 PM
july19 july19 is online now
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I’ve used most of those powder and prefer Bullseye. I agree with Retired Rod, and prefer 200 grain slugs and a lighter load of powder.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:07 PM
Sergeant Pork Sergeant Pork is offline
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Thanks for all the input.
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  #10  
Old 05-26-2020, 07:46 PM
JBnTX JBnTX is offline
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1. Bullseye
2. N310
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  #11  
Old 05-26-2020, 07:59 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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4.2 gr of VVN310 and a 200 gr Oregon Trails Lazer cast bullet is just remarkably accurate in all of my guns. I got that load from Patrick Sweeney in one of his 1911 books. He touted it as the most accurate load he'd ever found for a 45 1911. I've been using it for probably 15 yrs or so. He wasn't lyin.
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  #12  
Old 05-26-2020, 08:05 PM
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N310 and XTPs.
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  #13  
Old 05-26-2020, 08:28 PM
45acpskng 45acpskng is offline
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BULLSEYE! 'Nuff said!
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  #14  
Old 05-26-2020, 08:28 PM
Chris1971 Chris1971 is offline
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4.0 Bullseye and 185 Zero JHP or 200 LSWC
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  #15  
Old 05-26-2020, 09:56 PM
Pariah Zero Pariah Zero is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergeant Pork View Post
I see a site talking up Vihtavuori N320. It must be very good to cost about twice what other powders cost.

Vihtavuori is made entirely in their factory in Finland, and is a single-base nitrocellulose powder.

I imagine a big part of the cost is shipping across an ocean, and maybe higher operating costs in the EU compared to the US.

Most other powders are double-base with varying amounts of nitroglycerin.

Maybe double-base powders are also cheaper in general? Maybe Iíll have to research that...
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  #16  
Old 05-26-2020, 11:17 PM
Benchrest1 Benchrest1 is online now
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I've had good luck with TiteGroup, but I'm not a bullseye shooter.
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  #17  
Old 05-26-2020, 11:57 PM
JayhawkNavy02 JayhawkNavy02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBnTX View Post
1. Bullseye
2. N310
It depends on what you want. If you don't care about temperature sensitivity and want a clean 1911, go with N310. If you don't mind the dirty 1911, shoot in some extreme conditions, and want to save a few dollars and get equivalent performance go with Bullseye. As you an see in the targets below, from Bullseye Gunsmiths there is a pretty strong trend on powder choice/use

Quote:
Originally Posted by july19 View Post
Iíve used most of those powder and prefer Bullseye. I agree with Retired Rod, and prefer 200 grain slugs and a lighter load of powder.
This! I like a super fast powder, with as light of a bullet as I can manage to get under 1.5" in lead. This produces the least recoil. I keep track of my scores in Bullseye and I jumped up when I moved away from JHP moving fast. Not having to deal with the extra noise, flash and recoil helped. I then went an extra step and separated my 25 and 50 yard loads to get even less recoil. For CMP EIC that's not an option (jacketed only) but great for NRA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
4.2 gr of VVN310 and a 200 gr Oregon Trails Lazer cast bullet is just remarkably accurate in all of my guns. I got that load from Patrick Sweeney in one of his 1911 books. He touted it as the most accurate load he'd ever found for a 45 1911.
Zero, Magnus, Brazos make great bullets. Jerry Keefer was a fan of Penn. 4.2 gr is a little spicy for 200 gr LSWCs if they're on the soft end for target loads. I usually find that anything above 4.0 gr of VVN310 starts to negatively impact groups at 50 yards. I'll typically start at 4.0 and work my way down.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mkk41 View Post
They don't call it Bullseye fer nuthin! Long the standard for .45 target loads. W-231/HP-38 works too
I could never get W-231/HP-38 groups like I could with other powders (VVN310, Bullseye, Clays, etc.). Not a bad powder in any way, but I think there are better if you're shooting for the smallest groups possible at distance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1971 View Post
4.0 Bullseye and 185 Zero JHP or 200 LSWC
4.0 is a little slow if you want the maximum performance/accuracy out of the 185 gr Zero JHP. For 25 yards or less no worries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flechero View Post
I'd say N310, Bullseye and Clays for actual scoring on paper... But if you don't have a ransom rest or a REALLY steady rest, you will have a heck of a time seeing too much difference at normal distances.
YES! Clays, WST, Titegroup, 700X can all give absolutely great results. I've seen 700X put up some crazy groups. 45 ACP is a forgiving cartridge to reload, especially at 25 yards vs. 50.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Freeman View Post
N310 and XTPs.
XTP/HAP is a great bullet arguably the best for 9mm Luger/NATO, but the Zero/Nosler 185gr JHP is a better bullet for 45 ACP if you are focused on target work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by flechero View Post
I'd say N310, Bullseye and Clays for actual scoring on paper... But if you don't have a ransom rest or a REALLY steady rest, you will have a heck of a time seeing too much difference at normal distances.
This. VVN310 and Bullseye are the top 2 powders every time I ransom rest. VVN310 is temperature sensitive, whereas Bullseye is significantly less so. Obviously bullseye is one step above burning coal to propel your bullets downrange. In spite of being filthy, especially in light loads, it just simply produces, and does in 38 special as well to boot.

You'll need to combine it with bullets to match. Zero 185gr JHP or a high quality swaged LSWC from Zero, Magnus or Brazos, etc. Typically the H&G 68 mold does best. Zero makes a 185 gr LSWCHP that is the same in regards to exterior dimensions, but a little lighter and has a little less recoil. That's my go to LSWC(HP).

Federal Gold Medal Match are very good consistent primers.

All targets are 50 yards from either a Ransom or H.E.G. Machine Rest with 10 shots.






Last edited by JayhawkNavy02; 05-27-2020 at 08:44 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-27-2020, 09:04 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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In my opinion, you will see more improvement with better bullets than by setting up a shelf of powder cans with 15 ounces each.

Anecdote Alert
A guy here shot good groups with PB powder (discontinued.)
Every time he got something new, he would shoot it from the Ransom Rest but PB did better.
Until one day he shot the PB load first, then the new stuff shot closer.
Further experimenting showed that his gun needed a "conditioned" barrel with a little fouling, it was less accurate when perfectly clean.
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  #19  
Old 05-27-2020, 11:16 AM
Big Pete10 Big Pete10 is offline
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4.2 Bullseye with a 200 cast SWC is my pet load. If serious use cases with the same head stamp. Same Lot if you can. For blasting(IDPA) I use mixed brass but if you shoot them over a chrono the velocities are all over the place with mixed brass. Not so with the batch of GI brass I use for Bullseye.
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  #20  
Old 05-27-2020, 11:29 AM
Roadhouse Roadhouse is offline
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Several folks mentioned Clays, and I have some. Would you please share some load data?
TB
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  #21  
Old 05-27-2020, 11:51 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadhouse View Post
Several folks mentioned Clays, and I have some. Would you please share some load data?
TB
In my opinion, Clays is the most "dangerous" powder in that burn rate class. That's because it has the narrowest published range from min to max. Be very careful that your charge weights are ALL correct when using Clays.
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  #22  
Old 05-27-2020, 12:15 PM
7703 7703 is offline
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N310
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  #23  
Old 05-27-2020, 02:03 PM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Pete10 View Post
4.2 Bullseye with a 200 cast SWC is my pet load. If serious use cases with the same head stamp. Same Lot if you can. For blasting(IDPA) I use mixed brass but if you shoot them over a chrono the velocities are all over the place with mixed brass. Not so with the batch of GI brass I use for Bullseye.
What kind of SD are you seeing for velocity with mixed brass??
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  #24  
Old 05-27-2020, 03:02 PM
flechero flechero is offline
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Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
In my opinion, Clays is the most "dangerous" powder in that burn rate class. That's because it has the narrowest published range from min to max. Be very careful that your charge weights are ALL correct when using Clays.
While you are correct in that it has a narrower window than most others mentioned, Clays for this purpose (target accuracy) is best in the lower [to middle] charges of published data.

My 185 gr plated RMR RNF's use 4.2 gr Clays and the 200 gr coated lead loads use 4.0 gr Clays. Soft, clean and accurate!
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Old 05-27-2020, 03:25 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
In my opinion, Clays is the most "dangerous" powder in that burn rate class. That's because it has the narrowest published range from min to max. .
That's because it is a "fast" burning powder with a low charge weight to bullet weight ratio. 10% of 4 is less than 10% of 5.
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