There MAY be loads that float to the top BUT — the real question is what is the use for the load (target, SD, hunting???). What type and grain of bullet do you propose to use? Add some more specifics and folks will be able to offer more refined information. AND in the end ( sorry) it does come out to the shooter and the individual gun.
If I responded to your question with ‘Bullseye’ — what would follow?
* yeah, I use it for 230 gr 45 ACP in a Glock 41 — 5.31” barrel.
I use Alliant Bullseye, 5 gr max 4.8 will make major power factor for competition.
I also like Hodgdon Titegroup @4.5 gr max, it's a fairly new powder but a lot of competition shooters in my area are using it.
I've used so many powders for 45acp - for lead bullets I use Red Dot or WST. For plated or jacketed bullets, I have used Universal, HP-38/Win231, HS-6, Bullseye, and for target loads, a lot of Titegroup. I like Titegroup because it's cheap and a little goes a long way. The drawback to that is, you need to check each powder charge carefully because it uses so little powder, that it would be easy to double-charge a case if you weren't paying attention.
Hodgdon Clays under a 230 grain anything. If the weather is humid it seems to get a little smoky with lead, but that just gives it an old West feel. Have to pay attention in the upper range of the load -- I've been told it will pressure spike quickly, but haven't personally had any problems.
The advantage is that I double-purpose it for shotshell reloads.
Hodgdon packages two other powders that get tagged with the 'Clays' moniker -- 'Universal Clays' and 'International Clays'. Discussing loads sometimes means having to refer to 'Clays' as 'Just Plain Clays'.
I'll second the Hodgdon Clays but be sure you have an accurate powder measurer. Very economical powder! I use it with my 12 ga Sporting Clays and Dove loads too. Other good powders are Bullseye, WW231, HP38 and Unique. I was using WW231 exclusively before the component shortage then found Clays does a fantastic job and I already had about 16 lbs of it.
Don't get hung up on it, like the .38 Spl there's a lot of powder / bullet combinations that are more than satisfactory. I'm mostly a Hodgdon guy so HP38/W231 and Universal.
If I was just starting out I'd try one of the new-generation powders. Going forward I think these will be more available as the older powders might just die off. The new stuff is supposed to be better/faster/stronger and safer/cheaper/easier to manufacture. I'm talking something like CFE Pistol / IMR Target / Alliant Sport Pistol....but I've never used them.
It really bites when you develop a load, use it for years, and then they discontinue your powder. Which might just happen more in the future. I think manufacturers will all want to switch to the "new technology" and while they probably would not just discontinue the old stuff, they might just try to force the switch with pricing.
But for now, W231. Stay away from 700X and 800X, they are hard to deal with. They shoot well but most powder measures won't throw them consistently.
Yep as mentioned depends on what your goal is for the 45 acp ammo.
do want to try to save like 0.0000015 cents per round?
then go with one of the fast burners and low weight capacity drops.
want a safety factor then go to a powder that more than half fills a case and is somewhat bulky.
test various powders/ projectiles and load weights.
want self defense then look at safe pressure top performance powders.
want all around general use powder then look at load data for various projectiles in the caliber..
there are umpteen different powders to sue in a 45 acp.
Myself I do not load powder puff loads, they are not max loads but they do feel and shoot like a 45 acp, not a 380.
and I use a powder that fills the case well, that meters well, produces good power, that's regardless of what caliber that I load.
myself I use a almost exclusively Acc #5 or HS-6 for practically every caliber handgun that I shoot.
I like Unique, it has been around for about as long as the 1911 so I would say it has withstood the test of time. The formula was changed slightly a couple decades ago to make it a bit cleaner burning, but I doubt it will be discontinued. I have heard good things about BE-86, but I don't like change.
For strictly range use, W231 will do. I find it's a little more "forgiving" when working up loads due to the spread on charge weights. Some powders have a really narrow window on load data, while W231 can run as much as 3 grains from min to max.
Extreme makes good bullets. Their playing is almost as good as a jacket. Much harder than Berry's plating. Rainier is a close second to Extreme IMO. Not that Berry's bullets are bad, but you have to make extra sure you bell the case mouth enough it slips in easy. I've cut my fair share of Berry's bullets while trying to seat them...
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