45 ACP IDPA loads??

This is a discussion on 45 ACP IDPA loads?? within the Cartridges & Calibers forums, part of the Sniping Related category; Looking for anyone's IDPA loads for 45 ACP. Basically, I'm looking to get a 230 gr bullet (either a FMJ or copper plated lead...but I ...

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  1. #1
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    45 ACP IDPA loads??

    Looking for anyone's IDPA loads for 45 ACP. Basically, I'm looking to get a 230 gr bullet (either a FMJ or copper plated lead...but I think thats 2 different charge weights) to fly around 800-825 FPS, burn clean, and cycle the action of my new Kimber with a 16# recoil spring. I'd rather not change the spring to a lighter one, so I'll load to a little higher speed if I have to. I'd also like to use a powder that I can load 9x19mm with a 115 gr JHP pretty hot with. I was looking at maybe using Unique to accomplish this. I know Unique in years past (from what I've read) burned pretty dirty, but also from what I've read, they've recently changed the formula just a little bit to get it to burn much cleaner. Any advice or feedback would be appreciated.

    Also, if anyone can give guidance as to whether I should use a 185 gr or 200 gr slug vs. a 230 grainer, that would be great. My current understanding is that the 185 will recoil with more "upward" force than a 230, and the 230 will recoil with more of a "rearward" force than the 185. I would think the 230 with more rearward recoil will be easier to manage for quicker follow ups than the 185's with a reported tendency to have more muzzle flip.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  2. #2
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    In case anyone was wondering, I found a load that is working pretty well so far.

    Rainier Ballistics 230gr Plated Lead Round Nose
    Assorted brass
    5.5gr Unique
    Fed LP primer
    1.250" COAL
    (AVG) 758 FPS out of a 5" 1911

    Cycles the gun every time so far (approx 80 rds) with no malfunctions of any kind.

    This loads power factor (bullet weight multiplied by velocity) is 174,340 which gives plenty of wiggle room to meet the 165,000 minimum.

  3. #3
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    just saw your post ive been thinking about getting in to IDPA sound like a good load i have a 5" xd in 45 hows the recoil
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  4. #4
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    You can bet that I'm around 100 FPS slower than most factory 230 FMJ ammunition. Recoil is mild and I'm able to get back on target a little quicker with my handloads vs factory ammo.

    I would suggest that you do a little experimenting with that load before you make a bunch of it. First of all, to make sure it will cycle your gun (it probably will, but I'd hate for ya to have 100 bullets to pull and secondly to see what sort of velocity you are getting. You must consistently have at least 717 FPS with a 230gr bullet to make Major Power Factor. Also, you may be able to go a little bit less on your powder charge. Rainier Ballistics' data sheet shows that you can go as low as 5.3gr of Unique generating 706 FPS with 12,400 PSI. Thats REALLY low pressure.

    If any of you are looking for Rainier Ballistics load data and can't find it, I have a copy of the data sheet that MidwayUSA published in 2006 on .pdf that I can email to you. PM me your email if you want this.

    Also, for those of you that don't use Unique because its dirty...I've found it cleaner than a lot of powders. Now, the only Unique that I've used is the "new and improved" clean burning version. I don't have any experience with the "old" Unique that brought a lot of complaints. The new "cleaner burning" Unique is loaded with the same data as the "old" Unique.


    **ETA**

    I've heard of a lot of folks using 200gr bullets. I don't know why, but a lot of the "pros" are saying "use 200gr bullets in your handloads". No one has bothered to explain to me why yet, but thats what they are saying. I'll shoot up the rest of my box of 1,000 230 grainers first. I've got a while to decide and learn!!

    Brian

  5. #5
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    maybe less powder used im just guessing tho....
    Cigareets and whisky and wild, wild women
    They'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqk3osxS4wQ

  6. #6
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    You would actually use MORE powder with a 200gr bullet. You'd have to drive the 200gr bullet to a minimum velocity of 825 FPS to make Major. I'm just gonna guess here, but that would require somewhere around 6.0gr Unique.

    I have no idea! I'm just gonna keep shooting the 230's for now. I've got a load that works my gun, is accurate, and with low recoil. Besides, I'm still a newbie to IDPA. Only shot 2 matches so far.

    Brian

  7. #7
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    Hodgdon Clays

    I have a Kimber Custom and reload using 230gr Hornady HAP bullets over Hodgdon Clays. The powder is very clean, recoils softly and can still make power factor. You can go to the Hodgdon site to look up the data.

    http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

  8. #8
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    Most of the heavy shooters in IDPA and USPSA use 230gr bullets in their 45 ACP loads with the 200gr bullets being the second choice. Why? I'll tell you why, recoil. A heavy bullet with fast burn rate powder is a softer recoil than a lighter bullet with fast powder. A heavy bullet with medium burn rate powder is softer than a light bullet with medium powder also, but not as soft as the faster burning powder. When asked why he shot 230gr bullets in his 45 ACP, Rob Lathem replied it was because they didn't make a heavier bullet for the 45 ACP.

    So, either bullet will get you there but you can get a 230gr bullet to shoot really soft with a fast burning powder. Unique is NOT in the top 5 choices of most competiton shooters out there. Clays, Solo 1000, N320, and Titegroup covers about 95% of the 45 shooters out there. You can't really go wrong with any of these, but Clays rules the roost for 45 ACP IMO. Solo 1000 is another great powder, especially for lead and Moly coated rounds. Since you are shooting jacketed bullets, you can get away with using Titegroup if you wanted to. Titegroup can be amazingly soft shooting and accurate as hell, but it's a high nitro based powder so it burns really (temp) hot. No biggie, but would NOT use TG with lead or moly bullets. N320 is also amazing stuff, but expensive as hell.

    If you reload for 9x19 and 40 S&W, you can use all of the above in all three calibers, but I really don't like Clays for 9 and 40 rounds. It pressure spikes pretty easy with bullet set-back in those calibers. Personally, I have gone to Solo 1000 in all three for my competition reloads. I still dabble in the others when I need to get rounds out and can't find stock. Always good to have fall-backs considering the current anorexic state of reloading stock out there.

    If you want more info, www.BrianEnos.com has a great forum for competition shooters, and there is tons of reloading info there.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member FluffyTheCat's Avatar
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    Listen to Brian Phinney.

    Use Unique. Remember that when the .45 ACP cartridge was first developed, it was first loaded with Unique and Bullseye powders.

    When loading the .45 ACP, it always pays to keep in touch with history. With the 1911 pistol, the closer you keep to the original Browning design the better you are.

    The two classic loads for the .45 ACP are:

    6 grains of Unique with the 230 grain bullet; and:
    5 grains of Bullseye with the 230 grain bullet.

    The above two loads fueled the 1911 during World War 1. So also get in touch with Alvin York and don't be a schmoe.

    Fluffy.
    I'm a genius. And you are not.

  10. #10
    Senior Member madgunsmith's Avatar
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    At the risk of suffering a severe clawing, let me say that I've used 231 in the .45 ACP. And it works very well indeed. If you have a progressive machine, you may find 231 to e smoother flowing than other powders.

    One of the great things about the .45ACP is that it works well with any reasonable powder.

    You might try 5.0 grains of 231 with the 230 grain bullet.

    Mad

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