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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I’m getting ready to put my spent brass to good use and reload it and was looking for opinions from people who reload for it. I’m going to use 230 gr pills, mixed brass, not sure on primers and was looking to what powder to use. I’m looking for a good clean burning powder that can push it safely at about 850 to 900 fps, out of a standard 1911, but also be safe out of my 3inch 1911 as well. I know I won’t get the higher velocity with the shorter barrel but o well. So I’m just really looking for powder recommendations and primer suggestions.
 

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I load 200gr Bear Creek SWC's on top of 5.4grains of Winchester 231. Way cleaner than any factory ammo out there. I'd have to check my data sheets for the fps but they make Major power factor. (velocity x weight / 1000). Mine come out to 167.
 

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I use 6.5gr of Unique, 230gr FMJ-RN, and standard large pistol primers for 850FPS w/o any pressure signs. I have gone as high as 6.9gr w/o pressure signs but the 6.5gr load is a lot more comfortable to shoot.

Old Unique leaves a lot of carbon everywhere but the formula has been changed and it is now much cleaner.
 

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I use 6.5gr of Unique, 230gr FMJ-RN, and standard large pistol primers for 850FPS w/o any pressure signs. I have gone as high as 6.9gr w/o pressure signs but the 6.5gr load is a lot more comfortable to shoot.

Old Unique leaves a lot of carbon everywhere but the formula has been changed and it is now much cleaner.
That is the exact load I have been using for about 20 years. I also have a small batch of 6.7grn Unique loads with 230grn HP bullets, but I just stick with the mild recoiling 6.5grn load for the FMJ's.

I have tried W231 and WST, neither of which gave me the velocity I was getting with Unique. WST is as clean burning as they come, you may be able to try it and find success.
 

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Is this for a plinking load or a self defense type thing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Target, plinking and possible competition when I start doing that. I buy my SD ammo; I don’t want some lawsuit saying I intentionally made a bullet deadlier.
 

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If using a standard 1911, try 7 grains of Silhouette or 7.1 grains of HS-6 under a 230 grain LRN. Incredibly clean burning and very accurate. If using in a short barrelled, stick with the HS-6. Despite it's being billed as a no-flash powder, in a short barrelled weapon the Silhouette gives a pretty good muzzle flash.
 

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231 has been my powder of choice for 45 ACP for over 30 years. Clean burning and will generate the fps you want. WST is also good but I use it for lighter SWC loads. HS6 will push the 230 JHP's to a good velocity. See your load manuals.
 

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5.0-5.4 grains of W-231 under a 230gr FMJ RN should function fine in any 1911. W-231 meters very evenly IME. One thing to be aware of is that W-231 tends to burn cleaner with hotter loads. It works fine for light target loads too - just not as clean.

5.4-5.8 grains of W-231 under a 200gr lead SWC makes a great target load. You'll save a LOT of money on bullets buying high quality lead. However, try to find one that actually is shaped like the H&G #68 mold like the ones from PENN BULLETS. I learned the hard way that not all 200gr SWC bullets are shaped the same! (Rainier 200gr plated SWC being a prime example - narrower cone with sharper shoulders at the nose => more jams)

I haven't tried it but have been told that Power Pistol is a great powder for full-house .45 ACP loads. (FMJ bullets only)
 

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Don't use hand loads for self defense. Ask any criminal defense attorney, or look up Massad Ayob's writings on the subject.
Use the same bullet weight (and jacketed or not) and tailor your hand loads for practice to match the velocity of your chosen factory defensive ammo.
+1 on the Win 231. Titegroup powder works well for me.
 

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Found this current thread on the 1911forum. Good info there IMHO.
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=355219

Sorry to stray off topic, but it has been suggested that Mr. Ayob's writings on the subject of handloads for self-defense might be motivated in part by his affiliation with one or more self-defense ammunition manufacturers. As many threads as I've read on this topic, no one has ever produced a single example of a justified self-defense shooting where handloads became an issue. Especially if you could document that all you did was duplicate a particular commercial self-defense load. How is carrying Buffalo Bore .38 Special +P any less "I'm a gung ho gun nut" than loading your own? Just sayin'
 
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What is portrayed in a courtroom can deviate profoundly from the stark pragmatics of self defense. Justified can look very different from the defender to the officer on scene to the district attorney.
The perspective of someone who practices law can be vastly more concise on how this actually works in practice than any forum information will be likely to be.
If you believe Ayob's mercenary inference, by all means consult a local attorney with a criminal defense track record. Among all the variables, locale can be a major factor.
 

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Vihta Vuori is pretty clean burning powder
and it meters well in my Dillon.


I'm using N340 for .45 ACP on soft loads, probably better to get the faster burning N330 for hotter loads..

but i reload for practice, i keep factory ball stocked for the rest.
 

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For years I used Unique loads if for nothing else it worked and kept the number of pistol powders I needed to stock. I've gone as high as 7.5 grains using a Berry's 200 g RN plated.

Some dirt but acceptable. I find anything behind a lead bullet is going to be dirty as the lube is a major factor in that.

When the Unique ran out two weeks ago I picked up a pound of Titegroup. as my loads don't have to be the fastest, it seems to work fine with less dirt left over. I use Berry's 185 g. HBRN with a 5.2 g powder charge. The OAL loaded length equals the more standard 230 FMJ.

After the Titegroup experiment is over, I'm going to try 231. My only concern with Titegroup as it seems to be with others is the increased chance of a double load due to the small amount of space taken up in the case. I have to add a additional dose of caution when I'm loading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you everyone I think I will be going with WIN-231 when I place my order shortly, and let me tell you this order will hurt the wallet a bit.
 
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