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Most accurate .45 ACP powder?

32530 Views 53 Replies 39 Participants Last post by  Gammon
I shoot USPSA (IPSC) and though the 50 yard targets are becoming rare, I'd like to know that the powder I use in my .45 ACP reloads will make those loads as accurate as reasonably possible in case a 50 yard stage pops up. (accuracy is like money: you can never have too much).

Bullet I use is a Zero brand, 230 grain RN FMJ. I use Federal Large Pistol Primers. 1.260" OAL.

Candidates include:

Vihta Vouri N-310
regular Clays from Hodgdon
Winchester 231 or HP 38
Solo 1000 (if there is safe data out there. I use it for skeet).
Accurate No. 2 improved
Red Dot

What others should this list include? Which powder, in your experience, will yeild the best accuracy?

Best regards,

D.C. Johnson
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I have recently begun to use VV N-310 and like it for how clean it shoot and low comparative recoil.
VV-N320 for .45 and .38Spl. Very clean, consistent and accurate.
AA#5 is a surprisingly good powder. 8.6gr and a Nolsler 185JHP makes a great target load. You also can load up to standard pressures and +P with very good accuracy.

Also, I still use Bullseye. It is very dirty, but performs the best with 200gr lead swc.

Found a dealer in Indianapolis...

Thank you,

I will try some.

231 if you ask the right questions of the right people 231 meeters better through the powder measure of a Dillon 550B
Thanks, I almost forgot about Unique!!! I've used Unique prob 4to1 (#'s) over everything I've tried.
You know, you're happy and satisfied and then somebody says that this OTHER powder is the best thing this "side of sliced bread" -and then you have to go out and buy one. That's why I haven't used Unique in about a year. I'M USING EVERYTHING ELSE, UP JUST TO GET RID OF THE CLUTTER IN MY POWDER BOX. In the last month or so I've finished up HS-6, Univ Clays, and Titegroup.
I'll keep Unique for most loads, Clays for my lite (copper plated) loads for cleanliness (Wife likes those), and Power Pistol for the hot stuff and 45 Super. Tracy
Hey N310 guys, have you found the powder to be smokey? I heard that it leaves a cloud, but have not tried the powder myself (yet).
I use VV N-310 with jacketed bullets and don't find it to be smokey at all. I assume you are not using lead bullets that are lubed? If you are I think you will find any powder to be smokey.
The best I have found in my PII is bullseye. Yes it is dirty, yes it can be triple charged (which I hate), yes it requires a bit of finesse to load such small charges. BUT, it is dang accurate and very reliable.
It's not the Powder...it's the powder measure......!

The question here is..."which powder is the most accurate".....

Personally I don't believe any one powder is more accurate then another, I believe the more important issue here is..."how accurately does your powder measure dispense the powder you're using".

All powder measures are designed differently, and therefore work differently with various powders. Your particular measure might dispense WW231 to .001 of a grain every time, but load it with 700-X, and the powder drop could vary greatly. This will lead to the illussion that 700-X is inaccurate because your "fps" will vary greatly, and so will your accuracy.

All modern "name brand" smokeless powders have been engineered to perform with the greatest of consistency, no one is really more accurate than the other. They all leave a certain amount of soot on your gun...(abate, some more than others)....but the real issue is how your powder measure dispenses the powder you use with consistency, and not the actual brand of powder itself.

(this of course is assuming that you are using a powder designed for the caliber and bullet you are reloading, and not trying to stuff a rifle powder into a 9mm casing)

Just my point of view....YMMV
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my reality

In my limited experience I've found that regardless of powder being weighed or 'measured' (sixteen powder measures, except I just sold four) some powders are more accurate than others.
I test through numerous same-caliber guns.

My results often mimicked others; certain powders act differently in regards to accuracy.

I currently use:

Blue Dot
Power Pistol
Universal Clays
AA2 Improved

(currently out of AA7, 2400)

go ahead; ask me what I use most
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The longest distance I've verified my 45 ACP loads on paper is 25 yards. In the Kimber & Springer, I usually can print 3/4" groups off of a rest. I have freehand shot at steel targets at 100 yards and was reasonably pleased.

I have found Titegroup to be the best performer in MY barrels with MY bullets. As many a wise man has stated here, YMMV.

In my testing, I've found 231, Bullseye, & AA5 are a close 2nd, some very close.

I feel once you get to the level of loading that attempts MOA groups at 50 yards, it becomes a "gun thang."
Gary1911A1 said:
I use VV N-310 with jacketed bullets and don't find it to be smokey at all. I assume you are not using lead bullets that are lubed? If you are I think you will find any powder to be smokey.
I shoot Lazercast 200gr SWCs. The reason I ask about VV powder, is because a local IPSC shooter once told me that he tried a keg of N310 because of the rave reviews, and found that it was smokey-----and was a real pain when shooting through culverts, etc. I was just trying to see of anyone else had his experiences.
Vihta Vouri N 310....

is my absolute favorite powder for IPSC .45 ACP loads. I aim for about 170 power factor out a 5" 1911 or a 5" S&W 625. I use a 230 gr. FMJ bullet at 1.26" COL and about 4.4 gr. of N 310. Low recoil impulse and non-smokey.

OK, WESHOOT2, I'll bite - what powder do you use the most?
NO BEST powder, BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I recently started using VV310.

Aside from the price,
I really like the performance with 185 to 200 gr loads.
Thats all I've tested with it so far.

I think that if it was more universally available you would get more positive reactions.

Funny that the Army and Marine Corps competition teams use it.

Thats a hint!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I have found Clays to be very accurate with most bullet weights in moderate loads. Usually somewhere in the 3.7-4.2 range depending on weight and the velocity you are looking for. It meters very accuratly with my Dillon 550, and shoots very soft and clean. Probably not the best choice for full power loads, but an excellent choice for light to mid range laods.
I use a pile of aa2 surplus its been real accurate fairly clean and its cheap! i shoot a pile of 45s and the savings helps. To be honest though ive got quite a few .45s and every gun has a different preference for powders and bullets when it comes to there best groups and the only way your going to find out which yours likes is to buy a bunch and try them.
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