Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby JamesDuncan » Mon, 04 Jan 2016 03:11:28

Hi - Any suggestions for reloading powder? Is there a site or FAQ for various powders and their attributes?

A friend of mine inherited his dad's reloading materials and tools. We figured we'd give it a try on some .45's and .223's he has.

Preferences:
- Ultra-low residue is most important (he said he hates dirty powders)
- Safe storage/stable
- Appropriate for 45ACP 185g 4.5" barrel and .223/5.56 55g with 16" barrel


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Re: Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby M1A4ME » Mon, 04 Jan 2016 07:11:30

Shooting guns gets them dirty. He'll have to get used to that. Are some powders dirtier than others? I've read that, but the gun still has to be cleaned. I've always found .223's more time consuming/difficult to clean that .30 caliber rifles. No idea why, just takes more brush strokes, more patches, more time, if you really want the barrel spotlessly clean.

For .223 Rem. my favorite powder (most accurate loads) has been with IMR4198 powder. I've never loaded anything heavier than 62 grain bullets, so far. I have also used TAC, H322, H335, W748, IMR3031, and BLC2. TAC gave me some accurate loads in my 16" barreled carbine but in the cold of a January day, those loads would not operate correctly in my 20" barreled AR15 rifle.

For the .45 acp you've got a bunch of powders that will work. I'll lay of on that one though, because I don't load 185 grain bullets. I mostly only load 230 grain bullets.

Light and fast is okay in a rifle, but the .45 acp is better with heavy bullets, in my opinion.


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Re: Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby JamesDuncan » Mon, 04 Jan 2016 21:21:00

Thanks for the advice -- will further investigate the powder you suggested for 223s.
- Is there a local (to Richmond) retailer (or two) who generally carry it?
- What primers do you use with the powder? How much do they matter?

I found this burn-rate comparison: http://www.reloadersnest.com/burnrates.asp

It doesn't seem to have quantified data, but the relative comparison was interesting. Does your experience agree with it?

Conceptually, would it be safe to assume that powders with similar burn rates should generate similar results (and require similar primers, if that's a factor) as the IMR4198?


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Re: Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby Palladin » Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:33:35

Assume nothing when it comes to powders.

Get up to date reloading manuals from the manufacturers and follow the workup data.


You'll live longer and retain more working parts. :friends:
Now is the time for all good men to get off their rusty dustys...


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Re: Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby JamesDuncan » Tue, 05 Jan 2016 00:50:06

Palladin wrote:Assume nothing when it comes to powders.
Get up to date reloading manuals from the manufacturers and follow the workup data.
You'll live longer and retain more working parts. :friends:


Hah! Sage advice. Do the reloading manuals include primer recommendations?

Thanks!


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Re: Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby M1A4ME » Tue, 05 Jan 2016 08:23:28

I've used Federal small rifle primers and Tula small rifle primers for my .223/AR15 loads.

I've used a little of everything for the .45 ACP loads, Federal, CCI, Winchester large pistol primers.

There is also reloading data available on the internet from the powder manufacturers. Look up the Hogden web site, the Accurate Arms web site, the Alliant web site, the Ramshot web site. They'll have recommended loads for their powders in the popular calibers (and many not so popular calibers). Also, I've found reloading data on some bullet maker web sites. I got my (so far) most accurate .40 S&W loads from the Nosler web site (I use 135 grain .40 S&W hollow points from Nosler).

You should still buy/refer to reloading manuals as there is lots of information in them on safety, technique, trouble shooting, etc., as well as the reloading data itself.

There are reasons for not starting out with the maximum load listed in the data. Your gun is different. Even if the same brand/caliber, because of manufacturing tolerances/quality spec. ranges/variances. Just as two seemingly identical guns taken from the rack at the store will shoot differently, they can show pressure problems on one gun but be fine in the other one. Therefore the often given advice about using the starting loads listed in the data and working your way up while checking for accuracy, reliability and pressure signs.

For what it's worth, my most accurate loads are almost always 150 to 200 feet per second below the maximum loads listed in the manuals. I'll take group size over velocity every time.

Reloading isn't hard to do, once you learn how to do it safely. Don't let other things distract you while reloading. Check/recheck/check again while reloading. Inspecting YOUR product at the various stages of the reloading process will help insure your ammo is safe, reliable and accurate.

Brass - inspect it before cleaning. Toss out anything with cracks/splits. Inspect again after resizing (sometimes it will crack/split in the resizing die - if it's quiet, no distractions, you may even hear the little clicking noise when the neck splits/cracks, I have). I inspect again after seating the primer, to insure the primer is seated correctly. Bottle necked brass (like your .223) needs to be trimmed/chamfered to stay within specified limits (see the reloading data) or you'll have pressure problems if brass gets too long. After trimming it's got to be chamfered inside and outside to remove the sharp edges trimming leaves.

Powder charge - I use a small bright flashlight to look down in every case to do a visual inspection to insure I don't have a case with too little or too much powder (yeah, if held at the right angle, with a good light, in a loading block holding 50 cases, you'll be amazed at what your eyes can pick up concerning light/heavy charges. I still weigh 5 charges out of every 50, just to make sure the powder meter isn't drifting off it's setting. I use old plastic pistol cartridge holders (from the boxes of pistol ammo you buy at the store) to hold the 50 cases while dropping the powder charges into them.

Seating bullets - cartridge overall length is important for several reasons. The shells you make have to fit the magazine and they have to feed from the magazine into the chamber and they have to properly fit the chambers (or you can have pressure problems or accuracy problems). You'll need a caliper to measure overall cartridge length.

Oh, I don't crimp .223 brass. I do, slightly, crimp .45 acp brass. Again, lots of information in the reloading manuals about how, why, etc. No problems asking questions here and on other forums, but (for me anyway) keeping every thing straight and organized in my head, or in this post isn't easy. The reloading manuals are thought out, written by several people working together, and reviewed/revised for accuracy prior to being printed. I've got around six of them. Hornday, Sierra, Speer (2), Lee and Lyman (my favorite).

Good luck, reloading is a rewarding hobby. Done correctly it can make your rifles/handguns more accurate. It can insure you have ammo when you can't find it in the stores. It teaches you more about your guns and your ability to use them.


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Re: Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby jdonovan » Fri, 08 Jan 2016 19:51:27

JamesDuncan wrote:Hi - Any suggestions for reloading powder? Is there a site or FAQ for various powders and their attributes?


get your suggestions from a reloading manual vs. random internet advice

I offer a reloading FAQ in the form of the NRA Metallic cartridge reloading class. Seriously its a 8 hour day and there isn't as much in the class as the instructors would like, but the class has to be short enough that people will sign up and take it.

I will do a private class for 2-4 people if you want. PM me for details.

- Ultra-low residue is most important (he said he hates dirty powders)


generally faster powders are less dirty, but not always.

- Safe storage/stable


all powders available to the home reloader are this

- Appropriate for 45ACP 185g 4.5" barrel and .223/5.56 55g with 16" barrel


2 very diferent powders will be needed. Many good choices are on the market.


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Re: Powder for Reloading 45ACP and .223s

Postby noylj » Fri, 08 Jan 2016 23:12:29

>Preferences:
- Ultra-low residue is most important (he said he hates dirty powders)
- Safe storage/stable
- Appropriate for 45ACP 185g 4.5" barrel and .223/5.56 55g with 16" barrel

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Preferences:
- Ultra-low residue is most important (he said he hates dirty powders)
- Safe storage/stable
- Appropriate for 45ACP 185g 4.5" barrel and .223/5.56 55g with 16" barrel

I have never found any powder so much dirtier than another that I noticed anything. I have never had a gun fail to function due to powder "dirt" and I have shot whole seasons of IPSC, Bullseye, steel and plates without cleaning the gun--and most of that was with Unique or Bullseye.
Does any one care about ACCURACY when comparing powders, or only cleanliness?
Most guns that have had issues with being dirty were caused by too much lubricant forming mud in the gun from oil and soot, and not simply dirty powder.
Next, not to be mean, but READ A COUPLE OF MANUALS. They list lots of appropriate powders, with load data, for a lot of different cartridges.
Currently, you need to make a list of applicable powders and buy whatever you can find from that list. Powders just aren't that available since the American voter had a severe case of explosive diarrhea about 7 years ago.
All powders store the same. All powders have almost the exact same chemicals in them--the difference is the proportions and the kernel shape. I am currently using powders I purchased in the '70s and they are same as when I bought them.
Powders? Not the same for both cartridges.
.45 Auto is a low pressure pistol cartridge that works best with very fast pistol and shotgun powders, such as:
Bullseye (Alliant)
Solo 1000 (Accurate)
Red Dot (Alliant)
Titegroup (Hodgdon)
No. 2 (Accurate)
American Select (Alliant)
Clays (Hodgdon)
N320 (Vihtavuori)
Competition (Ramshot)
WST (Winchester)
HP38/231 (Hodg. & Win)
Zip (Ramshot)
Green Dot (Alliant)
AA5 (Accurate)
Unique (Alliant)
Universal Clays (Hodgdon)

.223 Rem is a high pressure, small case rifle cartridge that works best with moderate burn rate rifle powders, such as:
Hodgdon H322 (about as fast as will work well)
Hodgdon H335
TAC
Accurate Arms 2230
IMR IMR 8208 XBR
Hodgdon H4895
IMR IMR 4895
IMR IMR4320
Varget
IMR IMR 4064
Accurate Arms 2520
Winchester 748
Hodgdon BL-C(2)
Hodgdon H380


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