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45acp load recommendation for my wife

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I am wondering what loads people think are most pleasant to shoot (and make power factor without temp sensitivity).


I have been loading 230 RN with HP38, but I have run out of powder and I need to decide if I buy more HP38, or make a change.


Other powders and lead I have one hand include:




Clay Dot

230 RN

200 RNFP

180 RNFP


If none of those are preferred, I will consider any recommendations you guys have.


Thanks in advance.

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230grain bullet and about 3.8 of WST (Winchester Super target).  The absolute best 45ACP load available. The vast majority of experienced shooters use that load.  Not temp sensitive and clean shooting. Not a sharp recoil like some other powders. Use the heavy bullet as the felt recoil with it is softer than a lighter one going faster.
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I like Trailboss with 230g about 4 grains will put you at 700 fps.  4.5 listed as max lists at 750.  Should be comfortable over of minimum.


Cutting it close you could go with 5 grains listed as max with a 180g bullet.  Never personally chrono but Hogdon lists that at 850 fps.


200g with around 5.5 lists at 816.  I have tried that but man is that case really full.  Dropping to 5gr  should still provide plenty.

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Load your RN (or RNFP) bullet correctly so you don't leave part of the driving band sticking out above the mouth of the case.  Only the rounded (ogive) section of the bullet nose should be above the case mouth.


Then taper crimp to a finished OD of about 0.472" right at the case mouth.


Then GAUGE in a loaded ammo gauge (or in a pinch, in your barrel taken out of gun) so every round fits in the chamber.  If you have any that don't, correct your die settings (and components) until you have perfect feeding and chambering ammo.


Chrono your loads before going to any major match, too, so you (she) won't get a surprise with a load that fails to make 150 PF as an absolute minimum.  Best to load for about 162 PF as a safety margin.


Since our ammo power factors are lower than what the factories usually spring the 1911 for, this does give you the opportunity to make the 1911 easier to rack the slide, if your wife would like that.  For our 160 PF loads, the mainspring (inside the mainspring housing at back side of lower grip frame) can be lightened to about 17 or 19 pounds (from the factory 23 pounds), the recoil spring can be lightened to 15 (or even 14) pounds, and the firing pin stop can be rounded on the bottom edge (or a replacement purchased with a rounded bottom edge), all of which make the 1911 less challenging for some women to rack the slide, which we have to do at least twice a stage. 


If that pistol is still going to carried for "serious purposes" and practice fired a lot with factory loads,  though, you may just wish to leave the factory springs in it.


As for a powder that is temperature stable, I'd recommend Clay Dot from Alliant.  WST is pretty good at being temperature stable, too, but it is slightly weaker when HOT weather sets in - the reverse profile for temperature sensitivity from most other powders, which are cold-weak.  If you are running loads that are Wild Bunch compliant, you WILL NOT have anywhere as much problem with cold weather as much weaker SASS cowboy loads often do.


Good luck, GJ

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