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First Time Reloader Results

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dsa1115, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. dsa1115


    Sep 22, 2010
    Suburban Chicago
    I made my first reloads over the weekend in .45 ACP, and went shooting this morning with my brand new G21 gen4, and my Colt Combat Elite. Anyway, my first reloads were with Unique, and I was loading Hornady 230 grain ball and Hornady 185 grain XTP's.

    I started with a soft load using the 230 ball with 5.2 grains of Unique, and a OAL of 1.25. I also tested these bullets with 6.0 grains of Unique and a OAL of 1.25. These all shot fine and seemed to be quite mild.

    Finally I tried the 185 XTP's with 7.5 grains of Unique with a OAL of 1.23

    All of the rounds cycled and shot very well with no FTF's or FTE's. My question is, using the 230 ball, and using the 185 XTP's.......what is the Max load using Unique? Should I keep going up in .1 increments until I see a problem case or primer deformation? How does one know max loading short of a KB?

    At 7.5 grains with the XTP's, there were no signs of overpressure and the cases looked fine.
  2. jr05


    Jun 9, 2007
    I haven't even started reloading yet, just getting my setup together so disregard if I am I very well could be.

    But it seems like you are starting on the high side for 185gr as a starting load?

    they list 8.5gr as a +P load.

    Lyman (49th) lists a starting load for these bullets at less than 5gr I believe, and max of 7.8gr ...but other sources say to stick with around 5.4gr as a min (loadmap).

    Where did you get the data for 7.5gr to start, they should have a max listed? around 1.230" COL does seem to be the seating depth recommended from what I have seen.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011

  3. sig357fan


    Apr 8, 2008
    SW OH
    first off, I don’t mean to come off as the reloading police, but for a new reloader your taking shortcuts that could get you into trouble. You really need to work up a load in small increments, say 0.2 of a grain at a time. If your looking for “ah inspiring flash and bang“, Unique and the 45 ACP aren’t the way to go, but on the other hand, if your looking for an accurate load/weapon then Unique and the 45 ACP in either a 1911 or a G21, well there may be just as good but very few better.

    Check out Alliant’s reloading guide at

    Looks like your getting close to max on both loads, I’ve always used the rule of the closer you get to max the smaller the increment of change so you may want to increase by 0.1 of a grain.

    One other thing, I very rarely find the best accuracy at a max load, usually in the ½ to ¾ range between a starting load and a max load, and I stay with in current published data.

  4. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    :goodpost: A noob loader shouldn't even be talking max loads with any powder or caliber. You just don't have the exp to interpret pressure signs & without tools like a chronograph, you are flying blind. Stick to the book loads (you do have at least two manuals right?) & w/ anything but slow powders in large cases, increase in 0.1gr increments & no more than 10rds per test lot. Things go wrong quickly ins small pistol cases with faster powders.:shocked:
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011
  5. BK63


    Sep 15, 2005
    "what is the Max load using Unique? Should I keep going up in .1 increments until I see a problem case or primer deformation? How does one know max loading short of a KB?"

    Unique is a good powder for 45. I use it all the time. But as for your questions, go by the book. Going by case bulge or a KB is not the way to tell if you put too much powder in the shell.