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Old September 3, 2012, 07:22 AM   #1
dwpmusic
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Question From New Reloader On Powder Charges

Been lurking on the forum for quite some time. I'm a new to handloading and just got set up with a new Dillon550B press. I'm just currently loading for .45ACP and would like to ask a question about powder charges. I'm currently using Winchester 231 and 230gr FMJ bullets. I'm loading between 5.2gr and 5.5gr. Does this sound OK? My new Lyman manual lists 5.2-5.8gr but the new Speer #14 lists 5.6-6.2gr. Do any of you guys load .45ACP using Win231? Just want to be safe. I've shot some of my reloads using 5.5gr and everything seemed to be OK but some of the people at the range said that was way to hot. Leaves a newbie rather confused. All replies appreciated.
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:40 AM   #2
steve4102
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231 is very popular in the 45 acp. You will get a lot of responses here.

Sierra #5 list 1.270 inches with 5.7gr as Max.

Hornady #7 lists 1.230 inches with 5.7gr as Max

Speer #13 lists 1.260 inches with 6.2gr as Max

Hodgdon lists 1.2 (Flat Point) inches with 5.3gr as Max

You are up there, but no way your are "Way to Hot" as the Range people have said.
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:50 AM   #3
kron
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+1 to what Steve said.

Your load looks to be around 800-850fps depending on which load book I look at. That's not what I'd call a hot load. Sounds pretty good.
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Old September 3, 2012, 08:23 AM   #4
SL1
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Winchester Data

An old Winchester reloading pamphlet dated 3/80 lists 5.6 grains of THEIR 231 with THEIR 230 grain FMJs, giving 17,000 CUP and 765 fps out of a 5" barrel. Their COL "maximum" was 1.275", but it is not clear if the COL used to actually shoot these data was that long. Of course, they also used Winchester primers, but it is not clear whether the formulation of Winchester primers has remained unchanged for the past 32 years.

So, there is data with the actual bullet and powder combination that you are using which indicates that you are not maxed out with your charge.

You say that your handloads are shooting fine, which I assume means that they feed and eject reliably. So unless the ejected brass seem to go much farther than brass ejected from Winchester's factory loads, I would say that all indications are that your handloads are right where they are supposed to be.

Maybe the guys at the range were thinking about loads for 230 grain lead target bullets?

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Old September 3, 2012, 08:35 AM   #5
steve4102
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Quote:
Maybe the guys at the range were thinking about loads for 230 grain lead target bullets?

SL1
Maybe, but even at that his load would not be "Way to Hot" as Hodgdon lists 5.3gr as Max for 230gr lead and Lyman 4th list 5.5gr as max.
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Old September 3, 2012, 09:26 AM   #6
SL1
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I probably should have been more clear and said "target loads with lead bullets", where the idea is to get recoil down as well as find the accuracy sweet spot.

And, I was also trying to be charitable (to the guys at the range). And provide the OP with some "discussion points" for use in future conversations with those same guys.

But, that said, there are some guys whom you might encounter at ranges who are just COMPELLED to tell you that you are doing something wrong if you are a handloader. I don't spend much time having "discussions" with that type.

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Old September 3, 2012, 10:54 AM   #7
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Everything looks good to me.

That's like the guys at the last Steel Challenge I shot in with my 9mm. I was using a OAL of 1.164 (115gr FMJ RN) over 5.9 grains of Unique. They said that was way too hot to, but in my manuals I was no where near max load. I was in the upper end but not near max. I would say with guys like that, just shake your head and then go about your business. They don't know what they are talking about unless they were there with you when you read the manuals to get your powder info and then they watched you load your rounds.

Take it with a grain of salt and just keep doing what your doing. Be safe and have fun.
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Old September 3, 2012, 01:39 PM   #8
dwpmusic
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Thanks for all the replies, guys. With SAFETY being my utmost concern it is a little disconcerting to find different recipes with every loading manual you pick up. I'm right in the middle with Lyman #49 and only .1gr over Speer's starting load if I'm remembering correctly. Being new to this, I tend to say Whoaa!. Let's look at this further. Oh, by the way, I am using Winchester's bullets, primers and of course their powder. Just got my ProDigital chrono in so I'm off to the range either tomorrow or Wednesday to see what they're doing. Taking some loaded with 5.2gr and some with 5.5gr and also some WWB just to see what factory ammo is doing. Thanks again for the posts. I'll keep you informed.
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Old September 3, 2012, 05:14 PM   #9
mboylan
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You generally see different loads in different manuals because they are for different bullet profiles. Bullet profile becomes an issue once you move above mid-range loads. That makes it really important to work loads up in small increments and look for pressure signs.
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:20 PM   #10
dwpmusic
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Well, I called myself trying to obtain data on the same bullet, 230gr FMJ or TMJ. I feel pretty confident in what I'm using after the posts here, 5.5gr Win231. I just want to see what the chrono has to say about 5.2 gr and 5.5 gr. Also what WWB 230gr FMJ is putting out. I've shot a bunch of that stuff. Helped keep Wally World in business buying that ammo . It's fun, albeit somewhat frustrating, trying to learn. Thanks for your post.
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Old September 3, 2012, 07:33 PM   #11
Nathan
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Well, Hodgden says 4.3 - 5.3 gr. I don't find their data too conservative or too hot. Their OAL is 1.200" which is usually short for me. This is for LRN or FP FMJ bullets.

If not sure of OAL, I would load 10 at 4.8 gr at OAL's of 1.2, 1.22, 1.24, 1.26 and 1.27. Then plunk test all of them. If they all pass, shoot them all. If you have any FTF's or FTE's, in a good gun, they are due to the action speed being wrong due to the load pressure and more importantly the OAL. You will likely get a range like 1.22 - 1.26 which work fine. I would choose 1.23 - 1.26 based on experience with my gun. Not knowing your gun, I would lean long since the pressure will be higher when you get your full house loads in the gun. So, I would be thinking ~ 1.25. Your gun, you will have to prove it out.

Then, with an OAL which works like 1.25", I would make loads from 4.3 - 5.3. I would probably make 4 loads for 45ACP. 4.3, 4.5, 5.0 and 5.3. If these were all fine and 5.3 was the most accurate, then and only then I would try another set of 4 like 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5. I would exceed the max slightly looking for the load which gets slightly worse accuracy, flattens primers or exceeds the load manuals max velocity adjusted for barrel length and my gun vs published velocity.

So, basically I'm saying exceeding the manuals max load is not good, unless you have a couple of ways to detect over pressure and have some reason to believe you can like your OAL being longer, other higher published charges, or you have something fundamentally stronger like a bolt action 45 ACP, Ruger 45 ACP revolver, T/C in 45 ACP.

BTW, the range guys sound like us. . .full of hot air sometimes. Without knowing your gun, primer reads, velocities, accuracy, etc, anybody is just guessing.
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Old September 3, 2012, 10:18 PM   #12
dwpmusic
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Thanks for the post, Nathan. I'm shooting a Gock 26 and a Glock 21.
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Old September 5, 2012, 09:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
target loads with lead bullets",

I use 230 LRN all the time and a max charge of 5.8 gr of 231 is more accurate in my gun than the 5.5 load which I use as a standard load. Just depends on the gun I suppose.

Don't let other people tell you it's too hot. It may be for them, but is it for you? That's whats important.
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Old September 5, 2012, 10:17 AM   #14
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Follow your manuals and ignore the guys at the range. Guys at the range are little different than getting marriage advice form guys at the bar.
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Old September 9, 2012, 08:51 AM   #15
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Perfect.

W231 is IMO the singular 45 ACP powder choice: Works with bullets of every contruction and weight; allows low, medium, and higher-performance loading; stable enough, clean enough, low-flash enough; economical; data (well-proven through time) everywhere; accurate.

Your loads are fine.



The "recipes" you mentioned are individual in nature, based ONLY and SPECIFICALLY on the exact component lots, tooling, test platform and test equipment.
They are "recipes" for THOSE GUNS ONLY.

Your gun, your stuff, is different. So use data as a guide only, not as a recipe.
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Old September 13, 2012, 08:45 AM   #16
dwpmusic
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I went to the range yesterday and ran 200 more rounds through my Glock 36. They were 5.2gr Win 231 and 230gr FMJ Winchester bullet and primer. Every single one performed perfectly and for me they were accurate. I used the chrono again and got an average of 749fps. For my money I think I'll stick with it. Recoil was not bad. I think that's hot enough for me. The steel plates were falling when I could hit them. As always, I feel like it's me that needs adjusting rather than the gun or ammo.

Now, here's another question for the experts. I happen to have 250rds of Nosler 230gr #44964 FMJ-FP bullets. Only info I can find on that type of bullet is in the new Hornady book which is giving a OAL of 1.200 That seems awfully short to me. I loaded two dummy rounds without doing anything to my seating die and got 1.230 and 1.232. Would .032in make that much of a difference? Could I safely shoot these at this OAL? On my 230gr FMJ RN I'm averaging between 1.260 and 1.270. Any thoughts.
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Old September 13, 2012, 09:23 AM   #17
tkglazie
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I load my 230gr FMJ over 5.1gr of HP38/W231 at 1.255" and get 750fps with good accuracy, minimal recoil. Looks like our numbers match up pretty closely. glad you found a load that works for you.
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Old September 13, 2012, 10:13 AM   #18
dwpmusic
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Man, we're really close. Glad it works for both of us. I plan on staying with this load.
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Old September 16, 2012, 03:54 PM   #19
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How can we tell?

Without knowing your OAL there is no way to tell if it is a good load or not. OAL dictates pressure just as does bullet weight and powder charge. Start at the recommended minimums and work up, observing the OAL given in the manual.
Win231/HP38 is an excellent powder for 45. 45ACP is a pretty forgiving cartridge and one of the easier reloads to make. Good luck.
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Old September 16, 2012, 04:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
...a OAL of 1.200 That seems awfully short to me.
Well, it is a FP profile, so it is not unusual to see a shorter OAL.

Seating to a longer OAL won't increase pressure, but you may have feeding or chambering problems.

Did you try making up a couple of dummy rounds for the "plunk test" in your barrel? Comparing the base of the cartridge against the hood of the barrel is a good check for "will it chamber", plus the "plunk" noise means the mouth of the cartridge is hitting the end of the chamber instead of the bullet hitting the rifling...

One common practice is to keep a couple of dummy rounds for each bullet type you shoot, as an aid in setting up your seating die. (Adjust the FP or RN seating stem until it just touches the dummy round...and that's close to what you want to use to seat that profile bullet in a charged case.)
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