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Old April 22, 2011, 09:33 PM   #1
Renfro
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Round 1: 1st reload both good & bad, LONG

Over all I'd say my first experience with reloading was enjoyable and I'm hooked even though I had a few set backs.
For starters I set up the dies on my lee 4 hole turret and had them all adjusted. That's cool but I had them in a CW rotation and the auto index rotates in CCW. OK, I'll just turn it by hand for this first go round.
Round 1: loading 45ACP 230 FMJ Rem. in Rem cases with 5.5gr of W231 at an OAL of 1.272. Everything went fine except for I noticed after checking a case length that measured 1.278 that I reseated a little harder with the lever. I found that depending on how hard I pushed that I could vary the OAL from 1.268 to 1.278, hmmm not cool. So I did thirty of them like this for test rounds, making sure that they ended up in that 1.272 range, I shoot a FNP 45 with 14 & 15 round clips so it doesn't take long to burn up 30. Then I move on to load a test batch of 20 berry 200gr flat nose. I noticed that when I was setting the seat depth for these that the seating die was cripming the shell DEEPLY into the bullet. On initial set up I turned out the bullet seating die 1 turn as stated in the turret press directions but if your read the die directions it says three turns, pay attention. So after readjusting, reorientated the dies, adding the auto index, pulling all the FMJ bullets that ended up having a crimp in them that I could catch a finger nail in I redid them all. 30 fmj & 20 flat nose plated.

The 30 FMJ 230 worked out great, they cycled no problem and made about 3" groups at 8yds and probably could have done better with a better shooter. The only thing that I noticed was some unburned powder in the shell and in the barrel, but when looking at some factory ammo the difference wasn't much.

The berry's 200 gr (5.5 W231 @ 1.233") however didn't do so well. They chambered like butter but they wouldn't move the slide enough to cycle the next round and stovepiped, I even had one of them just stay in the chamber. How can I correct this problem and get them to work [U]safely[U]. Should I decreases OAL, up the crimp just a lil' even though there just plated or up the powder charge, max by Lyman for 200 lead is 6.1gr I believe for w231. One note, there was black on casing coming from the mouth but only on one half of the shell in a U shape with the Berrys only but note with the 230 FMJ. I did see the same markings a few days prior on a friends FNP shooting Win. white box but they cycled fine.

Thanks in advance
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Old April 22, 2011, 10:13 PM   #2
Gerry
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Limp wristing sometimes only shows its effect with softer loads, resulting in stovepipes. I once tried to make my wife some very powder-puff loads, and she would get a stovepipe every second round while I could shoot magazine after magazine and have them cycle perfectly. 2/10ths of a grain more was all it needed with 9mm to solve the stovepiping issue for her.

How do the fired cases look? They're expanding properly without obvious signs of leakage?

Then again, perhaps your gun is fairly new and tight. A really good tight slide to frame fit will make it more difficult to cycle, as will strong springs. Both problems can be solved by exercising the gun with slightly bigger loads. After shooting a few hundred rounds, the softer loads may end up working fine. So don't pull them yet if you made lots.

I'd try working up the load a little and keep the OAL and crimp the same. Changing the crimp with a .45 ACP wouldn't help your problem anyway. Just try a couple more loads, perhaps 2/10th of a grain more and a few 4/10ths of a grain more. You'll still be under max according to the figures you gave. Often just a couple tenths makes an incredible difference with cycling.
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Old April 22, 2011, 10:22 PM   #3
Renfro
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I don't think that I am limp wristing it, I've got some good gripers from workin on heavy machinery.
The gun however is rather new with only 300rds threw it.
I'm using the autodisk powder thrower and I can't step it up 2/10ths without the multi disk set up which I was planning on gettin.
Luckly I've only loaded up a few like this so not much of a loss.
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Old April 23, 2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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I'm a little surprised the 5.5/231 load did not cycle the slide, but the gun is new. I would bump up the charge and try again as 231 has proven to be a good power for 45 ACP for me over the past 40 or so years. I used 5.6/231 with the Hornady match 200 SWC @ 1.22" OAL in several 1911's. The black on the casing means the fired rounds was not expanding enough to seal the chamber, meaning only that it's a light load in your gun, not a problem. Upping the charge should get rid of that.
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Old April 23, 2011, 04:39 PM   #5
Renfro
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Thanks for the input, much apperciated. I think I'll bump it up a little.
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Old April 24, 2011, 08:35 PM   #6
orionengnr
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My 200 gr SWCs at 1.240 - 1.245 work fine in my 3"/ 4"/ 5" 1911s with 5.0 gr 231...
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Old April 24, 2011, 11:04 PM   #7
Doodlebugger45
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Yep, increase the charge for the lighter bullet. You should get the adjustable charge bar rather than mess with double disks. Much easier to adjust whatever powder charge you want.
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Old April 26, 2011, 06:32 PM   #8
Renfro
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I raised the charge for the 200 gr flat nose and all 11 cycled the slide and fed with no problem. One thing though I seemed to have more unburned powder this time than before. I have some titegroup that I plan on trying, the faster burn rate might get it away from the unburned powder left behind.
This time I used 5.8gr of 231. (6.1 gr by the chart)

Another thing is the chart that comes with the auto disk and my scale which is a Lee Safety scale do not seem to agree. The scale read .2-.3 gr lower than what the disk was rated to throw. I double checked the scale with and RCBS autodispensing thrower at the local gun shop the owner weighed out a 55.5 gr charge on his and mine showed it to be about .2-.3gr less.

This would make my charges actually be more than what my scale shows and more like what the autodisk chart says. This bothers me because I'm going to get the Adjustable Bar to fine tune the charge, but is the scale right?

So get a new scale?
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Old April 29, 2011, 08:59 AM   #9
Gerry
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Lee's chart used with the auto disk is famous for being on the light side, depending on the powder. For example with Unique powder, you'll likely need to use the hole 2 sizes bigger than the one specified in the Lee chart.

I too questioned the accuracy of the Lee scale because of the chart/disk cavity discrepency, and bought a much more expensive scale. Turned out that the Lee scale was accurate. Now I also have an RCBS Chargemaster 750 digital scale, and all three scales agree to nearly a 1/10th of a grain. I use the digital mostly now because it's so convenient, and just double check it for proper calibration against one of the beam scales every month or so.
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Old April 29, 2011, 01:04 PM   #10
Renfro
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That's nice to hear about the scale being accurate. I've been debating on buying a RCBS 505. I did however make a 6"x9" 1/2" plate with 4, 1/2" taped holes with bolts to adjust the level for the scale to sit on, so now I can be certain that it has a level foundation.

It does make sense that with the Lee Auto chart that the charge would be less, for safety reasons.

Thanks
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Old April 29, 2011, 01:37 PM   #11
Mad Martigan
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I'm also very new to reloading, but my Modern Reloading book lists the max load for 230gr .45 ACP FMJ at 5.1 grains of Win 231.
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Old April 29, 2011, 02:06 PM   #12
Renfro
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Lyman (49th) data starts @ 5.2 min, max 5.8
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