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Old September 30, 2012, 02:47 PM   #1
kevinmcc2
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Should I Add More Charge?

I loaded up 24 rounds with the load data as follows:

4.5 Grains/Winchester 231
Winchester Small Pistol Primers
Berry's 115 Grain Plated Round Nose Bullets
With an OAL of 1.135

Now they cycled and feed fine, but the accuracy was not there like I have with the Winchester White Box I used before shooting the reloads.

Also the gun did not eject the reloads with as much force as the factory ammo

And lastly the reloads felt weaker than factory ammo...

SO, do I need to up my powder charge? I dont want to blow anything up now by doing so...
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Old September 30, 2012, 02:55 PM   #2
Lost Sheep
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Thanks for asking our advice

What do(es) your loading manual(s) say?

What manual are you using? What firearm? What cartridge?

If 380 ACP, 9mm Makarov or 9x19 (9mm Parabellum) you may find different solutions.

I would research these questions (and your earlier posts, which would probably tell me the answers) but I am on my way out of the house and haven't the time.

But it would be much more efficient if you led with everything that could be relevant to get any "fill in" questions out of the way.

Anyway, please fill in the blanks and I will (and many others) will gladly give you our best answers.

Lost Sheep

edit: your original question was well put, succinct and clear. Just lacking a few details. The primer, charge, bullet information are all also essential. I don't mean to be curt, but I promised to help a friend with a fence repair.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:21 PM   #3
kevinmcc2
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I am using the Lyman's 49th Reloading book, but got the load data from this website. (http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp)

The load I currently was referencing is as follows.

115 GR. LRN Winchester 231 .356" 1.100" 4.3GR 1079FPS 28,400 CUP 4.8GR 1135FPS 32,000 CUP

Firearm: Smith n Wesson M&P 9mm Compact

Various assortment of once fired and twice fired brass.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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I don't have any first hand experience with WIN 231, but I consulted two of my loading manuals and in the Hornady book, you're already close to their max. Either way, both of them showed a maximum velocity of only about 1100 fps.

If you want better performance, they you'll want a different, slower burning powder. This one is too fast for your application. I've used Power Pistol and Accurate Arms No.7 with good resutls. Although my powder puff loads in 9mm tend to be with Bullseye.

Hornady recommends Power Pistol, Winchester Action Pistol and Accurate Arms No.7.
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Old September 30, 2012, 03:40 PM   #5
1stmar
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Hodgdons site http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp
I think you can increase the load safely, .1 gr increments
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:20 PM   #6
Pat T
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I'm using 4.6 at that COL length with the same bullet and getting 1060 fps from my Glock 19. WWB chronos 1160 fps to give you an idea of where you are in relation to factory.

You have a little more room to bump up the charge to get the accuracy you seek, Hodgdon says 5.1 grains is max for this bullet weight and powder combo.

BTW W231/HP-38 is fine for this bullet weight in 9mm.
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:24 PM   #7
kevinmcc2
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Thank you for the responses.

I think I will up my charge to around 4.7 Max and finish off this bottle and switch to power pistol.

How does the power pistol feed through the auto disk system? One reason I like Winchester 231 is the way it flows.

Thank you.
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Old September 30, 2012, 04:45 PM   #8
Mike Irwin
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Well....

According to the Hodgdon reloading center (they now distribute 231), your load is .3 grains below max for a lead round nose.

They show 4.8 grains as max, generating 1135 fps.

I know that in the past I have used loads even heavier than that with 231, but that is after years of experience with that powder, so I definitely do NOT recommend that you start down that path.
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Old September 30, 2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Also don't always expect any given bullet/powder combo to be equall in accuracy. You said it wasn't as accurate as WWB, maybe more powder will do it,maybe not. I have over 20 powders for pistol and can load each powder to the same velocity with the same bullet and have ten different groups, some high,some high and right, then low left ect.. also one may get 2" @25yrds and the next powder 8" @25 yrds. Thats why I have so many powders. My fun is seeing how good I can get any bullet to shoot. Plus I learn a lot about how the different powders act.
You MAY need a different powder to get as good as the other brand. MAY!
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Old September 30, 2012, 05:08 PM   #10
serf 'rett
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Quote:
Should I add more charge?
That really depends on what you are trying to acomplish.

According to Hodgdon web site and a couple of my manuals, "Yes", appears to be the answer to the simple question of "can I increase my charge?"

Quote:
SO, do I need to up my powder charge?
Once again, that really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. You mentioned to different things in your opening post. W-231 is a "fast" powder which is good for reduced recoil target loads and lower bullet velocities. When I want to step up the velocity, I go to a "slower" burning power such as Unique, Power Pistol or V-N340. If you are into bang, flash and roar letting you know you have pulled the trigger, then switch to Power Pistol: however, for genral practice and target shooting, I like W-231 under a 115 gr. RNDS Berrys and even better under the 124 grain HBFP or HBRNTP Berrys. Soft recoil with 124 grain bullets. If you are trying to duplicate the "feel" of Winchester WB, you need a slower powder.

The second thing mentioned was the lack of accuracy. The reason I load a series of different charges, generally in 0.2 grain steps, is to test for accuracy. I shoot off sand bags, at a set distance and shoot through the complete series at one sitting. About a year ago, I tested two series using 115 grain RNDS Berrys bullets, Remington brass and W-231 powder at charge weights of 3.8, 4.0, 4.2, 4.4, 4.6 and 4.8 grains. Seven cartridges were loaded for each step. One of the series used CCI 500 primers, while the second used Wolf SP primers. The two fold purpose of the testing was to determine the accuracy of the different loads and to compare the two primers IN MY PISTOL (which means to say, what I did in my pistol, does not mean it’s good in YOUR PISTOL!)

What I found was the best group for CCI primers was at a charge weight of 4.2 grains, while the Wolf primers produced their best group at 4.4 grains (although the close runner up was 4.2 grains). So here’s my answer to your question of:

Quote:
SO, do I need to up my powder charge?
Based on my simple testing and MY PISTOL, you need to lower your powder charge for better accuracy; however, your pistol will be different. The reloader’s mantra of “start low and work up” is more than just a safety statement; it is also a good way to find the load which is the most accurate in your firearm.
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Old September 30, 2012, 05:18 PM   #11
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Power Pistol works very well through my RCBS Uniflow, as does W-231.

I will mention that for the 115 grain Berrys RN my overall best groups are with Power Pistol . The W-231 has a tad more scatter. But for the Berrys 124 grain HBFP with W-231, I have a humdinger load which targeted 1.2" max spread, 0.41" average to center at 50 feet distance.
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Last edited by serf 'rett; September 30, 2012 at 05:25 PM.
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Old September 30, 2012, 05:22 PM   #12
kevinmcc2
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Awesome info everyone thank you for all of the responses.

After reading all of these replies I think I am going to make different batches with different loads

First load will be same OAL with a charge of 4.3 then increasing charge to 4.8 and see what works best for me, and if iI am not happy with the results switch to a slower powder like power pistol.

Again, thank you all.

Also should I make batches with different OAL? or keep my.original 1.135 since it fed fine.
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Old September 30, 2012, 11:40 PM   #13
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I am back and see that all the advice I would have given has already been covered, and then some and better than I could have. Yea TFL team!

Does anyone know if the Berry's plated bullets are shorter than the Lead Round Nose the O.P.'s source (see post #3)?

If they are shorter, I would say that seating deeper by the amount of the difference would be safe. It is the free space beneath the bullet that is most important to pressure. The overall length you have feeds well in your gun, so I would be inclined to keep them there until you are ready to experiment.

The Berry's bullets are plated, and as I understand it, plated pretty heavily. So, it might be considered OK to treat it a little more like a jacketed bullet. But and it is a BIG BUT, as Mike Irwin pointed out, advanced or experimental ad hoc adjustments (like the heavier Win231 he advised against) are to be avoided while you are still getting your "sea legs". You don't have a ballistics lab or even a chronograph yet. It takes some experience and judgement (which mostly comes from experience) to discern the signs of overpressure or odd behaviors in loads that push the performance envelope.

I am being more candid with you than I usually am with new reloaders. So, take my cautions seriously and keep for a future date my comments that might encourage you to stray from published and vetted data. I discerned from your original post that you are a serious handloader, not inclined to take chances, so conclude that you can handle yourself, your guns and your loading with sense. I respect that.

Lost Sheep
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Old October 1, 2012, 03:16 AM   #14
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I load the 115 grn plated RN for 9mm with 4.2 grains of Titegroup powder. This load cycles fine but not anything that will get you into trouble. I don't have my COL here, but I did average 1087 FPS out of a KKM 'conversion barrel' in a Glock 23.
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Old October 1, 2012, 07:38 AM   #15
WESHOOT2
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interface

Some guns (most guns) show a preference for bullets.
Berrys ain't it.
Nor Rainiers.

Lead?
Penn Bullets.

Copper?
Montana Gold / Winchester / IMI / Remington / Hornady / Nosler / Sierra / Zero.
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:35 AM   #16
Mike Irwin
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Most guns?

Please.

I've used Berrys quite a bit over the years and have had nothing buy exceptional results with them.

Unless a manufacturer is TRULY screwing the pooch (and the customer) by lying about the hardness of the lead or the dimensions of their molds, it's not really rocket science.

It's manufacturing.

Some of the best cast bullets I ever got were from my local gunshop in Pennsylvania, supplied by a guy who did it part time in his garage as a hobby.

Why anyone would set up a casting machine as a hobby is beyond me, but for a number of years I bought only his bullets. And then he had the temerity to die...
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Old October 1, 2012, 11:59 AM   #17
serf 'rett
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Quote:
Some guns (most guns) ...
Makes me wonder what is wrong with my pistols, what with them liking Berrys plated and MO Bullet Co cast.

I guess I dodged the bullet.

The pistols also like Hornady XTPs, but my pocketbook likes the Berrys and MO Bullets better.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:05 PM   #18
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The burning question here is: How accurate was the load? The load sounds like it would be fast enough, but unless you test them from a supported position or a pistol rest, you will know know. Accuracy should take precedence over velocity.
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Old October 1, 2012, 12:21 PM   #19
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I've gotten great accuracy in all my pistols so far that I've played with both Berry's and Rainiers. Not all loads were great, but with some playing around with powders and charges,I've gotten the results I wanted. Now after switching to casting my own, it's even easier to get good accuracy often Super accuracy, and I don't even have to buy them
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Old October 1, 2012, 09:02 PM   #20
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read carefully

"Most guns show a marked preference for certain bullets. Plated bullets are rarely any gun's marked preference."

Clearer?
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Old October 1, 2012, 10:19 PM   #21
Mike Irwin
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The way your original post was worded it certainly seemed as if you were saying that virtually no guns would find either berry or rainier bullets satisfactory.
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Old October 2, 2012, 06:22 AM   #22
WESHOOT2
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mushmouth

Yep.
Had to rewrite for clarity.
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Old October 2, 2012, 07:20 AM   #23
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Watch your crimp with Berry's plated bullets. Over-crimping is a known
cause of poor accuracy with soft lead plated bullets.

The only Berry's I still use is a 185 gr HBRN 45 bullet in my 45 ACP revolver
loads.

For everything else, I've gone to Moly coated lead (Bear Creek) or
jacketed (Precision Delta. Montana Gold).
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