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Old January 31, 2011, 08:03 PM   #1
dihnen
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Conflicting load data for W231 and .45ACP

I've been reloading 9mm for a while now, and I want to start reloading 45ACP as well. I have Winchester 231 powder, Winchester FMJ 230gr RN bullets, and CCI large pistol primers.

My Lee reloading manual 2nd Ed. lists a min/max of 4.8 and 5.1 for W231 with this bullet. For Hodgdon 38 (which I understood to be the same powder) they list min/max of 4.2 and 5.3. Quite a difference! My 2002 Winchester load data manual from 2002 lists 4.9 and 5.7.

The Hodgdon website lists the following charges for a Hornady FMJ FP, 4.2 and 5.3 for both W231 and HP-38.

It seems like I'd be safe starting at 4.8 and not going higher than 5.1. But with the differences in load data, I was wondering if anyone had some other thoughts or other load data.
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Old January 31, 2011, 08:06 PM   #2
That'll Do
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Follow the most current data (which is from Hodgdon's website). Start at 4.2 and work your way up.
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Old January 31, 2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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The Lee data is a compilation of many reloading sources. If you look, you will find many loads that show the start as the same as the max.
You should look any load up in at least two manuals and start at the lowest starting load. You do not have the same barrel they used, so your pressures may be higher or lower. However, the starting load is designed to be safe in all guns in serviceable condition.
Here is a compilation from MANY loading manuals. I always start with the lowest starting load. Why should I take a chance that my gun may not be happy with a hotter starting load. Remember, the reloading manuals do not guarantee that your gun will perform the same, just that the loads shown were safe in their test equipment.
I start off at 4.2gn and work up. Notice that after a max load, it is very common to find another manuals start load. I don't take any more chances than I can help.

45 ACP
Bullet Weight Powder Weight Velocity Start/Max Power Factor COL
FMJ 230 231/HP38 4.2 751 Start 173 1.200
FMJ 230 231/HP38 4.6 600 Start 138
JHP 230 231/HP38 4.8 740 Start 170
FMJ 230 231/HP38 4.9 695 Start 160
FMJ 230 231/HP38 4.9 750 Start 173
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.0 Mil. Ball Ammo 0
HP-XTP, FMJ-RN, HAP, FMJ-FP 230 231/HP38 5.0 700 Start 161
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.0 825 190 1.285
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.0 0
JHP 230 231/HP38 5.1 785 Max 181
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.3 832 Max 191 1.200
RN 230 231/HP38 5.3 787 181
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.4 0
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.4 0 1.230
FMJ/TM 230 231/HP38 5.5 788 Start 181
TMJ 230 231/HP38 5.6 789 Start 181 1.260
FMJ/TM 230 231/HP38 5.6 792 Start 182
HP-XTP, FMJ-RN, HAP, FMJ-FP 230 231/HP38 5.7 800 Max 184
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.7 830 Max 191
FMJ 230 231/HP38 5.7 850 Max 196
FMJ 230 231/HP38 6.0 800 Max 184
FMJ/TM 230 231/HP38 6.1 866 Max 199
TMJ 230 231/HP38 6.2 858 Max 197 1.260
FMJ/TM 230 231/HP38 6.2 865 Max 199
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Old January 31, 2011, 08:45 PM   #4
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5.0 to 5.5 Grs of W-231 and a 230 Gr lead, plated, or jacketed bullet is classic. Pick the power level you want. Above 5.5 Grs with jacketed it starts to get snappy, especially if you go over 5.9.
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Old January 31, 2011, 08:53 PM   #5
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5.0 gr of W231/HP38 hits the sweet accurate spot for me with 230/200 gr 45ACP bullet.
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Old January 31, 2011, 09:25 PM   #6
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I know you didn't ask for what our pet loads are, but 5.0gr with COAL @ 1.230" has been great for FMJ and 4.8gr for lead bullets. This recipe bodes well in the following guns:

Les Baer Monolith Commanche-This is a 1911 in 4 1/4" barrel
Springer Loaded 1911 in 5 in. barrel
Colt New Agent 1911 in 3 in. barrel
XD45ACP in 4 in barrel.

Bottom line is barrel length hasn't really been an issue on velocity, burn characteristics, etc.
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Old January 31, 2011, 10:26 PM   #7
Jim243
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Let's get a couple of things straight.

I have two of their (Lee) books and they are good, but not an authority on powder or bullets. The reason all three have different loads for the 45 Auto (no longer the ACP) is that they each are using different bullets, except Hornady who's bullets you are using.

Second you failed to state what OAL you were using on your load. It makes a difference on the pressure you are putting on your gun.

Third, Win 231 and H38 are the same powder and the listed loads will be the same within 0.0 grains of each other in the same book for the same bullet. Are you mixing apples and oranges?? Win 231 from one book and H-38 from a different one with dillferent bullets and different OAL's.

Forth, one book will use a bench test barrel and another will use an actual gun for testing and get different results. You need to read the pages in the front of the load information to see what they were using.

When in doubt use the bullet mfg's information and load info, if you are using a bullet that does not have load data, then use the powder mfg's load data for the SAME type and WEIGHT of bullet.

That's the short and sweet of it. Buy Hornady's 8th reloading edition, it is worth the money.

Jim

And for God's sake do not use 9 year old load data. It was OK for powder made 9 years ago but not for todays.
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Old February 1, 2011, 01:43 AM   #8
Eagle0711
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Jim are you saying that Bullseye Pistol powder made today is different in power? Or Win 231 ?

If so what do you base that on? Just curious?

I know that today's Loading Manuals are a little more conservative.
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Old February 1, 2011, 03:04 AM   #9
dihnen
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Jim, the confusion started because there were different load values for the HP-38 and Win-231 for the same bullet (230gr FMJ) in the same manual (Lee 2nd Ed.), so comparing apples-apples. I'd heard that they were the same powder, so that's what got me confused in the first place, and prompted me to post here.

I was planning on making the COL 1.268, since this is what the factory ammo COL is that I have been running through my gun. It's also slightly less than the official spec of 1.275.

I've looked and looked, but have not seen any RECENT specific load data for Winchester FMJ 230 gr. bullets with W231 powder. Also, Winchester no longer publishes load data for their powders. Hodgden does on their website, but they have data for the Hornady FMJ FN bullet, which is significantly different than the Win FMJ round nose.

It's very frustrating, since I'm not sure what data to go with here. Would I be safe, do you think, starting with 4.2 grains and working up to, say, 4.9 grains, staying well away from the supposed max load of 5.1 grains?

Thanks for your help,
Dave
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Old February 1, 2011, 06:50 AM   #10
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not guessing

You'll be fine.
W231 offers a large window of charge weight for 45 ACP.

And specifically, having loaded vast quantities of Winchester's fine 230g FMJ for a large number of various pistols so chambered, I can advise you that an OAL of 1.257" works, 5.0--5.5g W231 works, and 5.0g offers less felt recoil, and potential for great accuracy.
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Old February 1, 2011, 10:01 AM   #11
BDS-THR
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Quote:
I've looked and looked, but have not seen any RECENT specific load data for Winchester FMJ 230 gr. bullets with W231 powder. Also, Winchester no longer publishes load data for their powders. Hodgden does on their website
dihnen, W231 and HP38 load datas were very close in older manuals but when Hodgdon was licensed to sell Winchester powders, they became the same powder and newer published load data are exactly same for the two powders. If you contact Hodgdon, they'll comfirm that W231 and HP38 are indeed the same powder in different containers (HP38 is typically priced lower than W231 so I recommend either).

From Hodgdon's About Us/Company History page:
Quote:
In March 2006, Hodgdon Powder Company and Winchester® Ammunition announced that Winchester® branded reloading powders would be licensed to Hodgdon.
This is what's published in 2010 Hodgdon's "Basic Reloading Manual" and Hodgdon's website for both W231/HP38:
(Pistol > 45 ACP > [Winchester] 231 > Get Data)

Quote:
230 gr Hornady FMJ FP W231/HP38 .451" OAL 1.200" Start 4.2 gr (751 fps) 13,800 CUP - Max 5.3 gr (832 fps) 16,800 CUP
230 gr Lead RN W231/HP38 .452" OAL 1.200" Start 4.3 gr (699 fps) 12,200 CUP - Max 5.3 gr (834 fps) 16,900 CUP

Last edited by BDS-THR; February 1, 2011 at 10:42 AM. Reason: added links
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Old February 1, 2011, 07:41 PM   #12
dihnen
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Well, I loaded up some test rounds today and I'll go to the range tomorrow at lunch time and see how they shoot in my gun. I have a COL of 1.265, and charges of 4.8, 5.0, 5.2, and 5.4 under Winchester 230 FMJ RN bullets. As soon as the recoil becomes snappy/loud and different from the factory loads, I'll stop, since at this point I'm only trying to duplicate factory. I'll also watch the spent brass.

Thanks, everyone, for the help and information. This forum is a valuable resource, and I hope to contribute to it as I gain experience.

Dave
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Old February 1, 2011, 09:03 PM   #13
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Watching the spent brass while being ejected is a very good indicator on how your gun behaves with the load you have.

Keep us posted...
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Old February 1, 2011, 10:05 PM   #14
Jim243
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dihnen

I am sure you will be contributing. Using a bullet from a company that does not provide load data for their own bullets is VERY fustrating. 90% of my bullet purchases for bullets are Hornady. And I use their book as my primary reference. However, they (Hornady) do not always provide load data for their bullets using the powder that I have. That leaves me three choices, 1) go out and purchase powder that they have referenced. Or 2) try to peice together my own load with simular "burning rate" powder. Or 3) keep checking all the books till I find a close or exact match.

If you do 2 or 3 you are treading on thin ground but it is done all the time, you just need to start low and work up your load 0.2 or 0.3 grains at a time while checking on over preasure signs when you test your loads out.

The bullets that first come to mind that this is an issue with are Remington's 9mm 124 grain HP that I love to use. I am sure there must be some manual someplace that lists Remington bullets, just don't ever remember seeing one.

Also if you purchase bulk bullets from someone like RMR you will not have any load data for them or even know who's (mfg) bullet you are purchasing.

Best thing you can do then is goto Lyman's 49th Reloading Handbook (pretty generic) and use a load for the same type and weight of bullet.

When I am totaly stressed out as to what to do, I go to Hodgdon's website (yes I have their load book too) and see what the powder mfg says I should do. I use Win 231 99.9 percent of the time so it's always to Hodgdon. I do use other pistol powders but they are for specialty loads like 357 mag (Alliant 2400) or 357 Sig (Alliant Power Pistol) and follow their instructions.

If you take care, you will be safe, go slow and check everything 2 or 3 times.

As I see it a book is cheap and a rifle or pistol is expensive. So If I am using a bullet from Serria or Nosler I will buy their book eventhough I will use it not very often.

Pick a bullet that you like and stick with it, over and over again untill it is no longer made. That way after you finish your testing you will have the "Perfect Load" for that bullet and gun.

Good luck
Jim
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Last edited by Jim243; February 1, 2011 at 10:22 PM.
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Old February 2, 2011, 09:42 PM   #15
dihnen
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Range Report:

I took my test loads, and my Glock 21, to the range today. Since I don't have a chrono, my goal was to watch for signs of overpressure with the increasing loads, and to see if I could subjectively compare the felt recoil to some WWB factory rounds.

The bullets were Winchester FMJ 230gr, CCI primer, and W231 powder, 1.65 COL, in 4.8, 5.0, 5.2, and 5.4 gr loads. The closest felt-recoil to "factory" were the 5.2 grain loads. The 5.0 loads had softer recoil with less apparent muzzle rise, but also seemed to run the gun very well. I liked the way the 5.0's felt and they'd probably work well for target practice and shooting steel. All the loads had good accuracy.

Thanks, everyone, for your input!

Dave
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Old February 2, 2011, 10:43 PM   #16
BDS-THR
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I love happy endings.

As to OAL, is 1.65" correct? I typically load 230 gr RN to 1.25" - 1.27".
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Old February 3, 2011, 01:46 AM   #17
dihnen
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oops, I meant to say 1.265
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Old January 5, 2013, 04:07 PM   #18
fxdc
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serious reloaders

Old dynasore IPSC, IDPA, SPEED STEEL Shooter here. Chamber check ur rounds and shorten by .015, check for function feeding with ur mags, and LAST BUY A CHRONOGRAPH!!!

Also pending on ur elevation a load will chrono different from say at SEA LEVEL TO 5K FEET... OR VISEAVERSA. Found out the hard way my load worked at the WESTERN STATES match but not at the GOLDEN GATE CHAMPIONSHIP match.

But that's what I get for riding the IPCS edge. If you Reload get yourself a CHRONOGRAPH!!!

WESTERN STATES ROCKED!!!!
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