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Old September 29, 2011, 10:43 AM   #1
Join Date: September 9, 2011
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I went to the range with about 150 of my .45 acp loads using bullseye powder and came home with black flakes all over my right (strong hand) arm. Is bullseye just a dirty powder or is that an indicator that I may have done something wrong?

I'm using 4.5gr of bullseye with a 230 grain Rainer leadsafe bullet, Rainer website says to use LRN load data, out of a 5" 1911. The loads on the handloads website and posts in this forum say 5gr for LRN but I started low. Would more powder help to burn all that black crap up?

Edit: The ammo functioned well except for 2 rounds that I shaved a bit of the copper coating while seating the bullet and still tried to use... kept the gun from going into battery.
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Old September 29, 2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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Lower pressure loads (typical for lead bullets) do not burn as cleanly with any powder.
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Old September 29, 2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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This happens to me when I use light loads of W231 with Missouri Bullet cast bullets. Totally normal.
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Old September 29, 2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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I run 4.6 gr of Bullseye w/ MBC 230 gr. Softball, it's my general purpose load. A bit dirty but no big deal. Bullseye in general, has a reputation for being dirtier than some other similar, more modern powders. I wouldn't worry about it. Increasing your charge should be driven by other reasons than a bit of soot left behind.
FWIW, 5.0 w/ 230 gr FMJ was the standard GI load for many years, or so I have been led to believe. While not +P, it's certainly not a powderpuff either. You may want to obtain more varied surces of load data. I'm not saying to ignore online sources, but IMHO, you need to be able to sanity check all "found" data against published sources.
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Old September 29, 2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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I run 5 grains of bullseye behind a 230 grain berry and it runs fine. I haven't noticed it being much dirtier than factory loads.
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Old September 29, 2011, 12:02 PM   #6
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Totally normal and it's up to you as to whether it botherrs you enough to fix it. A little soot won't hurt anything. But if a load is too dirty, it can bind up the cylinder on a revolver that has a tight barrel-cylinder gap. I had a 45 Colt bind up on me in about 40 shots one time using a particularly dirty load. For that reason, I try to get my loads to burn fairly clean if I can. TiteGroup and 231 burn pretty well for my lighter lads, but you still have to make sure you're not loading them too light no matter what powder you use. If I want even slower loads than W-231 or Tite Group is capable of cleanly delivering, then I fill em up with Trail Boss. I just never have liked Bullseye, even though I'm a huge fan of Alliant powders.

If you really want some clean burning stuff (and have money to burn), try some Vihtavuori powder, perhaps N310. It really does burn cleaner than other powder brands.
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Old September 29, 2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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My best guess for a 4.5gr Bullseye load with a 230gr bullet leaving flakes is the bullet being loaded a bit too long. Likely crimp is fine if it measures out to somewhere in the .469-.472" range at the case mouth when loaded.
Seating a bit deeper would increase pressure and give a cleaner burn.
How long did you load them?
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Old September 29, 2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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I get 800 fps with 230 LRN and 4.5 grains bullseye. I think your load is fine.

Do not expect complete combustion of your powders. Combustion percentage will increase the higher the pressures, but we are talking about pressures that are too high for your 45 ACP.

If it bothers you, there are other powders that burn at high temperatures and produce less smoke, less powder particles. And they heat up your pistol faster too.

Kimber Custom Classic

230 gr LRN 4.5 grs Bullseye Mixed Brass WLP

21-Jun-06 T = 97 °F OAL 1.250" taper crimp .469"

Ave Vel =805.2
Std Dev =11.4
ES = 54.08
High = 836.9
Low = 782.8
N = 32
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Old September 29, 2011, 05:28 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice. I spent 13 yrs in the Army so I have it pretty well drilled into my head to clean the weapon after a trip to the range. I guess this gives me something to clean.
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Old September 29, 2011, 07:08 PM   #10
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I run a light load with Bull's Eye for my home cast 200 grain LSWC's. Yes there is a bi9t of un burned powder. It washes off of my, and my girlfriends arms with a bit of soap and water. They shoot great, and hit POA every time. So I still use them. My carry gun gets cleaned before leaving the range, all of the others get a wet patch of solovent, and are cleaned when I get home.
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Old September 29, 2011, 08:37 PM   #11
Tim R
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I get 800 fps with 230 LRN and 4.5 grains bullseye. I think your load is fine.
I used to run this load too. BUT try 4.6 grs. of BE and see what happens with your 230 gr. lead round nose. That 1/10th of a gr. made my groups smaller, allot smaller. It's an old Bullseye load.
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Old September 30, 2011, 08:28 AM   #12
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I've used bullseye and 231 with 200 gr LSWC bullets for bullseye shooting. Both are dirty. I now use N310, cleaner and lighter recoil.
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Old September 30, 2011, 09:26 AM   #13
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I run 4.9 grns and that seems to be the optimal accuracy for 230 LRN's in my 45's. I would not say it is any dirtier then most loads but I rarely shoot factory so I could not say for sure.
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