Looking for ideas for .40S&W and .45ACP using W231


October 16, 2006, 08:57 AM
Nice forum. First time posting here.

I'm now moving on to other calibers. I've tried varies loads with the W231 for my 9mm with 124gr FMJ with COL 1.15" I think I'm good with 4.5gr for now.

Any suggestions for W231 for .40 Speer 180gr FMJ FN and .45 Speer 230gr FMJ RN? I have some data but wanted other's experiences as well. The darn Speer manual doesn't have any data for the .40 180 FMJ with W231.

Other folks have given me recommendations with my 9mm and I've got a couple pounds of W231 to use but I'm open to other powders with these bullets as well for more data points.


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October 16, 2006, 10:05 AM
My all-time favorite .45 ACP load is 5.5 grains of 231 behind a 230 gr FMJ.

October 17, 2006, 03:10 AM
I load plated bullets for 45acp such as Rainier and berry. My usual is 200gr RN or FN with 5.5gr w231. 1.235" OAL for Rainier RN and 1.175" for Berry FN. Hope this help.

October 17, 2006, 11:49 PM
Here is some data from the Winchester powder site.While no loads for 180 FMJ Speer they do list data for jacketed 180 pills.


October 18, 2006, 10:24 PM
Well.... I'm quite surprised. I didn't load and of the rounds to the max for my 9mm and .40 with Power Pistol but at the starting loads they were plenty hot. I am kind of bummed that I don't have a chrono so I could only go by feel. I have about .4 gr more I "could" go according to the Speer manual but I see no need to at all. The 6.8gr load for the .40 S&W was pretty hot and had a heck of a flash. I think I'll stick with 6.2gr for that combo. I can also stick with 5.6gr of Power Pistol in the 9mm.

I am amazed that I can get what appears to be similar power from the starting load of Power Pistol compared to relatively high loads of 231 in both 9mm and .40.

Either way I think I like Power Pistol better than 231 in 9mm, slightly better than 231 in .40 S&W.

Next... .45... still waiting for my bullets for them. I have some Bulleye to try as well. Fun, fun, fun.

October 19, 2006, 11:18 AM
The WW 14 Ed reloading Manual lists the following data for W-231 and WST:
40 S&W - 180 gr. JHP
4.0-5.0 gr. W-231=790-950 fps = 23700-33200psi
4.0-5.0 gr. WST = 780-900 fps = 21800-28100psi

45ACP - 230 gr. FMJ
4.9-5.7 gr. W-231 = 695-830 fps = 14900-19200 psi
4.1-4.9 gr. WST = 710-800 fps = 15900-19900 psi

I think that W-231 is one of the most versatile handgun powders. However since I load on the low side of the manual I have found that WST provides me excellent accuracy and burns cleaner at lower pressures.

October 19, 2006, 04:32 PM
Try these sites for a fairly comprehensive listing of Loads. Lots of different powders with Jacketed or Lead booolits.
40 S&W
45 ACP

October 19, 2006, 08:27 PM
While adding up the cost of 500 rnds of brass, bullets it seems like I would be better off just purchasing ammo from ammoman.com and then use that brass for reloading.

Any thoughts?

October 19, 2006, 09:00 PM
While adding up the cost of 500 rnds of brass, bullets it seems like I would be better off just purchasing ammo from ammoman.com and then use that brass for reloading.

That's what I usually do for pistol. I buy WWB and save the brass. Usually about as cheap as buying brass to reload and winchester brass is pretty decent.

October 19, 2006, 10:46 PM
I started loading .40 almost as soon as it came out in 1990. I have never had a single problem, but I have never loaded it with any powder faster than AA#5. If you don't use handloads for defense, the Power Pistol may be fine for you. I've used it and it is a bright flasher. Most double based flake powders at high pressure will be. Be aware that there are also single base flake powders like IMR's SR-7625 and 4756 that can be used in both calibers. I tend to load with ball powders if they have a defensive application, even if to replicate a factory defense load. I also shoot my loads at night to check the flash signature. One powder that works well for .40 and can be used for .45 ACP is Ramshot Silhouette and formerely sold as Winchester WAP. Several people I gave load data to at CZ Forum for their .40 pistols reported outstanding accuracy. I also use Ramshot True Blue in both 9mm and .45 ACP, but I tend to load for performance. I just tested a 230 gr. Golden Saber load with True Blue in .45 ACP and it was exceptionally accurate. HS-6 can be used in both cartridges as well if you want your loads at the high end rather than light or target loads. It is an exceptional high velocity 9mm powder. Several Vihta Vouri powders will work well if you don't mind the higher price. 3N37 is an exceptional powder and N-340 ain't bad either and .45 data is much more available. 3N37 is probably better reserved for bullets above 200 grains in .45, but it is a very good .40 S&W powder in all bulletweights. I use it with the 230 gr. Golden Saber and it will shoot 3/4" 5 round groups from my P-345 at 50'. W-231 and Unique have always maintained a reputation as great powders if you only keep one on your bench. That is also the role of Ramshot True Blue. It will load any handgun cartridge with good to exceptional results. Some say it's a bit dirty, but I find it cleaner than W-231 that the same people will recommend. In the past, Ramshot published standard deviations for the True Blue loads and it is a very consistent powder that is dense (.935/cc) and meters exceptionally. Very low standard deviation in .40 S&W. I really like it with all weights in .45 ACP. Ramshot touts it as a .40 S&W powder with very low standard deviation numbers and good velocity capability without excessive pressure.;)

October 20, 2006, 12:37 PM
I've been using 4.8 grains of 231 for my 40 S&W's. Haven't had a problem yet.

October 21, 2006, 07:00 PM
I use W231 for some of my .45acp loads but I use 200gr SWC also no 230 or 245, its much cleaner than the bullseye and I use a 5gr load have not chrono'd the loads yet but they shoot very damn well at 25+ yards from the ransom rest.

P.S I dont use these for defensive loads I use them for competition and I try to reduce the recoil.

October 24, 2006, 02:32 PM
of loading for my G22 with 180 FMJ and JHP using 231. The manual I used listed 5.0 gr as max. I misread somehow and made lots of 5.5 gr loads, and shot them a good while before noticing that I was over the max. They worked fine nonetheless, and even though it's a Glock I didn't blow up. Now I load 5.0 for 180s but I don't use 180s much anymore.

I use 165 gr Rainiers for practice and Gold Dots for defense, and load both with 7.7 gr AA5.

Have loaded lots of .45 with 231, but it was all lead target loads and they were of course mild. Worked fine and were accurate.

October 24, 2006, 03:35 PM
I'm using for .45 ACP:

200gr. Rainier FP
5.2gr. Win-231
Mixed Brass
OAL: 1.225
FPS: 767 (H&K Tactical Semi-Auto)

Very accurate and feeds and functions in all my other semi-autos: 220 Sig, 8045 Beretta Cougar & Glock 21.

I use the same powder and charge in with 230gr. Rainier RN bullets and get similar FPS with a 1.274 OAL

Good Luck!


The Bushmaster
October 25, 2006, 11:45 AM
6.0 grains of W-231 under a 185 grain JHP = 865 +/- fps from a Colt 1911.
5.0 grains of W-231 under a 185 grain JHP = 730 +/- fps from a Colt 1911.

Just two of my favorite loads for my .45 ACP.:)

October 25, 2006, 09:49 PM
Thanks everyone. I'm surprised how many people use something other than 230 gr bullets!

The Bushmaster
October 25, 2006, 10:13 PM
Hey Luggernut...If I wanted to load bowling balls I'd buy bowling balls. A couple of advantages of going just a little lighter is to reduce recoil, get just a little more speed out of the gun without losing down range preformence. I use the 185 grain JHP to achieve from 150 to 200 more fps and I bet the object of my bullet's termination won't realize that I'm not using a 230 grain bullet. Hole will be just as big and it will hurt just the same.

October 25, 2006, 10:16 PM
Apart from making an excellent target bullet the 200 gr LSWC makes an excellent defensive bullet as well. My favourite load is 5.3 gr 231 under my own cast LSWC. Load makes IPSC/IDPA PF.

Take Care


October 25, 2006, 11:17 PM
I use 5.0gr of W231 under Rainer plated 200gr bullets for the 4" Kimber and the 5" Springer.

October 26, 2006, 04:19 PM
LOL... I like to bowling ball analogy. I'm relatively new to reloading and happened to just buy bullets that match what I've used from commonly available guns shops. .40 S&W was readily available in 180 gr, .45 seems to be available in 230gr. Occasionally I see .40 S&W in 165gr but that's it... so that's what I bought for bullets... oh well.

The Bushmaster
October 26, 2006, 11:03 PM
Luggernut. There are many sites on the web that cater to us reloaders. The list is long. May I recommend www.midwayusa.com for your next bullet purchase?:)

October 26, 2006, 11:09 PM
Thanks Bushmaster. Unfortunately I live in MA. We have the luxury of a royal PITA AG that won't let anyone sell reloading components directly to us. Midway and MANY other dealers won't sell to MA residents. Local dealers have limited supplies but can special order sometimes.

October 27, 2006, 09:44 AM
a Nosler 170 gr JHP with 5.0 gr 231 OAL 1.125 averages 928 fps for 325 ft lb energy.

I've used Rainier plated 165 gr bullets with 5.3 gr 231, good accuracy, not chronographed.

With a Hornady 180 gr JHP and 5.0 gr 231 I've gotten 932.7 fps for 348 ft lb and a standard deviation of 11, which ain't bad. I did some 5.3 gr and 5.6 gr loads as well, which worked fine, but that was before I had a chrono.

Using Accurate #5 7.7 gr and a Speer Gold Dot 165 gr bullet I've gotten1017 fps for 379 ft lb and a Sd of 11.

In my S&W 1911 Sc I've used a Rainier plated 185 gr bullet with 5.9 gr 231 with good results, no chrono.

For target in my Gold Cup I've used 4.1 gr 231 with a 185 gr LSWC with very good accuracy.

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