Need Load Data Clarification for 45ACP


January 30, 2008, 11:00 AM
OK, I'm still pretty new and learning alot about reloading but I think I have a fairly decent grasp...

That being said, here's my question:

I am loading 45ACP 230gr LRN with Win231 and I see varying loads for Max Loading in the resources I have. From the Hogdon website, the max load is 5.3gr. Hornady 7th Reloading manual lists Max as 6.2gr. Lyman 46th lists 225gr max as 5.8gr. Sierra doesn't list anything for LRN(I assume it's because they don't make non jacketed bullets).

My problem is that I was loading with the Lee Perfect Powder measure with the single stage press and I finally installed my Loadmaster with the AutoDisk. With the option on the disk, I can get either 5.3gr or 5.6gr. I was loading my plinking rounds with 5.4 and they were the lowest loading that worked reliably in my pistol. I know I was already going beyond Hogdons recommended Max by .1gr but I felt comfortable doing that.

Am I being too paranoid and have to many reloading references for my own good or should I be concerned?


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January 30, 2008, 11:26 AM

I think this recent topic may be of some help:

January 30, 2008, 11:45 AM
How close is the max amount in the load data printed from the bullet manufacturer and powder manufacturer?

January 30, 2008, 12:26 PM
5.6 Grs W-231 and 230 Lead pills in the .45ACP will be fine pressure wise.

I shot 5.5 with any 225 to 230 Gr lead bullet for years. My Hornady pistol measure bushings were not "adjustable" either. ;)

I finally bought a Redding 10X measure. I still have all the bushings, along with some "modified" ones I did to get certain loads.

January 30, 2008, 09:33 PM
I was thinking of getting the double stack disks and the micro adjustable disk so I could get the 5.4gr load that I normally use with my 1911. I was just kinda worried even though the 5.4 was the first charge that would reliably cycle and feed through my 1911. I was a little worried when I saw the powder manufacturer listed the max charge just .2gr from the lowest charge that worked for me. Then again, the lowest charge that they listed on the website was so low that I barely felt anything when I first fired it. In fact the first round I fired was so light that I unloaded the pistol and ran a cleaning rod down the barrel to make sure the round wasn't stuck. I wonder why there is such a discrepency between the powder manufacturer and other load data resources? I've really started to doubt the validaty of the Hogdon website. I've been trying to get one of the load data books but they have been out of stock now for many months. I'm thinking I'm just wasting my time even trying. The sad part is, I really like Win231 in my 45, .380 and .38. I'm still too new to be switching and try new stuff. Maybe in a few more months, I'll try something else that doesn't seem so ambiguous in the data presented.

January 30, 2008, 09:45 PM
When I first started loading 45 ACP I used Win 231 also. I now believe there are better powder choices. You can't load enough 231 to get normal 45 ACP velocities with jacketed bullets.

January 30, 2008, 10:50 PM
Different sources will be using different OALs and consequently report differing loads and pressures. Also, with respect to velocities, some sources will cite data from a 6" barrel tester rather than a more typical 5" gun.

Further, not all rounds with the same label are alike. For instance, Rainier's 230RN is noticeably more 'pointy' than Berry's, Winchester and others that have the more traditional hardball profile. Lyman's 48th Ed. lists 2 different 200gr LSWCs, one at 1.161 OAL and the other at 1.235.


Grandpa Shooter
January 30, 2008, 11:08 PM
You don't say if you are weighing out your charges or just going with what the books are telling you it should be. If you do not have a scale it is very important that you get one. I don't know of any way to set a powder measure and be certain of what the actulal grain weight is. It would take an automated set up to do that.

If you are using the double disk I hope you are aware that they deliver about .2 grains LOW in the throw. If you use the VMD for Win 231 of .0931 times the desired grain weight of 5.4 you get .50 which would be the combined measure of two disks. If you did that, I believe (based on my use of the disk setup) you will be at about 5.2 actual throw weight.

Double check what you are doing with a scale, please!

January 31, 2008, 03:02 AM
The wieghts I stated in my original post were wieghed using both the Lee balance and a Franklin Arsenal Micro digital scale. I'm still too new to not be paranoid of over/under charging. I wieghed about ever 10th one after that and the wieghts never varied. I can't recall the two disk measurements at teh moment but when I get home I'll give it a look in the morning.

January 31, 2008, 05:14 AM
W-231 is a very good .45 ACP powder. Very easy to get an accurate load with, meters great, etc. It can get 230 jacketed to factory velocities although it can get a bit snappy at full power. There is a wide discrepency in data from different places. It works well in all three calibers you are loading, so there is no need to change powders, unless you just want to try something different. PM me and I'll share both some personal and proven load book data that works. AC

January 31, 2008, 08:44 AM
Personally, I would suggest that you at least try using a Lee adjustable charge bar instead of the Lee disk / VMD routine.

By doing so, you will learn to weigh your charges accurately, and you will be able to develop the 'sweet spot' recipes that work with your particular pistol and components.

As Walkalong said, 231 is great for doing this because of its physical characteristics as well as it ballistic performance.

Personally, I changed to weighing / setting up the charge and didn't look back for my pistol reloading. And, FWIW, if you have not yet tried 200gr. LSWCs in your .45ACP, you may want to--that bullet design was one of the first to come up with accurate bullets that work well for paper-punching, and it allows another economical approach to enjoyable shooting.

Jim H.

January 31, 2008, 10:36 AM
To those who favor W231 for full power, 230 grain FMJ loads, how much are you using to get a velocity of 850 fps??? I have never been able to get to 850 fps using data in the reloading manuals.

January 31, 2008, 11:05 AM
Speer #10 shows 6.1 grains WW231 as max for a 225 grain jacketed bullet, with a velocity of 885 fps from a 5" Colt 1911A1. I have read actual chronograph numbers of 830 fps avg from a 1911 using 5.7 grains of WW231 and a 230 grain FMJ. FWIW, Zero bullets recipe for 230 JHP 45 auto ammo is 6.2/5.8 grains of HP38.

Using current Hodgdon data IMO will not get you near the 850 fps you seek.

January 31, 2008, 11:51 AM
5.5 Gr 231 using Lyman 220 gr LRN got me 861 fps out of my 5" 1911's. Should be close using 230 gr LRN. It has not been my experience that for accuracy full charge loads showed any improvement over somewhat lighter loads wither using cast or jacketed. More muzzle blast, more recoil but no more accuracy. I do know paper targets don't seem to die any quicker and I am not sure living creatures would notice much difference either.

Take Care


January 31, 2008, 12:03 PM
5.5 Grs. W-231 with Magtech 230 grain FMJ's and Winchester WLP primers gave me:

Avg 789 FPS from a 5" barrel

Avg 741 FPS from a 4 1/4" barrel

Avg 722 FPS from a 3" barrel

in a test I did last March to check velocities for a fellow THR member.

I have shot 6.1 Grs of W231, but it is not pleasent. Sharp recoil. There are better powders, recoil wise, to get to 850 FPS with in the .45 with 230 gr slugs.

January 31, 2008, 05:51 PM
What brand of bullets are these. I have load data for all the 45acp that lasecast (Oregon trail bullets) makes. If you would like it I will shoot you or anybody else this data. Just let me know.

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