45 ACP: Using reloading data from one firm, for bullets from another company


September 14, 2003, 05:18 PM
Just received bullets from Midway for loading up some 45 ACP:

Hornady 185 gr SWC Plated
Rainier 230 gr. RN Plated

;) <- happy camper

Question: can I use my reloading data from the Sierra or Speer manuals for the same bullet designs, weights, caliber and materials? Of course, I would start at the bottom of the recommended loads and work up.



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Black Snowman
September 14, 2003, 05:28 PM
Simply put, yes. I've had to guestimate loads more times than I can count because I couldn't find my particular combination anyware. Especially 165 gr 40 S&W for some strange reason. It's a common factory load and I just cound't figure out why reloading data is so sparse.

Mal H
September 14, 2003, 05:33 PM
I agree. If you do as you say, you should be fine. Be aware that plated bullets are more like lead than Cu jacketed bullets so the generally lower weight loads for jacketed bullets would even add a small safety factor.

Standing Wolf
September 14, 2003, 10:28 PM
I've been doing it for years with no problems. I figure if the bullet weights and general shapes are pretty close, the same load ought to work about equally well.

That saidâ„¢, most of my loads are on the light end of the scale. I'd be more cautious if I were loading at the other end.

Gary H
September 14, 2003, 10:45 PM
Not exactly what you were asking, but your question was answered above. I went through my plated bullet period. I came to the conclusion that they were not as accurate as a good jacketed bullet, or a good lead bullet, such as the Laser-Cast. I mean that they were much less accurate... I have thousands sitting under my reloading bench.

Black Snowman
September 15, 2003, 12:06 AM
Hey Gary, what kind of bullets are they and how much would you want for them :D

I had great luck with plated bullets in my Glock but I did notice that the lead under the copper was much softer than a "hard-cast" lead bullet so at high velocities and pressures you can still get leading.

For instance I recommend not using Rainier Lead-Safe's in .357s pushed by H110. They created a leading problem in my friends Desert Eagle.

Gary H
September 15, 2003, 02:13 AM
No, didn't mean to indicate that I would be selling them. I will simply not be using them when I am concerned about accuracy.

Johnny Guest
September 15, 2003, 11:02 AM
So I'll ask a couple. Sven, what is the going price for the Ranier 230s at Midway?

Black Snowman - - What kind of plated bullets did you stockpile, and do you recall the price?

Anyone else with input?

I've just gotten into shooting SMG matches, and it is FUN! It costs too much to feed my Thompson factory ammo, even WW-II corrosive. I've shot many thousands of my favorite 230 lead RN through it, but it is a pain to clean the Cutts Compensator. Being basically lazy, and cheap, I'm looking at bulk handloading plated 230 RNs with 231. I'll accept the accuracy compromise with plated bullets. With an open bolt subgun, "accuracy" has a slightly different definition.;)

Thanks, all.


September 15, 2003, 11:49 AM
One other factor to consider when interchanging data is the seating depth. Like weights and shapes may have more or less bullet shank in the case which impacts the pressure level of the load. As already said, this becomes more important as you approach the top end of a load.

I also found plated bullets less accurate than cast. I use cast bullets in my Thompson copy, but no comp to worry about. Never have any barrel leading.

September 15, 2003, 12:38 PM
Johnny, as you seem to shoot a bunch, contact West Coast Bullets and ask Red about their volume shooter's discount. I bought 5K 45 and 2K 44 bullets and they were about $50/K delivered. I find them accurate enough to keep everything in the black offhand at 25 yards, inexpensive enough that I can practice as much as I want, and not messy loading or shooting like lead. But if you push plated bullets too hard, just like soft lead, you will deform the heel and get flyers. Key is careful load development.

September 15, 2003, 03:20 PM
Larry W

What are criteria to get volume pricing from West Coast Bullet? Thanks

September 15, 2003, 05:13 PM
All you have to do is order over 200 pounds. Mix and match to your heart's delight, share the joy with a friend. ;)

See http://www.westcoastbullet.com/groupBuy.html

Gary H
September 15, 2003, 05:26 PM
200 pounds is where the UPS bulk rate shipping category begins. Most vendors will provide a better shipping price once you have met this weight requirement. So, regardless of who you order from, it always keeps the unit cost down to order a minimum of 200#.

September 15, 2003, 05:48 PM
200# is also where WCB changes their pricing from ~$70/K to ~$50/K

Gary H
September 15, 2003, 07:03 PM

I have been on the search for bullets. As mentioned, I question the accuracy of the West Coast plated. They certainly do a good job plating and they really do look good. Yesterday, I was at Chabot's (A Public Range Hiding Oakland Hills) PPC. An old timer, who has been reloading since 1976 got on a tear regarding plated bullets..W.C. to be exact. Now, that didn't really shock me to hear a PPC competitor question plated accuracy, but he related how he reduced a guys spread from hand size to that of a quarter at 15' simply by tossing his plated bullets.

Then he started to praise the Laser-Cast bullets from Oregon Trails. He has had some inside dealings with them and has a relationship with the fellow who wrote their reloading manual. He believes that the slight amount of silver does make for a more consistent bullet. I must say that they weigh more uniformly than any other lead bullet that I have. He says that the best way to buy their bullets is to drive to Oregon and pick them up. I believe that he can work a good deal. Anyway, I suspect that one of us will go for that solution in the future. Should you want to be in on the deal, I'll post the buy on THR.

September 15, 2003, 08:40 PM
Any group buys, please keep me in the loop.

Regarding the controversy, enough of this "an old timer told me"... lets do some tests!

Gary H
September 15, 2003, 08:51 PM

An Old-Timer is next to the man himself..ehh..woman herself.. I know that my groups tightened when I dumped the plated, but I don't have a Ransom Rest... and I think that such a device is the only way to be sure... Anyway, my skills as a shooter are yet to exceed my skills as a reloader. Most things that we do with our guns don't require that much accuracy anyway..that is why I haven't dumped my plated bullets.

another okie
September 15, 2003, 10:41 PM
I just started reloading .45, but I found it very useful just for this reason to buy the "Loadbook" advertised in Midway for the caliber in addition to one of the comprehensive, all-caliber loading manuals. There's no use buying the whole loading book for every bullet company.

The comprehensive manual (I have the Speer) has essential info on technique, but the Load Manual has the actual data for that caliber from a variety of manuals, without all the cautions, safety notices, and company histories. It's published by Loadbooks, U.S.A. and is available in many calibers.

In .45 it has info from six bullet makers and seven powder makers. It has the Hornady loads for a 185 SWC, though I don't see where it says whether it's plated or not. (The Hornady section says they only make one kind of 185 grain SWC.) It's Hornady # 4513, and lists a wide variety of loads from 750 fps to 1000 fps. You don't say what powder you're using. I use WIN 231, and for that powder it lists 5.4 grains for 800 fps up to 6.3 for 950. It doesn't have Rainier bullets. Since the book has powder manufacturers as well, I looked under Hodgson and Winchester, and both list several powders and loads for jacketed SWCs.

Just out of curiosity raised by your intitial question, I compared the loads I just quoted to you to those for Sierra 185 FPJ and WIN 231 and found that they list 5.4 as 800 fps and 6.3 as 950, so one result is the same and the other isn't. So there is a small amount of variation depending on bullet manufacture, which was your question. Or maybe it's due to the fact that there were two different test weapons. Who knows?

I guess the answer, as always in reloading, is be cautious, start low, and slowly work up while watching for signs of excess pressure, not exceeding the maximum listed load.

September 15, 2003, 11:58 PM
Thanks for the info - will have to check out the Midway book... note that Speer's bullets are listed as being .4515 in diameter... might explain some of the difference.

September 16, 2003, 03:22 PM
Regarding the controversy, enough of this "an old timer told me"... lets do some tests!

OK. Ten shots at 25 yards shot about an hour ago at the Sunnyvale Rod and Gun Club's outdoor range. Including the called pulled shot, group measures 2" edge to edge, or ~1.5" center to center. Before shooting the group, I adjusted POI so it wouldn't obliterate my aiming point.

Load is 4.3gr of WST, mixed brass, WLP, 200gr plated SWC bullets from West Coast Bullets, 1.235" COL. Group gets more symmetrical when shot using Starline instead of mixed brass but I forgot to bring my "match loads" with me this morning.


September 16, 2003, 03:57 PM
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Seriously, nice group!

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