Is this a safe load with Berry's bullets for a 45 acp???


March 13, 2009, 09:07 AM
I am brand new to reloading expect when i helped my dad when i was a little guy.

equiment i have: lee's classic press, lyman dps 3, redding 45 dies, and a lee's factory crimp die. speer loading manual #14, a lee loading manual that came with my reloading kit, and the new hodgon magizine style manual

I have been loading berrys 230gn round nose bullets with 231 powder at
5.8gn for my sig p220 45 and since i have been reading a bunch of dos and don'ts with plated bullets i just want to be sure im not got to burn my nose off when i go to the range.

i came up with the 5.8gn from the speer manual using fmj load data, 5.8gn is in the middle of the powder range

the other bullets that i loaded with my dad using the same bullets we used 700x powder at 4.9gn is this a safe load with these bullets???

we came up with 4.9gn from the speer manual and 4.9gn is also in the middle of the powder range

and for fucture info i will soon be loading 165gn berrys flat points for my wifes sig p229 using the 231 powder i don't have equiment for the 40 yet but its on its way, so i haven't looked it up yet but what would be a good starting point with these bullets??

i know its a lot of questions i just want to be safe and make sure im using the right loads.


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March 13, 2009, 12:11 PM
Are you sure you looked at that load correctly? Please verify that load before shooting it.

I wouldn't shoot them as they are over the maximum load for that powder and a jacketed bullet, not a mid range load.

Look at this site.

I believe that for plated bullets you use the reloading data for lead or the lower end of the jacketed data.


March 13, 2009, 12:30 PM
5.7 Grs of W-231 is all you need with any plated or jacketed 230 gr RN. It should give you right around 830/840 FPS from a 5" tube. 5.5 Grs of W-231 gives me around 800 FPS, is accurate, and makes for a pleasent practice load. If you want more performance out of the 230 Gr, go with Unique, AA #5, WSF, True Blue, etc.

5.8 Grs is toward the top of data for 230 Gr jacketed. It's not a starting point. That Berrys 230 Gr plated will take running 850 FPS in the .45 with no problem.

March 13, 2009, 12:37 PM
Walkalong gave you good advice. I use the same load he does with Winchester 231 for the Berry's 230 grain RN bullet.

Hope this helps.


March 13, 2009, 12:45 PM
I use 5.2 w231 with that bullet as a practice load - pleasant and accurate to shoot.

March 13, 2009, 03:46 PM
4.9 Grains of 231 with my Rainier 230 grain slugs.

Easy on the gun, accurate, plus it goes a long ways!

5.8 Is definitely at/approaching max, be careful!

March 13, 2009, 05:21 PM
the speer manual says for tmj rn 230 gn with 231 powder is 5.6 min and 6.2 max

the hodgon manual says 239 gr hdy fmj using 231 powder is 4.2 min and 5.3 max

in the lee manaul that came with my reloading kit it says the same as the hodgon manual

i think i made 2 mistakes 1 was i thought plated bullets were the same as full metal jackets since they look and feel the same, and 2 was i trusted the speer manual and not the other 2 that have the same data.

now i got to figure out what to do with the 200 that i loaded at 5.8gr

the gun that i will be using for these is a sig p220 4 inch barrel

March 13, 2009, 05:23 PM
for a practice bullet it looks like 5.2 is a good started point is that correct???

March 13, 2009, 05:24 PM
Yes, 5.2 to start is good. As for the 5.8 ones, as long as it is 5.8 and not more, they will be OK.

March 13, 2009, 05:36 PM
they are at 5.8 and no more im glad i can shoot them instead of taking them all a part lesson learned here.

how about the 100 that were loaded with 700x at 4.8

and with the 165 flat point 40 using 231 what is a good starting point?? the lee and hodgon manual doesn't list 165 flat point ont 165 jhp
and my speer manaul says 5.8 min and 6.3 max using 231 powder but then at the bottom it says that load is for appoximate 165gr law enforcement loads ("40 lite") i don't know what a 40 lite load is

and lastly what is the best reloading manual to get??

March 13, 2009, 05:54 PM
The Speer #13 manual is a good one. That one says 5.6 to 6.2. 6.2 is hot in my pistols. Well, 6.1 is hot, and very snappy, that's as far as I went. I use my Speer #13 as a reference all the time. One thing I like about it is that they use real guns to check loads.

Different manuals say different things. Different guns/test barrels etc give different results. They say start low and work up for many reasons, that is a real good one.

4.8 Grs of 700X is .1 grains over the data Hodgdon shows, but .3 grs under what Speer #13 shows. Again, not a starting point, but probably just fine.

Learn a lesson here. Consult every source you have, start low, work up. :)

Alliant (

Hodgdon (

Ramshot (

Accurate (

Vihtavuori (

March 13, 2009, 07:12 PM
5.1g of W231 with 230 LRN has worked perfectly for thousands of practice rounds from all/any of my 1911's. I can't speak for the Sigs, but will only speak of my own experience. I have seen where Berry's staff say to load them the same as lead, and that they should stay under 1200 fps. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but that is my understanding. 5.1 has been a magic number for my practice rounds.


March 13, 2009, 08:14 PM
I use 5.2 grs. 231 in my .45 Witness Elite Match using 230 gr. Berry's RN plated, soft shooting and good accuracy.:)

March 13, 2009, 08:57 PM
When loading plated bullets you should use Lead Cast Bullet data.

You should not pluck a load out the air. You need work up a load that is SAFE, ACCURATE, and RELIABLE in your gun.

Reloading takes time!

Cartridge Information
Case: Winchester Barrel Length: 5"
Twist: 1:16" Trim Length: .893"
Primer: FEDERAL 150

45 ACP
Cartridge Load Data Starting Loads

Maximum Loads


Bullet Weight (Gr.) Powder Bullet Diam. C.O.L. Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure Grs. Vel. (ft/s) Pressure
230 GR. HDY FMJ FP 231 .451" 1.200" 4.2 751 13,800 CUP 5.3 832 16,800 CUP
230 GR. LRN 231 .452" 1.200" 4.3 699 12,200 CUP 5.3 834 16,900 CUP


March 13, 2009, 09:01 PM
When loading plated bullets you should use Lead Cast Bullet data.That simply is not the case. It is a safe answer, but not accurate.

March 13, 2009, 09:16 PM
Walkalong it is the RIGHT ANSWER for a noob reloader. It RIGHT ANSWER period......that is unless you have published reloading manual lately? I doubt that!
So, the right answer is to use lead data!

March 13, 2009, 09:27 PM
I don't have to publish load data for plated bullets. It has been done by the professionals ( Good to see you are still your jolly old self though. :)

March 13, 2009, 09:44 PM
I agree with Walkalong. Not only has Accurate Arms published loading data for plated bullets, but so has Western Powders, for use with their Ramshot line of powders. Midway also did quite a bit of work with them in their One Caliber Load Books.

There is data for plated bullets available, but you may have to actually read the manuals to find it....

Hope this helps.


March 13, 2009, 10:00 PM
I always stick with current data as it reflects on what is currently available. Oh yeah for got he is using 231 and there is no Hodgdon data for plated bullets.

March 14, 2009, 01:04 AM
As I said, it's in the manuals. You know, the kind that are printed on paper and have bindings.....

Ramshot specifically lists Berry's bullets with several of their powders, in their printed manual.

Hope this helps.


March 14, 2009, 01:08 AM
Oh, and actually, Berry's bullets have heavier plating than Rainier bullets. I've had several face to face conversations with Gilbert Berry about this issue at the SHOT Shows.

Hope this helps.


March 14, 2009, 06:58 AM
Pressure is the thing that destroys guns and does hurtful things to soft tissue.

With even a low-pressure cartridge like the .45 ACP, you're touching off
some 20,000 psi about 18 inches from the end of your nose. As a wise man once noted...that's way yonder more than enough force to blow your eyes through the back of your head.

When in doubt, err on the side of caution. As a rule of thumb...a jacketed 230-grain bullet will generate more pressure than a lead bullet of the same weight with a given powder charge.

Wouldn't the practical answer be to use jacketed data, start below the maximum and work up toward the required velocity level?

I'm just sayin'....

March 14, 2009, 09:13 AM
Doesn't Berry's say to use Jacketed bullet data instead of lead.

As for the OP's question about 40S&W and 165g plated I would start at 4.6g W231. I use 4.9g for 165g fmj in my M&P 40 and it cycles perfectly.

March 14, 2009, 09:41 AM
Oh yeah for got he is using 231 and there is no Hodgdon data for plated bullets.I believe you are correct, but Midway did it in their .45 ACP LoadMAP

Midway's LoadMAPs show some hot loads using some long O.A.L.'s when working up the load - Tread carefully in the yellow and red areas and pay attention to your O.A.L. compared to theirs. The higher pressure the caliber is, the more important this is. Be careful, Have fun.

....................................Repeat link to plated data.................................. (

Midway .45 ACP LoadMAP

March 14, 2009, 10:39 AM
Love all the color in that manual.

Midway must have hired the Easter Bunny to do the layout. :D

March 14, 2009, 11:39 AM
To answer your question about the 700x load you will be fine as long as it is reloaded correctly and fired in a gun in good condition. Notice how I answered THE QUESTION and did not give you a lecture.

March 14, 2009, 11:47 AM
Midway must have hired the Easter Bunny:D Maybe.

March 14, 2009, 12:00 PM
Berry's to load them.....try checking Berry's web site. They really do have simple instructions....and as far as I know, these instructions work for the new and experienced loader.

Berry's Mfg states:

FAQ: How do I load Berry's Preferred Plated Bullets?

Plated bullets occupy a position between cast bullets and jacketed bullets. They are soft lead, but have a hard outer shell on them. When loading plated bullets we have found best results using low- to mid-range jacketed data in the load manual. You must use data for a bullet that has the same weight and profile as the one you are loading. Do not exceed mid-range loads. Do not use magnum loads.

It clearly states Berry's uses jacketed data. And this is confusing?

I've followed this advice for both my 9mm and 45ACP loads without problems.

March 14, 2009, 12:04 PM
I have pushed the berrys to 1350 fps (45 acp) without any problems...kind of suprised me. I think not having a jacket is better with higher velocites in some instances. With my casull i am always tearing off the jackets of pistol bullets. If there is not a jacket you cannot tear it off.

March 14, 2009, 12:18 PM
If you don't push plated bullets fast enough to "skid" down the tube, they will be OK. Just like pushing a soft lead alloy too fast, it will lead when it loses grip of the rifling and starts "skidding" down the bore, breaking the seal. With a plated bullet it seems that it can start tearing the plating loose as well and ruining accuracy. They are not stabilized anymore (not spinning as they should) and damaged, so accuracy will be bad, and they may even start tumbling.

I have pushed Ranier 115 Gr 9MM bullets to as much as1426 FPS (Avg 1404) from a 16" tube with no tumbling, plating damage, and good accuracy. Around 1350 to 1375 being the average I was getting from a Kel-Tec and an AR, both 16" tubes.

March 14, 2009, 12:29 PM
i think i made 2 mistakes 1 was i thought plated bullets were the same as full metal jackets since they look and feel the same, and 2 was i trusted the speer manual and not the other 2 that have the same data.

“A man with one watch always knows what time it is, a man with two is never sure.”

Reloading books have a tendency to become “watered down” over time. I’m not sure if this is from Lawyers or reformulation of the product sold under the same name. For example “new” 231 shoots a lot cleaner than “old” 231 those that have been reloading for 20 years or so can back me up on this (other powders too). So, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and have a bookcase full of reloading manuals, pick the conservative ones to start with, start low and work up. The only exception to this is when developing subsonic rifle loads but that’s a completely different subject.

I am a dealer for Berry’s bullets and, as above, they say not to exceed mid-range jacketed loads. Also, for 45 acp is not a concern, but for other calibers it is recommended to stay below 1200fps. That being said one can do a lot of things that would be considered out side of “manufactures recommendations” everyday, in all aspects of life.

I used to load .357 up to .41 mag energy levels now that I’m older I load 44 mag to 41 levels.

March 15, 2009, 03:56 AM
I use a charge of 5.5gr W231 under a 230gr bullet for the .45 Auto. (both jacketed and lead) That load shoots very will in my 5" 1911. It's my favorite and "go-to" load for the .45 Auto. I'm sure that load will also work well with Berry's plated bullets too.

March 15, 2009, 09:18 AM
I have shot 5.5 Grs W231 with a multitude of 225 to 250 Gr bullets, including lead, plated, and jacketed. I would just put in the #9 bushing, pour in the W231, and load em up. That is why 5.5 was recommended to the OP. It just works.

Then we got off on the tangent/discussion about loading plated bullets. :)

March 16, 2009, 08:36 AM
thanks for all the great info!!!
i wen t to the range os saturday and the 5.8 231 loaded rounds were all over the place and the 5.2 231 loaded rounds were much more on target and and so was the 4.9 700x so i think for now i have found a couple of loads that i am happy with

March 17, 2009, 09:23 PM
I bought a box of Berry's plated 230 gr as well. I was told by a guy at Cabela's that they were great bullets for the price. I loaded 30 of them at 6gr of Unique. I figured it was right in the middle of what Speer 14 said. Am I going to hurt myself or my gun.

March 18, 2009, 05:17 AM
If you look on Alliant's Load Data here you are pretty close to max load

March 18, 2009, 05:46 AM
For the 40 S&W I load a 180 lead bullet with 4.7 grs. of W231 and it is nice and mild. With a 165 gr. lead or plated bullet I would start with about 4.9 grs. Should be nice and mild for the wife.

March 18, 2009, 07:57 AM
I loaded 30 of them at 6gr of Unique..........Am I going to hurt myself or my gun. No. You will be OK.

March 18, 2009, 08:10 AM
I loaded 30 of them at 6gr of Unique..........Am I going to hurt myself or my gun.

Nah. 6 grains of Unique is my go-to charge for 200 and 230 grain bullets...jacketed or cast. It's a GI Hardball equivalent. Good load.

March 18, 2009, 10:53 PM
Your loads are fine as far as the amount of powder. I use more 700x than that and have zero problems.

March 19, 2009, 09:05 PM
Great thanks.

March 20, 2009, 08:25 AM
Like Walkalong and Reloader Fred said,

5.7 grains is all you'll need. That charge and that bullet (Berry's 230 Grain RN plated) is my USPSA Major Load for my 5" 1911.

March 20, 2009, 11:37 PM
i have found the perfect load for the 45 acp is 5.2 w231

according to hornaday 7th edition you are out of max range

i would not shoot them off or be very careful you will be traveling at 850 ft per sec

just think of the wear and tear on you gun

i have loaded and shot over 5000 round using 5.2 gr w231 and my 1911 is still shooting fine no wear on bore and cycles like a swiss clock

March 21, 2009, 09:21 AM
I have loaded and shot many more than that of 225 to 250 gr plated and lead bullets with 5.5 Grs of W-231 with no ill effects. 5.5 Grs is not over max for W-231 with lead or plated bullets, no matter what the Hornady #7 manual says. It won't get to 850 FPS in most guns either.

By the way, the OP has already shot the 5.8 Gr loads. My bet is he tries 5.5 next. :)

March 21, 2009, 12:02 PM
My "go to" load for .45 acp bullets in the 200 to 230 grain range is 5.5 grains of Winchester 231. It's accurate, works with several different bullet weights and functions in all my pistols. I've found no need to go heavier or lighter with this powder.

Hope this helps.


February 9, 2010, 04:52 PM
I too had a question concerning the use of Berry's Plated Bullets, in .45 ACP RN. SO I called them. They referred me to Bud Watson, their in house loading guru, because they don't keep a technical specialist on hand/ payroll. Here is the info Mr. Watson gave to me, concerning the use of Berry's Plated Bullets, 230 RN ( what he referred to as TMJ).

When using plated bullets, the main goal is to keep the velocity under 1200 FPS. He also stated, that if I am unable to find a recipe for Berry's Plated 230 gr. RN TMJ specifically, then to use the recipe for Speer Gold Dot bullets, from the Speer reloading manual, as in his opinion, they were nearly identical bullets.

He recommended several powders, namely Bullseye and 700X, I chose 700X because it's readily available to me currently.

Either powder listed in my manual (LYman's 49th ed.) doesn't come close to exceeding the 1200 FPS, and the 700X is listed as the accuracy load recommended by Lymans. It also requires about a half a grain less, which in turn equates to some form of economy to me.

I'm loading simply for function, and plinking - not IPSC or IDPA. I hope the info was useful - have fun and safe reloading.

February 9, 2010, 05:31 PM
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing that info.

February 10, 2010, 02:07 AM
After all is said and done I'm still going to load 5.5gr W231 under a 230gr bullet for the .45 auto. Like said above by many, it just works...

February 10, 2010, 10:24 AM
I'm not trying to start any arguments, but here is the loads I have chronographed using the original posters components. The gun is a RIA Tactical 1911, government length barrel.

Bullet Powder Primer Charge(gr) Case OAL Case Headstamp Average of 10 shots
Berry 230 RN W231 CCI 4.6 1.225 Winchester 674
Berry 230 RN W231 CCI 4.6 1.220 Winchester 697
Berry 230 RN W231 CCI 4.9 1.260 Winchester 700
Berry 230 RN W231 CCI 5.3 1.260 Winchester 747
Berry 230 RN W231 CCI 5.7 1.260 Wichester 793

Highest velocity OUT OF MY GUN was under 800, well below the max recommended by Berry's

February 10, 2010, 10:45 AM
Why shoot plated when you can get true FMJ for the same price? I shoot 5.1gr of 231 for my plinking loads. Very accurate, very cheap.

February 10, 2010, 09:32 PM

Please enlighten us as to the source of your cheap FMJ bullets.

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