Load to duplicate .45ACP hardball?


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txgolfer45
January 31, 2010, 08:46 AM
Being new to reloading, I've been reading about various loads for 230 gr. FMJ but, by design, they give ranges from min to max. If I wanted to duplicate a hardball load for purposes of "breaking in" a new 1911, what load do I need to work up using Bullseye powder?

A buddy said hardball has an OAL of 1.260. I checked a factory Remington UMC and it gauged at 1.265 OAL.

My .45ACP One book/One caliber manual says max load is 5.0 grs for Bullseye.

The Alliant website says min OAL is 1.26 and a charge weight of 5.7 for 840 fps in a 4.4 inch barrel for Bullseye.

The Lyman 49th edition says a 230 gr TMJ 1.275 OAL has a starting grains of 3.8 and a max load grains of 5.3 for Bullseye.

Suggestions?

BTW, this load will go in a Govt model 1911, if that makes any difference.

Thanks!

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RVenick
January 31, 2010, 09:56 AM
That is the fun of reloading every manual has something a little different. Working up loads that YOUR gun likes. I have not loaded my 45acp with Bullseye yet but, I usually start a few tenths of a grain above starting and load like 5 rounds and then do a few nearer the max and head to the range to see what sticks and adjust from there. The OALs you posted are only thousands of an inch difference so I wouldn't dwell on that too much. I use 1.265 for all my 45acp loads.

Walkalong
January 31, 2010, 10:02 AM
rcmodel has posted the GI spec O.A.L. for .45 ball ammo here a few times. Like many things, it is a range, not a specific number. (1.266 to 1.272?? Something like that)

I load .45 ACP RN ammo to fall between 1.260 & 1.265.

pbratton
January 31, 2010, 11:04 AM
My standard load is 5.2 grains of Bulleye at the 1.275 OAL range.

loadedround
January 31, 2010, 11:27 AM
A few years the duplication of the factory/military Hard Ball load was any quality 230 gr FMJ bullet over 7.0 gr of Unique with the std LP primer. These days I see the maximum charge has been reduced to 6.5 gr of Unique, so I suggest using that weight for Max Hard Ball loads. My colt 1911A1's run perfectly with 16 lb springs and the 7.0 gr load. YMMV!

txgolfer45
January 31, 2010, 01:41 PM
I'll start with 5.0 grs of Bullseye and see how that does.

bds
January 31, 2010, 02:18 PM
Sometimes we forget that older load data showing lower powder charges were done for 5" barrels.

Newer semi-auto compacts/sub-compacts with shorter barrels (2"-4.4") will require more powder to achieve similar velocities shot from 5" barrels (you may even need to load with faster burning powder).

If you check the newer load data, they may indicate test barrel lengths that are shorter than 5" (perhaps 4"-4.4") thus the need for more powder.

Also check the pressure rating for your pistols (P, +P, +P+) to see what loads you can safely shoot.

rcmodel
January 31, 2010, 02:23 PM
GI mil-spec for the .45 ACP 230 FMJ-RN is 1.275" max -.020".

That gives a range of 1.275" MAX to 1.255" min.

However I have never seen a GI round loaded that short.

My measurements of GI .45 ACP Match & Ball ammo from WWC 64 Match, RA 65 Match, and RA 68 Ball ranged from 1.266" to 1.271".

At one time many moons ago, military National Match ball ammo was loaded with 4.7 grains Bullseye powder, giving 816 FPS.

Older Lyman manuals said 6.5 grains Unique was a factory duplication load.

MIL-SPEC LOADS FROM NRA - 1-1-87 AMERICAN RIFLEMAN
.45 ACP 230 gr. FMJ

Bullseye 4.6
Win. 231 5.6
Unique 6.5

IMO: 7.0 grains Unique / 230 FMJ-RN is a +P over-load, and not even close to mil-spec.

rc

Walkalong
January 31, 2010, 02:37 PM
Well there you go. :D

bds
January 31, 2010, 02:50 PM
Just curiosity question.

Do the military ammunition change lot to lot? I know the military bids go out to different contractors in different years. Can't imagine different contractors using the same powder/primer/bullet combination and therefore vary in performance.

Is the mil spec primarily based on velocity?

That's gotta play havoc with snipers or maybe they carry specific lot ammo they have range tested?

rcmodel
January 31, 2010, 03:00 PM
Mil-spec ammo only has to meet all the mil-spec requirements as to velocity, accuracy, safety, powder type & burn rate, etc.

They don't care how the various manufactures get there, as long as they get there.

When I served in the Army AMU units in charge of the sniper programs, such as they were then in the late 60's, our snipers shot GI issue National Match 30-06 & 7.62mm ammo whenever possible.
I know of at least one Model 70 .30-378 wildcat match rifle and a duffle bag full of handloads that went to Vietnam with one of our guys too.

Today, Black Hills and other commercial companies get the contracts for sniper & match ammo.

rc

bds
January 31, 2010, 03:41 PM
Today, Black Hills and other commercial companies get the contracts for sniper & match ammo.

Black Hills ammo? "Send it" :D

rcmodel
January 31, 2010, 04:42 PM
See, that's another thing that has changed a lot since I had any involvement in it.

Back in my day, the shooter would "send it" when he got darned good & ready to send it.

The spotter would have absolutely no way of knowing if the shooters sight picture, breathing, heart rate, and trigger squeeze where exactly right to "send it" on command.

It's a total mystery to me exactly how that works today on TV.

rc

Steve C
January 31, 2010, 05:56 PM
6.1grs of Unique pushes a bulk 230gr Remington FMJ at 850 fps out of 4 .45's I've shot them out of (2 Government models, 1 Combat Commander, and 1 Sig 220). The slight difference if barrel length of the 4 pistols made no significant difference in average velocity. This duplicates military loadings that should get 850 fps from a 5" barrel. Most current manufacturers load ball ammo to around 830 fps.

Years ago I tried 7.0grs of Unique (pre chronograph) and it was a very heavy so I dropped back to 6.1 or 6.2grs.

moxie
January 31, 2010, 07:19 PM
rcmodel has the specs. Once you have your pistol broken in, you might drop down to 4 grs. of Bullseye or 5 of Unique for lighter practice loads. You can also use round nose lead (RNL) bullets which are usually a lot cheaper than the FMJs. Those 7 grain Unique loads are indeed very hot. I have some 7.0, 7.1, and 7.2 I shoot occasionally out of the S&W 625, but not out of 1911s. Don't know their actual velocity, but they are zippy!

From all the above, you will note that to push a given bullet at the same velocity, you need about 20% less Bullseye than Unique, or many other powders. Since they cost the same per pound, and produce satisfactory results when loaded properly, Bullseye is the value leader when you are making up big batches of practice ammo. FWIW.

jem375
January 31, 2010, 08:16 PM
these loads are what I shoot out of my 1911's.....

ArchAngelCD
February 1, 2010, 02:13 AM
My measurements of GI .45 ACP Match & Ball ammo from WWC 64 Match, RA 65 Match, and RA 68 Ball ranged from 1.266" to 1.271".

MIL-SPEC LOADS FROM NRA - 1-1-87 AMERICAN RIFLEMAN
.45 ACP 230 gr. FMJ

Bullseye 4.6
Win. 231 5.6
Unique 6.5
My favorite .45 Auto load is a 230gr FMJ bullet over 5.5gr W231 with an OAL of 1.270". That load works GREAT in my Springfield 1911A1 and I'll load and shoot it as long as W231/HP-38 is available.

OldCavSoldier
February 1, 2010, 05:08 PM
Steve C: I think you have struck on a good compromise!

Lawdog_608
December 21, 2011, 12:21 PM
Can someone tell me what Vel. was listed in 1/1/87 American Rifleman magazine?

soloban
December 22, 2011, 01:21 PM
My Springfield likes 230 Gr FMJs over a near max load of PowerPistol. Punchy combination and accurate to boot.

dbarnhart
December 22, 2011, 10:14 PM
For years my favorite load for 230gr FMJRN 45acp has been 5.5gr of Unique thru my Colt Combat Commander. It's not the fastest hottest load but I can shoot it all day.

AFK
December 22, 2011, 11:10 PM
My favorite .45 Auto load is a 230gr FMJ bullet over 5.5gr W231 with an OAL of 1.270". That load works GREAT in my Springfield 1911A1 and I'll load and shoot it as long as W231/HP-38 is available.
Pretty close to my load too. 5.5gr W231 with COL of 1.266

I know a lot of people would disagree with me, but I have worked up various loads with 230gr FMJ and Bullseye, and I just did not like the powder. The only thing I use it for currently is .38 special

ArchAngelCD
December 23, 2011, 02:39 AM
Pretty close to my load too. 5.5gr W231 with COL of 1.266

I know a lot of people would disagree with me, but I have worked up various loads with 230gr FMJ and Bullseye, and I just did not like the powder. The only thing I use it for currently is .38 special
I have used a lot of powders over the years and I always seem to come back to W231. I use W231 for most of my handgun reloading unless I'm using W296 in the .357 Magnum. lol

Right now I load for the .38 Special, 38 S&W, 9mm, .45 Auto and .45 Colt and I use mostly W231 in all of them especially when loading lead bullets.

918v
December 24, 2011, 03:01 PM
5 grains of Bullseye.

Lost Sheep
December 24, 2011, 09:13 PM
Unless you test it yourself.

$100 will get you a basic chronograph. A few bucks more will get you a box of standard "military equivalent" ammunition. Shoot a few over your chronograph and then reload with whatever powder you wish and match that velocity.

That is the load that will answer your question for that one gun.

It will likely be close with other guns, but other guns may vary. A little.

Reloading can be precise, but it will never be exact.

Lost Sheep

Hondo 60
December 24, 2011, 09:26 PM
Seems odd to me that no one has said that every gun is unique.
What works perfectly in my gun, may not do squat in yours.

That's the fun of reloading.
Trying to find that perfect blend for YOUR gun.

Anyway, my load is 4.6 gr of Tite Group under a 230 gr FMJ RN
That's a mid to upper end load that I worked up.
Very soft shooting, yet velocity is ~850 fps or so.

ssyoumans
December 25, 2011, 11:17 PM
MBC 230gr LRN with 5.6gr Unique at 1.260" is good for 825fps. Excellent cheap load, although 4.3gr of WST at 780fps seemed more accurate in my Govt model.

230gr LRN is the way to go.

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