Berry's Bullets and Winchester 231


Rolling Thunder Bob
June 26, 2012, 03:59 PM
Hey Gang,

I'm reloading for my Kimber Ultra Carry and I was wondering if anyone out there has loaded Berry's Bullets 230 gn round nose copper plated, using Winchester 231 powder? Also, my Lyman reloading manual references: 5.1 gn as a starting charge for this weight in a FMJ. No reference to TMJ; is there a difference? I've been going at it with 5.3 gn of 231 and 1.275 O.A.L. It seems a bit on the snappy side in a 3" barrel. Any recipe advise would be appreciated. This will be for practice on paper and plinking.

My research has shown starting loads to be 4.8 to 5.2, depending on the source, not to mention the variances in C.U.P. Did Winchester change their recipe recently?

Your thoughts and many thanks,


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June 26, 2012, 04:05 PM
Hodgdon, who sells all Winchester powder now, says:
230 Horn XTP + W231 = 4.2 Start - 5.3 MAX.

Berry says to use mid-level jacketed bullet data with thier bullets.

That would be 4.8 if you average the Start & Max load.

Maybe try that?


June 26, 2012, 05:49 PM
Well, I do have experience in this as I had loaded some for my Taurus PT145 Mil Pro and my fathers RIA 1911 Officer. The OAL we used was 1.270 and we used a start charge of 4.2 and moved up in .2 Gr increments. The 4.2 is a great load for plinking and light recoil. It will leave soot on the case and will toss the brass about a foot from you is that.

The 4.4 is a pretty good one as well with a tiny bit more pep to it. Same OAL in both guns fed flawlessly and extracted with no issues. I would try 4.4 for you and make another small batch about 5-10 rounds of 4.6 and 4.8 with the OAL of 1.270 and see how it works out for you.

And as far as FMJ goes to TMJ, I think one has a lead exposed base but other than that, I don't see a real difference, For the record, I used Armscor 230 Gr RN bullets and they did good at about 7-8 yards.

Steve C
June 27, 2012, 02:16 AM
I've used 5.5gr of W231 behind 200 and 230gr Berry's and Raniers as well as Remington FMJ's. Velocity from my Colt Commander was 797 fps for the 230 and 812 fps for the 200gr.

For shooting steel plates I've dropped the load down to 5.0gr behind 200gr TC Raniers.

June 27, 2012, 05:47 AM
I'd say 4.7 to 5.0 is about right but you may want to start out a bit lower. As was already pointed out, plated bullets should be loaded using mid range jacketed loads. They are a nice way to save money.

IMO the 3" 45 ACP always feels a bit snappy.

June 27, 2012, 07:20 AM
5.0 for playing, 5.5 for close to factory equivalent. Yes, this is over some of the new W-231 data, while under some of the old. Anything over 5.9 gets pretty snappy.

Use at your own risk, but 5.0 and 5.5 with a 230 Gr bullet loaded at 1.260/5 in .45 ACP has been used extensively over the years.

June 27, 2012, 09:40 AM
I use 5.6g of HP-38 (same as 231) with the Berry 230 PRN. As stated already this is over current max but velocity is only 780 fps. I use it as a standard target load

June 27, 2012, 03:52 PM
I load 230 gr. berry's and many other plated or lead bullet's at 5.3-5
1.260 and have for years,verry good accuracy in my governments and short barrel 1911's.You plain and simple are going to have more recoil out of a 3"barrel.

sean eady
June 27, 2012, 04:24 PM
Another one for 5.3-5.5 using plated 230gn. Almost identical load to PMC Bronze over the chronograph.

June 27, 2012, 04:46 PM
One more for Berry's 230gr over 5.3gr of W231. I set my OAL to 1.260". I will say that I tried 4.8gr of W231 and got good results with mild recoil, but it seemed dirty. I have since switched to 4.1gr of WST, and man does it shoot nice. WST is a lot cleaner than W231, and has a softer recoil.

June 28, 2012, 01:59 AM
From the Berry's Site: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.
The Hodgdon load data from their site lists W231 @ 4.2gr to 5.3gr with a 230gr Hornady XTP bullet and @ 4.3gr to 5.3gr with a 230gr LRN bullet. That makes things fairly easy to me but be aware, they use an OAL of only 1.200". You have more room on the top end if you're using an OAL of 1.275". Your charge of 5.3gr with that OAL is nowhere near the Max and should be just fine if it's an accurate load in your handgun.

I use a charge of 5.5gr W231 with any 230gr bullet with an OAL of between 1.255" and 1.265" depending upon which bullet I'm using. That is my one and only .45 Auto load. When something works well there's no reason to change it...

June 28, 2012, 02:23 AM
No reference to TMJ; is there a difference?
re type of bullet: TMJ and FMJ will use the same load because they have the same weight and nose shape.

All plated/jacketted bullets of the SAME WEIGHT and NOSE SHAPE can use the same load data. The plated bullets just need to be limited to the middle portion of the manual's charge range.

When the nose shape changes, the OAL will likely need to be changed. This changes the seating depth and case pressure. Just find load data for "that new nose shape" at "that bullet weight".

Additionally, if your gun will run a 230 gr hollow point or flat tip at the "SAME seating depth" as a 230gr RN, that will also work with the same load data, because the pressures will be close to the same.

Hope this makes sense.

Rolling Thunder Bob
June 29, 2012, 01:45 PM
Thanks to everyone for their insight and wisdom. I guess it's time to hit the books, scales and press. Cheers. RTB

June 29, 2012, 02:45 PM
Delta Precision & Rocky Mountain 230gr FMJ with 5.5grs Win 231 nice load in my 1911's & s&w 625.

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