Second time out with my reloads and...


September 25, 2012, 11:02 PM
First time out with my own reloads didn't go so well. I started at the low end of the scale and loaded up 50 rounds @ 4.2 grains of HP-38 over 230 grain plated HSM 45acp rounds. All rounds exited the barrel but would not cycle the action. Yep, turned my 1911 into a single shot. Lesson One, only loaded up three magazines full this time. Lesson Two, started at 4.7 grains for 14 rounds and did 5 grains for seven. All rounds cycled the action and cleanly ejected:). Fired the 4.7 rounds first and checked the casings for any problems. Then I moved up to the 5 grain rounds and those cases looked good also. Accuracy was good on both. After all my reloads were gone I fired a couple of magazines of factory Federal that recoiled harder than my reloads. I think my new plinkin' rounds are going to be 5 grains with store bought stuff for self defense. Thanks everyone here for your advise and encouragement.

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September 26, 2012, 12:09 AM
I used 5.1 of W-231 and they shot well, but...... I switched to 5.5 and love it. I have about 750 rounds.

September 26, 2012, 01:55 AM
Firing a single shot is OK if you are looking for a low recoil target load.
In your case, I imagine just the thrill of them working was more than enough.
I always start loading any new bullet or powder at the lowest starting load I can find. I expect my semi-auto will be a single shot and, if it isn't, I know that it will probably reach max before many of the manual's max loads.
The problem is if the load is just light enough that the slide goes back far enough to start to pick up the next round in the magazine but NOT far enough to eject the fired case...
Don't worry about light loads unless you accidentally load them so light they become squibs (or you are shooting H110/296).

September 26, 2012, 08:51 AM
In m y limited chronograph testing it appears that plated bullets provide ca. 10% lower velocity when compared to a lead bullet of the same weight.

September 26, 2012, 09:10 AM
I referenced Hodgdon lead load data for HSM 230 gr HP plated bullets and 4.8 gr of W231/HP-38 worked well for me. For your RN HSM plated bullet, once you identify the powder charge that will reliably cycle the slide, slowly test incremental powder charges (say .1 gr increase) until you get accuracy trend that is acceptable for you.

Here's Hodgdon's load data (

230 gr LRN W231/HP-38 OAL 1.200" Start 4.3 gr (699 fps) 12,200 CUP - Max 5.3 gr (834 fps) 16,900 CUP

September 26, 2012, 10:04 AM
I load the 230 gr Berry's RN... with a COAL of 1.25"

4.8 gr of W231 has been my normal plinker...

Just switched to 5.1-5.2 gr. to better match the recoil from factory loads.

Never had any feed, or cycling problems.

September 26, 2012, 04:11 PM
It is well to start at the low end, but never load too many. 5 then up the load and 5 more then up the load and 5 more until you are a little over the center of the spread on the chart, then go shoot. This way you can more quickly arrive at a load that will work, then later you can load up a bunch to have fun with, and also try a few more loads in batches of 5 for the hunt for accuracy.

It is a real pain if you find you have 50, or more, loaded and they won't work.

I have never found the start load on the low end of the chart be satisfactory. It is a place to start is about all you can say. Usually about in the middle or above is where I have found good results. I have one time had the starting load go too hot for some reason. Never figured that one out. Glad I started there though and not higher.

September 26, 2012, 07:32 PM
If accuracy is the same and gun functions properly, I would use the lighter load unless I just wanted more recoil.

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