M1911 Ball Load


PDA






The Dutchman
May 24, 2013, 11:01 PM
Hello everyone, I have recently purchased some fully tapered feed lip GI spec mags for my ww2 model Ithaca 1911. I have a friend who reloads ammo and I would to make some USGI 230 grain ball ammo to use in it. The problem is that the different reload manuals have significant variations in the various OAL and grains of different powders to use. I have searched on various boards and found the same varying specs with some members dead set on a certain combination while others preach different specs. From what I gather OAL should be between 1.260 and 1.265 yet some people have said the USGI loading was 1.275. Powder variations go from 5.5 gr unique to 6.5 gr. Has anybody tried to replicate this load and if so would you care to share the specs of it? The pistol is in great operating condition and is within specs according to my gunsmith and given that I will be using the proper mags with it I just a load that will operate best with it. Thank you

If you enjoyed reading about "M1911 Ball Load" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
cfullgraf
May 24, 2013, 11:57 PM
I load 45 ACP with 230 Rn bullets and 700-X. I use the published data.

If i remember correctly, and my reloading data is not close at hand, my over all length is a nominal 1.250. I think you may have problems fitting the rounds in the magazine at much over 1.260 but I may be wrong. I have slept since then.

Rule3
May 25, 2013, 01:17 AM
I do not have "Hatchers" data here but rounded off the GI load for a 230 gr bullet was 5.0 grains of Bullseye. 1.250 or so. The BE may be 4.6 or so which is why I say rounded off. Around 830 fps. I prefer BE to Unique, it meters better.;)

There are lots of threads on this and all the finer points will be mentioned.:)

Lj1941
May 25, 2013, 11:09 AM
I used 5.3 Grains of Bullseye with 230 Grain Berrys RN . It clocks at 825+-FPS. I forget the COL but I shot it in an Ithaca 1911A1.That is a close approximation of a GI Ball load.:)

rcmodel
May 25, 2013, 11:23 AM
GI issue ball ammo is loaded to an average length of 1.265" to 1.271".
In order to do that, make sure your 230 grain FMJ has the same ogive profile of the GI bullet.

If your bullets are more rounded, you will have to seat shorter to pass the chamber 'Plunk Test'.

Taper crimp measures .4695" to .471" depending on year & manufacture.

The Jan. 1987 American Rifleman published this as mil-spec duplication powder charges.
.45 ACP 230 gr. FMJ

Bullseye = 4.6
Win. 231 = 5.6
Unique = 6.5

Hope this helps.

rc

Lj1941
May 25, 2013, 02:42 PM
Looking back at my records I also used 6 grains of Unique for about the same velocity.I adjusted the seating depth using a round of WW2 Ball.My OAL was 1.26.:)

horseman1
May 25, 2013, 03:56 PM
deleted, information was covered elsewhere.

The Dutchman
May 25, 2013, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the responses gentleman. For some reason I guess I assumed there wasn't that much variation in the ogive profile between various 230 gr fmj bullets. In that case what manufacturers produce an ogive profile close to that of gi ball? Or do most of them produce profiles that would better match the shorter oal loading? My friend currently has 230 gr. bullets by winchester, hornady, and sierra (tournament master)

JRH6856
May 25, 2013, 06:10 PM
Assuming the ogive is the same for the 230 gr FMJ-RN bullets in the commercial loads, I have had no problems feeding Winchester and Remington in my 1911 using the original GI mags with full tapered lips. They may have a different ogive but it hasn't made any difference for me. I don't current have any surplus GI Ball for comparison, but when I compared them in the past, they looked to be visually identical.

Rule3
May 25, 2013, 06:17 PM
JMO, but I would not put too much thought into the nuances of a 230 grain ball projectile. Are you using lead or FMJ? They all look pretty much the same to me as far as shape.

The OAL is determined by the barrel that you have. Do the "plunk test" to determine which is best. The 1.275 is the MAX length per specs.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=506678

RealGun
May 25, 2013, 06:47 PM
My Lyman .45 ACP "plunk" gauge measures 1.275 OL, 1.266 in the head clearance valley, and .474 ID. I load to 1.263 OAL.

The Dutchman
May 25, 2013, 08:12 PM
Yes I will be using fmj. I tend to get a little OCD about the specifics of things. Good news is that unique and bullseye are available for use. I just didn't want to have a batch of ammo that wouldn't work properly since both reloading components and ammo is so hard to get these days plus I wanted that extra reliability factor in case for home defense.

Walkalong
May 25, 2013, 08:20 PM
I load 185, 200, & 230 Gr RN .45 ACP bullets at 1.260 to 1.265. I have found 1.275 to be too long for some mags. I want to keep rounds 1.270 and shorter, so loading to 1.260 to 1.265 gives me a little wiggle room for the odd long round that may show up.

Hondo 60
May 25, 2013, 09:51 PM
I load mine to 1.265
That passes the "plunk" test & fits in all 4 of my magazines.

ljnowell
May 25, 2013, 11:54 PM
You should never end ep with a "batch" of bad ammo. Only load a few rounds, then test it.

The Dutchman
May 25, 2013, 11:56 PM
The average seems to fall with 1.260-1.265 based on the responses. I think I'm going to use bullseye since my friend said he can measure that more accurately since it meters pretty well. Would 5.0 grains get it to 820-830 fps or is that too low or too much?

JRH6856
May 26, 2013, 12:44 AM
According to QuickLoad, 5gr Bullseye under a Hornady .230gr FMJRN at 1.265 OAL will get you 859fps at 16663 ft/lbs, from a 1911.

Rule3
May 26, 2013, 01:27 AM
The average seems to fall with 1.260-1.265 based on the responses. I think I'm going to use bullseye since my friend said he can measure that more accurately since it meters pretty well. Would 5.0 grains get it to 820-830 fps or is that too low or too much?

If you look at Hodgdons online data. All their tests for the 230 FMJFN and 230 LRN are all at a COL of 1.200. (Just to confuse things further;)) There are no absolutes. I do not load them that short.

As to velocity only shooting out of your gun with a chronograph will tell you for sure but as discussed all the tests will put you in that range. Yes 5.0 gr of BE with the 230gr bullet should get you there.

http://data.hodgdon.com/cartridge_load.asp

Walkalong
May 26, 2013, 09:46 AM
All their tests for the 230 FMJFN and 230 LRN are all at a COL of 1.200FMJFN I'll just betcha that is the Hornady 230 Gr Tr FP bullet which loads shorter than RN.

Rule3
May 26, 2013, 11:26 AM
Perhaps, but what about the LRN?

Like the ATT (sitting around talking to the kids)commercials. is it better to be short or long?:D

Walkalong
May 26, 2013, 12:30 PM
Dunno, but unless it is seriously blunt, 1.200 is too short.

Rule3
May 26, 2013, 01:17 PM
Dunno, but unless it is seriously blunt, 1.200 is too short.
I agree and will probably call them next week sometime to see what bullet they used. It has been a question I have been meaning to ask for some time as I use a lot of their powders, but not that COAL.

rcmodel
May 26, 2013, 01:26 PM
My old Hodgdon manual says it is a Hornady 230 FMJ seated 1.200".

That would be a truncated flat point.

At the time my manual came out, I don't think Hornady even made a RN-FMJ.

rc

JRH6856
May 26, 2013, 01:53 PM
I'm loading MBC's 225g Flathead at 1.215. That is too short for a 230g roundnose.

rcmodel
May 26, 2013, 02:18 PM
GI issue RA 66 Ball.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/RA-66Ball_zps0292af10.jpg

GI issue RA 65 Match.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/RA-65Match_zps9da03662.jpg

As noted above, some other brands such as Winchester GI Ball & Match may run up to 1.271".

rc

Rule3
May 26, 2013, 02:43 PM
At the time my manual came out, I don't think Hornady even made a RN-FMJ.

rc

Did they even have 1911's back then?:D

The Dutchman
May 26, 2013, 03:44 PM
RC thank you for the pictures of the measurements. That's the oal I'm going to specify now. Not to go slightly off topic but was any of the 45 milspec ammo ever cannelured at the case? I seem to remember reading that this was done for a short time at one point I believe for the thompson smg. Would this be a waste of time to do?

I gotta say when I finally get this ammo and go to the range I'm going to get a little giddy knowing I'm using the same combination (proper magazines, pistol made from the right stuff, and in spec ammo) that so reliably served my grandpa in ww2 and my uncle in Vietnam.

rcmodel
May 26, 2013, 03:51 PM
I have some Winchester ball with a case cannulure, but they are reloads and I don't know what it started out as.

Would this be a waste of time to do?Yes, it would be a waste of time.

rc

Walkalong
May 26, 2013, 03:52 PM
Hornady 230 Gr - http://www.midwayusa.com/product/1165156446/hornady-bullets-45-caliber-451-diameter-230-grain-full-metal-jacket-flat-nose

http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/120x90/primary/10000/1165156446.jpg

johnmcl
May 26, 2013, 04:00 PM
Hi all,

I have slightly different results. I measured a couple of 230FMJ white box ammo and found it to be 1.25 OAL.

Here's some results of Bullseye powder at that OAL. At 4.6gr, 755 ft/sec, at 4.8 gr, 770 ft/sec, and at 5.0gr 803 ft/sec.

I may try to stretch them out an additional 0.015 in to see the effect. I suspect the velocity will drop.

JRH6856
May 26, 2013, 04:06 PM
Federal 230g FMJ RN = 1.272"
R-P 230g FMJ RN = 1.272"

The Dutchman
May 26, 2013, 04:45 PM
There seems to changes in the needed powder charge to attain a certain velocity over the years for certain powders. I just read that alliant bullseye was changed so that you'll need a slightly higher powder charge to get to the same velocity. On their website they list for a 230 gr fmj at 1.26" 5.7 grains of bullseye for 840 fps out of a 4.4 inch barrel.

JRH6856
May 26, 2013, 05:04 PM
Powder can change characteristics from lot to lot, and the primers and cases used can make a difference as well. That is why we work up loads by reducing the recommended maximum charge by 10% and working up in increments checking for pressure signs.

Rule3
May 26, 2013, 07:21 PM
There seems to changes in the needed powder charge to attain a certain velocity over the years for certain powders. I just read that alliant bullseye was changed so that you'll need a slightly higher powder charge to get to the same velocity. On their website they list for a 230 gr fmj at 1.26" 5.7 grains of bullseye for 840 fps out of a 4.4 inch barrel.

Yes, powder lots do change over time but the 5.0 gr load of B.E. will be just fine.:) I use it all the time. Test data also changes do to conditions of the tests and the equipment used. As I mentioned, without a chronograph you will never know but does it really matter? Accuracy is more important, which will depend a lot on the condition of the barrel and of course the shooter.;)

One other thing that came to mind, You are using this nice old vintage pistol. Has the recoil spring been changed ever or at least recently?

If it is old and weak you do not want to have the slide slamming. This can also lead to malfunctions. Not a real worry but something to consider. Competition shooters change out springs depending on the weight of the bullet and the type of load (light or heavy) on a regular basis.

rcmodel
May 26, 2013, 07:28 PM
I just read that alliant bullseye was changed so that you'll need a slightly higher powder charge to get to the same velocity.Too my knowledge, Bullseye powder has never been changes though-out it's history.

First, you are looking at a Speer TMJ bullet, which is a plated bullet, not a jacketed bullet.

Second, you are looking at a 4.4" test barrel, not a 5" 1911 barrel.

rc

The Dutchman
May 26, 2013, 07:34 PM
Yes, when I took it my gunsmith I had him verify that all parts are in spec and to change out all the springs for good measure, I felt better safe than sorry. No extra power springs just the same poundage that was the spec at the time (16 lb recoil spring for example). Interesting side note the gunsmith checked the extractor tension and had said that it still was right on the money. He said he would bet hard money that this was the original extractor on the gun and it didn't need any adjustments. The gun is almost 70 years old and that still amazes me when I think about it.

rcmodel
May 26, 2013, 09:08 PM
The gun is almost 70 years old and that still amazes me when I think about it. Not me much.

They knew how to make & temper mil-spec extractors out of scrap metal back then!

It's todays super-steel $40 buck extractors you have to keep bending back into working shape.

rc

If you enjoyed reading about "M1911 Ball Load" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!