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231 and lead rounds

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by marineshooter, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. marineshooter

    marineshooter Well-Known Member

    hi guys. i just loaded 100 rds of 45 with 231 and 230gr lrn from missouri bullet. with 4.9 grs of 231 and win large pistol primer and starline brass. i am surprised that 231 had more smoke than titegroup. it was a almost white smoke. 231 did not scorch the brass or was it as dirty as titegroup. on hands or nose. however i also loaded 100 rds of 357 with 4.6 grs and MB 158 gr lswc and magtech small magnum pistol primers. same smoke as with my 45 but having only loaded , 100 rds 231 was much dirtier than with titegroup. my 357 had a coating of a lite gray film. i never had this with titegroup, same bullets and primer combo. bullets are great from Missouri BULLET i WILL BUY MORE. Whats with the white smoke???
  2. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Well-Known Member

    Most of the smoke is from bullet lube not powder. A fast powder is pretty much burned in the barrel.

    If the bullets shoot well I wouldn't worry about the smoke.
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Well-Known Member

    I agree. I shoot jacketed and plated bullets with 231 outta my .45 and have never noticed any smoke. This is with 185, 200 and 230 grain bullets. It also seems no dirtier than similar rounds loaded with Unique.
  4. skipsan

    skipsan Well-Known Member

    Lots of smoke with 231 and lead bullets (Laser Cast) but minimal with 231 and plated bullets. I do, however, get the grey dust-looking deposit on the slide with 231 and either lead or plated bullets. It wipes right off so not an issue.
  5. MikeS.

    MikeS. Well-Known Member

    I've been using 6.0 of w-231 in my 10mm loads. With a MB 180grn bullet. I haven't noticed any white smoke.
  6. Steeltown Joe

    Steeltown Joe Active Member

    +1 for the bullet lube ! 5.0 of 231 200gr SWC for around 800 is my Cowboy Wild Bunch load for my 1911. Smokey but not BP smokey ! 3.1 of 231 158gr LNFP for around 750 in my Ruger NV is also a little smokey,but again not BP smokey. 3.0 of Clays is cleaner but still smokey ! its the lube ! My bullets are Flight Line local PA Co. Gotta keep them PA boys working and don't pay shipping. But I do like those Mo. bullets.

  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Well-Known Member

    Like any powder W231 will burn cleaner when loaded to higher pressures than when loaded light. W231 isn't as bad with light loads as many other powders but is still effected somewhat. I usually charge 5.5gr W231 under a 230gr bullet in the .45 Auto. Except for the burning lube I don't get any smoke. When loading for the .38 Special I have seen that gray film your talking about but I think that's also the lube used on the lead bullets I'm buying. I've found the red lube is a little dirtier than the blue lube and the pine green is even cleaner.
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    W-231 and lead are a great match. Like ArchAngelCD posted, it burns cleaner after it reaches its happy spot pressure wise. (like many powders)

    Very accurate in many lead applications.
  9. NoAlibi

    NoAlibi Well-Known Member

    About your load data...

    I use the same data, namely 4.9gr of WW-231 and a WW LP primer, BUT behind a 200gr hard-cast LSWC bullet. I found this load to be excellent for perfecting technique - you know you are shooting a .45, but neither you or the gun get beaten to death. We save that for the full-house loads!

    I have tried going up and down in the powder charge looking for better accuracy, however the 4.9gr/200gr LSWC loading remains the most accurate - not only in my gun, but in all of my 8 member shooting consortium (We train, buy, etc. together).

    Have any other THR members tried this load and experinced the same result?
  10. schmeky

    schmeky Well-Known Member


    Funny you ask. I use 4.6 to 4.8 gns of 231 pushing either a 185 or 200 LSWC. The accuracy simply cannot be improved upon using any powder. My Custom Norinco can put 5 rounds in <1.0", my Les Baer will do <1.0" all day from rest (when I'm "on"). 231 is the one.


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