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45acp load data question.....

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by shouldifail, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. shouldifail

    shouldifail New Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    great lakes state
    ok, loading up some 230gr lead round nose bullets and was going through the lee data.
    using UNIQUE---

    it shows for 230gr lead bullets
    start grains@ 5.0
    or lee auto disk of .53
    and 790 fps

    on the alliant website for the same lead bullet weight
    5.8 grains
    and 849 fps

    the thing that gets me: is that for the "do not exceed data" in the lee book ,it is exactly the same as the starting load.
    not a whole lot of room for error according to the book.

    just wanted some other input...
    looking for a plinking load to use in a 1911 pistol and thompson

    again, using 230 gr. LRN bullets from dardas
    unique powder.
    lee 3 turret press, lee dies
    auto disk powder measure.

    any recommendations would be great.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Senior Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Lee is like that. Their starting load is whatever the disk hole delivers next lighter OR THE SAME AS the maximum. A review of real loading manuals will show different values.

    Any road, most sources show that 5.0 grains of Unique and a cast 230 is a powder puff load for .45 ACP; and 5.8 is not a maximum load according to Lyman or the NRA (back when they did technical work.)
  3. JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone

    JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone Participating Member

    Feb 12, 2005
    Lynden, WA
    I don't use Lee disk 'holes or dip measures'. I've looked at the Lee data years ago and could never figure out why they didn't publish manuals like the others did.

    Most of the rest of us set our pouder measure to throw a charge by the 'weight' in grains. We verify this with our scale. If we want 5.25gns, we can adjust to get that every time.

    I'll agree with Jim that 5.0 or 5.8gns of Unique is certainly not maximum.

    I have no less than five different vendor reloading manuals. When trying something new... I reference all of them to make the best choice for my intentions. I think you'll find that most reloaders do 'near the same'.

  4. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Participating Member

    Dec 20, 2007

    A good scale needs to be part of your gear, and this way you can really see what the measure is dropping and adjust accordingly. In my experience the discs will throw light under normal usage, and if so a sub 5 grain charge of Unique is extremely light. Even out of a 5" 1911, the Lee velocity claim from 5 grains is very optimistic, and I would venture to say if you did actually chronograph the .53 disc, 625-650 fps would be your results.

    I like Unique a lot for a bunch of calibers and applications, but light 45 auto reloading is not not one of them, and am better served with Bullseye, Clays, 700x, Solo 1000, etc... When you get a scale and are able to work up higher intensity 45 auto rounds with Unique, I think you will be better served. Not to harp about your no scale situation, but it would be like a ships captain with no compass, or a machinist with no micrometer.
  5. shouldifail

    shouldifail New Member

    Oct 4, 2007
    great lakes state
    thanks fellas...
    i've got a scale, so measuring how much the autodisk or powder measure is throwing isn't an issue.

    i guess what i need to do is perhaps pick up some more loading reference.

    still new to the reloading game, so i just wanted to cross reference before i wasted alot of components or did something dangerous.

    thanks again.
  6. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Sep 17, 2007
    Eastern KS
    6.5 grains of Unique and a 230 cast RN has been the Factory Duplication load for GI hardball for as long as I have been reloading.

    It piles the empty brass on top of GI hardball brass out of both my 1911's.

  8. Five of Clubs

    Five of Clubs New Member

    Jun 1, 2008
    I went through the same thing a few months ago (same Lee manual). I tried from 5.0-5.6 grains Unique under the same cast LRN also using a SA1911 and then later an XD. The 5.0 was a nice, light target load that I stuck with after trials. The 5.4 and 5.6 grain loads, to my surprise, were recoiling harder and ejecting farther than the WWB FMJ rounds that I brought that day. The 1911 has a fresh Wilson 18.5# recoil spring, so I shouldn't have been undersprung.

    My recipe is:
    5.0gr Unique
    230gr Magnus LRN
    OAL 1.264 (IIRC)
    Diameter .471

    It's a soft shooter, but probably not a great defensive round.
  9. twodawgs

    twodawgs New Member

    Sep 23, 2007
    Northeast Wyoming
    I'm using 5.6 gr. of Unique with both 200 and 230 grain lead bullets. The 200's feel about like a buzzed up 9MM and the 230's feel like a real .45
  10. Sunray

    Sunray Elder

    May 17, 2003
    London, Ont.
    My Colt likes 4.5 grains of Bullseye with a 230 grain RN or Flat Point. It's a nice light target load that's scary accurate out of my pistol.
    "...A good scale needs to be part of your gear..." Absolutely.
  11. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Senior Member

    Nov 14, 2008
    Cornelia, GA
    "...A good scale needs to be part of your gear..." Absolutely.

    ...and a infinitely variable powder dispenser.
  12. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Participating Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    What RC Model said, long established load. A soft load with that bullet is 6.0 grains of Unique.
  13. Slamfire

    Slamfire Mentor

    Dec 29, 2006
    For me, if I were to try Unique again in the 45 ACP, I would try 5-5.5 grains and see what happens.

    I am not using my M1911 Kimber in any sort of self defense role. But I don’t like too wimpy of loads. The original 1910ish vintage load was a 230 FMJ, Bullseye, at 800 fps. When I push 230’s less than or equal to 800 fps, I get good accuracy and it goes not beat the pistol up.

    My testing with 6.0 and 6.5 grains Unique gave me higher velocities than I wanted. Brass was ejected a good distance, and that tells me that the slide was coming back hard. I don’t like that.

    When I finally use the last of my W231, I am going to go with 4.5 grains Bullseye.

    M1911 Kimber Custom Classic

    230 LRN Valiant 6.0 grs Unique lot UN387 6/21/93 Mixed brass WLP
    18-Mar-07 T = 62 °F OAL 1.250" taper crimped 0.469"

    Ave Vel =898
    Std Dev =21.44
    ES = 75.58
    High = 944.3
    Low = 868.7
    N = 25

    accurate lots recoil, 15' foot ejection

    230 LRN Valiant 6.5 grs Unique lot UN387 6/21/93 Mixed brass WLP
    18-Mar-07 T = 62 °F
    OAL 1.250" taper crimped 0.469"

    Ave Vel =926.4
    Std Dev =16.64
    ES = 71.16
    High = 963.4
    Low = 892.3
    N = 32
    accurate centered hard recoil, 20 foot ejection, light leading

    230 gr LRN Valiant 4.5 grs Bullseye Mixed Brass WLP
    21-Jun-06 T = 97 °F
    OAL 1.250" taper crimp .469"

    Ave Vel =805.2
    Std Dev =11.4
    ES = 54.08
    High = 836.9
    Low = 782.8
    N = 32
    accurate, stout recoil

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