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Standard .45acp load

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Blakenzy, Apr 4, 2007.

  1. Blakenzy

    Blakenzy Well-Known Member

    What speed does a standard 230gr factory loaded cartridge acheive? Is there much variation amongst the various manufacturers?

    What charge would you use to replicate factory performance using a 230gr LRN with Unique or Bullseye?
  2. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Well-Known Member

    Winchester white box 230-grain FMJ RN are averaging 737fps with a SD of 30.1 from my 4" Dan Wesson. The only .45 ACP load using Unique powder I've experimented with so far is Hornady 230-grain FMJ RN over 5.9 grains of Unique. That load averaged 687 fps with a SD of 21.3. I probably could have bumped the powder charge up a bit and easily matched Winchester white box velocities, but I was finding Unique a bit dirty. So I switched to 231. 5.5 grains of 231 behind a Hornady 230-grain FMJ RN is giving me 742fps average and the SD is so low I havn't even bothered to calculate it
  3. cherryriver

    cherryriver Well-Known Member

    The traditional .45ACP hardball 230gr load used to go 830-850fps in a five-inch gun.
    My results chronoing WWB came out a little higher than Sharps Shooter's, more like 780fps in a Commander. Extrapolating the commonly accepted 25fps per inch loss, that would be about 800fps in a standard gun.
    Even Speer Gold Dot 230grainers were only going about that same 780fps out of a Brown barrel in my old Commader last weekend in moderate temperatures.
    Temperatures do matter- I use WST, which is known to go faster in the cold, unlike most powders. I keep a separate load for making minimum major power factor in high summer with a half-grain extra propellant. It makes my Rainier 230s go around 750fps in the heat, but will get up into the 830+ range in a 20 degree winter day. That's pretty pronounced.
    Most go the other way, slower in the cold. WWB seems to do the same.
    Since as a reloader, shooting factory ammuntion grosses me out, I rarely have any other factory stuff to chrono, and apparently my shooting friends are the same way. Can't help there.
  4. Lone_Gunman

    Lone_Gunman Well-Known Member

  5. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Well-Known Member

    Indoors, 78 - 80 degrees, WWB was 836 average out of 3, 5" 1911s.
  6. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Well-Known Member

    Actually, this isn't the first time I've been told, even on this message board, that the velocities I'm getting out of my Dan Wesson Commander Bobtail are a bit on the slow side. A couple of months ago I attributed it to the near zero temperatures here in Southeast Idaho, but it was between 65 and 70 degrees last weekend when I chronographed that WWB stuff at only 737fps average. So I don't know - maybe my Dan Wesson has a slow barrel. Considering all the other problems it has, it wouldn't surprise me. I have a Performance Center Smith layed away waiting for my tax return. When I get it, the Dan Wesson's a goner.
  7. cherryriver

    cherryriver Well-Known Member

    I don't know- I don't necessarily trust consumer-grade chronos all that much, either. When I first got mine, I began to wonder whether my powder scale was accurate (it is).
    A clubmate Sunday was chronoing his .223 pistol rounds with his own chrono and showed us how my Python loads went nice and consistent if I shot higher in the traps, and not so if I shot too low and close to the eyes.
    I suspect ambient light is pretty big, too, so I usually place mine under one of our range canopies.
    Meanwhile, back to the original question, my standard hardball equivalent is a 230gr Rainier plated with 5.0gr WST, for the aforementioned 780 (summer)/830 (winter). I know that's not lead, but I've abandoned lead altogether.
  8. cdrt

    cdrt Well-Known Member

    I've been using 4.5 grains of BE with a Speer 230 grain FMJ bullet...seems to work okay out of my SA 1911A1 hardball pistol.

    Navy Vet & SWIFT Boat OIC
  9. wolfe28

    wolfe28 Well-Known Member

    5.5 grains of 231?

    Okay, I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just curious. Sharp shooter said that he was loading 5.5 grains of 231 behind a 230 FMJRN. I just looked at the hodgdon website (they own IMR and Winchester now), and they listed a max load of 5.3 grains of 231 for that type of load (they listed 230 LRN and 230 XTP as projectiles). Which loading manual are you looking at?

    I would honestly like to have a 45 load with 231 that would push a 230 in the 750-850 range, but I want to do it safely, if it is at all possible.

  10. ulflyer

    ulflyer Well-Known Member

    Hatchers notebook said the "normal charge" of Bullseye was ABOUT 4.6gr (pp184) and on page 393 said "The pistol ammo furnished for the National Matches during this period under discussion was loaded to the REGULAR SERVICE SPECIFICATIONS calling for a 230 grain bullet loaded to a muzzle velocity of 810 Feet per second." "A typical load was that of the 1929 National Match pistol cartridge, which had a charge of 4.7 grains of Bullseye Powder....."
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    We have been down this road. 5.5 W231 is a good (excellent, actually) way to go.:)
  12. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    The last .45 ACP factory load I chronographed was Federal 230 gr Hydrashok at 855 fps in a 4.25" Commander. It is not labeled +P. Before that was USA WWB econoball at 783 fps in a 5", 742 in the Commander. When Black Talon was the bad bullet of the day, it was going 878 fps in my 5" gun.
    Official specifications have varied a little over the years. At one time GI hardball spec was 850 fps, commercial was 810 for the same ammo, just that the test procedures differed. An undated drawing in Hatcher says 820 fps +/- 25.

    As to loads with W231, current data shows 5.3 gr as maximum for a 230 gr Hornady flatpoint for a claimed 832 fps and 16,800 CUP. (I do not know whyinthehell Hodgdon uses that bullet, it gives people funny ideas about OAL and seats so deep as to reduce powder space.) The SAAMI maximum is 19,900 CUP, I don't know why they stop at 3/4 throttle but there are others similar in their data.

    Which is strange because in the 14th edition Winchester pamphlet, before Hodgdon took over distribution*, the maximum is 5.7 gr 231 for an unspecified 230 gr FMJ (Winchester hardball bullet most likely.) for 830 fps at 19,200 psi.

    *Hodgdon distributes IMR and Winchester powders, they do not own the factories.
  13. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, that's strange Walkalong. You're right though - even my newest Hodgedon's Annual Manual/Magazine shows 5.3 grains of 231 as max behind that bullet. I didn't remember seeing the previous thread you linked about the subject. I got that load (5.5 grains of 231) from my .45ACP Loadbook under the Hornady Bullets section. The newest Hornady Manual I have, the 4th edition, doesn't list 231 for their 230-grain FMJ RN and my older 3rd edition Hornady Manual doesn't list that exact bullet in .45ACP. The older manual does list a 230-grain FMJ FP .45ACP load with 4.6 to 6.0 grains of 231.
    It's probably a good thing I got that load (5.5 grains of 231) from my Loadbook. If I'd have tried only between 4.2 grains and 5.3 grains of 231 behind Hornady's 230-grain FMJ RN as recommended by Hodgedon, I'd probably be more frustrated with my Dan Wesson 1911 than I am now.:banghead: But that's a topic for a different forum.
  14. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Hey Sharps Shooter. If you want more velocity try some WSF or AA# 5 in the .45. I know AA# 5 will do it and I am going to test some WSF in that area soon. I believe it is going to be a winner.:)

    In shorter barrels AA# 2 can do quite well also.

    I quit checking the Hodgdon #26 manuel because it seemed like they were so erratic with their data. Like Jim Watson pointed out. They stop at 16,800 CUP with the W231 load mentioned above. Their manuel is full of this. Some loads will go to the top by pressure and some will stop quite a bit short. ( usually other folks powder.) It sits around and I rarely reference it.
  15. Sharps Shooter

    Sharps Shooter Well-Known Member

    Oh, okay! Thanks to Jim Watson's post, now I see it. That Hornady 230 grain FMJ .45ACP load Hodgedon lists in their Annual Manual is a FP, not a RN. It's still kind of strange - my Loadbook lists all three .45ACP 230-grain Hornady bullets (HP-XTP, FMJ-RN and FMJ-FP) in the same section. And it lists the same recommended powder charges for all three bullets. The COLs are different though.
  16. CZ57

    CZ57 member

    If you've looked at Hodgdon data for a number of years, then you've probably noticed that the data runs lower than what's printed in Reloading manuals. For instance, from the SPEER #11, the load range for W-231 and a 230 gr. FMJ is 5.6 - 6.2 grs. Consequently, velocities recorded from your gun are likely to run lower than Hodgdons data. Getting a 230 gr. bullet, FMJ, or JHP to 900 fps or a tad higher isn't difficult if a slightly slower powder is used. Herco and HS-6 are a couple of examples. As Walkalong stated, AA#5 will provide some fairly high velocities as well, and it was originally formulated for .45 ACP. WSF is a good choice as well. Ramshot True Blue is another good one. At their website, the current load for a Sierra 230 gr. FMJ is 7.0 - 7.8 grs. with an OACL of 1.270" and pressure of 19,400 PSI. Velocity shown at the max charge is 905 fps. V-V N350 and 3N37 can be used as well. I've used 3N37 under a Rem. 230 gr. Golden Saber and accuracy was excellent at the higher velocities achieved.

    For target loads with FMJ, the velocity isn't necessary. For 165 PF, 718 FPS will get it done. For better expansion with JHPs, you may want the higher velocity obtainable by a slightly slower burner.

    One powder to keep an eye on for match grade accuracy in .45 ACP, is Ramshot ZIP. About the same burn rate as W-231 and cleaner burning. The techs at Sierra have found it one of the most accurate powders tested in their load data. Specifically with their 200 gr. FP match bullet.;)
  17. Steve C

    Steve C Well-Known Member

    I load 6.2 grs of Unique behind a 230 FMJ Remington and they chrono from both my Colt Government and Colt Commander at right around 850 fps.

    5.5grs of w231 behind the same bullet does 795 to 812 fps.

    I'd expect similar velocities with 1/2 grain less Unique if using 230gr cast lead bullets.
  18. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Zip and Berry's 230 Gr. RN is VERY accurate. It's good for light target loads.
  19. fecmech

    fecmech Well-Known Member

    I chrono'd some 34 year old G.I. Ball last summer (WW-72) and it was doing 828 fps with an sd of 11 fps for 10 rds out of my 5" gm. Pretty uniform stuff I think. I pulled a bullet and it was loaded with exactly 5.0 grs of what looked exactly like the Bullseye I have on hand.
  20. Pumpkinheaver

    Pumpkinheaver Well-Known Member

    I use 5.0 grains of bullseye with a 230 gr bullet.

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