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45 Hardball- doesn't need to be fancy

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Palladan44, Nov 15, 2022.

  1. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    20221114_212228.jpg 20221115_163858.jpg 20221115_163908.jpg Oddly enough, the last pistol cartridge I'm getting the caliber conversion kit and dies for is......45 ACP. Strange right?
    Well, I never shot a volume of them enough to really justify it. And, honestly I don't plan on it now....but maybe this will be an egg/chicken situation and I'll wind up shooting 45 ACP more now that I will begin to load for it.

    Bullets I have for now are some Rainier 230 FMJs I have federal LPPs and a huge lot of once fired Federal brass.
    Powders I have that would suit this application are W-231, Power Pistol, BE86 and CFE Pistol

    I don't need anything specific out of these other than to be accurate as possible and to function in both my 1911s. One is an M1911A1 from around 1943 and the other a Colt MK IV series 70 mfg around 7 years ago.

    My first inclination from glancing at some books is to start with W-231 @ 4.5gr with these seated to around 1.250" and I'll likely work up a bit and just wind up settling happily just north of there. (My hypothesis)

    Any suggestions?
     
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  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep.
     
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  3. Cheesemaker

    Cheesemaker Member

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    Here is my recent thread on similar: https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/first-attempt-with-w231-titegroup-45acp.910724/

    I was using Hornady's 230gr FMJ and 5.3gr W231 out of a 5" Kimber 1911, 1.250 COAL. Chrono told me 754fps - just what the Hornady manual said I would get (mid range).

    I cannot speak to the Ranier's - but this is my experience. Load a few at 4.5 and look for function and accuracy and you decide.
     
  4. Jimster

    Jimster Member

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    Such a fun round to crank out!
     
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  5. WrongHanded

    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    Yep! I don't own any .45s anymore, but I also found reloading the cartridge particularly satisfying.
     
  6. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Seconded. Double-yup.
     
  7. drband

    drband Member

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    Easy to load. Fun to shoot!

    You’ll be glad you started!
     
  8. kidneyboy

    kidneyboy Member

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    Yep again.
    I've been loading 5gr of W231 under 230gr projectiles for years.
     
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  9. dartor

    dartor Member

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    Sounds like you're good to go. The only suggestion I can offer is to check that Federal brass for small primer pockets if you haven't already. 45's are a blast to load and shoot.
     
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  10. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    If loading progressively that can be a real show stopper. ;)
    Federal and blazer in my stash.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
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  11. Misplacedtexan

    Misplacedtexan Member

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    Check out accurate 5 in a 45!
    (Just popped up in my head)
     
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  12. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I guess I’m not sure why those wouldn’t get sorted out during case prep. Seems like (from what I’ve read here) Progressives do more case prep than normal folks. Or maybe that’s just exactly what you’re suggesting? If you’re going to convert to Progressive you need to do more case prep?
     
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  13. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    First of all it’s chicken/egg, not egg/chicken.

    BE-86 in the 5.8-6.0 range & W231 4.5-5.0 are good for me
     
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  14. KB Hill

    KB Hill Member

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    I started 45 where you are with 230 fmj and 231 through a 5" SA Milspec. Here is some of the data I got with Hornady 230's. It was 49 deg that day:
    4.5 231 @ 1.230 655fps - very dirty
    4.8 231 @ 1.230 701fps - still dirty
    5.0 231 @ 1.230 760fps - I load most here
    5.2 231 @ 1.230 778fps - best accuracy
    Recently tried WST and liked the results (73 deg day). Cleaner and softer recoil. Will definitely try some more. Only shot 10 rounds of each.
    4.1 WST @ 1.230 731fps - Best accuracy
    4.3 WST @ 1.230 745fps
    For me the 45 is a blast to shoot. It sounds different, feels different and brings a smile to my face. I particularly like shooting coated 200gr SWC's.
    Have fun.
     
  15. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    This is helpful to know. Thank you
     
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  16. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Yes lower W231 loads are dirtier
     
  17. AJC1

    AJC1 Member

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    Well if your running a volumetric meter probably much better.
     
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  18. anothernewb

    anothernewb Member

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    I have lost count of the number of 45acp I have loaded. got to be nearing 30-40k now. I've kept a log for one 1911 and that's over 14k through it.

    4.0 bullseye under a 200 swc has been my go to for decades.
    ran 5.0 W231 for a few years when I couldn't find BE though.
     
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  19. Palladan44

    Palladan44 Member

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    Interesting. I'm used to WW-231 being extremely clean in all loads in 38 SPL, 357, and 9mm. Light or medium. Good to know, thanks guys.
     
  20. CQB45ACP

    CQB45ACP Member

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    Not scientific on my part just my recollection and have not loaded that low recently because of it. But on the egg…
     
  21. N555

    N555 Member

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    You might want to use more than 4 and a half grains.
     
  22. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Depends on the gun.
     
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  23. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    One of my favorites is WST with 200grn bullets, in the .45. WST is faster than W231, so I don't normally like it with 230's because you have to redline the load to get near factory velocity (which is what I normally duplicate) but it works well for target velocity loads... light recoil, very clean, and very good accuracy.
     
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  24. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    From Clawson’s book Colt .45 service pistols: Models of 1911 and 1911A1.

    (At $1,100 a book, I think I am going to hold on to my copy!)

    The original 45ACP load, used in the 1910 trials, and then hencefore for decades was a 230 FMJ with 5.0 grains of Bullseye pistol powder. The specified velocity was 800 fps.

    Slower on a cold day, moving about where I expected on a warm. Just like us all.

    Rock Island Arsenal GI M1911

    230 FMJ 5.0 grs Bullseye (1998 & 2005 mix) WLP, OAL 1.265" taper crimp 0.469"once fired brass
    18-Dec-17 T = 58 °F

    Ave Vel = 777.4
    Std Dev = 14.56
    ES = 57.1
    High = = 806
    Low = 748.9
    Number rds= 30

    230 gr RMR FMJ 5.0 grs Bullseye lot 907 6/5/05 Mixed cases WLP OAL 1.265" taper crimp 0.469"
    27-May-20 T = 80 °F

    Ave Vel = 795.1
    Std Dev = 22.11
    ES = 67.6
    High = = 839.5
    Low = 771.9
    N = 8

    Given that powder pressures vary, leading to velocity variations, these old cartridge boxes show early 45 ACP ammunition went 800 fps.

    O6DXP9i.jpg

    and this was the National Match ammunition for that year. Velocities on the box.

    YES8Hfu.jpg


    izlNWG0.jpg

    izlNWG0.jpg



    Bullseye pistol powder is the baseline for the 45 ACP, it is still hugely popular in 2700 Bullseye pistol competition because it can be downloaded and it still shoots within the inherent capability of the pistol at 50 yards.
    [​IMG]

    9uK7aUJ.jpg


    VOPjztG.jpg
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    a light load such as what Ernest was using, requires a 12 lb recoil spring for function.

    When Bullseye pistol powder became hard to find Titegroup gained a following. Basically I like faster powders in the 1911 than slower. I consider Unique a slower powder. Pressure drop is very important, I don’t know if the 1911 was designed to use the residual blowback effect, as what pressure gauges did John Browning have, but the residual blowback affect is clearly in operation in a 1911. The residual blowback affect uses the last of the pressure in the barrel, to push the case out during unlock. This has to be timed so unlock is under the burst strength of a case sidewall, about 650 psia or less, and won't rip the rim off! You can see from the drag marks, and the soot on the case, that these cases were moving while there still was pressure in the barrel.

    YOlW7nc.jpg

    Slower powders would be great in things like Thompson sub guns, where the bolt is extremely heavy,

    Custom Thompson receiver, upside down



    ztyEFlG.jpg

    Custom Thompson sub gun bolt


    CDSAALL.jpg

    ZOwaGPA.jpg

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    but in my 1911’s, a slower powder such as Unique, or Blue Dot, accelerates the slide more than I like and kicks cases out 20 feet or more. I consider high slide speeds undesirable as I have had slide to frame peening, and luckily the Colt Combat Elite was still within warranty and I sent it back to Colt. They replaced the frame, but did not do anything about the action timing. So I sent that pistol off to Wilson Arms, and they made everything perfect. It is a sad comment that the gunsmiths at Wilson Arms understood 1911’s better than Colt’s gunsmiths.

    Kh44mJG.jpg

    I adjust the powder charge so I get 800 fps plus or minus, and that load shoots well in my 1911’s. I have a 1990’s keg of AA#5 that I am shooting up. It is a ball powder, the better metering means little to nothing in actual velocity spreads, and the little balls will gum up a Dillion powder horn. I don’t plan to buy new unless I get some dirt cheap, but adjust the load so a 230 FMJ moves 800 fps, and pretty much, it will group in the middle, and function the pistol.

    FdliUXS.jpg


    ILMAL6u.jpg


    TMtZP2a.jpg


    qmfUHjK.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2022
  25. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    Might want to mention also, WST burns cooler than some fast powders and doesn’t need a head start getting going so neck tension isn’t as critical. Still need enough to prevent the feed ramp from pushing the bullet back but it’s not like No.7 or Blue Dot that both need a heavy load to push and a tight fit. I like it (WST) for 185gr Noslers and 200gr cast.
     
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