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Alliant Promo - Reloading/Range Test

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by LiveLife, Apr 18, 2010.

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  1. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    jjohnson, at first when I saw the size of powder flakes, I had my doubts - "How will those big flakes going to meter in my squeaky tight Pro Auto Disk wipers???" :eek:

    I don't have the same doubt now. :D

    Even with the 0.2-0.3 gr variance on range test #1, the shot group accuracy was very acceptable for plinking/range shooting. Using the older (looser tolerance) Pro Auto Disk and smaller 0.1-0.2 gr variance for range test #2 and #3, the shot group accuracy improved for even match shooting practice.

    I may hand weigh some charges for bench rest shooting for range test #4. :rolleyes:

    For me, the biggest benefit from Promo is the fact that I can come fairly close to many of my factory JHP felt recoil for real world tactical practice (we fight like we train).

    I do agree on the packaging. If they sold Promo in 4 lb containers, they would probably sell a lot more (but they may sell less of Bullseye/Red Dot). :D
    For the price, I say add Promo to your next HazMat order and have fun.
     
  2. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    My week off starts Friday afternoon and longdayjake's 165 gr 40S&W bullets came this afternoon so I will add them to the Promo range test to start.

    From range test #3, since I got very good accuracy with 180 gr plated with 4.4 gr and 180 gr lead with 4.1/4.4 gr at 1.125" OAL, I will test these loads more. For some reason, I haven't tested the 115 gr 9mm bullet. I will also be isolating the comparison powders (Promo vs W231/HP38/Green Dot/Bullseye/WSF) to see how clean/dirty they burn.

    So, here's my lineup for the upcoming week:

    9mm:
    115 gr FMJ - 4.1/4.4 gr at 1.125" OAL.
    125 gr Plated - 3.8/4.1 gr at 1.125" OAL
    125 gr Lead - 3.5/3.8/4.1 gr at 1.10" OAL

    40S&W:
    155 gr FMJ - 4.7/5.1 gr at 1.125" OAL
    165 gr JHP - 4.4/4.7/5.1 gr (not sure which OAL I'll end up with)
    165 gr Plated - 4.4/4.7/5.1 gr (not sure which OAL I'll end up with)
    180 gr Plated - 4.4 gr at 1.125" OAL
    180 gr Lead - 4.1/4.4 gr at 1.125" OAL

    45 ACP:
    200 gr SWC Lead - 3.5/3.8/4.1/4.4 gr at 1.25" OAL
    200 gr RN Lead - 3.5/3.8/4.1/4.4 gr at 1.25" OAL
    230 gr RN Lead - 3.5/3.8/4.1/4.4 gr at 1.25" OAL

    Anymore powder charge/OAL I should add?
     
  3. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Update - Range test #4 and #5: Due to the upcoming Memorial Day BBQ honey-do shoppings, I didn't get much range time today, but got to squeeze in two short shooting sessions (morning and late afternoon). Also, I found out the range will be open on Monday (Oh yes!) so I get to do more shooting on Monday morning before I have to tend to the BBQ :D

    I was anxious to try out longdayjake's 165 gr 40 S&W Powderbond plated bullets along with Montana Gold JHP of same bullet weight because of positive comments about them. Since I test loaded previously 180 gr Rainier/Berry's plated bullet with 4.8 gr and 155 gr jacketed bullet with 5.1 gr of Promo with good results (but not the most accurate loads), I initially loaded the 165 gr JHP with 5.1 gr and 165 gr plated bullet with 4.8 gr to see how the recoil/accuracy would be. Both bullets were loaded to 1.125" OAL and shot from G27 using factory barrels.

    Also, to start the 45 ACP load tests, I started out with 24 BHN 230 gr RN (I thought I ordered some MBC 18 BHN 230 RN, but I guess I didn't because I only found 200 gr bullets :confused:). The rounds were loaded to 1.25" OAL and shot from Mil Pro PT145 (I finally said good bye to my G30 as G27 has been an awesome accurate carry/go-to gun and also to make room for a 1911 - my safe is a sea of black polymer).

    Morning "quick" shooting session impression (There was no FTF/FTE):
    Both 165 gr JHP and plated loads had firm recoil with ejected cases landing behind me and to the right. Accuracy was good (I wasn't really shooting for accuracy, just recoil and shooting impression) with 7-10 yard shot groups falling around 1.5-3 inches. Will be doing more accuracy tests with various powder charges.

    45 ACP loads were initially loaded with 4.0 gr of Promo. I was not prepared for what happened next. For some reason, I could not get any recognizable shot groups. I was using my typical 1/2 sheet of copy paper as my targets and all the shots were hitting the paper at 7-10 yards, but not in a tight group I am used to. I did clean/lube all the pistols and barrels were clean. Recoil was firm/snappy. I left the range perplexed as to why. :confused:

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    For the afternoon session, I loaded 180 gr 40 S&W MBC lead bullet with 4.4 gr of Promo at 1.125" OAL to compare with 165 gr JHP/plated bullets. Because of the inconsistent 45 ACP shot groups, I decided to clean the PT145 and shoot my match reference load with W231/HP38. When I took the barrel out, I noticed a lot of leading near the chamber end with two streaks running down the grooves.

    18 BHN 200 gr 45 ACP Missouri Bullets SWC were loaded with 5.1 gr of W231 at 1.25" OAL.

    Afternoon shooting session impression (There was no FTF/FTE):
    Due to my curiosity, I started the session with my 45 ACP reference match loads (200 gr SWC). I was very happy to see 1" - 1.5" shot groups at 7-10-15 yards, even out of the short barreled PT145. Looks like I will be test loading more 45 Promo loads at lower charges.

    180 gr lead loads maintained the accuracy from range test #3. Side by side shooting impression with the 165 gr JHP/plated rounds gave less firm/snappy recoil. To be honest, I enjoyed shooting the 180 gr lead load more than the 165 gr loads. I will be test loading lower charge 165 gr loads, so we'll see how that goes.

    So is Promo good for 9mm and 40 S&W but not for 45 ACP? :scrutiny:

    I will load up more 45 ACP / 40 S&W in lower charges and find out Monday morning.
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Nice report.

    It is weird how some combinations just don't work. Maybe a different bullet and Promo in .45 will shoot great. Was the leading a factor?

    I recently tried some real light loads in .40. (Clays, N310, 700X and Ranier 155 Gr TrFPs) They all shot well at 7 yards, but after 700X shot pins well at 35 yards, I could not hit bowling pins at 35 yards with the other two to save my life. Thought I was going crazy. I was out of the 700X loads that shot the pins well, so I switched to a known good (heavier) load and bingo, the pins started falling. Weird sometimes. I have to repeat the test and see if the 700X can repeat its good performance in the light loads.
     
  5. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    Not sure, that's why I cleaned the barrel and went back later in the afternoon with the "known" 5.0-5.5 gr W231 load, which shot very accurate as anticipated. The leading was hard streaking in the grooves and near the chamber end too. The 230 gr RN loads were 24 BHN bullets and I am planning to try lower powder charges of Promo on Monday morning.

    The W231 200 gr SWC loads were 18 BHN MBC bullets and they were very accurate, so I am ruling out the pistol/barrel.

    This was my first Promo range test for 45 ACP. Like the 9/40 Promo loads, perhaps there's an accurate loads at lower charges.
     
  6. TonyT

    TonyT Member

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    We are fortunate to be within30 miles of one of Alliants major powder distributors. He had a special; on 8lb Promo for $75 plus tax.
    I use it for 16 and 12 ga and have started using it in 9mm and light 40 S&W loads (less than 800 fps) with jacketed bullets. My testing indicates it takes less powder than the published Red Dot data to obtain the same velocities. Personally I think it burns a bit too hotfor lead bullet loads. I have found very uniform metering in my Dillon 550.
     
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