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Help with 45 ACP/HP-38 data

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by mountainpharm, Jul 5, 2013.

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  1. mountainpharm

    mountainpharm Member

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    Hello all, I'm hoping some more experienced reloaders can provide some insight and perhaps some tips on my data below. It seems to me that my avg speed is low given the charge, and my SD is too high. Each load is hand-measured rather than thrown.

    Powder: HP-38
    Charge: 5.7 grain
    Primer: CCI
    Bullet: Speer GDHP 185 gr
    OAL: 1.20 inches

    Average speed: 667.2 FPS (Hi/Lo = 718.9/611.7)
    SD: 36.8
    Energy: 182.9 ft/lbs

    Thoughts? Would you increase to 5.9 grains? Leave it alone? These rounds are intended for personal defense and I want to make sure I would get reliable expansion. Thanks!
     
  2. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Member

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    Low Speeds

    Are you sure your chronograph is reading correctly? I would suspect an incorrect reading before increasing my load.Your speeds seems way out of the ball park.Do you have any other loads you know are good to fire for comparision?:evil:
     
  3. mountainpharm

    mountainpharm Member

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    I chronographed some 115 gr 9mm at the same time and the readings were spot on with what I expected. Hogdgon lists a max load of 5.9 gr but I've seen someone reference a load range of 6.6 to 7.4 for the same bullet/powder combo (without a citation). Thought I would seek advice before pushing too much further.
     
  4. C.F. Plinker

    C.F. Plinker Member

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    The Hodgdon data is for a Hornady 185 grain jacketed semi-wadcutter not the Speer Gold Dot Hollow Point you are loading. Get data for the Speer bullet. The velocities you measured do appear to be on the low side. If you have any of those loads left pull several bullets and make sure of the charge that you actually threw.
     
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    As usual, load data varies with source and components.
    .45 ACP W231 185 gr JHP.
    Lyman maximum 5.8 gr, Hornady bullet
    Nosler maximum 6.1 gr, Nosler bullet
    Speer maximum 7.4 gr (!), Speer Gold Dot

    Me, Remington 185 gr JHP
    CAUTION: THESE LOADS EXCEED THE MAXIMUM IN SOME REFERENCES (BUT NOT ALL.)

    5.8 gr = 864 fps ES 34 in 5" Colt
    6.0 gr = 877 fps ES 57
    6.2 gr = 919 fps ES 41
    6.4 gr = 945 fps ES ?

    6.1 gr = 867 fps ES 40 in 6.5" S&W M25
    6.4 gr = 922 fps ES 82
    6.6 gr = 953 fps ES 55

    5.9 gr = 876 fps ES 58 (HP38 brand) 5" Wilson
     
  6. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    How far from the muzzle did you have your Chrony set?

    To close can give inconstant readings. Your 9mm gun/loads may not have affected the Chrony the same why your 45/loads did if it is too close.
     
  7. mulyhuntr

    mulyhuntr Member

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    I've loaded and chronoed 5.9gr of w231 below a 185gr berry's fp at an overall length of 1.160" and only got an average of 800 fps out of a 4.5" barrel. I've since gone up to 6.2gr and haven't had a chance to chrono,but they definitely have more pop.


    I'd up your charge or try seating deeper. My Lyman manual lists 1.175" for a 185gr hp.
     
  8. mountainpharm

    mountainpharm Member

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    Chrono was 14 feet from muzzle. I think I'm gonna load up a batch at 6.0 or 6.2 tomorrow and see what I get.
     
  9. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I shot a bunch of those 185gr Berry's plated bullets in a 1911 and was very surprised at how accurate they were. I did not send any over the Chrono but a spread of over 100 fps sounds very suspect. Something just isn't right there. I would run those tests again before you change anything. I charged 5.8gr W231 under those bullets.
     
  10. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    If you want to load 185 gr JHP's for defense or hunting in the .45 ACP I'd suggest using Unique rather than HP38 or W231. While these are fine powders for target loads and velocities they won't push the 185gr bullets to optimum defense velocity in the .45.

    Using a load of 7.8grs of Unique behind a 185gr Remington JHP produces 1,050 fps or more in my .45's that I've shot them over a chrono which include a 1911 Gov, a Commander and a Sig 220.
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    I disagree W231 will produce only target velocities in the 45 Auto. Even if you want to use a slower powder my last choice would probably be Unique since it meters like corn flakes. If you want to use a slower powder give AA#5 a try considering it was developed around the 45 Auto. In reality Unique isn't all that much slower than W231. You might want to give Universal a try too. It's very similar to Unique except it meters better and it's cleaner. AutoComp is a fairly new powder developed for short straight walled pistol cartridges and all reports say it's a very good powder. All that said I still see no reason why W231 can't be used successfully.
     
  12. edfardos

    edfardos Member

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    W231 won't give you safe high velocities, but the 45acp was spec'd at 800 fps, and w231 will do that with a 230grain ball. Aa#5 will get you more velocity (900fps), but it doesn't burn completely and fouls tight chambers. I haven't tried many powders so i 'm interested in this thread regarding powder choices.

    Edfardos
     
  13. Lj1941

    Lj1941 Member

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    I use Power Pistol for my top end loads in 45ACP as well as 9 & 40. They are spectactular but extremly accurate. I shoot mainly practice but also carry for SD with the same loads.:cuss:
     
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