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Not enough powder W231 & .45 ACP?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Steve H, Mar 15, 2008.

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  1. Steve H

    Steve H Member

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    I just loaded up 50 rounds of 45 ACP. According to the Hodgen web site the starting load for a 230 gr FMJ is 4.2 grs & a OAL of 1.200" I went with the following:
    230gr Winchester JHP
    4.5 grs
    1.230 OAL
    the OAL was based on some factory WWB

    AFTER loading up this batch I looked in some of my older reloading manuals and see that they suggest around 5.3 grains as a low end starting point.....................pretty big difference from them and what the Hodgen site states!!!!

    Am I too low in the powder?????????????
     
  2. robertbank

    robertbank Member

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    Seems awlful low to me. With that charge you ought to be able to watch your bullets fly through the air. 5.4 gr of 231 under Montana Gold 230 gr jacketed gave me 790 fps out of my Para SSP.

    Take Care

    Bob
     
  3. Steve H

    Steve H Member

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    Hodgen is claiming 751 fps with this load..............

    I don't want to stick one in the tube. Should I pull 'em?????
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    They will shoot. They will be very light. I load 230 Gr ball at 1.265 myself. Just make sure you see a bullet hit something every shot. If you are not comfortable with that, pull them.

    W-231 data has been castrated by Hodgdon.

    I recently ran a test with W-231 in response to a Q in a thread here. I loaded 5.5 Grs W-231 and Magtech 230 Gr FMJ's @ 1.265 O.A.L. with WLP primers.

    It gave

    5" barrel - 789 Avg FPS
    4 1/4" barrel - 741 Avg FPS
    3" barrel - 722 Avg FPS
     
  5. Steve H

    Steve H Member

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    After reading my older reloading books it SURE SEEMS THAT WAY!!!!!

    I think it's time to give up on the powder mfg's web sites and go back to reading the books.
     
  6. Luggernut

    Luggernut Member

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    Yeah that's strange. I use 5.2gr 231 with a 230 plated bullet... it just makes major power factor- about 725ft/sec maybe a little more. For matches I'll use 5.3gr for good margin. 4.5gr would seem like a cream puff!

    FYI my COL is 1.255" if I recall correctly, WLP. Gun is full size 1911.
     
  7. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    Don't worry about bullets sticking in the bore. Zero chance of that happening with your load.

    The best sign of a weak load is your gun not cycling after each shot. If your gun cycles OK, then don't pull the loads. Shoot 'em empty.
     
  8. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    My Lee Modern Reloading manual shows a lot lighter charge of 231, compared to my Speer#18. I load 5.4gr 231, with 230gr Win hps, runs about 800fps:)
     
  9. evan price

    evan price Member

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    According to my 1991 Winchester 11th edition components guide, they called out 5.6 grains of W231 to hit 795 fps and 17K cup with a 230-gr projectile.

    IN my 2006 Winchester guide they call out 5.3 of W231 to hit 834 fps and 16.9k cup with a 230-gr projo...

    MMm'kay. .3 less powder = 40 fps increase at same pressure?
     
  10. DaveInFloweryBranchGA

    DaveInFloweryBranchGA Member

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    Powder formulations change over the years. AS always, it's best to start low and work a load up. If one has a chronograph, it can be quite useful. I wouldn't necessarily assume the powder of today is the same as ten years ago. Most things aren't.

    Dave
     
  11. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Member

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    Published fps data are generally pretty optimistic, but Hodgdon's numbers are a bad joke. I subtract 15% as a rule of thumb.
     
  12. nelson133

    nelson133 Member

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    I loaded some of those 4.5 W231 loads with 230 grain lead roundnose. They are very comfortable to shoot for anyone you are trying to introduce to big bore handguns who is afraid of recoil. But it won't work the action in some guns, not enough energy, and you can just about see the bullets arcing their way down range.
     
  13. KeithB

    KeithB Member

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    if you look at Winchester's online load chart they show lower W231 of 4.2gr starting load.

    I run 5.1 to 5.2 in my 230FMJ rounds, plenty for target.
     
  14. Steve H

    Steve H Member

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    That's where I got the load info to start with. I almost want to think that there is a mistake in the online info.......
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Typical modern extra cautious starting load. It also has to do with the bullet they used. Note the 1.200" OAL. For some reason, Hodgdon uses the 230 grain Hornady flat point which seats deeper in the case than a roundnose, reducing powder space and increasing pressure for a given load.

    It will not stick a bullet or hurt your gun. The worst will be that it will not cycle the action. Try what you have loaded and see if it works. If it does, great, you have a mild practice load. If it doesn't, boost the load as required.
    Velocity will be nearer 650 fps than 750.
     
  16. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    I loaded some very light 45 ACPs with W-231 like that. The charge was not enough to cycle the action of my G-21C, so I thought I'd shoot them from my 625. The load was so light that the cases did not expand enough to make a good seal and I got a ton of soot all over the gun. There was also a very large amount of unburnt powder to add to the mess. It was pretty yucky... :eek:
     
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