Rainier and Berrys

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Jun 3, 2009
I didn't want to hijack the other Berry/Rainier thread.
My question is a little different, using Unique or Bullseye Powders.
I know what the Rainier and Berry websites say about loading using either lead or jacketed data. The Loading manuals I have don't have data for Berrys .38 special 125 gr FP; .45ACP 200 HP; or Rainier .40sw 180 gr RNFP using Unique or Bullseye powders. Other powders are listed but not the 2 I have on hand.
I have the Lyman 49 and the newest Lee manuals.

Any suggestions as what to use and where to find the correct loads for these bullets?
I'm not against buying other powder but I would rather not, at this time anyway.
I have loaded 10 of the .40sw 180 gr. RNFP with 4.9 gr of Unique based on the low end of the Lyman data for .40sw 180 gr. Jacketed HP. but I haven't tried them yet. Hoping for better info.
I follow Berry's advice and use mid-range jacketed bullet data
Lyman #49 is full of it for all three calibers.

IMO: Plated bullets are a little more "sticky" in the bore then grease lubed lead bullets.
So very light lead bullet starting loads "might" be too light.

Pay no attention to the suggested OAL for the auto pistols.

Determine your own OAL using your barrel out of the gun as a "plunk test" chamber gage.
Just seat short enough they will "plunk" in, and fall back out.

I use Universal with plated bullets and they shoot to the speed predicted by Hodgdon's jacketed data.
With Berrys .45acp 200HP the Lyman data for Jacketed is 4.0g Unique 3.4g Bullseye
the Lee data for 200gr Lead 4.8g Unique 4.0 Bullseye
Which would be the better place to start?
Not with plated bullets they don't.

Nobody publishes plated bullet data except some old stuff from Rainier and Accurate data:

Berry keeps saying they are going to.
But they haven't yet.

Maybe that and the new PHP SD bullets they announced "coming soon" a long time ago will arrive at the same time, some time??

Just see post #3 for how to load them.

Trust me!!
I wouldn't lie to you!!

I usually find good results by using mid-range jacketed bullet info for the same shape and weight. If your manual shows feet per second, stay below 1100. Above that and you will have the copper plate shearing from the lead core giving you terrible accuracy.
Would there be any problem shooting the Rainier .40sw 180gr RNFP with 4.9g Unique?
Might be a tad light. But that should be a safe enough place to start. I put 5.4 gr Unique behind a 180 gr cast bullet.
My first 10

My first 10 rounds of Rainier .40sw 180gr RNFP with 4.9g Unique out of my XDM .40. First five were at 15 yards and the next were at 20 yards, should have used 2 targets but felt so good about the first 5 I just backed up. I would like to say it is all about the reloads but was also wearing new glasses. I had the optical tech set the no-line bifocals up just a tad so I wouldn't have to tilt my head back to see the front site. I think it worked.

Gloob, you are right, they were a little light, but shot great, very little felt recoil. I think I'll up the load about .2 and load a bunch.
Thanks to all for your inputs.
That XDm is capable of quite a bit tighter groups(offhand that's another thing). When testing loads I alway use a rest of some sort to take as much if not all "human error" out. Otherwise a person never knows of the load is shooting good, great, horrible, or if the "human" is having a bad day.
Once a load is confirmed to be good, then I see how I can shoot offhand.
I'm working on a bench rest among other things. I really just wanted to see if they would go "BANG" and they did. I'll do up a bunch and try them on a rest when I get it all together.
Thanks for your reply.
IIRC, there was a published magazine article of a full-size XD45 that shot 3/4"-1" shot group at 25 yards using hand loads. The pistol didn't do too bad with factory loads either.

Quite impressive.
I load load 125 gr. .38 spl Berry's with 3.5 grains of Bullseye. For .45 ACP, I use 4.5. I tried to go even lighter with the .38, but I did not have very good results.
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