Home My iTrader Join the NRA Donate to CGSSA Sponsors CGN Google Search
CA Semiauto Ban(AW)ID Flowchart CA Handgun Ban ID Flowchart CA Shotgun Ban ID Flowchart
Go Back > INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES > Ammo and Reloading
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read

Ammo and Reloading Factory Ammunition, Reloading, Components, Load Data and more.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-18-2017, 9:07 AM
hotrail hotrail is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 172
iTrader: 0 / 0%
Default Loading 45 ACP - trying to understand the variables

OK another newb question here...go easy.

Trying to understand reloading data. I am loading some 45ACP with 230 gr. Berry's plated RN and "CFE Pistol" powder. I looked at the data on the Hodgdon web site for this powder. They have data for a "230 gr HDY FMJ FP" with a starting load of 6.0 and a max of 6.8. Then they have "230 gr. LRN." with a starting load of 5.4 and a max of 6.2. The stated C.O.L. is the same for each.

So I understand the general rule is the plated bullets load to the same spec as the cast bullet, not the FMJ. So I started my loads in a safe range for the LRN bullet.

What is interesting is that the tested velocities (as shown on Hodgdon website) for the two loads are almost identical, both starting and max, despite the projectile being the same weight and the FMJ bullet having about 10% more powder. I am curious to understand why no difference in velocity for the difference in powder charge?

Second, chamber pressure is about 10% higher for the FMJ starting load, but at the max loads chamber pressure is listed as about 1.5% higher for the LRN load (which was 10% less powder). This seems totally counter-intuitive.

I would have expected a more linear relationship between the powder charge and the velocity, for an equal weight projectile. Are the differences a functon of the relative shape and length of the projectiles, giving a different volume inside the case? Or is it something else?

Also how much difference should I expect if I don't seat the bullets down all the way to the quoted 1.200? I assume that gives a bigger case volume and will result in lower chamber pressure (and presumably lower velocity)?

Last edited by hotrail; 04-18-2017 at 9:09 AM..
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2017, 9:25 AM
Win231 Win231 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,288
iTrader: 0 / 0%

A jacketed bullet has more resistance in the barrel than a lead bullet, so it needs a bigger powder charge to generate the same velocity. The plating on a plated bullet is soft, unlike a copper jacket & should only be loaded to mid-range velocities. At high velocities, the plating can come off & become stuck in the barrel.

And, when loading jacketed bullets for a pistol-caliber rifle, target velocities made for lead bullets should never be used. The bullet needs to clear a much-longer barrel.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2017, 9:55 AM
robert101 robert101 is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: southern CA
Posts: 1,113
iTrader: 1 / 100%

I know you didn't ask, but in general I don't shoot lead or plated bullets over 1,200 fps. Check your target to make certain no fragmenting or plating has pealed off at what ever velocity you shoot. I have some Rainier plated bullets in 10MM that I regularly push to 1,200 fps without a problem. It depends on the bullet and plating really.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2017, 10:29 AM
acourvil's Avatar
acourvil acourvil is offline
CGN/CGSSA Contributor - Lifetime
CGN Contributor - Lifetime
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: San Jose
Posts: 425
iTrader: 10 / 100%

You will not get a 230gn bullet to 1200fps in 45acp with any reasonable load. Most factory loaded 230gn rounds are 800-850fps.

The fps/powder charge curve is not linear because the pressure curve is not linear, and the exact curve will vary depending on the powder and projectile used.

My experience is that for 45ACP the seating depth doesn't have a great effect on the observed pressure/fps (at least for the powders I've used). Depending on the gun, it can have significant effect on how smoothly the gun cycles (and whether you get feed problems). 1.200 is on the short side for a 230gn round; if you have feed problems, try moving it out to 1.250 or so.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2017, 10:35 AM
kcheung2's Avatar
kcheung2 kcheung2 is online now
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,950
iTrader: 27 / 100%

The weight is not the only consideration, the construction and shape are also factors. That's why loading tables have different data for the same weight but round nose vs flat vs hollow point.

Take a fmj projectile and try to scratch it with your fingernail. You won't make a mark. But try the same thing with a plated or full lead projectile, and you'll leave a mark. The harder projectile means it take a bit more force to push it down a barrel, which is why fmj charges are higher. That extra resistance also explains why the velocity is approximately the same despite higher chamber pressures.

Charges are not perfectly linear. They may be approximately linear in a small range but it's not a reliable indicator.
"There is no "best." If there was, everyone here would own that one, and no other." - DSB
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2017, 1:45 PM
bazineta bazineta is offline
Mostly Harmless
CGN Contributor
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 426
iTrader: 0 / 0%

I haven't a clue why there are manuals listing 230gr bullets at a COL of 1.200; that combination just isn't found in common usage -- if you measure any factory 230 ball round, you'll find it to be around 1.260.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2017, 3:44 PM
noylj's Avatar
noylj noylj is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 565
iTrader: 0 / 0%

The jacketed bullet has more resistance? Yet, the lead bullet produces the same velocities and near the same pressure with LESS powder.
First of all, accept the fact that lead bullets and jacketed bullets are different.
Next, be aware that you START all loading at the START load and not somewhere in the "safe" zone.
If you look at three manuals, you'll quickly see that there is no safe zone--pressure depends on the gun, the lot of powder, the exact bullets used (including, often, the lot number—as manufacturer's replace molds as they wear out or decide to make improvements and don't tell anyone), the cases used, the primers used, and the COL. So, NO manual can tell you what you'll get with your mix of components and no manual is more "accurate" than another manual. Learn to check a couple of sources and don't assume anything.
For SAAMI ammunition testing, it is common to use a short COL (as a worst case situation for pressure testing). Some manuals follow this test procedure and some use a more normal COL.
STOP looking at the test COL and start working up the COL for YOUR gun, YOUR magazine, and YOUR bullet.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2017, 9:33 PM
rm1911's Avatar
rm1911 rm1911 is offline
Veteran Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Soviet Socialist Republic of Kalifornia
Posts: 2,832
iTrader: 18 / 100%

Originally Posted by acourvil View Post
You will not get a 230gn bullet to 1200fps in 45acp with any reasonable load.

Someone needs to expand their horizons a bit

In actuality, 45 is probably one of the easiest rounds to load for. There's a large list of powders that will work, and most give pretty good results. Because it's got a generous case, runs at lower pressures, pretty much any faster burning powder will run well. For some real fun with a 45, go to a rifle range at night and sling some jacketed slugs downrange. You can literally see the round in flight.

And since it's a lower pressure round with no threat to push velocities above 1000fps data for jacketed and lead kinda interchange. Any jacketed load will work for lead. And since most lead data is lighter, it will usually work fine with jacketed. And plated bullets honestly any published data will work fine.
NRA Life Member since 1990

They're not liberals, they're leftists. Please don't use the former for the latter. Liberals are Locke, Jefferson, Burke, Hayek. Leftists are progressives, Prussian state-socialists, fascists. Liberals stand against the state and unequivocally support liberty. Leftists support state tyranny.

Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2017, 1:16 AM
hambam105 hambam105 is offline
Veteran Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,069
iTrader: 0 / 0%

Plated bullets in any caliber bite. Cast or a real FMJ is fine.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 7:30 AM
Socratic Socratic is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 169
iTrader: 0 / 0%

Hi hot rail,

You've got the right cartridge to reload. The .45 ACP is vey easy to reload. Lots of powder will give good results. I've tried a lot. Don't overlook Unique.

If you can get your hands on a copy of Ken Waters', Pet Loads, I'd suggest that you grab it. Ken has a lot go excellent info on hand loading the .45 ACP, and just about every other cartridge. It's my primary source of load data:
Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2017, 7:03 PM
stilly's Avatar
stilly stilly is offline
I need a LIFE!!
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Currently in a shanty I made in the river bottom by Eastvale.
Posts: 10,046
iTrader: 49 / 100%

That book needs to be redone. They whored the hell out of it as cheap as possible...

Data quality = 8+
Artwork/ photos quality = 2

It would be NICE to know what a particular round looks like when it is loaded if it is not a normal one and photocopied photos from magazines aint cool. Not even half toned half of them....
`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves...

Need GOOD SS pins to clean your brass? Try the new and improved model...

And remember- When you see somebody crying, go up to them and ask if it's because of their haircut...
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2017, 4:05 PM
noylj's Avatar
noylj noylj is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 565
iTrader: 0 / 0%

Per Ramshot:
It is important to note that the SAAMI “COL” values are for the firearms and ammunition manufacturers industry and must be seen as a guideline only.
The individual reloader is free to adjust this dimension to suit their particular firearm-component-weapon combination.
This parameter is determined by various dimensions such as
1) magazine length (space),
2) freebore-lead dimensions of the barrel,
3) ogive or profile of the projectile and
4) position of cannelure or crimp groove.
• Always begin loading at the minimum ‘Start Load.’"

Your COL (Cartridge Overall Length) is determined by your barrel (chamber and throat dimensions) and your gun (feed ramp) and your magazine (COL that fits magazine and when the magazine lips release the round for feeding) and the PARTICULAR bullet you are using. What worked in a pressure barrel or the lab's gun or in my gun has very little to do with what will work best in your gun.
Take the barrel out of the gun. Create two inert dummy rounds (no powder or primer) at max COL and remove enough case mouth flare for rounds to chamber (you can achieve this by using a sized case—expand-and-flare it, and remove the flare just until the case "plunks" in the barrel).
Drop the inert rounds in and decrease the COL until they chamber completely. This will be your "max" effective COL. I prefer to have the case head flush with the barrel hood (or a few mils higher than where the head of an empty case aligns with the barrel, as all cases are too short and I prefer to minimize head space). After this, place the inert rounds in the magazine and be sure they fit the magazine and feed and chamber.
You can also do this for any chambering problems you have. Remove the barrel and drop rounds in until you find one that won't chamber. Take that round and "paint" the bullet and case black with Magic Marker or other marker. Drop this round in the barrel and rotate it back-and-forth.
Remove and inspect the round:
1) Scratches on bullet--COL is too long
2) Scratches on edge of the case mouth--insufficient crimp
3) Scratches just below the case mouth--too much crimp, you're crushing the case
4) Scratches on case at base of bullet--bullet seated crooked due to insufficient case expansion (not case mouth flare) or improper seating stem fit
5) Scratches on case just above extractor groove--case bulge not removed during sizing. May need a bulge buster.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2017, 4:43 PM
BajaJames83's Avatar
BajaJames83 BajaJames83 is offline
Veteran Member
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: North West SD county
Posts: 4,109
iTrader: 272 / 100%

I normally seat between 1.23 and 1.25 1.20 seems a little short
Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2017, 5:07 PM
Ktm45 Ktm45 is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 12
iTrader: 0 / 0%

Just to jump in here the OPer said he is/will be using coated (poly ) rounds. How are those working out for you guys? Any feed issues? I have CZs and I've been told they can be finicky.....but my CZ will eat anything....brass cased.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:14 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Proudly hosted by GeoVario the Premier 2A host., the 'Calguns' name and all associated variants and logos are ® Trademark and © Copyright 2002-2016, an Incorporated Company All Rights Reserved.