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.45 ACP 230gr ZERO FMJ and Clays question


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#1 walsh

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 08:18 PM

I'm just about to do my first .45 reload after months of reading and doing some .40 reloading on my instructor's 550. I bought a RockChucker to start and will get a 550 ASAP after spending too much time Wednesday with 100 pieces of brass, primer, and powder (Clays) and I'm about to seat the bullets.

My instructor/friend left for out of state to the NE until Sunday night and I don't wish to bother him as his dad is quite sick. On Wednesday I asked what he shot competition with as I know it's .45 Zero 230 gr and Clays (not Universal but plain Clays) and he said 4.3gr at 1.275 OAL.

I used my RCBS electronic scale to hand measure (trickle) 4.3 gr and the cases are all full and waiting for the bullets and crimping.

Looking at the Hodgdon site (after of course!) it shows 4.0 as the max load.

Of my .45s I am choosing an old P13-45 to start.

Will I probably be okay with 4.3? I really don't want to hand load 100 casings again as my RCBS powder disspenser is not yet mounted to the bench I'm building so I trickled each load out.

If this is too high can I increase the OAL a hair?

Thanks in advance,
Walsh
Charlotte NC

Edited by walsh, 26 November 2009 - 08:19 PM.


#2 gm iprod

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:28 PM

OAL too long for most guns, it may work for his. I have just used 1.250" in my Para P13

Max load is pretty good at 1.250". So 4.3 is a little too much at that length.

To ensure that any problems you encounter can easily be fixed. I suggest stocking to what the reccommended OAL is in the book, and the same with the load. Check on a chronograph, that way if the gun fails to operate you have a known start point.

By being out of spec with both OAL and powder charge you will not find out which is the problem if you have a problem, or if you do you lucked it. Luck has very little to do with reloading I have found. And if it does it is against you not for you.

Test handgun with good quality factory ammo as well.
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#3 zhunter

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Posted 26 November 2009 - 10:44 PM

I would agree with the 1.250" being the most I would use to fee reliably, but would look for about 4.0 grains of Clay to be plenty to make PF
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#4 albsch

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 07:04 AM

Lee list the max oal at 1.275 and the min at 1.2 for 230 grain using Clays. They also list the max load for clays at 4.0. Like the others I like an oal of 1.25 and this runs flawless for me, but you need to work something up that works in your gun. Why are you starting out your loads at above the max recomended amount? What reference books did you rely on to arrive at this load? I know your mentor told you his load but from what you stated he may have advised you in error as he had his father on his mind. I wouldn't load this round as you have listed! I would start out near the min and work up in increments to find something that was accurate and functioned well, but would not exceed the max load listed. Just my thoughts and if you choose to proceed your on your own.

#5 CocoBolo

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 08:56 AM

I hit 170 pf with 4.2gr of Clays with a 200 gr RN. So 4.3 gr in a 230 is way over kill. I load 1.22 with a KKM barrel and beyond that causes problems. The clays load seems to be very soft, accuracy is good but not test for group size. When I can do head shots at 40+ yards it is good enough for me.

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#6 el pres

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 10:17 AM

While the .45 is generaly a low presure cartridge and most likely will
hold together at 4.3 grains of clays, that is like the old military ball load and has
one hell of a recoil. "Way" over min. power factor for competitive shooting.
4.0 should get you there no problem...

165,000 minimum power factor for USPSA and IDPA CDP so that's a 230gr. bullet going just 718 fps.
You want to have a little buffer so a 170-175pf would be just right or 740-761fps...

Also since you should start your loads 20% under the ideal weight and work it up to your gun, you should
just dump them and start all over. To work up a load is to start lower then your target load and load say 10
rounds at 3.5, then 10 at 3.8, then 10 at 4.0, etc.. Then go fire them over an chrono to see what "your" is doing
with these loads, also looking for excessive pressure signs along the way, every gun reacts a littlie different to each load.

Starting at max or in your case "overbook" is always a bad, bad idea !!
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#7 G-ManBart

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 10:42 AM

I'm just about to do my first .45 reload after months of reading and doing some .40 reloading on my instructor's 550. I bought a RockChucker to start and will get a 550 ASAP after spending too much time Wednesday with 100 pieces of brass, primer, and powder (Clays) and I'm about to seat the bullets.

My instructor/friend left for out of state to the NE until Sunday night and I don't wish to bother him as his dad is quite sick. On Wednesday I asked what he shot competition with as I know it's .45 Zero 230 gr and Clays (not Universal but plain Clays) and he said 4.3gr at 1.275 OAL.

I used my RCBS electronic scale to hand measure (trickle) 4.3 gr and the cases are all full and waiting for the bullets and crimping.

Looking at the Hodgdon site (after of course!) it shows 4.0 as the max load.

Of my .45s I am choosing an old P13-45 to start.

Will I probably be okay with 4.3? I really don't want to hand load 100 casings again as my RCBS powder disspenser is not yet mounted to the bench I'm building so I trickled each load out.

If this is too high can I increase the OAL a hair?

Thanks in advance,
Walsh
Charlotte NC


You've already been given the correct answer....no, it's not smart to start out with a load that's well over published maximums. In fact, it may be more over book maximums than you realize. Are you using a 230gr FMJ or 230gr JHP? The two will take up different amounts of case volume at the same OAL, and the one that takes up more case volume (JHP) will cause increased pressures. So, a max load with a 230gr FMJ would likely be over max pressures with a 230gr JHP. That's why you'll see slightly different data for two bullets of the same weight, from the same company, but of different types.

Adjusting the OAL to lower pressures is not the proper way to go about it. For one, it's unreliable because you don't know how much change you need to reduce pressures a set amount....in short, it's a wild guess. Pick the OAL for what works well in the gun, and what is reasonable based upon the loading guides you have. Adjust the amount of powder to keep within published limits.

The other thing people think makes a difference in pressure is crimp....it may cause a very slight change, and does so more with revolver cartridges with bullets that have a cannelure where you can roll crimp them, but it's not a means for adjusting pressures....we do that with how much of the gray stuff we dump in the empty case.

Please don't take this as being mean or insulting....I'll be direct because it's a safety thing and everyone deserves straight talk when it comes to safety :) Go get a couple of reloading manuals and really read them. Don't just use them as recipe books. The Lyman manual has a ton of good info in it. After you've read them you'll have a better understanding of the fundamentals and it'll serve you for as long as you're loading. It's great to have a friend help you get started, but unless they're going to spend hours and hours teaching you all of the things you really need to understand, you'll still need to get the info from somewhere...that's where the manuals come in. R,
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#8 Carmoney

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 11:01 AM

I shoot Zero 230s and Clays as my main revolver match load. Whether or not 4.3 grains is "overkill" depends on the gun. The old 25-2 my kid shoots needs 4.3 grains to reliably make major. Mine only needs about 4.0 or 4.1. Rather than try to make up different loads for his gun and mine, I just load all my match ammo with 4.3 grains and then I don't have to worry about getting anything mixed up. The difference in recoil impulse is no big deal.
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#9 walsh

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 11:43 AM

Thanks to all for the replies.

And no, no insults taken. My instructor shoots at master level and I think his STI is custom made. I thought he said 4.3 to me and the Lyman's book didn't have Clays for 230 FMJ. I should have looked at the Hodgdon site. My mistake was seeing the 5.2 max for a lighter grain on the front off the Clay's container.

I'll dump them, load just 25 at about 3.7 and see the results.

Thanks again,
Walsh

Edited by walsh, 27 November 2009 - 11:45 AM.


#10 el pres

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 12:14 PM

I'll dump them, load just 25 at about 3.7 and see the results.



Good choice !!! :cheers:
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#11 G+16

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Posted 05 December 2009 - 03:22 PM

safety and protecting your firearm is a good thing :rolleyes:
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#12 AriM

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Posted 10 December 2009 - 04:47 AM



"Pick the OAL for what works well in the gun"


+1 , there is no OAL that is perfect for all guns or all loads....test and re-test.....best starting OAL is the longest that will fit in your magazine and still clear your bbl. hood....if your feed ramp and bbl. ramp are correct, this should work with no trouble at all....I load a 200 gn. long SWC in .45auto and the book lists OAL at 1.2 to 1.23.....I load it at 1.26 to 1.263 with no troubles what so ever...the closer you get the projectile to the rifling/throat the better your accuracy will be....just be sure to stay under "industry max"....also why are you loading so "hot"? you should be able to make major power with under 800 FPS....

major power = projectile weight (230gn in your case) x velocity / 1000

I make major with 200gn. projectile and mid-high powder level .... you should have no trouble with 230 gn. projectile....
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