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Reduced 45 ACP loads
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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2014 09:46 PM
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lovig214
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Hi I am in the process of loading 45 ACP for bullseye pistol league. I would like to learn more about the science of hand loading.
I am a novice hand loader, that being said I was wonder what the danger is when looking at load data that says that you should not go below the minimum grains.
Does anyone know of any books or sites that will teach me more about what powder charges do in a cartridge and how the different bullet based affect the cartridge?



 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2014 12:04 AM
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OldStuffer
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"Depends" (there it is again dogonit) :)

With the powders suitable to MOST CARTRIDGES (especially .45 Auto, the only "risks" associated with reducing loads even further than 10% below maximum (the normal 'start' is 10% below maximum) is auto-loading weapon failure to cycle, or squibs with bullets stuck in the barrel.

Now, for the OTHER cartridges not covered by the above......
"Magnum" handgun cartridges, cartridges that use the following AND SIMILAR powders (Hodgdon 110, Winchester 296, Alliant MP-300, possibly Accurate 4100, the powder makers themselves tell you NOT TO REDUCE any farther than about 4% below maximum. These powders are for "go big or stay home" loads. Full Roar or use another powder. These powders do not ignite easily, do not burn well unless full pressures are kept on them.
There is a whole set of different initials and acronyms for what generally goes by "detonation".
The way gunpowder burns, most of it is burned up in a very, VERY sudden pressure increase before the bullet ever moves. These VERY slow powders, if the bullet gets going too soon, the pressure can drop, and the powder can literally stop burning (smokeless gunpowder burns very poorly except under high pressure). If the pressure then drops, the bullet can stop, stuck in the barrel. This can then allow the pressure, if the powder is still burning poorly, to rise, and then re-invigorate the powder burn, which will now never shove the bullet out, you now get a severe overpressure with a blocked barrel, and a possible gun blow-up.

Now, While that is pretty much how I THINK it works, no-one in a lab has been able to conclusively prove how it happens, no-one has been able to repeat it on demand, and I may be full of it in the technicalities of how it happens. Thing is, those "magnum powders", are known to be troublesome when used outside the powder maker's and data developer's tested parameters, so DON'T.

Use them if you wish, they are good powders, just use them properly, or you are asking that dog to bite you.

Now, that assumes you don't make any grevioius mistakes on your end.
Reduced Loads are opportunities to multi-charge a case.
A guy blew up an M1A last year or so because he made the mistake of double-charging a reduced 'low recoil' load of IMR4227. Had he not made the mistake, his 45%-full case of 4227 was a good accurate, commonly used load, something like 22/23gr or so.
It is impossible to miss the attempt to put 96gr of WW748 in the same .308W rifle case, because the 48gr correct charge is very nearly a complete caseful.

Now, IMO more guns are blown up every year from accidental multiple charges than from "detonation", and, who knows, the 'detonation' phenomena might be based in an accidental wrong powder multiple-charge instead of a reduced-slow-powder detonation. As I said, it has proven extremely hard to get to happen on demand, and naturally the 'evidence' of what was loaded is destroyed in the incident.



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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2014 12:41 AM
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Charley
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What OS said. Stick with powders faster than Unique or so, and the danger is a squib or not cycling the weapon.
I'd suggest one of the Lyman manuals, and read the section on propellants.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2014 02:59 AM
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ACrowe25
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When working up a load for my 1911's my starting load of my workup was super light. Lighter than 9mms lol. Was published... But weird. I don't think you'll need to go much lower than the "starting load" to get what your looking for IMO. IIRC it was 4.6-4.8 grains of 231 under a 200 LSWC boolit. DON"T TAKE THAT TO THE BANK--- that is my memory. I shoot 5.4 grains for a nice load that shoots to my guns POI.



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 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2014 09:18 PM
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lovig214
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Thanks ACrowe25
I am learning a lot from the wisdom of the members on this site. I am trying to learn as much as I can.

Thanks Craig



 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2014 09:55 PM
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Hamltnblue
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If you can get to this link try to download the burn rate chart.
It will show the in order listing of 178 powders from fastest to slowest.
http://www.loaddata.com/articles/index.cfm



 Posted: Mon Jan 13th, 2014 09:57 PM
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lovig214
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I was able to get to the site.
thank you for the information Hamltnblue



 Posted: Wed Jan 15th, 2014 12:55 PM
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Garyshome
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This is how I go about it....Pick your powder and bullet/primer [although I don't worry too much about the primer] get out your load data book and look it up. Load maybe 3 fire them to make sure they cycle the action. If they work try a couple of 1/10 grains less, again 3 loads test again see if they cycle the action, keep going until they don't cycle the action. After you get here adjust up a couple of 1/10ths grains till it cycle the action every time [I bring it up and load about 25-50 rounds then fire them], If they work you're done. Here is my load for 45 ACP 452-230-TC 4.6 gr. Unique No leading This is a cast bullet from range lead bhn 11 or so. :deadhorse:



 Posted: Fri Jan 31st, 2014 12:25 PM
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The Virginian
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There is a softcover book called "Loading the .45 ACP" that is loaded-pardon the pun...with tips and some target pet loads. I think Amazon has it, my wife got it for me for Christmas and it has been invaluable.



 Posted: Fri Jan 31st, 2014 09:07 PM
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lovig214
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Virginian
Thanks for the advice I am going to look for it tonight online.

Craig



 Posted: Fri Jan 31st, 2014 10:05 PM
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noylj
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For light loads in ANY gun, you move to faster powders.
296/H110 needs a certain amount of pressure/heat to burn. A "light" load will only partially burn and you can end up with a bullet and/or a wad of partially molten powder stuck in the barrel. Thus, the "detonation" happens on the NEXT firing.
I find the whole idea of "detonation" to be a great unproven myth. IF you had half the powder by the bullet and half the powder at the case head and IF you managed to ignite both and IF the pressure waves of each came together, it would seem that you would have pressure waves that could be no more than ½ as great as when the whole powder charge goes off together and the combination would only add up to the same pressure when the two come together. Since my ammo is jostled during transportation and loading and since my handguns recoil and since my cases are not that long, I really can NOT imagine how the supposed state needed could exist outside a laboratory.
Also, the STARTING load is NOT a MINIMUM load. It is usually no more than a 10-12% reduction from max. For some powders that throw up pressure spikes (see N310, TiteGroup, and Clays as some of the better known), the max load has to be held down and the starting load is NOT reduced 10% since the starting load should be enough to function the gun. This produces some loads where the starting load is, say, 3.2gn and the max load is 3.4gn--a sure sign that something isn't quite right.
For Bullseye shooters, there are many well-known and well-tested "pet" loads that work well. There are service loads for standard 1911s and "wad" loads for 1911s with reduced weight recoil springs.
Read your manuals and take care.



 Posted: Sat Feb 1st, 2014 06:23 PM
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deadear dan
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I've been told of 5.2 gr bullseye with a 200gr lswc using a 12lb recoil spring. May want to research that load.



 Posted: Tue Feb 11th, 2014 09:04 AM
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Edcnh
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I use 4.0g of Bullseye with a 200g LSWC in my Ruger SR 1911. It shoots great and cycles well. I know a couple of guys who use 3.5g of Bullseye in their 45ACP's.



 Posted: Tue Feb 11th, 2014 05:09 PM
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SansSouci
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How much pressure does it take to force a 230 grain bullet out of a 5" barrel?

How much pressure would 3 grains of Unique in a .45 ACP case produce?

I can't ever remember reading a reloading manual that didn't have a Unique load for every .45 ACP bullet weight.

http://alliantpowder.com/reloaders/powderlist.aspx?type=1&powderid=3&cartridge=35

If the above link doesn't open, go to the Alliant Webpage and navigate to Unique.

Alliant refers to Unique as the most versatile powder made. I agree with that claim.



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 Posted: Thu Feb 13th, 2014 11:59 PM
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gwpercle
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I shot in a bullseye league for years, my target load was the 200 gr lead SWC, over 5.2 grs of Unique and later started using the same lead SWC bullet over 3.7 grains of Bullseye powder. For more loads per pound. These average about 750 fps and functioned in a Colt Gold Cup, AMT Hardballer and a Star model PS ( 1911 copy ) with no problems and great accuracy.
Don't try and light load Unique too much, it needs a certain amount of pressure to burn cleanly and completely. The 5.2 grain load was about as low as I could load and still get a fairly clean burn. Bullseye powder is better for target loads hands down.
Hope this helps you.

Gary

Last edited on Fri Feb 14th, 2014 12:08 AM by gwpercle



 Posted: Fri Feb 14th, 2014 11:08 PM
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SansSouci
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With all the law enforcement agencies in the world, throw in all the militaries, and you'd think I'd be able to find one single, scholarly article about ammunition pressure spikes and other smokeless powder anomalies. Nope. Nada. Zip, zero, zilch. Not even one from Quantico; nothing from LAPD, LA Sheriff, NYPD, Chicago PD, London PD, Scotland Yard, RCMP, KGB, The French Foreign Legion, and AM/PM.

So where can I find any facts supporting theories of pressure spikes & detonation?



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 Posted: Sat Feb 15th, 2014 12:31 AM
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Guncrank
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SansSouci wrote: How much pressure does it take to force a 230 grain bullet out of a 5" barrel?

How much pressure would 3 grains of Unique in a .45 ACP case produce?

I can't ever remember reading a reloading manual that didn't have a Unique load for every .45 ACP bullet weight.

http://alliantpowder.com/reloaders/powderlist.aspx?type=1&powderid=3&cartridge=35

If the above link doesn't open, go to the Alliant Webpage and navigate to Unique.

Alliant refers to Unique as the most versatile powder made. I agree with that claim.

SansSouci,

Q: "How much pressure does it take to force a 230 grain bullet out of a 5" barrel?"

A: Much less than is needed to be practical, or useful for making holes in a bad guy or making a great 5 shot group size at 25 yards.

You are looking at the situation from a alternate point of view.
The reality is that 3g of Unique is able to produce an X volume of gas and result in a pressure of X pounds per square inch when pushing a 230g bullet out of a given 5" barrel.

In order to determine what X is you need some very good quality and expensive equipment. Not at all very practical for the casual hand-loader.

However, you can, by close observation and with some rather modestly priced measuring tools get very valid data to infer what pressure ranges may be occurring within your 45 ACP cartridge/handgun.

Look closely at your fired case and primer for the usual sign's of pressure/over pressure. Additionally, with the use of a chronograph one may compare published data to the velocity's which you have collected and make an educated guess as the pressure range your loads are operating within.

In point of fact, does it matter to the hand loading hobbyist what pressures actually may measure out to be? Well, no, not really. What is of supreme interest is how fast we can push the pill out the barrel with excellent repeatability (read accuracy), with the absence of any over pressure signs.

As a more direct answer to your question regarding 3g of Unique and a 5" barrel with a 230g bullet...
Although I've not tested anything lower than 5.5g of Unique with a 230g bullet which yielded velocity's in the 780 FPS range. I suspect that 3g of Unique would not produce a usable amount of gas volume to raise pressures into a range that would push the 230g bullet fast enough to cycle the action of any auto loading pistol or be particularly useful for any practical purpose.

Hope this helps to get you on the right track as regards gas volume/gas pressure and how it relates to bullet speed. 



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 Posted: Sat Feb 15th, 2014 09:10 PM
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runfiverun
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when you start looking for specialty loads for a gun you quite often end up changing the gun to suit the purpose also.
changing your return spring could easily allow you to lower the load even more.
I do know that most of the good bulls-eye shooters say that recoil becomes their main adversary to accuracy eventually.



 Posted: Sat Feb 15th, 2014 11:12 PM
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Pete D.
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The "classic " Bullseye match load for the .45 ACP is a 200 grain LSWC over 4.0 grains of Alliant Bullseye powder.
A variation of that load is a 185 grain LSWC over 4.2 grains of Bullseye powder. Any large pistol primer.



 Posted: Thu Feb 20th, 2014 02:36 AM
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Hi,

I Went to the gunshow Sat. was only going to see if I could find some rifle brass, (300 WM,
and some magnum primers.
I came home with the new Ruger SR1911 CMD.
Never did find primers or brass, but I am loving the new 45.
It's already got all the bells and whistles I would have wanted to put on it if it was stripped down 1911.
I think I got a pretty good price too
I ended up paying $650 for it after it was all said and done.
Cant wait to take it out and fire it up.
Now I need 45 brass and large pistol primers.
I would like some of that new CFE Pistol Powder I was reading about that 45 ACP is supposed to love.
The CFE Pistol is (Copper Fouling Eraser).
Hodgdon claims it cleans your barrel as you shoot.
What are they gonna think of next.
Be 6 months before I find it anywhere.
:cowboy:



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