W231 and .45acp


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Old 03-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #1
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Default W231 and .45acp

Well I got out to the range finally to test out my reloads. I was using 4.2 grains of W231 for a 230 grn FMJ in a newer 1911 (less than 100 rounds fired) and it was stovepipe galore. I only shot 4 of the 10 that I put together to test but I guess it's back to the drawing board. My question is though for any of you that have used the same setup. I have seen 4.2 grains as a starting point in reloading in 3 seperate places however one place said to start with 5 grains of w231. I figured it would be best to start on the low end and work my way up, but any clue as to why the significant variance between the starting points?



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Old 03-13-2012, 02:54 AM   #2
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Sorry your loads are having problems and more so that you new(er) 45 is too.

Did you have any problems with the first 96 rounds fired?
I would suspect that your load of 4.2 grains of 231 is just too light.
What did the primers look like? Did the brass seal well in the chamber?

My copy of 'Modern Reloading' by Richard Lee list a starting charge of 4.8 grains of 231 with 230 grain Jacketed bullets.

I normally load 200 grain lead SWC with 5.6 grains of 231. This is a stiff loading and is safe in my weapon/s with my components (846fps from my 5 in bbl and 970fps in my 16.5 in microgroove Marlin - yes lead runs quite well). I use this as only a point of comparison with your 4.2 grains. That's 1.4 grain more, 1/3 more.

My advise is edge up a bit from the 4.2 grains. Watch for pressures and take care.



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Old 03-13-2012, 03:24 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. The other factory rounds didn't have an issue, I even mixed id up, fired one of mine then next magazine 3 factory then two of ine then 5 factory. All factory loads are good to go, my guess is my loads are too light so I am going to move up in .2 grains per load until I find one that functions properly. I just didn't know why there was such a variance in starting loads. I read some around and some people are using between 5 and 6 grains of w231 for a 230 gn FMJ.

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Old 03-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #4
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One word, lawyers.

Civil liabilities and anti gun crowd working together......

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Old 03-13-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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I think your situation is pretty easy to figure out. I just referenced three reloading manuals for the .45 cap, Hornady, Speer and Sierra. For the 230-grain fmj bullet the lightests load listed for Win 231 powder was 4.9 in the Sierra manual. Speer started at 5.6 and Hornady 5.0. You loaded your rounds too light. You need to increase the powder charge. I would suggest trying 5.0 grains of Win 231 for a starting point. I have been loading rounds for my Colt 1911 for 30 years. I had no problems with rounds loaded at the Hornady max of 5.7 grains of Win 231. Try again with a little more powder.

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Old 03-14-2012, 06:36 AM   #6
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4.2gn was probably producing about 650fps. If gun is new, it may still be too tight to function with that light a load (if it should ever be able too). I have always been amazed at how low you can go with a .45ACP.
5.0gn is a "standard" Bullseye load for accuracy, with 5.2-5.3gn being needed for major IDPA. 5.4gn is/was an major IPSC load.

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Old 03-14-2012, 07:08 AM   #7
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My pet load with the 200 gr was 4.8 gr of W231. An even 5.0 with a 225 gr RNL. I think you are a bit light, especially for a new gun.



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