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Quick question regarding amt of powder for some first time loads

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by KiloBravo, May 9, 2010.

  1. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    I want to work up a good target load in .45 ACP. I have brass, remington primers, Unique powder, and winchester 230 gr. FMJ-RN bullets as my limited components to start off with.

    In my Hornady load manual, it says that the second up from the lightest powder charge for this particular bullet should be 5.4 gr. of the brand I have on hand. I guess I am just wondering if I should start off with that option, of if you guys might recommend that I start with the lowest printed data in the book. I have never reloaded before and would rather be safe than sorry. I def. don't want to get myself or my gun hurt for assuming anything when I honestly have no clue what I am doing. Other than from what research I have done.

    If it matters, these will be shot from a steel framed, 5" brl 1911.
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
  2. RustyFN


    Sep 29, 2006
    West Virginia
    I always start at the recommended starting load but it's not a requirement. I would recommend to stay below the half way point of the powder charge to start and work up.

  3. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    I never start at the min charge when loading for a semi-auto. I usually start somewhere more towards the middle. I know many will discredit this practice, but I no longer feel the need to make "test" rounds that I know wont cycle the action of the gun.
  4. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    I load 6.0gr of Unique under 230gr plated RN at 1.260" and shoot them out of a 1911 as well.

    My manual recommends 5.5gr - 6.5gr, so I'm right in the middle.
  5. For me personally, I start at the minimum starting load in the manual and just work up. I only load a small quantity so I don't waste components on test loads. You could also load 10 at starting load, and load another 10 with a .1 or .2 grain increase, depending on what your recipe. Just gives you more to work with in terms of gauging where you want your actual loading to be.
  6. harleyfx69


    Jan 25, 2007
    in a desert
    if its a very broad spectrum powder, like 5.0 starting, 7.5 max (numbers out of my butt, no relavent associated powder) vs a load thats 5.0 start and 5.5 max,

    that makes the difference for me, with the 5.0-7.5 ill go mid way, and usually end up with a happy load being a little under max,

    where as the low variation powder i start at the minimum..
  7. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    If you're using the Auto Disk that comes w/ the LCT, it won't hit 5.4gr of Unique. Not sure what your load range is, but if you look at the chart that comes w/ your LCT and the Auto Disk, it will throw(that's in that range)....5.2, 5.6, 6.0, 6.5

    Unique is one of those powders I don't care for to much with the Auto Disk.. It starts to "spread" quite at about .5 per cavity when you get around 5gr of Unique.

    I bought an adjustable charge bar, but I'm not sure how it's going to work w/ 231. Haven't really put any effort into using it yet. Anyone ever used it the adj. charge bar w/ 231? From my reading, it should run well w/ WST, but I'm not out of 231 yet.

  8. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    One reason to start with "starting" loads is they often don't cycle the slide or the shooter will notice them as being sluggish. It's nice to notice/feel that as the start so that you can confirm you really do have a underpowered load. Then when you work it up you get the feel the difference. I assume you don't have a chrono so this is your only chance to notice these differences.
  9. das9mm26


    Oct 27, 2009
    My Dillon 550B won't throw more than 2 identical charges of Unique consecutively, try as I might.....I've finally resorted to weighing EACH charge individually (for 6.0 gr.).....time-consuming, but I'm in no hurry!!
    Like the OP, I'm loading ONLY .45ACP right now....and using Hornady 230gr FMJ/RN bullets....My first loads were 6.0gr of Unique, based on the Lyman data (5.9 to 6.5gr); I used 6.0, figuring if the scale was "off" +/- .1gr., I'd still be OK on the "low" side....and well below the MAX....As it turns out, the 6.0 works very well in ALL my .45s - 1911s (5" AND 3") and Glocks (21SF and 36).
    After I finish the Unique, I'm going to try Bullseye to see if it will meter more consistently....
  10. XDRoX


    Jan 24, 2009
    San Diego
    BE does meter better than Unique, but it's really dirty. You should try some WST. Meters well and burns cleaner.
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  11. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    I'm in this same camp. I find many starting loads just don't cycle well in some semiautos. So IMO, waste of time & components. I use three printed sources & the average middle charge wt. Load no more than 10rds, then 10rds 0.1gr up & 0.1gr down. Shoot them in order & note reliability, accuracy & any pressure signs (high or low). You can then work up or down to the level of vel you want,always watching gor pressure sings (flattened or piereced primers, case head markings, etc).
  12. FlyfishermanMike


    Nov 8, 2009
    5.4 of Unique barely, barely cycles my G30. The brass basically spills out onto the table. 6.0 @ 1.260" is my typical load and the difference is huge! With Unique there is a pretty big spectrum between high and low. I'd recommend playing around to find what works best with your gun. Unique meters pretty well out of my Lee Perfect Powder Measurer.
  13. zeke66


    Sep 21, 2009
    For me, the adj charge bar is a dream with W231. Much more consistent than with Unique. Once I'm dialed in, it's absoltuely dead-on. I can also throw ten charges and weigh them and the total is dead-on. Example; for a 4.8grn charge of W231, ten charges weigh exactly 48grns per my RCBS 505.
  14. ilgunguygt

    ilgunguygt Enslaved in IL

    Finally, someone who agrees with me! I just cant see wasting the time and components. Of course there are exceptions, but not usually.
    I use a lee adjustable charge bar with AA#2, Bullseye, Power Pistol, 2400 with no problems. 700x, that was another story.
  15. IndyGunFreak


    Jan 26, 2001
    Really? Hmm, I might have to break it out and give it a try.

    Thanks for the info.

  16. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Starting loads are prudent, especially for newbs, but reality is a biatch & they often fail miserably in semiautos. A 5.4gr charge of Unique under a 230grFMJ would be around 700fps. My working load is 6gr & it barely makes 820fps.:dunno:
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  17. orgnova


    Feb 13, 2010
    SW Ohio
    6.0gr of Unique 230grFMJ @ 1.260 OAL - works in all my 45's. my 2¢.
  18. Kwesi


    Sep 23, 2006
    My first 9mm loads are 5.0 gr WSF w/115 gr FMJ & the recommended start at 4.9. NO issues cycling full auto in the CA89K or semi in G17. Guess Ibwas fortunate.
  19. coachg


    Dec 7, 2007
    I have had success using 231 and the adjustable charge bar. For certain powders that little tool is great.
  20. gwalchmai

    gwalchmai Lucky Member

    Jan 9, 2002
    Outside the perimeter
    +1. This is about the standard "hardball" equivalent load. I've gone up to 6.5 but it wasn't any better so I went back to 6.0 to spare the gun. Less recoil.

    If you want a real sweet load try 4.5 - 5.0gr of Solo-1000 under that bullet. ;)