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W231 for 45 ACP ???

So I finished my Bullseye powder and now trying out W231. But I'm getting inconsistent reloading data for this powder/caliber combo.

Looking at my reloading books (Lyman, Hornady, and the 45 Handbook) they pretty much agree 5.2 - 5.8 grains for a 230 gr FMJ RN bullet. There is one entry in the 45 Handbook that mentions a maximum of about 5.2 gr. So I went on Hodgdon's reloading site and it gives me a range of 4.3 - 5.2 gr.

I was going to start with 5.4, but if I look at Hodgdon's site, then I may blow up my gun. I don't need hot loads, just something comfortable to shoot accurately with.

Anyone have experience with W231 and 230 gr FMJ RN bullets (these are from Montana Gold)?

Comments

  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I checked and your numbers appear correct so perhaps W231 isn't what it was years back, powders due change. My kegs of 231 are from the early 80's and so is my newest book.

    I would start on the low end 4.5 grains loading a few and see how they function and work up until you are happy.
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the response Charlie. The problem with starting at 4.5 is that it's way below the minimum of the first range (5.2-5.8). That can also be dangerous.

    What do you use for your loads when using W231?
  • papernickerpapernicker Member Posts: 1,255 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    5.8 is hot, 5.2 is mod. hot and what everyone seems to settle on. 4.8 maybe to try
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,348 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't use W231 in my 45 ACP loads. I still use Hercules Bullseye 4.5 grains with a 230 gr hard cast lead bullet Lyman 452374

    W231 is a double base powder, problems can occur with really reduced loads of single base powders such as a half case full of H-4831 in a 30-06 for example.

    When BlueDot changed from Hercules to Alliant manufacture the loading data was reduced. I use data for the powder when and who it was manufactured.

    If your can of powder is new then use the new data, my W231 was bought in the early 90's.

    You could call/write Hodgdon and ask them https://www.hodgdon.com/company/contact-us/
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    So I did a search on Google and came across several post on other sites that say there was a change in the load data, but not in the powder itself. So looks like the numbers from Hodgdon's website are the new ones. Essentially they're putting up kinder, gentler load numbers now. Sheesh, even reloading is going to the snowflakes.

    Luckily I have a Labradar so I can chrono my loads and work them up that way.
  • 62fuelie62fuelie Member Posts: 1,067 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    My Sierra 5th edition shows 231 from 4.6 to 5.7. I prefer to use Bullseye or 700X for target/plinking loads for the .45 ACP and Unique for full power loads.
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all the advice Gents. I'm going to start at 5, load 100 rounds and chrono them tomorrow and go from there. Wish I lived out in the boonies so I could just load 10, chrono out the back door, and go back to loading another 10 and so on.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,317 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Geez, load five or ten every .2 grain from start to max and chronograph them all. Don't guess on a hundred.

    I have a friend who would hand me one load to chronograph for him.
    I finally got him trained, his last test series, he made up three combinations of which one was good, one was fair, and one did not make Power Factor.
  • noyljnoylj Member Posts: 172 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    1) You're not going to blow up your gun, but you will be going into +P territory.
    2) Components do effect things.
    Every lot of powder is slightly different. Add in effect of using different bullets (not all FMJ-RN bullets have the same bearing surface or coefficient of friction or ogive curve), different COL/chamber dimensions, and anything cases and primers contributor and you can see why you start low and work up. No manual has YOUR mix of components.
    So, I have start loads that range from 4.2-5.6gn and MAX loads that range from 5.1-6.2gn of 231/HP38 (with one manual calling 6.0gn +P max and three other manuals calling 6.1 and 6.2gn as "standard" MAX. I would start at 4.5, 4.8, and 5.1gn, see how that works, and decide if I need to go higher. You only need a round or two to see if the charge weight cycles the gun and, if you need to, chronograph them.
    I do know that in one of my guns, with my components, 5.3gn was a decent load running 790 fps.
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    Good ideas, thanks Gents.
  • B17-P51B17-P51 Member Posts: 2,179 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    BTW
    HP-38 is exactly the same powder as 231.
    I use it interchangeably with 231.
  • AzAfshinAzAfshin Member Posts: 3,117
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by B17-P51
    BTW
    HP-38 is exactly the same powder as 231.
    I use it interchangeably with 231.


    As I was researching on the net I came across that tidbit from many different sources. Good thing to know since 231 seems to be a pretty good all-around powder.
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