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jackruss

Is It My Load Or Chronograph - Very Slow Fps 45acp

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jackruss   

I need dome advice on what to do. I currently am loading Berrys plated 200gr round nose flat point bullets on top of 4.1 grains of Clays. OAL is 1.230 and crimp is .470-.471 I went to the range today to do some load checking and these are the results:

Average FPS - 17 rounds: 723

Highest FPS: 753

Lowest: 696

Not even the highest would make major.

I don't know what is going on. The only thing I can figure is 1) My chronograph is screwed up or 2) There is something seriously wrong with my loads.

The gun I am using is a Dawson Precision Edge(45 acp) w/BarSto barell. Checking with my Lee loading manual I should have about 763 fps with 3.6 gr clays.

My chronograph is a Chrony. Unit was placed about 12 feet from gun. Conditions were cloudy but bright. Temp was high 40's. I used the sky screens. None of my shots registered any errors. Shoots were placed about 4 inches above sensors.

When I got home I did some test powder drops and consistently dropped 4.0 to 4.1 Nothing was changed from my chrono loads. I check powder drop readings about every 20 to 30 loads. My press is a Dillon SDB.

Any help would be much appreciated.

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HSMITH   

With 200 plain lead SWC I needed 4.5 in a fast 5" barreled Para and 4.8 in a slower Commander. Plain lead has been a bit faster for me than plated and well faster than jacketed. Bump it up and chrono up, checking these and the loads you bump up a tentn at a time will help eliminate chrono errors. You could also ask a buddy with a chrono to join you for the next session to be positive it isn't the chrono.

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jackruss   

The Lee load data was for a 200gr LSWC. 4.3 is the MAX listed load. I need another chronograph to be sure before I go over max on my loads.

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revchuck   

Jack - Some things to check:

Run some factory ammo over it and see what it comes out with. Factory generic hardball usually runs ~800 fps.

Check that your scale is *really* zeroed. This bit me recently.

Check that ammo through another gun. I've got eight 4" .38/.357 revolvers, and there's about 75 fps difference among them with the same ammo. Some barrels are just faster/slower than others. The Bar-Sto in my .45 Commander gives me almost the same velocities as the old GI match barrel in my Gubmint Model, even though it's 3/4" shorter.

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jackruss   

I checked my digital scale against my balance scale last night. The digital scale was right on. I have some factory 40 s&w I'm going to shoot through it and see what my readings are. It comes with factory ratings out of a 4inch barell. If it's slow out of my USP Expert than it's definitely the chrono.

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Scooter   

Looking at Hodgdon data, they list two loads with Clays and 200 gr. bullet. A JHP at 157 pf at max load and a LSWC at 177 pf, both max loads are at 4.3 gr. With Berry's plated, my experience have put it closer to what a jacketed bullet will do.

If you are not confident with exceeding what the max data for a bullet that isn't the same as what you are using, time to use a different powder.

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jackruss   

Hey Scooter thanks for the info. I just went to the Hodgon website and checked your info. These Berrys bullets do not load anywhere near what lead does. It looks like my chrono readings are dead even for what I would expect from a FMJ bullet. According to their data my 4.1 load would make 749 fps(I made 723) however their OAL is much shorter(1.155 vs my 1.230) which pretty makes my load dead on for a jacketed load.

I really like the clean burn of the Clays. I guess I'll make my tournament ammo with VV N320. No problems making PF with that.

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Scooter   

Unless you have exactly the same components, barrel, lot numbers, etc. you are not going to get the same performance from a load book. Most of the time, you can only use the data as a guideline. The only thing you can do is load up a bunch, chrono and check for pressure signs. That's pretty much what most people do because there's simply no data on a lot of the stuff we load. Try finding factory data for long loaded 40's, you can't.

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jackruss   

Went to the range to chrono yesterday with my new loads. 5.0 grains of VV N320 under my Berrys 200 grain round nose flat point. OAL set at 1.200 and crimp at .470-.471 I only made 723 fps average with 15 shots. Load manual states 860 fps for this recipe with a jacketed bullet. I am soooo confused about what to do next. 5.4 is listed as max charge with a FMJ. At the speed I got with 5.0 grains I'll never reach my target number of 860 fps even with max charge.

I checked my chrono yesterday with some Hornady TAP 9mm 124 grain through my Sig and got 1086 at 10 feet(1110 at muzzle is factory rating)

I have no idea what to do next.

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revchuck   

Jack - What you're describing is extremely typical. Few reloading manuals show data reachable with production guns, because the barrel lengths are usually longer, and the chamber and bore are absolute minimum dimension, which raises pressure and velocity and gives the publisher a little fudge factor in terms of pressure.

Based on your results with the factory ammo, it looks like both your SIG and chrono are fine.

What to do? My recommendation is to try the max charge, and if that doesn't get you where you want to be, change powders. I'd go with either Universal Clays or Unique. (That rumble you hear in the background is cutting-edge shooters going apoplectic over someone mentioning the U-word on this forum. :D) Both are good in the .45; Unique has been a go-to powder for .45 ACP hardball-equivalent loads since the introduction of .45 ACP, and has recently been considerably improved.

I'd also get a copy of Speer's latest manual - I think it's still #13, but I know #14 is in the works. Speer works their loads up in pressure guns, but gives chrono data from real guns, so it tends to be pretty close to what you'll get.

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Carlos   
If you are not confident with exceeding what the max data for a bullet that isn't the same as what you are using, time to use a different powder.

Hi Jack. I agree with Scooter. If you insist on following the manual (the same one that gave you "test-barrel" results that were way off) then its time to find a harder-kicking (read: slower) and less-clean burning powder. Unique is one option and it is actually cleaner than burning straight black powder - but not by much.

However, there is another alternative (one you will likely ignore - I know): exceeding what the book thinks is the max for Clays and the super-low pressure, non +p .45 ACP is perfectly safe in .45 ACP at the OAL you are running & I have 2 full seasons & 11 burnt pounds of clays to prove it. I ran the West Coast Plated 200s in both SWC and RN at 4.5 grains through an STI Edge and never once had any pressure issues whatsoever. No flat primers, no case failure, nothing.

If you still think that the .45 ACP case is too weak, do a quick search on ".45 Super." That loading should also demonstrate how strong of a design the modern 1911 is (I assume your 1911 is modern? Some 1911s could be getting close to 96 years old and if that describes your gun, then I could understand your caution about what the book calls a "max load"). Now there are stories out there about Clays when you really REALLY push it hard - like back in the day when you had to make 175 to 180 power factor in an already high pressure .40 cal with 200 grain bullets and tried to do it with old .40 brass on a hot day. The .45 ACP does not run anywhere NEAR those pressures - not even at 4.5 grains.

So why the really weak book data? Probably the manufacturer's fear of set-back.

I would not be the least bit concerned about 4.5 grains under a 200 and there are plenty of other folks running that load without a problem. At any rate, please let us know what you decide & best of luck.

C.

PS - if you still decide to switch, a viable, clean burning, single base alternative to V V N-320 would be Solo 1000.

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jackruss   

Thanks for all the replys. This Friday I'm going out to do some checking with test loads and I'll report back what happens. All I want is 170-175 power factor, just to have enough fudge. I'm going to work up 15 rounds of each at 5.1-5.6 with oal set at 1.230

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I shoot 200 grain LSWC with WW 231 and it makes major easily and is very consistent here in the South. I have heard that some of the colder areas have a problem with the PF dropping, but not down here.

I have a large cabinet with many different powders. I buy WW 231 in the 8 pound kegs. I use it for 9 mm, 9x23, .40 S&W, and .45 acp.

It is not the cleanest powder out there, but I clean my pistols every five hundred rounds or so and before any match.

In my experience, the lead bullets run faster than the plated/jacketed bullets.

Good Luck, Buddy

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trodrig   

My 10 shot average was right at 825fps with 200 grain LSWC's using 3.9 grains of Clays. The same charge under Berry's 200 grain SWC's dropped down to 715fps! I'm going to chrono some at 4.0, 4.1, and 4.2 this weekend and see where I end up.

Trodrig

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