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185 gr Berry's FP (.452)

Barefoot Shooter

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I have been loading 9mm for several years on my 550 and am about to set up my first 45 load, I'm a little lost and need some advice from the loading gurus...

I have several powders to choose from including Titegroup, 231/HP-38, and Clays. I am not set on any of them. I have about 1000 of the Berry's 185 grain FP (.452) that someone gave me and I'd like to put them to use. I am baffled by the large variation in overall cartridge length. I'm looking for a starting load to work up and test the feeding in a couple of my 1911's. The closest data matches from my load manuals, all starting charges:

Speer #14

45 TMJ, 185 grain SWC (page 969 of the manual)

Tested COAL is 1.270

231 5.0 grains

HP-38 4.9 grains (though I don't understand why a distinction is made b/w the two)

Lyman 47th (page 416-417)

185 grain MCWC w/ an OAL of 1.135(?!?)

231 4.1 grains

185 grain Jacketed HP w/ OAL 1.175

231 4.4 grains

HP-38 3.5 grains

Clays 4.1 grains

Hodgdon Online Data

180 GR. LFP (.452) Winchester 231 (&HP-38) OAL: 1.140" 5.0 grains

180 GR. LFP (.452) Hodgdon Titegroup OAL: 1.140" 4.2 grains

180 GR. LFP (.452) Hodgdon Clays OAL: 1.140" 3.8 grains

185 GR. HDY JSWC (.451) Winchester 231 (&HP-38) OAL: 1.135" 5.0 grains

185 GR. HDY JSWC (.451) Hodgdon Titegroup OAL: 1.135" 5.0 grains

185 GR. HDY JSWC (.451) Hodgdon Clays OAL: 1.135" 4.5 grains

A search of this forum revealed a load for the Berry's 185 grain HBRN (not the FP)

*each loaded to 1.250

Clays 5.4 grn 897 fps

Titegroup 5.8 grn 895 fps

Win 231 6.8 grn 897 fps

Additionally found this post here in the forum..this may be a good starting point, doesn't state what type of pistol.

berry 185 FP

Clays powder

5.0 grains at 1.210 oal

federal 150

mixed brass

At this point I'm kinda lost, I'd appreciate any advice on this.

Edited by Barefoot Shooter
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Try this.....

Make a dummy round up. Load it out as far as you can with a good portion of the bullet in the case. Chamber from the magazine and see what your guns will feed. The profile of that bullet will need to be longer because it will dead end on the ramp if it is not long enough.

Most accurate in my guns taper crimp .462-3 with the Berry's plated 185 HBRN.

Start at 4.5gr CLAYS and chrono up, check the reloading date for 185s, I use the HBRN, but don't have any knowledge of using the FP.

Go slow and good luck!


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Doug, have you used VV310 with your 185 HBRN?

As far as the flat point, a dummy round is a good idea to test feed. might want to try 1.245 it has worked for flat points and SWC, got that from the local bullseye guys. 1.270 sounds huge, 1.135 sounds real short for a 45.

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I have loaded 1000's of these Berrys bullets. They are great. I used Rainer and switched.

I shoot them out of HK and Sig pistols. And I friend uses a Kimber.

My favorite powder is Clays, as it is cheap and very clean in the 45.

About 4.3 grains but check Hogdon's data. This is on the low side and might not work in your pistol.

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i think that was my clays load at 5.0 grains, 1.210 oal

it makes 175 powerfactor out of my storm lake barreled glock 21. 4.6 inches long.

i was trying to duplicate the feel of a 40 caliber 180 major load... it was a good load, but not really what i like to see in the sights.

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Glad you posted the question. I just took delivery on some 185 MG's and would like to use Clay's. I have shot a friend's loads using VV320 with a length of 1.23 and they do shoot quite nicely, but pretty close to the minimum PF in my pistol. I intend to start with 4.7 grains of Clays and load to a 1.23 - 1.25 length. A 1.245 length, 230 grain bullet, feeds in all my mags and guns. The Clay's load will probably have to be up around the 5.0 grain level, but I'll see.

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Quote from Berry's tech representative "185 Gr. FP bullet - use an OAL of 1.170 to 1.180 for best results".

TiteGroup - 4.3 700fps -- 5.8 950fps

W231 - 5.0 700fps -- 6.4 900fps

Loads taken from the Sierra reloading manual

Thank you very much! I don't have the Sierra book, perhaps I should.

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