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Clays Load Above Factory Recommendation


John Hearne
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After years of shooting 231, I picked up some Clays in hopes of cleaner burning loads that make major but not much more. I'm loading mixed brass, Federal large pistol primers, and Precision Delta 230 gr FMJ. Overall length is 1.248 to fit in Sig magazines. Rounds are from a 5" P220 (not a typo)

I started out at 3.8 grains and averaged 679 fps

I bumped to 4.0 and averaged 707 fps

I bumped to 4.25 (10 throw average) and am getting 773 fps averaged.

It seems that if I back it down to a ten throw average of around 4.2, I should be close the 750 fps I'm looking for.

My only concern is that this exceeds the factory maximum load. What I'm reading on the forum seems to indicate that I'm not far off but wanted to check before starting to load for volume. Any thoughts?

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4 gains is the max load on the Hodgdon website. When I started reloading I quickly found out that 4 gains wasn't going to cut it with a 230g bullet. What I was told was that "everybody goes over 4 grains just a little bit". Watch for excessive pressure signs as always when pushing the max. I shot 8k rounds with this load last year with 0 problems.

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I have shot several thousand zero 230 FMJ over 4.4 grains of Clays using Starline brass. No signs of excessive pressure. That load runs about 820 FPS out of my Kart barrel. Yes, it is above book. Your results may vary.

-john

Just to clarify; you're using new brass everytime, as opposed to range brass or "once-fired" with that load? Is that a 5" barrel?

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I have shot several thousand zero 230 FMJ over 4.4 grains of Clays using Starline brass. No signs of excessive pressure. That load runs about 820 FPS out of my Kart barrel. Yes, it is above book. Your results may vary.

-john

Just to clarify; you're using new brass everytime, as opposed to range brass or "once-fired" with that load? Is that a 5" barrel?

New brass for big matches. Otherwise, multiple times fires from the bucket.

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I don't stress too much about exceeding 'max' loads in a .45. It's a pretty low-pressure round, and many (most) modern 45's are also available chambered in 40 and 9mm, where the pressures are drastically higher.

I think I'm right at 4.0 grains of clays in my sig 1911, under a 230gr plated bullet. I've shot a few thousand of them so far with random range pickup brass. just looking at the cases they are clearly far far below the pressures of the winchester ranger cases i get from my LE buddies.

I might not do that with WW1-era brass and a WW1-era gun.

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I ran 4.2 grains of Clays with Zero 230 fmj @ 1.125 in R-P brass with Federal LPP in order to make 172Pf in my 5" 625 for 3 or 4 years. However, I have just switched to Solo 1000 since I could not find any CLAYS recently and it takes 4.7 grains of S1000 for same result.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just got done at the range. Was able to get some Clays and tested. I loaded up 3.9gr. of Clays with a 230gr. BBI moly coated RN. it was about 50 degrees out and average velocity was 739. That is just under 170PF. Then I tested 4.0gr. of Clays using same bullet. I came in at 772 for a PF of 177.

I did not do the "point gun upward to move powder", and it was a little chilly. But it looks to me that 3.9gr. of Clays is the winner. Given warmer weather and the "proper" way to chrono I could probably get away with 3.8. Best not to tempt fate though.

Oh, and this was tested using my XDM 5.25.

I have some plated 230grs. that just came in from Xtreme and I have to test them (i'm actually making the switch from Bullseye to Clays... all those competition shooters can't be wrong). The only problem is that I can't chrono anything... I shot the back out when revolver testing.

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I ran 4 grains of Clays behind a 230 fmj for years. If I chronoed them at around freezing, they barely made power factor, but, at 80 degrees, were 180pf+ :surprise:

I'm now running VV powder, and don't have any velocity changes with temperature :cheers:

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I ran 4 grains of Clays behind a 230 fmj for years. If I chronoed them at around freezing, they barely made power factor, but, at 80 degrees, were 180pf+ :surprise:

I'm now running VV powder, and don't have any velocity changes with temperature :cheers:

So..........1. Which VV powder? 2. How many grains? 3. OAL? 3. What velocity are you acheiving? 4.What length barrel?

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I have found all powders will be effected by temperature. Save a powder Federal is using in their sniper rounds I understand changes very little. I have been testing V310 in a 5" Rev and have had velocity changes with temp changes.

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