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Help Needed With 45 acp Loading


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I started loading 45 acp and am doing the following:

Winchester brass

Federal LP primers

Winchester 231 powder.... 5.6 grs

Hornady 230 FMJ bullet

1.260 OAL

.468 crimp

Temperature here in NH is 45 degrees but I was reloading indoors so it shouldn't decrease fps much.

I fired a few through my S+W 1911. The Winchester reloading manual says that with 5.7 grs (max load) I should get somewhere around 830 fps. With 5.6 grs I got an average of only 445 fps with a Millenium CED chronograph. If I am near max load, where am I losing 350+ fps?

I don't want to go over published max loads but I don't want it getting only 445 fps either. Can anyone help me, please?

PS: I called Winchester tech folks but they haven't called me back.

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Do you have the IR (Infra Red) option for the chronograph? Or do you use an indoor lighting setup? If you aren't using one or the other, then you will not be getting reliable data. Indoor lights I'm using these lights for mine, I'm sure that they can be adapted to any system and they are only $32. IR setups are a lot more.

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If that is truely the book load and velocity (double check)...then you either aren't getting the 5.6g in there that you think you are, or your chrono readings are off.

Your load isn't likely to be off that muxh.

I'd guess your chrono isn't setup right.

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I know that I am getting 5.6, checked several times with a digital scale. I pulled the bullet off some WWB factory ammo and found 5.2 grs of some powder in them. I shot some of the WWB factory ammo through the chrono. We all know that factory is loaded pretty low and it still registered in the 550-600 range. I really do want my nice hand loads to do about 750-800...........HELP!!!!!!

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hey nhglyn,

Stop shooting and take a look at the Chrono. I downloaded the manual and it says that there is a button marked



That set's the unit to feet per second or METERS per second. Check it. You may be doing a bit better than you think. The readings should be about 1/3 of actual if this is the problem. Your numbers don't line up with this theory, but it is worth checking.

Also check the "screen set" setting.

The WWB (Win White Box?) read low also. The Win website claims 835 fps from a 5" barrel. I sort of doubt the problem is your loads. Try another gun ( or try another chrono).

Good luck and be carefull!


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do the loads feel the same? or do your handloads even sound the same??

do the loads even function the gun??

you might have gotten a bad can of powder...or a bad chrono.

you might want to check the barrel of your gun, make real sure there is nothing in it or wrong with it..

a longitudinal crack down the length of the barrel will vent quite a bit of gas, possibly lowering velocity 200 fps or more.

WWB ammo should be around 820-850 fps..in a five inch gun.

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How close is the chrony to the muzzle? I think the CED recommended distance is 10' (at least the manual I looked at). It's a little trial and error, but this far off, I'd say it's too close. That's bothered mine more than direct sunlight, etc.. but those muck it up too.

Different powders seem to throw more particulate that upsets the chrony more than others. For me rounds with TiteGroup at 6' will give me a reading of ~ 250fps, the next round could save 4,000fps , move the screens back to 8+', they're right.

.357Mag are very sensitive to distance for me as well.. I did a string through my PACT, all about 240fps, with a very low SD... it was just too close. Moving it back, showed the 1100-1200 (it was supposed to)

My lesson - What works for one may not work for another.

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