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147grn Coated and Clays


bigdawgbeav
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I know this has been discussed in the past, but it was long ago.  I'm still working through 4# of Clays and just switched to a 147gr poly coated.  I know there is no published data, but wanted to see what everyone's experiences were.  I'm not going overboard with the charge.  Previously I was using 3.3gr under a 125 and I'm shooting Steel Challenge so PF isn't a concern.  I just want to make sure there is enough room in the case and that I'm not going to spike it.

 

And just so you know, I know that Clay's is not the preferred for 9mm or 147's.  It's what I have and what I'm trying to get rid of before switching.  I also know that it's not 100% when it meters, but I always take that into account.  I also know that Clays can get a little touchy at the upper levels which is why i keep it middle of the road.

 

I am looking to move over to 244, but right now not a fan of the low volume in the case even at max recommended charge. 

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244 has worked great from the testing I have done with it. Have been starting at the bottom or below load minimums and getting very consistent results with single digit sd's and good accuracy. Have done a lot of different bullets weights in 9mm, little bit of 40, 45 and 38 spl.

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Start with roughly 2.5-2.6 and work up until you make PF in your gun. Under a 147? Load as long as you can get it.

 

Pressure with clays in heavy 9 loads is... sporty.

Stick with slower velocities and proceed with caution.

Consult a physician before using.

Professional driver & closed course. Do no attempt.

 

I never recorded 147 data, but did load it under coated 130s and logged the chrono data:

 

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Edited by MemphisMechanic
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I use a lot of Clays for mild 9mm loads. Keep the load/pressure mild and it works pretty well, just don't try to push it up to the mid range or hotter loads. It's better for 125gr and lighter, but you can make it work with 147gr for mild loads. I use around 2.5 gr for 147's, depending on the gun. 

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I use Australian Clays with 130 gr LSWC,  3.2 gr goes 1008FPS.  (avg of 10 rounds).  Same load with a Remington FMJ averaged 982 FPS.  Shoots well, but so far a little behind my .45 accuracy wise.

 


.  

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I like Aussie clays in 45, but not so much the Canadian stuff.  Sold 1 8lb keg of it at a swap meet and have most of another just sitting there.  

 

Canadian stuff isn't terrible I guess, but it's different formulation, and about 50-70 fps slower in my load testing.

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  • 1 month later...
28 minutes ago, 4n2t0 said:

And you didn't lose all your fingers? lol.

 

You gotta love all the internet BS...

 

I did keep my fingers, but the damn mosquitoes at the range had me for lunch... 

 

In all seriousness the combination felt great.  No signs of pressure and I like that Clays is dense enough that you can still see the powder in the case.  Not so with the Win 244 load I was working on.  I'm actually dropping the charge for this load to 2.7/2.8.  the 550 is dialed in at 2.8, but you know how that goes (+/- 0.1 here and there)

Edited by bigdawgbeav
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  • 2 weeks later...

Guys, be careful using CLAYS powder loading lower than 3.0 grains.  SInce the flakes are bigger they can bridge when there is not enough weight (mass) of more powder bearing downward and you can have intermittent powder drops and squibs.  It is well documented on old threads on here and is a thing.  CLAYS is a great minor .40 powder and minor/major .45 acp powder.  Accuracy in most bullet styles suffer in 9mm short case capacity loads. If you want a soft powder in 9mm loads try titegroup and 320 and ramshot competition among others.  If you must use CLAYS some people put aquarium pumps on them to make sure the powder flows correctly with the smaller charge weights.

DougC

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3 hours ago, DougCarden said:

Guys, be careful using CLAYS powder loading lower than 3.0 grains.  SInce the flakes are bigger they can bridge when there is not enough weight (mass) of more powder bearing downward and you can have intermittent powder drops and squibs.  It is well documented on old threads on here and is a thing.  CLAYS is a great minor .40 powder and minor/major .45 acp powder.  Accuracy in most bullet styles suffer in 9mm short case capacity loads. If you want a soft powder in 9mm loads try titegroup and 320 and ramshot competition among others.  If you must use CLAYS some people put aquarium pumps on them to make sure the powder flows correctly with the smaller charge weights.

DougC

 

while that's an interesting warning to consider, it probably depends a bit on the powder measure. I've certainly never seen any hint of Clays (canadian) bridging on my Dillon 550 over many thousands of rounds, even as low as 2.2gr. Doesn't mean it can't happen, but I look at every powder charge and haven't seen it yet. The clear advantage of Clays over Titegroup for light charges is that it's bulky enough to see it in the case. A sub 3gr charge of Titegroup is pretty hard to see in a 9mm case on a 550; I use it some but don't like not visually verifying the powder charge. 

 

Not sure about your comment of the flakes being bigger though. Maybe there was a change from years ago? Modern canadian Clays has relatively small-ish (and very thin) flakes compared to most flake powders. They aren't tiny flakes, but aren't as big as many others (Compare to other common examples like Unique, Blue Dot, and Green Dot, etc.) Something like 800X though - now those are big flakes, and weighing every charge can be important. 

 

I'm not disregarding your warning, but do wonder about the details of those old threads and if there have been changes since then. 

 

My only complaint about Clays is the fine flakes tend to get into unwanted places on the press. 

Edited by Yondering
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It was the imported Aussie CLAYS that was packaged by Hogdon.  It happened to me as well with a highly polished dillon powder measure that was examined after the fact and I pulled a bunch of them and found some light ones, like 2.1 instead of 2.8, etc.  It cured me of using that load, especially when titegroup gave much tighter groups at 25 yards with the combo I was using.

DougC

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On 6/21/2019 at 9:53 AM, bigdawgbeav said:

It's what I have and what I'm trying to get rid of before switching.

 

You can get a "right" powder for under $20.00 per pound. For arguments sake say you pay the full $20.00 (2,000 cents). 

 

At 3.2 grains with 147's and sport pistol powder (my load), that is 2,187 rounds per pound which is just under 1 cent per round to use the powder of your choice and eliminate the chance of blowing off your tallywacker. 

 

I am a tight wad, but sheesh.

 

:) 

 

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On 7/31/2019 at 7:50 AM, 4n2t0 said:

And you didn't lose all your fingers? lol.

 

You gotta love all the internet BS...

It's not really just internet BS. Many of us have used clays, it is probably the softest shooting powder I have used for 40 and 45. I hardly shoot IDPA anymore so I am not loading much 40 minor ammo which is where this powder is great. I decided to try it for 9mm mainly for my PCC ammo, I worked up a load I was at 3.0gr under a 135gr coated bullet, it worked great, so I loaded 1000 rounds back in March. I shot a 500rd carbine match with no issues at all. I put the gun away and didn't touch it again until July, when I took my wife to the range to shoot. Luckily I shot first, I had 3 case head seperations and the last one blew the mag out of the gun. This was the same ammo and gun used in March. The only thing I could think of to account for the difference in performance was ambient temperature was much higher. I really like Clays but it does have some limitations and I do not think anyone would be wise not to use with a little more caution than some of the more forgiving powders.

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1 hour ago, SWprotected said:

It's not really just internet BS. Many of us have used clays, it is probably the softest shooting powder I have used for 40 and 45. I hardly shoot IDPA anymore so I am not loading much 40 minor ammo which is where this powder is great. 

When I first started USPSA, I was shooting a Springer XDM in 40. My load was 3.2 of Clays with a 180 coated lead...to this day, I swear that it is softer than my current load of 3.5 of N320 with a 147 FMJ. Clays in 40 minor is super soft. Of course, it has its limitations, but then again, all powders do. The only reason I switched from 40 to 9 in Production was the cost of the bullet heads. 

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17 minutes ago, GrumpyOne said:

When I first started USPSA, I was shooting a Springer XDM in 40. My load was 3.2 of Clays with a 180 coated lead...to this day, I swear that it is softer than my current load of 3.5 of N320 with a 147 FMJ. Clays in 40 minor is super soft. Of course, it has its limitations, but then again, all powders do. The only reason I switched from 40 to 9 in Production was the cost of the bullet heads. 

 

Mouse fart 40 loads and 45 loads work great, lots of room for error and forgiveness for poor metering, within reasonable limitations. 

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52 minutes ago, GrumpyOne said:

When I first started USPSA, I was shooting a Springer XDM in 40. My load was 3.2 of Clays with a 180 coated lead...to this day, I swear that it is softer than my current load of 3.5 of N320 with a 147 FMJ. Clays in 40 minor is super soft. Of course, it has its limitations, but then again, all powders do. The only reason I switched from 40 to 9 in Production was the cost of the bullet heads

3.2 and a 180 is the same minor load I use. It's crazy how soft it is.

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17 hours ago, DougCarden said:

It was the imported Aussie CLAYS that was packaged by Hogdon.  It happened to me as well with a highly polished dillon powder measure that was examined after the fact and I pulled a bunch of them and found some light ones, like 2.1 instead of 2.8, etc.  It cured me of using that load, especially when titegroup gave much tighter groups at 25 yards with the combo I was using.

DougC

 

That is interesting. Clays was switched to the Canadian version a little before I started really using it in high volume, so that may be why I haven't seen that issue. I do remember some velocity changes and vertical stringing with my first bottle of Aussie Clays though in 45 ACP that could be related though. At the time I had concluded that it just wasn't an appropriate powder for that load, but this was back when Clays was a pretty new powder and I had a lot less reloading experience under my belt. 

 

I've been loading canadian Clays in high volume for about 4 (or 5?) years, but the last few months have spent more time comparing it to Titegroup loads. In my mild 9mm loads (coated bullets, and at or a bit lower than Minor), I've found almost identical accuracy and velocity with either powder. For equal charge weights, I'm seeing ~15 fps or less difference between the two powders, grain for grain. That's in 5 different guns, mostly with 100 gr and 125 gr cast/coated bullets. 

 

I should also not that I have not had such good accuracy results with Clays and some jacketed bullets, but it's been exceptional with cast bullets which are 99% of what I shoot in volume. With 115gr HAP bullets for example, I had a hard time finding accuracy with Clays, but they shot great with some other powders. 

 

One comment on metering with Canadian Clays - powder measures vary of course, but I've never seen more than +/- 0.1gr variation with this powder in my Dillon dispenser. I have seen a lot of variation from some others (Unique and Blue Dot are good examples), but not Canadian Clays. 

Edited by Yondering
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  • 1 month later...

I’ve loaded 9mm minor loads with Clays and have shot a few thousand rounds out of my X5.  3.0gr with Blue Bullet 147gr FN @ 1.145”. Mixed brass and Fed small pistol primer. 10 shot average was 896fps. Never had any issues. Shoots soft and pretty clean. 

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