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Newb with .45 acp

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by t.wrecks, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. t.wrecks

    t.wrecks Gladstone New Member

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    I’ve been reloading for a short time now .38/.357 & 9mm up to this point. A friend gave me a box of what was labeled 230gn .451 dia BB RNL bullets so I loaded a few .45 ACP on top of 5.3-5.4 grains of W231. After loading I happened to weigh a bullet (which I should have done first) they only average 218.5 grains. Will these be safe to shoot since the bullet weight is less than the recipe calls for or should I pull them apart and chalk this up to a newb mistake?

    Thanks……..
     
  2. saxon

    saxon springfield Active Member

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    well hodgdon show's the same load for a 200 l SWC so you are fine just use them for plinking
     
  3. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There is an accepted "rule of thumb" for handloads that if you can't find a load for a given bullet weight, then a load for a HEAVIER bullet is acceptable.

    Since your bullets are lighter then you're OK. It's when you start ptting heavier bullets on top of loads for lighter bullets that "stuff happens".
     
  4. saxon

    saxon springfield Active Member

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    the only issue with that rule of thumb is when using lead bullets, that if loaded to jacked bullet load specs can lead up the bore and even strip the lead off in the bore if loaded to "hot"
     
  5. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    This is the first I've heard of that particular "rule of thumb".

    What I've heard, and what I've read, is that if you switch components (which includes the bullet or bullet weight, obviously) start over, and work the load up again.
     
  6. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    Yes, one would start over when changing components. As for the "rule of thumb", since loads for heavier bullets are less than those for lighter bullets (using the same powder) it gives one a safe starting point rather than just filling a case and "seeing how things work out".

    You'll find this reference in numerous reloading articles and manuals.
     
  7. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    Oh, good. May I have the citation, please?
     
  8. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    There are numerous but I'll give you one.
    "Modern Reloading, 2nd Edition by Richard Lee. Page 102

    (at the end of the third paragraph)

    "A safe rule to follow is ,,,a lighter bullet may be substituded(sic) which will result in higher velocity and lower pressure."
     
  9. XSubSailor

    XSubSailor SW WA Active Member

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    Regardless of where it's cited, the basis for the thumbrule is the application of basic physics.

    The peak pressure is a function of the force opposing the gas expansion (bullet weight which affects inertia, neck tension and amount of crimp which are components of friction) and the volume available for expansion (case volume and seating depth).

    So assuming that your lighter bullet provides less inertia, occupies less case volume with the same OAL, and that neck tension and crimp remain constant (actually neck tension should be slightly less with a shorter/lighter bullet), peak pressure will be less for a given powder charge, and therefore provide an even greater margin of safety.
     
  10. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six North Greenlake, Seattle New Member

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    Thank you!