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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
This is the first time I noticed a difference in the primer manufacturers. In the case of the 500 magnum loads, I’ve never bought any rifle primers other than Winchester so that is still valid. I tested over 50 rounds there. In the case of the .45 ACP, yes the test was skewed because of the difference in manufacturer.

For reference the bullets and powder are the same. I get to do this all over with the next box of bullets because they are different. The ones I’m loading now are 185gr round nose hollow base. The next box is 230gr round nose. For the 185gr, before I backed the powder load down, they were generating 525ft lbs. I throttled it back to 335 with the loads I just tested. Just for reference, judging by how much difference 0.1 grains makes, 8.2 grains of Unique would generate an estimated 650 lbs of energy at a screaming 1250 FPS. I’m not comfortable running that in my pistols. My Ruger Bisleys wouldn’t scare me to do that but then I run the risk of loading the wrong ammo some day or getting them mixed up.

what do we call that? .45 ACP +P+ ?
 

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I have ran 200 grain SWC with 8.2 grains of CFE pistol. According to data it runs at 1142 FPS. 19600 PSI. Not sure what foot pounds it is, But my RIA'S held up to the loads well. And boy do they hit hard lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)

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"Book says 8.2 grains max."

You were putting 8.2 grains of Unique in .45 ACP, or your data listed 8.2 grains of Unique?

I'm only asking because the most i have loaded since 1975 in my Colt .45 SAA is 8.0 grains of Unique, and those cases are somewhat larger. My reloading books are still packed away, but I believe 8.2 grains of any flake powder is pushing the "capacity" limit of .45 ACP cases. Oh well ...............
 

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"Book says 8.2 grains max."

You were putting 8.2 grains of Unique in .45 ACP, or your data listed 8.2 grains of Unique?

I'm only asking because the most i have loaded since 1975 in my Colt .45 SAA is 8.0 grains of Unique, and those cases are somewhat larger. My reloading books are still packed away, but I believe 8.2 grains of any flake powder is pushing the "capacity" limit of .45 ACP cases. Oh well ...............
I was kinda wondering about the 8.2, but my books are packed because we are preparing to move, but I had to look, so I dug that box open and checked. Seems like Speer is the only one I saw that listed Unique for 185 grain bullets, and the max is 8.2, of course that is intended with Speer bullets. The only other loads listed are for lead bullets at a considerable lower amount, mostly max at about 7.5. I think Phil is using Berry’s 185 HBRN, not sure how they respond to Speers load data...
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Sorry guys, Coal’s right, 8.2 is the max. I had some sluggish rounds at 7.9 until a primer change, then they were moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
One observation I’ll add. The 185gr bullets I’m using have a pretty good size cavity in the base which is adding case volume over a flat base. That extra volume and the shape of the bullet vs a 185gr hollow point flat base may be two factors causing these rounds to exceed the printed velocity by so much. I saw as high as 1180fps at 7.9 gr of powder. Both the powder manufacturer and Lee manual have 1015 FPS for 185gr HP at 8.2gr. I’m not gonna try it but with the hollow base, I have no doubts will exceed 1250. That doesn’t sound like much but it boils down to a 52% power increase over max load estimates. If there’s nothing else I’ve learned from this, it demonstrates why we never start at the upper end.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
I was kinda wondering about the 8.2, but my books are packed because we are preparing to move, but I had to look, so I dug that box open and checked. Seems like Speer is the only one I saw that listed Unique for 185 grain bullets, and the max is 8.2, of course that is intended with Speer bullets. The only other loads listed are for lead bullets at a considerable lower amount, mostly max at about 7.5. I think Phil is using Berry’s 185 HBRN, not sure how they respond to Speers load data...
You are right on all counts but I didn’t find anything at that bullet weight except the Speer GDHP and the Hornady XTP. Both showed the same exact data.
 

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You are right on all counts but I didn’t find anything at that bullet weight except the Speer GDHP and the Hornady XTP. Both showed the same exact data.
That’s odd, Hornady tends to seat bullets deep and their powder charges are often smaller, but, obviously not always. Berry’s bullets tend to be pretty flexible with load data. Do not quote me on this, but I remember reading at least once where Berry’s said something to the like of, “use whatever data you have for the same weight bullet in the same caliber.” That may no longer be true, or I may be just plain wrong, but I am certain I read that on their website somewhere. Anyhow, the point being you have some flexibility with their bullets, but you still have to use common sense and good loading care/caution.

Just checked Berry’s site, I was correct, under loading tips for applicable plated pistol bullets. They do not express in identical words, but the same idea I expressed. I took a quick glance at 9mm 115 hbrn bullets.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
For ref, this is 7.7gr Unique in a .45ACP case, along with the bottom profile of the bullets I’m using. You can see where the old bullet seated.

E0CBDAB6-9A8C-433E-9307-4F0F9704B4EC.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)
That was a federal 230gr case. 1.259” loaded overall length and case length 0.8895”

Im seating these Berry’s to 1.266”
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I also use a fairly heavy crimp on these, I’m sure that increases pressure but I’m not worried about severing the plating. I’ve used pliers and pulled apart heavy roll crimped rounds using the .38 specials and never damaged the platings. Just leaves a perfect cannelure in the round.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
I have some 230gr Berry’s here I will load later but for now, here is the verdict on the 185gr Berry’s loaded to 7.7 grains of Unique and CCI large primers compared to factory loads being shot from a 3.8” Springfield XDM Compact.

note: I stayed conservative on powder because of how much 0.1 or 0.2 gr variations made.

additional note: previous velocities were fired from a 5.5” Ruger SA Bisley.

230gr Winchester brown box FMJ
646E0407-8679-4855-B745-FA4A3335DE69.jpeg

230gr Armscor USA FMJ
8744CF84-EE4B-4DA2-9B73-253A88ED9BCB.jpeg

230gr Federal white box FMJ
C95EFDC4-8392-40DC-93F9-7715EB9544C2.jpeg

185gr Berry’s copper plated + Unique 7.7
7ED0F0E8-C19A-41F8-8D56-D8989D294BFD.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #38
Here are the results from the same 3.8” XDM, same 185gr Berry’s bullets at 7.9gr unique. That 0.2gr equals 220 lb ft energy.

6DB7042A-2496-41FA-B014-E16F18AC357B.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #39
To satisfy my curiosity, I loaded 3 rounds to 8.2gr of unique and fired them through my Ruger Bisley. No improvement over the 7.9gr posted above. I guess my assumption there was wrong. I see no reason to load these past 7.9gr. No improvement was observed in my tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #40
So after I loaded 500rds yesterday, I checked the mail and my progressive shell plate was in there for these... that’s what I get for being impatient.
 
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