Berry's bullet question

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Hawkmoon
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Berry's bullet question

Postby Hawkmoon » Sun May 15, 2016 9:43 pm

I've been loading for .45 ACP for many years with Berry's 230-grain, plated round nose bullets. I recently decided that I'm tired of giving up an advantage in the competitions at my local range to the guys who load and shoot special, super-light ammo for competition, so I decided I was going to try some of Berry's 185-grain, hollow-base plated round nose bullets. I assumed they were the same as the 230-grain except for the chunk of lead taken out of the base.

Well, they're here ... and they are NOT the same overall profile as the 230-grain. The overall length of the bullet is less, by about .040". So that means I probably can't load to the same COAL of I won't have much bullet inside the case. Berry's, of course, is basically useless as far as providing loading data so I'm trying to figure out what to use as a starting point for COAL.

Has anyone here used those bullets? If so, could you post what your dimensions are and how the bullets work out for you?

Thanks.

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darwin
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Postby darwin » Tue May 17, 2016 9:17 am

I have used Berry's Bullets virtually exclusively, but always with 230 grain bullets in .45 ACP.

If I were doing it, I would probably seat them deeper to keep the same volume inside the case. I seem to remember writing a formula for comparing the volume with different weight bullets - probably with 9mm. Let me check my spreadsheets.

Have you checked the other bullet and the powder manufacturers' web sites to see if you can find anything comparable?

I collected data for lead and jacketed bullets and split the difference on the charges, since plated bullets are softer than lead and harder than lead.

You are definitely going to have to experiment and work up a new load for these.

I checked my spreadsheet and what I did was to figure "Insertion". The value for factory ammo was surely wrong....


Insertion 0.888 0.279 0.265 0.279 0.279 0.279 0.287 0.265 0.283

OAL 1.260 1.178 1.240 1.240 1.260 1.196 1.178 1.265

I evidently kep the OAL pretty close and dealt with the differences in volumes.

I haven't actually reloaded for over 4 years, except to finish up what bullets I had left. I had approximately 6,000 rounds loaded and I haven't put much of a dent in them yet.

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Hawkmoon
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Re: Berry's bullet question

Postby Hawkmoon » Tue Jan 03, 2017 12:52 am

This is a late update -- much of 2016 was written off due to some health issues.

Back to the topic: With Berry's 230-grain plated lead round-nose bullets, I've been loading to a COAL of 1.270". I arrived at that number by measuring ten factory Winchester "white box" cartridges and averaging the measurements. 1.270" is just under the SAAMI maximum of 1.275" and they feed well in every pistol I've tried them in, so I've stayed with it.

I inquired at Berry's and they suggested using a COAL of 1.250". Curiously, that's the same COAL they suggest for their 230-grain bullets ... go figure. So I'll be seating .020" deeper, not the full .040" difference in bullet length, but even going .040" wouldn't equalize the case volume because these bullets are hollow base, and the hollow adds to the volume. I haven't taken any of the new loads to the range yet for chrono testing. I'll try to remember to post a report when I actually shoot them.

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daboone
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Re: Berry's bullet question

Postby daboone » Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:05 am

I cast all my bullets. I have 4 different molds for the 45 Auto from 160 to 230gr. With autoloader pistols I use the plunk test most of the time but for one of the 230gr bullets I seat it to a depth to fit the magazine, (it is seated deeper than seems appropriate). In other words I've never been to concerned about COAL recommendations from manuals for pistols. I seat autoloaders pistols for fit and feed. Most of the load work ups concern are with finding the appropriate powder and charge weight.

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Hawkmoon
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Re: Berry's bullet question

Postby Hawkmoon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:27 pm

Thanks, but I don't cast my own bullets. I need information on this specific bullet from Berry's Bullets.

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daboone
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Re: Berry's bullet question

Postby daboone » Thu Jan 05, 2017 7:07 am

Hawkmoon wrote:Thanks, but I don't cast my own bullets. I need information on this specific bullet from Berry's Bullets.


Why can't you do the drop test or see what length will feed from your magazine and work up from there? Why won't It will work the same way?

Sparky45
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Re: Berry's bullet question

Postby Sparky45 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:11 pm

daboone wrote:I cast all my bullets. I have 4 different molds for the 45 Auto from 160 to 230gr. With autoloader pistols I use the plunk test most of the time but for one of the 230gr bullets I seat it to a depth to fit the magazine, (it is seated deeper than seems appropriate). In other words I've never been to concerned about COAL recommendations from manuals for pistols. I seat autoloaders pistols for fit and feed. Most of the load work ups concern are with finding the appropriate powder and charge weight.



I agree!! I use cast data for plated bullets and load accordingly.

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Hawkmoon
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Re: Berry's bullet question

Postby Hawkmoon » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:49 am

As an update, I made up a batch of these 185-grain bullets using 5.0 grains of Winchester 231, seated to 1.250" (which is what Berry's recommends). They shot VERY accurately, and recoil was minimal (which is what I'm hoping to accomplish). However, the brass came out very black around the case mouth, which suggests that the brass isn't expanding.

A friend sent me an article about bullet weight and recoil, from Shooting Times web site. Conveniently, the author happened to be using Berry's bullets and Winchester 231. His data indicated that with the 185-grain bullets it takes 5.3 grains of W231 to achieve a power factor of 125 -- which is the minimum for IDPA and USPSA. 5.3 grains happens to be what I use with the 230-grain bullets, so I'll use that with the 185s as well. Saves having to adjust my AutoDisk Pro powder measure.


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