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  1. #1
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    Any experience with W-231 for 9 mm 115 gr. plated?

    I'm looking at my one book/one caliber, and the Winchester page says

    Bullet: 115 gr. WIN FMJ, dia. .355", C.O.L. 1.169" MAX.
    231: 4.3 gr. start, 1010 fps, 25,800 psi; 4.8 gr. max, 1120 fps, 32,100 psi.

    What does the bolded section mean? That the maximum C.O.L. for this cartridge is 1.169"? Or does the minimum C.O.L. is 1.169", which is also the maximum for this cartridge?

    My press is now set to give 1.1475" C.O.L., although when running progressively, the actual C.O.L. is usually a little higher (up to 1.1520"). Would that be safe with this load data? What loads do you guys use for this bullet/powder?

  2. #2
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    Approx. 2 hundredths of an inch shouldn't increase pressures beyond SAAMI max's.
    NULLI SECUNDUS

  3. #3
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    That bold section is the maximum you can load that round at or also the maximum length for this particular bullet.
    Your press can be adjusted to give the right OAL for the loads you plan on making for your 9mm handgun.
    Also remember that OAL of ammo is specific to your gun. Usually when I use 124 Gr JHP ammo in my gun, I had them set at 1.100 OAL and my gun eats them like candy.
    Again, OAL is firearm specific. I haven't used 115 Gr bullets in a while, Not plated anyways.

    What I can tell you is that since you are using plated bullets, Start your charge low and work up your load and look for pressure indications.
    Most of the time, You should stop in the middle as it can affect accuracy of the bullet. W-231 is a great powder for .38 spcl and .45 ACP.
    It is also good in 9mm but I prefer Universal.

    You can also use the online data provided by the powder mfgr to get load information.
    And yes, It MAY show different start and max charges with different OAL. That has to do with their testing equipment and the bullet they use.
    Okay, Enough of me ranting. You get the picture!

    Oh and one more thing The 9mm is a finnicky pressure round. So stick to your load manual and be safe!

  4. #4
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    I have used HP-38, which is supposed to be the same powder as W-231. I loaded to 1.145" COAL (using the Hodgdon data which is the same as you listed) because my gun loads that reliably. The Hodgdon site has 1.100" min COAL for both HP-38 ad W-231. Hodgdon lists a 1.169" COAL for WSF. My understanding is that going longer with pistol is safe but going shorter can raise pressures above safe limits if you are loading at the max.

    I will always trust the powder manufacturer's web site data over one of the one book/one caliber books that are xerox'ed from various sources of unknown dates. Since Winchester powders are now owned by Hodgdon, older Winchester data may not be current.
    CAPT, USNR(ret)
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    Ex-Hunter, current Target Shooter

    "Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it."-- Doug Larson,American newspaper columnist

  5. #5
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    Thanks for everyone for your comments, that was quick.

    I'm looking for a faster powder for 115 gr. plated rounds, because my ejection cycle seems too weak. I worry that when I install a new recoil spring, these rounds will now fail to cycle. W-231 is attractive because it has a relatively coarse grain, so it should not leak too badly from my powder measure. I'm having this problem with AA 7. Hopefully, the new elastomer wiper I ordered should solve the problem. Lee's autodisk is supposed to have problems with AA 5, and that's why I'm not getting that at this point.

    1.145-1.152" OAL has worked well for my PT809. I was always a little puzzled about min. OALs that were 1.169", the maximum for this cartridge = zero tolerance? But it makes sense that a few hundredths of an inch should be okay.

    Thanks for the input about the one book/one caliber (mine is 2004). Hodgdon's only has one powder recommendation for each bullet weight in FMJ, but it has many for Speer gold-dot hollow points. Is that data safe for start loads? Hollow points are longer for the same weight due to the cavity, and so they extend deeper into the cartridge case. If I have a plated round-nosed bullet, it should extend less, and so pressures should be no greater than GDHPs?

  6. #6
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    My autodisk is extremely precise with AA #5. #7 and #5 are just too fine not to leak a little, but they meter terrifically

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

  7. #7
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    I load my 115 grain bullets to 1.090" to 1.125". For 124 grains 1.140".

    Taurus PT1911 SS
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by andreew View Post
    Thanks for the input about the one book/one caliber (mine is 2004). Hodgdon's only has one powder recommendation for each bullet weight in FMJ, but it has many for Speer gold-dot hollow points. Is that data safe for start loads? Hollow points are longer for the same weight due to the cavity, and so they extend deeper into the cartridge case. If I have a plated round-nosed bullet, it should extend less, and so pressures should be no greater than GDHPs?
    Since the Speer bullet is jacketed (or plated, I've heard it both ways) I use the data for it if plain FMJ or Plated RN is not available. I load everything to the low end anyway because I'm just target shooting, so I'm not worried if there are some little differences in pressure between plain nose and HP bullets, plus I'm seating to COL's above the minimum which further reduces the pressure. You have to check each bullet brand, but the extended nose of an fmJ because it is rounded seems to balance with the truncated nose of the HP to yield bullets of approximately the same length so at the same COL the case volume is pretty much the same. It is possible to over-think this.
    CAPT, USNR(ret)
    Mechanical Engineer (retired)
    Ex-Hunter, current Target Shooter

    "Wisdom is the quality that keeps you from getting into situations where you need it."-- Doug Larson,American newspaper columnist

  9. #9
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    I gave W-231 a try today, 115 gr. Berry's RN over 4.7 gr. W-231. Absolutely no leakage! I weighed every charge and variation was rare, and only +/- 0.1 grains. I like its case fill too, no chance of double-charges. I need to test it of course, but I'm optimistic.

    I do like AA 7's wide working range though - about 1 full grain.
    Last edited by andreew; 05-21-2012 at 09:38 PM.

  10. #10
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    I tried 20 rounds of that load today. It felt snappier than AA 7, but that is to be expected. Ejection seemed more reliable too.

    Accuracy was acceptable, but I need to verify that. I find that I shoot better on Saturday mornings than on weekday evenings.

    My one complaint is that it didn't smell too good. Then again, I'm using a very old bottle (metal can with a small metal cap).
    Last edited by andreew; 05-22-2012 at 05:17 PM.

 

 
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