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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I just started reloading and I am following my load book from Lyman for 230gr round nose FMJ with Power Pistol. I am at work and going off of memory, but I loaded with the LEE .61 disk which should have thrown 6.9 gr but according to my scale it looked more like 6.5. Maybe me zero was a little off, but should this cycle my PT145 MilPro ok? I set OAL @ 1.275 as per Lyman book. The LEE booklet for my .45acp set listed this round as starting with 7.1 gr and moving up higher than the Lyman book recomends. In my excited state of mind, I built 50 rather than 10, so I really hope this will work?
Edit: then I look on Alliant website and with my set up they suggest 8.1 gr for 916 fps. So many conflicting numbers.I think the Lyman book suggested to start with less than I did.:(
 

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I have found that the Lee disk throws lighter then they say, I usually bump up one size and am pretty close to where I want to be.
 

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yep!
I have never seen a Lee disk throw what it says.
I automatically go up one size and then weigh that charge,
NEVER do this unless you have a scale to measure the actual drop.
depending on powder I have actually gone up 2 disk sizes to get the correct weight.
I will usually run several drops and weigh each one to make darned sure its right.
then i write the disk size that i use down with my reloading info for that particular cartridge/load along with the other info.
You will find a lot of diffeent start loads and max loads, a lot depends on the OAL, the particular projectile, case etc.
as long as its from a reloading manual then i feel its safe.
Lee does a lot with their powder scopps and disk so i think they intentionally list on the very safe side for the loads they use.
IT is a lot easier to load small amounts when working up loads though, simply easier to remove 10 projectiles than it is 50.
 

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If your gun has a couple hundred rounds of factory rounds through it, it should still cycle with that load. I've shot quite a few "light" loads with no problem. You have to watch the limp wrist even more and use a firm grip.
 

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I am showing 6.7 grains as my starting load for 230 grain bullets with Power Pistol. The note on my spreadsheet says it came from the Lee Manual.

Since you are new to reloading, let me remind you that you NEVER just make a load in a general range between min and max loads and go with that. Always start at the min or starting load and work up, watching for signs of pressure at every step. You need to come up with a test plan and then follow it. Personally, I load 3 cartridges at each load weight in steps from min to max and the steps are in increments that depend on the overall powder weight (little increments for little loads essentially) and spread. I fire these off a sand bag at 25 feet and through my chronograph, writing down all the chrono data, measuring the group sizes, taking note of any thing different about these loads and checking the brass for pressure signs. When I get home I go over the data and you should begin to see a sweet spot of velocity, consistency of velocity, and group size. I then load more (usually 5 each) in that sweet spot (both up and down in finer increments), return to the range, go through the same process and look to see if any load sticks out as better than the others. There is a whole lot more to it than this, but in simple terms this is how it works. This process develops a load that works best for your pistol.

Now I'm usually starting with at least 2 different powders and a number of different bullets. So I'm bringing my test lot way down after the first trip. Some bullets and powders I may decide after that first trip are not going to work well in my pistol and I drop them. I'm looking for what works best in my pistol. The resulting reload will be what works best for my pistol and only for my pistol.

If you only have one powder and one bullet that is fine, you still go through the process the same. First trip, 3 rounds each to make sure you are not having high pressure issues and to get a velocity average and group size. Second trip is to zero in on what is the best load. You can still develop a load without a chronograph just using group size and watching for pressure signs, but the chrono can tell you so much more, like diminishing returns on increasing load sizes, or wide variance in velocity (this could point to issues other than just the load). The only limitation on not having a chrono to you have to be more careful when approaching max loads, but then your most accurate loads are typically well short of max.

Bottomline is that if you are just loading something a buddy told you about without properly working up a load and even though you are using the manual to make sure you stay within the reasonable safety limits, you are still missing the best part of reloading, maximizing the load for your pistol, or making a better cartridge than what you can buy...oh, and at a whole lot cheaper price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all of you. GreenWolf70, it is defintiely my intention to get that far into the process. I am still itching to make more rounds, but I am also a perfectionist. I just got carried away with building them. Can I get a bullet puller and take a majority of them back down to primer only, then build them with the proper progression of reloading? Or since I have them and they are within the safe operating parameters set forth in the lowest level chart that I have....should I just shoot them and continue with the process from here?
 

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One of the cheap kinetic(hammer type) bullet pullers will work and you should be able to find a good one with spare collets for under $20. We all make mistakes and a good bullet puller finds a lot of use.

You may need to read some more about testing. You need to have a good simple test plan to get you to your goal and then reload the number of rounds with each load you need to reach that goal. Document everything, because at some point down the road you will wonder how you got to the load you are building. I keep a hand written record of my test loads and a have put most of those records into a spreadsheet that I keep on all the cartridges I reload. In reloading it is all about achieving consistency and accuracy while maintaining safe habits.

In my case I run 3 rounds per step in my load ladder from min to max with each powder and each bullet I am using on that first trip. Second trip is 5 rounds per step usually one half step up and one half step down from my sweetspot. So I'm going from 3 round groups to 5 round groups. That is short and sweet and minimal for developing a load. If I intend to shoot something requiring more accuracy, I may make another trip with even finer steps and more rounds in each group, trying to find that perfect load.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sweet thanks so much. I am that kind of devoted also "usually". I just got carried away this time. Do you shoot out of a PT145? If so, which is the best shooting round for you?
 

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My .45 Autos are both 1911's. One likes 185 grain copper bullets and the other likes 230 grain Gold Dots. Both can shoot 200 grain LSWC well, and I'm working on loads for 200 grain Hornady XTPs and 185 grain Rem Golden Sabers. I have Power Pistol and AA#5 already loaded and I will be adding loads in Universal Clays, all are low flash powders. Problem right now is too cold, rain (soon to be snow) and finding a range where I can set up my chrono.
 

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I use a lot of ACC #5, it works very well in most medium to large caliber non magnum loads for me, its clean, its not to flashy and generally produces good ballistics.
I shoot 200 grain plated as range ammo, and load 185 grain XTP and 200 grain Gold Dots as carry ammo.
the 185 grain works nice in my ATI Titan (3 inch barrel) and the lightweight commander Para LTC that i recently picked up, this is a very light 1911 and I like the lighter loads in it.
at the range i shoot the 200 grain plated out of all of them though, the ACC #5 powers all my 45 acp loads as well as all my 38 Super loads, and looks like the 10 MM loads as well so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So I got to the range today and tested out my reloads that I was talking about. They functioned flawlessly and I was very relieved that they fed and felt really good. I am looking forward to the process of finding the best for my individual pistol, but for target shooting I am very satisfied with this load. I still carry Gold Dot Short Barrel 230gr for my self defense. Thanks for all the advice and confirmation.
 

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So I got to the range today and tested out my reloads that I was talking about. They functioned flawlessly and I was very relieved that they fed and felt really good. I am looking forward to the process of finding the best for my individual pistol, but for target shooting I am very satisfied with this load. I still carry Gold Dot Short Barrel 230gr for my self defense. Thanks for all the advice and confirmation.
Very good!
and now the long journey begins!
have fun and most of all load safe!
if it sounds to good to be true well it probally is!
 
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