Some range observations [Archive] - Glock Talk

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davesretired1
12-15-2011, 16:38
I loaded up some .45 230g FMJ using Unique for the first time. Depending on who you listen to, or what book you read, loads are all over the place. Wanting a load for practice that was close to factory SD loadings, I loaded up 10 rds. with 6.3 grains, and 10 rounds with 6.6 grains. My intention was to use 5 for the chrono, and 5 for accuracy. My chrono is the PACT Timer/Chrono w/ screens set up 24" apart. My pistol was a G30. OAL is 1.260 ( matches some factory hardball ).

First I fired some purchased reloads from a reloader I've used for years ( before I got back into reloading ). They avg'd mid to high 600 fps. As I have two timer/chronos, i also checked the second one. Fps were about the same. Ok, chrono is working. Loads were pleasent to shoot and accurate. Time for the reloads using Unique. First up, the 6.3 loadings. HOLY S%@T! First round was 942 fps. The other 4 were in the same range. Not only that, they were a painful round to shoot. Feel wise, much sharper than Cor-Bon or Hornady Critical Defense. For me it was way too hot. Did not try the 6.6g loading as I didn't feel like pushing my luck. I'm going to pull the heads on the 5 remaining rds. to verify the powder charge. I'm not concerned about a double charge as I only loaded 10 at this charge and visually checked each one for powder.

Did I miss somethig somewhere?? Prior to this I was using WST & WSF at near max loadings and they were a lot softer ( low 800's with 200g Horanady HPs ).

Next. While looking in the closet, I came across some .45 200g lwc. As I have a Lone Wolf barrel for the G30 ( and about 6k of those heads ), I figured let's see if they'll work, or as everyone says, they won't feed. Lo and behold, the slide would not go home on the round. Stayed about 1/16" out of battery. My reloads ( FMJ ) fed well in the LW barrel, and the lead rounds fed well in a 1911 I had with me. Visual inspection showed no real obvious difference in length. Took the barrel out and tried free dropping both in the chamber. Both rounds appeared to chamber to the same degree. I'm confused.:shocked:

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. TIA. Dave

fredj338
12-15-2011, 16:44
Well, 6.3gr of Unique under a 230grFMJ is running about 860fps in most of my 5" guns, pretty much ball equiv. A 6.6gr charge would be pushing quite hard, close to +P. Now if you are reloading plated, then the vel will get closer to the 930fps+, plated are NOT FMJ. I doubt you have a dbl charge, you would notice real quick. you may not have 6.3gr though, unless you verified the measure before & after loading 10rds.
Recoil is a product of vel x bullet mass / gun wt, so I would expect 200gr/800fps loads to be quite soft compared to 230gr/940fps loads! That would be into +P territory for sure.

Zombie Steve
12-15-2011, 17:03
6.2 grains of Unique behind a 230 grain Montana Gold fmj gets me 830fps from a 5" 1911 with mixed brass, loaded to 1.265". I've had great luck with accuracy in this load.

I have had the same load at 1.255" average 880 with some really thick TZZ / Israeli brass.

As usual, I think Fred is on the right track in thinking you were using a plated bullet.

WiskyT
12-15-2011, 18:17
6.2 grains of Unique behind a 230 grain Montana Gold fmj gets me 830fps from a 5" 1911 with mixed brass, loaded to 1.265". I've had great luck with accuracy in this load.

I have had the same load at 1.255" average 880 with some really thick TZZ / Israeli brass.

As usual, I think Fred is on the right track in thinking you were using a plated bullet.

Or a digital scale.

fredj338
12-15-2011, 18:35
Or a digital scale.

How is a dig scale making that diff, unless it's a crap dig scale?

WiskyT
12-15-2011, 18:38
How is a dig scale making that diff, unless it's a crap dig scale?

.....

fredj338
12-15-2011, 18:40
I just looked up some data.
6.3gr of Unique under a 230gr Ranier @ 1.225" OAL went 900fps
6gr, same bullet @ 1.260" went 860fps.
6gr @ 230grLRN @ 1.235" OAl went 850fps.
6gr w/ 230gr FMJ (Win) @ 1.255" OAL went 810fps. All from 5" 1911 or XDTAC. They usually run within 15fps of each other. SO the LRN or plated RN are going to run hotter w/ the same charge used for true FMJ.

DanaT
12-15-2011, 20:21
I just looked up some data.
6.3gr of Unique under a 230gr Ranier @ 1.225" OAL went 900fps
6gr, same bullet @ 1.260" went 860fps.
6gr @ 230grLRN @ 1.235" OAl went 850fps.
6gr w/ 230gr FMJ (Win) @ 1.255" OAL went 810fps. All from 5" 1911 or XDTAC. They usually run within 15fps of each other. SO the LRN or plated RN are going to run hotter w/ the same charge used for true FMJ.

A question that is not answered with that, is that they are running hotter as defined by velocity, but has pressure increased? That is very hard to say.

It would appear that pressure increases, but one cannot say for sure.

-Dana

davesretired1
12-15-2011, 22:12
Here's some more info.........................

Bullets are 230 gr. FMJ Zero bullets from Roze Dist.

I used a Dillon beam balance scale backed up by a Dillon digital scale. They were within .1-.2 grains of each other.

I used two different PACT timers for the same set of screens.

I'll be pulling the remaining heads to check the powder charge tomorrow.

Rounds were loaded on a Dillon 550B. All rounds were checked in a EGW
chamber checker, and measured for OAL.

Range temp was approx 55 degrees. Sunny with no wind. Chrono screens were set 8 feet from the muzzle, and a bench and sand bags were used.

What I can't figue out is why you guys were getting the fps that you mentioned from a 5" barrel, and I'm considerably faster from the shorter barrel of a Model 30. Obviously something is screwed up. I can say that these rounds hurt to shoot, with a stronger felt recoil and bigger blast than the factory SD rounds I carry.

One last piece of info....I used One Shot to lube the cases. When I would dump a charge into the scale, I noticed a few powder flakes would remain in the case. Thinking this could have an effect on the weight reading. I switched to an unlubed case just to verify the weight. :dunno:Dave

PS.......Fred, you are correct that the 200 gr. Hornady heads were soft shooting. However they are extremely reliable and very accurate. Thanks again.

Zombie Steve
12-15-2011, 22:43
Is it possible you have neck tension issues / the bullets are getting set back quite a bit as they feed?

Murphy's Law
12-16-2011, 05:54
My normal 45 load is 6.0 gr of Unique for plinking out of my Colt Govt. and Defender. Very accurate and not all that bad on recoil even with the 3" barrel in the Defender. I never saw a need to load them any hotter.

Damon555
12-16-2011, 09:33
My Unique load is 6 grains behind a 200 grain rainier plated bullet. It's got plenty of umph behind it in my 1911.

I've seen some loads online for 230 grain bullets using Unique that were just plain crazy. I'm not sure how their guns are holding together.

Your test just reiterates the importance of doing your own load testing starting with data published in a manual. I cringe every time I read about people asking for loads online. I always wonder if they actually have a manual or not.

fredj338
12-16-2011, 09:38
A question that is not answered with that, is that they are running hotter as defined by velocity, but has pressure increased? That is very hard to say.

It would appear that pressure increases, but one cannot say for sure.

-Dana
All things being the same, pressure = vel. If you are running identical components & then change one thing & vel goes up or down, 99% of the time pressures follow that. The bullet is expelled by pressure, the higher the pressure the higher the vel, all things being equal. OAL is a good exmple & the diff is easily seen o/ a chronograph. Seat deeper, pressures go up & vel goes up. Seat longer & you have the reverse. Just one expample of changing a variable & being able to track pressures vs vel.
There are times when youy can have a vel platue & pressures still go up, that is caliber & powder specific but is just as much an indicator you are at thet op end.

F106 Fan
12-16-2011, 10:19
I used a Dillon beam balance scale backed up by a Dillon digital scale. They were within .1-.2 grains of each other.



I would be kind of worried about this. Being within 0.2 gr on a 6.0 gr charge is like 1 part in 30 or about 3%. I would expect the scales to do much better than that.

I have the RCBS calibration weights which I use to check my Dillon digital. The scale comes out right on.


For some loads, a 0.2 gr difference is a really big deal. Particularly if the load is near max.

There's an old saying among navigators: sail with 1 compass or 3 - never 2. Same with scales, I suppose.

Richard

willie_pete
12-16-2011, 10:34
Chrono may be too close to the muzzle ( 8 feet ). Move back some; see if the numbers change.

WP

Taterhead
12-16-2011, 11:37
That has been a fix for unexpected chrony readings in my personal experience. Too close has typically caused readings higher than expected. This has been true for rifle and pistol rounds.

The weird thing is that he was shooting over two chronies with similar results and he was getting a hath recoil. Something else might be going on.

fredj338
12-16-2011, 12:33
That has been a fix for unexpected chrony readings in my personal experience. Too close has typically caused readings higher than expected. This has been true for rifle and pistol rounds.

The weird thing is that he was shooting over two chronies with similar results and he was getting a hath recoil. Something else might be going on.

Usually shooting too close to the chrono gives errors, not repeatable high or low numbers. With the cheap Chrony, the unit MUST be fully open & flat or the readings will be off. With good fixed space screens like the Oehler or CED, this isn't possible.
The OP should recheck his measure & scale. You can't use one scale to check another, check wts are the only sure bet. A bullet is not a check wt UNLESS it has been verified on a verified scale.

davesretired1
12-16-2011, 13:57
OK. Comments and a update...............

Damon555...I agree on checking manuals. I only have an older Hornady manual and it gives a max load of 6.2/900fps.
The Alliant web site gives a max of 6.5/832fps-4.4" barrel.
MD Smith web pages has a max of 6.8/901fps. In other words, all over the place. I figured that 6.3 grains, while hot was within reason when trying to duplicate SD loads. If you have other manuals or more current ones, I sure would appreciate some info.

F106 Fan..... I agree that .2 is a measurable difference, but since I didn't think I was near max ( see above ), I wasn't tooo concerned.

Willie_Pete.....I'll try movng the chrono back some, although 8' is what the PACT manual gives for setup. What distance do you think I should try?

FredJ338....I don't know if you would catagorize the PACT Chrono/Timers as cheap. I know I don't. I'm sure there are better more accurate ones out there, but Social Security only goes so far. I've used these two for almost twenty years including when I ran the Chrono stage at the USPSA 3 Gun Nationals back in the 90's. As far as checking the scales, shame on me, but I only have a 700gr check weight. The digital scale read it at 699.7gr. It also measured one of the 230gr FMJ's at 229.5. The Dillon beam scale doesn't go that high, but it measured the same bullet also at 229.5. I feel that this is valedation enough, at least until I get a better set of check weights. I'm not looking for benchrest accuracy, just some safe loads near the upper end.

I've pulled two heads to check the powder charges. One was 6.4, and the second was 6.5, when I was trying for 6.3. I wasn't too upset about this as numerous people on this site have commented on Unique Powder's tendency to vary a little due to larger grain size. Have no idea where the 900+fps readings came from. Plus I'm not happy with the feel of the round. I'll try dropping down into the high 5's, maybe 6 grains. If the results for me are still off, it's back to WST/WSF ( Sorry Jack!!) Thanks again for all your comments.:wavey:

Damon555
12-16-2011, 14:52
OK. Comments and a update...............

Damon555...I agree on checking manuals. I only have an older Hornady manual and it gives a max load of 6.2/900fps.
\\s.:wavey:

Sorry, I wasn't making that comment toward you. I figured you consulted a manual first.

F106 Fan
12-16-2011, 15:12
Damon555...I agree on checking manuals. I only have an older Hornady manual and it gives a max load of 6.2/900fps.
The Alliant web site gives a max of 6.5/832fps-4.4" barrel.
MD Smith web pages has a max of 6.8/901fps. In other words, all over the place. I figured that 6.3 grains, while hot was within reason when trying to duplicate SD loads. If you have other manuals or more current ones, I sure would appreciate some info.


Something seems odd. Hornady says max is 6.2/900 fps (not in the current manual!) and MD Smith says 6.8/901 fps. I don't know anything about MD Smith (my lack of knowledge) but I would give web-anything a pass.

Alliant says 6.5/832 fps. That's certainly at odds with Hornady. Are we talking about the same bullet? Even with a somewhat shorter barrel, that's quite a velocity loss.

Personally, I would consider 6.5 MAX (no matter what) and I would back off from there. Alliant should know their powder better than anyone.

Alliant doesn't give a min/max range of loads and they certainly don't provide pressure information.

The latest Hornady manual gives 6.2/850 (should match factory, more or less) and 6.6/900 MAX. The manual doesn't mention barrel length. I would start loading down around 5.9/800 (184 PF - fairly hot).

Just to complicate matters, the latest Speer manual shows 6.5/832 MAX. You think maybe they copied from Alliant or the other way around?

Sierra shows 6.8/900 and 6.4/850 which is fairly consistent.


F106 Fan..... I agree that .2 is a measurable difference, but since I didn't think I was near max ( see above ), I wasn't tooo concerned.


Depending on whose manual you believe, you were very close to max. Based on the measured charges, you were there. In my view, 0.2 gr is a BIG deal.

I am a little concerned about the variation in charges. I have never used Unique but I was considering it. If I can't get less variation than you did, I may just reconsider. It may be a great powder but I might have a problem using it. Everybody else just keeps going along...

I wonder how many more loading manuals I should buy?

Richard

GioaJack
12-16-2011, 15:19
Unless you're already loading well over published max .1 or .2 grain variance with Unique is nothing to be concerned with.

As you're discovering, loading for a simulated SD or actual SD round will never be most effective with top end velocities. Quickly recovering from recoil for follow-up shots is by far more important than an extra 50 or 80 fps.

I am shocked, shocked I say to learn that the 200 grain SWC's wouldn't feed in your G30. :wow:

(We told ya they wouldn't feed but what the hell do we know?)


Jack

davesretired1
12-16-2011, 16:22
Jack.......as usual, I bow to your age......er I meant experience!! I have to admit that every manual/source has a different grain measurement and it remains confusing as hell.

To F106 fan, your correct. Alliant doesn't specify max or min on their web site. In fact no range at al is given. Just 6.5 at 832fps. That seems slow for an upper end charge.

I'm going to work up some lower charges and hope that Santa brings me a new manual. Only question is, with the wide variety of charges out there, which manual do I believe. Seems like the ones from the powder maker would be the most accurate, but....?

Keep alert Jack. You might be getting some Unique sent to you!:rofl:

Dave

fredj338
12-16-2011, 16:34
I've pulled two heads to check the powder charges. One was 6.4, and the second was 6.5, when I was trying for 6.3. I wasn't too upset about this as numerous people on this site have commented on Unique Powder's tendency to vary a little due to larger grain size. Have no idea where the 900+fps readings came from. Plus I'm not happy with the feel of the round. I'll try dropping down into the high 5's, maybe 6 grains. If the results for me are still off, it's back to WST/WSF ( Sorry Jack!!) Thanks again for all your comments.:wavey:

It isn't unlikey, depending on your measure & technique, that Unique can bridge a bit or compact & drop a larger charge by 0.2-0.3gr. If you let you measure sit for awhile, the powder settles, so it's always prudent to throw 3-4 charges befreo starting again. Many forget to do this & that is how you get over loads w/ any powder using a volume measure, any volume measure.:wavey:

davesretired1
12-16-2011, 20:18
It isn't unlikey, depending on your measure & technique, that Unique can bridge a bit or compact & drop a larger charge by 0.2-0.3gr. If you let you measure sit for awhile, the powder settles, so it's always prudent to throw 3-4 charges befreo starting again. Many forget to do this & that is how you get over loads w/ any powder using a volume measure, any volume measure.:wavey:06

I agree. Whenever I change powder charges, I drop 4 charges, then drop a fifth and weigh that one. Just trying to make sure that everything is dialed in before actually loading rounds. Thanks.

willie_pete
12-16-2011, 21:06
Re: chronograph spacing

I generally use 10' for pistol and 12' for rifle in my CED; but it is really dependent on muzzle blast. If I get some strange numbers one of the things I do is move back a few feet and see if the numbers change much. YMMV

WP