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lazlong
21st February 2007, 15:56
Rainier used to have data on their site. They've taken it down and it now says to use lead bullet data.

None of my manuals have data for a 230 gr. lead bullet.

Do any of you shoot the Rainier 230 gr. RN bullet? If so, what do you use?

Woodman
21st February 2007, 21:38
Rainier used to have data on their site. They've taken it down and it now says to use lead bullet data.

None of my manuals have data for a 230 gr. lead bullet.

Do any of you shoot the Rainier 230 gr. RN bullet? If so, what do you use?

I use the Ranier 230GR plated ball. I load between 5.3 to 5.8gr of Winchester 231 with an OAL of 1.245". I haven't chrono'ed these, but I have no overpressure signs on the brass. If I go over 5.8gr my older brass begins to split. Typically 5.5gr is a nice, comfortable and accurate round out to 14yds.

Kosh
21st February 2007, 22:08
You might also try 5.0/IMR PB/ with the Rainiers. I've used this load with all variations of bullets, brass, primers, you name it, and it gives good to excellent accuracy, superb functioning, and is mild enogh to shoot all day. With the 225 grain TC projectiles, I'm getting about 740 f/s. 5.5/IMR PB/230 is about max.

lazlong
22nd February 2007, 11:29
Thanks for the input. I found some 230 gr. Lead RN bullet data in my Speer manual, that I somehow overlooked before. Made up a few at the suggested starting load of 5.3 gr. Unique with a COL of 1.270. I cycled some through my Rock Island to be sure they'd fit the mag and feed at that length. They work fine.

I plan to go to the range shortly to test them.

vallopez2000
22nd February 2007, 22:07
I use them with 5.4gr of Accurate #2. It works very well for me. I am happy with it.

lazlong
22nd February 2007, 22:12
The 5.3 gr. of Unique at 1.270 was a little bit hotter than I expected. No signs of overpressure, but a snappy recoil and some hot blowback.

I backed off to 5.1 and will test that load when I get a chance (maybe tomorrow).

1944Colt
23rd February 2007, 00:16
5.3 of Unique shouldn't be anywhere near a hot or even standard load. I use 4.9 Red Dot with mine and get around 810 f/s in a 4 inch and around 835 in a five inch. The point being that Red Dot is a considerably faster powder and I'm using nearly as much. Your OAL is near maximum and is pressure reducing.

I haven't used charges of Unique quite that light with a 230, but 5.5 grains gets around 720 or so with a 200 SWC. I'd say you have around the same velocity. The blowby you saw might be from relatively low pressures as much as anything. Run Unique at higher pressures and it's clean(er). It's better than it used to be.

lazlong
23rd February 2007, 00:26
5.3 of Unique shouldn't be anywhere near a hot or even standard load. I use 4.9 Red Dot with mine and get around 810 f/s in a 4 inch and around 835 in a five inch. The point being that Red Dot is a considerably faster powder and I'm using nearly as much. Your OAL is near maximum and is pressure reducing.

I haven't used charges of Unique quite that light with a 230, but 5.5 grains gets around 720 or so with a 200 SWC. I'd say you have around the same velocity. The blowby you saw might be from relatively low pressures as much as anything. Run Unique at higher pressures and it's clean(er). It's better than it used to be.

Thanks for the info. That makes sense.

I'm still new at loading for .45. I've been having great success with the Laser Cast 200 gr. lead SWC bullets and Clays. I had these Rainier 230 gr. bullets on backorder and forgot to cancel them before they arrived.

I think I'll be happy with them once I find a suitable load for them. I'm trying to stick to the powders I have on hand, which are Unique, Power Pistol, and Clays. If I have to buy another powder to work with them, I will.

RickB
23rd February 2007, 12:13
I checked my data, and it says, "don't use Rainier bullets". Seriously, I don't really like them, and use them only in my .45 revolvers, as in that application I don't have to worry so much about how the bullets are distorted in the loading process, or bullet setback, etc.
To "make major", I loaded them over 3.9 of Clays in a 5" auto, and 4.0 in a 4" revo. I loaded some last night, over 4.2 of Winchester Super Target (WST), and expect about the same velocity.

lazlong
23rd February 2007, 13:39
I just got back from the range running them with 5.5 gr. and 5.7 gr. of Unique. 1944Colt was right. The blowback was non-existent with both of these loads. I couldn't tell much difference between the two. Both were on target and both functioned well.

I'm not trying to make any power level, I just want loads that shoot straight with similar noise and recoil to my carry ammo (Hornady TAP 230 gr.)

I think I'm on the right track.

I used a lot of Rainier bullets when I was loading .40 S&W, and I liked them just fine. I believe these will work just as well for me.

shuwtist
23rd February 2007, 13:55
I love Rainier bullets and use the 230 RN for my 45 ACP. I use 4.5 gr of WST or 5.2 of Bullseye for some very nice loads. I don't have my notes, so I don't know the COAL off the top of my head so I won't suggest one.

Kosh
24th February 2007, 03:51
LAZLONG I concur with the Gent who said that 5.3/Unique/230 sounded on the light side. I looked at the old Lee Classic Loader I used as a kid, and the loading data said the powder scoop threw 5.8/Unique, and it was listed in the 200 - 230 grain bullet range. I also agree that Unique tends to burn more cleanly as pressures and velocities go up. A slightly heavier than normal crimp seems to help lots, too.
If memory serves, 6.7/Unique/230 duplicates military ball. You might try 6.0/Unique/230 to start with. If that's not too obstreperous in whatever piece you're shooting, you may find that better ballistic behaviour comes with increasing powder charge.

lazlong
24th February 2007, 06:29
LAZLONG I concur with the Gent who said that 5.3/Unique/230 sounded on the light side. I looked at the old Lee Classic Loader I used as a kid, and the loading data said the powder scoop threw 5.8/Unique, and it was listed in the 200 - 230 grain bullet range. I also agree that Unique tends to burn more cleanly as pressures and velocities go up. A slightly heavier than normal crimp seems to help lots, too.
If memory serves, 6.7/Unique/230 duplicates military ball. You might try 6.0/Unique/230 to start with. If that's not too obstreperous in whatever piece you're shooting, you may find that better ballistic behaviour comes with increasing powder charge.

Rainier says to load to lead data. The only lead RN data I can find is in my Speer manual, which says to start at 5.3 and go to max at 5.8. I could see going higher if these were FMJ bullets, but they're plated, and I don't want to blow the plating off of them. The whole purpose of having them is so I'm not breathing lead vapors.

Many thanks for your input.

CherryRiver
25th February 2007, 21:17
I've used many thousands of Rainier 230s and just plain don't bother with any other bullet for reloading in .45ACP. (I do use Speer Gold Dots for self-defense in factory loads.)
Pardon me for plagiarizing myself, but here's a clip from another post I made in another thread, with Rainier results:
I have pretty well settled on 230gr Rainiers for the 1911- with a fast powder, I can almost guarantee that recoil (with 100% function) will be less than anything else- and have settled on four loads in half-grain steps to do everything in the .45. 3.5gr makes a 560fps puffball almost anyone can shoot comfortably with little recoil and with a 10-pound spring, will run okay if the grip is at all sufficient. 4.0gr does well for me on steel, still with little recoil and perfect function. 4.5gr makes about 730fps in moderate temperatures, (WST goes faster in the cold) and serves as a USPSA major load. 5.0gr (just like Bullseye!) is the full-power load and will make 860fps on a freezing day, and more like 825fps in summer.
I spent a bunch of time this winter trying the lowest-recoil thing with some semi-scientific testing, including on non-1911 guinea pigs. At 230gr/730fps, WST and VV310 were equal, Unique kicked noticeably harder, and VV340gr (6.0gr to make this speed!) was almost nasty by comparison. 231, as I recall, was in the Unique range.
Go fast powders for the 1911. It was designed for Bullseye. John M. made it that way.
Bill

lazlong
25th February 2007, 22:11
CherryRiver, I'm trying to figure out what loads you're using. Are you saying that each of the powders you mentioned work with those charge weights?

I do like the Unique at higher pressures. I went all the way up to 5.8 yesterday, and it felt like a full power load, and it definitely burned cleaner and no more blowback. No signs of overpressure on the cases either.

I'm out of town for a few days, but I'm certainly interested in any other loads anyone may want to share with these bullets.

I prefer the SWC bullets because of the bigger and cleaner holes in the target, but I have 900 of these left to fire, so I'm not gonna let them go to waste.

CherryRiver
25th February 2007, 22:24
Sorry, no, the charge weights were for WST.
The VV340 load was 6.0gr, well below book max. Nobody wanted to shoot any more than they had to.
I did not have any VV320 stuff loaded up at the time.
I think the Unique load that hit that 730fps mark (major for USPSA) was something like 5.7gr. That fits in with the current fast powder-lighter recoil thing, since there's more powder burning and creating blast-push than with the faster stuff.
What we can tell you is that the 4.5gr WST went slightly faster and kicked and blasted significantly less.
I'll buy your pound of WST if that isn't true for you, too. I can tell you my club-mates who tried this with me are all converts, now.
Plus, Super-Target is advertised as being "low report", and so it is- it's actually quiet by comparison, and that results in better shooting for anyone.
I love Unique but I stopped using it in .45ACP. Pretty much all it does for me now is not-quite-full power .357, plus the odd calibers I rarely do like .38 S&W.
Hope that helps. Always glad to try something new, too.
Bill

lazlong
25th February 2007, 22:52
Thanks.

I don't have any WST yet.

I like the Unique because it does recoil and blast as hard and loud as the WWB.

When I'm shooting the SWC bullets with Clays, people are constantly asking me what my 1911's calibers are, because they aren't as loud as their 9mm's, but they're cutting big holes in the target. "It doesn't sound like a .45", is what I hear.

1944Colt
26th February 2007, 00:03
I stand by my respect for Unique and I still continue to use it in 45 ACP. And not because I'm a stick in the mud, nor ignorant of other powders. I've been in this long enough to know when 452AA was the "in" powder among the shootists. The "less recoil" theories were operating then too, and we tend to go through cycles of faddish ideas on how to reduce it. Unique is still here, 452AA long gone. I have tried many ball and other powders on the market. Some are pretty good. Some are still made here. Unique is both, and happens to be a nicely bulking flake powder. No double charge worries like with some ball powders. High loading density. Run it from standard velocity to Plus P.

I figure the Alliant Co. is still doing it well enough to get my business, and if I thought a ball was better for what I do I'd use it.

CherryRiver
26th February 2007, 04:19
Lazlong- I suspect you're reacting to the blast of the supersonic 9mm WWB load, which departs at around 1200fps.
Noise annoys, so I do 9s with 147gr bullets at 930fps. Same power factor and function, less noise.
1944Colt- I'm a huge fan of Unique, too, for over 30 years. But I have to suggest that certain calibers do better with certain powders. The .45ACP cartridge was designed for the 1911 action using Bullseye. The timing works better with this speed of powder- it appears to me that it wants a fast buildup of pressure to a moderate level to make things happen.
Bullseye is still the best-working, most accurate powder for this particular cartridge/action combination, but WST is of equivalent speed and quite a bit cleaner, so I use it for this application (and a few others).
Just like Unique works better for 80% .357 loads, the fast stuff like Bullseye, WST, VV310, and their equals works better for .45ACP.
If tradition matters, Bullseye predates Unique. Jeff Cooper's answer to 1911 loads was always "five grains of Bullseye", and that was old news even back in the sixties.
As for reducing recoil, I've seen a few things go by the wayside, too. Here's what I do know from doing same-magazine load tests with several different shooters, including non-1911 guys: WST hits less at identical muzzle velocities.
Given that VV310 does the same thing and runs even cleaner than WST (you can run three hundred rounds with the stuff and the bore and action will look like you only fired a magazine or two), I'd go with it, but it's expensive and I have to travel a ways to get it.
Not coincidentally, VihtaVuori advertises it as similar to Bullseye.
But in the end, everyone's mileage does indeed vary.
Bill

Kosh
26th February 2007, 13:29
As a Cooper disciple, I remember hearing the 5.0/B'eye/230 from time to time, but I thought HIS favorite load was 7.5/Unique/215SWC. Now, where he was getting .452" 215gr SWCs is a question I've never had answered.

And since THIS LOAD IS WELL ABOVE RECOMMENDED LEVELS, it makes me wonder how his competition pieces stayed together. I guess the man wasn't infallible, just very good.

I tend to share 1944Colt's assessment of Alliant Unique. Certainly, if I was limited to one powder for loading all pistol and shotgun shells, it would be my choice. What I like best about Unique is that, somewhere, there's data using it in almost any pistol cartridge from .25 ACP to .44 Mag, and this includes the bottle-necked .30s and even some of the "stretched" magnum calibers.
As case capacity goes upward from .45 ACP volumes, Unique tends to become less optimal. But it can still return results in the "good enough" range, which can be used as a basis for selecting a more appropriate powder to the cartridge of interest.
Unique will probably never have a reputation for being an especially clean-burning propellant. I nonetheless observe that it DOES tend to burn more cleanly than almost any powder with a slower burning rate (especially, it seems, #2400). As stated before, Unique can usually be made to burn "less dirty" by bumping the powder charge OR the bullet weight upwards (not both at the same time, please), by adding just a shade more crimp to the case mouth (not always possible in autos), or by switching to magnum primers. Generally, taking any one or two of the above steps has made Unique burn "less dirty" for me. Only one time have I had to use all 3 steps, and in that particular instance, the powder was probably older than I was.
Also, like 1944Colt, I remember the days of #452AA, and I wish I had a big keg of it. But we're not poorly served by the various substitutes made (FORMERLY made) by Winchester/Olin/whatever they called themselves.
By the way, is Alliant the only U.S. powder manufacturer left?

TonyT
26th February 2007, 19:57
I use a light load which shoots well in both my revolvers and 1911 types - 4.0 gr. WST behind the 230 gr. Rainier RN. It's a low recoil load but knocks down stell plates with authority.

1944Colt
26th February 2007, 20:55
CR, I didn't mean to imply that Unique was my only powder. Actually, for standard loads I use a lot of Red Dot for the same bulking charges at economical charge weights-and it gives the "quick" pressure rise that is supposedly most suitable for a recoil operated action. Red Dot fills that niche you speak of quite well.

Winchester distributes the Primex produced powders, and they're produced here. Aside from that, Alliant is it. But it's been that way for a long time.

I have a big keg of Promo (8#) that I got for 75 dollars from Powder Valley. We make a big powder excursion once a year, split the gas costs driving my four banger, and the powders we get we grab in large supply. I'm currently evaluating it for the ACP. It's just slightly more dense than Red Dot without the colored flakes.

At one time or another I've used the entire Alliant line in the ACP with the exception of E3 and Blue Dot. Currently I'm a Red Dot, Unique, and Power Pistol guy, with usage in about that order. Recently I've been going through a lot of ammunition, and am looking to cut costs whenever possible. I am also playing with WSF just lately.

But I do admit I buy American whenever possible, and I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by so doing. I've noticed the residue that does exist from the Red Dot and Unique as well as Power Pistol is very easily cleaned up without any scrubbing or harsh solvents needed. Both Unique and Red Dot are much cleaner burning than formerly, and I use mostly standard velocity duplication where pressures are high enough to promote a good burn.

CherryRiver
26th February 2007, 21:09
Maybe I need some education here-
Like most self-employed people, I'm pretty strong on buying domestically. As far as I've always thought I knew, the Winchester stuff was made right here in Illinois. Did that change somewhere along the line?
I know Hodgdon is making it now, but I guess I don't know where.
That would influence my choices a bit, but the thought of going back to Bullseye is none too appealing.
I do agree that if there had to be only one powder on my shelf, it certainly would be Unique. I've burned more of that in my handloads than everything else combined.
I just like to experiment, and especially with my trying to get my unenthusiastic wife to take up the pistol, recoil and blast is a bit hotter topic for me. That's what led to the testing, and that's what led to WST. She'll shoot a GM with the 3.5gr/230gr load without much complaint.
I shoot better with less kick and noise, too, like most other folks. I'll never be lugging home the trophies for the USPSA L-10 class, but I intend to keep trying.
Red Dot, huh? Hmm.
Bill

lazlong
26th February 2007, 21:18
This has turned out to be a very educational thread. Thanks!

1944Colt
26th February 2007, 21:47
CR, you're buying American when you purchase your WST. The Winchester powders are made in Florida-St. Petersburg-at the St. Marks plant. They make WST, WSF, 231, 296, 748 and 760. They also produce a number of ball powders for Hodgdon, like Titegroup and H335. If Hodgdon is distributing a ball powder, the St. Marks plant makes it.

I liked Winchester Super Lite in the ACP also, but it was just my luck they discontinued it. They also make H110 for Hodgdon, and it's pretty much a duplicate of W296. Hodgdon also distributes HP38 (really W231). The Winchester 452AA powder I mentioned that was soft recoiling was also sold by Hodgdon as Trap 100. I still have some left.

What's the velocity with your 3.5 WST/230 load? Does it cycle the action reliably? What springs do you run?

CherryRiver
26th February 2007, 22:38
The 230/3.5 load goes about 560 in a 5" on a cool day. I find it necessary to use a 10-pound spring in the Springfield Loaded Target we usually set aside for this use. It runs about 98% for me, and a bit less for my soft-gripping wife. I am thinking of trying a nine-pounder next for her.
But in my Colts, it's more reliable. My new 1991 GM runs over 90% with the OEM spring. I haven't had a chance to try a lighter one.
It also usually runs in my old '72 Combat Commander with a Wolff variable rate spring very well, almost perfect. That old gun, now that I did a couple of upgrades after three decades, runs close to perfect with anything. Sometimes I think I could put cigar butts in it and it would run anyway.
I remember using this load in a club steel match. The hoots of derision completely drowned out the (little-bitty) sound of the gun. But I won the Presidente stage overall (even over the open guys) and finished second limited, so the laughter was worth it (I'm nowhere near that good.)
Realistically, though, the previous poster's four-grain load is superior for steel. I seem to recall it makes about 620fps or so.
WST is odd in that it goes faster in the cold- I change USPSA loads to winter by adding a half-grain so I'm not gaming.
The 3.5gr puffball is the only centerfire auto load my wife will shoot without complaint. That justifies its existence right there.

Bill

1944Colt
26th February 2007, 23:43
That would be at or below cycling velocity for my 1911's when using Red Dot or Bullseye. Usually with a 16 or 18.5 minimum is around 700 f/s with Red Dot or Bullseye using a 200 LSWC. That's 100% function with a standard or standard plus spring.

I haven't run a 230 that slow. Somehow, when I'm shooting 230 I think of ball equivalent, sort of a mental block I guess. I have a lot more experience going slow with lighter bullets. And in revolvers.

How's that WST burn at that velocity? Bullseye would probably work also but would be pretty dirty at that speed. Red Dot would be cleaner than Bullseye.

What velocity is 100% function with WST and 230 ball? I would be also interested, maybe more so, in what might be minimum velocity/charge for reliable function with the 200 LSWC, H&G pattern, using WST in standard spring 1911's. I am interested in regaining my skills with some slowfire one hand practice. I've been shooting too many bowling pins lately. Need to get back to basics. Very light recoiling/100% function would be the berries.

What say ye? Tried very slow with WST and 200's?

CherryRiver
27th February 2007, 16:20
Long ago I used to cast roofer's lead scrap and linotype into 200gr SWCs, but in recent times I have been well-covered by just using the Rainier 230s.
I went through a thousand Rainier 200 SWCs a couple of years ago, but my less-than-wonderful Springfield, then my match gun, didn't run all that well with them at any speed, so I did not go further.
I did just go through a couple of hundred of the Berry's 185gr RN hollow base. Of course, with the round nose, feeding is a non-issue (I didn't even have to reset the Dillon's seating die).
I just used 4.5gr of WST, which was what the measure was set to at the time. As I recall, these were moving about 700-720fps in moderate temperatures.
I did the alternate-in-the-magazine thing with this load, with the 230gr/3.5gr load as the other, and there really was little difference in in felt recoil.
That came as another mild surprise, and added to the credibility of the heavy-bullet-fast-powder theory, in my mind.
While 200 is not enough to establish much, I did sense that it ran slightly more reliably than my puffball, and this in a gun with a ten-pound spring. I'd give that another try just to confirm.
I did not detect any difference in accuracy, but that's not too meaningful as I am not at all a good bullseye shot. (My wife says I'm too impatient to sit still in one place for that long.) Berry's does make a fuss about this bullet being exceptionally accurate, and so it may be- Berry's has cred with me.
I have found that fouling is minimal with WST at any pressure and even going several hundred rounds at a time does not cause any cruddiness or slow-slide disease. The bore stays remarkably clean. I do admit to being a clean freak when it comes to ammo. That may have something to do with all those thousands of self-cast bullets from the Bad Old Days.
As for the 230gr velocity/function threshold, I believe that it is about 600fps, if I had to pick a number. I've had days when the 560fps ones ran through a whole 150-shot steel match, but not every match I tried it. That's why I go up to 4.0gr for that.
I'm nervous about the lighter springs- I worry about forgetting and putting hardball in there and hurting something. That's why I mentioned dedicating the Springfield to that. I don't care about damaging it anyway, but that's to be balanced against the fact that it's just not that good a gun. Even when parts aren't falling off or breaking, it still is not as reliable as any of my .45 Colts.
Let the slow race begin!
Bill

c pierce
2nd March 2007, 10:54
I find tightgroup in 4.8 to 5 grains works for me.

CherryRiver
3rd March 2007, 21:08
I happened yesterday to get stir-crazy enough to go to the (shudder) indoor range to empty some brass. I tossed in a box of the 3.5gr target loads, even though I wasn't bringing a 1911 with a light spring.
In fact, the only one I had was my brand-new 1991 NRM Government Model.
This gun has a been nice surprise- it's been a perfect runner right out of the box without so much as a glance. It's accurate and good-looking, too, unlike its owner.
It's got about a thousand down the pipe and was about three hundred rounds' worth of dirty when I fed it the box of puffballs. It ran all fifty absolutely perfectly, ejecting just barely over my right shoulder. The holes in the paper were real close together, too, at least, for me, shooting indoors (where I'm even worse than outdoors).
I guess if the gun's really good, you don't even have to change the spring.
Even more evidence to convince me that the 1911 design likes fast, engergetic powder.
Bill