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Thread: Another Berry's 185 grain HBRN question

  1. #1
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    Another Berry's 185 grain HBRN question

    Some months ago and after ready the article on the 'geezer loads', I bought a box of Berry's 185 grain hollow base round nose bullets. Do not want to change to a lighter recoil spring ( I keep my 1911's springs the same as factory originals), but do want to load something that will recoil less than my 225 grain cast round nose or cast 230(ish) grain round nose flat points. For these I am not concerned with any type of 'power factor'.

    In Hawkmoon's recent posting on Berry's 185 grain the only mention I saw of a load was somewhere around 5.2 or so grains of 231. I do not know if a plated bullet generates similar pressure to regular jacketed bullets. I would certainly expect them to be 'stickier' than cast bullets. Just wonder if anyone else out there is shooting these bullets and what loads you all have been using? I know I should just load up a bunch and see what works but I guess I am looking for a bit of a shortcut (getting lazy in my newly retired old age?).

    I have lots of Unique, Bullseye, HS6, HP38 and Clays but can always be on the lookout for a reason to buy another powder.
    Last edited by coalgeo; 27th June 2017 at 21:11.


  2. #2
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    Berrys is (finally) gradually introducing some actual loading data for their bullets, but they haven't gotten to that bullet with Winchester 231, as far as I know. Berrys also says to use mid-range data for jacketed bullets when loading their plated bullets. The problem there is that the hollow base creates additional volume, and there are no hollow base, 185-grain jacketed bullets that I'm aware of. (Certainly none I've seen loading data for.) So there really is no comparable "mid-range" data to use.

    I'm also lazy, so when I decided to try that bullet I relied on the load data I found in the on-line article to which my friend had sent me the link. I differed only in that my press was set up for loading Berrys 230-grain plated round nose to a COAL of 1.250", so I left it at that rather than using 1.240" as the author of the article used. Winchester 231 and HP38 are the same powder, so there's no change needed for that. The result was a load that's acceptably accurate and recoils significantly less than my 230-grain load. I didn't have to change the recoil spring.

    The only thing I haven't yet tested it on is the plate rack and the Texas Star. But this load is supposed to produce the same power factor as a "standard" 9mm, and the rack and the star can be shot by the guys with 9mms so I don't anticipate any problems there.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the response. I have not checked their website for some time and did not realize that they had started to post any data. I have dinked around with HP38 for some time as it has a good reputation. However, I have not yet been able to make it do what (old, dirty, smoky) Unique does. Ditto for Clays - at least in 45 caliber rounds.

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    HP38 is W231.
    If plated/jacketed are "stickier" then lead, then why do you need more powder with jacketed to reach the same pressure as lead bullets?
    One would think that when the bullet hits the lede, the jacketed would be harder to push through and the pause would be longer, so pressure would build higher implying that it would take less powder with jacketed bullets to reach Maximum Average Pressure, yet, time and again, it takes MORE powder to get the jacketed up to the same pressure.
    Of course, the problem with some older manuals is they artificially kept lead bullet velocities/pressures down. Now, when some print the Max. Avg. Pressure, you can see the ones doing this.
    NRA Life Member

  5. #5
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    Nolyj - Need to think about that. I know that similar charges get lead bullets moving quicker - I think. Need to look back through my notes but I shoot jacketed bullets so infrequently that my notes may not be of much value. As far as the manuals, well, it has probably been twenty years - or more - since I purchased one. Cheap, mostly. But also, I almost never - maybe absolutely never, push the maximum charges listed in any of the manuals, and have stayed with the powders that have been around for awhile. So, I have not felt compelled to go out and buy new manuals. Probably why I have no Vihtavori (sp?) and almost no Accurate powders in my powder stash.

  6. #6
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    Here's the link to the article that gave me my starting point for loading the Berry's 185-grain PRNHP bullets:

    http://www.shootingtimes.com/reloadi...ht-gives-edge/

    I thought I had posted this link before, but perhaps I didn't. If I recall correctly, when I first received the bullets I believe I loaded a very few at 5.0 grains, based on just a guess, and they shot okay but I didn't have the chronometer set up so I didn't know how fast (or slow) they were going. Then a friend who shoots IDPA steered me to this article, and that told me I was in the correct ball park.

    One day soon I need to run mine through the chronometer. If the velocity confirms that it's about the same power factor as a standard power 9mm, then I hay switch the recoil spring in the gun I'll be shooting them through to a 9mm (14-pound) recoil spring. (Unless I go back to using a P13.45 for competition. That's a Commander length double stack, so in that I'd drop from an 18-pound to a 16-pound spring.)
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

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    Hawkmoon
    Thank you for the article. Very informative. Good info to keep in mind when loading for 'power factor' for shooting competition.
    Of course, I am looking for a load for the light Berry's RNHP that will cycle reliably, but just barely.
    Greg
    ps - For IDPA I usually went with 200 grain semi-wadcutters. However, after reading the article I may well switch to one of my 230 (plus or minus) cast bullets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coalgeo View Post
    Hawkmoon
    Thank you for the article. Very informative. Good info to keep in mind when loading for 'power factor' for shooting competition.
    Of course, I am looking for a load for the light Berry's RNHP that will cycle reliably, but just barely.
    Greg
    ps - For IDPA I usually went with 200 grain semi-wadcutters. However, after reading the article I may well switch to one of my 230 (plus or minus) cast bullets.
    My first few with the Berry's HBRN were 5.0 grains of Winchester 231 (HP-38). They cycled a Commander, with a standard recoil spring (18 pounds). 5.0 grains isn't a lot of 231 in a .45 ACP case -- I don't think I'd want to go much lower than that.
    Hawkmoon
    On a good day, can hit the broad side of a barn ... from the inside

  9. #9
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    I will give that recipe a try and see how it does, but as you say it isn't much. Perhaps I will start with 5.3 to 5.5 and run them over my Shooting Chrony.
    Greg
    ps - 18 lbs. - standard for the Government, as well, is it not? I usually order the 'standard' Colt spring from Brownells and do not otherwise pay attention to the 'weight' of the spring. I tried a light spring in my Kimber Gold Match with loads of Bullseye powder - for 'Bullseye' shooting and could not hit the side of a barn. Did not try from inside though. Anyway, gave up on the really low velocity rounds for NRA Bullseye matches and just went with a light - for a standard spring - load for the 200 grain semi-wadcutters. But I digress from my search for a relatively light plinking load with a light bullet but staying with the standard weight recoil spring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by coalgeo View Post
    ps - 18 lbs. - standard for the Government, as well, is it not?
    Depends on who you ask, but my answer is calculated from Army Ordnance data for the recoil spring and it works out to 15.94 pounds at a compressed length of 1 5/8". Call it 16 pounds. And that's what two new Colt Gov't Model in my parts box measured when new - 16 pounds.
    When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. [Lord Kelvin]

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