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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK Reloading Gods,

Like the title says, I just got into reloading and I don't know what I don't know.

Like everywhere else in the country apparently there's a powder shortage in my neck of the woods, but I got a line today on some powder about an hour or so away from me. The tip was good, and I scored 5 lbs. of Hodgdon 700X. I have no idea if that's a good powder or not; all I know is that it's a pistol powder.

Problem is I have lots of 124gr and 230gr cast (hardened) lead bullets to reload, and between the Lyman 49th, Nosler 7th and Lee 2nd books I can't find load data for that type of bullet and powder combo.

So, my question is what load data do I use for this powder/bullet combo? Any help would be greatly appreciated since I'm paranoid about using wrong load data. Thanks for reading.
 

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Lead bullets of the same wt & profile, best to use starting jacketed data for lead bullets. Hornady says 4.3gr-5,6gr @ 1.245" oal. Oal matters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lead bullets of the same wt & profile, best to use starting jacketed data for lead bullets. Hornady says 4.3gr-5,6gr @ 1.245" oal. Oal matters.
When you say "OAL matters," are you saying that I need to adjust my bullet seating die depending on the powder/load/bullet? I thought that once dies were set you didn't mess with them anymore based on what I've read. I think max OAL for .45ACP is 1.25", so your measurement is pretty close to that...should I be OK if I ensured all of my .45 reloads are 1.245"? And thanks to all for helping me out.
 

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What Fred is saying is that if you significantly shorten your OAL, like .03 or more (edit: I originally put .003 because I am used to dealing with thousandths, but I meant .03 or 3 hundredths/30 thousandths) , you should probably use .1grn less powder to get the same effect, though this is not an exact formula or close to it. The reverse is true for longer OALs. This may not always be necessary with slower powders and a chronograph is a good tool to tell you what is happening. If the resulting velocities are in line with expectations from a "book" load, or loads you have used in the past with a different OAL and the same powder then you are on the right track.

As to your original question, cast bullets are generally "slicker" in the bore than jacketed ones and require less powder for the same velocities once they get moving. On the other hand they are generally "fatter" by at least .001" and so the momentary pressure at ignition is higher than with jacketed as they are "swaged" into the bore, so most often you will see maximum loads that are less than jacketed because of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What Fred is saying is that if you significantly shorten your OAL, like .003 or more, you should probably use .1grn less powder to get the same effect, though this is not an exact formula or close to it. The reverse is true for longer OALs. This may not always be necessary with slower powders and a chronograph is a good tool to tell you what is happening. If the resulting velocities are in line with expectations from a "book" load, or loads you have used in the past with a different OAL and the same powder then you are on the right track.

As to your original question, cast bullets are generally "slicker" in the bore than jacketed ones and require less powder for the same velocities once they get moving. On the other hand they are generally "fatter" by at least .001" and so the momentary pressure at ignition is higher than with jacketed as they are "swaged" into the bore, so most often you will see maximum loads that are less than jacketed because of that.
Thanks much, JustSomeGuy.

Another dumb question. I just set my dies using 230gr cast bullets to 1.261" OAL using a factory WIN FMJ 230gr cartridge as an example. However, when I seated a Hornady 230gr FMJ bullet to check for consistency, the OAL was 1.258". I only planned on using 4.5gr of 700X for either bullet, though I have many more cast bullets available than the FMJ (only have 100 of those).

Should I be concerned about a difference of three thousandths of an inch between these types of bullets? I only plan on using these for paper target practice using XD series pistols. Thanks again.
 

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3 thousandth isn't a big deal with that charge. As long as it fits your chamber it's good to go.
Just remember, different bullet manufactures have different length/shape bullets.
Using WWB as a length gauge isn't the best idea.
Set the depth of the bullet your using to your chamber, then seat it about .010 less than chamber length.
 

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OK Reloading Gods,

Like the title says, I just got into reloading and I don't know what I don't know.

Like everywhere else in the country apparently there's a powder shortage in my neck of the woods, but I got a line today on some powder about an hour or so away from me. The tip was good, and I scored 5 lbs. of Hodgdon 700X. I have no idea if that's a good powder or not; all I know is that it's a pistol powder.

Problem is I have lots of 124gr and 230gr cast (hardened) lead bullets to reload, and between the Lyman 49th, Nosler 7th and Lee 2nd books I can't find load data for that type of bullet and powder combo.

So, my question is what load data do I use for this powder/bullet combo? Any help would be greatly appreciated since I'm paranoid about using wrong load data. Thanks for reading.

My Lyman Pistol & Revolver III shows data for 700-X with their #358093 125 gr. Cast lead bullet. That data should be in the 49th and you can use it for your 124 provided you don't load shorter. If your bullet is a Round Nose type it will definitely need to be longer than the pointed Lyman bullet.

Regarding your last post, search for threads regarding OACL for instructions on how to determine the proper OACL for the bullet you're using and the pistol it's to be fired from. Fred's statement about OACL was in regard to establishing the correct OACL for your bullet and your individual pistol.

As far as the .003" thing, you can easily have +/- OACL variations that high or even higher depending on the equipment you have. It is more of an issue as the cartridges pressure rating increases like say the 9 X 19mm being a greater concern where it won't be much of a factor at all in .45 ACP. As far as the 9mm, that's why we work up from a Start Charge because things like OACL variation will be consistent throughout as you're working up your loads. You can also find data for 700-X here: Set your sights on pistol reloading data | Hodgdon Reloading which looks like you've already done based on the .45 ACP charge of 700-X you mentioned. It will be fine for either bullet, but again, you need to know what OACL you can use for your pistol's barrel/chamber.

A good bit of the time, the data providers try to use shorter OACLs for pressure testing and what they feel will work in any pistol the load might be used in, but it's not a guaranteed thing. It's up to the reloader to establish proper OACL. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My Lyman Pistol & Revolver III shows data for 700-X with their #358093 125 gr. Cast lead bullet. That data should be in the 49th and you can use it for your 124 provided you don't load shorter. If your bullet is a Round Nose type it will definitely need to be longer than the pointed Lyman bullet.

Regarding your last post, search for threads regarding OACL for instructions on how to determine the proper OACL for the bullet you're using and the pistol it's to be fired from. Fred's statement about OACL was in regard to establishing the correct OACL for your bullet and your individual pistol.

As far as the .003" thing, you can easily have +/- OACL variations that high or even higher depending on the equipment you have. It is more of an issue as the cartridges pressure rating increases like say the 9 X 19mm being a greater concern where it won't be much of a factor at all in .45 ACP. As far as the 9mm, that's why we work up from a Start Charge because things like OACL variation will be consistent throughout as you're working up your loads. You can also find data for 700-X here: Set your sights on pistol reloading data | Hodgdon Reloading which looks like you've already done based on the .45 ACP charge of 700-X you mentioned. It will be fine for either bullet, but again, you need to know what OACL you can use for your pistol's barrel/chamber.

A good bit of the time, the data providers try to use shorter OACLs for pressure testing and what they feel will work in any pistol the load might be used in, but it's not a guaranteed thing. It's up to the reloader to establish proper OACL. ;)
Thanks much for such a detailed response, and I will certainly research OACL further.
 

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One must always remember that what we are after are consistent amounts of combustion area space under the bullet in the case. The OAL is a rough estimate of what that will be, but different bullet shapes will affect this in at least two ways. 1) The shape of the ogive or part of the bullet that is not of "caliber" diameter at the nose end of the bullet will affect how the seating die presses into it and vary the OAL from one bullet shape to another, especially if you use the kind designed for round nose bullets as opposed to those that are for flat nosed slugs. Just where the former meets the ogive and how much it "slips" on a particular bullet shape will vary the OAL some from bullet to bullet, let alone from one bullet shape to another.

2) The other factor is the overall bullet length compared to one from another manufacturer. JHP bullets are almost always going to be longer for the weight than a solid of the same weight unless some law of physics is broken. Even solids from various manufacturers will vary in length because of the way they shape the ogive and so the depth of seating for the same OAL will vary and thus intrude into the combustion space in the case differently. Remember... it is THIS combustion area that we are most concerned with when talking about pressure. OAL also affects feeding and should be considered from that standpoint as well, but pressure is the main concern, and velocity differences using the same bullets at different OALs will quickly reveal slight to worrisome pressure differences because of the combustion area volume involved.

In other words, it is wise to at least try to estimate the amount of space left in the case under the bullet to know what effect it will have on pressure and velocity. If you change bullet types or manufacturers, the length of the bullet should be measured and the amount still showing over the top of the case measured against what you previously used with the same powder to get some rough idea of the pressure it will create. The bullet's particular metallurgy will also affect the pressure somewhat, but not as greatly as the combustion area volume will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So it sounds like the .45ACP cartridge is forgiving enough to tolerate the 3 thousandths of an inch diffedifference between cast and FMJ I was asking about, but not so with 9mm.

For 9mm, if I see that kind of difference between bullets, I probably should adjust my seating die accordingly to account for even for a few thousandths of an inch difference....would that be the correct assumption?
 

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When you say "OAL matters," are you saying that I need to adjust my bullet seating die depending on the powder/load/bullet? I thought that once dies were set you didn't mess with them anymore based on what I've read. I think max OAL for .45ACP is 1.25", so your measurement is pretty close to that...should I be OK if I ensured all of my .45 reloads are 1.245"? And thanks to all for helping me out.
Oal will vary with diff bullet shapes, even in the same wt range. So you can NOT just set the seating die & load anything. Every bullet is diff, every bbl is diff. If you switch bullets, you'll need to verify oal. Max oal means little, it must fit you bbl.
If you seat deeper than the book data, you increase pressure. Seating 0.010" deeper, starts pressures up. Less than that, insignificant. When you start seating 0.030", pressures start rising quickly. At 0.060", pressures can become dangerous if your load is already at book avg max. In any caliber, 0.003" is nothing, a hvy sheet of paper & well within the nose variance from bullet to bullet of the same manuf. I think jsg had a typing moment.:oops:
 

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And, the thing about finding the MAX. possible OACL is so that you'll know how much to shorten the handloads you actually make with any given bullet for your pistol's chamber. Reduce the OACL of your handloads at least .005" shorter than the MAX. allowable, or by as much as .010" depending on the OACL variations given by your press and dies. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Woohoo! Just fired my first rolled cartridges using all of the great info y'all so graciously shared with me.

I ran some IMR PB, 4.4gr with a 230gr cast bullet at 1.621" OAL with Wolf primers fired through an XDs .45, and they shot perfectly! They felt so much better (less recoil) than the factory WIN .45 FMJ I've been firing. Feeling pretty stoked; now I see why so many find this hobby enjoyable.
 

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Fred is correct. I added an extra zero because I am so used to measuring things in thousandths of an inch. .003 will not make much difference even in a 9mm case. 3 hundredths of an inch (.03) will be very significant though, and in a 9mm case I have experienced noticeable and even serious differences with certain powders at a lot less variation than .03.

I think it was Sir Francis Bacon who said "Reading makes a full man, writing an exact man.". I would beg his and all of your forgiveness for my inexactitude. I edited my original reply with notes.

My comments about "combustion space" however, I feel are still valid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Fred is correct. I added an extra zero because I am so used to measuring things in thousandths of an inch. .003 will not make much difference even in a 9mm case. 3 hundredths of an inch (.03) will be very significant though, and in a 9mm case I have experienced noticeable and even serious differences with certain powders at a lot less variation than .03.

I think it was Sir Francis Bacon who said "Reading makes a full man, writing an exact man.". I would beg his and all of your forgiveness for my inexactitude.

My comments about "combustion space" however, I feel are still valid.
Thanks for that clarification, although I will still try to adhere to the closest tolerances possible because I'm OCD that way.
 

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Assuming the 124gn are for a 9x19 (since I didn't see the cartridges referenced), here is some data for lead bullets:
Bullet Weight Powder Weight Velocity Note P.F. COL
L-CN 125 700X 2.9 899 Start 112 1.125
Rainier FMJ-RN 124 700X 3.0 809 Start 100
Rainier FMJ-FP 124 700X 3.0 836 Start 104
Speer L-RN 125 700X 3.2 920 Start 115 1.130
Speer L-RN 125 700X 3.4 977 Max 122 1.130
L-CN 125 700X 3.4 1003 Max 125 1.125
L-RN 125 700X 3.5 1.135
Magma L-RN 126 700X 3.5 1012 128 1.110
Magma L-RN 126 700X 3.8 1053 133 1.110
Rainier FMJ-FP 124 700X 3.9 1044 Max 129
Magma L-RN 126 700X 4.0 1085 Max 137 1.110
Rainier FMJ-RN 124 700X 4.1 1065 Max 132
L-RN 123 700X 4.5 1212 149

Same thing, I assume the 230gn is for the .45 Auto:
Bullet Weight Powder Weight Velocity Note Power Factor
L-RN 230 700X 4.0 755 Start 174
swaged L-RN 230 700X 4.3 767 Start 176 1.270
L-RN 230 700X 4.7 798 Max 184 1.270
L-RN 230 700X 4.8 852 Max 196
L-RN 230 700X 4.2 782 180
L-RN 230 700X 4.5 836 192
L-RN 230 700X 4.6 0
Rem L-RN 230 700X 4.7 775 178 1.270
swaged L-RN 231 700X 4.7 838 194 1.270

For safety, start at the lowest starting weight and work your way up.
Get the Lyman Cast Bullet manual, Ricard Lee's 2nd volume reloading manual, and, if you can find it, the RCBS cast bullet manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Assuming the 124gn are for a 9x19 (since I didn't see the cartridges referenced), here is some data for lead bullets:
Bullet Weight Powder Weight Velocity Note P.F. COL
L-CN 125 700X 2.9 899 Start 112 1.125
Rainier FMJ-RN 124 700X 3.0 809 Start 100
Rainier FMJ-FP 124 700X 3.0 836 Start 104
Speer L-RN 125 700X 3.2 920 Start 115 1.130
Speer L-RN 125 700X 3.4 977 Max 122 1.130
L-CN 125 700X 3.4 1003 Max 125 1.125
L-RN 125 700X 3.5 1.135
Magma L-RN 126 700X 3.5 1012 128 1.110
Magma L-RN 126 700X 3.8 1053 133 1.110
Rainier FMJ-FP 124 700X 3.9 1044 Max 129
Magma L-RN 126 700X 4.0 1085 Max 137 1.110
Rainier FMJ-RN 124 700X 4.1 1065 Max 132
L-RN 123 700X 4.5 1212 149

Same thing, I assume the 230gn is for the .45 Auto:
Bullet Weight Powder Weight Velocity Note Power Factor
L-RN 230 700X 4.0 755 Start 174
swaged L-RN 230 700X 4.3 767 Start 176 1.270
L-RN 230 700X 4.7 798 Max 184 1.270
L-RN 230 700X 4.8 852 Max 196
L-RN 230 700X 4.2 782 180
L-RN 230 700X 4.5 836 192
L-RN 230 700X 4.6 0
Rem L-RN 230 700X 4.7 775 178 1.270
swaged L-RN 231 700X 4.7 838 194 1.270

For safety, start at the lowest starting weight and work your way up.
Get the Lyman Cast Bullet manual, Ricard Lee's 2nd volume reloading manual, and, if you can find it, the RCBS cast bullet manual.
You'd be correct...the 124 and 230 grain bullets I was asking about were for 9mm Luger and .45, respectively. Thank you very much for this load data!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I did up a load using 4.5gr of 700x with 230gr cast using Federal cartridges and Wolf WPA primers, and all 50 shot flawlessly. I was able to get a 1 inch group at seven yards using a brand new XD .45 Tactical I picked up at the gun show today. The 700x kicks just slightly more than the IMR PB I last used with an equivalent starting charge. The 700x does shoot cleaner, too. I like them both.
 
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